Tag Archives: John F. Kennedy

The Day Innocence Died

42 horsemenNovember, 22nd will be more than fifty years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. History reports that during the decade of the 1960s America witness assassination after assassination. To be fair, almost all of them the result of racism, bigotry, but there were other killed too; most notably Dr. King, Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Robert Kennedy, and his brother John – just to name the more significant figures.

Before that day in November 1963, America told its people and they believed it, that America was righteous and held a moral authority in the world. America did no wrong, of course notwithstanding slavery, segregation, and its treatment of black people. Then on that fateful day, in November 1963 America lost its innocence. Malcolm X was quoted as saying, at the time, that for all America’s wrongs; “it was just the chickens coming home to roost!”

After that day and the conspiracies about the murder that followed, America and its government was exposed like never before with most of its citizens not believing the promoted version of the President’s killing. Because what was to follow came Johnson’s ill-fated escalation into Vietnam war, the crook Nixon’s resignation, Reagan and his administration’s criminality, and the evil of both Bush’s. One could say, like in the Wizard of Oz; the curtain unveiled what secrets America use to be able to hide.

I think it is fair to say the murder has not been realistically solved or maybe I should say the crime has never been honestly reported to the American people, as to what really happened that day. The assassination is without question the most unexplained event in American history. Therefore, it could be said what we got was some tales and stories now masked in myth, while others are simply a collection of lies or maybe cover-up’s.

For those who were too young to witness the event or only know the tale His-Story reports. The assassination of this American President was more surreal and shocking than 911, multiplied by hundreds. Officially His-Story reports that a collection of men produced what became known as the Warren Commission that told us that one man was responsible for the murder that day in Dallas Texas.

However, as time has passed conspiracies are abound, and frankly, one would be hard-pressed to find many, if any, who believe the official account; particularly after seeing Oliver Stone’s movie “JFK.” Considering the information released by the government and the movie viewed with an open mind, it does make one wonder; if what we were told is truth or a simplistic creation for a more sinister – like a coup d’état. Leading up to another November 22, we should remember that it was the day innocence died. What do you think happened? And that’s  my thought provoking perspective…


The Day Innocence Died: Who Done It

2On this day, thee sad anniversary, for lack of a better word, of the assassination of President Kennedy fifty-two years ago in Dallas, Texas. From that day to this there have been conspiracies and most of the American people still don’t believe the official account of what they say happened. A few years ago, I interviewed a lady on my radio show about the assassination, and she argued she had solved the case. I did not buy her assertions or most of what we have been told. I know this; it was not Oswald acting alone.

After the interview, I wrote a number of articles concerning the numerous theories, myths, and some untruths regarding what happened leading to the remembrance of this monumental tragic event that occurred November 22, 1963. The photo captioned above was posted all over Dallas the Day Kennedy was killed. It should have been a clue something bad was planned.

In light of the information available, most reasonable thinking people could come to the conclusion that it was the day that innocence died. This event is so mired in intellectual dishonesty that the government sealed and locked away documents until the year 2037 and here we are fifty-two years later wondering why, particularly since this was the crime of the century. I’ll suggest that it is because the media continues to participate in what most see as a cover-up.

The world surely would have been very different if Mr. Kennedy had lived. Maybe, if Kennedy had not been murdered would the countless assassinations that followed have happened. Or would the American politic that was to follow happened; Johnson’s ill-fated escalation into the Vietnam war, the crook Nixon’s resignation and that of his Vice-President, Reagan and his administration’s criminality, or the evil of both Bush’s. One could say, what followed was like in the Wizard of Oz; the curtain unveiled secrets America use to be able to hide.

Of all of the many theories, evidence, and experts whose research the assassination all coming to varying conclusions. Of all of the information I have seen, the conclusion put forth by Professor/Author Jerry Kroth gives a reasonable and logical theory as to what may have happened and who done it. We’ll never know the true because the government will not release the factual documents until the year 2037 and we will all be dead.

