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Black Vote HistoryMarch, 2005
Eradicating Bacon's Rebellion from Popular Memory 3/10/2005 Black Commentator: "Nathaniel Bacon was a member of the colony council and a militant opponent of Virginia land policy. He had prepared the revolt a few years earlier by organizing an armed mutiny of angry taxpayers at Lawnes Creek Parish, and, in November of 1676, proclaimed freedom to all bond-laborers, in anticipation they would join his cause against the big tobacco bourgeoisie. He was right. Thousands of bond-laborers – six thousand European Americans and two thousand African Americans – took up arms against the numerically tiny Anglo-American slave-owning planter class. Seizing the day, dramatically, they drove Governor Berkeley back to England, hat in hand, and shut down all tobacco production for fourteen straight months… Most significant about Bacon’s Rebellion is the fact that the bond-labor rebels took up arms together without the slightest regard for each other’s complexion. A month into the successful rebel takeover of the Virginia colony, the British crown sent one Thomas Grantham, a Navy captain, to bribe the rebel leaders. The rebel leaders weren’t having it, and, according to Grantham himself in the official report he penned weeks later, recommended “cutting me in peeces.” Grantham described the rebel leaders as “foure hundred English and Negroes in Armes.” This is no small point, as the historical record of Virginia verifies. The British would eventually crush Bacon’s Rebellion through a relentless bombing campaign of the Chesapeake… “The solution,” he writes, “was to establish a new birthright not only for Anglos but for every European-American, the ‘white’ identity that ‘set them at a distance,’ to use Sir Francis’s phrase [Francis Bacon], from the laboring-class African-Americans, and enlisted them as active, or at least passive, supporters of lifetime bondage of African Americans” (vol. 2, p. 248). From this point forward, the pattern was set: “the appeal to ‘white race’ solidarity would remain the country’s most general form of class-collaborationism” (Allen, vol. 2, p. 253)."
Malcom's Contribution to Black Voting Rights 2/24/2005 Black Commentator
Commentary: First Woman to lead U.S. troops is a familiar surprise 11/11/2004 Black America Web
Blacks Didn't Get the Vote by Voting - An Interview with the ILWU's Clarence Thomas on the Million Worker March 10/17/2004 Counterpunch: "It is absolutely critical for working people to understand that the only time we gain any kind of concessions from the system is when we organize independently of the two parties, and, as an African-American, I can tell you that the civil rights movement is such an example. Black people did not get the vote by voting; Black people got the right to vote through organizing, through putting their lives on the line, through their commitment to making change. And I think that when we look at the debacle in Florida--the disenfranchisement of black people at the polls--the response from the Democratic Party speaks volumes about what they think of us. If people want to vote for John Kerry"fine, but they need to do it with their eyes wide open, understanding what they're gonna get. To think that this man is going to make any kind of concessions to us without a demand is absolutely ridiculous."
Underground Railroad Museum Opens 8/2/2004 AP: "The modern, curved design of the stone and copper building on the ``freedom side'' of the Ohio River sits in stark contrast to a rough-hewn structure inside - a small pen built by a slave trader in 1833. The 20-by-30-foot pen is the starkest display in the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, a $110 million project to open Tuesday in memory of the harrowing trips north by countless slaves. ``It's a place where we're getting people to understand the past and connect it to the present in an active way,'' the museum's executive director, Spencer Crew, said Monday."
Freedom Rider - No Civil Rights in Kentucky - by Margaret Kimberley 7/22/2004 Black Commentator: "As for problems, it is certainly true that Lexington had problems. Audrey Ross Grevious was one of the movement organizers in Lexington. During a sit-in at a lunch counter the manager swung a chain barrier into her legs for several hours, causing her pain that continues until this day. Audrey Ross Grevious certainly had problems in Lexington."
Nation's Oldest City: African-Americans have a rich history in our area 1/4/2004 St. Augustine Record
Recognition for black man who developed San Francisco in the 1840s 12/1/2003 Black America Web: "Leidesdorff died in 1848 of what is described in state documents as “brain fever.” Caines said just before his death, Leidesdorff received official notification that his land in Sacramento County had vast quantities of gold, which brought the value of the property to $1.5 million. Caines said Joseph Folsom bought the rights to the property from Leidesdorff’s mother for $5,000. There were several court proceedings that took place before Leidesdorff’s mother was able to gain several thousand more dollars from the sale, Caines said."
