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

July 12 1967- “BURN BABY BURN”

GM – FBF – Today, I would like to share with you a story about New Jersey’s largest City. The Riots during that summer of 1967 not only hit Newark but from Jersey City down to New Brunswick. I f you lived in Trenton, our city had a few people around town but thank God not as bad as North Jersey.

Remember – ” It was a scene in the old west, people shooting at police and police shooting back” – Mayor Hugh Addonizio of Newark, NJ.

Today in our History – July 12, 1967 – “BURN BABY BURN”

The Newark Riot of 1967 which took place in Newark, New Jersey from July 12 through July 17, 1967, was sparked by a display of police brutality. John Smith, an African American cab driver for the Safety Cab Company, was arrested on Wednesday July 12 when he drove his taxi around a police car and double-parked on 15th Avenue. According to a police report later released to the press, the police claimed that Smith was charged with “tailgating” and driving in the wrong direction on a one-way street. Smith was also charged with using offensive language and physical assault.

A witness who had seen Smith’s arrest called members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the United Freedom Party, and the Newark Community Union Project. These civil rights leaders were given permission to see Smith in his 4th Precinct holding cell. After noticing his injuries inflicted by the police, they demanded that he be transported to a hospital. Their demands were granted and Smith was moved to Beth Israel Hospital in Newark.

Around 8:00 p.m. black Newark cab drivers began to circulate the report of Smith’s arrest on their radios. Word spread down 17th Avenue, west of the precinct police station where Smith had been held. Residents in this predominantly black city recalled a long history of similar events with the Newark Police. Many of them angrily gathered on the streets facing the 4th Precinct.

At 11:00 p.m. one of the civil rights leaders informed the police that a peaceful protest would be organized across the street from the precinct. A police officer handed the leader a bullhorn to address the crowd. Bob Curvin, a member of CORE, was joined by Timothy Still, the president of a poverty program, and Oliver Lofton, who was the administrator of the Newark Legal Services Project. Although the three speakers urged a nonviolent protest march, an unidentified local resident took the bullhorn and urged violence. Young men from the neighborhood began to pick up bricks and bottles and searched for gasoline. Shortly afterwards, objects were thrown at the precinct windows.

Shortly after midnight, two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the precinct. Then a group of 25 people on 17th Avenue began to loot stores. The looting drew larger crowds and Newark was now engulfed in rioting.

Despite the violence, on Thursday morning Newark Mayor announced that Wednesday night’s activities were isolated incidents and were not of riot proportions. At 6:00 p.m. Thursday night, a large group of young kids gathered on the street where traffic had been blocked. Word spread along 17th Avenue that people would again demonstrate against the precinct. Human Rights Commission Director James Threatt arrived and told the crowds to disperse. They refused and rioting commenced for a second night.

After midnight Thursday, looting spread throughout the major commercial district of the ghetto in Newark. Groups of young adults smashed windows while chanting “Black Power.” At the same time the looting spread, the police were given clearance to use firearms to defend themselves. At 2:20 a.m. Mayor Addonizio asked New Jersey Governor Richard J. Hughes to send in the National Guard to help in restoring order.

At around 4:00 a.m. a looter was shot while trying to flee from two police officers. By early Friday morning five people had been killed and 425 people were jailed. Hundreds were wounded. More than 3,000 National Guardsmen arrived later in the day along with five hundred state troopers. By mid-afternoon, the Guardsmen and the troopers arrived, formed convoys, and were moving throughout the city.

Despite the presence of National Guardsmen and state troopers rioting continued for three more days. As the riot approached its final hours, 26 people, mostly African Americans, were reported killed, another 750 were injured and over 1,000 were jailed. Property damage exceeded $10 million. The riot, the worst civil disorder in New Jersey history, ended on July 17, 1967. Research more about this wild time in “BRICK CITY” and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

July 2 1917- East Saint Luis

GM – FBF – Today, I will share with you a crazy time in East St. Louis, IL. years before what happens in Tulsa, OK.

Remember – ” They were dragging us from our homes and killing us. Where is the President to help us.” – Unknown

Today in our History – July 2, 1917 – East Saint Louis go on a people hunt.

The city of East St. Louis, Illinois was the scene of one of the bloodiest race riots in the 20th century. Racial tensions began to increase in February, 1917 when 470 African American workers were hired to replace white workers who had gone on strike against the Aluminum Ore Company.

The violence started on May 28th, 1917, shortly after a city council meeting was called. Angry white workers lodged formal complaints against black migrations to the Mayor of East St. Louis. After the meeting had ended, news of an attempted robbery of a white man by an armed black man began to circulate through the city. As a result of this news, white mobs formed and rampaged through downtown, beating all African Americans who were found. The mobs also stopped trolleys and streetcars, pulling black passengers out and beating them on the streets and sidewalks. Illinois Governor Frank O. Lowden eventually called in the National Guard to quell the violence, and the mobs slowly dispersed. The May 28th disturbances were only a prelude to the violence that erupted on July 2, 1917.

