The Revolutionary War: Black Leaders

By 1770 one-fifth of the population of the thirteen colonies was of African ancestry, and almost 95 percent of the African descendants were slaves. Beginning with the Boston Massacre in 1770 and lasting for the duration of the war, African Americans played a major role in the American struggle for independence. As such a large percentage of the American population, both slaves and free blacks were militarily vital to the American and British causes. In addition to the brave individuals mentioned in this month’s Photo Essay, black soldiers and sailors such as Austin Dabney, Joseph Ranger, Caesar Tarrant, and Oliver Cromwell proved themselves to be true patriots through their sacrifices in defense of their American homeland.

http://www.oxfordaasc.com/public/features/archive/0907/index.jsp

The Revolutionary War would have failed, if it wasn’t for our ancestors. There is such an abundance of rich history, that is would be impossible for me to go over within one post.

James Armistead

James Armistead was born into slavery in Virginia around 1748. Armistead enlisted in the Revolutionary War under General Lafayette. Working as a spy, Armistead gained the trust of General Cornwallis and Benedict Arnold, providing information that allowed American forces to prevail at the Battle of Yorktown. Armistead died in 1830, having successfully petitioned for his freedom in 1787.

http://www.biography.com/people/james-armistead-537566

Crispus Attucks

Crispus Attucks was an American slave, merchant seaman and dockworker of Wampanoag and African descent. Many people think he was the first person shot dead, by British redcoats during the Boston Massacre, in Boston, Massachusetts.

http://www.biography.com/people/crispus-attucks-9191864

Peter Salem

Peter Salem was a free negro, who served as a soldier in the American Revolutionary War.

James Forten

James Forten was born on September 2, 1766 in Philadelphia, PA. A free African-American, he joined the Continental navy at age 15. After service, Forten apprenticed as a sail-maker and eventually became a wealthy businessman and a leader of the black community in pre-Civil War Philadelphia. He devoted much of his time and money to the abolitionist cause and he refused to supply rigging to slave-trade vessels. Forten died in 1842.

http://www.biography.com/people/james-forten-9299324

http://dubois.fas.harvard.edu/onesimus-fl-1706-1717-slave-and-medica…
http://blackhistorypages.net/pages/onesimus.php

You can research and find thousands more, in addition to factual history of free Black men being in the Americas, before slavery. During the 14th century free people of African descent was here and helping the colonies. There were  many who  fought against the colonies as well, trying to defend the rights of Native American tribes. Interesting dynamic there.

The second president of Mexico was Vicente Guerrero (Afro-Mexican), who helped defend Mexico against the Spaniards. He united the nation and abolished slavery, before we did.

(more…)

Ancient Nubians Made Antibiotic Beer

– Human use of antibiotics began not 80 years ago, but nearly 2,000 years ago along the banks of the Nile River.

– Those ancient people got tetracycline out of fermented grain that they used to brew beer.

– Everyone drank the antibiotic-laced beer often, starting as early as age two.

People have been using antibiotics for nearly 2,000 years, suggests a new study, which found large doses of tetracycline embedded in the bones of ancient African mummies.

What’s more, they probably got it through beer, and just about everyone appears to have drank it consistently throughout their lifetimes, beginning early in childhood.

While the modern age of antibiotics began in 1928 with the discovery of penicillin, the new findings suggest that people knew how to fight infections much earlier than that — even if they didn’t actually know what bacteria were.

Some of the first people to use antibiotics, according to the research, may have lived along the shores of the Nile in Sudanese Nubia, which spans the border of modern Egypt and Sudan.

Sources: 

http://news.discovery.com/history/ancient-egypt/antibiotic-beer-nubia.htm

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/05/0516_050516_ancientbeer.html

http://www.livescience.com/11028-ancient-african-cocktail-beer-shot-antibiotic.html

Slave Revolts; The Gullah, Maroon, and Black Seminoles

“The Gullah Wars”

 (1739 – 1858)

The Seminole Wars/The 100 Years War


Gullah People:

http://www.claritypress.com/files/KlyVI.html
http://yale.edu/glc/gullah/index.htm
http://yale.edu/glc/gullah/index.htm

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/geechee-and-gullah-culture

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141017-gullah-geechee-heritage-corridor-lowcountry-coast-sea-islands-sweetgrass/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2001/06/0607_wiregullah.html

http://gullahtours.com/

Maroon People:

