the face of jim crow


For those who don’t know what it is:


JUNE 19th

Two months after Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the Civil War, Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger steamed into the port of Galveston, Tex. With 1,800 Union soldiers, including a contingent of United States Colored Troops. Granger was there to establish martial law over the westernmost state in the defeated Confederacy.

On June 19, two days after his arrival and 150 years ago today, Granger stood on the balcony of a building in downtown Galveston and read General Order No. 3 to the assembled crowd below.

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free,” he pronounced.

This was the first time many in the crowd had learned of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Lincoln had issued two and a half years before.

White slaveholders had suppressed the news of the decree freeing the slaves in Confederate territory not under Union control.

“We all walked down the road singing and shouting to beat the band,” a Texas freedwoman recounted.

“Black men pitched their hats high in the muggy June air,” according to another report.

“Men and women screamed ‘We’s free! We’s free!’ ” Others left town, in what became known as “the scatter.”

The jubilation following Granger’s announcement in Galveston moved across Texas, quickly reaching the state’s 250,000 enslaved people.

A year later, a spontaneous holiday called Juneteenth — formed from the words June and nineteenth — began to be celebrated by the newly freed people of Galveston and other parts of Texas.

In 1867, Austin, the state capital, saw its first Juneteenth celebration under the direction of the Freedmen’s Bureau, the federal agency created to provide relief to people displaced by the Civil War.

Embraced as an exuberant day of jubilee, Juneteenth combined a history lesson and a political rally with the gospel hymns and sermons of a church service.

Barbecue was soon added to the mix — this being Texas — with strawberry-flavored red soda water to wash it down.

In time, rodeos, baseball games and family reunions all became part of Juneteenth tradition.

As former slaveholders attempted to maintain their control, this display of freedom was often met with violence.

Juneteenth revelers sought the relative safe haven of black churches — a poignant irony given the tragedy on Wednesday night in Charleston, S.C. Some of these churches began raising money to buy land on which to mark Juneteenth.

In Houston, two black congregations collected pennies and nickels until a 10-acre parcel was purchased for $800 in 1872 and named Emancipation Park, which is still used today.

The festival of freedom spread across the former Confederacy in the late 19th century.

And as African-Americans moved north, they carried this celebration of liberation with them.

As Isabel Wilkerson wrote in “The Warmth of Other Suns,” her prizewinning account of the Great Migration: “The people from Texas took Juneteenth Day to Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, and other places they went. Even now, with barbecues and red soda pop, they celebrate June 19, 1865.”

Granger’s order was momentous, but it was no magic bullet. Even with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December 1865, the emancipated people of Texas, and the rest of America, confronted violent resistance as they attempted to claim the promise of their liberation. Any small gains came in the face of whips and guns, followed by the well-documented decades of Jim Crow laws and Klan terror.

Officially neglected, over time Juneteenth lost much of its resonance in the black community.

But it has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years. Spurred by a revival of pride in African-American traditions long denied or suppressed, Juneteenth has gained official recognition — although not necessarily full legal holiday status — in a number of states, starting, appropriately, with Texas, which made Juneteenth a paid holiday for state employees in 1980.

Still, 150 years after its birth, Juneteenth remains largely unacknowledged on America’s national calendar. Many Americans are unaware of its existence, or its roots. Sadly, that ignorance of Juneteenth reflects a deeper issue: the continued existence of two histories, black and white, separate and unequal.

Frederick Douglass voiced that fundamental divide in a memorable speech on July 4, 1852. “The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me,” he said. “This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine.”

Juneteenth is the flip side of the Independence Day coin. One hundred and fifty years after General Granger told the enslaved people of Texas they were free, Juneteenth is viewed by many of those who are aware of it as an “African-American holiday.”

That perception unfairly diminishes the fundamental significance of Juneteenth. The day should be recognized for what it is: a shared point of pride in the symbolic end of centuries of racial slavery — a crime against humanity and the great stain on America’s soul. As meaningful as Independence Day itself, Juneteenth completes the circle, reaffirming “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as the rights of all, not a select few.

