Tag Archives: Rachel Jeantel | posted in African American

The Scene Of The Crime

It is a fact that the history of people of African descent was destroyed by government-sanctioned system of slavery. However, I have resurrected our amazing and often horrific journey many times through this blog. I have tried to bring into remembrance some heart-wrenching events and glorious victories resulting from the unimaginable struggles that African Americans have had to endure. Therefore, I would be remiss if I did not start at the beginning with what I call the scene of the crime.

The Jamestown Colony, England’s first permanent settlement in North America, was a marshy wasteland, poor for agriculture and a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes. The settlement was such a harsh environment that only thirty-two of the estimated one hundred original settlers survived the first seven months. HIS-Story describes this as the “starving times,” but all would change.

On August 20, 1619, the first African “settlers” reached North America as cargo onboard a Dutch man-of-war ship that rode the tide into the shores of Jamestown, Virginia, carrying Captain Jope and a cargo of twenty Africans. It seems strange to me, but history cannot tell us why this mysterious ship anchored off Jamestown. It is believed the cap­tain needed food and in exchange for food he offered his cargo of Africans as payment.

When the deal was consummated, Antoney, Isabella, and eighteen other Africans disembarked. Although they were not the first Africans to arrive in North America, they were the first African “settlers.” Regarded as indentured servants rather than slaves, fifteen were purchased to serve their redemption time working for Sir George Yardley, the Gover­nor of Virginia and proprietor of the thousand-acre Flowerdew Hundred Plantation. In ten years, by the 1630’s, the colony, through the use of the Africans, had established a successful economy based on tobacco.

Slavery was born, and the slave trade became big business. These human souls were acquired in Africa for an average price of about twenty-five dollars each, paid primarily in merchandise. They were sold in the Americas for about one hundred fifty dollars each. As the price of slaves increased, so did the inhumane overcrowding of the ships.

This was the beginning of the worst crime ever inflicted upon a people and the most morally reprehensible agenda the world has ever known. Adding to this injustice and more horrifying was that the perpetrators believed their actions were sanctioned by God with a religious manifestation that justified slavery. The next two-hundred years were a designed systematic effort to destroy millions of lives through indoctrination, brutality, savagery, and terror.

I am always struck by the use of the word civilization in this matter because the root word is “civil” and there was nothing civil about the institution of slavery. To be clear a slave is chattel – a human being considered property and servant for life. The business of slave trading had one purpose – profit. The process would begin with an African being paid to venture into the interior of the continent, capture other Africans, put them on a death march to the coast and sell these captives to Europeans. Now, if stealing and capturing the victims was not misery enough, what was to follow surely was in every sense of the word.

This horrible journey, known as the “Middle Passage,” ended with a lifetime of bondage awaiting the captives at the end of the voyage. A typical slave ship traveling from Gambia, the Gold Coast, Guinea, or Senegal, would take four to eight weeks to reach New England, Chesapeake Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, or the West Indies. Women, men, and children were crammed so tightly in the cargo ships that out of a load of seven hundred, three or four would be found dead each morning. Africans from Senegal were the most-prized commodity be­cause many were skilled artisans. Ibos from Calabar were considered the most undesirable because of their high suicide rate.

Most ships had three decks with the lower two used for transporting slaves. The lowest deck extended the full length of the ship and was no more than five feet high. The captives were packed into tomb-like compartments side by side to utilize all available space. In the next deck, wooden planks like shelves extended from the sides of the ship where the slaves were chained in pairs at the wrists and ankles – crammed side by side. Men occupied middle shelves and were most often chained in pairs and bound to the ship’s gunwales or to ringbolts set into the deck. Women and children were sometimes allowed to move about certain areas of the ship.

A typical slave ship coming directly to the American mainland from Africa weighed about one to two hundred tons, although some were slightly larger. Slave ships were eventually built especially for human cargo. These slave ships could carry as many as four hundred slaves and a crew of forty-seven, as well as thirteen thousand pounds of food. They were long, narrow, fast, and designed to direct air below decks. Shack­ling irons, nets, and ropes were standard equipment.