Underground Railroad's Legacy Picks Up Steam 11/6/2003 Black America Web
3 Sites Added to Underground Railroad Network 10/19/2003 Washington Post: "The network, a National Park Service program begun in 1999, identifies places where blacks resisted slavery or were harbored as they fled slavery. Unlike other national parks, the network consists of more than 100 sites scattered across 25 states and the District. They include parking lots that cover freedmen's burial grounds, waterways used as escape routes, and facilities where the Underground Railroad can be studied."
Slave Remains Return To NYC After 12 Years 10/3/2003 AP: "Twelve years have passed and more than $25 million has been spent since the discovery of a colonial-era burial ground for slaves and free Blacks in lower Manhattan triggered a controversial preservation project."
Tennis Legend Althea Gibson Remembered 10/2/2003 NNPA: "Tributes poured in this week to honor African-American tennis legend Althea Gibson, who died at age 76. ''America has lost a great role model and legend, in every sense of the word,'' said Serena Williams, Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) champion, in a release."
1930s Movement Planted Seeds for Civil Rights by Bill Fletcher Jr 10/2/2003 Black Commentator
African-American Organizations:Part One - The NAACP - "High Tech & the NAACP" 10/1/2003 AstroTimes, DC
Panel studies 1898 riots Programs favored over reparations 9/28/2003 News Observer, NC: "On Nov. 10, 1898, white supremacists rampaged through Wilmington, burning the nation's only black-owned newspaper, shooting black residents, ordering others into exile and ousting a biracial, elected city government. Now, a state commission -- running behind schedule, with zero funds and little fanfare -- is writing the state's official version of one of the nation's more notorious incidents of racial violence. Members of the 13- member Wilmington Race Riot Commission say that to make amends for what happened in 1898, they would favor government-funded programs to benefit African-Americans. That might include new economic development initiatives, scholarships, history displays, leadership programs and a curriculum for state public schools to teach about the 1898 coup d'etat."
Was Liberia Founded By Freed U.S. Slaves? 7/3/2003 MSN
Nation Mourns Passing of Maynard H. Jackson Jr. 6/23/2003 NNPA
Echoes of Juneteenth Haunt Us Today 6/19/2003 Alternet: "That's what makes Juneteenth so bittersweet. On the one hand, it honors a great advance for African Americans – gaining the rights of citizenship, especially the right to vote. But it also marks the beginning of an era in which whites imposed countless discriminatory laws, like poll taxes, literacy tests and grandfather clauses, meant to keep blacks powerless. Many of these overtly discriminatory state laws have been called out as racist and unconstitutional, and have been wiped from the books. However, there is at least one notable exception: felony disenfranchisement laws… The most extreme states – such as Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky and Virginia – bar ex-felons from voting for life." All in the South.
Juneteenth Is a Time to Remember 6/19/2003 BET
Beloved black leader dies 6/19/2003 Philadelphia Intelligencer: "Gilbert Ridley, a well-known African-American leader in Bucks County who forced an oil company to change its policy toward minority customers, died Sunday in Lower Bucks Hospital at the age of 77. Mr. Ridley was a former candidate for the state General Assembly. He served on the Bucks County Human Relations Council and worked as a community liaison and youth mentor for Bucks County Community College. He also worked as an Equal Employment Opportunity officer at the former Naval Air Development Center in Warminster."
