BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: BIDDY MASON

Black History Spotlight:Biddy Mason

Biddy Mason Pic

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Early Life

Biddy Mason was born into the brutal system of slavery on August 15, 1818.Her exact birthplace is unknown, some scholars believe was born in Hancock County, Georgia, and others believe her birthplace was Hancock County, Mississippi. As a youth she spent most of her time on the plantation of Robert Smithson. In her teenage-years she learned how to perform domestic work and agricultural work,she also learned midwife and herbal medicine making skills from elder slaves, who shared their knowledge that was passed-down to them from their African ancestors. In the 1940s, Mason is believed to of have been given to Rebecca Dorn and Robert Mayes Smith as a wedding gift. While on the Smith’s plantation, Mason had three children, all girls: Ellen in 1838, Ann in 1844 and Harrier in 1847. The father or fathers is unknown, but some historical researchers believe that Robert Smith was the father of a least one of her children.

Biddy’s Road to Freedom

In the late 1940s Mormon missionaries from the Church of Latter-Day Saints passed through Mississippi and proselytized the locals. Some of the locals included Biddy Mason’s slave owner Robert Smith, his wife and their children. There is currently no information on whether Mason or her fellow slaves were baptized in the Mormon faith. In 1947, the Smith household joined with a group of Mormon churchgoers from Mississippi to unite with the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo,Illinois. The group of religious travelers ventured to Pueblo, Colorado, there they would join with a group of very-ill disciples from a Mormon battalion. On the trip further westward, Mason use her healing-skills as a midwife and herbalist to help heal the sick, feed the hungry and to care for the children of the religious pilgrims, she also helped herd the cattle. In 1851, Brigham Young the leader of the Mormon church sent a group of his followers to Southern California, which was a free state at the time. Smith ignored that fact and refused to free hia slaves, once they arrived in the San Bernadino settlement. In 1856, Smith planned to move to the slave state of Texas, where he intended to sell his slaves. Smith would lie to his slaves (he told them he intended to give them their freedom in Texas)to motivate them to make the long and harsh journey to the slave state. Mason of course knew he was lying, and not wanting to be separated from her children, she with the help of some kind-hearted locals, petitioned a Los Angeles court for her freedom and the freedom of her children. On January 21, 1856 Biddy Mason and her children were given their freedom by Judge Benjamin Ignatius Hayes, after Smith failed to show-up to challenge the petition.

The Free Woman, Healer and Entrepreneur

After she gained her freedom, Mason and her daughters moved in with a man named Robert Owens,who was the father of the locally famous Los Angeles businessman Charles Owens. Mason’s daughter Ellen would eventually marry Charles Owens. While in Los Angeles, California, Mason worked as a nurse and midwife and delivered hundreds of babies, she also risked her life to use her traditional-African herbalist healing skills to care for these people with smallpox, during a smallpox epidemic that was ravaging L.A. at the time. Mason saved much of the money she earned as midwife and nurse to become a financially successful real estate Investor, in fact she became one of the first African-American women to own land in Los Angeles. Mason also used the money she earned to become a philanthropist: she gave money to the poor, fed the hungry and was part of a group that founded day care center and school for black children. In 1872, Mason and her son-in-law Charles Owens became founding members of the first African Methodist Episcopal church of Los Angeles, which was also the city’s first black church. The church would be built on land that was donated by Mason herself. Mason died on January 15,1891, a park and plaque is dedicated to her in Los Angeles, California.

Biddy Mason Park

For More Information Use This Link

Leon Kwasi Chronicles LLC. Copyright 2020

BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: GARRETT MORGAN

By: Leon kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Garret Augustus Morgan, was born o March 4, 1877 in Claysville, Kentucky. His father a man named Sydney Morgan was a freed-slave, and the son of confederate colonel John H. Morgan, his mother was a slave woman named Elizabeth Reed. At the age of 14, having only a 6th grade education, he would move to Cincinnati,Ohio to look for work. Morgan would eventually gain employment as a handyman for a Cincinnati landowner. In his free-time, he would further his knowledge by studying with a tutor he hired. In 1895, Morgan would move to Cleveland, Ohio, where heee found work as a sewing machine repairman for a clothing maker. The skills he required as a repairman would ultimately send him on the journey of becoming an inventor. He would invent a belt fastener for sewiing machines, and in 1912 he would get his first patent.

when he was not working or inventing, Morgan became interested in his own Black American heritage and the plight of his fellow Black American people, in 1908, he would co-found the Cleveland Association of Colored Men, which was a group dedicated to improving the social and economic situation for Black people. The group would later merge with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Morgan would move his activities beyond entrepreneurship, inventing and activism and would become a philanthropist, giving his own money to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to help educate his people.

