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

BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: CRISPUS ATTUCKS

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Crispus Attucks was born in Massachusetts in 1923. He was of Black and Native American ancestry. Some reports say Attucks ran away from his slave master William Brown at the age of 27, other reports say he was a freeman.

Either way, at the age of 27 he would join a boat crew and would be a seaman for the next 20 years.

On the night of March 5, 1770 because of immense-tension between the British and the colonists in Boston, the British government installed soldiers to reestablish order.

Some historians say that a British soldier was guarding a Customs House when a young boy insulted him, and then was soon injured by the soldier.

As the boy loudly cried out in the streets in pain, Attucks and other colonists began to investigate the incident.

Soon after Attucks and others went to the Customs House, Attucks confronted the British soldier who was guarding the Customs House, and harsh words were exchanged between Attucks and the British soldier. Some of the colonists began to throw snowballs at the British soldiers, some say Attucks then began wielding a large stick and yelled:

“Don’t be Afraid. Knock ’em over, they dare not fire.”

This would be the first battle cry in the revolution to come.

The British soldiers responding in fear and panic, wildly shot in the growing crowd, killing Attucks, his associate Samuel Gray, nine other men would be shot in the melee, 3 of them would die.

The British soldiers would soon extinguish the fury of the crowd, but the news of the massacre would spread like a wildfire. Thousands of people would go to the funeral of Attucks. Seven British soldiers would be charged with murder, but none would be convicted.

The revolt that Attucks led would become known as the Boston massacre, and many credit it as being one of the main events the sparked the American revolution.

For additional information use the links below:

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

https://www.amazon.com/100-African-Americans-Shaped-American-History/dp/0912517182/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?keywords=100+african+americans+who+shaped+american+history&qid=1564373498&s=gateway&sprefix=100+afr&sr=8-1

BLACK 🌍 HISTORY SPOTLIGHT : NAT TURNER

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BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE

Nat Turner was born into slavery in Southampton County, Virginia on October 2, 1800.

Turner spent his whole life in Southampton County, Virginia, a area where slaves were the majority of the people living in the area. As a young kid he learned to read and write.

Turner was known to be an extremely religious man, who was known to fast, read the bible and pray. Known as the “Prophet” by fellow slaves, Turner performed baptist religious services for his brethren in bondage. Turner’s faith in the almighty was so intense, that he had visions that he considered to be messages from God, that he was ordained for some kind of holy mission.

Turner would soon start to believe that mission was for him to start a slave rebellion and free his people, like many biblical figures, he read about. Turner believed his rebellion would be the battle between God’s kingdom and the anti-kingdom.

In February 1831, Turner believed that some of the atmospheric conditions occurring at the time to be signs from God, telling him to prepare for rebellion against the slave owning white population.

On the 11th of February 1831, a solar eclipse occurred in Virginia, and Turner envisioned this as a black man reaching over the sun. Turner originally planned for his rebellion to be on the slave owning, white man’s independence of July 4, but illness forced him to delay, so he took the time to do more preparation with his co-conspirators.

On August 13, there was another solar eclipse,Turner believed this to be the final signal and a week later,on August 21, he and his co-conspirators would begin the slave uprising.

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Turner’s first recruits were enslaved blacks from his area, Turner and his rebels went plantation to plantation, freeing enslaved blacks and killing their white masters. Over 70 free blacks would also join Turner’s rebellion. So that they did not alert anyone, the Turner rebels did not use firearms, instead they used blunt objects, knives, axes and hatchets to exterminate their white supremacist oppressors.

Turner’s rebellion killed approximately 60 white people, before a white militia was able to respond to the uprising. With the help of the federal government, the rebellion was quelled in two days.

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Turner would evade capture for two months, by hiding in the woods. On October 30, Turner was discovered hiding in a covered hole, by Benjamin Phipps, a local farmer.

While awaiting trial, Turner would confess his knowledge of the slave uprising to his attorney Thomas Ruffin Gray.

On November 5, 1831 Turner was put on trial and convicted of “Conspiring to rebel and making insurrection “, he would be given the death sentence.

On November 11, in Jerusalem, Virginia, Turner would be skinned, beheaded and chopped up in many pieces, he would receive no formal burial. Many of his co-conspirators would receive a similar fate. In the end approximately 60 white people would die and 200 black people.

WATCH MINI BIOGRAPHY ON NAT TURNER :

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION USE LINK BELOW :

http://www.biography.com/people/nat-turner-9512211

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

BLACK 🌍 HISTORY SPOTLIGHT : MARCUS MOSIAH GARVEY JR.

 

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BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr., was born on August 17, 1887, in St.Ann’s Bay , Jamaica , to Sarah Jane Richards and Marcus Mosiah Garvey Sr., he was the youngest of eleven children, but only Marcus and his sister Indiana would survive to adulthood.

Garvey’s father owned a massive personal library, it was from this library where a young Garvey would first be educated. The young Garvey would continue his early education at some of St.Ann’s Bay elementary schools, it would be at those schools, Garvey would experience racism for the first time in his life.

In 1907, while working in the printing industry, Garvey would get his first taste of political activism, when he took part in a printer’s strike, the strike was  not a success , but it sparked his interest in politics and activism.

In 1910, Garvey would leave Jamaica and travel throughout central America, first working as a timekeeper on a banana plantation in Costa Rica, Garvey would move on to work as an editor for a newspaper called La Nacionale  and then later that year in 1911, Garvey would move to Panama, where he edited a biweekly Newspaper.

Garvey would return to Jamaica in 1912.