The video below by Professor Jerry Kroth’s giving a presentation that presents the single, most plausible theory of the assassination. It is based on the admissions of grassy knoll gunman, James Files, the deathbed confession of CIA spymaster, E. Howard Hunt and the most recent scholarship to have appeared in the last decade. Dr. Kroth proposes that Lyndon Johnson, the CIA, and Mafia, acting in concert, carried off one of the greatest crimes in modern American history.

This information comes from his book, released just this September, Coup d’etat: The assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It is a concise well-documented expose of a brazen, as he says, overthrow of the United States government on November 22, 1963.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this series is that of the presenters and does not necessarily reflect the views of the author. It is information that is in the public domain provided for the reader to form an opinion. Whereas, it is the author’s position that the most profound sin is a tragedy unremembered and the absence of truth. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

The world changed “The Day Innocence Died” and spiraled downward from that day to this…


The Day Innocence Died: Jim Garrison

4Jim Garrison is quoted as saying, “telling the truth can be a scary thing sometimes.” In 1963, Garrison was the New Orleans District Attorney of Orleans Parish. Three days after President Kennedy was assassinated he arrested David Ferrie as a possible associate of Lee Harvey Oswald and turned the investigation over to the FBI.

In the fall of 1966, Garrison reopened his investigation into the JFK assassination, after speaking with U.S. Senator Russell Longfrom Louisiana. Long told Garrison that it was his opinion that Oswald could not have acted alone. Garrison soon connected Oswald to Guy Banister, David Ferrie, and Clay Shaw.

During the summer of 1963, Oswald worked in Banister’s office and was seen with Clay Shaw and David Ferrie in New Orleans and Clinton, LA. In March of 1967, Jim Garrison arrested and charged New Orleans International Trade Mart director Clay Shaw with complicity in the murder of President Kennedy. To see a brief summary of Clay Shaw’s trial and his life, click on the link Clay Shaw.

Oliver Stone’s movie JFK mocks the doubtful veracity of the Warren Commission’s findings on the Kennedy assassination and summarizes some of the myriad theories that have been proposed. Focusing on the investigation by New Orleans DA Jim Garrison into the activities of the FBI and other government agencies as well as their attempted cover-ups, Stone weaves fact and speculation into a compelling argument for the reopening of the case files.

Jim Garrison died believing the assassination was a conspiracy and authored several books; one being “On The Trail of The Assassins”. Garrison was with the FBI, a district attorney, and from 1978-88 he was Judge of the Court of Appeal in New Orleans. Yet, we are told that the man was a paranoid fantasist, a publicity hound and a crooked DA.

Garrison was resurrected in Oliver Stone’s “JFK”. In the film, Garrison, played by Kevin Costner, is the archetypal underdog, a hero who sacrifices everything in search of truth. Although there are two contrasting views of the man, I will agree with Garrison in that the truth can be scary, although it is never as frightening as the lasting power of a good lie.

It seems reasonable that the only man to bring anyone to trial for the murder of the president of the United States is a hero and that an error in judgment or otherwise can only be corrected by fixing it by revealing the truth.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this series is that of the presenters and does not necessarily reflect the views of the author. It is information that is in the public domain provided for the reader to form an opinion. Whereas, it is the author’s position that the most profound sin is a tragedy unremembered and the absence of truth. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

A full documentary as it happened!

Follow the series “The Day Innocence Died”…

Tomorrow “Who Done It?”


The Day Innocence Died: The Suspects

4The list of alleged suspects who may or may not be involved in the murder of JFK are many, although officially as far as the Warren Commission was concerned there was only one – Lee Harvey Oswald, which some say was a rush to judgment. The former secretary of President John F. Kennedy made a list of suspects she believed were behind his assassination immediately after he was gunned down in Texas.

The JFK assassination in 1963 has long been the subject of conspiracy theories, ranging from those behind the murder to doubts about the lone assassin theory. But even before those conspiracies were aired Lincoln had her own suspicions. She was riding in the motorcade with Kennedy when he was shot dead allegedly by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas that day.

