Monday, January 31, 2011

Celebrating Black History Month 2011

1619: First African Slaves

In 1619, America's first slaves from Africa arrived by ship in Jamestown, Virginia. A Dutch trader, who had recently stolen the slaves from a Spanish ship, exchanged them in Jamestown for food. It is possible that these first slaves were actually indentured servants, although the records from the time are not clear. The earliest record of a clearly identified slave is a court order from 1640, stating that the African must "serve his said master or his assigns for the time of his natural life here or elsewhere." 1790s: Cotton Industry Boom. The mechanization of textile weaving in England increased the demand for American cotton. Traditionally, cotton harvesting had been a time-consuming task because of all the seeds that needed to be picked out. But Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin in 1793 made that task much simpler, and suddenly cotton became a much more cost-effective crop for farmers to grow—so long as they had plenty of slaves to harvest it for free.

1808: Ban on Importing Slaves. Although Congress outlawed the importation of slaves to the U.S. in 1808, the owning and selling of slaves remained legal. In the next 50 years, the existing slave population nearly tripled. By 1860, there were almost 4 million slaves living in America. More than half of them lived in the Southern states, where the booming cotton industry was dependent on slave labor. 1831: Nat Turner Revolt. In 1831, preacher Nat Turner led some 75 fellow slaves in killing about 60 whites, including Turner's owners, before being stopped by Virginia's state militia. Approximately 100 slaves were killed during the chaos, and Turner was hanged six weeks later. Virginia tightened its slave laws to prevent further revolts.

(1831: abolitionism)

In the early 1800s, abolitionists became increasingly vocal. In 1831, Massachusetts journalist William Lloyd Garrison founded The Liberator, one of the most controversial abolitionist newspapers, which called for "the immediate and complete emancipation of all slaves."
1839: Amistad Revolt. Joseph Cinqué led 37 other African slaves in a revolt aboard the slave ship Amistad in 1839. After killing the captain and hijacking the ship, Cinqué and his followers were captured and put on trial, with former president John Quincy Adams acting as Cinqué's defense lawyer. The U.S. Supreme Court eventually ruled that they be freed and returned to Africa. 1845: Frederick Douglass. A prominent abolitionist speaker, Frederick Douglass escaped slavery by posing as a freed sailor on a train heading north. In 1845, he published his autobiography, "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass." In 1872, he became the first African American to be nominated for U.S. vice president.

In 1849, Harriet Tubman escaped from Maryland to Philadelphia to free herself from slavery. She went on to help hundreds of other slaves gain their freedom, guiding them on the same Underground Railroad journey she had used in her own escape north. She later served as a Union spy and scout during the Civil War. 1857 Dred Scott Decision. In the 1830s, slave Dred Scott was taken by his owner from Missouri, a slave state, to Wisconsin Territory and Illinois, both free lands. When Scott eventually returned to Missouri, he sued for his freedom, arguing that his previous residence in a free territory and state entitled him to this. In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that as a slave, Scott did not have the right to file a lawsuit, and, furthermore, slaveowners in territories could not be denied their property. Thus, "free territories" were no longer such, until they became states. In 1859 John Brown, a white abolitionist, led approximately 50 men to the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, where they hoped to raid ammunition to use against Virginia slaveowners. Although the men were eventually overpowered by troops and Brown was hung, the raid demonstrated the increasing militancy and fervor of the abolitionists.

In 1861: Start of Civil War

For four decades, tensions grew between the Northern and Southern states, due to differing economic interests and sociopolitical views. Abraham Lincoln's election in 1860 as the first Republican president deepened the rift. And although it wasn't the overwhelming reason for the start of the Civil War a year later, the conflict between abolitionists and slave owners certainly played a part in the secession of 11 Southern states from the Union. On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued an order freeing all slaves living in the Confederacy in order to economically cripple the South, which relied on slaves as its workforce. While the Emancipation Proclamation effectively freed 3 million slaves, it did not free those slaves living in the Southern border states that had remained part of the Union. They were not legally freed until passage of the 13th Amendment two years later. Among those free to do so, approximately 186,000 African-American men went on to join the Union Army.

By the end of the Civil War in 1865, more than 600,000 had been killed, making it the deadliest war Americans have ever fought in. That same year, passage of the 13th Amendment abolished American slavery completely, and made it a punishable crime. Less than three months after Congress passed the amendment, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by actor and Confederate spy John Wilkes Booth while watching a theater performance. After the Reconstruction, Southern states began to enact Jim Crow segregation laws. By the turn of the century, African Americans and other "persons of color" were required to be separated from whites in schools, restaurants, hotels, trains, and other public places in most Southern states. After these segregation laws were challenged, the 14th Amendment's definition of equal rights was put to the test in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson. In 1896, the Supreme Court ruled that as long as segregated facilities for nonwhites were comparable to those for whites, it was legal for them to be "separate but equal."