The competition at slave markets on the African coast grew so exceptionally that historians estimate that as many as 60 million human souls were captured and taken from the continent of Africa to be sold into bondage. It is estimated that as many as one-third of that number did not survive the “Middle Passage” to reach the shores of a place like Jamestown.

Did you know the first registered slave ship was named “The Good Ship Jesus,” and in the name of God the greatest crime the world has known began in this place called Jamestown? The devastating effects of bondage would have an effect on the race of people for centuries.

I will continue to pray that we will be able, one day, 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.” And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…
 

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Crispus Attucks

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There are so many misrepresentations, stories rewritten, changed, or just simply true facts unknown when it comes to historical significance regarding African American’s and American history. In fact, it was not until the 20th century that any of our history was even recorded. Another fact: most slaves or African Americans prior to the 20th century never received a certificate of birth. This brings me to the subject of the first Negro killed in the Revolutionary War for America’s freedom.

No much is known about Crispus Attucks and all we do know was produced by those who had a vested interest in using his name or color for their cause. Attucks was born into slavery around 1723, in Framingham, Massachusetts. He was the son of a slave father shipped to America from Africa and a Natick Indian mother. This is an important piece of evidence regarding his place in history. We are supposed to believe that a slave was on the forefront of the movement to free the nation from British rule.

Therefore, what is claimed or taught though history is that Attucks was supposed to be the first to fall during what’s called the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770. Personally, I think this claim was to disguise the fact that the new land was a major purveyor of slavery where many states sanctioned such by law or what law there was.

What has been pieced together paints a picture of a young man who showed an early skill for buying and trading goods. He seemed unafraid of the consequences for escaping the bonds of slavery. Historians have, in fact, pinpointed Attucks as the focus of an advertisement in the 1750 edition of the Boston Gazette in which a white landowner offered to pay 10 pounds for the return of a young runaway slave.

“Ran away from his Master William Brown from Framingham, on the 30th of Sept. last,” the advertisement read. “A Mulatto Fellow, about 27 Years of age, named Crispas, 6 Feet two Inches high, short curl’d Hair, his Knees nearer together than common: had on a light colour’d Bearskin Coat.”

Attucks, however, managed to escape for good, spending the next two decades on trading ships and whaling vessels coming in and out of Boston. Attucks also found work as a ropemaker. As British control over the colonies tightened, tensions escalated between the colonists and British soldiers. Attucks was one of those directly affected by the worsening situation. Seamen like Attucks constantly lived with the threat they could be forced into the British navy, while back on land, British soldiers regularly took part-time work away from colonists.

On March 5, 1770, a Friday, a fight erupted between a group of Boston ropemakers and three British soldiers. Tensions were ratcheted up further three nights later when a British soldier looking for work entered a Boston pub, only to be greeted by a contingent of furious sailors, one of whom was Attucks.

The details regarding what followed have always been the source of debate, but that evening a group of Bostonians approached a guard in front of the customs house and started taunting him. The situation quickly escalated. When a contingent of British redcoats came to the defense of their fellow soldier, more angry Bostonians joined the fracas, throwing snowballs and other items at the soldiers.

Attucks was one of those in the middle of the fight, and when the British opened fire he was the first of five men killed, which is why he is claimed to be the first casualty of the American Revolution. However, as a runaway slave it is highly doubtful that Attucks would challenge the British authorities for a cause that he had no stake in.

In fact, this episode was nothing more than the actions of an unruly mob, and there was no war at the time. John Adams the second president of the new country represented the British Soldiers in court who fired the shots charged, though debate has raged over how involved he was in the fight. One account claims he was simply “leaning on a stick” when the gunshots erupted.”

Regardless, Attucks became a martyr and post-harmoniously received a statue as a hero. His body was transported to Faneuil Hall, where he and the others killed in the attack lay in state. City leaders even waived the laws around black burials and permitted Attucks to be buried with the others at the Park Street cemetery.