As Evelyn Lincoln, Kennedy’s personal secretary flew home on Air Force One that day she jotted down the names of those she suspected of involvement in the killing. The suspects that topped her list were Richard Nixon and the country’s vice president Lyndon Johnson. Johnson was sworn in only a few hours after the murder that shocked the world.

Lincoln jotted down the names of people she suspected who could have been behind the killing. Other suspects on her list were Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa, the KKK, Dixiecrats, the John Birch Society, South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem, CIA in Cuban fiasco, Dictators and Communists. Few in the public have ever seen this note. On the back of the list is another note, written more than 20 years later when she passed on her letters to Kennedy collector Robert White.

‘There is no end to the list of suspected conspirators to President Kennedy murder. Many factions had their reasons for wanting the young president dead. That fact alone illustrates how the world suffers from a congenital proclivity to violence,’ it reads.

The 10-month Warren Commission set up to investigate the assassination concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating the president. There are many others including Mrs. Lincoln who thought differently, because it shows she believed from the very beginning “this dog just don’t hunt”. The video’s below talks about other suspects – take a moment to view – you decide.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this series is that of the presenters and does not necessarily reflect the views of the author. It is information that is in the public domain provided for the reader to form an opinion. Whereas, it is the author’s position that the most profound sin is a tragedy unremembered and the absence of truth. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

More to come on “The Day The Dream Died”…


The Day Innocence Died: Umbrella Man

5The JFK assassination is full of mysteries, untruths and some say lies. One of the strangest things that happened in Dealey Plaza on November 22nd was a man standing holding an umbrella on this clear sunny day just before the motorcade came into the kill zone. Kennedy assassination experts profess that it was opened just before the shots were fired. They say when he closed it the gun fire began. This man came to be known as the “Umbrella Man” and his curious behavior at the scene of the JFK assassination has lingered for fifty odd years.

Was this fellow, standing in Dealey Plaza with an open umbrella with no rain in sight part of the conspiracy? Here are two video’s that captures umbrella man from the NOVA documentary: Here is the first one, and here is the second. It is worth mentioning that some conspiratorialists claim that the umbrellas are different, having a different number of spokes. Decide for yourself.

What was the point of an umbrella in Dealey Plaza? It is said that it was an attempt to heckle Kennedy as a reminder of the appeasement policies of British Prime Minister Nevill Chamberlain, whose weak posture toward Hitler was supported by Kennedy’s father.

One of the more bizarre theories about the Umbrella Man comes from Robert Cutler. Cutler claimed that the umbrella was a weapon firing a flechette (poisoned dart) that hit Kennedy in the throat, paralyzing Kennedy to set him up for the head shot. Here is Cutler’s drawing of this concept.

There was also another man with Umbrella Man that day that came to be known as the so-called “Dark Complected Man”. He was named that because his complexion was his most readily identifiable feature in photos from November 22. The Dark Complected Man is without question an extremely important character and maybe even more deserving of scrutiny than Umbrella Man.

Dark Complected Man, like Umbrella Man, was on the Grassy Knoll, and, like Umbrella Man, appears to reasonable observers to have been signaling. At the precise moment that JFK’s car passed the Umbrella Man opened and pumped his umbrella repeatedly while the Dark Complected Man shot his fist up into the air. To some, this man seemed to be calling for a halt to the presidential limo, which did in fact either come to a complete halt or slowed down to a crawl.

It’s not just their actions at the moment that Kennedy’s head is blown apart. It’s how they behave afterwards. You will see from the videos below that both acted very different than everyone else after the shooting.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this series is that of the presenters and does not necessarily reflect the views of the author. It is information that is in the public domain provided for the reader to form an opinion. Whereas, it is the author’s position that the most profound sin is a tragedy unremembered and the absence of truth. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/dealey.htm

“The Day The Dream Died”…


4Conspiracy theorists have alleged when the new President left Dallas on the afternoon of November 22, 1963, it was more of a getaway than returning the body of the murdered president to Washington.

As a result of the fifty plus year mark of the assassination of John F. Kennedy many different views and theories have been come too light to insert knowledge of the event adding more confusion to the discussion. This is important when you consider most living America either too young to know anything other that the official story that was suspect, at best.

