Category: Events- Bombings, Lynches, mass murders of blacks

October 10 1966- The Black Panther Party

GM – FBF – Today’s story is about the misinformation that many American’s black and white still have or had about this organizations. I was a benefactor of one of their programs that helped me and my brother by giving us a good meal before we went to school. The U.S. Government could not afford to have many programs during that time that would uplift black communities, so they found ways to infiltrate or ways to discrete the organizations true purpose. Read – Research and understand. Enjoy!

Remember – “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – Gill Scott -Heron.

Today in our History – October 10, 1966 – The Black Panther Party (BPP) was given lite to the world.

The Black Panther Party (BPP), originally the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, was a political organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in October 1966. The party was active in the United States from 1966 until 1982, with international chapters operating in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s, and in Algeria from 1969 until 1972.

At its inception on October 10,1966, the Black Panther Party’s core practice was its armed citizens’ patrols to monitor the behavior of officers of the Oakland Police Department and challenge police brutality in Oakland, California. In 1969, community social programs became a core activity of party members. The Black Panther Party instituted a variety of community social programs, most extensively the Free Breakfast for Children Programs, and community health clinics to address issues like food injustice.The party enrolled the largest number of members and made the greatest impact in the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Philadelphia.

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover called the party “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country”, and he supervised an extensive counterintelligence program (COINTELPRO) of surveillance, infiltration, perjury, police harassment, and many other tactics designed to undermine Panther leadership, incriminate party members, discredit and criminalize the Party, and drain the organization of resources and manpower. The program was also accused of assassinating Black Panther members.

Black Panther Party members were involved in many fatal firefights with police including Huey Newton allegedly killing officer John Frey in 1967 and the 1968 Eldridge Cleaver led ambush of Oakland police officers which wounded two officers and killed Panther Bobby Hutton. The party was also involved in many internal conflicts including the murders of Alex Rackley and Betty Van Patter.

Government oppression initially contributed to the party’s growth, as killings and arrests of Panthers increased its support among African Americans and on the broad political left, both of whom valued the Panthers as a powerful force opposed to de facto segregation and the military draft. Black Panther Party membership reached a peak in 1970, with offices in 68 cities and thousands of members, then suffered a series of contractions. After being vilified by the mainstream press, public support for the party waned, and the group became more isolated. In-fighting among Party leadership, caused largely by the FBI’s COINTELPRO operation, led to expulsions and defections that decimated the membership.

Popular support for the Party declined further after reports appeared detailing the group’s involvement in illegal activities such as drug dealing and extortion schemes directed against Oakland merchants. By 1972 most Panther activity centered on the national headquarters and a school in Oakland, where the party continued to influence local politics. Though under constant police surveillance, the Chicago chapter remained active and maintained their community programs until 1974. The Seattle chapter lasted longer than most, with a breakfast program and medical clinics that continued even after the chapter disbanded in 1977. Party contractions continued throughout the 1970s, and by 1980, the Black Panther Party had just 27 members.

The history of the Black Panther Party is controversial. Scholars have characterized the Black Panther Party as the most influential black movement organization of the late 1960s, and “the strongest link between the domestic Black Liberation Struggle and global opponents of American imperialism”. Other commentators have described the Party as more criminal than political, characterized by “defiant posturing over substance”.

Ten-Point Program
The Black Panther Party first publicized its original Ten-Point program on May 15,1967, following the Sacramento action, in the second issue of The Black Panther newspaper. The original ten points of “What We Want Now!” follow:

We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
We want full employment for our people.
We want an end to the robbery by the Capitalists of our Black Community.
We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society.
We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.
We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.Research more about the BPP and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

October 6 1971

GM – FBF – Our story today is about love and no matter who is in love the law prevents you from being together. The Interracial marriage laws in the country were updated in some areas of the country by local law but in this state the couple had to take their fight up to the Supreme Court. This famous couple had books and articles named for them and even a famous movie that hit the BIG SCREEN. Enjoy!

Remember – “Intermarriage is one of the most provocative words in the English language” – Dr. Martin Luther King, JR.

Today in our History – October 6, 1971 is Loving Day, a holiday that celebrates the anniversary of Loving v Virginia. Even though the courts had listened to a similar case in North Carolina on October 6, 1971 the marriage case was John A. Wilkinson’s to Lorraine Mary Turner was officially recognized by that state. The Supreme Court case which declared interracial marriage legal across the US. It’s shocking to remember that the ruling — which was a blow against institutionalized racism, a step towards greater marriage equality for all, and the basis for last year’s award-winning film Loving, about the couple at the center of the legal storm — is only 50 years old, and that many of our parents were alive in an era when states could uphold laws barring people of different races from marrying. But it is true; and the fact that we’re only a generation removed from a time when people were locked up, fined and exiled for daring to marry or cohabit with somebody of a different race is one of the most glaring examples of the racism that runs deep throughout our country’s foundations.