As a businessman, Morgan would eventually open his own sewing business. In 1909, Morgan and his wife Mary Anne expanded their small and growing business empire by opening a clothing store called Morgan’s Cut Rate Ladies Clothing Store. Where he would employee his own people and at one time his store employed 32 people.
As an inventor he would go on to invent Black hair products, the stoplight and the smokehood (a precursor to the gas mask).
He would die on July 27, 1963, in Cleveland, Ohio after living to the ripe age of 86.

Use this link for more information

THE KING THAT KEEPS GIVING

By:Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Christmas came a little early for students at Lebron James’s I Promise School in Akron, Ohio.

That is because the future Hall of Famer rewarded the students from his school ( who mostly come from at-risk and poverty-stricken backgrounds), with 800 pairs of his Lebron 16 sneakers. They come in ten different colors, and will undoubtedly save the students’ a fortune, since those shoes cost around $140.00 a pair.

The Lebron James Family Foundation website says the reason for giving the shoes was to get ” Them to keep pushing “.

For additional information use the link below:

https://atlantablackstar.com/2019/10/16/giving-back-lebron-james-gives-800-pairs-of-his-sneakers-to-students-at-his-i-promise-school/

BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: THE FORMER SLAVE CALLIE HOUSE AND HER FIGHT FOR REPARATIONS

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Callie House was born a slave in Rutherford, County, not too far from Nashville, Tennessee . House would get married at the young age of 22. Callie and her husband William House would have six children together, but only 5 of those children would survive. After Callie’s husband William House died, she would financially support herself and her family by being a washerwoman.

Later in life, House and a man named Isaiah H. Dickerson would travel through the former Confederate states that formerly sanctioned the ownership of them and their fellow Black people to gain support for the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association (MRB&PA).

They would have their gatherings in Black churches, because that was one of the only places Black people could somewhat safely come together without being threatened and harrassed by the White supremacist public.

The objective of the organization, which at its peak had hundreds of thousands of members was to provide compensation, mutual aid and to assist in burial costs of those Black people who were formerly enslaved.

The Federal Post Office Department, despite not having any proof would often accuse reparation organizations like the MRB&PA of committing fraud against its members in an effort to discredit the movement and sabotage their progress.

The Department of Justice would open an investigation on the MRB&PA, and they would eventually be forbidden from sending mail or money orders. In 1901, Dickerson would be found guilty of “swindling”, but the conviction would eventually be overturned. When Dickerson died in 1909, House would become the sole-leader of the MRB&PA. Despite interference and harrassment by the federal government and the Post Office Department the MRB&PA would go on for a while. Eventually though, trumped-up charges or not the Federal government would convict House in 1918, effectively ending the MRB&PA and their fight for reparations.

House would die in 1928 at the age of 66 or 67.

Years later her courage would be remembered and honored when in 2015 the African American and Diaspora Program at Vanderbilt University renamed their research center the Callie House Research Center for the Study of Black Cultures and Politics.

For additional information use the link below:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Callie_House

MAN WRONGLY CONVICTED WHEN $13 MILLION DOLLAR SETTLEMENT

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

An African-American man, who went to prison for six years was awarded $13 million dollars in a settlement , which was agreed upon by the San Francisco board of supervisors .

According to NPR, Jamal Trulove, who is also an actor, was reportedly set up and served prison time for a 2007 murder he did not commit. His 2015 retrial proved his innocence, and he was acquitted for the crime.

In 2007, Trulove sued the SFPD, after he was arrested and sent to prison for the murder of his friend Seu Kuka.

A jury would later determine that San Francisco police officers Maureen D’Amico and Michael Johnson lied and falsified evidence in the case, and even coerced a witness to lie and claim that Trulove was the shooter.

If the case was not overturned, Trulove could of spent the rest of his life behind bar.

For additional information use the link below:

https://thegrio.com/2019/03/20/black-man-framed-by-police-for-killing-his-friend-awarded-13-million-settlement/

BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT : HARRIET TUBMAN! ( AFRICAN-AMERICAN MOSES)

image

BY:LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE

Harriet Tubman was born Araminta “Minty” Ross , sometime around 1822 (being a slave, the exact year of her birth is unknown ), in Dorchester County, Maryland, to parents Harriet “Rit” Green and Ben Ross, later in life, Tubman would take her mother’s name of Harriet.

As a young girl in Maryland, Tubman was beaten on countless occasions by her masters. On one occasion she was hit in the head with a heavy metal weight. The result would be an injury that would cause her to have epileptic seizures and headaches for the rest of her life. She even began to have visions, Tubman being a devout Christian believed those visions to be signs from God.

Around the year 1844, Harriet still a slave would marry a freeman named John Tubman. In Maryland at the time, marriages between enslaved people and free blacks were not uncommon.