One such view comes from the son of a former Pentagon Counterintelligence Officer who tells the story of how his father, a Military agency insider Col. Christensen, reveals to his family what actually happened in Dallas on 11/22/63 and why it happened. There are those who say, the new president’s quick exit from Dallas seemed more like a getaway than a trip home.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this series is that of the presenters and does not necessarily reflect the views of the author. It is information that is in the public domain provided for the reader to form an opinion. Whereas, it is the author’s position that the most profound sin is a tragedy unremembered and the absence of truth. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

Follow the series “The Day Innocence Died”…


The African American Plight

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It’s been more that fifty years since the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a watershed moment, in the eyes of some. However nice the show was black people never got that bad check the Dr. King talked about, in the same way, the slaves never got the forty acres nor the mule. Today, black people are poorer and in a worse position now, than in 1963 and near the same position as they were 1863 – really. The sad thing is most continue to believe and wait for the premise of the American dream.

However, we must be mindful that it was not a welcomed event as most of white America and the Kennedy Administration were very much against the March on Washington for equality. In fact, a survey at the time records that most of white America stated “the Negro is happy,” therefore, the request for equality is coming from a few outside agitators. In spite of a quarter of a million people who walked, rode buses and trains to make the statement that they were just plain wrong.

I’m not saying that there has not been significant and important progress in the last 50 years. Surely for some, but if Dr. King were to have an opinion – I am sure he would be very displeased. I don’t profess to be as honorable or noteworthy as some of our so-called leaders, but the disparity between Black Americans and White Americans when it comes to jobs, income, healthcare, and wealth remain vast and much too large. When you look at the urban communities – the plight of Black America is worse than ever in most categories.

Some time ago several organizations gathered and released what they called the annual “State of Black America” report, which highlighted the economic forecast for African Americans in this country. Although the report is presented annually, this year, the Urban League commissioned a half-century study, which in my view was deplorable given the results.

The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair reported, “the unemployment rate is double for blacks than for whites; we’ve lost more homes to foreclosure than whites, and we’ve lost more wealth than whites”. Yet, they say the percentage of blacks living in poverty has declined 23 points, and the percentage of black children living in poverty is down by 22 points since 1963.”

A point to note, the march was before the signing of any of the landmark civil rights legislation, which adds little credibility to that statement. It is also noteworthy to remember that at that time, in 1963, Jim Crow was the law of the land and its restrictions did not allow “Coloreds,” as they called them, to use the same bathrooms or eat at lunch counters. So, if you consider this environment the fact is there are minimal gains that have been made regarding great progress.

The report credits the civil rights measures that were enacted to open the doors of opportunity for blacks in education and standards of living. Rep. Chaka Fattah said, “It is without contradiction that African Americans have made extraordinary progress in the report… But, compared to the majority, we still have some room to grow”. I wonder if his constituents would agree in Philadelphia. Moreover, any of the basic civil rights for people of color only took about three hundred years to achieve.

The Urban League leader then said, as the budget debate continues in Washington on whether to cut critical program funding, the “State of Black America…” highlights a harsh reality. “Budget-cutting fever will cause economic pneumonia. If we are to move toward lasting economic recovery, full equality, and empowerment, we must apply sustainable solutions keenly focusing on jobs for all Americans and closing the gaps that result in a tale of two Americas”.

I will tell you that I have lived long enough to have witnessed and know that people will say anything, regardless of complication, on any subject. Many will say, “There is no race problem because there’s a black president. Or they will point to a few, out of 42 million, successful African Americans as progress. But the reality is most Blacks in America see the remnants of the Dr. King’s Dream more as a “Nightmare”. I have to say from my vantage point the forecast looks GRIM! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


March On Washington

007_1000It was fifty-years ago, on an August day when the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was held. It was a mass protest designed to helped energize some of the most critical social legislation in the nation’s history. It inspired a generation of activists focused on ending poverty, racism and violence against black people. I remember where I was on the day of this historic event as a small child. As time passed, I never thought 50 some odd years later we would still need to march for the same things – ending poverty, racism, violence, and police brutality.

