"We were fighting two battles. I flew for my parents, for my race, for our battle for first-class citizenship and for my country. We were fighting for the millions of black Americans back home. We were there to break down barriers, open a few doors, and do a job."
The Dallas Morning News retraced Isaac Bruce’s journey from the scene of the crime, to the square where a sheriff and armed residents held off a lynch mob, to the courthouse where his trial occurred and to the jail where he was held while the...
Though scholars have painstakingly documented and interpreted strains of racial violence in American history, Kidada E. Williams, who teaches at Wayne State University, offers an important and fresh perspective on what Du Bois termed blacks’ “descent to hell.”
Focusing on racial violence from emancipation through the establishment of the NAACP’s anti-lynching crusade of the 1920s and 1930s, she analyzes the broad cultural, political and social meaning of blacks’ testifying about their experiences as victims of racial violence.
The casualties of the Civil War should include the many former slaves who died in an epidemic after the Emancipation Proclamation, writes Jim Downs, an assistant professor of history at Connecticut College.
Michael Augustine Healy (9/22/1839 - 8/30/1904) was a captain in the US Revenue Cutter Service (later the US Coast Guard). After Seward's Alaska Purchase in 1867, Healy patrolled the 20,000 miles of Alaskan coastline for more than 20 years, earning great respect from the natives and seafarers alike and was known as "Hell Roaring Mike." He has been identified as the first black man to command a ship of the US government, although he identified as Irish American during his lifetime.
Believed to be the single worst incident of racial violence in American history, the bloody 1921 Tulsa race riot has continued to haunt Oklahomans to the present day. During the course of eighteen terrible hours on May 31 and June 1, 1921, more than one thousand homes and businesses were destroyed, while credible estimates of riot deaths range from fifty to three hundred.
Dorothy Flood, a 75-year-old African-American from Houston, briefly lost her composure as she entered the train’s dining car in Canon City, Colorado. As a child when she traveled by train with her grandmother in the 1940s, she had been denied access due to segregation. After wiping her eyes, she purposefully made her way to her seat in anticipation of a three-course gourmet meal, an experience more than 65 years in the making.
As the antislavery lawyer John Appleton wrote shortly after the decision, "that the law has been disregarded or rather trampled under foot few will doubt." Appleton's perception of a "mutilation of fact [and] subversion of the law" in Dred Scott anticipated the stance that underpins recent investigations into the citizenship question, which scholars now realize raised fundamental questions concerning race relations within American society. By law, citizenship signified a legal relationship in which purportedly free individuals gave their allegiance to a sovereign community in exchange for the protection of a shifting bundle of rights that varied by race, gender, and jurisdiction.
HALF a century ago, when America was having problems with its image during the cold war, Adam Clayton Powell Jr., the United States representative from Harlem, had an idea. Stop sending symphony orchestras and ballet companies on international tours, he told the State Department. Let the world experience what he called “real Americana”: send out jazz bands instead.
James Winkfield retired from horse racing in 1930 after a career 2,600 wins. African American jockeys once dominated the track. But by 1921, they had disappeared from the Kentucky Derby and would not return for nearly eighty years.
The “Queen of Soul Food,” lent her face and character to a brand built on dignity - from a line of products for the Up South home cook to cookbooks, to a successful family business that is justly the culinary embassy of Harlem.
The Haggadah states, “Now We Are Slaves…” Every day I suit up and go out to the plantation kitchens and cook like our Ancestors, I live that phrase. I am not enslaved…but by showing the living what the dead went through I live a scary and unsettling past. I feel like a doorway for all the spirits of the plantations I visit.
Editor’s Note: This interview with Rodney King ran on AllHipHop.com less than two months ago (April 29), as he was in the midst of a press tour for his new book, The Riot Within, and feeling optimistic about the future. I found Rodney to be nervous but charming…and a lot more hopeful than I ever expected. Rest in peace, Rodney King.
“We didn’t start the fire/ It was always burning/ Since the world’s been turning./ We didn’t start the fire/ No, we didn’t light it/ But we tried to fight it” – “We Didn’t Start The Fire”, Billy Joel
For the record, California's population is nearly half-again as big as Texas' (49% larger, according to the 2010 census), so for our prison population to outstrip their's speaks volumes about overincarceration here.
Comparing inmate population estimates in the story for the four largest states in the 2010 census makes the case even more starkly: Texas imprisons our citizenry 69% more frequently than in California, and at more than twice the rate as New York state. This table compares 2010 census population and crime rates to the approximate number of people in prison for the four largest US states
In a sense, the Freedom Garden may sound like thousands of other African-American gardens across the country. These foods have been staples in many black kitchens for centuries. But an heirloom seed can be a complicated legacy when it comes from a person who sowed it in slavery.
After the Civil War, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Constitutional amendments were passed which aided newly freed slaves in being equally treated under the law, or so the story goes. The fact of the matter is that slavery was- and still is- completely legal in the United States and not only that, but it took on a much different form
Alligator bait, also known as gator bait, is the practice of using little black children as bait to catch alligators. Some say it was done by white men during slave times in Florida and Louisiana and other parts of the American South.
But for the earliest and most remarkable Memorial Day, we must return to where the war began. By the spring of 1865, after a long siege and prolonged bombardment, the beautiful port city of Charleston, S.C., lay in ruin and occupied by Union troops. Among the first soldiers to enter and march up Meeting Street singing liberation songs was the 21st United States Colored Infantry; their commander accepted the city’s official surrender.
Whites had largely abandoned the city, but thousands of blacks, mostly former slaves, had remained, and they conducted a series of commemorations to declare their sense of the meaning of the war.
Passing through southern American cities, on his way to Italy in 1942, A. William Perry realized what many black soldiers did when wearing an American military uniform those days: They were in more danger in their own country than in a war zone. [via @BlackInformant]
With all due respect to James Beard and Julia Child, America’s first celebrity chef actually predated them by nearly 200 years. Hercules was lauded by the glitterati that ate at his table as an “artiste;” he was notorious in the kitchen for demanding perfection and equally notorious outside of it for his love of lavish clothing, theater and the other entertainments of high society. He knew the President well. He was, in fact, George Washington’s chef, a master of both high French culinary art and simple frontier cooking—and he was a slave.
"“Roosevelt needed the support of Southern Democrats for his New Deal programs, and he therefore decided not to push for anti-lynching legislation…though he did denounce lynchings as “a vile form of collective murder”.
Who is the more admirable character, the person who supports lynching because of racist beliefs, or someone who has the presence of mind to call it “vile” and the power to stop the practice, but does nothing for the sake of politics?"