African- Americans must be rightfully compensated for 400 years of Slavery

African Americans played an integral role in our thriving US Economy for many centuries.  The exploitation of African Americans was the source of free wealth for the new found colonies which came in the form of free labor provided by the sweat of African slaves.   Many generations of white Americans prospered with slavery even after the days of reconstruction but not African Americans.

The economic gap that exists today between African Americans, whites and other ethnic groups in the United States is due in part to generations of racial discrimination and lack of economic reparations to the many millions of African American families that endured chattel slavery.  The current state of black America is not a mere coincidence the past events placed many African Americans at a disadvantage which will take, “If current economic trends continue, the average black household will need 228 years to accumulate as much wealth as their white counterparts hold today” ( Holland, 2016).  Although our government has made some strides in alleviating this current problem with more “Equal Opportunities” for blacks and affirmative action which is diminishing gradually African Americans still remain handicap at the bottom of the barrel economically with high unemployment and poverty in highly concentrated black neighborhoods.

Despite of predicted population growth by families of color surpassing white families, black families remain behind whites in building wealth.  In 1963, “The average wealth of white families was $117,000 higher than the average wealth of nonwhite families. By 2013, the average wealth of white families was over $500,000 higher than the average wealth of African American families ($95,000) and of Hispanic families ($112,000)” (McKernan, 2015).   This economic gap between whites and blacks is no coincidence, a Holocaust of 400 years, segregation and racial discrimination in the labor and housing markets are symptoms of slavery.  What African Americans need are reparations, monetary reparations that they rightfully deserve for generations of servitude that their ancestors suffered during the years of slavery.

 

Slave labor was the foundation of a prosperous economic system in the United States

In 1675, black slaves  that came from Africa were only about 5,000 but that number increased by 1787, when the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia there were about half a million slaves.  “The transport of Africans across the Atlantic to the Americas was the largest forced migration in world history.  Over 10 million people made the journey, so many that is changed the trajectory of Africa’s development” (Tindall, G. B., & Shi, D. E. 2013, p. 76).  By the year 1850 with the introduction of the cotton crop to the colonies the slave population grew substantially to more than 3 million slaves with many of them working  in the Southern plantations with 60 percent of them in the cotton fields and the rest worked either in other popular crops like tobacco or as craftsmen.   It is estimated that, “Of every hour of useful work done in the Southern states, roughly 40 minutes was performed by a slave” (DeRosa, 2016).  The United States became what Saudi Arabia is today with the commodity of petroleum.  The South region supplied between 60 and 70 percent of the entire world’s raw cotton.  There was nothing quite like it back then with one fifth of America’s wealth deriving from slaves.  By 1840, cotton by 1840, “cotton produced by slave labor constituted 59 percent of the country’s exports. “By 1860, just before the Civil war, “slaves as an asset were worth more than all of America’s manufacturing, all of the railroads, all of the productive capacity of the United States put together” ( Nolan, 2014).  It is estimated that many slaveholders that lived in the lower Mississippi Valley were multimillionaires.  Slaves then which were nearly 4 million were worth nearly $3.5 billion which made them the largest single financial asset for the entire U.S economy.  From all those millions, African slaves did not see a single penny from all the work in the plantations.  Slaves that somehow managed to acquire their freedom were not able to find jobs and if they did local laws always found ways to get them back in the plantations or steal their property.

It was very common in the South for ordinances to be enacted to make life miserable for freed slaves.  In Charleston for example in 1806 were typical of those in force in southern towns and cities until slavery ended.  The ordinances made it illegal for slaves, “Carry on any mechanical or handicraft trade for their direct personal benefit, put a slave as an apprentice in any mechanical or handicraft trade under the supervision of another slave, and or buy, sell, or trade goods unless they had a ticket and then could sell only meat, fruit and vegetables and other goods from their owners plantations” (Walker, 2009, p.104).  Everybody benefited from slavery it was a round well protected business.  Cotton consumers, insurance companies and industrial enterprises benefited from slavery.