After the May 28th riots, little was done to prevent any further problems. No precautions were taken to ensure white job security or to grant union recognition. This further increased the already-high level of hostilities towards African Americans. No reforms were made in police force which did little to quell the violence in May. Governor Lowden ordered the National Guard out of the city on June 10th, leaving residents of East St. Louis in an uneasy state of high racial tension.

On July 2, 1917, the violence resumed. Men, women, and children were beaten and shot to death. Around six o’ clock that evening, white mobs began to set fire to the homes of black residents. Residents had to choose between burning alive in their homes, or run out of the burning houses, only to be met by gunfire. In other parts of the city, white mobs began to lynch African Americans against the backdrop of burning buildings. As darkness came and the National Guard returned, the violence began to wane, but did not come to a complete stop.

In response to the rioting, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) sent W.E.B. DuBois and Martha Gruening to investigate the incident. They compiled a report entitled “Massacre at East St. Louis,” which was published in the NAACP’s magazine, The Crisis. The NAACP also staged a silent protest march in New York City in response to the violence. Thousands of well-dressed African Americans marched down Fifth Avenue, showing their concern about the events in East St. Louis.

The Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) also responded to the violence. On July 8th, 1917, the UNIA’s President, Marcus Garvey said “This is a crime against the laws of humanity; it is a crime against the laws of the nation, it is a crime against Nature, and a crime against the God of all mankind.” He also believed that the entire riot was part of a larger conspiracy against African Americans who migrated North in search of a better life: “The whole thing, my friends, is a bloody farce, and that the police and soldiers did nothing to stem the murder thirst of the mob is a conspiracy on the part of the civil authorities to condone the acts of the white mob against Negroes.”

A year after the riot, a Special Committee formed by the United States House of Representatives launched an investigation into police actions during the East St. Louis Riot. Investigators found that the National Guard and also the East St. Louis police force had not acted adequately during the riots, revealing that the police often fled from the scenes of murder and arson. Some even fled from stationhouses and refused to answer calls for help. The investigation resulted in the indictment of several members of the East St. Louis police force.
Research more about race riots in America and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 24 1970- Philadelphia International Records Was Created

GM – FBF – In my continuing celabration to Black Music Month. I have shown you the best recording companies that Memphis (STAX) and Chicago (CHESS) had to bring to our black music culture, now it is time for me to come home to the Deleware Valley where I was born and raised with the music that I grew up with THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA. Enjoy!

Remember – Dick Clark (American Bandstand), Jerry Blavat (The Geator with the Heater) and The Discophonic Scene along with WDAS – FM’s Jimmy Bishop, Butterball and still today Patty Jackson. Don’t forget that Trenton’s own Instant Funk was dicoverd by Philly’s own Walter “Bunny” Sigler.

Today in our History – June 24, 1970 – Philadelphia International Records was created – A term with varied meanings in popular music, “soul” broadly describes African American music characterized by emotional urgency and racial consciousness. More specifically, a soul style of black music emerged from rhythm and blues and gospel in the late 1950s and became popular with both black and white audiences through the 1970s. Different cities had distinct styles of soul, often associated with local record companies—Stax in Memphis, Motown in Detroit. In Philadelphia, soul was defined by Philadelphia International Records, a very successful label whose unique style of 1970s soul became known worldwide as the “Sound of Philadelphia.”
Philadelphia had especially vibrant scenes in rhythm and blues and gospel music in the mid-twentieth century. Taking elements from each, local artists began shaping the city’s version of the emerging soul style in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Gospel was a particularly strong influence; essentially, soul was the adaptation of the gospel style to songs with secular rather than sacred lyrics. Solomon Burke, who began preaching and singing gospel in Philadelphia in his pre-adolescent years, made a series of recordings for Atlantic Records in New York in the early 1960s that were fundamental in defining the new style. These records were among the first to be categorized as “soul” music, and Burke was later dubbed the “King of Rock and Soul.” Other Philadelphia-area singers with strong gospel roots who had soul hits in the early to mid-1960s included Garnet Mimms, Howard Tate, and Lorraine Ellison.

While these early artists came from Philadelphia, they recorded in New York City. The larger Philadelphia record companies were more focused on rock and roll and white pop music at this time. Some of the city’s smaller labels recorded local artists in the soul style, however, including two black-owned companies that were especially important in the evolution of Philadelphia soul: Harthon and Arctic. Singer Weldon McDougal, organist Luther Randolph, and guitarist Johnny Stiles created Harthon Records in the early 1960s. Prominent Philadelphia DJ Jimmy Bishop joined Harthon briefly but broke away in 1964 to form his own label, Arctic Records, taking many Harthon artists with him.

