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

August 20 1964- President lyndon Johnson

GM – FBF – Today I would like to share with you a Federal National Program that was Introduce to the country in hopes to give a facade of help but it was really and has been ever since a program of dependency. The United States President that started the program and the ones that Inherited the program really did not allow the program in its full totally to work. Let’s look at what has been called THE WAR ON POVERTY. Enjoy!

Remember – “Some years ago, the federal government declared a war on poverty and won,” – President Ronald Reagan

Today in our History – August 20, 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) and created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), providing both the strategy and the ammunition to fight the War on Poverty.

The Civil Rights Movement and investigative journalism combined in the early 1960s, inciting a nation to address the growing problem of poverty in America. A 1963 New York Times series on Appalachian poverty and Michael Harrington’s The Other America (1962) inspired discontent young Americans as well as President John F. Kennedy to take action. In response, Kennedy initiated federal pilot programs to address job creation, skills training, and hunger. Kennedy’s successor, President Lyndon Johnson, would use these as the basis for his War on Poverty.

In his State of the Union address on January 8, 1964, in the midst of the civil rights movement, President Johnson informed the nation that he had declared “unconditional war on poverty in America.” On August 20 of the same year, Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) and created the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO), providing both the strategy and the ammunition to fight the War on Poverty. One of the key provisions of the EOA was the creation of community action agencies that could apply for federal funds to support the development of service programs like Head Start, Legal Services, Job Corps, and VISTA (Volunteers in Service To America). These agencies were to include “maximum feasible participation of the poor.”

For many African Americans, the War on Poverty in general offered economic opportunities. The community action programs, in particular, provided a framework to further pursue the democratic goals of the civil rights movement. Following the Watts Riots in August of 1965, many black community organizations saw the community action programs of the War on Poverty as a way to gain some economic, political, and cultural power within their own communities. These organizations often directly challenged entrenched political and economic power structures. As a result, community action programs became the most controversial aspect of the War on Poverty.

Initially embraced by Congress and the American public, the OEO quickly came under constant scrutiny and criticism. Amidst the controversy over community action, President Johnson also was hesitant to expand the OEO budget at a time when he needed Congressional support for America’s increased involvement in Vietnam. As a result, the War on Poverty never received the funding necessary to effectively attack poverty. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., expressed the sentiments of many civil rights and antipoverty activists when he argued that the War on Poverty was being “shot down on the battlefields of Vietnam.” The administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford further emasculated OEO, either transferring its programs to other federal agencies or completely eliminating them. By the late 1970s, the OEO itself was gone.

But the War on Poverty lived on through some of the programs like Head Start and Legal Services that were transferred to other federal departments and especially through community antipoverty organizations. In urban areas like Los Angeles (California), Newark (New Jersey), Baltimore (Maryland) and New York, African Americans, inspired by the civil rights/ black power movement and the participatory ideals of the War on Poverty, formed black-controlled community organizations in the 1960s and 1970s that provided jobs, job training, housing, credit unions, and cultural programs, many of which are still active today.

The War on Poverty fell well short of its stated goal of eliminating poverty, but broadened efforts to democratize America and established community organizations that continue to battle poverty. Research more about Federal Government programs and the Impact on the society or the challenges made to the United States Supreme Court as being unconstitutional and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 13 1906

GM – FBF – Today I would like to share with you a story that was so bad, the President hurt many people of color and their families. It would be know as the Brownsville Case. Enjoy!

Remember – ” I lost my livelthood and my future because of a lie! – Black Solder

Today in our History – August 13, 1906 – Black soldiers accused of killing a white bartender and a Hispanic police officer was wounded by gunshots in the town.

Since arriving at Fort Brown on July 28, 1906, the black US soldiers had been required to follow the legal color line mandate from white citizens of Brownsville, which included the state’s racial segregation law dictating separate accommodation for black people and white people, and Jim Crow customs such as showing respect for white people, as well as respect for local laws.
A reported attack on a white woman during the night of August 12 so incensed many townspeople that Maj. Charles W. Penrose, after consultation with Mayor Frederick Combe, declared an early curfew for soldiers the following day to avoid trouble.

On the night of August 13, 1906, a white bartender was killed and a Hispanic police officer was wounded by gunshots in the town. Immediately the residents of Brownsville cast the blame on the black soldiers of the 25th Infantry at Fort Brown. But the all-white commanders at Fort Brown confirmed that all of the soldiers were in their barracks at the time of the shootings. Local whites, including Brownsville’s mayor, still claimed that some of the black soldiers participated in the shooting.
Local townspeople of Brownsville began providing evidence of the 25th Infantry’s part in the shooting by producing spent bullet cartridges from Army rifles which they said belonged to the 25th’s men. Despite the contradictory evidence that demonstrated the spent shells were planted in order to frame men of the 25th Infantry in the shootings, investigators accepted the statements of the local whites and the Brownsville mayor.

When soldiers of the 25th Infantry were pressured to name who fired the shots, they insisted that they had no idea who had committed the crime. Captain Bill McDonald of the Texas Rangers investigated 12 enlisted men and tried to tie the case to them. The local county court did not return any indictments based on his investigation, but residents kept up complaints about the black soldiers of the 25th.

At the recommendation of the Army’s Inspector General, President Theodore Roosevelt ordered 167 of the black troops to be dishonorably discharged because of their “conspiracy of silence”. Although some accounts have claimed that six of the troops were Medal of Honor recipients, historian Frank N. Schubert has shown that none was. Fourteen of the men were later reinstated into the army. The dishonorable discharge prevented the 153 other men from ever working in a military or civil service capacity. Some of the black soldiers had been in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years, while others were extremely close to retirement with pensions, which they lost as a result.

The prominent African-American educator and activist, Booker T. Washington, president of Tuskegee Institute, got involved in the case. He asked President Roosevelt to reconsider his decision in the affair. Roosevelt dismissed Washington’s plea and allowed his decision to stand.