The story of how childhood sweethearts Mildred and Richard Loving brought about one of the most important US legal rulings of the 20th century is a long one — and one that did not begin with them and their case. “Anti-miscegenation laws” — specific laws that prohibited marriage between people of different races — have a long and brutal history in the US that reaches back to the colonial era; a history that we’re still fighting today. In honor of Loving Day, let’s be sure that we know our history. Research more about Interacial marriages in the United States and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

January 8 1811

GM – FBF – Man cannot be freed by the same injustice that enslaved it.

Remember – “All we want as Negros in this land is to be free” – Charles Deslandes

Today in our History – The German Coast Uprising of 1811 under the leadership of Charles Deslandes (1780 -15 January 1811) has evaded the attention of most historians. It is unclear if Deslondes was a free man of color born in Saint-Domingue and was part of the large-scale 1809 immigration to Louisiana from that colony after the Haitian Revolution (1891-1804). An unpublished work by scholar Gwendolyn Midlo Hall suggests, however, that Deslondes was a Louisiana-born slave.

Whatever his origins, it is clear that in 1811, Charles Deslondes was the leader of the revolt known as the German Coast Uprising on the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. On the evening of 8 January 1811, at the age of thirty-one, Deslondes led a band of rebels downriver on River Road. They began in Norco and continued through the parishes of St. Charles and St. John the Baptist in Louisiana, approximately forty miles from the city of New Orleans. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, the region was part of the larger Territory of Orleans. In 1804, the Territory of Orleans was all of the land of the Louisiana Purchase south of the 33rd parallel. Because of its initial settlement by a small enclave of Germans, locals dubbed the province “The German Coast.” The historian Eugene D. Genovese estimated that Deslondes, inspired by the Haitian Revolution, led between three hundred and five hundred slaves in rebellion.

Deslondes was a slave driver at the Woodland Plantation owned by Manuel Andry, in east-bank St. John Parish, Louisiana. Witnesses stated that Deslondes united slaves on his plantation with runaways who formed a maroon society in the nearby swamps. Please research slave rebellions and share with you babies. Make it a champion day!

January 6 1961- The Friendship Nine

GM – FBF – We as a people are ready for being treated like Americans, in all phases of our lives.

Remember – “A ham sandwich does not change, so why can’t I order one at this counter” – Diane Nash (Freedom Nine)

Today in our History – January 6, 1961 – The Friendship Nine, or Rock Hill Nine, was a group of African-American men who went to jail after staging a sit-in at a segregated McCrory’s lunch counter in Rock Hill, South Carolina in 1961. The group gained nationwide attention because they followed the 1960 Nashville sit-in strategy of “Jail, No Bail”, which lessened the huge financial burden civil rights groups were facing as the sit-in movement spread across the South. They became known as the Friendship Nine because eight of the nine men were students at Rock Hill’s Friendship Junior College.

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) sent four volunteers to Rock Hill, SC to sit-in: Charles Sherrod, Charles Jones, Diane Nash, Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson. They were sentenced to 30 days. This followed a sit-in a week earlier when 10 African American students in Rock Hill (to become known as the Friendship Nine) were arrested for requesting service at a segregated lunch counter. Saying “Jail, No Bail,” both groups (except for one person) refused to post bail and demanded jail time rather than paying fines as a statement “that paying bail or fines indicates acceptance of an immoral system and validates their own arrests” and as a practical strategy when financial resources were limited.

In 2015, Judge John C. Hayes III of Rock Hill overturned the convictions of the nine, stating: “We cannot rewrite history, but we can right history.” At the same occasion, Prosecutor Kevin Brackett apologized to the eight men still living, who were in court. The men were represented at the hearing by Ernest A. Finney, Jr., the same lawyer who had defended them originally, who subsequently went on to become the first African-American Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court since Reconstruction. Research more about The Rock Hill Nine and Restaurant protests during the 1950’s and 1960’s throughout America and tell your babies. Make It A Champion Day!

January 1 1863- Abraham Lincoln

GM – FBF – Happy New Year – Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.

Remember – Still, to use a coarse, but an expressive figure, broken eggs can not be mended. I have issued the emancipation proclamation, and I can not retract it.
— President Abraham Lincoln (R)

President Abraham Lincoln Signs The Emancipation Proclamation – January 1, 1863
Attempting to stitch together a nation mired in a bloody civil war, Abraham Lincoln made a last-ditch, but carefully calculated, decision regarding the institution of slavery in America.

