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Ryan Christopher Palmeter

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

The white supremacist domestic terrorist who targeted and assassinated three black people at the Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida,  this past Saturday was a 21-year-old man named, Ryan Christopher Palmeter.

Palmeter,  who was wearing a tactical vest, was armed with an AR-15 rifle and a handgun. According to Reuters: the suspect was caught on video shooting Angela Michelle Carr, a 52-year-old woman, in her car outside the Dollar General (DG.N) , a U.S. discount chain.

He then entered the store where he shot and killed 19-year-old Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr and Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, 29. He would later use his handgun to kill himself.

According to Sheriff T.K. Waters ,
says that the shooter left several manifestos behind for the media,  where he detailed his hatred for black people. Palmeter,  who lived with his parents in a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida,  also left behind a will and a suicide note.

In a statement,  the FBI said they will be investigating the targeted killings as a hate crime:

“The FBI Jacksonville Field Office is coordinating with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida on the tragic shooting in Jacksonville, Florida. The FBI has opened a federal civil rights investigation and we will pursue this incident as a hate crime. The FBI will bring every resource to bear in this investigation. As this is an ongoing matter, we are not able to provide additional information at this time”.

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By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare


Cathay Williams was ironically born in Independence, Missouri, sometime around September 1844. She was the daughter of a Black freedman and an enslaved Black woman, therefore making her a slave. Williams worked as a house slave on the Johnson plantation, which was located on the edges of Jefferson City, Missouri, until the early phases of the civil war, when Union troops occupied Jefferson City in 1861 and captured enslaved Black people, who were then labeled as “contraband” and forced to serve as soldiers or military support staff.

Soldier’s Life

Some people claim that Cathay Willaims may have served in the Battle of Pea Ridge and the Red River campaign. Women weren’t allowed to participate in combat service, so historians believe she may have enlisted as a man under the name of Finis Cathay. As Finis Cathay she would of enlisted in the 32nd Missouri infantry in 1862 and would have particpated in many vital campaigns, including: The Siege of Vicksburg and Sherman’s March to the Sea, before fighting to force Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederate army surrender in North Carolina. On November 15, 1866 Williams would again sign-up for military service. This time under the name of William Cathay (since women were still prohibited from combat military service). Williams would be assigned to the 38th United States Infantry regiment (Buffalo Soldiers). Unfortunately, soon after her enlistment (or better yet re-enlistment), Williams would contract smallpox. After she recovered, she rejoined her unit, but would have to be repeatedly hospitalized, possibly due to the effects caused by small pox, combined with the extreme heat of the New Mexico desert, where her team was posted. Eventually, the post surgeon would discover her “feminine secret”, and informed her post commander. This led to her being discharged by the United States Army, by her commanding officer, Captain Charles E. Clarke, on October 14, 1868.

Post Military Life

In Fort Union, New Mexico, Williams would be employed as a cook. Williams would eventually move to Pueblo, Colorado and would get married. The marriage wouldn’t last long, her untrustworthy husband would steal her money and several of her horses. She would have him arrested and then moved to Trinidad, Colorado, where she worked as seamstress, and may have even owned a boarding house. Sometime around late 1889 or early 1890, Williams would enter a hospital, there she would attempt to physically recover from her bad heath issues she was suffering from at the time (her exact illness is unknown). In June of 1891, Williams would apply for disability pension because of her past military service. At the time there was a precedent for granting a military pension to a woman soldier. By 1816 Anna Maria Lane, Mary Hayes McCauley (better-known-As Molly Pitcher) and Deborah Sampson all received pensions for their service in the American Revolutionary War of Independence. Despite her military service, and the fact that she suffered from neuralgia,diabetes and had toes amputated and had to walk with a crutch; despite her injuries and health issues, Williams would be denied disability payments. It is believed that Williams died sometime around 1893 (shortly after being denied a military pension for her service). Her exact resting place is unknown.

External Education Resources

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Black History Spotlight:From Black American Soldier to Filipino Freedom Fighter: The Story of David Fagan

By:Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Early Life

David Fagan was born in Tampa,Florida in 1875. Fagan served in the United States 24th regiment of the United States army.


However on the 17th of November 1899, Fagan would leave the United States army and joined the Filipino liberation army. No one is quite sure why Fagan and some other black soldiers defected to the Filipino resistance. Some people speculate that being born only about a decade after the the Civil War and seeing White America’s mistreatment not of only Black civilians, but also Black soldiers, combined with the cruel, inhumane and racist abuse the White America soldiers inflicted on thr Filipino freedom fighters; he may of have seen more of a commonality with the cause of the dark skin Filipino freedom fighters, than he did with the white soldiers of the American imperialist war machine, some of whom were probably the children of former slave owners. Fagan would become an extremely successful guerrilla war leader and he would awarded the rank of captain in the Philippine Revolutionary army.

After The Philippine-American War

After the war was over, the United States gave amnesty to most of their opponents on the Filipino side, however Fagan did not receive amnesty and was considered by the U.S.A to be a traitor. A reward was offered for his capture, it was claimed when someone brought in a decomposed head and claimed that it belonged to Fagan. There are conflicting stories that say that the head did not belong to Fagan and claim that he lived out his life with his wife in the tranquil Filipino mountains.

Check out this short-biographic video on David Fagan

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