Graveside tribute celebrates life of slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers 6/16/2003 AP
History takes 2nd look at Black Panthers - Scholars gather to offer more complete picture of radical group 6/11/2003 SF Chronicle
40 years later, Mississippi marks death of civil rights martyr 6/10/2003 AP: Medgar Evers
Mississippi set to mark 40th anniversary of civil rights icon Medgar Evers slaying 6/10/2003 AP
Black & White 6/8/2003 Times Daily, AL: "He and his brother, Hendrix, went together to the courthouse with the knowledge that their veteran status automatically waived Alabama's poll tax requirement. So, registering to vote seemed easy enough. But this was 1955, and the brothers were black men living in Greene County, a rural community in southwest Alabama. The rules were different then and the Hughes brothers knew it. "The first thing the registrar said was 'Can you read?' " Hughes said, looking back nearly 50 years in his life. "It was insulting. Heck, he probably couldn't read himself." "
Civil rights giant James McCain dies at 98 6/6/2003 The State, SC
A New Twist on the Old Story of Nat Turner 5/9/2003 BET: "In 1831, Nat Turner led one of the nation's most notorious slave uprisings. The 31-year-old Turner and a group of slaves that grew from six to 40 as hours passed, went door to door in the middle of the night killing the White men, women and children who were their owners, some of them asleep in their beds… Now Turner's skull has been discovered, having been chopped off at his death (he was also skinned) and used for scientific study. Someone donated it to former Gary, Ind. Mayor Richard Hatcher. He plans to donate it to the National Civil Rights Hall of Fame."
A Black Woman Sits in Bull Connor's Seat 5/3/2003 NYT: "The most surreal moment of this weekend's gathering of foot soldiers from the civil rights movement may well have happened early on its opening night, when the city's new police chief, a demure 23-year veteran of the force named Annetta W. Nunn, took the pulpit and described how she was trying to instill respect and restraint among her 838-strong force. "As we tell our recruits, you do what you have to do, and then you stop," she told hundreds of listeners on Thursday evening, many of them still limping from injuries suffered 40 years ago at the hands of Birmingham police officers. That, of course, was when the department was run not by Ms. Nunn, a black mother and Baptist choir singer, but by Bull Connor, segregation's infamous enforcer."
Civil rights `foot soldiers' reunite in Alabama 40 years later 5/2/2003 AP
The Foot Soldiers of Justice 5/2/2003 LA Times: "Today they are called the foot soldiers of the civil rights movement. Then, they were students, fry cooks, laborers, housewives and others who filled in the battleground, namelessly, behind more celebrated leaders, such as the Revs. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph David Abernathy and Joseph E. Lowery. They are there in the history books, waving pickets, ducking water hoses, but never with a page of their own."
Birmingham Recalls a Time When Children Led the Fight 5/1/2003 NYT
The Civil Rights movement: frozen in time - Memphis photographer captures images of turbulent ?50s, ?60s 4/27/2003 Commercial Appeal, Memphis
The Black Voter and the White Historian: Another Look at Negro Suffrage, Republican Politics, and Reconstruction Historiography 4/21/2003 Tucson Unified School District
Black activist Virna Canson dies at 81 4/18/2003 AP: "Known as a tireless leader, Canson played a role in many of biggest political events of her day. She made a controversial vote to seat black delegates from Mississippi during the 1964 Democratic National Convention. She helped in the reconstruction of the Watts community in Los Angeles after the 1965 riots. She was also instrumental in getting the Bakke case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976, which ruled that race could be used as a factor but not the sole factor in admission decisions by state universities."
William Cathay - The legendry of the first woman Buffalo Soldier 3/26/2003 African American News & Issues: "As the mainstream society honors Woman’s History Month and ponders the beginning of war, AAN&I, the largest circulated newspaper with a Black perspective honors Black Women in the military with a recollection of the first Female Buffalo Soldier. She was born Cathy Williams, but became Pvt. William Cathay, an African- American woman who disguised herself as a man to become a Buffalo Soldier."
Washington Parish's first registered black voter dies 3/23/2003 Daily News, Bogalusa: "The following story about William Bailey Jr., who became Washington Parish's first registered black voter, was first published in The Daily News last April prior to a ceremony honoring Bailey. We are reprinting the story today in memory of Bailey, who died Sunday."
After 35 years, S.C. black leaders still seeking answers in deadly campus protest 3/21/2003 AP: "On the chilly night of Feb. 8, 1968, highway patrolmen opened fire on a civil rights protest at historically black South Carolina State University, killing three students and wounding 27 others, some of them shot in the back. But much of what led up to the violence that night remains in dispute."