By the end of 1862, things were not looking good for the Union. The Confederate Army had overcome Union troops in significant battles and Britain and France were set to officially recognize the Confederacy as a separate nation. In an August 1862 letter to New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, Lincoln confessed “my paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or to destroy slavery.” Lincoln hoped that declaring a national policy of emancipation would stimulate a rush of the South’s slaves into the ranks of the Union army, thus depleting the Confederacy’s labor force, on which the southern states depended to wage war against the North.

Lincoln waited to unveil the proclamation until he could do so on the heels of a Union military success. On September 22, 1862, after the battle at Antietam, he issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation declaring all slaves free in the rebellious states as of January 1, 1863. Lincoln and his advisors limited the proclamation’s language to slavery in states outside of federal control as of 1862, failing to address the contentious issue of slavery within the nation’s border states. In his attempt to appease all parties, Lincoln left many loopholes open that civil rights advocates would be forced to tackle in the future.

Republican abolitionists in the North rejoiced that Lincoln had finally thrown his full weight behind the cause for which they had elected him. Though slaves in the south failed to rebel en masse with the signing of the proclamation, they slowly began to liberate themselves as Union armies marched into Confederate territory. Toward the end of the war, slaves left their former masters in droves. They fought and grew crops for the Union Army, performed other military jobs and worked in the North’s mills. Though the proclamation was not greeted with joy by all northerners, particularly northern white workers and troops fearful of job competition from an influx of freed slaves, it had the distinct benefit of convincing Britain and France to steer clear of official diplomatic relations with the Confederacy.

Though the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation signified Lincoln’s growing resolve to preserve the Union at all costs, he still rejoiced in the ethical correctness of his decision. Lincoln admitted on that New Year’s Day in 1863 that he never “felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper.” Although he waffled on the subject of slavery in the early years of his presidency, he would thereafter be remembered as “The Great Emancipator.” To Confederate sympathizers, however, Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation reinforced their image of him as a hated despot and ultimately inspired his assassination by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. Research more about what this means for all Americans and share it with your babies. Make It A Champion day!

Febraury 14 1936

AGM – FBF – If all that you know is that Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics – you need to see the video – Olympic Pride and American Prejudice. To hear about the other 17 African Americans who also were there.

Remember – I was both honored and ashamed that when I got back home to the states I was the centerpiece and no reporter talked to the other blacks who with me at the 1936 Summer Olympic Games – Jesse Owens – Olympic Hall of Fame

Today in our History – February 14, 1936 -Black Athletes Meet to see if they should go to the 1936 Summer Olympic Games -in Berlin, Germany. Soon after Adolf Hitler took power in Germany in 1933, observers in the United States and other western democracies questioned the morality of supporting Olympic Games hosted by the Nazi regime.

The International Olympic Committee obtained a pledge from the German Olympic committee in June 1933 that Germany would abide by the Olympic Charter. The charter banned all discrimination in sport. With concerns about the safety of black athletes in Nazi Germany thus put to rest, most African American newspapers opposed boycotting the 1936 Olympic Games.

Writers for such papers as the Philadelphia Tribune and the Chicago Defender argued that victories by black athletes would undermine racism and the emphasis on “Aryan” supremacy found in Nazi racial views. They also hoped that such victories would foster a new sense of black pride at home. The Chicago Defender reported, on December 14, 1935, that African American track stars Eulace Peacock, Jesse Owens, and Ralph Metcalfe favored participating in the Olympics because they felt that their victories would serve to repudiate Nazi racial theories. (An injury would prevent Peacock from participating.)


In 1936 a large number of black athetes were Olympic contenders, and in the end, 18 African Americans—16 men and 2 women—went to Berlin. This was three times the number who had competed in the 1932 Los Angeles games. The difference reflected the migration of blacks to northern cities beginning in the 1910s and the growing interest of northern colleges in recruiting black athletes.

African American Medalists

David Albritton
High jump, silver

Cornelius Johnson 
High jump, gold

James LuValle 
400-meter run, bronze

Ralph Metcalfe 
4×100-meter relay, gold
100-meter dash, silver

Jesse Owens 
100-meter dash, gold
200-meter dash, gold
Broad (long) jump, gold
4×100-meter relay, gold

Frederick Pollard, Jr. 
110-meter hurdles, bronze

Matthew Robinson 
200-meter dash, silver

Archibald Williams 
400-meter run, gold

Jack Wilson 
Bantamweight boxing, silver

John Woodruff 
800-meter run, gold


For the black athletes, the Olympics provided a special opportunity. In the 1930s, blacks suffered discrimination in most areas of American life. “Jim Crow” laws, designed by whites to keep blacks powerless and segregated, barred African Americans from many jobs and from entering public places such as restaurants, hotels, and other facilities. In the South especially, blacks lived in fear of racially motivated violence. The United States military was still segregated during World War II.