Harthon and Arctic each had a series of minor and regional hits in the 1960s, and Arctic had a huge hit with “Yes, I’m Ready,” a ballad by local singer Barbara Mason that reached the Top Ten in the national pop charts in 1965. Most Arctic artists were black, but the label also recorded the Temptones, a white group featuring singer Daryl Hohl. Hohl later changed his last name to Hall and with fellow Temple University student John Oates formed Hall and Oates, one of the most successful of the “blue-eyed soul” groups, as white soul music came to be known.

Philadelphia’s biggest record company at this time was Cameo Parkway Records, a hit-making juggernaut whose artists were in the pop charts throughout the late 1950s and early 1960s. Although Cameo Parkway had had hits with African American artists such as Chubby Checker, the Orlons, and Dee Dee Sharp, almost of all of its production staff and studio musicians were white and it had mostly ignored soul. That changed in 1964 when president Bernie Lowe, seeing the rise of Motown, asked a young black musician on his staff, Thom Bell, to form a rhythm section and begin producing soul music for the label. One of the groups Bell worked with at Cameo Parkway, and later at another local label, Philly Groove Records, was the Delfonics, one of the first groups identified specifically with the Philadelphia soul sound. Bell later shaped the sound of two other quintessential Philadelphia soul groups, the Stylistics and the Spinners. (The Spinners were from Detroit, but their biggest hits were recorded in Philadelphia.)

Small labels such as Harthon and Arctic were incubators for the burgeoning Philly soul style of the 1960s, serving as training grounds for the young songwriters, arrangers, singers, and studio musicians who later created the Sound of Philadelphia. Among this group were two individuals who, along with Thom Bell, emerged as the chief architects of that sound: singer Kenny Gamble and pianist Leon Huff.
Gamble and Huff had been hustling around the Philadelphia music scene since the late 1950s. In the mid-1960s they began writing songs together and then moved into producing records, using Philadelphia musicians and arrangers with whom they had worked over the years. After achieving success in the late 1960s with artists such as the Intruders, Soul Survivors, and Jerry Butler, Gamble and Huff secured a distribution deal with CBS Records and formed Philadelphia International Records in 1971.

Th e company located its headquarters in the former Cameo Parkway building on South Broad Street, which Cameo Parkway abandoned when it ceased operations in the late 1960s. While Philadelphia International made some recordings there, they recorded primarily at Sigma Sound Studios on north Twelfth Street, established in 1968 by former Cameo Parkway recording engineer Joe Tarsia. As Philadelphia International’s chief studio, Sigma Sound became a hit factory, with Tarsia serving as an important sonic architect of the Sound of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia International became one of the nation’s most successful record companies in the 1970s, producing a long string of hits with local artists such as Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, Billy Paul, and Patti LaBelle, as well as out-of-towners such as the O’Jays, Jackson Five, and Lou Rawls who came to Philadelphia to capture the label’s magic. With songwriter/producers Gamble and Huff at the helm, Thom Bell playing a key songwriting and producing role, and a core group of some thirty regular studio musicians and arrangers, Philadelphia International Records was the undisputed leader in soul music in the 1970s.

The studio musicians had a few hit records themselves, under the band name “MFSB” (short for Mother-Father-Sister-Brother). The biggest was “TSOP” (The Sound of Philadelphia), released in 1974. “TSOP” was the theme song for the popular black TV dance show “Soul Train” and became an anthem of Philadelphia soul. With its pulsing rhythm over lush strings and slick brass, it was a typical sophisticated Philadelphia International production. The label was also known for songs featuring socially conscious lyrics with messages of unity and love.
By the early 1980s, soul had run its course as a popular style. Radio, long the lifeblood of soul, had become very restricted in its programming and no longer served as an effective outlet for the music, while other black styles had gained in popularity, including funk, disco, and a new form of urban music that was coming into prominence, rap. Philadelphia International Records, the last of the great soul labels, went into decline in the early 1980s, signaling the end of the soul music era. Research more about black artist and music and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 20 1967- Cassins Clay

GM – FBF – Fifty One Years Ago, I could have told you about many different events but to me this was the biggest event on that date. I still say he is the GOAT (Greatest of all time) not for what he did in his profession but how he took on the government and lived by his tearms. Enjoy!

Remember – I’m not gonna help nobody get something my negroes don’t have. If I’m gonna die, I’ll die now right here fighting you, if I’m gonna die. You my enemy. My enemies are white people, not Viet Congs or Chinese or Japanese. You my opposer when I want freedom. You my opposer when I want justice. You my opposer when I want equality. You won’t even stand up for me in America for my religious beliefs, and you want me to go somewhere and fight, but you won’t even stand up for me here at home. – (Cassius Clay) – Muhammad Ali

Today in our History – June 20, 1967 – Cassius Clay Guilty in Draft Case; Gets Five Years in Prison – U.S. Judge Also Fines the Boxer $10,000 for Refusing Induction

Houston, June 20, 1967–Cassius Clay, the deposed heavyweight champion, was convicted by a jury tonight of violating the United States Selective Service laws by refusing to be drafted.