The proliferation of Jim Crow laws in the South spurred some African Americans to seek education as a means of transcending society's low placement of them. Those seeking inspiration and a role model may have found both in the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington, "Up From Slavery." Born a slave, Washington spent his childhood working as a salt-mine worker and houseboy, attending school whenever he could. He eventually became the head of the Tuskegee Institute, where he aimed to make African-American students self-reliant through vocational training. Job and housing shortages in urban areas led to increasing violence toward African Americans, including lynching. In response, a group of high-profile African Americans, led by W.E.B. Du Bois, began meeting in 1905 to discuss the challenges they faced as a people. In 1909, this group and its supporters merged with the newly formed civil rights group, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the name stuck. The NAACP's agenda included outlawing segregation, crusading against lynching, upholding 14th and 15th Amendment rights, and providing equal educational opportunities to people of all colors.

Premiering under the alternate title "The Clansman," D.W. Griffith's silent film "Birth of a Nation" proved to be historic in more ways than one. From a filmmaking perspective, it was revolutionary for its time. In 1915, cinema was still in its infancy, so the technical effects, filming techniques, and storytelling devices used in the movie were considered groundbreaking. But from a social perspective was undeniably racist in its glorification of the Klu Klux Klan and its depictions of African Americans as rapists and a threat to white society. The movie's release in theaters sparked riots, protests, lawsuits, a denouncement from the NAACP…and more than $18 million in profits.

The founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) in Jamaica, Marcus Garvey brought his organization to the U.S. in 1916, where he gathered thousands of supporters for his mission to establish a colony for African Americans in Africa, far away from white prejudice and racism. Unable to get support from the League of Nations and failing to negotiate a deal with Liberia, Garvey named himself provisional president of the "Empire of Africa" in 1921. But two years later he was imprisoned for mail fraud, and later deported.

In the 1920s, African Americans began leaving the South and heading north for more tolerant pastures. Many of those African Americans ended up in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, where they began singing, writing, composing, dancing, and otherwise creating up a storm. This new movement of successful black entertainers and artists was dubbed the Harlem Renaissance. Some of the period’s most famous artists included Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Josephine Baker, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston.

Despite being largely excluded from early Army recruiting efforts, African-American servicemen and women made a real impact during WWII. More than 2.5 million African-American men enlisted, and thousands of African-American women served in the Women’s Army Corps. Despite their numerous wartime contributions, though, these men and women were targets of on-the-job racism. The stigma associated with black military enrollment lessened after Harry S. Truman signed a groundbreaking executive order to integrate the armed forces in 1948.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the athletic world’s color barrier by becoming the first African-American player in major-league baseball. He joined the Brooklyn Dodgers after playing a stint with the Dodgers\' "farm team," the all-white Montreal Royals. In his first year as a Dodger, Robinson hit 12 home runs, helping the Dodgers win the National League pennant. He was also named Rookie of the Year. He continued to impress both fans and critics throughout his 10-year baseball career, and he later enjoyed long stints in business and activism. He helped pave the way for future African-American baseball greats like Hank Aaron and Dick Allen.

The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education was one of the most significant legal milestones in African American history. The Court combined five cases under the same heading (Brown v. Board of Education) because each case was pursuing the same legal outcome. The ruling, written by Chief Justice Earl Warren, stated that separate could never be equal, ended the legality of racial segregation in schools and other public spaces. The decision also declared that racial segregation “violates the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees all citizens equal protection of the laws.

Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American from Chicago, was murdered August 28, 1955, while staying with relatives in Mississippi. The “reason”? He had reportedly flirted with a 21-year-old white woman in a grocery store. A few days after the incident in the store, the woman’s husband and half-brother tracked Till down, brutally killed him, and dumped his body in the Tallahatchie River. Till’s mother, Mamie, displayed her son’s body in an open-casket funeral “so the world could see what they did to [her] baby.” Till’s murder has been cited as the unofficial birth of the civil rights movement because of the outrage it sparked among citizens and organizations like the NAACP. In December 1955, 42,000 black residents of Montgomery, Alabama, began a year-long boycott of city buses. They were tired of being forced to sit at the back of buses (African Americans weren’t even permitted to sit in the same row as a white person). After Rosa Parks was arrested on December 1 for refusing to give up her seat to a white man, a boycott was organized to coincide with her trial, and was then extended when Parks lost her case. After 381 days of taking taxis, carpooling, and walking through Montgomery, African Americans finally triumphed: Seating was desegregated on public buses, and not just in Montgomery.

After 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which declared racial segregation in schools to be unconstitutional, there was no legal reason for nine African-American students to be prevented from entering their new high school, Little Rock Central High. But they were — angry mobs of protesters and the Arkansas National Guard physically blocked the students’ entrance. They finally entered the school on Wednesday, September 25, 1957, after President Eisenhower intervened by sending federal troops to protect the students. Students at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, formed SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) in 1960. SNCC became a proponent of a new form of nonviolent protest spreading across African-American communities countrywide: the sit-in. The sit-in had been popularized that same year, when four students from Greensboro, North Carolina, remained at a Woolworth’s food counter until closing time, despite never having been served. Their unique act sparked another kind of peaceful demonstration: the Freedom Rides. Freedom Riders traveled by bicycle through the South, seeking desegregation of bus, rail, and airport systems.