Both blacks and many whites across the United States were outraged at Roosevelt’s actions. The black community began to turn against him, although it had previously supported the Republican president (in addition to maintaining loyalty to the party of Abraham Lincoln, black people approved of Roosevelt having invited Booker T. Washington to dinner at the White House and speaking out publicly against lynching). The administration withheld news of the dishonorable discharge of the soldiers until after the 1906 Congressional elections, so that the pro-Republican black vote would not be affected. The case became a political football, with William Howard Taft, positioning for the next candidacy for presidency, trying to avoid trouble.

Leaders of major black organizations, such as the Constitution League, the National Association of Colored Women, and the Niagara Movement, tried to persuade the administration not to discharge the soldiers, but were unsuccessful. From 1907–1908, the US Senate Military Affairs Committee investigated the Brownsville Affair, and the majority in March 1908 reached the same conclusion as Roosevelt. Senator Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio had lobbied for the investigation and filed a minority report in support of the soldiers’ innocence. Another minority report by four Republicans concluded that the evidence was too inconclusive to support the discharges. In September 1908, prominent educator and leader W. E. B. DuBois urged black people to register to vote and to remember their treatment by the Republican administration when it was time to vote for president.

Feelings across the nation remained high against the government actions, but with Taft succeeding Roosevelt as President, and Foraker failing to win re-election, some of the political pressure declined.

On February 23, 1909, the Committee on Military Affairs recommended favorably on Bill S.5729 for correction of records and reenlistment of officers and men of Companies B, C, and D of the 25th Infantry.

Senator Foraker was not re-elected. He continued to work on the Brownsville affair during his remaining time in office, guiding a resolution through Congress to establish a board of inquiry with the power to reinstate the soldiers. The bill, which the administration did not oppose, was less than Foraker wanted. He had hoped for a requirement that unless specific evidence was shown against a man, he would be allowed to re-enlist. The legislation passed both houses, and was signed by Roosevelt on March 2, 1909.

On March 6, 1909, shortly after he left the Senate, Foraker was the guest of honor at a mass meeting at Washington’s Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church. Though both whites and African Americans assembled to recognize the former senator, all the speakers but Foraker were African American. Presented with a silver loving cup, he addressed the crowd,

I have said that I do not believe that a man in that battalion had anything to do with the shooting up of “Brownsville,” but whether any one of them had, it was our duty to ourselves as a great, strong, and powerful nation to give every man a hearing, to deal fairly and squarely with every man; to see to it that justice was done to him; that he should be heard.

On April 7, 1909, under the provisions of the Act of March 30, 1909, a Military Court of Inquiry was set up by Secretary of War Jacob M. Dickinson to report on the charges and recommend for reenlistment those men who had been discharged under Special Order # 266, November 9, 1906. Of the 167 discharged men, 76 were located as witnesses, and 6 did not wish to appear.

The 1910 Court of Military Inquiry undertook an examination of the soldiers’ bids for re-enlistment, in view of the Senate committee’s reports, but its members interviewed only about one-half of the soldiers discharged. It accepted 14 for re-enlistment, and eleven of these re-entered the Army.[4][10]
The government did not re-examine the case until the early 1970s.

In 1970, historian John D. Weaver published The Brownsville Raid, which investigated the affair in depth. Weaver argued that the accused members of the 25th Infantry were innocent and that they were discharged without benefit of due process of law as guaranteed by the United States Constitution. After reading his book, Congressman Augustus F. Hawkins of Los Angeles introduced a bill to have the Defense Department re-investigate the matter to provide justice to the accused soldiers.

In 1972, the Army found the accused members of the 25th Infantry to be innocent. At its recommendations, President Richard Nixon pardoned the men and awarded them honorable discharges, without backpay. These discharges were generally issued posthumously, as there were only two surviving soldiers from the affair: one had re-enlisted in 1910. In 1973, Hawkins and Senator Hubert Humphreygained congressional passage of a tax-free pension for the last survivor, Dorsie Willis, who received $25,000. He was honored in ceremonies in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles. Research more about the case and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

August 6 1948- The trenton six

GM – FBF – Today, I am going to share with you a story that happened in my hometown of Trenton, N.J., this story would go down as one of the most controversial court cases not only in local history but up and down the East Coast along with National news but also International news for its time. A young Thurgood Marshall was in Trenton to defend the young blacks.

W.E.B. Dubois, Paul Roberson to Albert Einstein communicated their support to local civil rights leader 
Catherine “Stoney” Graham.

Remember – “if any of these niggers gets off, we might as well give up and turn in our badges.” – Unidentified Trenton Police Officer

Today in our History – August 6, 1948 – The Trenton Six is the group name for six African-American defendants tried for murder of an elderly white shopkeeper in January 1948 in Trenton, New Jersey. The six young men were convicted on August 6, 1948 by an all-white jury of the murder and sentenced to death.

Their case was taken up as a major civil rights case, because of injustices after their arrests and questions about the trial. The Civil Rights Congress and the NAACP had legal teams that represented three men each in appeals to the State Supreme Court. It found fault with the court’s instruction to the jury, and remanded the case to a lower court for retrial, which took place in 1951. That resulted in a mistrial, requiring a third trial. Four of the defendants were acquitted. Ralph Cooper pleaded guilty, implicating the other five in the crime. Collis English was convicted of murder, but the jury recommended mercy – life in prison rather than execution.

The civil rights groups appealed again to the State Supreme Court, which found fault with the court, and remanded the case to the lower court for retrial of the two defendants who were sentenced to life. One was convicted in 1952 and the other pleaded guilty; both were sentenced to life. Collis English died in late December that year in prison. Ralph Cooper was paroled in 1954 and disappeared from the records.