The Northern States despite of common belief even though they abolished slavery in 1804 they also benefitted from slavery.  The North had an important involvement in the slavery and cotton trade.  The cotton that was exported to Great Britain and Europe had to get processed in the Northern States.  A large percentage of the mills were stationed in New England and they consumed millions of pounds of cotton that originated from the South.

Inequality and Racial Discrimination post Civil War

Following the American Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation, hundreds of thousands of freed slaves died from diseases and hunger.  “One white religious leader in 1863 expected black Americans to vanish. “Like his brother the Indian of the forest” (Harris, 2012).  Many slaves found it difficult to start their new free life up to a million died during this transition.  A lot of freed slaves werenot able to find work because or racial injustices and returned to work on the plantations they had escaped from.

After the Civil War, the US government promised many things to freed slaves such as Sherman’s Field Order No. 15 also known as the “40 Acres and Mule”.  Union General William T. Sherman issued this order as a compensation/reparation for freed slaves.  His order immediately provided settlement for roughly 40,000 blacks but his order was short lived and only distributed 400, 000 acres to freed slaves.  After the civil war ended, President Andrew Johnson overturned Sherman’s order and returned most of the land back to its original Southern planters.   Since this overturn, it has been very difficult for African Americans to acquire land for many years and those that did acquire had difficulties keeping it.

black-neighborhoods

What needs to be done?

Today, many African Americans are still hoping for reasonable reparations, for the labor of emancipated slaves and the failed land redistributions under the Sherman Special Orders of 1865.  It would be a very symbolic healing for the African American community.  The same way the United States government provided reparations to other groups such as the Native Americans for compensation for various Indian communities and for the Japanese survivors from World War II or the same way the the German government paid Jews for reparations, African Americans should be equally compensated for a 400 year Holocaust.

Conclusion

The idea of reparations for African American has been a topic of discussion between blacks and whites for many years but nothing till day has been done.   Since the days of Fredrick Douglass, Martin Luther King and the Pan-African movement have tried but failed to bring reparations to African Americans but our government has been stagnant to this issue.   Many Americans have acknowledged that that African Americans were deprived at the hands of the state and federal governments, corporations and individuals during the many centuries of slavery but a political effort has to occur in order to bring about changes.    In order for African Americans to move forward economic reparations have to take place.  400 years of Slavery, Jim Crow and racial discrimination have to be rightfully compensated.  Equal rights by all means are important to the African community but in order to successfully move forward and to help future generations economically compensations must take place.

 

References:

DeRosa, P. (2016, January 11). Was America Built By Slaves? Retrieved from http://www.the-american-interest.com/2016/01/11/was-america-built-by-slaves/

Harris, P. (2012, June 16). How the end of slavery led to starvation and death for millions of black Americans. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jun/16/slavery-starvation-civil-war

Holland , J. (2016, August 08). The Average Black Family Would Need 228 Years to Build the Wealth of a White Family Today. Retrieved from https://www.thenation.com/article/the-average-black-family-would-need-228-years-to-build-the-wealth-of-a-white-family-today/

McKernan, S. (2015, February). 9 Charts about Wealth Inequality in America. Retrieved from http://apps.urban.org/features/wealth-inequality-charts/

Nolan, H. (2014, September 22). What Reparations in America Could Look Like. Retrieved from http://gawker.com/what-reparations-in-america-could-look-like-1633066247

Ransom, Roger. “Economics of the Civil War”. EH.Net Encyclopedia, edited by Robert Whaples. August 24, 2001. URL http://eh.net/encyclopedia/the-economics-of-the-civil-war/

How Blacks became the New Found Wealth in the New World

 

Indentured servitude was the initial acute solution for obtaining labor supply to the new found regions of colonial America.   Indentured servants played in integral role in the early history of the first colonies in the production of new world crops.  As more and more crops were exported to England there was a high demand for skilled workers to build houses and farm buildings, to make the hogsheads and barrels to pack and ship the sugar and tobacco.  Over time though this activity became more and more demanding and labor force became scarce.  “According to European colonial officials, the abundant land they had “discovered” in the Americas was useless without sufficient labor to exploit it. Slavery systems of labor exploitation were preferred, but neither European nor Native American sources proved adequate to the task” (Dodson, 2003).  The early American settlers were enthused with the new found land wealth but in order to get the most out of the lands they resorted to American Indian slaves and African slaves.   Indians to be used as a labor force proved to be catastrophic because they were very unreliable slaves.  They rejected the field work and since they knew the landscape and surroundings very well they ran away at the first opportunity.  On the other hand, poor European indentured servants were good for only seven years max because after their period concluded they were released from servitude.