However, overtime I’ve learned that as sure as things change – they remain the same. The march was attended by more than 250,000 people that was said to be the largest demonstration Washington had ever seen at the time. The march reached a galvanizing high point with Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which stands today as one of the best known and most beloved speeches.

The backdrop for the march was the outrage sparked by media coverage of police brutality in Birmingham, Alabama. Where attack dogs and fire hoses were turned against peaceful protesters – many of whom were in their early teens or younger. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested and jailed during those protests writing his famous “Letter From Birmingham City Jail,” which advocates civil disobedience against unjust laws. Dozens of additional demonstrations took place across the country, from California to New York, culminating in the march.

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The March represented a coalition of several civil rights organizations, all of which generally had different approaches and different agendas. The “Big Six” as they came to be known organizers were James Farmer, of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); Martin Luther King, Jr., of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); John Lewis, of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC); A. Philip Randolph, of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Roy Wilkins, of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and Whitney Young, Jr., of the National Urban League. There was only one female speaker that day, Josephine Baker, who introduced several “Negro Women Fighters for Freedom,” including Rosa Parks.

The stated demands of the march were the passage of meaningful civil rights legislation; the elimination of racial segregation in public schools; protection for demonstrators against police brutality; a major public-works program to provide jobs; the passage of a law prohibiting racial discrimination in public and private hiring; a $2 an hour minimum wage; and self-government for the District of Columbia, which had a black majority.

President Kennedy called the leaders of the big six to the White House because he wanted to discouraged the march supposedly for fear that it might make the legislature vote against civil rights laws in reaction to a perceived threat. Kennedy demanded that the language be changed and that the voices for justice toned down to almost meek words. Once it became clear that the march would go on, he stationed troops “on the ready” around the city while publically he claimed to support the march.

The AFL-CIO remained neutral and outright opposition came from two sides. White supremacist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, were obviously not in favor of any event supporting racial equality. On the other hand, the march was also condemned by some civil rights activists who felt it presented an inaccurate, sanitized pageant of racial harmony. Malcolm X called it the “Farce on Washington,” and members of the Nation of Islam who attended the march faced a temporary suspension.

Lewis represented the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a younger, more radical group than King’s group. The speech he planned to give, circulated beforehand, was objected to by other participants; it called Kennedy’s civil rights bill “too little, too late,” asking “which side is the federal government on?” It declared that they would march “through the Heart of Dixie, the way Sherman did” and “burn Jim Crow to the ground -nonviolently.” In the end, he agreed to tone down the more inflammatory portions of his speech, but even the revised version was the most controversial of the day, stating:

The revolution is at hand, and we must free ourselves of the chains of political and economic slavery. The nonviolent revolution is saying, “We will not wait for the courts to act, for we have been waiting hundreds of years. We will not wait for the President, nor the Justice Department, nor Congress, but we will take matters into our own hands, and create a great source of power, outside of any national structure that could and would assure us victory.” For those who have said, “Be patient and wait!” we must say, “Patience is a dirty and nasty word.” We cannot be patient, we do not want to be free gradually, we want our freedom, and we want it now. We cannot depend on any political party, for the Democrats and the Republicans have betrayed the basic principles of the Declaration of Independence.

King’s speech remains one of the most famous speeches in American history. He started with prepared remarks, saying he was there to “cash a check” for “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,” while warning fellow protesters not to “allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.

Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.” But then he departed from his script, shifting into the “I have a dream” theme he’d used on prior occasions, drawing on both “the American dream” and religious themes, speaking of an America where his children “will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” He followed this with an exhortation to “let freedom ring” across the nation, and concluded with:

When this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.

One could say, Brother Martin was wrong! The KKK now wear black robes, justice is still denied, we see James Crow Esq. – the son of segregation, a new Citizens Council called the Tea Party, poverty, and joblessness is worst than it was in his day. Now, for a man of peace who fought, struggled, and died for equality; he has been reduced to a four-word phrase – “I have a Dream”.