In the years since his death, Attucks’s legacy has continued to endure, first with the American colonists eager to break from British rule, and later among 19th century abolitionists and 20th century civil rights activists. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in his 1964 book, Why We Can’t Wait, lauded Attucks for his moral courage and his defining role in American history.

 


No Condemnation Dr. Vivi Monore Congress

About The Book

No_Condemnation_CoverFINALThe city of Tobe, a snowball’s throw away from Buffalo NY, is known for its frosty climate…and its drama. Despite the chilling temperatures, love is in bloom for some of its residents while lowering the boom on others. Either way, getting the most out of love and life is largely based on healthy decisions because there are times when, simply put, love isn’t always enough.

Young, enterprising Trené Sloan is successful in business but not so much when it comes to relationships. Recklessly in love with Chaz Thomas, the philandering father of her children, Trené continues to dole out love and forgiveness in the face of his unrelenting quest for short-lived affairs with every woman that crosses his path.

But will she find the courage to make the hard decision to leave the toxic relationship and reclaim her misplaced faith before tragedy occurs?
No Condemnation (from the Just NO Series) is next level inspirational fiction; heartwarming, emotionally-engaging while keeping things real.

About The Author

indexDr. Congress is a Best-Selling, Award-Winning Wordsmith, Literary Advisor, Publisher and creator of C.H.O.C. Lit™ Flavored Books (Christians Having Ordinary Challenges).

She holds a BA in Human Relations, Masters in Theology, Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Counseling and is a Certified Christian Life Coach.

Book Excerpt

New Beginning

The women sitting in the pew three rows ahead had glanced over their shoulders several times, whispering and exchanging sly, familiar, yet discreet grins in his direction. Even in church, Chaz Thomas knew what people—women, in particular—were saying about him. Not that he gave a king-sized flying flip one way or the other as long as the conversation gave him the front-and-center attention he craved. In feminine circles, he was hailed as The Perfect Ten.

Although he was, in fact, a good-looking brother with strong, chiseled features and a body to match, those attributes weren’t exactly the reasons Chaz had gained the ‘title.’ It was more along the lines of his having fathered at least ten children, aged ten years old and younger, all within a ten-block radius. But, who was keeping count other than those he casually wrote off as trash talking women he’d rejected, full from drinking that bittersweet playa hater’s juice?

If it weren’t for Trené, his current baby mama, begging him to attend Friday’s Watch Night Service with her, he wouldn’t be here now subjecting himself to visual inspection—and temptation. Every man knew church was the place to find a woman engaged in inner warfare, surreptitiously longing to unleash the “other,” less-holier side of herself.

Trené was aware of his weakness and should’ve known better than to bring him for that reason alone. Chaz was no different in his thoughts on the subject and like most so-called preachers he knew, he was more than willing to accommodate. Unlike a great many of them, however, Chaz was able to… in ways and for durations that only he and God would ever truly know.

What Others Are Saying

Vivi Monroe Congress writes with a rhythm and flow that prods the reader along for the ride. No Condemnation injects just enough grit and honesty for a dose of realism. Her multi-dimensional characters will have you turning pages with curiosity as she reveals their plight with literary prowess and wit. No Condemnation is a journey of faith that s not for the faint of heart. Essence Bestselling Author of the Brunch Series, Sweet Magnolia and other works –Norma L. Jarrett

The prolific wordsmith, Dr. Congress, entertains and counsels as she infuses inspiration into the chaotic realities of life in her debut novel, No Condemnation. Bestselling author of The Forbidden Secrets of the Goody Box TheGoodyBoxBook.com –Valerie J Lewis Coleman

Order your copy @ Amazon

Connect with the Author

Email Address: littlelightprod@aol.com

Website www.DrViviMonroeCongress.com

Twitter link twitter.com/DocVMC

Facebook link facebook.com/DocVMC

Tour Schedule http://wnlbooktours.com/dr-vivi-monroe-congress/

http://johntwills.com


Communicating The “N-Word”

obamaWell it’s been a very tough week for black folks in many respects but the elephant in the room, as always, was race. With the George Zimmerman murder trial underway and some descriptive words used to describe one race or another.