On the morning of January 27, 1948, the elderly William Horner (1875–1948) opened his second-hand furniture store as usual, at 213 North Broad Street in Trenton. His common-law wife worked with him there. A while later, several young African-American men entered the store. One or more killed Horner by hitting him in the head with a soda bottle; some also assaulted his wife. She could not say for sure how many men were involved with the attack, saying two to four light-skinned African-American males in their teens had assaulted them.
The Trenton police, pressured to solve the case, arrested the following men: Ralph Cooper, 24; Collis English, 23; McKinley Forrest, 35; John McKenzie, 24; James Thorpe, 24; and Horace Wilson, 37, on February 11, 1948. All were arrested without warrants, were held without being given access to attorneys, and were questioned for as long as four days before being brought before a judge. Five of the six men charged with the murder signed confessions written by the police.

The trial began on June 7, 1948, when the State of New Jersey opened its case against the six based on the five signed confessions obtained by the Trenton police. There was no other forensic evidence, and Horner’s widow could not identify the men as the ones in her store.
The defendants were assigned four attorneys, one of whom was African American. On August 6, 1948 all six men were convicted and sentenced to death. All six had provided alibis for that day and had repudiated their confessions, signed under duress. An appeal was filed and an automatic stay of execution granted.

In the process of appeal, the Communist Party USA took on the legal defense of half the defendants, with Emanuel Hirsch Bloch acting as their attorney.

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) defended the other three men, seeking to get their convictions overturned. Among the NAACP attorneys were Thurgood Marshall, who led many legal efforts by the organization; he later was appointed as the first African American to the Supreme Court of the United States; Clifford Roscoe Moore, Sr., later appointed as U.S. Commissioner for Trenton, New Jersey, the first African American appointed to such a position since post-Civil War Reconstruction; and Raymond Pace Alexander, later to be appointed as a judge in Pennsylvania.

In 1949 the State Supreme Court remanded the case to the lower court for retrial, ruling that the jury had been improperly charged in the first case.[2] In the course of the trial, the defense teams revealed that evidence had been manufactured. The medical examiner in Trenton was found guilty of perjury.

After a mistrial, four of the men were acquitted in a third trial.
Collis English was convicted. Ralph Cooper pleaded guilty, implicating the other five in the crime. The jury recommended mercy for these two men, with prison sentences rather than capital punishment. These two convictions were also appealed; the State Supreme Court said the court had erred again. It remanded the case to the lower court for a fourth trial in 1952.

English suffered a heart attack (myocardial infarction) soon after the trial and died in December 1952 in prison. Cooper served a portion of his prison sentence and was released on parole in 1954 for good behavior.

Because of legal abuses in the treatment of suspects after the arrests, the case attracted considerable attention. The Civil Rights Congress and the NAACP generated publicity to highlight the racial inequities in the railroading of the suspects, their lack of access to counsel, the chief witness’ inability to identify them, and other issues. Figures such as W. E. B. Du Bois to Pete Seeger, then active in leftist movements, joined the campaign for publicity about obtaining justice in the trials of these men. Albert Einstein also protested the injustice. Commentary and protests were issued from many nations.

The Accused
• Ralph Cooper (1924-?) pleaded guilty in the 4th trial and was sentenced to life. After being paroled in 1954, he disappeared from records.
• Collis English (1925–1952). Shortly after the fourth trial, he died in prison on December 31, 1952 of a heart attack.
• McKinley Forrest (1913–1982). He was the brother-in-law of Collis English. Acquitted in the third trial in 1951.
• John McKenzie (1925-?), acquitted in 1951.
• James Henry Thorpe, Jr. (1913–1955), acquitted in 1951. He died in a car crash on March 25, 1955.[5]
• Horace Wilson (1911–2000), acquitted in 1951.

Have a saecial place for her to give for a great cause, make it a champion day A look back at – A “Northern Lynching,” 1948 – 70 years later – Remembering the Trenton Six Case – Read and Learn!

August 3 1777- Booker T. Washington

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you the story of Blacks serving in the American Revolutionary War. Growing up in Trenton, N.J. where General Washington crossed the Deleware River on Christmas night in 1776. Many say that Prince Whipple was the Black on the boat of Washington in that famous painting. It was not Prince for he was one of Washington’s aid’s and stayed on the Pennsylvania side of the Deleware River that evening holding papers and a lantern. Prince did get some action in battle and I want to tell you of one of those exploits. Enjoy!

Remember – “…we find him choosing the better part and Crispus Attucks, a Negro, was the first to shed his blood on State street, Boston, that the white American might enjoy liberty forever, though his race remained in slavery.” – Booker T. Washington

Today in our History – August 3,1777 – African American’s Captures British General Prescott.

African Americans continued to serve in the colonial militias, and some, like Prince Whipple, an African American man in Lieutenant Colonel Barton’s Rhode island army, showed great daring and bravery. Early morning August 3, 1777, Colonel Barton conceived a plan to capture British Major General Prescott, commander of the Royal Army at Newport, Rhode Island, to effect a trade for a captured American general.

Leading an army of forty men in two boats, Barton landed five miles from Newport and advanced on foot to the headquarters of General Prescott, where the colonel, with a stout African American close behind him, and another at a small distance, confronted and then overwhelmed a sentry. While the other men surrounded the house, an African American man named Prince Whipple, instantly thrust his head through the panel door, and seized his victim, Prescott while in bed. While Colonel Barton received an elegant sword for his exploits, Prince, the actual captor of the general, received nothing. In that sense, Prince Whipple was not exceptional. African Americans played a pivotal, decisive role in battles only to have that role forgotten afterward.

Prince Whipple (1756 – 1797)

Prince Whipple had been part of a wealthy (perhaps even a royal) African family. When he was ten, he was sent by his family to America for an education; but while on the voyage, he was shanghaied by the ship’s treacherous captain and sold into slavery in Baltimore. He was bought by New Hampshire ship captain William Whipple, a famous leader in that State.
William Nell, in his 1852 The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution, tells the early story of Prince in America:

As was customary, Prince took the surname of his owner, William Whipple, who would later represent New Hampshire by signing the Declaration of Independence. When William Whipple joined the revolution as a captain, Prince accompanied him and was in attendance to General Washington on Christmas night 1776 for the legendary and arduous crossing of the Delaware. The surprise attack following the crossing was a badly needed victory for America and for Washington’s sagging military reputation. In 1777, [William Whipple was] promoted to Brigadier General and [was] ordered to drive British General Burgoyne out of Vermont.