Madam C. J. Walker

Featured in Bad Girls Throughout History by Ann Shen

The first child in her family born into freedom, Madam C. J. Walker (1867–1919) overcame being orphaned and widowed before the age of twenty to become America’s first female self-made millionaire. Her success is even more extraordinary given that it occurred in the face of the worst Jim Crow laws of the time. As a single mother, she worked for $1.50 a day as a laundress and cook so she could send her daughter to school. Lacking access to regular bathing facilities, she started losing a great deal of hair. At the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, she met a woman, Annie Malone, who was selling cosmetic products for African-Americans. Among the products was “The Great Wonderful Hair Grower.” Madam Walker quickly became a client, and then a sales agent for Malone. A year later she relocated to Denver for family and started her own namesake hair product line.

There’s debate as to whether Annie Malone or Madam Walker was the first to cross the millionaire line, but there is no arguing that Walker had the advantage of being a marketing genius. She sold “The Walker System” of hair products and with them, the image of a new lifestyle and hair culture. For example, she used black women in the before-and-after photos for her product—prior to her ads, the after photos would show a white woman. Within five years, she expanded her company to include over three thousand sales agents, and her detailed training pamphlets taught them skills to develop a refined personal image. At her business conventions, she gave awards to not only the top sellers but also the saleswomen who gave the most to charity. She became the first large employer of African-American women and was a generous philanthropist during her life and after—she left two-thirds of future net profits of her estate to charity.


“Inanimate objects cannot be racist”
A list of inanimate objects that definitely are racist: confederate flag, black face, KKK robes, Jim Crow laws, the n word, and whites with “dreadlocks.” None of these things are breathing things yet they still have the power to continue the systematic oppression of black people. Likewise with other groups of people.

When somebody says “Gay people can’t get married because the bible says so,” their opinion conflicts with a lot of peoples political and moral beliefs. We all know that people who are against marriage equality are bigoted and only perpetuate homophobia and discrimination. These people hold their views using the same defenses. “I am entitled to my opinion and my beliefs” is often what is said. The unsaid implication, however, is: “My opinions and beliefs are more important than another person’s lived experience.”

Your hair only seems like a personal choice for you because you do not experience racism. You do not experience a lack of autonomy. Hair is just hair for you but that is not the lived experience of black people who have died to racism and who experience racism in this day and age.

Research means drawing information from different sources to gain the most well rounded and highest understanding. Not hammering out the same overused excuses white people have bee using for hundreds of years to excuse their racism. Much like homophobes will continuously draw from solely the bible to make their uneducated, bigoted statements and to defend their beliefs and “personal choices.”

All you have done is compile information that serves you. If you actually did research you wouldn’t have done gods know what to your hair. You would not be defending your racist “personal choices” right now.

You are not entitled to being racist, though the world has taught you that. You are not entitled to making the decision on what is or isn’t racist. Just like straight people don’t get to decide what is or isn’t homophobic. Just like cis people don’t get to decide what is or isn’t transphobic.

The first step to dismantling the oppressive, racist power structure we exist under is admitting that we all hold personal, internalized racist beliefs. The next step is listening to those who speak out about their experiences and about what harms them and their communities. Listen and make appropriate accommodations to your own harmful behaviors.

That is a responsibility we all have and we all have to carry the equal weight of.

You don’t get to decide that you’re not racist. You get to prove over and over again that you aren’t. And, at this point, you haven’t proven any such thing.

This is exactly why @flavntstreetwear is not representative of the trans community and is, instead, another group solely invested in catering to white people.

anonymous asked:

There has been way too many hints for Rebecca to simply be an ignorant colorblind Tommy, the bitch is racist. There's no fucking way she could be ignorant to the fact that Concrete's design purely resembles those dehumanizing Jim Crow black faces from the 1920s - of which I'm knowledgeable of - IN MY EARLY 20S ! THE BITCH IS 30, THEREFORE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE! NO EXCUSES! PEOPLE IN THEIR MID TEENS! ARE AWARE OF WHAT THIS SHIT IS AND THE GHASTLY IMPLICATIONS THIS SENDS OUT! FUCK HER AND SU!

