african american slavery

anonymous asked:

Why are you so anti La La Land?

I’m not anti-La La Land at all. I have nothing against it, it’s a cute movie and all. I just feel like movies like Moonlight are more deserving of all of the awards that La La Land has been sweeping up this awards season.

The reason why I want Moonlight to win so bad is because of its story. To have a movie about an African-American boy struggling with his sexuality while growing up is something I thought would never happen. It’s touching and relatable because it’s something that I went through growing up and to see someone that looks like me going through what I went through during my whole childhood really strikes a chord with me. Growing up African-American and gay is difficult because the stigma of showing yourself as weak or feminine is something still looked down upon in the African-American community if you’re a boy. You have to act as masculine as you can to prove yourselves to others or else you would get teased or picked on. Barry Jenkins telling of Chiron’s story through Moonlight paints a story of millions of African American males childhoods. Not only African American males but also other males of color as well.

When you compare that to a musical about a white woman wanting to be an actress and a white man wanting to save jazz, a genre deeply rooted in African-American culture and from slavery…she just doesn’t have the range compared to Moonlight, I’m sorry.

But none of this really matters anyway because we all know that La La Land is going to sweep at the Oscars just like it did with all the other major award shows this season so

Today is an extremely important day in history. Although the slaves were emancipated on January 1, 1863, they did not know it till General Granger rode into Galveston, Texas on June the 19th, 1865. This should really be a federal holiday.

Oney Judge was a slave on George Washington’s plantation in Virginia. Beginning in 1789, teenaged Oney began working as a personal slave to the new First Lady Martha Washington in the presidential households, first in New York City and then in Philadelphia. According to Pennsylvania law, slaves that stayed in the state for longer than six months could take their freedom. George Washington rotated his household slaves out of the state, every six months. That was illegal in Pennsylvania law! But no one challenged the new President and Father of the Nation.

Before one return to Virginia in 1796, when Congress was out of session, Martha Washington told Oney that she was being gifted! Oney was to be given to Martha Washington’s granddaughter as a wedding present. She was twenty at the time. “I knew that if I went back to Virginia, I should never get my liberty,” Oney later said in an interview. She contacted her friends among the free black community in Philadelphia, packing and sending her things to a friend’s home in advance. Then one night, while the first family ate dinner, she fled. With the free black community’s help Oney made her way to New Hampshire.

The Washingtons put notices of a runaway in the Philadelphia papers, and after finding out she was in New Hampshire, twice considered trying to kidnap her! Oney, with help from abolitionists both times, remained free. She eventually married a free black sailor, had a family, and died in 1848. Because George Washington’s will did not free her, she and her children were considered fugitives by the law until her death.

alluringbutterfly  asked:

Do you all know anything about the Gullah people?

Funny story, lol I 1st learned about the Gullah people after watching Gullah Gullah Island as a child (please tell me you remember otherwise i feel old). I didn’t fully understand the culture and motive behind the show until last fall in my African Retentions in American course in college.

So here goes:

The Gullah people are the descendants of the slaves who worked on the rice plantations in South Carolina and Georgia. They still live in rural communities in the coastal region and on the Sea islands of those two states, and they still retain many elements of African language and cultureMany traditions of the Gullah and Geechee culture were passed from one generation to the next through language, agriculture, and spirituality. The culture has been linked to specific West African ethnic groups who were enslaved on island plantations to grow rice, indigo, and cotton starting in 1750, when antislavery laws ended in the Georgia colony.

A Board of Trustees established Georgia in 1732 with the primary purposes of settling impoverished British citizens and creating a mercantile system that would supply England with needed agricultural products. The colony enacted a 1735 antislavery law, but the prohibition was lifted in 1750. West Africans, the argument went, were far more able to cope with the climatic conditions found in the South. And, as the growing wealth of South Carolina’s rice economy demonstrated, slaves were far more profitable than any other form of labor available to the colonists.

Rice plantations fostered Georgia’s successful economic competition with other slave-based rice economies along the eastern seaboard. Coastal plantations invested primarily in rice, and plantation owners sought out Africans from the Windward Coast of West Africa (Senegambia [later Senegal and the Gambia], Sierra Leone, and Liberia), where rice, indigo, and cotton were indigenous to the region. Over the ensuing centuries, the isolation of the rice-growing ethnic groups, who re-created their native cultures and traditions on the coastal Sea Islands, led to the formation of an identity recognized as Geechee/Gullah. There is no single West African contribution to Geechee/Gullah culture, although dominant cultural patterns often correspond to various agricultural investments. For example, Africa’s Windward Coast was later commonly referred to as the Rice Coast in recognition of the large numbers of Africans enslaved from that area who worked on rice plantations in America.