An 1824 work provides details of what occurred after General Whipple’s promotion:

On [his] way to the army, he told his servant [Prince] that if they should be called into action, he expected that he would behave like a man of courage and fight bravely for his country. Prince replied, “Sir, I have no inducement to fight, but if I had my liberty, I would endeavor to defend it to the last drop of my blood.” The general manumitted [freed] him on the spot.

Prince Whipple did enter the service of America as a soldier during the Revolution and is often identified in a number of early paintings of the War, including that of General Washington after crossing the Delaware. In fact, many identify Prince Whipple as the man on the oar in the front of the boat in the famous crossing of the Delaware picture painted in 1851. Although Whipple did not actually cross the Delaware with Washington in the manner depicted, he was representative of the thousands of black patriots who did fight for American independence – and of the many African Americans who did cross the Delaware with Washington.

Prince Whipple fought in the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 and the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778. He directly attended General Washington and the general staff throughout the Revolution, serving as a soldier and aide at the highest levels. Research more about the Black “Son’s of Liberty” and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 29 1918- Congressional Record Petition Of The National Liberty Congress

GM – FBF – Today, we take a look back at lynchings of Black People. 100 years ago the United States Congress took a close look by entering a petition but it was loss and never got to commettie. In 1870, when President Ulysses S. Grant approved legislation to subdue the actions of white-supremacist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, but he is in the Exeutive Branch and it died in Congress. People like Ida B. Wells kept the lynchings of Black People in the eyes of the public but you need both the Senate and the House to agree in order to pass a Federal Law. In Washington, D.C. today has a Justice for Victims of Lynching Act of 2018 if passes, lynching would finally become a federal crime. The new bill proposed by the three black senators — Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) — is largely symbolic, as lynchings are seemingly part of the nation’s past.

Remember – “Our country’s national crime is lynching. It is not the creature of an hour, the sudden outburst of uncontrolled fury, or the unspeakable brutality of an insane mob.” Ida B. Wells

Today in our History – July 29,1918 – On this date there was entered in the Congressional Record petition of the National Liberty Congress of Colored Americans petition asked among other things that congress pass legislation the protection of the Federal Government to all citizens of United States of America at home by enacting that mob murders be a crime against the Federal Government subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal courts.

Between 1882 and 1968, 4,745 people were lynched. In many States laws did not address the violence perpetrated by ordinary white citizens. Lynch mobs killed immigrants, women and teenagers for a variety of reasons, including defending a black woman, knocking on the door of a white woman’s home and not calling an Alabama police officer “Mr.”

“In one day and night on Barrow Island, I see more rare species than most biologists get to see on the mainland in their career.”

“Lynch law has spread its insidious influence till men in New York State, Pennsylvania and on the free Western plains feel they can take the law in their own hands with impunity, especially where an Afro-American is concerned,” wrote investigative journalist Ida B. Wells in 1892. “The South is brutalized to a degree not realized by its own inhabitants, and the very foundation of government, law and order, are imperiled.”

Some Southern jurisdictions “passed their own anti-lynching laws to demonstrate that federal legislation was unnecessary, but refused to enforce them,” according to an Equal Justice Initiative report.

Eighteen years after the first federal anti-lynching proposal, Rep. Leonidas Dyer (R-Mo.) in 1918 introduced a bill that would fine officials who were hesitant to prosecute lynch mob participants and provide financial relief for families affected, according to government archives. The obstructionist tactics of Southern Democrats kept the proposal from becoming law.

With the help of the NAACP, Dyer’s bill passed the House of Representatives and made it through a Senate committee. Its momentum was halted, however, when Southern Democratic senators filibustered the proposal.

On the floor of the Senate, Sen. Lee Slater Overman (D-N.C.) alleged that the bill was written by a “Negro” with the intent to solidify the African American voting bloc for northern Republicans, according to a 1922 New York Times article.

“The decent, hard-working Negroes of the South enjoy every safeguard of the law,” Overman said. “They own property, their children go to public schools, and for such as they (sic) this proposed legislation is absolutely uncalled for.”

According to the Tuskegee Institute, 3,168 black people were lynched before Overman’s statement, and at least 278 more would be lynched in the coming years.

In 2005, the Senate formally apologized for having failed to enact federal anti-lynching legislation decades earlier.

As The Post reported at the time:
In passing the measure, the senators in essence admitted that their predecessors’ failure to act had helped perpetuate a horror that took the lives of more than 4,700 people from 1882 to 1968, most of them black men. At the turn of the last century, more than 100 lynching incidents were reported each year, many of them publicly orchestrated to humiliate the victims and instill fear in others. Lynching occurred in all but four states in the contiguous United States, and less than 1 percent of the perpetrators were brought to justice, historians say.

The U.S. House of Representatives three times passed measures to make lynching a federal offense, but each time the bills were knocked down in the Senate. Powerful southern senators, such as Richard B. Russell Jr. (D-Ga.), whose name was given to the Senate office building where the resolution was drafted, used the filibuster to block votes.

“There may be no other injustice in American history for which the Senate so uniquely bears responsibility,” then-Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) said at the time.

The new bill proposed by the three black senators — Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tim Scott (R-S.C.) — is largely symbolic, as lynchings are seemingly part of the nation’s past.

In a statement, Harris said that “lynching is a dark, despicable part of our history, and we must acknowledge that, lest we repeat it. From 1882 to 1986 there have been 200 attempts that have failed to get Congress to pass federal anti-lynching legislation; it’s time for that to change.”

The new bill, Booker said, would “right historical wrongs.”