Nanny, leader of the Windward Maroons is something of a mysterious figure in Jamaican historiography. Situated somewhere between mystic and martyr, rebel and myth, the former slave and military leader nevertheless occupies a place of great importance and reverence in Jamaica. The current and continuous debates concern not the existence of Nanny, but her level of participation in Maroon battles and the range and extent of her leadership. Priestess, warrior, spirit figure, Queen Mother�was she all of these things? Was she any?

http://scholar.library.miami.edu/slaves/Maroons/maroons.html

http://discoveringbristol.org.uk/slavery/against-slavery/black-resistance-against-slavery/the-maroons-of-jamaica/

http://www.yale.edu/glc/nanny.htm

http://www.blackpast.org/gah/queen-nanny-maroons-1733

Black Seminoles:

http://www.yale.edu/glc/gullah/07.htm

http://www.johnhorse.com/black-seminoles/black-seminole-slave-rebellion.htm

http://www.johnhorse.com/black-seminoles/faq-black-seminoles.htm

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bmb18

http://peoplesworld.org/the-forgotten-rebellion-of-the-black-seminole-nation/

Sources:

Aptheker,
Herbert. (1939). Maroons Within the Present Limits of the United States.
Journal of Negro History, 24, 167-184

Aptheker, Herbert. (1974). American Negro Slave Revolts (New ed.). New York,
NY: International Publishers. (Original work published 1943).

Baird, Keith E. & Twining, Mary A. (1980, June). Guy B. Johnson Revisited:
Another Look at Gullah. Journal of Black Studies, 10, 425-435.

Bascom, William. (1941, January-March). Acculturation Among the Gullah Negroes.
American Anthropologist, 43, 43-50.

Bascom, William. (1991). Gullah Folk Beliefs Concerning Childbirth. In Mary A.
Twining & Keith E. Baird (Eds.), Sea Island Roots (p. 27-36). Trenton, NJ:
Africa World Press.

Berry, Mary Frances. (1971). Black Resistance/White Law: A History of
Constitutional Racism in America. New York, NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts
Educational Division, Meredith Corporation.

Boyd, Mark F. (1951, July). The Seminole War: Its Background and Onset. Florida
Historical Quarterly, 30, 3-115.

Brown, Wille James. (1956). The Negro and the Seminole Wars. Unpublished
Master’s Thesis, Florida A & M University.

Coe, Charles. (1974). Red Patriots: The Story of the Seminoles. Gainesville,
FL: University of Florida Presses. (Original work published 1898).

Covington, James. W. (1966, July). Episode in the Third Seminole War. Florida
Historical Quarterly, 45, 45-59.

Covington, James. W. (1982). The Billy Bowlegs War: 1855-1858 The Final Stand
of the Whites. Chuluota, FL: The Mickler House Publishers.

Craven, Frank Wesley. (1971). White, Red, and Black: The Seventeenth-Century
Virginian. Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.

Creel, Margaret Washington. (1990). Gullah Attitudes Toward Life and Death. In
Joseph E. Holloway (Ed.), Africanisms in American Culture (p. 69-97).
Bloomington, IN: Indiana Press.

Cromartie, J. Vern (1984). Gullah Strata People: Historical Notes on the
Geechees. Unpublished Master’s Paper, California State University, Hayward.

Cromartie, J. Vern (nee Jimmie Levern Cromartie). (1987, December). Maroons and
Other Forms of Slave Resistance Within the Present Limits of Georgia,
1733-1865: A Chronology. Unpublished Master’s Special Project, California State
University Hayward.

Davis, T. Frederick (1930, October; 1931a, January; 1931b, April). United
States Troops in Spanish East Florida, 1812-1813 Part IV. Florida Historical
Quarterly

Deagan, Kathleen, & Landers, Jane. (1999). Fort Mose: Earliest free
African-American Town in the United States. In Theresa A. Singleton (Ed.),
“I, Too, Am America”: Archeological Studies in African-American Life
(p. 261-282). Charlottesville, VA: University Press of Virginia.

Foster, Laurence. (1978). Negro-Indian Relationships in the Southeast. New
York, NY:AMS (Original work published 1935).

Giddings, Joshua R. (1858). The Exiles of Florida: Or, the Crimes Committed
Against the Maroons who Fled from South Carolina and other Slave States Seeking
Protection Under Spanish Laws. Columbus, OH: Follet, Foster and Co.

Goggin, John M. (1946). The Seminole Negroes of Andros Island, Bahamas. Florida
Historical Quarterly, 24, 201-206.