It was during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 29, 1963, that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered one of the most famous speeches of all time: his oft-quoted, much-loved “I Have a Dream” speech. The number of participants at the huge march ranged from about 200,000 to more than 300,000. About 80% of the marchers were African American. It was a major milestone in the evolution of the civil rights movement. When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, his civil-rights reform bill was in the process of being reviewed by Congress. Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Johnson, saw the bill through to its passage as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act offered governmental protection against racial, ethnic, religious, and gender-based discrimination and founded the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It also changed biased voting procedures and requirements, and called for the desegregation of public facilities and schools.

Malcolm X's approach to the fight for civil rights stood in sharp contrast to the nonviolent tactics employed by Martin Luther King Jr., as did his view that blacks were superior to whites. But in 1964, after falling out with the Nation of Islam converted to Sunni Islam. Malcolm made a pilgrimage to Mecca and rejected his long-held separatist philosophy. The following year, while speaking at a meeting in Harlem, New York, he was shot to death by three members of the Nation of Islam. In an effort to remove the remaining obstacles that prevented some African Americans from being able to exercise their right to vote, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Act called for the elimination of literacy-test requirements for voter registration and the removal of poll taxes, both of which had made many African Americans unable to vote in the past.

The last significant piece of legislation to emerge from the civil rights movement, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 served as an addendum to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Calling for federal protection against racial discrimination in the rental and sale of housing, the bill wasn't necessarily expected to pass Congress, due to distrust among conservatives in reaction to the growing Black Power movement. But the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. on the day of the Senate's vote probably added pressure to support the bill, which ending up passing into law by a narrow margin. While in Memphis, Tennessee, to support a sanitation workers' strike, civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on a motel balcony by white gunman James Earl Ray. The violent death of the Nobel Peace Prize winner sparked a backlash among many disheartened African Americans, who rioted and looted in cities across the U.S. The Civil Rights Era had come to an abrupt and tragic end.

I am asking everyonr that claim my friendship to support me by purchasing my book if you can "The Solution For Black America: Reclaiming, Rebuilding, and Restoring The Urban Ghettos In America." I wish I had more support for what I am trying to accomplish. But this make me more determine than ever to make my vision into a reality. I am calling upon my professional friends that work in the education field. I need you to email me information on where I can find out the start up cost to start a vocational school? Or you can point to to source that has information about the annual budget to fund public/private school. I need that information so that I can include that in my business proposal. Remember I am trying to start a private vocational school and a social service agency I don't know the round figures for that information. I plan on having my organization up and running by June of this year.

Please read my entire Wikipedia Bio in it I explain in depth about me book and my organization. Please help me spread the word about my new organization "The Grass Roots Community Activist Movement" with your online friends, neighbors, and family members. If you agree with all the principles that I have written in the book than I want to hear from you. For those of you who want to speak with me directly just send me your contact number to my Inbox. For those of you who are uncomfortable with exchanging numbers I suggest that you get a Yahoo email account and a computer microphone so that we can talk on the computer.

Those of you who careless about my cause to help improve our urban communities I suggest that you delete me from your friends list no love loss we can remain strangers. My job is to recruit the best people I can find online to assist me in getting my organization up and running that one reason why I wrote the book. I am not getting any support from established black organizations in Chicago ask me why? Because to many people want to be in that spot light. We are all trying to do the same thing but in a capitalist society it's all about large profits and unfair competition.

Once my business is up and running I guarantee that no student will flunk our programs and I guarantee that our organization will be more successful than all current organizations combine.
We will provide special services to single black mothers and single black fathers that is long over due. We won't give lip service but instead results that can be measured. My organization is only for reasonable brothers, sisters, and others. All I need is a chance. I want our organization to be a model for other communities. Those under my leadership I will work with them and their families for life. I don't operate like the next man I think outside the box. I assist those who want my services. In the Bible it was the rich and powerful who declared that the world should be tax Luke 2:1-3. My vision declare that the wold should not be tax. The Egyptian crisis is evident that people are fed up with those in power who are out of touch with the people. How long will we remain under Capitalism? How many children have to die before we decide to take a stand against the NRA and Gun Laws in America? How long will we allow a two party system (Democrat/ Republican) to remain in power? Help me make history by joining "The Grass Roots Community Activist Movement." To learn more about me please read all of my entries this is how I get down. Peace & blessings

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Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK Day OF Service - 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of compassion, non-violence, and service is more relevant today than ever before. Let's honor his memory by taking action to help others today, and throughout the rest of the year. Like Dr. King I have a vision and that is to complete Dr.King's Dream and The Civil Right's Movement mission which was "The Poor People's
campaign." Please read all of my journal entries to learn exactly what I am attempting to do for my former community and other underserve communities in the city of Chicago and beyond.

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