During the 1600s, indentured servitude provided the bulk of the labor force in the Southern and Middle colonies but by the 1700s, however, the population of indentured servants dropped due in part to the improving economic conditions back home in England.  This said, the only option left for the settlers was to enslave Africans as the main source of unskilled labor.  The numbers of African slaves grew from merely 20 captive Africans that settled in Jamestown, Virginia who by the way were treated as indentured servants to a massive import that grew to 500,000 from 1700 to 1776.  The first Africans in North America were contraband, according to John Rolfe, chief operating officer of the Virginia Company of London.  In 1607 as a profit –making venture, this joint stock trading company had established Jamestown in Virginia for commercial development.  In a financial report prepared for the company, Rolfe indicated that the Africans had been seized as plunder by a Dutch privateer from a Spanish slaver and ignominiously dumped at Jamestown’s makeshift harbor.  The commercialization of Africans as commodities of labor in America began, then, with the entry and settlement of these first blacks at Jamestown in 1619. The first Africans were not regarded as indentured servants like the rest of the colony members even though they secured their freedom after five to seven years of servitude (Walker, 2009, pg. 27).  Gradually, with racist rhetoric based on color differences growing in the colonies more and more Africans become lifelong servants and eventually the limited term of servitude was removed and by 1660 the colonial assemblies legalized lifelong slavery in all colonies.

slavery

The need for labor, particularly African slave labor, was especially critical in the early development of all of the English colonies.  “Colonial America gradually became a land of white opportunity and black slavery.  Africans were the largest ethnic group to come to British America during the colonial era” (Tindall, 2013,pg.75) In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the brother in law of the esteemed Government John Winthrop expressed those views in a 1645 letter that emphasized the necessity of acquiring Africans as slave labor: “ I doe not see how wee can thrive untill wee get into a stock of slaves sufficient to doe all our businesss……And, I suppose you know verie well how we shall mayntayne 20 Moores cheaper than one Englishe servant” ( Walker, 2009, pg.27).  In colonial America,  the agricultural competence of Africans, their expertise in livestock raising and the extractive industries, and their proficiency in various crafts can be attributed to African survivalisms that proved singularly invaluable not only in contributing to the development of American colonies but also in  providing the basis for the emergence of African business practices.

For the years to come Black slavery became the norm and America’s new found wealth.  The free labor from black slaves provided the colonists with agri-products like cotton and tobacco which in turn enabled them to acquire economical power, populate and fund their independence from England.  Slavery on the other spectrum has affected the lives of many African Americans both psychologically and economically.  Today, the side effects of slavery are still ingrained in the lives of many African Americans.   Blacks today get criticized for why they haven’t magically lifted themselves up out of poverty and for why they are still at the bottom of the economical todem poll when immigrants from other countries created wealth more wealth in this country than them but nobody seems to speak about reparations for African Americans, no 40 acres and a mule, bad infrastructure, Jim Crow, redlining, racism and education.   What is astonishing though is that every institution in America whether Wall Street, America’s universities, the government all benefited from black slavery but African Americans.