From 1912 to 1914, Garvey would live in London, England , where he would attend Birkbeck College and take classes philosophy and law classes. Garvey would also work for the African Times and Orient Review, published by Duse Mohamed Ali. Garvey would also be influenced by many civil rights activists of his time and was a huge admirer of Booker T. Washington.

When Garvey returned to Jamaica in 1914, he would form the United Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A), a Pan-Africanist organization.

On March 23,1916, Garvey would arrive in the United States, his goal was to raise money doing lectures to help build a school in Jamaica, modeled after Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute. When Garvey first arrived in New York, he found a job as a printer. On May 9, 1916, Garvey would perform his first of many public lectures, eventually Garvey would go on a 38 state speaking tour.

In May 1917, Garvey and his 13 associates would form the United States’s branch of the U.N.I.A, and soon began to preach economic and social freedom for people of African descent, both living inside and outside of Africa.

In 1918 Garvey began to publish the Negro World Newspaper, the paper had a dual objective, to educate black people on News and events, in their community and  and to help spread the message of the U.N.I.A and grow its membership.

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By June 1919, the U.N.I.A’s membership had grown to a massive two million members. That same year the U.N.I.A’s incorporated the Black Star Line of Delaware and bought their first ship.

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That same year, a assistant district attorney in New York,  named Edwin P. Kilroe began investigating Garvey and the U.N.I.A,  but no illegal acts could could be uncovered, so no charges were filed. But that would only be the beginning of a bitter relationship between Garvey and Kilroe. On October 14, 1919, a man named George Tyler, attempted to Assassinate Garvey,  he shot at Garvey four times and wounded him in his right leg and the upper part of his head. George Tyler claimed A.D.A Edwin P. Kilroe sent him,  but before his arraignment,  George Tyler allegedly jumped from the third floor of a Harlem jail and committed suicide.

Later  Garvey would create the Negro Factories Corporations,  he developed the business with the intentions to manufacture everyday commodities,  Garvey planned to have NFC branches in the United States,  Central America, West Indies and Africa.

In 1919 J. Edgar Hoover,  then a special Assistant to the Attorney General and the head of the General Investigative Division of the Bureau of Investigation,  later to be renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),  would open an investigation into the activities of Garvey and the U.N.I.A organization. The bureau hired its first five black agents to infiltrate Garvey’s movement. The aim was to find a reason to deport Garvey and to sabotage his U.N.I.A movement.  Eventually they would charge Garvey on mail fraud in connections with stock of the Black Star Line,  the accusations were that even though Garvey was in the process of buying the steamship on the BSL brochure,  he did not own it at the time he placed it on the brochure,  therefore it was in the court’s eyes it was fraud and he was convicted and sentenced to five years on June 23, 1923.

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After prison,  Garvey would continue his work for the black race, while based outside of the United States,  in 1928 Garvey traveled to Geneva to present the “Petition of the Negro Race”, to the League of Nations  (the precursor of the United Nations ), in that petition he outlined the abuse of people of African descent by western nations.

In September of 1929, Garvey would found Jamaica’s first modern political party,  the People’s Political Party (PPP), its objective were to improve education,  help end poverty  and improve  workers’  rights for black people living in  Jamaica.

In 1935 Garvey left the Island of Jamaica for London, England,  he would live there until his death on June 10, 1940, Garvey died at the age of 52, after suffering  two strokes.

Legacy :

Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. would influence future civil rights leaders like Malcolm X,  Martin Luther King Jr. , and the first  President of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah.

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The Rastafari consider Marcus Mosiah Garvey Jr. to be a religious prophet.

The plaque outside of the home he died at.

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Blue plaque, 53 Talgarth Road, London

WATCH THIS MINI BIOGRAPHY ON MARCUS GARVEY:

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION USE LINK BELOW:

http://www.biography.com/people/marcus-garvey-9307319

&

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Garvey

BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: ASSATA SHAKUR!

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BY: LEON KWASI KUNTUO-ASARE

Assata Olugbala Shakur (born Joanne Deborah Byron) was born in Jamaica, Queens, New York, on the 16th of July 1947.

While attending the Borough of Manhattan Community College and later City College of New York, she would begin her political activism career, by getting involved in black student political activities, student sit-ins and various protests ( including anti-war protests).

After graduating from CCNY, she would join the Black Panther Party (BBP) and would eventually become a prominent member of the Harlem Branch of the BPP.

 

Eventually she would leave the Black Panther Party and would join the Black Liberation Army (BLA), which was an underground group created out of the backlash from the aggressive, racist,brutal and often times illegal practices from local Police and the FBI (Cointelpro), who infiltrated black political organizations and even took part in the assassinations of Black Panther Party leadership, including  Fred Hampton, the Deputy Chairman of the  Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party.

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In 1973 Assata Shakur was allegedly involved in a shootout with police at a New Jersey turnpike, in which she was accused of killing New Jersey State trooper Werner Foerster and assaulting trooper James Harper.

 

In a four year period, from 1973-1977, Shakur would be indicted on six crimes, which included murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, bank robbery and kidnapping. The result would be three dismissals and three acquittals.

 

In 1977 she would be convicted of the murder of Foerster and seven other felonies related to the turnpike shootout.

In the 1970’s Shakur would be incarcerated in several prisons. She would escape prison in 1979, eventually fleeing to Cuba, where she would be given political asylum.

The FBI currently has Shakur listed as a domestic terrorist and she has a 2 million dollar reward for her capture.

To this day Assata still insists she is innocent of all charges.

 

WATCH THIS SHORT VIDEO FOR ADDITIONAL :

 

 

FOR EVEN MORE INFORMATION USE THIS LINK:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assata_Shakur#Early_life