Federal District Judge Joe E. Ingraham sentenced Clay to five years in prison and fined him $10,000. This was the maximum penalty for the offense, which is a felony.
The judge’s sentence was pronounced immediately at Clay’s request.

“I’d appreciate it,” the 25-year-old boxer said, “if the court will do it now, give me my sentence now, instead of waiting and stalling for time.”
His lawyers said he “wants to be able to sleep tonight” without worrying what the sentence would be.

Clay, who had contended that his status as a Black Muslim minister made him exempt from the draft, stood passively in front of the judge’s bench as the judge pronounced sentence.
Every eye in the crowded courtroom was on him as he stared straight ahead, saying, “No, sir,” firmly when the judge asked him if he wanted to say anything that might go toward mitigating his sentence.

Before the sentencing, Morton Susman, United States Attorney, indicated that he would file no objection to the judge’s giving Clay a lighter sentence than the maximum.
“The only record he has is a minor traffic offense,” said Mr. Susman.

He said that Clay, as an athlete, had brought honor to the United States by winning in the Olympics in Rome in 1960, and had brought credit to himself by becoming heavyweight champion of the world.
“He became a Muslim in 1964 after defeating Sonny Liston for the title,” said Mr. Susman. “In my opinion, his trouble started with that–this tragedy and the loss of his title can be traced to that.”

After Clay had refused in April to take the Army induction oath, the World Boxing Association and the New York Athletic Commission stripped him of his title.
Mr. Susman, who was aided in the prosecution by a Negro assistant, Carl Walker, said that he had studied the Muslim order “and it is as much political as it is religious.”
Clay, who had stood stiffly in his gray silk suit and black alligator shoes without speaking, could keep quiet no longer.
“If I can say so, sir,” he said, “my religion is not political in no way.”

There were a number of Muslim members in the courtroom for the verdict and the subsequent sentencing, but there was no outcry and no disturbance. A number of special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation were watching the audience along with Federal marshals.

The jury, six men and six women, all white, stayed in the jury box during the sentencing.
Clay’s attorneys, Hayden C. Covington of New York City and Quinnan A. Hodges of Houston, took exception to Mr. Susman’s remarks about the Muslims.

Mr. Covington, who has won civil rights suits for Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religious sect, in a number of constitutional cases, said: “I take exception to remarks that this man is under the influence of the Muslims in any way.”
Clay, he said, is one of the finest men he has ever met and acted from “sincerity and honesty” when he refused last April 28 to step forward and be inducted into the armed services at Houston.

Both Mr. Covington and Mr. Hodges asked Judge Ingraham to put Clay on probation. Failing that, said Mr. Covington, the former champion should not be given a sentence more severe than those given in a similar cases. “That’s 18 months,” he said.
Judge Ingraham, after being told that Clay’s attorneys would appeal, said that now was not the time to ask for clemency. If the conviction should be thrown out on appeal, “the sentence would be nil,” he said, but if it should be upheld, that would be the time to seek a reduction in sentence or to seek probation.
Clay, who had known both applause and boos in his seven years as a boxer, did not seem downcast at today’s turn of events.

His step was as jaunty as ever as he walked from the courtroom after being released on $5,000 bond. He held hands with two young women who had been with him during intermissions in the trial and he smiled at the crowd that gathered around. He allowed the television cameramen to surround him and shuffle him off down the street.

The jury was out considering the verdict for only about 20 minutes. Everyone knew before it retired that Clay would be convicted. He and his lawyers had not attempted to deny that he had refused induction. Their main contention was that the draft boards in Louisville, Ky., and in Houston had acted improperly in not granting him a deferment as a minister.
After Judge Ingraham had ruled that a study of the huge draft board file of the Clay case had convinced him that the draft boards had not acted “arbitrarily or capriciously” in refusing the deferment. Clay’s conviction became a foregone conclusion.

Clay paid no attention to the legal maneuvering during the day. He sat at the defense table, drawing and chewing gum.
During recesses, while Clay stood out in the corridors in the Federal Courthouse and signed autographs for children, one of his attorneys showed reporters some of the drawings that Clay had made. One showed an airplane flying over a heavily wooded mountain range toward the rising sun. Another portrayed a ship sailing head-on into a fjord between two mountain ranges.