Maybe they were right when they said what he preached was just a dream! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Free You Mind

2I have been told that I see things from a different perspective. Maybe, but I would say I see things as they are and understand that nothing is as it appears. With that said, what we are told and lead to believe on every level of life is that the system is designed to protect the system. Once a year for thirty-days in February we celebrate a month to commemorate Black history. How about being more broad-minded to where we will look at Black History Month through the prism of American History. In fact, there would be no America without the people kidnapped from Africa.

Let me suggest that the journey of twenty-eight days be extended to 365 days, 23/7 and know your history. Look into a mirror and ask: “Who am I?” This is important because you might, if honest, see a person that is the representative of your life. Let me explain, you say that you love a God who you have never seen, yet you do not love the man or woman before you who you can see. Ask yourself; how can that be?

You know you have prejudices that you were either taught or came to know base upon your experiences. White people in most cases are prejudice against blacks and everyone else. Blacks are prejudice against whites, and blacks. Moreover, every nation on the face of the earth has a prejudice against someone mainly because they are different. I am going to suggest that religion oft-time has a lot to do with your thinking. Let me remind you; “if you control what a man thinks. You will never worry about what he is thinking.”

If you think about this and understand that your enemies have invested in your soul, which is a tried and true principle of “divide and conquer.” I say this specifically to address the issues that exist between the African American male and female. God created us (man and woman) to join in a union to live and to create life in order to continue the species. Now, how is it that we have lost this simple understanding designed by our creator? The war against us is against all of us, both black men and women.

Our hope rests within us – not in what is inserted into us by an enemy. So black women, you’ve been had, hoodwinked, when you distance yourself for the black man. There is a biblical passage that says “you will reap what you sow.” You have a convent with the black man by virtue of your birth – your children need him, and so do you.

Black men, you too must be that man you were created to be. The children you create – need you; that mother needs you. Being black means nothing to those of the other hue – I say it’s time to mean something to each other. I am not judging anyone – just saying! However, I will remind you that scripture says, “Judge not lest you be in danger of being judged”. The ghosts of the greats who sacrificed their lives for you are watching!

It is time for you/me/us to think differently and make a change – and the time is now! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Brownsville: Georgetown In Washington DC

2As you travel with me on this journey exploring the rich history of those African American communities that have become little more than footnotes in the annals of time. These segregated communities were the result of an unholy system imposed upon people of color commonly referred to as “Jim Crow” and every city or town in America had such a place.

This leads me to the next examination of a “Brownsville” – Georgetown in Washington DC. The entire world knows that DC is the capital of the free world with its avenues of grand marble structures that are more or less a crystallization of magnificence for tourist to admire. These magnificent architectural marvels are symbols of the power associated with America’s wealth. This area downtown is known as the Federal Triangle because it is an area established for federal government entities.

However, there is a hidden Washington that some have called a tale of two cities. Just blocks for these symbols of opulence live the disenfranchised, downtrodden, and neighborhoods of the forgotten. Prior to 1967, the city was run by and under federal control, which is why it is called a District – i.e., the District of Columbia. It was President Johnson who appointed Walter Washington, an African American, as the city’s first ever Mayor-Commissioner in an effort that came to be known as home rule.

The city has always been predominately African American with no real authority over its direction. The “District” as many locals call it was at that time a sleepy southern town not much different from any town in South Carolina or Mississippi as far as African Americans were concern. It was run by Dixiecrats to this point, and the Dixiecrats were worst than what we know today a Conservatives or Republicans. What you may not know, even today Washington has no voting representing in Congress making the capital of the free world, which is basically a plantation.

Washington has many African American enclaves that have long storied histories, but did you know Georgetown, one of Washington’s most renowned upscale communities, was once one of them. It is probably best known today as the home of Georgetown University and its championship basketball teams coached by the legendary John Thompson, and now by his son, or the many luminous sports figures produced by the institution. You may also know Georgetown because of its world-renowned nightlife, shopping or maybe a place home to famous people. One of its most famous residents was a young John Kennedy and his new bride Jackie, who called Georgetown home prior to moving into the White House.