On September 17, 1849, Tubman would escape from slavery with her two brothers Ben and Henry, but Tubman would be forced to return when her brothers changed their minds about running away. But Tubman would not stay with her masters for long, she would escape again, this time without her brothers, she used the help of the Underground Railroad, which was a network that consisted of enslaved blacks, freemen , Quakers and white abolitionists, all with the common goal of setting enslaved blacks free.

Once free and settled in Philadelphia, Tubman would go back in the slave states, putting both her freedom and life at risk, to save not only family members , but many other blacks still held in bondage. It is estimated that Tubman made 19 trips using the Underground Railroad to save approximately 300 black slaves.

During the civil war, Tubman would work for the union army , she helped nurse wounded soldiers back to health and even performed duties as a armed scout and spy.

After the war was over and black people were free, at least on paper, Tubman would begin to fight for women’s rights with the suffragist movement.

Sadly on March 20, 1913, in Auburn, New York, at the age of 91, Harriet Tubman would die of pneumonia. Tubman would be buried at Fort Hill Cemetery in Auburn. She was given semi-military honors for her service during the American civil war.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO :

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION USE SOURCE LINKS BELOW :

http://www.harriet-tubman.org/facts-kids/

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Tubman

20 YEAR OLD AFRICAN-AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENT, BECOMES CITY’S YOUNGEST CITY COUNCIL MEMBER! (ARTICLE )

image

BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE

Jewell Jones made history this November, when the 20 year old African-American college student from the University of Michigan- Dearborn became the youngest person to become a member of the Inkster, City Council.

Despite only being 20 years old, Jones has over a decade of experience, helping to improve his community.

Jones stated: ” My parents would drag me around to different things in the community. I was very involved in my church. Serving the people in this capacity has always been pretty natural for me.”

The last few years, Jones has become more political, he helped in the political campaigns for Michigan State senator David Knezek (D) and Inkster’s Mayor Hilliard Hampton.

image

Besides being a fulltime college student and helping in political campaigns, Jones somehow finds the time to also get involved with several on campus organizations, which includes the Army ROTC, Black Student Union and Student Veterans Association.

Jones plans to graduate in 2017.

Senator Knezek told Huffpost: “We need more Jewells on politics across the country. We need more young people who won’t simply settle for sitting on the sidelines complaining about how others are running things.”

As a member of the city council, Jones objectives are to improve public safety, foster economic growth and improve the city’s park and recreational services.

WATCH SHORT VIDEO FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION :

FOR EVEN MORE INFORMATION USE LINK BELOW :

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/564ca0b0e4b045bf3df1e413

PROTESTS AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY IN CHICAGO AFTER POLICE RELEASED FOOTAGE OF 17 YEAR OLD TEEN BEING SHOT 16 TIMES BY A POLICE OFFICER !

FOOTAGE OF PROTEST:

BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE

Protestors took to the streets of Chicago late Tuesday night after police released footage of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17 year old Laquan Mcdonald 16 times, 14 of the shots came while Laquan was already bleeding to death from his wounds on the ground.

image

Officer Van Dyke was charged with first degree murder as soon as the year old footage was shown to the public.

FOOTAGE OF GRAPHIC SHOOTING :

8 DISTURBING THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT BEING BLACK IN MODERN DAY EGYPT!

image

1. Black Egyptians experience racism daily: the black community in Egypt are deemed “inferior minorities”, subjecting them to varying degrees of racial discrimination and degrading treatment.

image

2. Racial discrimination is not criminalized in Egypt : very little is done to take a legal stance against the discrimination that the black Egyptians are subject to on a daily basis.

image

3. RACIAL slurs are commonly directed towards black people in public places : the terms ” Chocalata” and “Samara” are often used to refer to those of the black community in Egypt. The word “Zarboon” meaning slave is also used to refer to black people in Egypt.

image

4. Black women are often treated as if they are promiscuous : Black Egyptian women are often treated as inferior concubines. In fact, a 2013 government survey determined that 99.3 percent of Egyptian women have been sexually assaulted at one time or another.

image

5. Colorism is openly practiced and for the most part, upheld : the degree of racism that black people in Egypt are exposed to often depends on how dark their skin is.

image

6. Black Egyptians are often subject to police brutality : black Egyptians receive very little protection from police.

image

7. Egyptians media portrays Black people as inferior : Black people in cinema and other media has often historically been either marginal or racist.

image

8. Black refugees are second-class citizens : according to a 2013 article released by Al Jezeera, “non-arab”, or black , refugees are forced to overcome very serious problems.

FOR MORE DETAILED INFORMATION USE LINK BELOW :

http://atlantablackstar.com/2015/10/16/8-disturbing-things-know-black-modern-day-egypt/?utm_content=buffer7d810&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer