THIS LESSON REVIEWS THE HISTORY OF AFRIKANS IN AMERICA FROM SLAVERY TIMES, THROUGH JIM CROW, CIVIL RIGHT UP TO THE PRESENT.
THE POSTER ABOVE IS HOT-LINKED TO AN EXTENSION THAT INCLUDES WHO WE WERE (Ancient Afrikan History) PRIOR TO OUR HOLOCAUST.
MY THESIS IS” WE, THE MASSES OF AFRIKANS IN AMERICA, ARE STILL NOT UP FROM SLAVERY”, BUT AT THE SAME TIME MANY ARE FIGHTING FIERCE BATTLES ON MANY FRONTS FOR OUR COLLECTIVE SOCIAL, POLITICAL, ECONOMIC, CULTURAL AND EDUCATIONAL FREEDOM–RBG EDUCATION IS A PART OF THAT NEVER ENDING BATTLE.
The title of this presentation is a play on “Up From Slavery”.
This was the title of the 1901 autobiography of Booker T. Washington detailing his slow and steady rise from a slave child during the Civil War, to the difficulties and obstacles he overcame to get an education at the new Hampton University, to his work establishing vocational schools—most notably the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama—to help black people and other disadvantaged minorities learn useful, marketable skills and work to pull themselves, as a race, up by their own bootstraps.
However many Blacks/ New Afrikans, believe “Booker T. Washington was not an activist for African-Americans, but a person who gave credence to the subjugation of African-Americans. Washington’s collaborationist philosophy became so popular that he was a confidant of presidents (T. Roosevelt, Taft) and a darling of rich philanthropists.” Still other scholars suggest Washington’s views were a disguise for a hidden black nationalist agenda.
See Washington And DuBois: Difference Or Dialectic
The MAAFA is a Kiswahili term for “Disaster” or “Terrible Occurrence”. This is the word that best describe the more than 500 hundred years of suffering of people of African descent through Slavery, Imperialism, Colonialism, Invasions and Exploitation. In this lesson you see pictures, here audio and watch videos that tell some of the story of our suffering.
The story of the trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery in the New World is a story of European cruelty and African suffering. The barbarity of the slave trade is attested by the slavers themselves. For example, a Dutch slave trader on the West African cost in the 18th century wrote: “’The Invalides and the Maimed being thrown out . . . the remainder are numbred. . . . In the mean while a burning Iron, with the Arms or Name of the Companies, lyes in the Fire; with which ours are marked on the Breast. . . . I doubt not but this Trade seems very barbarous to you, but since it is followed by meer necessity it must go on; but we yet take all possible care that they are not burned too hard, especially the Women’” (qtd. in MacPherson).
Students new to the study of the Black Diaspora may be surprised to learn that “[w]hen slavery ended in the United States in 1865, this country contained 30 percent of the Western Hemisphere’s population of African descent. Yet fewer than 5 percent of the Africans who reached the New World came to the region that became the United States. The 10 million brought to the West Indies and Latin America did not even reproduce themselves under slavery, while the 427,000 brought to North America became 4,500,000 by 1865. The principal reason for this startling contrast was not the greater humanity of North American slaveholders. The causes included the healthier climate of North America, the lesser physical demands of cotton and tobacco cultivation compared with sugar and coffee, and the legal abolition of the African slave trade by the United States in 1808, at the beginning of the cotton boom, which led Old South planters to increase their labor force by the reproduction of slaves rather than by their importation. In Brazil and the Caribbean, by contrast, the slave trade remained open during the heyday of sugar and coffee, and it was cheaper to import slaves from Africa than to raise them from birth” (Segal qtd. in MacPherson).
Segal believes the “soul” of the Black Diaspora is “freedom. . . . It was in slavery that the diaspora was born, together with the longing and struggle for freedom”; this past is “one of victimization and suffering, but also one of courage and resilience and creativity” (qtd. in MacPherson). “While abroad, individuals maintain their social identity by living in communities which trace their origins to the homeland”: “Diaspora” has meaning only so long as the “idea of an ancestral home” is kept alive (Lovejoy). African slaves and their descendants carried skills and communitarian values, rich cultural traditions, resiliency, and an ethos of resistance that transformed and enriched the cultures they entered around the world. Thus, as African peoples were globally dispersed, they carried their traditions of cultural creativity and oral arts with them, such as “common musical rhythms, exploration of multicolors…and diverse textures, play on repetition, and call-and-response modes of verbal activity” (Asante and Abarry 111). African folktales, often featuring the tortoise, hare, and spider, widespread on the African continent, were carried from Africa to the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States. Though enslaved and uprooted, Diasporic blacks of African descent used their lives and experiences to preserve and reshape their cultures and institutions in new lands, forging new sources of strength, resistance, and hope.
Adapted and modified from a course outline:
The African Holocaust & African Diaspora/Central Oregon Community College
Reference Resource Link Out for Further Study:
African Timelines : African Slave Trade & European Imperialism
RBG Photo-Story Mini-Lecture-Strange Fruit,
“The Ancestors Are Watching”
When chattel slavery ended with the Emancipation Proclamation & Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution southern white world terror domination continued unabated under the de facto rule of “Lynching Laws”
Lyrics by Billie Holiday and Abel Meeropol (1937)/ Sung in the photo-story above by Cassanda Wilson
Southern trees bear strange fruit, Blood on the leaves and blood at the root, Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze, Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees. Pastoral scene of the gallant south, The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth, Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh, Then the sudden smell of burning flesh. Here is fruit for the crows to pluck, For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck, For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop, Here is a strange and bitter crop.
“The United States has a brutal history of domestic violence/ “terrorism against Afrikans”. It is the most ugly episode in United States history; and its relevance and relationship to current day police brutality is dutifully neglected in our public school system. Of the several varieties of American violence against people of Afrikan descent, one type stands out as one of the most inhuman chapters in the history of the world—lynching.
“In 1919, the NAACP reported 3,386 incidents of lynching between 1882-1918.
In a controversial 1992 revision, sociologists Stewart E. Tolnay and E.M. Beck, argue that duplication of reporting produced an over count.
They claim only 2,805 lynchings (nearly 2500 of which were Blacks) can be documented between 1882 and 1930, in ten southern states.”
From: NAACP, Thirty Years of Lynching in the United States: 1889-1918 (New York: Arno Press, 1919), p. 29 and Stewart E. Tolnay and E.M. Beck, Festival of Violence: An Analysis of Southern Lynching, 1882-1930 (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois)..
For 246 years, enslaved Afrikan (our ancestors) endured inhuman living conditions, torture and rape, legally enforced servitude, and other horrendous crimes against humanity. Meanwhile, countless American corporations sponsored or benefited from the uncompensated labor and exploitation of these slaves.
In 1863, President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation began the process of freeing the more than 4 million slaves of Afrikan descent in the United States. But while slavery was abolished, sharecropping, “black codes”, and Jim Crow laws perpetuated restrictions upon the freed Afrikans/Negroes. Dozens of corporations continued to benefit from unpaid labor, allowing these companies to flourish.
Citing the persisting legacy of slavery, four descendants of these slaves filed class action lawsuits seeking reparations and reconciliation on behalf of the approximately 35 million living descendants of slaves. These lawsuits—filed on March 26th and May 1st, 2002—name six major American corporations that profited from the slave trade and the institution of slavery.
The plaintiffs were seeking access to documents revealing corporate slavery connections and compensation for unpaid labor that is long overdue.