Steve Bannon can be racist and still have black friends

Trump, Bannon and their supporters aren’t new to accusations of racism. But they have regularly denied the charges using their occasional proximity to people of color as proof. 

These claims showcase a fundamental misunderstanding of how racism works. It rarely manifests itself as all-out hatred; you can be racist and still stomach people of color’s existence. You can even have black friends. The idea that Bannon’s black executive assistant, Wendy, was somehow exceptional in his eyes because she was close to him does not absolve him of racism, nor of his apparent comfort with black people not being allowed to vote. Both can coexist. In fact, they often do: Racism is nothing if not contradictory.

Racism frequently has just as much to do with the views you’re willing to accept as with the bigotry you espouse. Many of the same working-class white voters who supported Obama four years back also seamlessly metabolized that undocumented Mexicans and Syrian refugees were now their biggest sources of concern, for instance.

We ignore these nuances to our detriment. Too often our idea of racism is rooted in the optics of Jim Crow, a world of explicit enmity and openly stated inequality. Unless it comes flagrantly advertised — in the form a “whites only” sign, a Ku Klux Klan hood or a white person screaming “nigger” in a black person’s face — many Americans have trouble recognizing racism’s more subtle forms when they see them.

The same logic lets us equate proximity to people of color with nonracism. “If I allow a black person in my presence,” the logic goes, “I can’t possibly be racist — I’d want nothing to do with them.” But history paints a different picture: Racism was always more frequently about power, even in the face of closeness, than all-out spite. Jim Crow advocates employed black chauffeurs and housekeepers in their homes. Madison Amelia, a 25-year-old black Rhode Islander, recently recorded a racist pro-Trump tirade at the hands of her white boyfriend of 3 ½ years. She broke up with him soon after. Read more

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Marilyn Monroe with Ella Fitzgerald at the the Mocambo. A popular Hollywood night club at the time. That would not book Ella because of segregation. Marilyn told the manager that she would reserve a front row table every night Ella performed there. Ella performed a week later. 1955. .


If asked “Who played an important role in the musical career of Ella Fitzgerald?” you might respond with names like Chick Webb, Louis Armstrong, Norman Granz, and Dizzy Gillespie.

The name Marilyn Monroe (who passed away 50 years ago this August), however, might not come to mind.

While touring in the ’50s under the management of Norman Granz, Ella, like many African-American musicians at the time, faced significant adversity because of her race, especially in the Jim Crow states. Granz was a huge proponent of civil rights, and insisted that all of his musicians be treated equally at hotels and venues, regardless of race.

Despite his efforts, there were many roadblocks and hurdles put in to place, especially for some of the more popular African-American artists. Here is one story of Ella’s struggles. Once, while in Dallas touring for the Philharmonic, a police squad irritated by Norman’s principles barged backstage to hassle the performers. They came into Ella’s dressing room, where band members Dizzy Gillespie and Illinois Jacquet were shooting dice, and arrested everyone. “They took us down,” Ella later recalled, “and then when we got there, they had the nerve to ask for an autograph.” Across the country, black musicians, regardless of popularity, were often limited to small nightclubs, having to enter through the back of the house. Similar treatment was common at restaurants and hotels.

-isms = prejudice + institutional power. If you are oppressed, then you by definition have no institutional power (or really any tangible power) and therefore cannot be -ist, but rather are simply prejudiced. And some even argue that prejudice towards the oppressor exists as a direct result of said oppression to begin with. i.e., women’s distrust of men because of historical mistreatment or minority distrust of whites because of historical mistreatment. To say that white/male distrust of minorities/women is justly equal to minority/female distrust of whites is grossly inaccurate and only serves to quell the guilt of privilege that is being forced on the majority in this Internet Age. I’m not saying that any prejudice or discrimination is acceptable, BECAUSE IT’S NOT. At all. And I constantly call out all kinds of prejudice. But I’m tired of seeing all these comments and articles, likening the historically or even contemporary factual events as reverse racism because it makes White people look bad. It’s irritating and insulting.

As a woman or minority, you have a right to define these things for yourself, I can’t take that away from you. But if you let a man call you sexist because you opt out of a male gynecologist or because you choose not to be alone with men, then that is just not the same as a man not hiring you because you are a woman and inherently less capable or hiring you and paying you significantly less. Just like I won’t let anyone call me a reverse racist for talking about American slavery, the trail of tears, or Jim Crow, or any contemporary racial mistreatment I face.

And another note: notice it’s called ‘reverse racism’ in talking about minority-to-White racism, implying that is different from White-to-minority racism, simply called 'racism.’

Identifying all prejudice as an “-ism” would imply that all prejudice has the same outcome and that is grossly untrue. Minority-to-majority prejudice leads to discussions, marches, parades, town hall meetings, published essays, TEDTalks (lol, but seriously). Majority-to-minority -isms leads to discrimination written into law, punishable by death. Majority -isms lead to violence against minorities; lynchings, hangings, floggings, burning crosses, profiling, stop and frisk, school-to-prison pipelines…

—  Nico Simpson-Caldwell
Time to rant

So Kansas basically passed a bill that is allowing Anti-Gay Segregation, meaning that:

  • Any person, group, or business may refuse to serve gay couples if “it would be contrary to their religious beliefs”
  • Private employers can continue to fire gay employees for their sexuality
  • Stores may deny goods and services if they are gay
  • Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry
  • Public places (movie theaters, restaurants, etc.) can turn away gay couples
  • The police can refuse to help a gay couple if it violates their “religious principles”
  • If a gay couple sues for discrimination, they will not only lose, but have to pay all the legal fees of both parties
  • Hospitals can deny treatment to gay couples
  • Gay couples can be barred from public places

Oh, and it gets worse. The bill was left open-ended, so it could also go on to encompass not just gay couples, but also gay individuals. And it’s all legal under “religious liberty.” This is literally in violation of the Constitution, specifically the 14th Amendment. If this catches on to more states, we could be facing a Jim Crow-style society. I don’t know any specifics of ways to prevent this besides not only lobbying for the governor and senator of Kansas to deny the bill, but also passing a Constitutional amendment that would make this bill null and void and provide equal protection FOR ALL no matter their sexuality.

Now, ways to combat this in other ways does not include treating straight people same way. Fighting fire with fire does not work, and only leads to new forms of discrimination. And I know what you’re about to say, “But straight people are the ones doing this.” That may be true, but it does not mean all straight people think this way. It’s frustrating and lights an anger I’ve never known, but we have to go about this peacefully, not fuel the opposition with reasons to continue this horrible tirade that takes religious freedom WAY too far. There are only a few sure-fire ways to end this, whether it be a bill reversing this one or the Supreme Court declaring it unconstitutional. All we know now is that we need to lend our support any way we can, and make any move possible to end this abomination of legislation.

What’s now called “The Confederate Flag” or “The Rebel Flag” is a mixture of the battle flag’s colors with the Second Confederate Navy Jack flag design (see left). It didn’t become popular until the 20th century. It was revitalized in part by its use by the Ku Klux Klan starting in 1949 and the Dixiecrats in 1948.

The Dixiecrats (formally known as the States’ Rights Democratic Party) were a segregationist wing of the Democratic Party that existed for just one year. Formed to fight against the nascent Civil Rights Movement, they opposed racial integration and wanted to retain Jim Crow laws and white supremacy in the face of possible federal intervention. They nominated South Carolina Governor J. Strom Thurmond as their presidential candidate.