A similar bill was introduced in the House last month by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) and co-sponsored by 35 members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

“It is never too late for our nation to express our sorrow for the decades of racial terror that traumatized millions in this country,” Equal Justice Initiative Director Bryan Stevenson said in a statement. “Passing an anti-lynching law is not just about who we were decades ago; it’s a statement about who we are now that is relevant, important and timely.” Research more about Lynchings and racial terror in the U.S. and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 28 1868-

GM – FBF – Today, I want to share with you an article that I wrote for a newspaper back in 1996 – 128 years since the admendment was passed. Now it’s has been 150 years is there any changes since the article?

Remember – ” We as a people need all of the support of this President as the Civil War is ending and slaves will truely be free” – Frederick Douglass

Today in our History – July 28, 1868 – The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adoped by all states.

This is an artilce that I wrote back in 1996 when I was Teaching at Red Bank Regional High School in Little Silver, New Jersey as Director of Black Studies:

What will it take for African-Americans to gain their citizenship? Brought to the shores of this land for the sole purpose of hard labor and a permanent, inherited and inherent state of servitude, Black people never were meant to become citizens. And yet this is what happened on July 28,1868, when the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was adopted. It was on that day that Secretary of State William Seward issued a proclamation in which he certified the ratification of the 14th Amendment by the states.

Since that time, it has been an uphill battle for the descendants of slaves to remove the badge of slavery, even when the physical shackles were removed.

Malcolm X articulated the extent of the problem of citizenship for African-Americans in a 1963 interview, when journalist Louis Lomax pressed the issue.

“If they were citizens, you wouldn’t have a race problem. If the Emancipation Proclamation was authentic, you wouldn’t have a race problem. If the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution were authentic, you wouldn’t have a race problem,” Malcolm insisted. “If the Supreme Court desegregation decision was authentic, you wouldn’t have a race problem. All of this hypocrisy that has been practiced by the so-called white so-called liberal for the past 400 years, that compounds the problem, makes it more complicated, instead of eliminating the problem.”

Civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer said, “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” And Hamer wanted to become a “first-class citizen,” as she testified at the 1964 Democratic Convention as a founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, in opposition to her state’s whites-only delegation. She spoke of the beatings, harassment and threats she faced from white supremacists for attempting to exercise her rights as a citizen.

“Is this America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, where we have to sleep with our telephones off of the hooks because our lives be threatened daily, because we want to live as decent human beings, in America?” she asked.

Black people in America are constantly made to fight for their rights, and are subjected to the whims of a hostile white majority. Being a citizen on paper and under the law proves illusory when the institutional racism against us has not abated.

New movements are necessary every few decades or so in order to secure the rights we were told we already have. And even today, there is a struggle among Black people, who are fighting for an existence free from state violence, mass incarceration and institutional racism.

Section 1 of the amendment says the following:

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

With the enactment of the 14th Amendment, the infamous Dred Scott v. Sanford decision — which held that the descendants of African people could not be citizens — was no more. In Dred Scott, Blacks, according to Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.”

“The Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment guaranteed formal citizenship to ‘all persons born in the United States’ including African Americans.

In its original conception, the 14th Amendment was an anti-subordination law designed to lift African-Americans out of slavery and allow them to be equal citizens. This requires remedial action ordered by the courts or passed by Congress (see Section 5). However, when the U.S. Supreme Court took a conservative turn in the 1970s, it began viewing the 14th Amendment as an anti-classification law, which meant that remedial actions designed to help African-Americans attain true citizenship became suspect. We saw this through the Court’s hostility toward desegregation and affirmative action.

Slavery was abolished in part to promote the industrial future of America and steer it away from being an agrarian society. De jure segregation was eliminated because it was an international embarrassment after World War II, when the United States wanted to expand its global influence and, in the wake of the Cold War, to prevent African-Americans from being drawn to communism.

So in my view, laws are not enough. Activism is not enough. But we need both laws and activism, and at the right historical moment, African-Americans will gain some more citizenship rights. It will not be full citizenship, and it is a slow climb — certainly not satisfying to advocates of racial justice. But this is the unfortunate reality in my view. Research more about this and the other Civil Rights Admendments and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 27 1816- The Battle Of Fort Negro

GM – FBF – Today I would like to share with you a lesson that many have not heard about, where Black Soulders and Native Americans were beatin in a fight at Fort Negro, FL. One man lived and his name was Abraham. I don’t have in this post to tell his story. What a hidden secret that is not in your history books.

Remember – ” Once the cannon ball hit the power for the cannons. We were through” – Abraham

Today in our History – July 27, 1816 – Black Soulders massacurd at Fort Negro!

The Battle of Negro Fort was a short military siege during 1816 in which forces of the United States assaulted and managed to blow up African-American fortified stronghold in the frontier of northern Spanish Florida. The act was the first major engagement of the Seminole Wars period and was the beginning in which General Andrew Jackson’s Conquest of Florida. In 1814, during the War of 1812, the British Royal Marines established what was known as the Negro Fort on Prospect Bluff this was along the Spanish side of the Apalachicola River.

The base location initially included about 1,000 Britons, and several hundred African Americans. These people had been recruited as a detached unit of the Corps of Colonial Marines, they had the strength of four infantry companies. After the war in 1815, the British paid off the Colonial Marines, withdrew from the post, and left the black population in occupation. Over the next few years the “fort became a colony for escaped slaves from Pensacola and Georgia.

By 1816 over 600 freedmen and women had settled around the fort. There were some friendly natives in the area as well. Following the construction of Forst Scoot on the Flint River by Colonel Duncan Lamont Clinch of the United States Army, Andrew Jackson decided that to resupply the post they would need to use the navy transport goods via the Apalacicola through the sovereign territory of Spain without their permission.

During one of these resupply missions, a party of sailors from gunboats 149 and 154 stopped along the river near Negro Fort to fill their canteens with water. While doing so, they were attacked by the garrison of the fort and all but one of the Americans were killed. In response Andrew Jackson requested permission to attack the fort, they then dispatched gunboats to reduce Negro Fort.

Secretary of State John Quincy Adams justified the attack and subsequent seizure of Spanish Florida by Andrew Jackson as national “self-defense,” a response to alleged Spanish and British complicity in fomenting the “Indian and Negro War.” Adams even produced a letter from a Georgia planter complaining about “brigand Negroes” who made “this neighborhood extremely dangerous to a population like ours.”

Southern leaders worried that even a small, impoverished island of rebel slaves in the Caribbean or a parcel of Florida land occupied by a few hundred blacks could threaten the institution of slavery. According to Historian William Cooper Nell, the Freedmen who occupied the fort “caught the spirit of liberty,–at that time so prevalent throughout our land” and “they were slain for adhering to the doctrine that ‘all men are endowed by their Creator with the inalienable right to enjoy life and liberty. Read more about the battle and share it with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 25 1941- Emmit Till Wes

GM – FBF – Today, I want to share with you a story about a 14 year old young man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. While visiting my grandmother in Perry, GA. during those days in the ’50’s and early ’60’s, I was told to not look at or talk to white people. She always reminded me that this could happen to you if you act and talk like you do back home in Trenton, NJ. A sad story that has been given a new Investigation.

Remember – “It never occurred to me that Bobo would be killed for whistling at a white woman.” — Simeon Wright, Emmett Till’s Cousin

Today in our History – July 25,1941 – Emmit Till wes born.

Emmett Till was born in 1941 in Chicago and grew up in a middle-class black neighborhood. Till was visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, in 1955 when the fourteen-year-old was accused of whistling at Carolyn Bryant, a white woman who was a cashier at a grocery store.

Four days later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J.W. Milam kidnapped Till, beat him and shot him in the head. The men were tried for murder, but an all-white, male jury acquitted them.

Till’s murder and open casket funeral galvanized the emerging civil rights movement. More than six decades later, in January 2017, Timothy Tyson, author of The Blood of Emmett Till and a senior research scholar at Duke University, revealed that in a 2007 interview Carolyn admitted to him that she had lied about Till making advances toward her. The following year, it was reported that the Justice Department had reopened an investigation into Till’s murder.

Emmett Louis Till was born on July 25, 1941, in Chicago, the only child of Louis and Mamie Till. Till never knew his father, a private in the United States Army during World War II.

Mamie and Louis Till separated in 1942, and three years later, the family received word from the Army that the soldier had been executed for “willful misconduct” while serving in Italy.
Emmett Till’s mother was, by all accounts, an extraordinary woman. Defying the social constraints and discrimination she faced as an African-American woman growing up in the 1920s and ’30s, Mamie Till excelled both academically and professionally.

She was only the fourth black student to graduate from suburban Chicago’s predominantly white Argo Community High School, and the first black student to make the school’s “A” Honor Roll. While raising Emmett Till as a single mother, she worked long hours for the Air Force as a clerk in charge of confidential files.

Emmett Till, who went by the nickname Bobo, grew up in a thriving, middle-class black neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. The neighborhood was a haven for black-owned businesses, and the streets he roamed as a child were lined with black-owned insurance companies, pharmacies and beauty salons as well as nightclubs that drew the likes of Duke Ellington and Sarah Vaughan.

Those who knew Till best described him as a responsible, funny and infectiously high-spirited child. He was stricken with polio at the age of 5, but managed to make a full recovery, save a slight stutter that remained with him for the rest of his life.

With his mother often working more than 12-hour days, Till took on his full share of domestic responsibilities from a very young age. “Emmett had all the house responsibility,” his mother later recalled. “I mean everything was really on his shoulders, and Emmett took it upon himself. He told me if I would work, and make the money, he would take care of everything else. He cleaned, and he cooked quite a bit. And he even took over the laundry.”

Till attended the all-black McCosh Grammar School. His classmate and childhood pal, Richard Heard, later recalled, “Emmett was a funny guy all the time. He had a suitcase of jokes that he liked to tell. He loved to make people laugh. He was a chubby kid; most of the guys were skinny, but he didn’t let that stand in his way. He made a lot of friends at McCosh.”

In August 1955, Till’s great uncle, Moses Wright, came up from Mississippi to visit the family in Chicago. At the end of his stay, Wright was planning to take Till’s cousin, Wheeler Parker, back to Mississippi with him to visit relatives down South, and when Till, who was just 14 years old at the time, learned of these plans, he begged his mother to let him go along.

Initially, Till’s mother was opposed to the idea. She wanted to take a road trip to Omaha, Nebraska, and tried to convince her son to join her with the promise of open-road driving lessons. 
But Till desperately wanted to spend time with his cousins in Mississippi, and in a fateful decision that would have grave impact on their lives and the course of American history, Till’s mother relented and let him go.

On August 19, 1955—the day before Till left with his uncle and cousin for Mississippi—Mamie Till gave her son his late father’s signet ring, engraved with the initials “L.T.” 
The next day she drove her son to the 63rd Street station in Chicago. They kissed goodbye, and Till boarded a southbound train headed for Mississippi. It was the last time they ever saw each other.

Three days after arriving in Money, Mississippi—on August 24, 1955—Emmett Till and a group of teenagers entered Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market to buy refreshments after a long day picking cotton in the hot afternoon sun.

What exactly transpired inside the grocery store that afternoon will never be known. Till purchased bubble gum, and in later accounts he was accused of either whistling at, flirting with or touching the hand of the store’s white female clerk—and wife of the owner—Carolyn Bryant.

Four days later, at approximately 2:30 a.m. on August 28, 1955, Roy Bryant, Carolyn’s husband, and his half brother J.W. Milam kidnapped Till from Moses Wright’s home. They then beat the teenager brutally, dragged him to the bank of the Tallahatchie River, shot him in the head, tied him with barbed wire to a large metal fan and shoved his mutilated body into the water.

Moses Wright reported Till’s disappearance to the local authorities, and three days later, his corpse was pulled out of the river. Till’s face was mutilated beyond recognition, and Wright only managed to positively identify him by the ring on his finger, engraved with his father’s initials—”L.T.”
“It never occurred to me that Bobo would be killed for whistling at a white woman.” — Simeon Wright, Emmett Till’s cousin
“It would appear that the state of Mississippi has decided to maintain white supremacy by murdering children.” — Roy Wilkins, head of the NAACP.

Till’s body was shipped to Chicago, where his mother opted to have an open-casket funeral with Till’s body on display for five days. Thousands of people came to the Roberts Temple Church of God to see the evidence of this brutal hate crime. 
Till’s mother said that, despite the enormous pain it caused her to see her son’s dead body on display, she opted for an open-casket funeral in an effort to “let the world see what has happened, because there is no way I could describe this. And I needed somebody to help me tell what it was like.”

“With his body water-soaked and defaced, most people would have kept the casket covered. [His mother] let the body be exposed. More than 100,000 people saw his body lying in that casket here in Chicago. That must have been at that time the largest single civil rights demonstration in American history.” — Jesse Jackson

The weeks that passed between Till’s burial and the murder and kidnapping trial of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, two black publications, Jet magazine and the Chicago Defender, published graphic images of Till’s corpse.

By the time the trial commenced—on September 19, 1955—Emmett Till’s murder had become a source of outrage and indignation throughout the country. Because blacks and women were barred from serving jury duty, Bryant and Milam were tried before an all-white, all-male jury.

In an act of extraordinary bravery, Moses Wright took the stand and identified Bryant and Milam as Till’s kidnappers and killers. At the time, it was almost unheard of for blacks to openly accuse whites in court, and by doing so, Wright put his own life in grave danger.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the defendants’ guilt and widespread pleas for justice from outside Mississippi, on September 23, the panel of white male jurors acquitted Bryant and Milam of all charges. Their deliberations lasted a mere 67 minutes.

Only a few months later, in January 1956, Bryant and Milam admitted to committing the crime. Protected by double jeopardy laws, they told the whole story of how they kidnapped and killed Emmett Till to Look magazine for $4,000.
“J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant died with Emmett Till’s blood on their hands,” Simeon Wright, Emmett Till’s cousin and an eyewitness to his kidnapping (he was with Till the night he was kidnapped by Milam and Bryant), later stated. “And it looks like everyone else who was involved is going to do the same. They had a chance to come clean. They will die with Emmett Till’s blood on their hands.”
“I thought about Emmett Till, and I couldn’t go back [to the back of the bus].” — Rosa Parks

Coming only one year after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education mandated the end of racial segregation in public schools, Emmett Till’s death provided an important catalyst for the American civil rights movement.

One hundred days after Till’s murder, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama city bus, sparking the yearlong Montgomery Bus Boycott. Nine years later, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing many forms of racial discrimination and segregation. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act, outlawing discriminatory voting practices, was passed.

[Emmett Till’s murder was] one of the most brutal and inhuman crimes of the 20th century. — Martin Luther King Jr.
Though she never stopped feeling the pain of her son’s death, Mamie Till (who died of heart failure in 2003) also recognized that what happened to her son helped open Americans’ eyes to the racial hatred plaguing the country, and in doing so helped spark a massive protest movement for racial equality and justice.

“People really didn’t know that things this horrible could take place,” Mamie Till said in an interview with Devery S. Anderson, author of Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement, in December 1996. “And the fact that it happened to a child, that make all the difference in the world.”

Timothy Tyson’s Book and Revived Investigation
Over six decades after Till’s brutal abduction and murder, in January 2017, Timothy Tyson, author of The Blood of Emmett Till and a senior research scholar at Duke University, revealed that in a 2007 interview Carolyn Bryant Donham (she had divorced and remarried) admitted to him that she had lied about Till making advances toward her.

As of Last Week, July 15, 2018 – the case is re-opened and new Information is being viewed. The Justice Department declined to comment on Thursday, but it appeared that the government had chosen to devote new attention to the case after a central witness, Carolyn Bryant Donham, recanted parts of her account of what transpired in August 1955. Two men who confessed to killing Emmett, only after they had been acquitted by an all-white jury in Mississippi, are deadResearch more about this great American and share with your babies as it was told to me. Make it a champion day!

July 14 2014- Alice Coachmen

GM – FBF – Today, I want to share with you one of the saddest sports stories in Track and Field that I have ever heard. I thought that sprinter Jesse Owens racing a horse at Monmouth, NJ Racetrack and other tracks around the states just to feed his family was sad but go anyplace and people will tell you Wilma Rudolph was the first black woman to win a medal — it’s not true, Rudolph’s three gold medals in the sprints at the Rome Olympics in 1960, was 12 years later than Coachman but Rudolph was on television. Alice Coachman was not. Enjoy!

Remember – “I had accomplished what I wanted to do, It was time for me to start looking for a husband. That was the climax. I won the gold medal. I proved to my mother, my father, my coach and everybody else that I had gone to the end of my rope.” – Alice Coachman


Alice Coachman became the first African American woman from any country to win an Olympic Gold Medal when she competed at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, UK.

Born November 9, 1923, in Albany, Georgia, to Evelyn and Fred Coachman, Alice was the fifth of ten children. As an athletic child of the Jim Crow South, who was denied access to regular training facilities, Coachman trained by running on dirt roads and creating her own hurdles to practice jumping.
Even though Alice Coachman parents did not support her interest in athletics, she was encouraged by Cora Bailey, her fifth grade teacher at Monroe Street Elementary School, and her aunt, Carrie Spry, to develop her talents.

After demonstrating her skills on the track at Madison High School, Tuskegee Institute offered sixteen-year-old Coachman a scholarship to attend its high school program. She competed on and against all-black teams throughout the segregated South.