Hancock, Ian. (1986). On the Classification of Afro-Seminole. In Michael B.
Montgomery & Guy Bailey (Eds.), Language variety in the South: perspectives
in the Black and White (p. 85-101). University, AL: University of Alabama
Press.

Harding, Vincent. (1981). There is a River: The Struggle of Black Freedom in
America. New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Johnston, James Hugo. (1929, January). Documentary Evidence of the Relations of
Negroes and Indians. Journal of Negro History, 14, 37-40.

Katz, William Loren. (1986). Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage. New York, NY:
Atheneum.

Kly, Yussuf N. (1998). The Gullah War: 1739-1858. In Marquetta L. Goodwine and
The Clarity Press Gullah Project. (Eds.), The Legacy of Ibo Landing: Gullah
Roots of African American Culture (p. 19-53). Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press, Inc.

Kly, Yussuf N. (1999, May/June). The Gullah Wars: The Hidden American
Anti-Slavery War… Islamic Horizons, 28, 42, 45.

Krogman, Wilton Marion. (1934, October). The Racial Composition of the Seminole
Indians of Florida and Oklahoma. Journal of Negro History, 19, 421-422).

Littlefield, Daniel F. (1979). Africans and Creeks: from the Colonial Period to
the Civil War. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Milliganm John D. (1974, Spring). Slave Rebelliousness and the Florida Maroon.
Prologue, 6.

Morse, Jedidia. (1822). A Report to the Secretary of War of the United States
on Indian Affairs.

The “Negro Fort” massacre

http://libcom.org/history/negro-fort-massacre



 

Benjamin Banneker: Anti-Slavery Activist, Scientist and Inventor

 

banneker

Benjamin Banneker was born on November 9, 1731, in Ellicott’s Mills, Maryland. A free black who owned a farm near Baltimore, Banneker was largely self-educated in astronomy by watching the stars and in mathematics by reading borrowed textbooks. He became an active writer of almanacs and was appointed by President George Washington to the District of Columbia Commission.

http://www.biography.com/people/benjamin-banneker-9198038

https://www1.nga.mil/About/History/NGAinHistory/Pages/BenjaminBanneker.aspx

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2p84.html

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/colonial/jb_colonial_banneker_1.html

Benjamin’s Letter to Thomas Jefferson

SIR,
I AM fully sensible of the greatness of that freedom, which I take with you on the present occasion; a liberty which seemed to me scarcely allowable, when I reflected on that distinguished and dignified station inwhich you stand, and the almost general prejudice and prepossession, which is so prevalent in the world against those of my complexion.

I suppose it is a truth too well attested to you, to need a proof here, that we are a race of beings, who have long labored under the abuse and censure of the world; that we have long been looked upon with an eye of contempt; and that we have long been considered rather as brutish than human, and scarcely capable of mental endowments.

Sir, I hope I may safely admit, in consequence of that report which hath reached me, that you are a man far less inflexible in sentiments of this nature, than many others; that you are measurably friendly, and well disposed towards us; and that you are willing and ready to lend your aid and assistance to our relief, from those many distresses, and numerous calamities, to which we are reduced. Now Sir, if this is founded in truth, I apprehend you will embrace every opportunity, to eradicate that train of absurd and false ideas and opinions, which so generally prevails with respect to us; and that your sentiments are concurrent with mine, which are, that one universal Father hath given being to us all; and that he hath not only made us all of one flesh, but that he hath also, without partiality, afforded us all the same sensations and endowed us all with the same faculties; and that however variable we may be in society or religion, however diversified in situation or color, we are all of the same family, and stand in the same relation to him.

Sir, if these are sentiments of which you are fully persuaded, I hope you cannot but acknowledge, that it is the indispensible duty of those, who maintain for themselves the rights of human nature, and who possess the obligations of Christianity, to extend their power and influence to the relief of every part of the human race, from whatever burden or oppression they may unjustly labor under; and this, I apprehend, a full conviction of the truth and obligation of these principles should lead all to. Sir, I have long been convinced, that if your love for yourselves, and for those inestimable laws, which preserved to you the rights of human nature, was founded on sincerity, you could not but be solicitous, that every individual, of whatever rank or distinction, might with you equally enjoy the blessings thereof; neither could you rest satisfied short of the most active effusion of your exertions, in order to their promotion from any state of degradation, to which the unjustifiable cruelty and barbarism of men may have reduced them.

