People never mention this
i was in a program for undergrad history majors in new york and i met someone who wrote their honors thesis on this—shit that actually happened
This is really important for people to remember. Although I wish they hadn’t included “homosexual” in the title. They may well have been (closeted) queer men, but straight people also sexually assault members of their own gender because they are sadists who enjoy degrading others.
i think the other important take-away here is that white men who deviated from sexuality norms still benefited from a racially segregated society—and of course that white queer men are often given a pass on their white privilege today.
the most relevant right now.
Never been a fan of white folks’ definition of “free country”
|—||“In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens” by Alice Walker (via lifeofaroadie)|
Day 1 of White History Month: No, Your Favorites Were Not “Good for Their Time”
Attempts at defending the founders and other admired figures in history generally revolve around comparisons to their time period. They weren’t “that bad”. They were “progressive for their time”. Perhaps they were simply unaware of the complex and nuanced issues that existed.
Not only is this a bad argument, but it’s inaccurate. Racially oppressed peoples have always spoken out against their oppression, for one. Second, many of the people who have orchestrated oppressive acts or at the very least, continued them, have been aware of their obvious oppressive nature. Third, there have been examples of people who were “good by modern day standards” at every point in history. The reality is that most people were complicit and are still complicit in white supremacy.
As much as possible, people of color have spoken out against the evils of racism. Before Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Olauduh Equiano spoke out against the horrors of slavery. While it took until the 1840s for white activists to strongly commit to abolition, Black Americans had clearly been calling for abolition since slavery’s inception. Before any white sociologist recognized race as epiphenomenal, Frederick Douglass analyzed racism. Black Americans who were enslaved were clearly aware of the evil of slavery.
To ignore that these were obvious evils is to treat Black people as a nonfactor in history and to say that only white people mattered.
Not only did Black Americans recognize the oppressiveness of slavery and racism, but many white Americans were as well. They simply did not care, or were aware of how racism benefited them.
James Madison, for one, said that it would be immoral to include within the constitution that men could be owned as property. The colonists also had compared their situation with Great Britain to that of plantation slavery. They were aware of the oppressiveness. They simply did not care about enslaved Black Americans, and they enjoyed the wealth and privileges wrought from slave labor.
It is not as if they were without example, either. Robert Carter III (1728-1804), coming to view slavery as immoral, gradually freed all of his 500+ slaves that he owned and instead, in more of an economic decision, rented out land to his freed slaves. Other plantation owners in the Chesapeake Bay area also freed their slaves, citing equality as their sole rationale. It is not as if the founding fathers were unaware of Carter (a wealthy plantation and slave owner) and the others; they simply did not follow their example. Certain US states and other countries abolished slavery years before the United States did on a federal level.
In the 1850’s, John Brown was a dedicated abolitionist who drafted a provisional antiracist constitution along with 33 Black Americans.
Later, in the dissenting opinion of the 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson case, Judge John Marshall Harlan wrote that separation by race was clearly done in the interest of white people and that it would be at odds with the ideals of the constitution.
It is uncomfortable for many people to accept reality because it shatters the fantastical American mythos, the founding fathers, and other prominent leaders in the United States, but there was no excuse for supporting racism.
Millionaire socialite Annie George, 40, went on trial Tuesday for allegedly keeping an undocumented immigrant as a “slave” in her upstate New York mansion.
According to CBS 6 in Albany, Valsamma Mathai, 49, testified Tuesday that she was held in the 30,000 square foot, 26-bedroom Llenroc Mansion in Rexford, New York for six and a half years as she worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week, and slept in a walk-in closet.
Mathai, an undocumented immigrant from India, said she was picked up at a New York bus station by George’s late husband Mathai Kolath George, who spoke her native tongue and offered a job that would pay $1,000 per month — a significant raise over the $100 per month she was making.
When she arrived, however, Mathai claims she did not have her passport or visa, and soon discovered she wasn’t allowed to leave.
It wasn’t until the National Human Trafficking Resource Center received a tip from the woman’s son, who prosecutors said recorded a conversation with George, that agents came to her rescue. A criminal complaint was filed last March.
George is facing a charge of harboring an undocumented immigrant, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Love the priorities in this case. The fact that she held this woman as a fucking slave for over six years? Working 12 hour days?
Fuck that! She’s keeping those nasty illegals in her mansion! I’m so glad they’re prosecuting her for contributing to the undocumented immigrant problem, with them stealing our jobs, getting paid under the table, and…
[D] Disclaimer: the above was sarcasm.
Seriously, though, was “harboring an illegal immigrant” the only thing they could charge her with? In order to be charged with kidnapping/wrongful imprisonment, etc, the victim has to be a citizen?