Documentation of the developing culture on the Georgia islands dates to the nineteenth century. By the late twentieth century, researchers and scholars had confirmed a distinctive group and identified specific commonalities with locations in West Africa. The rice growers’ cultural retention has been studied through language, cultural habits, and spirituality. The research of Mary A. Twining and Keith E. Baird in Sea Island Roots: African Presence in the Carolinas and Georgia (1991) investigates the common links of islanders to specific West African ethnicities.

Enslaved rice growers from West Africa brought with them knowledge of how to make tools needed for rice harvesting, including fanner baskets for winnowing rice. The sweetgrass baskets found on thecoastal islands were made in the same styles as baskets found in the rice culture of West Africa. Sweetgrass baskets also were used for carrying laundry and storing food or firewood. Few present-day members of the Geechee/Gullah culture remember how to select palmetto, sweetgrass, and pine straw to create baskets, and the remaining weavers now make baskets as decorative art, primarily for tourists.

Aspects of West African heritage have survived at each stage of the circle of migration, with rice, language, and spirituality persisting as cultural threads into the twentieth century. The Geechee/Gullah culture on the Sea Islandsof Georgia has retained a heritage that spans two continents. Sapelo Island Cultural DayAt the end of the Civil War, lands on the coastal islands were sold to the newly freed Africans during the Port Royal Experiment, part of the U.S. government's Reconstruction plan for the recovery of the South after the war.

During the 1900s, land on some of the islands—Cumberland, Jekyll,Ossabaw, Sapelo, and St. Simons —became resort locations and reserves for natural resources. The modern-day conflict over resort development on the islands presents yet another survival test for the Geechee/Gullah culture, the most intact West African culture in the United States. Efforts to educate the public by surviving members of the Geechee/Gullah community, including Cornelia Bailey of Sapelo Island and the Georgia Sea Island Singers, help to maintain and protect the culture’s unique heritage in the face of such challenges.

The Gullah/Geechee have arguable preserved the heritage of their African ancestors better than any group in the United States.

Cornelia Bailey, with Christena Bledsoe, God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks about Life on Sapelo Island (New York: Doubleday, 2000).

Margaret Washington Creel, A Peculiar People: Slave Religion and Community-Culture among the Gullahs (New York: New York University Press, 1988).

Regarding General Lee

However conflicted and agonized General Robert E. Lee might have been regarding his choice, or how honorable his prior service might have been, there should be no empathy, sympathy, or esteem, or any shred of honor, for an officer who deserted the U.S. Army to fight against the United States in the cause of preserving an economy based on the ownership of humans. Unlike other, earlier, slave holders such as Washington and Jefferson, Lee made a conscious choice to go to war against the United States to perpetuate a massively scaled system of human trafficking. The proposition that he should continue to be honored in public places in the 21st Century is preposterous.

Sure, keep those statues. Keep them so that we can learn from history. Teach about them during Black History Month. Keep them in a pantheon of murderers and traitors, alongside the church bombers, and those who buried Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney in an earthen dam. Maybe the Rosenbergs, too! But do not keep them in places of honor, such as town squares, parks, courthouse entrances, and so on. Put them in a Hall of Shame if they are too culturally precious to melt down. Incidentally, I have visited Holocaust memorials in DC, Germany, and Czech Republic, and I do not recall seeing any heroic statues of Eichmann, Goering, Hitler, et al, there or anywhere else. Nor was there any Fort Rommel in Germany.

It seems the Civil War is not over and that is why issues like this one endure. Black voter suppression across the country, and especially in the South, continues the war. So does breaking up birthday parties in Black neighborhoods with parades of Confederate battle-flag-waving white supremacists in pickup trucks. Stop-and-frisk (which migrated to the North, as did the descendants of slaves and slave-owners) provides an effective racially-based suppression tool.  If you have seen the documentary movie 13, then you know how for-profit prisons fit the pattern of war against racial minorities and African-Americans in particular. These strategies, as well as white supremacist rallies in Virginia (and elsewhere), including vehicular mass assault upon those who disagree, provide evidence that the General Lee minions are alive and well and continue the Civil War as terrorists. Statues honoring the champions of human enslavement, located in prominent squares, parks and building entries, do not further any wholesome or decent purpose, even if a clever (wink, wink) plaque is appended to instruct observers that it is not really there to honor, but to remind. Thank you, but we have enough reminders in the news every day.


[First image: a stylized graphic of black hands breaking free from chains. Second image: a black and white photo of a large crowd of black Americans in their Sunday best celebrating Juneteenth.]

Happy Juneteenth! This holiday marks the end of the official institution of slavery in the United States, and was historically widely celebrated by black Americans. The photo above is of a 1905 celebration in Richmond, Virginia. 

On this day in 1865, enslaved people in Texas were informed of their freedom, two years following the Emancipation Proclamation. Also on this day, the Civil Rights Act of 1963 was passed, after an 83 day filibuster in the US Senate. 


A Vanishing History: Gullah Geechee Nation

On the Sea Islands along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia, a painful chapter of American history is playing out again. 