Clay himself exhibited other drawings–mystic symbols, clouds and so forth. One was an elaborate sketch of the words “Muhammad Ali,” which is his Muslim name.
In all, the jury heard only an hour or so of testimony, most of it from Government witnesses.Research more about the great American and share with your babies Make it a champion day!

June 19 1865- Juneteenth Day

GM – FBF – Today is the black holiday known as Juneteenth Day. Some of the people up North may or may not had heard about this day. So let’s take a deeper look at this. Enjoy!

Remember – The emancipation of Black people in Texas is finially here. So rejoyce! – Fredrick Douglass

Today in our History – June 19, 1865 – Juneteenth Day –

The Day Slaves Learned They Were Free

The 19th of June is known as Juneteenth, an African-American holiday begun at the end of slavery days. Its origins are Texan, not Louisianan, but Juneteenth has long had strong roots in the South and has since spread all over the country as a time for African-Americans to commemorate their freedom and accomplishments.

President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation, which granted freedom to slaves in Confederate states, on New Year’s Day in 1863. Word didn’t reach the African-American slaves of Galveston, Texas, until June 19, 1865, when a force of two-thousand Union soldiers arrived and informed them of their freedom. Although news indeed did travel slowly in those days, two and a half years is a long time; historians suspect Texas slaveholders knew of the proclamation and chose not to free their slaves until they were forced to.

The African-Americans of Galveston began an annual observance of Juneteenth which over the years spread to other areas and grew in popularity. Early Juneteenth celebrations were picnics at churches and in rural areas with barbecues, horseback riding, fishing, and more. The early 20th century saw a weakening of the holiday’s observance due to African-American migration to urban centers,

The national celebration of Independence Day just a few weeks later, and the preference of white historians to emphasize the Emancipation Proclamation over Juneteenth as a date to mark the end of slavery. Although some activists objected that holiday’s associations with slavery were too backward-looking, Juneteenth’s visibility rose again during the Civil Rights Era of the 1950s and 60s, and its resurgence continues all over the country.

Like elsewhere, in New Orleans African-Americans celebrate Juneteenth with barbecues and picnics, with family and church gatherings that strengthen community bonds. Other events include jazz concerts and speaking engagements emphasizing African-American empowerment, education, and achievement. To participate in Juneteenth festivities, check listings in local newspapers or online as the next June 19th approaches. Research more about this great American Holiday and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 16 1984- Edwin Moses

GM – FBF – I will never forget the demanding Coach Lawrence Dunn who coached me at Junior One where we never lost a track meet in ten years and the great Alfonso Jennings who had just graduated from Maryland – Eastern Shore and was Asst. Track Coach at TCHS. He would go on to create a N.J. and National Dynasty in the High School ranks and creator of The Trenton Track Club (TTC) where he is still coaching and three weeks ago he had one of his female runners compete in Atlanta, GA. for a tune up race before the USA Nationals. He is also in the Penn Relays Hall of Fame. I ran the 400 yrds, 800 yrds and 4×400 yrd. Relay and Long Jumped. Thanks to you both. Today let’s read about a Track Great. Enjoy!

Remember – ” I really don’t see the hurdels. I sence them like a memory.” – Edwin Moses

Today in our History – June 16, 1984

Edwin Moses wins his 100th consecutive 400-meter hurdles race!

Being an Olympic-level competitor is a testament itself to an athlete’s dedication and endurance, but winning medals consistently for ten years is a feat few can claim. On June 4, 1987 Edwin Moses ended his 10-year winning streak in the 400-meter hurdles.

From August 1977 to May 1987, Moses won 122 consecutive races in that event. During a meet in Madrid, Spain, fellow American Danny Harris, who had finished second in the 400-meter hurdles in the 1984 Olympics, beat Moses by .13 seconds to end the winning streak.
Before then, Moses, the world record-holder with a time of 47.02 seconds, hadn’t lost since Aug. 26, 1977, when he was beaten in West Berlin by West Germany’s Harald Schmid. Moses was a 20-year-old student at Morehouse College at the time.

Born in Dayton, Ohio, Moses ended up in Atlanta on an academic scholarship to Morehouse College where he majored in physics and industrial engineering while competing for the school track team. Morehouse didn’t have its own track, so he used public high school facilities around the city to train.

Initially, Moses competed mostly in the 120-yard hurdles and 440-yard dash. Before March 1976, he ran only one 400-meter hurdles race. Once he turned his focus to the event he made remarkable progress.

His trademark technique was to take a consistent 13 steps between each of the hurdles, pulling away in the second half of the race as his rivals changed their stride pattern. That summer, he qualified for the U.S. team for the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. In his first international meet, Moses won the gold medal and set a world record of 47.63 seconds.