Fuck this world.
Um… also regardless of citizenship… isn’t SLAVERY fucking ILLEGAL?
If they’re only going to give this evil bitch 10 years, it should be 10 years hard labor.
When students learn about slavery in school, a lot of them often ask this question: “Why didn’t they fight back?” It’s a question that often remains unanswered because lesson plans don’t always address the grittier elements of history, particularly the slave trade.
But they did fight back. And one of them, Gaspar Yanga, changed history forever.
Often referred to as the “first liberator of the Americas,” Yanga was a leader of a slave rebellion in Mexico during the early period of Spanish colonial rule around 1570. By the year 1609, the large number of escaped slaves had reduced much of rural Mexico to desperation, especially in the mountains in the state of Veracruz.
Taking refuge in the difficult terrain of the highlands, Yanga and his people built a small maroon colony, or “Palenque”—a community of runaway slaves living on mountaintops. The colony grew for more than 30 years, partially surviving by capturing caravans bringing goods to Veracruz. In 1609, the Spanish colonial government decided to try to regain control of the territory.
Spanish troops, numbering around 550, set out from Puebla in January 1609. The maroons facing them were an irregular force of 100 fighters with some type of firearm and 400 more with primitive weapons such as stones, machetes, and bows and arrows. These maroon troops were led by Francisco de la Matosa, an Angolan. Yanga—who was quite old by this time—decided to use his troops’ superior knowledge of the terrain to resist the Spaniards. His goal was to cause the Spaniards enough pain to draw them to the negotiating table.
Upon the approach of the Spanish troops, Yanga sent terms of peace, including an area of self-rule. The Spaniards refused the terms and the two groups fought a battle that lasted for many years. Finally, unable to win indefinitely, the Spaniards agreed to give Yanga’s followers their freedom in exchange for ending the constant raids in the area and gain their help in tracking down other escaped slaves.
Additional conditions were also met, including:
1. Upon surrender, Yanga and his people would receive a farm as well as the right of self-government;
2. Only Franciscan priests would tend to the people; and
3. Yanga’s family would be granted the right of rule.
In 1618, the treaty was signed, and by 1630, the town of San Lorenzo de los Negros de Cerralvo was established. The town name of “San Lorenzo de los Negros” was officially changed to Yanga, Veracruz in 1956. This town of more than 20,000 people remains under the name of Yanga today.
» Contributed by Raymond Ward, DuSable Museum of African American History.
Underwater sculpture, in Grenada, in honor of our African ancestors thrown overboard.
I couldnt not reblog this, it’s so powerful to me.
oh my god.
Consequently, here’s my top-10 list of things everyone should know about the economic roots of slavery.
1) Slavery laid the foundation for the modern international economic system.
The massive infrastructure required to move 8 to 10 million Africans halfway around the world built entire cities in England and France, such as Liverpool, Manchester and Bordeaux. It was key to London’s emergence as a global capital of commerce, and spurred New York’s rise as a center of finance. The industry to construct, fund, staff, and administer the thousands of ships which made close to 50,000 individual voyages was alone a herculean task. The international financial and distribution networks required to coordinate, maintain and profit from slavery set the framework for the modern global economy.
2) Africans’ economic skills were a leading reason for their enslavement.
Africans possessed unique expertise which Europeans required to make their colonial ventures successful. Africans knew how to grow and cultivate crops in tropical and semi-tropical climates. African rice growers, for instance, were captured in order to bring their agricultural knowledge to America’s sea islands and those of the Caribbean. Many West African civilizations possessed goldsmiths and expert metal workers on a grand scale. These slaves were snatched to work in Spanish and Portuguese gold and silver mines throughout Central and South America. Contrary to the myth of unskilled labor, large numbers of Africans were anything but.
3) African know-how transformed slave economies into some of the wealthiest on the planet.
The fruits of the slave trade funded the growth of global empires. The greatest source of wealth for imperial France was the “white gold” of sugar produced by Africans in Haiti. More riches flowed to Britain from the slave economy of Jamaica than all of the original American 13 colonies combined. Those resources underwrote the Industrial Revolution and vast improvements in Western Europe’s economic infrastructure.
4) Until it was destroyed by the Civil War, slavery made the American South the richest and most powerful region in America.
Slavery was a national enterprise, but the economic and political center of gravity during the U.S.’s first incarnation as a slave republic was the South. This was true even during the colonial era. Virginia was its richest colony and George Washington was one of its wealthiest people because of his slaves. The majority of the new country’s presidents and Supreme Court justices were Southerners.