In the area of sports, opportunities for blacks were limited at both the college and professional levels. Black journalists criticized supporters of the Olympic boycott for talking so much about discrimination against athletes in foreign lands but not addressing the problem of discrimination against athletes at home. They pointed out that all the black Olympians came from northern universities that served mostly white students. They said that this showed the inferiority of training equipment and facilities at traditionally black colleges, where most African American students were educated in the 1930s.


The African American athletes who competed in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin won 14 medals. The continuing social and economic discrimination black athletes faced after returning to the United States showed that even winning medals for one’s country did not immediately change anything. Because the Nazi regime had so well camouflaged their state-sanctioned racism, some black athletes ironically commented that they had felt more welcomed in Berlin than at home.

Still, the victories of Owens and others were a source of great pride for African Americans and inspired future black Olympians. These were beginning steps in the slow progress toward equal. Research more about this American story with the video – Olympic Pride and American Prejudice, you will discover that there were 17 other blacks who won fame and medals besides Jesse Owens. Share with your babies. Make it a champion day! I will be facilitating a sales training class and won’t be able to respond to any posts. Make it a champion day!

December 20 1986

GM – FBF – Today’s story is a painful one because it is close to home being that I am from New Jersey and it was nothing for us to go to NYC or any of the five sections known as Burrows. In the 1980s, several racially motivated attacks dominated the headlines of New York City newspapers. On September 15, 1983, artist and model Michael Stewart died on a lower Manhattan subway platform from a chokehold and beating he received from several police officers. A year later, on October 29, an elderly grandmother, Eleanor Bumpers, was murdered by a police officer in her Bronx apartment as he and other officers tried to evict her.

Later that year, on December 22, a white man, Bernhard Goetz, shot and seriously wounded four black teenagers he thought were going to rob him on a subway train in Manhattan. The Howard Beach racial incident in late 1986 propelled the predominantly Italian and Jewish community into the national spotlight, exposing racial hatred in New York City. Enjoy!

Remember – “I could recall 25 years ago as a kid, I would not recommend anyone black stopping there,” said Representative Gregory W. Meeks, who is black and represents Old Howard Beach, east of Cross Bay Boulevard. “Today, it’s definitely a different place.”

Today in our History – On December 20, 1986, a black man was killed and another was beaten in Howard Beach, Queens, New York, United States in a racially charged incident that heightened racial tensions in New York City.

The man attacked was 23-year-old Michael Griffith (March 2, 1963 – December 20, 1986), who was from Trinidad and had immigrated to the United States in 1973, and lived in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. He was killed after being hit by a car as he was chased onto a highway by a mob of white youths who had beaten him and his friends. Griffith’s death was the second of three infamous racially motivated killings of black men by white mobs in New York City in the 1980s. The other victims were Willie Turks in 1982 and Yusuf Hawkinsin 1989.

Late on the night of Friday, December 19, 1986, four black men, Michael Griffith, 23; Cedric Sandiford, 36; Curtis Sylvester and Timothy Grimes, both 20, were riding in a car when it broke down in a deserted stretch of Cross Bay Boulevard near the Broad Channelneighborhood of Queens. Three of the men walked about three miles north to seek help in Howard Beach, a mostly white community, while Sylvester remained behind to watch the car. They argued with some white teens who were on their way to a party, then left.

By 12:30 a.m. on the 20th, the men reached the New Park Pizzeria, near the intersection of Cross Bay Boulevard and 157th Avenue. After a quick meal the men left the pizzeria at 12:40 a.m. and were confronted by a group of white men, including the group they had earlier confronted. When Sandiford, Grimes, and Griffith left the restaurant at 12:40 a.m., a mob of twelve white youth awaited them with baseball bats, tire irons, and tree limbs. The gang, led by Jon Lester, 17, included Salvatore DeSimone, 19, William Bollander, 17, James Povinelli, 16, Michael Pirone, 17, John Saggese, 19, Jason Ladone, 16, Thomas Gucciardo, 17, Harry Bunocore, 18, Scott Kern, 18, Thomas Farino, 16, and Robert Riley, 19.

Racial slurs were exchanged and a fight ensued. Sandiford and Griffith were seriously beaten; Grimes escaped unharmed. The mob attacked Griffith and Sandiford. Grimes, who drew a knife on the angry mob, escaped with minor injuries. Sandiford begged, “God, don’t kill us” before Lester knocked him down with a baseball bat. With the mob in hot pursuit, the severely beaten Griffith ran the nearby Belt Parkway where he jumped through a small hole in a fence adjacent to the highway. As he staggered across the busy six-lane expressway, trying to escape his attackers, he was hit and instantly killed by a car driven by Dominic Blum, a court officer and son of a New York police officer. His body was found on theBelt Parkway at 1:03 a.m.