After losing to Harris in 1987, Moses won 10 more races in a row, collecting his second world gold in Rome in August of the same year, and then he finished third in the final 400-meter race of his career at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul.
Reflecting on his career years later, Moses told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “I wish I hadn’t been robbed in 1980. I had the chance to go. I was in such great shape.” That was the year President Jimmy Carter ordered that the U.S. team boycott the Olympic games in Moscow to protest the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

Moses won his second gold at the Los Angeles Games in 1984. In 1988, Moses went for his third in Seoul, but felt his chances were hurt when NBC moved the finals to earlier in the day, so that it could be broadcast live in the U.S. He had run in the semifinals less than 24 hours earlier.

Moses finished third for the bronze, in 47.56 seconds. Teammate Andre Phillips won in 47.19, breaking Moses’ Olympic record.

If he’d had a full 24 hours to recover, “I’m sure it would have” made a difference, Moses said.

Since then, the scheduling for the 400 hurdles has changed so that a day separates the semifinals and finals. It has given hurdlers time to recuperate, making record performances in the finals more likely.

“That’s really changed the event, ” Moses said.
For a track titan hunting for a last taste of glory, it changed too late. Research more of this great American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 15 1864- Law Equalizing The Pay Of Black Soldiers

GM – FBF – Today in our History, we look back on the Civil War or War between the States or here in the South it was called “The War of Northern Agression”. The Colored Troops were getting paid 1/2 of the white soulders were getting paid until this day. Let’s read how our Congress will correct that mistake. Enjoy!

Remember – ” A negro soulder can take a bullit just as good as a white soulder but for half pay. Rip it up or will you take slave wages?” – Fredrick Douglass

Today in our History – June 15, 1864

Law Equalizing the Pay of Black Soldiers

CHAP. CXXIV.–An Act making Appropriations for the Support of the Army for the Year ending the thirtieth June, eighteen hundred and sixty-five, and for other Purposes.
. . . .
SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That all persons of color who have been or may be mustered into the military service of the United States shall receive the same uniform, clothing, arms, equipments, camp equipage, rations, medical and hospital attendance, pay and emoluments, other than bounty, as other soldiers of the regular or volunteer forces of the United States of like arm of the service, from and after the first day of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-four; and that every person of color who shall hereafter be mustered into the service shall receive such sums in bounty as the President shall order in the different states and parts of the United States, not exceeding one hundred dollars.
SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That all persons enlisted and mustered into service as volunteers under the call, dated October seventeen, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, for three hundred thousand volunteers, who were at the time of enlistment actually enrolled and subject to draft in the state in which they volunteered, shall receive from the United States the same amount of bounty without regard to color.
SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That all persons of color who were free on the nineteenth day of April, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, and who have been enlisted and mustered into the military service of the United States, shall, from the time of their enlistment, be entitled to receive the pay, bounty, and clothing allowed to such persons by the laws existing at the time of their enlistment. And the Attorney-General of the United States is hereby authorized to determine any question of law arising under this provision. And if the Attorney-General aforesaid shall determine that any of such enlisted persons are entitled to receive any pay, bounty, or clothing, in addition to what they have already received, the Secretary of War shall make all necessary regulations to enable the pay department to make payment in accordance with such determination.
SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That all enlistments hereafter made in the regular army of the United States, during the continuance of the present rebellion, may be for the term of three years.

APPROVED, June 15, 1864.

Research more on why The United States Congress passed this Act for the brave black troops and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 13 1908- Thomas Greene Wiggins

GM – FBF – Black Music Month is almost over and you have listened to and viewed some of the great Individual artists of our time. When I was getting my first Master’s in Wisconsin, Radio & Television Broadcasting. My teacher would always single me out since I was working on one of the biggest radio stations in the mid-west and he asked me did I know about “The Last Slave” and played :30 seconds of “The Battle of Manassas” being embarrassed I listened to Tom Wiggins, George Washington Johnson, Scott Joplin and W.C. Handy. Today let’s gain knowledge of “The Last Slave”, Enjoy!

Remember – Ray Charles attended school at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine from 1937 to 1945 and his musical teacher Mrs. Lawrence would play some old beautiful songs by “The Last Slave” and always told me that I could be just as good as “Blind Tom Wiggins”, I set out to be better – Ray Charles

