Posts Tagged ‘African American History’

The Harlem Hellfighters

February 23, 2021

In January 1918, the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment landed in France to fight in World War I. Rather than desegregating its own combat units, the US put the 369th Infantry Regiment under French command. These American “Harlem Hellfighters” fought for 191 days, longer than any American troops, and were honored by France and the United States. Narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates and Hasan Jeffries. From Black History in 2 Minutes (Or So).

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The Second Middle Passage

February 16, 2021

The demands of expanded cotton agriculture resulted in a domestic slave trade twice the size of the original Atlantic Middle Passage. Narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, with Hasan Jeffries and Vincent Brown, from Black History in 2 Minutes (Or So).

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Juneteenth

June 18, 2020
Juneteenth

(General Orders, Department of Texas June 19, 1865)

On June 19, 1865 Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which began: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This ended the legal institution of chattel slavery in the former Confederate States, two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, 10 weeks after Appomattox. De Jure slavery didn’t end in border states like Kentucky and Deleware, which hadn’t seceded from the Union, until December 1865, six months after the first Juneteenth, when the 13th Amendment was ratified.

More:

“Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day,” Kenneth C. Davis, Smithsonian.com

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas Online

“Juneteenth,” Stephanie Hall, Folklife Today

“What Is Juneteenth?” Henry Louis Gates, Jr., PBS

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas History

“The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth,” NMAAHC

Related:

“Freedmen’s Bureau,” Cecil Harper, Jr., Handbook of Texas History

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 Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Juneteenth

June 19, 2019

Juneteenth
(General Orders, Department of Texas, June 19, 1865)

On June 19, 1865 Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which began: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This ended the legal institution of chattel slavery in the United States, two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

More:

“Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day,” Kenneth C. Davis, Smithsonian.com

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas Online

“Juneteenth,” Stephanie Hall, Folklife Today

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George Washington & Black History Month

February 22, 2019

George Washington & Black History Month
February 22nd, George Washington’s Birthday falls during Black History Month, bitterly appropriate, as the Father of His Country owned as many as 317 slaves. As president, he signed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, requiring authorities in free states and territories to allow slave-catchers to seize escaped slaves and transport them South. However, Ona Judge, a maid to Martha Washington, fled the president’s household and resisted his recovery attempts.

In 1780 the Washingtons were living in Philadelphia, then the seat of government, when Pennsylvania passed a law that freed enslaved people if they lived there for more than six months. The Washingtons gamed the system, moving their household slaves out of Pennsylvania for one or two days every six months so they legally could remain in bondage. The household was preparing to return to Virginia in 1796 when members of Philadelphia’s free Black community helped Ona Judge arrange ship passage to Portsmouth, NH, where she settled.

George Washington’s steward soon advertised for recovery of the “absconded” Ona Judge in the Philadelphia Gazette:

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A Pardon for Jack Johnson

May 25, 2018

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Jack Johnson, convicted in a unjust federal trial in 1913, was posthumously pardoned by President Donald Trump on Thursday. Mr. Johnson, the first African American boxing champion, was a victim of racism, and there has been a long campaign to right this historical wrong, complicated by Johnson’s history of adultery and domestic violence.

But remedying racial injustice doesn’t seem to be why Mr. Trump pardoned Jack Johnson. He did it because celebrity pal Sylvester Stallone asked him to, and because Mr. Johnson was “a truly legendary boxing champion, legendary athlete, and a person that, when people got to know him, they really liked him,” said the president. A flamboyant, womanizing, larger-than-life celebrity? Donald Trump can certainly relate to that.

And of course if Donald Trump can pardon a dead man, surely there’s hope for Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn ….

More:

“Trump’s pardon of Jack Johnson is not insignificant. But caring about racial injustice in 2018 would be more meaningful.” Eugene Scott, Washington Post

 

Video: Celebrity Jack Johnson conducts an unidentified jazz band, 1929. Alternate takes here.

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Juneteenth

June 19, 2017

Juneteenth
(General Orders, Department of Texas, June 19, 1865)

On June 19, 1865 Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which began: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This ended the legal institution of chattel slavery in the United States, two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

More:

“Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day,” Kenneth C. Davis, Smithsonian.com

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas Online

“Juneteenth,” Stephanie Hall, Folklife Today

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Juneteenth

June 19, 2016

Juneteenth

(General Orders, Department of Texas, June 19, 1865)

On June 19, 1865 Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which began: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This ended the legal institution of chattel slavery in the United States, two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

More:

“Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day,” Kenneth C. Davis, Smithsonian.com

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas Online

“Juneteenth,” Stephanie Hall, Folklife Today

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Slavery in America

February 19, 2016

The Whitney Plantation near Wallace, Louisiana, was founded by German émigré Ambroise Heidel and his family in 1722, and his son Jean Jacques Haydel Sr. converted it to sugar cultivation in the early 1800s. The property passed through several hands before it was purchased by New Orleans attorney John Cummings, who spent 16 years and $8 million of his own money transforming it into a museum dedicated to telling the story of slavery in America.

“The Whitney Plantation is not a place designed to make people feel guilt, or to make people feel shame. It is a site of memory, a place that exists to further the necessary dialogue about race in America.”

— “Telling the Story of Slavery,” Kalim Armstrong, The New Yorker

More:

“Harsh world of slavery focus of Louisiana plantation museum,” Jonathan Kaminsky, Reuters

Video produced by Kalim Armstrong

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The Other Oscar

February 22, 2015

The Other Oscar

This year’s Oscar(tm) Awards will be announced today, but you won’t hear about a movie Oscar of yesteryear, Oscar Micheaux. He’s one of the pioneering filmmakers of African-American cinema whose work will be digitally remastered by Kino Lorber. See the promo below and read about the Kickstarter project here.

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