 

References:

Dodson, H. (2003, February 03). How Slavery Helped Build a World Economy. Retrieved from http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/01/0131_030203_jubilee2.html

Tindall, G. B., & Shi, D. E. (2013). America: A narrative history. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Walker, J. E. K., (2009). The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship. (2nd edition).  The University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Evolution of Black Cinematography

In the words of the famous singer Sam Cooke, “It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will”.  African American actors and films directors have come a long way from playing stereotypical roles of maids and cooks to giving speeches at the Academy Awards.   African American men and women were confined to demeaning roles and films but this is after the 1

920’s before that blacks were portrayed by whites covered in black make- up and  red lipstick where in most films they performed racist and demeaning stereotypes that depicted us as being lazy, stupid, foolish, childish so on and so forth.  But despite of all of the adversity and racism that existed then African Americans were able to move away from

oscar_micheaux

Oscar Micheaux “First Black Film Maker”

those stereotypical roles and take leading roles of protagonists in Hollywood’s blockbuster films.

Early films degrading African Americans

Some but not all African take the movie The Help as a step back to another demeaning role that takes us back to the stereotypical roles of cooks and maids.  The Help is a story of a group of black maids in the 60s from the state of Mississippi who agreed to share their stories of mistreatment from their bosses and reveal them in a book written by a young, white aspiring actress who liberates them because they can’t help themselves thus the title “The Help”.  There are also other films like Gone With the Wind, Casablanca and Driving Miss Daisy where African Americans played demeaning roles that degrade blacks because the films convey the idea that blacks are subordinate, unable to guide, direct or give meaning to their lives without the leadership of whites.

The movies from the 60s and 80s were not as demeaning and racist compared to a the ones from the early 1900s the 3 hour film Birth of a Nation for example which was a movie based on the Thomas Dixon’s novel the Clansman, depicts a story of US history in the 1860s .  In the film African Americans are portrayed as brutish, lazy, morally degenerated and dangerous and where the Ku Klux Klan is the hero who rises to save the South from the Reconstruction Era-prominence of African Americans in Southern public life.  The film premiered in Los Angeles and became one of the highest grossing and controversial films in U.S history.

There are also the films like the Ten Pickaninnies and Wooing and Wedding of a Coon that introduced another degrading and demeaning black screen caricature the coon which evolved into one of the most blatantly degrading stereotypes, there were more black caricatures both in films and cartoons and even though many black leaders from the NAACP protesting against it they had no power to stop this trend.

The Hollywood then was different from the Hollywood from today, back then Hollywood was notorious for producing movies of different genres that promoted racist, classist, sexist, and homophobic attitudes to different minority groups.

During this time, the roles of African Americans were confined to loyal servants, mammies and butlers, reinforcing the social status of blacks which was that of servants who was devoted to his or her white masters this went on from the 1910’s till the 1930s .

 

The Rise of Black Film Makers

After the Civil War many African American Americans migrated to the North from the rural South for a better future abandoning the Jim Crow laws of the South to the better living standards of the North.  The U.S between the 1910’s and 1940s saw a shift in the racial landscape and mainstream Hollywood started to reflect that change in their films.  From the 1910s to the 1930s a few black owned film companies were establishing that had “colored cast” and productions that had positive and diverse roles for actresses and actors.

From this era we have the rise of the first African American director Oscar Micheaux who was never bought or ever influenced by white Hollywood.  He was the Bill Cosby of the 1920’s, Micheaux rejected stereotypical roles of blacks.  He showed blacks in positions of power, authority, and respectability.  He offered the opposite of what Hollywood depicted with their cruel simplistic stereotypical films.  He loved to portray controversial subjects to its audience like lynching segregation and racism.  Another great black film maker was Noble Johnson he was both actor and director an ambitious man who created his own movie company and became president of the Lincoln Motion Picture company.  This was the first movie company organized by black filmmakers.  Lincoln Motion Picture was the first company to produce films that portrayed blacks as real people who lived real lives.

In the words of the famous singer Sam Cooke, “It’s been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gon’ come, oh yes it will”.  African American actors and films directors have come a long way from playing stereotypical roles of maids and cooks to giving speeches at the Academy Awards.   African American men and women were confined to demeaning roles and films but this is after the 1

920’s before that blacks were portrayed by whites covered in black make- up and  red lipstick where in most films they performed racist and demeaning stereotypes that depicted us as being lazy, stupid, foolish, childish so on and so forth.  But despite of all of the adversity and racism that existed then African Americans were able to move away from those stereotypical roles and take leading roles of protagonists in Hollywood’s blockbuster films.