The incident sparked immediate outrage in New York’s African American community, prompting black civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton to organize several protests in Howard Beach, as well as the Carnarsie and Bath Bay sections of Brooklyn. Other leaders, including newly elected black Congressman Floyd Flake and Brooklyn activists Sonny Carson and Rev. Herbert Daughtry, called for boycotts of all white-owned Howard Beach businesses.

New York Governor Mario Cuomo appointed a special prosecutor, Charles J. Hynes, who brought manslaughter, second degree murder, and first degree assault charges against four leaders of the mob, Jon Lester, Jason Ladone, Scott Kern and Michael Pirone. The other men were charged with lesser offenses.

Griffith’s death provoked strong outrage and immediate condemnation by then-Mayor of New York City Ed Koch, who referred to the case as the “No. 1 case in the city”. Two days after the event, on December 22, three local teenagers, Jon Lester, Scott Kern, and Jason Ladone, students at John Adams High School, were arrested, and charged with second-degree murder. The driver of the car that struck Griffith, 24-year-old Dominick Blum, was not charged with any crime; a May 1987 grand jury did not return criminal charges against him.

To protest the killing of Griffith, 1,200 demonstrators marched through the streets of Howard Beach on December 27, 1986. A heavy NYPD presence kept angry white locals, who were screaming at the crowd of marchers, in check.
The Griffith family, as well as Cedric Sandiford, retained the services of Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason(who was later disbarred), two attorneys who would become involved in the Tawana Brawley affair the following year. Maddox raised the ire of the NYPD and Commissioner Benjamin Ward by accusing them of trying to cover up facts in the case and aid the defendants.

After witnesses repeatedly refused to cooperate with Queens D.A. John J. Santucci, Governor of New York Mario Cuomo appointed Charles Hynes special prosecutor to handle the Griffith case on January 13, 1987. The move came after heavy pressure from black leaders on Cuomo to get Santucci, who was seen as too partial to the defendants to prosecute the case effectively, off the case.

Twelve defendants were indicted by a grand jury on February 9, 1987, including the original three charged in the case. Their original indictments had been dismissed after the witnesses refused to cooperate in the case.

After a lengthy trial and 12 days of jury deliberations, the three main defendants were convicted on December 21, 1987 of manslaughter, a little over a year after the death of Griffith. Kern, Lester and Ladone were convicted of second-degree manslaughter and Michael Pirone, 18, was acquitted. Ultimately nine people would be convicted on a variety of charges related to Griffith’s death.

On January 22, 1988, Jon Lester was sentenced to ten to thirty years’ imprisonment. On February 5, Scott Kern was sentenced to six to eighteen years’ imprisonment, and on February 11, 1988, Jason Ladone received a sentence of five to fifteen years’ imprisonment.

In December 1999, the block where Griffith had lived was given the additional name “Michael Griffith Street.” 
Jason Ladone, then 29, was released from prison in April, 2000 after serving 10 years, and later became a city employee. He was arrested again in June 2006, on drug charges. In May 2001, Jon Lester was released and deported to his native England where he studied electrical engineering and started his own business. He died on August 14, 2017 at age 48 of what some suspect was a suicide. He left behind a wife and three children.[10] Scott Kern was released from prison, last of the three main perpetrators, in 2002.

In 2005 the Griffith case was brought back to the public’s attention after another racial attack in Howard Beach. A black man, Glenn Moore, was beaten severely with a metal baseball bat by Nicholas Minucci, who was convicted of hate crimes in 2006. The case was revisited yet again by the media, after the death of Michael Sandy, 29, who was beaten and hit by a car after being chased onto the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, New York, in October 2006. Research more about Black harassment in communities and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

December 17 2014- George Stinney Jr

GM – FBF – Today’s story takes me back to my U.S. History class during my Undergraduate work at College. The story was a research project and I had spoken to some family members who had moved to Wisconsin at the time in 1972. I never forgot the case and while I was teaching at Ewing High School, (Mercer County, NJ – outside of Trenton) I shared this case with my students in 1991 and the Administration and School Board were mad at me for starting trouble by having children go home and ask questions to their parents/guardians that would divide the racially mixed student body. This was one of the reasons why they wanted me out I was at the end of the school year.

I went to Red Bank Regional High School the next year and still presented to the students in my classes while there. A friend of mine Steven Dunlap asked me about it a month ago and I told him that my posts go by month and day of an historical event and when it comes up I will surly tell the story. Learn and enjoy!

Remember – “There wasn’t any reason to convict this child. There was no evidence to present to the jury. There was no transcript. This case needs to be re-opened. This is an injustice that needs to be righted.” – Attorney Ray Chandler representing Stinney’s family

Today in our History – December 17, 2014 – George Junius Stinney Jr., circuit court Judge Carmen Mullen vacated Stinney’s conviction.

George Junius Stinney Jr. (October 21, 1929 – June 16, 1944), was an African-American teenager wrongfully convicted at age 14 of the murder of two white girls in 1944 in his hometown of Alcolu, South Carolina. He was executed in June of that year, still only 14. His appeal to the governor for clemency was denied. He was one of the youngest Americans to be sentenced to death and executed.

A re-examination of the Stinney case began in 2004, and several individuals and Northeastern University School of Law organized to seek a judicial review. His conviction was vacated in 2014 when a court ruled that he had not received a fair trial.

Police arrested 14-year-old George Stinney, a local African-American, as a suspect. They said that he confessed to the crime to them. There was no written record of his confession apart from notes provided by an investigating deputy.

No transcript was recorded of the brief trial. Stinney was convicted of first-degree murder of the two girls in less than 10 minutes by an all-white jury, during a one-day trial. The court refused to hear his appeal. He was executed that year, still age 14, by electric chair.

In the decades since Stinney’s conviction and execution, the question of his guilt, the validity of his reported confession, and the judicial process leading to his execution have been extensively criticized.

A group of lawyers and activists investigated the Stinney case on behalf of his family. In 2013 the family petitioned for a new trial. On December 17, 2014, his conviction was posthumously vacated 70 years after his execution, because the circuit court judge ruled that he had not been given a fair trial; he had no effective defense representation and his Sixth Amendment rights had been violated. The judgment noted that while Stinney may have committed the crime, the prosecution and trial were fundamentally flawed. Judge Mullen ruled that his confession was likely coerced and thus inadmissible. She also found that the execution of a 14-year-old constituted “cruel and unusual punishment.”

George Stinney Jr, of African descent, was the youngest person to be executed in the 20th century in the United States. This young black was only 14 years old at the time of his execution by electric chair. 70 years later, his innocence has just been officially recognized by a judge in South Carolina.
From his trial to the execution room, the boy always had his Bible in his hands while claiming his innocence. George was unfairly accused of murdering two White girls (Betty 11 and Mary 7), whose bodies had been found not far from the house where the boy and his parents lived. At that time, all the members of the jury were white. The trial lasted 2H30, and the jury made the decision of his sentence after 10 minutes.

The boy’s parents, threatened, were barred from taking part in the trial after being ordered to leave the city. Prior to his trial, George spent 81 days in detention without the possibility of seeing his parents for the last time. He was imprisoned alone in his cell, 80 kilometers from his hometown. His hearing of the facts was done alone, without the presence of his parents or a lawyer.

George’s electrocution charge was 5,380 volts on his head. We let you imagine what such an electric shock can have on a young child’s head. We will never forgive and will never FORGET!

Rather than approving a new trial, on December 17, 2014, circuit court Judge Carmen Mullen vacated Stinney’s conviction. She ruled that he had not received a fair trial, as he was not effectively defended and his Sixth Amendment right had been violated. The ruling was a rare use of the legal remedy of coram nobis. Judge Mullen ruled that his confession was likely coerced and thus inadmissible. She also found that the execution of a 14-year-old constituted “cruel and unusual punishment”, and that his attorney “failed to call exculpating witnesses or to preserve his right of appeal.”

Mullen confined her judgment to the process of the prosecution, noting that Stinney “may well have committed this crime.” With reference to the legal process, Mullen wrote, “No one can justify a 14-year-old child charged, tried, convicted and executed in some 80 days,” concluding that “In essence, not much was done for this child when his life lay in the balance.”

Family members of both Betty Binnicker and Mary Thames expressed disappointment at the court’s ruling. They said that, although they acknowledge Stinney’s execution at the age of 14 is controversial, they never doubted the boy’s guilt. The niece of Betty Binnicker claimed she and her family have extensively researched the case, and argues that “people who [just] read these articles in the newspaper don’t know the truth.” Binnicker’s niece alleges that, in the early 1990s, a police officer who had arrested Stinney had contacted her and said: “Don’t you ever believe that boy didn’t kill your aunt.”

These family members said that the claims of a deathbed confession from an individual confessing to the girls’ murders have never been substantiated. Research more about this great American tragedy by reading David Stout based his first novel Carolina Skeletons (1988) on this case. He was awarded the 1989 Edgar Award for Best First Novel (Edgar Allan Poe Award). Stout suggests in the novel that Stinney, whom he renames Linus Bragg, was innocent.