However, the invention of the cotton gin took the South’s national economic dominance and transformed it into a global phenomenon. British demand for American cotton, as I have written before, made the southern stretch of the Mississippi River the Silicon Valley of its era. The single largest concentration of America’s millionaires was gathered in plantations along the Mississippi’s banks. The first and only president of the Confederacy—Jefferson Davis—was a Mississippi, millionaire slave holder.
5) Defense of slavery, more than taxes, was pivotal to America’s declaration of independence.
The South had long resisted Northern calls to leave the British Empire. That’s because the South sold most of its slave-produced products to Britain and relied on the British Navy to protect the slave trade. But a court case in England changed all of that. In 1775, a British court ruled that slaves could not be held in the United Kingdom against their will. Fearing that the ruling would apply to the American colonies, the Southern planters swung behind the Northern push for greater autonomy. In 1776, one year later, America left its former colonial master. The issue of slavery was so powerful that it changed the course of history.
6) The brutalization and psychological torture of slaves was designed to ensure that plantations stayed in the black financially.
Slave revolts and acts of sabotage were relatively common on Southern plantations. As economic enterprises, the disruption in production was bad for business. Over time a system of oppression emerged to keep things humming along. This centered on singling out slaves for public torture who had either participated in acts of defiance or who tended towards noncompliance. In fact, the most recalcitrant slaves were sent to institutions, such as the “Sugar House” in Charleston, S.C., where cruelty was used to elicit cooperation. Slavery’s most inhumane aspects were just another tool to guarantee the bottom line.
7) The economic success of former slaves during Reconstruction led to the rise of the Klu Klux Klan.
In less than 10 years after the end of slavery, blacks created thriving communities and had gained political power—including governorships and Senate seats—across the South. Former slaves, such Atlanta’s Alonzo Herndon, had even become millionaires in the post-war period. But the move towards black economic empowerment had upset the old economic order. Former planters organized themselves into White Citizens Councils and created an armed wing—the Klu Klux Klan—to undermine black economic institutions and to force blacks into sharecropping on unfair terms. Isabel Wilkerson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Warmth of Other Suns”, details the targeting of black individuals, as well as entire black communities, for acts of terror whose purpose was to enforce economic apartheid.
8) The desire to maintain economic oppression is why the South was one of the most anti-tax regions of the nation.
Before the Civil War, the South routinely blocked national infrastructure protects. These plans, focused on Northern and Western states, would have moved non-slave goods to market quickly and cheaply. The South worried that such investments would increase the power of the free-labor economy and hurt their own, which was based on slavery. Moreover, the South was vehemently opposed to taxes even to improve the lives of non-slaveholding white citizens. The first public school in the North, Boston Latin, opened its doors in the mid-1600s. The first public school in the South opened 200 years later. Maintenance of slavery was the South’s top priority to the detriment of everything else.
9) Many firms on Wall Street made fortunes from funding the slave trade.
Investment in slavery was one of the most profitable economic activities throughout most of New York’s 350 year history. Much of the financing for the slave economy flowed through New York banks. Marquis names such as JP Morgan Chase and New York Life all profited greatly from slavery. Lehman Brothers, one of Wall Street’s largest firms until 2008, got its start in the slave economy of Alabama. Slavery was so important to the city that New York was one the most pro-slavery urban municipalities in the North.
10) The wealth gap between whites and blacks, the result of slavery, has yet to be closed.
The total value of slaves, or “property” as they were then known, could exceed $12 million in today’s dollars on the largest plantations. With land, machinery, crops and buildings added in, the wealth of southern agricultural enterprises was truly astronomical. Yet when slavery ended, the people that generated the wealth received nothing.
The country has struggled with the implications of this inequity ever since. With policy changes in Washington since 1865, sometimes this economic gulf has narrowed and sometimes it’s widened, but the economic difference has never been erased. Today, the wealth gap between whites and blacks is the largest recorded since records began to be kept three decades ago.
Definitely didn’t know a bunch of this.
Brad Pitt as Jackie Cogan in “Killing Them Softly” (via jomul7)
Nothing is more gangster than the truth…
Killing them softly was reallly good
Thous boasted land of liberty,—
It is to thee I raise my song,
Thou land of blood, and crime, and wrong.
It is to thee, my native land,
From which has issued many band
To tear the black man from his soil,
And force him here to delve and toil;
Chained beneath your blood-bemoistened sod,
Cringing beneath a tyrant’s rod,
Stripped of those rights which Nature’s God
Bequeathed to all the human race,
Bound to a petty tyrant’s nod,
Because he wears a paler face.
|—||james m. whitfield, from america. (via black-poetry)|