Sir, I freely and cheerfully acknowledge, that I am of the African race, and in that color which is natural to them of the deepest dye; and it is under a sense of the most profound gratitude to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, that I now confess to you, that I am not under that state of tyrannical thraldom, and inhuman captivity, to which too many of my brethren are doomed, but that I have abundantly tasted of the fruition of those blessings, which proceed from that free and unequalled liberty with which you are favored; and which, I hope, you will willingly allow you have mercifully received, from the immediate hand of that Being, from whom proceedeth every good and perfect Gift.

Sir, suffer me to recal to your mind that time, in which the arms and tyranny of the British crown were exerted, with every powerful effort, in order to reduce you to a state of servitude : look back, I entreat you, on the variety of dangers to which you were exposed; reflect on that time, in which every human aid appeared unavailable, and in which even hope and fortitude wore the aspect of inability to the conflict, and you cannot but be led to a serious and grateful sense of your miraculous and providential preservation; you cannot but acknowledge, that the present freedom and tranquility which you enjoy you have mercifully received, and that it is the peculiar blessing of Heaven.

This, Sir, was a time when you cleary saw into the injustice of a state of slavery, and in which you had just apprehensions of the horrors of its condition. It was now that your abhorrence thereof was so excited, that you publicly held forth this true and invaluable doctrine, which is worthy to be recorded and remembered in all succeeding ages : “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that among these are, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Here was a time, in which your tender feelings for yourselves had engaged you thus to declare, you were then impressed with proper ideas of the great violation of liberty, and the free possession of those blessings, to which you were entitled by nature; but, Sir, how pitiable is it to reflect, that although you were so fully convinced of the benevolence of the Father of Mankind, and of his equal and impartial distribution of these rights and privileges, which he hath conferred upon them, that you should at the same time counteract his mercies, in detaining by fraud and violence so numerous a part of my brethren, under groaning captivity and cruel oppression, that you should at the same time be found guilty of that most criminal act, which you professedly detested in others, with respect to yourselves.

I suppose that your knowledge of the situation of my brethren, is too extensive to need a recital here; neither shall I presume to prescribe methods by which they may be relieved, otherwise than by recommending to you and all others, to wean yourselves from those narrow prejudices which you have imbibed with respect to them, and as Job proposed to his friends, “put your soul in their souls’ stead;” thus shall your hearts be enlarged with kindness and benevolence towards them; and thus shall you need neither the direction of myself or others, in what manner to proceed herein. And now, Sir, although my sympathy and affection for my brethren hath caused my enlargement thus far, I ardently hope, that your candor and generosity will plead with you in my behalf, when I make known to you, that it was not originally my design; but having taken up my pen in order to direct to you, as a present, a copy of an Almanac, which I have calculated for the succeeding year, I was unexpectedly and unavoidably led thereto.

This calculation is the production of my arduous study, in this my advanced stage of life; for having long had unbounded desires to become acquainted with the secrets of nature, I have had to gratify my curiosity herein, through my own assiduous application to Astronomical Study, in which I need not recount to you the many difficulties and disadvantages, which I have had to encounter.

And although I had almost declined to make my calculation for the ensuing year, in consequence of that time which I had allotted therefor, being taken up at the Federal Territory, by the request of Mr. Andrew Ellicott, yet finding myself under several engagements to Printers of this state, to whom I had communicated my design, on my return to my place of residence, I industriously applied myself thereto, which I hope I have accomplished with correctness and accuracy; a copy of which I have taken the liberty to direct to you, and which I humbly request you will favorably receive; and although you may have the opportunity of perusing it after its publication, yet I choose to send it to you in manuscript previous thereto, that thereby you might not only have an earlier inspection, but that you might also view it in my own hand writing.

And now, Sir, I shall conclude, and subscribe myself, with the most profound respect, Your most obedient humble servant,

BENJAMIN BANNEKER.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2h71t.html

Thomas Jefferson’s Response

Philadelphia Aug. 30. 1791.

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/jefferson/79.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2h71.html

What Thomas Jefferson to Secretary of The Academy of Sciences

http://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/benjamin-banneker

The Betrayal

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part2/2h72.html

FBI Letter Urged MLK To Kill Himself

http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/now-this-news/fbi-letter-to-mlk-jr-urges-suicide-358207043994

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/16/magazine/what-an-uncensored-letter-to-mlk-reveals.html

Martin Luther King Jr.: America’s Moral Conscious 1967

Martin Luther King The Three Evils of Society

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. – April 4, 1967 – Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence

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