Today in our History – June 13, 1908 – THE LAST SLAVE DIES

Thomas Greene Wiggins was born May 25, 1849 to Mungo and Charity Wiggins, slaves on a Georgia plantation. He was blind and autistic but a musical genius with a phenomenal memory. In 1850 Tom, his parents, and two brothers were sold to James Neil Bethune,a lawyer and newspaper editor in Columbus, Georgia. Young Tom was fascinated by music and other sounds, and could pick out tunes on the piano by the age of four. He made his concert debut at eight, performing in Atlanta.
In 1858 Tom was hired out as a slave-musician, at a price of $15,000. In 1859, at the age of 10, he became the first African American performer to play at the White House when he gave a concert before President James Buchanan. His piano pieces “Oliver Galop” and “Virginia” Polka” were published in 1860. During the Civil War he was back with his owner, raising funds for Confederate relief. By 1863 he played his own composition, “Battle of Manassas.” . This continued guardianship of Blind Tom by the Bethune family following emancipation caused some to refer to Wiggins as “the last slave.” 
By 1865, 16-year-old Tom Wiggins, now “indentured” to James Bethune, could play difficult works of Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Beethoven, and Thalberg. He also played pieces after one hearing, and memorized poems and text in foreign languages. Advertising claimed Tom was untaught, but in fact he was tutored by a Professor of Music who traveled with him.
James Neil Bethune took Tom Wiggins to Europe where he collected testimonials from music critics Ignaz Moscheles and Charles Halle, which were printed in a booklet “The Marvelous Musical Prodigy Blind Tom.” With these and other endorsements, Blind Tom Wiggins became an internationally recognized performer. By 1868 Tom and the Bethune family lived on a Virginia farm in the summer, while touring the United States and Canada the rest of the year, averaging $50,000 annually in concert revenue. James Bethune eventually lost custody of Tom to his late son’s ex-wife, Eliza Bethune. Charity Wiggins, Tom’s mother, was a party to the suit, but she did not win control of her son or his income.
Blind Tom Wiggins gave his last performance in 1905.

He died three years later on June 13, 1908 at the age of 59 at his manager’s home in Hoboken, New Jersey. Blind Tom’s story became the subject of great interest around the turn of the twenty-first century. Articles about him have appeared in such periodicals as the New Yorker and the Oxford American, and in 1999 pianist John Davis made a new recording of fourteen of Blind Tom’s original pieces. In 2002 the 7 Stages Theatre in Atlanta produced a play based on Wiggins’s life entitled Hush: Composing Blind Tom Wiggins. Columbus State University holds a small collection of Blind Tom’s original sheet music. Research more about this great American artist and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 11 1963- George Wallace

GM – FBF – Today I will take you back to when Eduction was a must. Now in your mind just remember that George Wallace Stood in a Doorway at the University of Alabama 55 Years Ago Today.

Rememebr – “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” – Governor George Wallace (D)

Today in our History – June 11, 1963 – George Wallace Stood in a Doorway at the University of Alabama 55 Years Ago Today

IN JANUARY OF 1963, following his election as Governor of Alabama, George Wallace famously stated in his inaugural address: “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

The staunch conservative demonstrated his loyalty to the cause on June 11, 1963, when black students Vivian Malone and James A. Hood showed up at the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa to attend class. In what historians often refer to as the “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door,” the governor literally stood in the doorway as federal authorities tried to allow the students to enter.

When Wallace refused to budge, President John F. Kennedy called for 100 troops from the Alabama National Guard to assist federal officials. Wallace chose to step down rather than incite violence.

The summer of 1963 was a tense time in this nation’s history. The day after Wallace’s standoff, civil rights leader Medgar Evers was assassinated in Jackson, Miss. Violence also struck in Cambridge, Md., and Danville, Va., that June.
Kennedy spoke to a national audience hours after the Alabama showdown, outlining his plans for federal legislation to make way for further integration.

The landmark speech angered conservative Americans. Representative Charles C. Diggs, Jr. a Democrat from Michigan who would go on to serve as the first chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said: “If the Negroes don’t get their demands, they will turn to other leadership that will produce an even greater crisis than this one.”

Sure enough, crisis after crisis plagued America over the next few years, culminating in 1968 with the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert Kennedy, as well as mass rioting at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago (although that had more to do with the Vietnam War than racial injustice).

Today, 55 years removed from Wallace’s protest, the University of Alabama’s student body is 13 percent African American, which is only slightly lower than the national average of 14 percent of college students, but is equal to the overall percentage of black people in the United States.

Race violence, however, erupted at other places in the nation. In the same week: A Negro leader was shot in the back and mortally wounded at Jackson, Miss. Race riots broke out at Danville, Va., and Cambridge, Md.

President Kennedy, on June 11, went on radio and television appealing to the nation to give Negroes equal rights. He called for new federal laws to deal with race problems. In Congress, a bitter battle began over the President’s legislative proposals.
On June 14. mass demonstrations spread to the nation’s capital. Several thousand Negroes—and several hundred white sympathizers—massed at the White House, then marched quietly through midtown Washington with signs protesting racial discrimination—both local and national.

The march ended at the Justice Department, where Attorney General Robert Kennedy congratulated the marchers on their peaceful demonstration and assured them the Federal Government is trying to speed integration and improve Negro job opportunities. Research more about unrest on our American and share with your babies. Make it a champion day!