In 1943, Coachman entered the Tuskegee Institute college division to study dressmaking. She played on the basketball team and ran track-and-field, where she won four national championships for events in sprinting and high jumping. Coachman completed a degree in dressmaking in 1946. In 1947, Coachman enrolled in Albany State College (now University) to continue her education. Coachman completed a B.S. degree in Home Economics with a minor in science at Albany State College in 1949 and became teacher and track-and-field instructor.

During World War II, the Olympic committee cancelled the 1940 and 1944 games. Alice Coachman’s first Olympic opportunity came in 1948 in London, when she was twenty-four. On August 8, 1948, Alice Coachman leapt 5 feet 6 1/8 inches to set a new Olympic record and win a gold medal for the high jump.

Coachman (who was later known as Alice Coachman Davis) received her medal from King George VI. She was invited aboard a British Royal yacht, she was congratulated by President Harry S. Truman at the White House, and Count Basie gave a party for her. She was lauded in a motorcade that wound its way through Georgia from Atlanta to her hometown, Albany.

But she had returned to a segregated South. Blacks and whites were seated separately in the Albany city auditorium when she was honored there. The mayor sat on the stage with her but would not shake her hand, and she had to leave by a side door.

As a youngster in Albany, she had run and jumped barefoot, using ropes and sticks for makeshift high jumps. She had not been allowed to train at athletic fields with whites.

“You had to run up and down the red roads and the dirt roads,” Coachman told The Kansas City Star. “You went out there in the fields, where there was a lot of grass and no track. No nothing.”

At a time when there were few high-profile black athletes beyond Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis, Coachman became a pioneer. She led the way for female African-American Olympic track stars like Wilma Rudolph, Evelyn Ashford, Florence Griffith Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

“I made a difference among the blacks, being one of the leaders,” she told The New York Times in 1996. “If I had gone to the Games and failed, there wouldn’t be anyone to follow in my footsteps. It encouraged the rest of the women to work harder and fight harder.”

During her career, she won thirty-four national titles, ten for the high jump in consecutive years. Alice Coachman was inducted into nine halls of fame including the National Track-and-Field Hall of Fame (1975) and the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame (2004). Coachman became the first black woman to endorse an international product when Coca-Cola signed her as a spokesperson in 1952.

Coachman married Frank A. Davis and is the mother of two children. She taught for the later part of her life at South Carolina State College, Albany State University and the Job Corps. The Alice Coachman Elementary School in Albany, Georgia is named in her honor.

In 1994, she founded the Alice Coachman Track and Field Foundation to provide assistance to young athletes and former Olympic competitors. Coachman died in Albany, Georgia on July 14, 2014. She was 90.

Albany is located in Southwest Georgia closer to the Florida border and further away from the capitol city of Atlanta, GA where Dr. Martin L. King – Lost “The Albany Movement ” a desegregation campaign formed on November 17, 1961. Almost all of Albany’s public facilities remained segregated after King’s departure, making the Albany Movement one of the few failures among the 1960s civil rights campaigns. Research more about black female track athletes and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 13 1787 – The Northwest Ordinance Passed

GM – FBF – Today, I want talk about a Congressional law which kept African slaves in check. When if fact, slavery was officially barred from the new western states in 1787. In fact it did not happen in this case or in later years, The Louisana Purchase also did nothing for the Africans. Don’t forget the Dread Scott case that went to The Supreme Court.
Enjoy and learn!

Remember – If we give them (Slaves) an opportunity to be part of America, it will strive forward for another 100 years. – Thomas Jefferson

Today in our History – July13, 1787 – The Northwest Ordinance, passed. Incorporating the Western Territories.

Under the Treaty of Paris (1783) which ended the Revolutionary War, Britain relinquished to the United States a large tract of land west of the Appalachian mountains, doubling the size of the new nation. How would this territory be incorporated into the United States? Congressional debates about the division and government of the new territories resulted in precedents which were followed throughout the settlement of the west.

Congress Discusses Slavery in the Western Territories
[Detail] Resolution for the Exclusion of Slavery in Future States. New York: s.n., 1785. Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

In 1783, Congress formed a committee to “prepare a plan for the temporary government of the western territory.” Thomas Jefferson, chairman of the committee, delivered a report in March 1784 proposing the division of the land into ten territories, and their eventual admission to the Union on an equal footing with the original thirteen states. In addition, Jefferson proposed the prohibition of slavery in any of the new states. Congress rejected Jefferson’s ban on slavery, but in 1785 Rufus King attempted to restore it, offering the displayed resolution. Congress, once again, rejected the proposal by a slight margin. Slavery was officially barred from the new western states in 1787.

Congress Decides How to Divide the Western Territories
[Detail] An ordinance for ascertaining the mode of disposing of lands in the Western Territory. New York : s.n., 1785. LC copy annotated by Rufus King and by an unknown hand, with some changes reflected in the ordinance passed May 20 (cf. JCC 477). Library of Congress, Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

Congressman David Howell of Rhode Island complained that America’s new western territories were “the most complicated and embarrassing Subject before Congress since peace has taken place.” Deliberation over what to do with the territory continued for several years, but on May 18, 1785, a burst of activity resulted in a proposal for the orderly settlement of the western public lands. Rufus King of Massachusetts, a key figure in the debate, made many of the notations that appear in the document’s margins. Congress adopted the final version of the Land Ordinance of 1785 on May 20.

Congress Determines How New States Can Enter the Union
In 1787, Congress was approached by agents of the Ohio Company, a group of New England Revolutionary War veterans seeking to purchase vast tracts of western land. The prospect of earning real revenue for the western territories inspired Congress to resolve the long debate over the west; the Northwest Ordinance, passed on July 13, 1787, provided for a government in the western territories, created a procedure for the formation of states, established a formal method for the new states to enter the union as equals, guaranteed the inhabitants civil and religious liberties, and prohibited slavery. The president of Congress, Arthur St. Clair, was named first governor of the territory. Research more about this Territorel event and others which held Balec people and share with your babies. Make it a champon Day!