Early films degrading African Americans

Some but not all African take the movie The Help as a step back to another demeaning role that takes us back to the stereotypical roles of cooks and maids.  The Help is a story of a group of black maids in the 60s from the state of Mississippi who agreed to share their stories of mistreatment from their bosses and reveal them in a book written by a young, white aspiring actress who liberates them because they can’t help themselves thus the title “The Help”.  There are also other films like Gone With the Wind, Casablanca and Driving Miss Daisy where African Americans played demeaning roles that degrade blacks because the films convey the idea that blacks are subordinate, unable to guide, direct or give meaning to their lives without the leadership of whites.

The movies from the 60s and 80s were not as demeaning and racist compared to a the ones from the early 1900s the 3 hour film Birth of a Nation for example which was a movie based on the Thomas Dixon’s novel the Clansman, depicts a story of US history in the 1860s .  In the film African Americans are portrayed as brutish, lazy, morally degenerated and dangerous and where the Ku Klux Klan is the hero who rises to save the South from the Reconstruction Era-prominence of African Americans in Southern public life.  The film premiered in Los Angeles and became one of the highest grossing and controversial films in U.S history.

There are also the films like the Ten Pickaninnies and Wooing and Wedding of a Coon that introduced another degrading and demeaning black screen caricature the coon which evolved into one of the most blatantly degrading stereotypes, there were more black caricatures both in films and cartoons and even though many black leaders from the NAACP protesting against it they had no power to stop this trend.

The Hollywood then was different from the Hollywood from today, back then Hollywood was notorious for producing movies of different genres that promoted racist, classist, sexist, and homophobic attitudes to different minority groups.

During this time, the roles of African Americans were confined to loyal servants, mammies and butlers, reinforcing the social status of blacks which was that of servants who was devoted to his or her white masters this went on from the 1910’s till the 1930s .

 

The Rise of Black Film Makers

After the Civil War many African American Americans migrated to the North from the rural South for a better future abandoning the Jim Crow laws of the South to the better living standards of the North.  The U.S between the 1910’s and 1940s saw a shift in the racial landscape and mainstream Hollywood started to reflect that change in their films.  From the 1910s to the 1930s a few black owned film companies were establishing that had “colored cast” and productions that had positive and diverse roles for actresses and actors.

From this era we have the rise of the first African American director Oscar Micheaux who was never bought or ever influenced by white Hollywood.  He was the Bill Cosby of the 1920’s, Micheaux rejected stereotypical roles of blacks.  He showed blacks in positions of power, authority, and respectability.  He offered the opposite of what Hollywood depicted with their cruel simplistic stereotypical films.  He loved to portray controversial subjects to its audience like lynching segregation and racism.  Another great black film maker was Noble Johnson he was both actor and director an ambitious man who created his own movie company and became president of the Lincoln Motion Picture company.  This was the first movie company organized by black filmmakers.  Lincoln Motion Picture was the first company to produce films that portrayed blacks as real people who lived real lives.

 

Just like Noble Johnson, Oscar Micheaux his films were shown in big city ghetto houses in the North and in segregated theaters in the South as well as in black churches, schools and social organizations.  By the late 1940s the black movie industry was fading but nevertheless both Micheaux and Noble Johnson left a legacy for generations to come they inspired other blacks to be independent.

 

The Breakthrough Era

Before the Civil Rights movement something unprecedented took place and this was the celebration for the first African American actor to win the Academy Award.  According to the Hollywood Reporter on the month of February in a segregated “ No Blacks” hotel in Los Angeles in 1940 Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to receive the Oscar for her role of Mammy in the film Gone with the Wind.  “Hattie McDaniel, then one of the biggest African-American movie stars in the world — marched into the Culver City offices of producer David O. Selznick and placed a stack of Gone With the Wind reviews on his desk. The Civil War epic, released two months earlier, had become an instant cultural sensation, and McDaniel’s portrayal of Mammy — the head slave at Tara, the film’s fictional Southern plantation”

(Abramovich, 2015).   Though she was criticized by the African Americans for her demeaning and stereotypical house maid she inspired many young African American actors.  It would take another 23 years for the African American to receive an Oscar.

With the growing momentum of the Civil Rights Movement, more changes to Hollywood were taking place there was a larger presence of blacks sharing screen time with whites which was unprecedented at that time.  There was greater cast integration, and greater encouragement from the Civil Rights movement.

During this era, leading actor Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win an Academy Award for best actor,

“He won for his role in Lilies of the Field (he had also been nominated for best actor for The Defiant Ones five years earlier), and though it was a tremendous breakthrough in terms of diversity, it’s also worth noting that when Ann Bancroft gave him a kiss on the cheek when presenting him with the Oscar, some people were offended” (Goodykoontz, 2014).  But that was the world back in 1964, the accomplishment Poitier received though made an impact to many African American lives, it did not erase the sick reality that we were still living in a segregated world. The various films in the 1960s saw a continuation of the work that was accomplished in the late 1950s, with greater push back against the racial status quo, greater cast integration, and greater encouragement to better understand the meanings of race in the U.S.

More African American representation in Hollywood Today

Academy Award Winners Sidney Poitier and Hattie McDaniel paved the road to modern-day actors like Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, and Halle Berry to break more barriers and to have more African Americans take more leading roles in Hollywood.  Following the success of Sidney Poitier and Hattie McDaniel more opportunities opened up to African American actors, directors, writers, and producers continued to expand.  More African Americans were seen in all genres of films from action, comedy, drama, documentary, horror and romance.  More TV shows were blossoming that were portraying more African American families as normal human beings that lived real lives just like everybody else just like the way director Micheaux and Johnson did back in the 20’s.  “The Cosby Show” was breaking new ground in the media portraying professional black families with a predominantly black cast.  We had the “Jeffersons”, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” (1990-96) “Family Matters” (1989-98) and the progressively minded campus-comedy spinoff “A Different World” (1987-93). Though some might say the show merely picked up where “The Jeffersons” (1975-85) and “Good Times” (1974-79) left off, “The Cosby Show” remains the most-watched show featuring a predominantly black cast in the history of American TV. For five of the eight years it ran, it was the most-watched show in America — period — beloved by audiences of all colors and walks of life” (Flanagan, 2014) .  These shows opened new doors to new talents and modern black family shows such as ABC’s “Black-ish” with more than 7 million viewers each week.  The show is now on its third season its ratings are higher of those from “Modern Family” and “The Goldberg’s.”

Also we are witnessing more African American films on the big screen films such as 12 a Slave, which won the Academy Award for the best picture, the industry’s highest honor.  The film was also nominated for nine Oscars and won three, including one for Lupita Nyong’o for

best supporting actress and one for John Ridley for adapted screenplay. Both are black, as is director Steve McQueen this is definitely progress.  We have more films describing the black experience in America with black writers, actors and film directors.  There is also Selma the film based on the citizen march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and Dr, Martin Luther King’s struggles with the Civil Rights Movement.  The film received lots of Academy Award Nomination and Golden globe nominations.

 

Conclusion

 

Though there is still work to be done nevertheless African Americans have come a long way from being confined to demeaning stereotypical roles on television.  We are now seeing progress with more African American taking leading roles, breaking boundaries and stereotypes and even though that plague of old Southern Jim Crow stereotypes is still evident in Hollywood today this shall come to pass.

 

 

 

 

References

Abramovich, S. (2015, February 19). Oscar’s First Black Winner Accepted Her Honor in a Segregated ‘No Blacks’ Hotel in L.A. Retrieved from http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/oscars-first-black-winner-accepted-774335

 

Kang, C., Thompson, K., & Harewell, D. (2014, December 23). Hollywood’s Race Problem: An Insicular Industry Struggles to Change. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from https://www.coursehero.com/tutors-problems/Business/9343233-httpswwwwashingtonpostcombusinesseconomyhollywoods-race-proble/

Samthanam, L., & Crigger, M. (2015, September 22). Out of 30,000 Hollywood film characters, here’s how many weren’t white. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/30000-hollywood-film-characters-heres-many-werent-white/

Flanagin, J. (2014, September 24). Why ‘The Cosby Show’ Still Matters. Retrieved from http://op-talk.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/24/why-the-cosby-show-still-matters/

Goodykoontz, Gannett Chief Film Critic, B. (2015, February 20). For blacks in Hollywood, it’s the same old script. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2015/02/12/black-history-cinema/23321125/

T, J. (2016, January 21). How racially skewed are the Oscars? Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/

 

 

 

Schella, A., & Strachan, M. (2016, April 06). In The Rare Event A Hollywood Movie Features Two Black … Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hollywood-movies-black-leads_us_56eac044e4b065e2e3d89665

Glassman, M. (2014, December 12). Chris Rock Is Right: Hollywood Isn’t Fair to Black Films. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-12-12/top-five-chris-rock-is-right-hollywood-isnt-fair-to-black-films

  1. (2015, August 20). Why do Hollywood studios refuse to accept that black films can rule the box office? Retrieved from https://thegrio.com/2016/10/30/a-list-actor-calls-himself-out-on-cultural-appropriation/

Goodykoontz, Gannett Chief Film Critic, B. (2014, February 25). Oscar win proved Sidney Poitier was second to none. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2014/02/25/black-history-month-poitier-oscar/5817735/

 

 

 

 

” How Blacks Have Irish Last Names Continued…..”

 

Before I proceed, I want to share with you this great African proverb, “Until the Story of the hunt is told by the Lion, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter”. After reading peoples comments to, “How Blacks have Irish last names” I was compelled to continue this insightful discussion by presenting a story about the Black Celts. I am not talking about the Black Celts depicted on this blog…..http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/who-were-the-black-irish-92376439-237784721.html. “The Vikings were often referred to as the “dark invaders” or “black foreigners.” The Gaelic word for foreigner is “gall” and for black (or dark) is “dubh.”

I’ve travelled to Sweden and all I can say is that the Irish have no resemblance to the Scandinavians. Fact is that the Irish or the Celts are more related to the ancient Phoenicians than the Vikings, “….scientific anthropologists and classic historians have proved that the “Celts” of history were the non-Aryan, round-headed, darkish small statured race of south Germany and Switzerland, and that the “Celts” properly so called are “totally lacking in the British Isles.” Thus, to speak as is so commonly done, of “Celtic ancestry,” the “Celtic “temperament,” and “Celtic fire” amongst any section of the natives of these islands, is, according to anthropologists merely imagination.
Also in the writings of Tacitus, the Roman historian mentions of the dark complexion of the Silures or Black Celts, and maintained that a black aboriginal race lived side by side with a white one in the British Isle in Pre-Roman times. – See more at: http://www.africaresource.com/rasta/sesostris-the-great-the-egyptian-hercules/the-african-roots-of-the-celtish-tribes2-black-celts-black-britons-by-jamani/#sthash.udNLlXLU.dpuf
“The term “Celt” is entirely unknown as the designation of any race or racial element of language in the British Isles, until arbitrarily introduced there a few generations ago. Nor does the name even exist in the so-called “Celtic” languages, the Gaelic, Welsh and Irish. It is, on the contrary, the classic Greek and Latin title of a totally different race of a totally different physical type from that of the British Isles, and that the word was only produced there by unscientific phlogistic and ethnologists some decades ago….” — L.A. Waddell, “Phoenician origin of Britons, Scots and Anglo-Saxons”, p 127f. On this book you can find more information about this theory.