June 6 1966- James Meredith

GM – FBF – I have not forgotten about “The greatest generation” and how they gave their lives on this day in Normandy, France. Our generation still delt with a war in our streets from wanting to be free to get an education and vote. This story below – We should never Forget!

Remember – ” If I can’t walk in America, down her streets from stste to state something is wrong with this we call America” – James Meredith

Today in our History – June 6, 1966 –

One sweltering morning in June 1966, James Meredith set out from Memphis with an African walking stick in one hand, a Bible in the other and a singular mission in mind. The 32-year-old Air Force veteran and Columbia University law student planned to march 220 miles to the Mississippi state capital of Jackson, to prove that a black man could walk free in the South. The Voting Rights Act had been passed only the year before, and his goal was to inspire African-Americans to register and go to the polls. “I was at war against fear,” he recalls. “I was fighting for full citizenship for me and my kind.”

It wasn’t the first time Meredith had charged into hostile territory all but alone. Four years earlier, he’d become the first black person to enroll at the University of Mississippi, in Oxford, despite vehement protests from Gov. Ross Barnett and campus riots that left 2 people dead and more than 160 wounded, including dozens of federal marshals. When Meredith graduated from Ole Miss in 1963, he wore a segregationist’s “Never” button upside down on his black gown.

On the second day of his self-described “walk against fear,” a handful of reporters, photographers and law enforcement officials awaited his arrival in the late afternoon heat near Hernando, Mississippi. Jack Thornell, a 26-year-old cub photographer for the Associated Press in New Orleans, was sitting in a parked car along with a colleague from arch-rival United Press International, waiting for a Life photographer to bring them Cokes, when Meredith and a few followers came into view.

All of a sudden, a man started shouting, “I just want James Meredith!” Shotgun blasts rang out across the highway, striking Meredith in the head, neck, back and legs. Thornell jumped out of the vehicle and started clicking away, taking two rolls of pictures with his pair of cameras. He then drove back to Memphis in a panic, convinced he would be fired for failing to photograph both the assailant and the victim. Meanwhile, minutes passed before an ambulance reached Meredith, who lay in the road alone. “Isn’t anyone going to help me?” he remembers shouting.

Of the many photographs that Thornell made of the incident, one shows the fallen man on dusty Highway 51 screaming in agony. It was published in newspapers and magazines nationwide and went on to win a Pulitzer Prize. The image suggests the very pain and frustration of being black in the Deep South of the 1960s. “When people saw scenes like this in newspapers and on TV—when they saw what was actually happening down South—they couldn’t believe it,” says Thornell, who is 65 and retired and lives in Metairie, Louisiana. He says his one lasting regret about that day four decades ago is that he didn’t put his camera down to help the wounded Meredith.

As it happens, Thornell took one picture of the incident in which the gunman can be seen. But it wasn’t needed for evidence. An unemployed hardware clerk from Memphis named Aubrey James Norvell was apprehended at the scene of the shooting and pleaded guilty before the case went to trial. He served 18 months of a five-year prison sentence, then all but dropped out of sight. Now 79, Norvell lives in Memphis. He declined to discuss the past.

After Meredith was shot, civil rights leaders gathered in his hospital room, among them Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael and Floyd McKissick. The civil rights movement had lately been strained by internal dissent, with leaders such as King calling for nonviolence and integration and others such as Carmichael promoting a more radical black power stance. But for now the leaders put aside their differences to carry on Meredith’s pilgrimage.

While Meredith recuperated from his wounds, scores of people gathered in Hernando to resume what was now called the “Meredith March.” Led by King, Carmichael and McKissick, the marchers walked for nearly three weeks, helping to register thousands of African-American voters along the way. Meredith himself rejoined the pilgrimage on June 26, its final day, as some 12,000 triumphant protesters entered Jackson surrounded by cheering crowds. Looking back, he says he was inspired by people on both sides of the color divide. “You can’t forget that whites in the South were as unfree as any black,” he explains. “White supremacy was official and legal—it was enforced by judges and the law people—and a white that failed to acknowledge and carry out the mandate of white supremacy was as subject to persecution as any black.”

Meredith would graduate from Columbia law school, run (unsuccessfully) for Congress in New York and Mississippi, and work as a stockbroker, professor and writer. Then, in the late 1980s, the former civil rights icon shocked many admirers when he joined the staff of the ultraconservative North Carolina senator Jesse Helms and endorsed former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke’s campaign to become governor of Louisiana. Meredith, still fiery at 71, defends those choices, saying he was “monitoring the enemy.” Married with five children and five grandchildren, Meredith lives in Jackson and still occasionally addresses groups on civil rights issues.

“He helped make significant strides in the overall struggle for civil and human rights, and none of that is diminished by what happened later,” says Horace Huntley, director of the Oral History Project at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, in Alabama. “Those accomplishments are etched in stone.”