It is also worth mentioning that many notable African American figures resided in communities around town such as the great orator Fredrick Douglass, who owned a home in Anacostia. Carter G. Woodson the creator of the concept “Black History Month” also owned a home in the city. These great men and all prominent African American politicians, artists, entrepreneurs, scholars, athletes and socialites were relegated to live in a town divided by the harsh separate but equal laws of the day.

Georgetown began as a Maryland tobacco port on the banks of the Potomac River in 1751. When Congress created the District of Columbia to be the nation’s capital in 1791, its 10-mile square boundaries were drawn to include this port town, as well as a very similar Virginia tobacco port of Alexandria just across the river. Alexandria was given back to Virginia in 1846, but Georgetown remains as one of Washington’s most lively urban neighborhoods.

Georgetown historically had a large African American population, including both slaves and free blacks. Slave labor was widely used in the construction of new buildings in Washington just as they were used to provide labor on tobacco plantations in Maryland and Virginia. Let me be very clear, slaves and their labor was the workforce that built the White House, Capital, and most of the grand marble structures of opulence.

Georgetown was also a major slave trading depot that dates back as early as 1760, when John Beattie established his business on O Street and conducted business at other locations called “pens” around Wisconsin Avenue and M Street; with both locations being just a short distance from the White House. Slave trading continued until the mid-19th century, when it was ended on April 16, 1862. Many former slaves moved to Georgetown following their freedom establishing this thriving community.

When African American’s settled in Georgetown the free men established the Mount Zion United Methodist Church that remains today, which is the oldest African American congregation in Washington. This feat due to their strong religious convictions was a testament to their fortitude after experiencing the horrors of slavery. Mount Zion also provided a cemetery for free burials to Washington’s earlier African American population. Prior to establishing the church, free blacks and slaves went to the Dumbarton Methodist Church where they were restricted to hot, overcrowded balcony.

I’m sure a sense of extreme prided was evident in Washington at the time because it became the home of Howard University. Although not in Georgetown, this preeminent university was established for Blacks in 1867 with the aid of the Freedmen’s Bureau. It was named for the commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau, General Oliver Otis Howard. The Freedmen’s Bureau was intended to help solve everyday problems of the newly freed slaves, but its most widely recognized achievement was its accomplishments in the area of education. Prior to the Civil War, no southern state had a system of universal, state-supported public education for “Coloreds” but Washington now had an advanced school of learning.

In the early twentieth century, new construction of large apartment buildings began on the edge of Georgetown. The eyes of the elite became trained on the area. John Ihlder led efforts to take advantage of new zoning laws to get restrictions enacted on construction in Georgetown. However, legislators largely ignored concerns about the historic preservation of Georgetown until 1950, when Public Law 808 was passed establishing the historic district of “Old Georgetown.” The law required the United States Commission of Fine Arts to be consulted on any alteration, demolition, or building construction within the historic district. As you can imagine, this proper and official sounding solution was not designed to benefit the African American citizens living in Georgetown.

Georgetown began to emerge as a fashion and cultural center of the newly identified community. While many “old families” stayed in Georgetown, the neighborhood’s population became poorer and more racially diverse; its demographics started to shift as a wave of new post-war residents arrived, many politically savvy, well-educated, and people from elite backgrounds took a keen interest in the neighborhood’s historic nature for their own benefit. It was during this time that the Citizens Association of Georgetown was formed. It is my understanding that the Old Georgetown Act was really a polite, or maybe not so polite, way of saying gentrification.

I am not implying nor suggesting that the Act was designed to remove African American’s and poor residences from the community (wink), but it did create an environment where people of low to moderate income could no longer afford to live there. High-end developments and gentrification have revitalized the formally African American neighborhood and what was viewed as a blighted industrial waterfront.

Some say what happened in simple terms, according to the thinking of the day; someone decided to trade a penny for a pound, and very effectively. In other words gentrification!!! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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