The Honorable C. Virginia Fields MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT to Visit Hometown Alabama 3/20/2003 AP: "C. Virginia Fields comes from an era in which committing oneself to justice could prove to be life-threatening. In 1963, at age 17, Ms. Fields braved the fire hoses of Birmingham, Alabama and marched side by side with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the civil rights struggle that transformed our nation. A Birmingham native, Ms. Fields is a former member of Bethel Baptist Church. As Manhattan Borough President (NYC), she has continued to fight for the rights of all people, including the right for all children to receive a quality education."
Walking With Mama Moses - Following Harriet's Footsteps - 90th Anniversary Of Harriet Tubman's Passing 3/12/2003 Black World Today: ""There is a Harriet Tubman Foundation," Copes-Johnson told TBWT, and "We have the Harriet Tubman's Boosters Club in Auburn. We try and do different things for the Harriet Tubman Home Inc. (for the aged)." As for future goals, Copes-Johnson said, "We are trying to renovate Aunt Harriet's residence; and build other structures on the property; reconstruct her infirmary; and renovate the Thompson Memorial AME Zion Church where she worshipped." For more information or to forward donations contact Reverend or Mrs. Carter (315) 252 2081."
Lawmaker retraces civil rights fight - Lewis leads re-creation of Ala. march, tour of sites 3/9/2003 Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "Sens. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.s) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) ate takeout breakfasts in the back of a van, while they listened to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) serve up personal memories of the civil rights movement. The trio was headed from a hotel to downtown Selma where, in March 1955, white authorities ambushed 600 voting-rights protesters, pummelling many of them with sticks, and leaving Lewis with a cracked skull. The march that started at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma has come to be known as "Bloody Sunday." "
Students learn African-American history from panel 2/28/2003 Windsor-Hights Herald, NJ: "East Windsor Township Councilman Walter Daniels and high school business teacher Elaine Martin were among those to speak at HHS in honor of Black History Month."
Slavery and the United States Government 2/20/2003 NY Beacon
The Black Vote 1/30/2003 Orlando Weekly: "When blacks tried to vote, they were harassed, bullied, beaten and murdered. Central Florida's most infamous incident of racial violence, the Ocoee Massacre, began after Mose Norman, a black farmer who migrated to Central Florida from South Carolina in a mule-drawn wagon, tried to vote in the 1920 election. Whites descended on Ocoee and found Norman at the home of a friend, July Perry. In the ensuing shootout, Norman escaped but Perry was lynched, strung up with a sign that read, "This is what we do to niggers that vote." Two dozen houses, two churches and a lodge were burned and, according to an NAACP observer, more than 60 blacks killed."
The 1880s: Repression 1/20/2003 Texas State Library: "Klan beatings, whippings ,and murder — conducted at night by disguised men—were responsible for the marked decline of the African-American vote in the South by 1870, despite the 15th Amendment’s guarantee of this right."
History of the Right to Vote in the U.S. 1/1/2003 League of Women Voters
Minority Vote Dilution Is Still Illegal 1/1/2000 Southern Regional Council: "Brenda Wright is managing attorney for the National Voting Rights Institute in Boston, Massachusetts."
Reaffirmation or Requiem for the Voting Rights Act? THE COURT WILL DECIDE 5/1/1995 ACLU: "The tide shifted ominously in 1993 when the Supreme Court, on the last day of its term, delivered a decision in the case of Shaw v. Reno that enabled white voters to challenge the "bizarre" shape of a majority/black Congressional district in North Carolina -- even though oddly shaped districts have long been tolerated in nonracial cases (see page 23). The decision was narrow, legally speaking, but devastating in its implications. White voters and judges have seized upon Shaw as an invitation to question the propriety of all race-conscious districting, on every level of government. Suddenly, the Voting Rights Act and its mandate to create equal opportunity at the ballot box face the most serious challenge since 1965."
African American Voting Rights: A Long, Historical Struggle 1/1/1995 Southern Regional Council: "Selwyn Carter was Director of the SRC's Voting Rights Project from 1992 to 1997. This article was written in 1995 in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965."
Ballot or the Bullet 4/3/1964 University of Indiana: by Malcolm X
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