Then we had to endure the historic gutting of the most significant piece of legislation since the Emancipation Proclamation with the Supreme Court deciding the country has evolved and changed. Of course, we saw how right they were because within a few hours states began to enact laws that the Voting Rights Act was designed to protect against. Can’t forget about the Affirmative Action Case the Supreme Court tampered with and the tuition rate issue. Ohhhh, but the big story was Paula Dean’s use of the word, apology, and sort of denial that she’s a racist.

I would not dare get into the conversation about who should do what other than to say we can see there is an ilk that wants to somehow return to the good old days prior to 1965. This post is specifically for someone who sent me a comment a few days ago saying I was “no political scientist”. LOL!!! I agree with you sir.

However, I lived thought what history calls Jim Crow and have seen those who feel they have an inherent privilege to abuse people worst than you treat your dog. Your comment, and others like yours, are from the minds of people who have no idea what degradation is like until you have walked in the shoes of an African American – past or present.

Trayvon did not deserve to die at the hands of this man and I pray justice is served. Paula, well if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck – it’s a duck! Now, with respect to the “N-Word” and what you call being racist because people of your hue cannot use it. I found this video by someone who looks like you to explain it to you and maybe his message will resonate. 

“To your comment specifically: I may not live to see another black president but today, in this lifetime, look at the picture sir. He is the HNIC!!! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…


Black Music Month: Soul Train

soul trainBlack music means all things to our community; at least the way I see it. It dictates the rhythm of our soul. I have said many times that “our story is the greatest story ever told”. We, as a people, have had the fortitude to make something out of nothing. Yes, and I know that is an understatement – but so true.

I cannot pay homage to Black Music Month without giving credit to Soul Train and to Don Cornelius who made something possible at a time when it was impossible. Lest remember that just a few years earlier black music was not allowed to be played on radio. Let me remind you it was called “Race Music” segregated like the rest of America.

I left for Vietnam in 1969. At that time, our representation on television as it related to African American’s was basically nonexistent. Of course, there was the buffoonery and unrealistic representations of who they wanted us to appear to the world. When I returned, a year and a half later, I was changed as a young man so was the world left behind. Thanks in large part to a Saturday afternoon television show called “Soul Train”.

The host of this groundbreaking show Don Cornelius was a tall always stylishly dress. He was an enigmatic mélange of ambition, vision and begrudging affection who unlike most old school show biz impresarios. African American’s knew that Soul Train’s rival American Bandstand did very little for the artist or our community or did provide joy within our souls. Mr. Cornelius had the vision to create the hippest trip on television and dare I say in America.

Soul Train was not just a great American story of triumph over travail; it was a hallowed symbol to the African American community. Soul Train changed the world through its outstanding reflections of our pride and talent. The show shined a light, a bright light, on the African American culture through great music while showcasing the performers who in many cases had no other national platform. This included the known, unknown, and obscure literally making stars of them overnight. Soul Train was the powerful vehicle and it became the longest running syndicated show on television, a black history fact to remember.

Watching Soul Train made you instantly cool, no matter if you were black, white or otherwise. Where else could you learn the latest dances, hippest fashions, and the next best way to rock that Afro and what products you had to have to keep it looking good? The legendary Soul Train Line was essential viewing. Can you remember those parties you attend on the Saturday night after watching the show where you used the moves to do your own Soul Train line? It could be said that it raised your “Cool IQ”. Soul Train was a window into a world rarely seen by the world.

When Mr. Cornelius signed off on February 1, 2012, it was a tragic end to a long running iconic figure in American music. In remembrance of the creator’s legendary roll; I wish him love, peace and soul. May his soul Rest In Peace! And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective!

  “Just a Season”

 Visit: http://johntwills.com

 AMAZON


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