The plot revolves around a fictitious nephew of Stinney/Bragg, who unravels the truth about the case decades later. The novel was adapted as a 1991 television movie of the same name directed by John Erman, featuring Kenny Blank as Stinney/Bragg. Lou Gossett Jr. played Stinney’s/Bragg’s younger brother James. As of February 2014, another movie about the Stinney case, 83 Days, was planned by Pleroma Studios, written and produced by Ray Brown with Charles Burnett as director.

December 11 1917-

GM- FBF – Our story today is a prelude to what is happening and will intensify more in the summer of 1919. The “bloody summer” as it will be called in many urban areas of the United States, As WWI draws to a close in America compared to the black troops in France are getting a different experience. Today’s story will be no different than East . Louis, IL. and other cities. Enjoy!

Remember – “They told us to put on the Uniform and we can show are support to this Country for the war effort, it was a lie for many of us” – Unknown Black soldier

Today in our History – On Dec. 11, 1917, 13 black soldiers were hanged for their part in a little-remembered and deadly race riot. They were condemned to death after a trial many called unjust.

Now, at a moment when the continuing impact of racism in policing and criminal justice is a topic of fraught public conversation throughout the United States, relatives on both sides of that Houston riot are uniting to preserve the memory of the event and to find some justice for those executed soldiers.

It began in July 1917, following America declaring war on Germany and entering World War I. The 3rd Battalion of the 24th United States Infantry, a predominantly black unit, was sent to guard the construction of Camp Logan — part of the new war effort — on the edge of Houston.

From the beginning, the soldiers encountered Jim Crow law and racism from police and civilians; workers constructing the camp resented their presence.

“They sent these soldiers into the most hostile environment imaginable,” says Charles Anderson, a relative of Sgt. William Nesbit, one of the hanged soldiers. “The soldiers should never have been sent there — they should have remained at their base in New Mexico until the order came to go to France.” 
Tensions mounted until around noon on Aug. 23, when the Houston police arrested a black soldier for allegedly interfering in the arrest of a black woman, triggering a rapid escalation of events leading to false rumors reaching Camp Logan by evening that a soldier had been killed and that a white mob was approaching the camp.

Soldiers grabbed rifles and headed into downtown Houston, against the orders of their superior officers. The rampage lasted two hours and involved gun battles between the soldiers and the police and local residents, with bayonets being used, leaving 16 white locals dead, including five policemen. Four black soldiers also died.

After tempers finally cooled, the soldiers returned to camp. The next day martial law was declared in Houston, and the following day the unit was dispatched back to New Mexico before three courts-martial were convened to try 118 indicted soldiers.

Sixty-four men were tried in San Antonio, charged with disobeying orders, mutiny, murder and aggravated assault, during the first court-martial that began Nov. 1 — the largest murder trial in US military history —resulting in the 13 death sentences.

“They were represented by just one lawyer and didn’t even have a chance to appeal,” says Angela Holder, great-niece of Cpl. Jesse Moore, one of the hanged soldiers, and a history professor at Houston Community College. “They were denied due process guaranteed by the Constitution.”

Not one Houstonian among the prosecution witnesses could identify a soldier as having fired shots that killed someone, while routinely referring to the accused using the n-word. Seven soldiers agreed to testify against the others in exchange for clemency.

On Nov. 28, the 13 men were found guilty and sentenced to death. Two weeks later, without an appeal, they were hanged on Dec. 11.

Shortly after the hasty executions, and in the face of condemnation from both military and civilian figures, the US Army made changes to its Uniform Code of Military Justice to prevent executions without a meaningful appeal. These changes remain in place to this day.

It was too late for the soldiers hanged from a scaffold beside the Salado Creek in San Antonio. But some in Houston say it’s not too late for some kind of justice. During the Obama presidency, soldiers’ relatives lobbied — unsuccessfully — for posthumous pardons. The petitions have now been sent to the Trump White House.

Holder was more successful in 2017 at lobbying the Veterans Association for gravestones in a Houston cemetery for two soldiers killed during the riot. And along with other local activists, she also helped organize the Aug. 23 rededication of a Texas Historical Commission marker at the former site of Camp Logan to mark the riot’s 100th anniversary.

The ceremony was attended by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who said the history of the event is “calling us today to be better,” and “for good people of all backgrounds to speak against hate and stand united.”

And it wasn’t the only 100th anniversary to help focus the minds of those familiar with the riot on the past, present and future.

“The centennial of the US entry into World War I has likely brought a heightened awareness of such events and emboldened people to address a sensitive topic,” says Lila Rakoczy, program coordinator of military sites and oral history programs at the Texas Historical Commission.

Also, recent national police controversies have struck unfortunate parallels with events surrounding the riot.
“This was a problem created by community policing in a hostile environment,” says Paul Matthews, founder of Houston’s Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, which examines the role of African American soldiers during US military history. “The soldiers were standing up for America when it wasn’t standing up for them.”