These islands are home to the Gullah or Geechee people, the descendants of enslaved Africans who were brought to work at the plantations that once ran down the southern Atlantic coast. After the Civil War, many former slaves on the Sea Islands bought portions of the land where their descendants have lived and farmed for generations. That property, much of it undeveloped waterfront land, is now some of the most expensive real estate in the country.

But the Gullah are now discovering that land ownership on the Sea Islands isn’t quite what it seemed. Local landowners are struggling to hold on to their ancestral land as resort developers with deep pockets exploit obscure legal loopholes to force the property into court-mandated auctions. These tactics have successfully fueled a tourism boom that now attracts more than 2 million visitors a year. Gullah communities have all but disappeared, replaced by upscale resorts and opulent gated developments that new locals — golfers, tourists, and mostly white retirees — fondly call “plantations.”

Faced with an epic case of déjà vu, the Gullah are scrambling for solutions as their livelihood and culture vanish, one waterfront mansion at a time.

Artist Elizabeth Catlett, who said the purpose of her art was to “present black people in their beauty and dignity for ourselves and others to understand and enjoy,” was born on this day in 1915. 

[Elizabeth Catlett. Sharecropper. 1952, published 1968-70. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 José Sanchez / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VEGAP, Spain]

The Loyalist and African American Escape from Yorktown

On the 19th of October 1781, Washington won his most famous victory following the capitulation of the Crown Forces garrisoning Yorktown, Virginia. For Earl Charles Cornwallis and his fellow officers, defeat meant bitter embarrassment and shame. For their British and Hessian soldiers it meant the same, coupled with the potential of spending the rest of the war in the miserable conditions of an American prison camp. For the Loyalists and African Americans, however, the defeat spelled the potential for death or enslavement. 

Cornwallis was well aware of this, and sought immunity for Loyalists as part of the tenth article of capitulation. Washington refused this article, leaving Cornwallis with no choice other than to abandon formal attempts to negotiate his allies to safety. The British, however, did not give up on more clandestine means of escape. Washington permitted that a single British sloop, the Bonetta, be allowed to sail to British-held New York without being searched, for the purpose of carrying dispatches. Numerous African Americans and Loyalists were smuggled onboard. The ruse was almost discovered where a Patriot commander, General Nelson, demanded he be allowed to inspect the sloop for blacks and “enemies of the state.” Nelson’s French allies, however, insisted that he adhere to the articles of capitulation, and let the sloop go. It reached New York safely, though “guards were placed along the shore to prevent runaways from escaping to the ship, although it was feared many were already hidden onboard.” The Governor of Virginia also wrote angrily to Cornwallis, claiming ‘negroes are attempting to escape by getting onboard the Bonetta… [where] they will endeavour to lie concealed from your lordship until the vessel sails.’ It is not known if Cornwallis ever replied. Washington himself was only able to recover two of the slaves who had fled his plantation. 

The British also hit upon another ingenious means of smuggling ex-slaves to freedom. Under the articles, officer’s servants were not to be separated from their masters, and were allowed to travel with them on parole, and subsequent freedom. An eyewitness recorded that the ships bearing the British officers were “packed together, with two servants to each officer.” Another commented on fifty men and women “whose faces were hidden” - Americans who had deserted the Revolutionary cause, and knew they faced the potential of execution if caught. 

Cornwallis was known to have 4000 or 5000 black recruits at Yorktown and Portsmouth. Smallpox killed about sixty percent of those that caught the disease, but in this case some were inoculated against it, so perhaps half the runaways were spared, though wounds and typhus also took a huge toll. Maybe 2000 survived. It is impossible to establish what happened to them. A proportion of the survivors, perhaps half, must have been forced back into slavery.

Ok so I saw "war for the planets of the apes" last night. And overall it was a great movie, but it had this... inadvertent racist vibe to it.

Lemme explain.
Watch the movie from a african American history… slavery standpoint.

All the “survivors” from the disease happen to be white people. They didn’t have any black people in the army.

The Apes were by far “black people”
Whenever they were doing their “unity” thing against the humans. It was that ✊🏾 symbol . You known what I’m talking about.

Then they enslaved the apes when they were captured trying to flee north… then were put to work. To build a wall to keep away the infected and the military. The apes were whipped and kept without food. They also had apes that were “traitors” and called them donkeys.

Then I kid you not.
Ask me how the apes escaped slavery. Go ahead.
That’s right. They had their own Underground Railroad that led to their freedom 😂
I’m sitting in the theater.. with other black people. And we all like… if this not the most racists shit I’ve ever seen. This nigga Caesar was dead ass Harriet Tubman.

And to top it off, Caesar dies from a wound and leaves his son Fatherless.

Now. Like I said the movie was Great, I’m not spoiling anything. Buttttttttt it was inadvertently racist 😭. It’s shit that white folk wouldn’t think is racist because they really wouldn’t know any better, but being black watching this movie really has you thinking like…