The Top 10 Original Photo Sets That You Reblogged This Past Year:

  1. Learn About the Black Panther Party (42,350)
  2. The MOVE Bombing (28,459)
  3. The Tulsa Race Riot of 1921 (26,591)
  4. Jim Crow Signs (12,786)
  5. For Those Of You Who Asked (Jim Crow Signs 2) (11,195)
  6. Smiling Faces (Lynching) (8,598)
  7. Be Inspired (Assata Shakur) (5,166)
  8. Don’t Forget (Enslaved in Shackles) (4,232)
  9. *KKK Stone Mountain 2 (3,826)
  10. *Selling Africans (Reparations) (3,413)

I notice that you all like the compelling visuals. The BPP post worked so well, I think, because I found images that also contained textual information which allowed the photo set to ‘teach for itself.’

The same formula as above also worked for the MOVE bombing photo set. Which was new information to many.

The Tulsa (Greenwood, technically) Race Riot Set I created after seeing the popularity of the MOVE set. I mentioned Tulsa - sort of - in the MOVE commentary, so it was a natural next set. Although… Tulsa didn’t take off until very recently. I’m learning that reblogging several times is key. And that basically Tumblr seems to be a numbers game: the more followers you have, the more people there will be who will love and then reblog something.

I put very little forethought and no commentary beneath my first Jim Crow signage photo set (the one ending with the color image of the Black woman and child under the sign, by Gordon Parks), and that one took off. But I created it awhile ago and it hasn’t resurfaced for a minute.

Now that other Jim Crow signage set, titled For Those Of You Who Asked… is STILL burning up the charts. And that’s because of the commentary from Tumblers of all races. I purposely set out to differentiate this set from the first one by finding signs to show that white folks at one point kept a strict lock on who they let into their whiteness club. And I think you all got that message loud and clear, judging by the numerous POC who shared how they felt about the set. I hadn’t really anticipated that; it has been a pleasant and welcome surprise.

Smiling Faces - my first and most reblogged lynching photo set - speaks for itself. To me the real impact is felt, though, when you click each photo and zoom in on THE FACES. Not to be spooky but… I promise you that if you do that you WILL see some straight up demons in the crowds. Try it and get back to me on this one.

Assata Shakur’s autobiography is the book that woke me up, which is why I title her photo set Be Inspired. I love her and her story and her sacrifice and example. And so do many of you, apparently.

Don’t Forget… was kind of a throwaway for me. Or rather, a 'throw out’ set. Meaning that I put very little forethought into the set beyond noticing that I had the images in my files and throwing them out there into the Tumblrverse. And that one, like For Those Of You Who Asked, received a lot of diasporic and POC love. Again, I wasn’t expecting that and am very pleased by that.

The 3-image Stone Mountain, GA, KKK set is called #2 here because I did that same subject much earlier. But the earlier one was a full 10-photo set with some detailed commentary by me for context. And that one I reblogged after seeing how much love this 3-photo KKK Mountain set was getting, thinking that you all would like the original better. You don’t, apparently. Perhaps because I start the set with the KKK Banner or because of my brash commentary (or both). Either way, the original set kind of shows my emphasis on Stone Mountain, GA, being a 70% Black city, population wise, and yet Klan Mountain being frequented largely by Black people. Well THIS shorter set has a lot of commentary from people who are talking about the KKK generally. Which is cool too, I guess. The people discuss what moves them.

Last but not least, I tried something different with the Selling Africans Was A Well-Planned Capitalist Venture set: I created a full original photo set, added commentary and questions, but I ended this set with a jump link to the Ta-Nehisi Coates article in that special edition of The Atlantic. So it’s purposely deceptive. I think Coates is one of the best public intellectuals and BEST WRITERS dealing with Black history in the mainstream, as of right now. If you haven’t read his reparations piece yet, go ahead and invest in your own knowledge by doing so.

Thanks, once again, everyone, for making this a wonderful first year!

Oh - and a note to my non-Black followers and rebloggers: thank you, too, for respectfully commenting and sharing the information I post. I probably shouldn’t put this out there but… I have never received even one nasty or racist trolling comment or question in my inbox. I don’t know why not but I’d like to think that it’s because the nature and tone of what I blog and reblog here is USUALLY serious enough that you all recognize who my PRIMARY audience is, and you respect that. And for that, I respect you too.

Peace and Love Y'all.