A similar perspective is shared by some relatives of those who suffered because of the rioting soldiers.
“The soldiers were 100 percent wrong for rioting, but I don’t blame them,” says Jules James, great-nephew of Capt. Bartlett James, one of the battalion’s white officers who managed to restrain a larger number of soldiers from leaving camp but died under mysterious circumstances before the court-martial, notes James, who has researched the history. “The unit had 60 years of excellent service, was full of experienced veterans but couldn’t endure seven weeks of Houston.”

Current attempts to deal with this racial tragedy brought Sandra Hajtman, great-granddaughter of one of the policemen killed, together with Holder and Anderson when they met to retrace the Houston streets taken by the rioting soldiers.
“The men did not have a fair trial,” Hajtman says. “I have no doubt about the likelihood the men executed had nothing to do with the deaths. You have to look at the whole story, why it happened, and learn from it — both sides bear responsibility.”

Relatives continue waiting for a response to the pardon petitions. In the meantime, preserving the memory of the Houston riot and its aftermath has itself served as a kind of justice for the relatives of the soldiers and police who died because of it.

‘’Sandra Hajtman’s ancestor, who was killed, was a good policeman and would bring abandoned black children to his home where his wife would nurse them,” Anderson says. “No one should have lost their life that night had the right decisions been made. It was a very sad tragedy that did not need to happen.”

In November, the largest court-martial in U.S. military history convened at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio to try sixty-three soldiers from the Third Battalion. Thirteen of the convicted men were executed by hanging on December 11.

The following year, two additional courts-martial were held and another sixteen sentenced to hang. Responding to pressure from black leaders, President Woodrow Wilson commuted the death sentences of ten of the condemned men. In total, nearly sixty soldiers received life imprisonment for their roles in the affair. The Houston Mutiny anticipated the “Red Summer” riots of 1919 in which many African American servicemen retaliated against white mistreatment. On the other hand because of the Mutiny, the Twenty-fourth Infantry Regiment was not allowed by the U.S War Department to go to France to fight in World War I.

Houston marked an anniversary in December that some in the city would perhaps rather forget — and others demand be recalled more clearly. Research more about this and other events leading up to the “Red Summer” and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

December 4 1942-

GM – FBF – Our story today centers around World War II and how black women changed the face of training for back women. Enjoy!

Remember – “ We were soldiers just like the men but it was heard for us just like our black brothers”

Today in our History – December 4, 1942 – 32nd and 33rd WAACS Headquarters Companies (World War II) – the army post was the largest black military post in the country.

Organized in the fall of 1942, Iowa, the all-black Thirty-Second and Thirty-third Women’s Auxiliary Army Companies would become the first contingent of WAACS assigned to a military installation in the United States during World War II. Composed of nearly 200 auxiliaries and seven officers, company members completed six weeks of intensive training in Iowa before reporting to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, on December 4, 1942. At the time, the army post was the largest black military post in the country. There, the units were assigned to the Ninth Service Command and the post headquarters, respectively.

Under the command of the first group of Fort Des Moines’s graduating class of black commissioned officers—Irma Jackson Cayton, Vera Ann Harrison, Frances Alexander, Violet Askins, Natalie Donaldson, Mary Kearney, and Corrie Sherard—auxiliaries ably performed clerical and administrative work as stenographers, typists, telephone switchboard operators, clerks, messengers, reception ists, and motor pool drivers and mechanics. The positions held by the WAACs and the duties they performed cohered with the racial and gendered employment policies developed by senior Army leaders and Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps officials, relieving the men of the U.S. Ninety-third Infantry Division also stationed at the military outpost to undergo extensive field training in the Arizona desert.

Upon their arrival, auxiliaries of the Thirty-second and Thirty-third companies quickly enhanced the training programs at Fort Huachuca. The successful performances of Auxiliaries Priscilla Taylor and Reba Caldwell while working with a Ninety-third Infantry division convoy during its desert training exercises garnered admiration and praise from the post commander, Edwin Hardy, and division personnel. And WAAC recreational officers Geraldine Bright and Mercedes Jordan created All WAAC Musical Revues, Glee Clubs, and USO comedies, providing precious moments of levity for the uniformed servicewomen and men training at the desert installation. Yet the formal presence of the WAAC company servicewomen and officers and the duties they performed while stationed at the military post were subject to intense scrutiny grounded in prevailing sexual stereotypes and innuendo at nearly every turn.

The Thirty-Second and Thirty-Third Post Headquarters Companies continued to serve at Fort Huachuca, Arizona before being disbanded in late 1945. However, many of its senior officers were subsequently reassigned to other military installations throughout the United States or deployed for overseas duty with the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion in Europe later in the war. Research more about Black Woman in the services and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!