phil-lynott

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, England was settled by the Phoenicians who sailed to England for trade.  The Phoenicians invaded England in 1103 BC and when they arrived they found England to be inhabited by the Picts. According to the Ancient History the Picts originally came from Scythia (Scandinavia), settled first in Orkney, and then migrated south. This claim is further supported by archaeologist and professor at Aberdeen University, Dr. Gordon Noble, who states, “All evidence points to the Picts being indigenous to northern Scotland…they began to coalesce during the late Roman period and formed some of the most powerful kingdoms in northern Britain in the early medieval period” (Wiener, 2). They lived in tightly-knit communities and built their homes out of wood, although their skill in stone carving is evident from the many engraved standing stones still extant throughout Scotland and housed in museums. These carved stone slabs are the only record the Picts left of their history; the rest of their story is told by later Roman, Scottish, and English writers.
Let’s take this a little deeper, and lets decipherer who the Phoenicians were and where did they come from?
The ancient Egyptians were black Africans. The Phoenicians were pretty much light-skinned Egyptians from the Mesopotamia area. They began settling in Egypt through trade with Africans. Africans by nature are hospitable people, who are always welcoming visitors.

By the time the North black Africans found out that the Phoenicians were no longer visitors, but rather an occupation group, it was already too late. The North Africans were subject to systematic extermination with all the best parts, including women, cultures, land, treasures, the pyramids, royal thrones and public system, taken over and adopted by the Phoenicians.
Over the years they relocated and made Carthage aka modern day Tunisia their new home and from here ladies and gentlemen the Phoenicians sailed to Europe and settled in various parts of the British Isles.

One year after Ferguson and we are still incarcerating more African Americans

I was reading this interesting article that I found on the NAACP website that I would like to share with everyone. It is titled; CRIMINAL JUSTICE FACT SHEET and you can find it on this link http://www.naacp.org/pages/criminal-justice-fact-sheet. This article gave me a reality check. I live in Seattle and in our state of Washington Black youth make up 8 percent of the juvenile population but form 42 percent of the youth sentenced to detention. The over representation of black youth in the juvenile detention system has actually gotten steadily worse since the 1980’s. These statistics are alarming and we have not improved since the 1980’s. This is should be a topic that should be on the agenda for the next elected president. We preach democracy all over the world but we are living in a police state. Take a look at the following statistics and let me know what you think.

state of Washington Black youth make up 8 percent of the juvenile population but form 42 percent of the youth sentenced to detention

The state of Washington Black youth make up 8 percent of the juvenile population but form 42 percent of the youth sentenced to detention

Incarceration Trends in America
• From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people
• Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prisoners.
• Combining the number of people in prison and jail with those under parole or probation supervision, 1 in ever y 31 adults, or 3.2 percent of the population is under some form of correctional control
Racial Disparities in Incarceration
• African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
• African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites
• Together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population
• According to Unlocking America, if African American and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rates of whites, today’s prison and jail populations would decline by approximately 50%
• One in six black men had been incarcerated as of 2001. If current trends continue, one in three black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime
• 1 in 100 African American women are in prison
• Nationwide, African-Americans represent 26% of juvenile arrests, 44% of youth who are detained, 46% of the youth who are judicially waived to criminal court, and 58% of the youth admitted to state prisons (Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice).
Drug Sentencing Disparities
• About 14 million Whites and 2.6 million African Americans report using an illicit drug
• 5 times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites
• African Americans represent 12% of the total population of drug users, but 38% of those arrested for drug offenses, and 59% of those in state prison for a drug offense.
• African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months). (Sentencing Project)
Contributing Factors
• Inner city crime prompted by social and economic isolation
• Crime/drug arrest rates: African Americans represent 12% of monthly drug users, but comprise 32% of persons arrested for drug possession
• “Get tough on crime” and “war on drugs” policies
• Mandatory minimum sentencing, especially disparities in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine possession
• In 2002, blacks constituted more than 80% of the people sentenced under the federal crack cocaine laws and served substantially more time in prison for drug offenses than did whites, despite that fact that more than 2/3 of crack cocaine users in the U.S. are white or Hispanic
• “Three Strikes”/habitual offender policies
• Zero Tolerance policies as a result of perceived problems of school violence; adverse affect on black children.
• 35% of black children grades 7-12 have been suspended or expelled at some point in their school careers compared to 20% of Hispanics and 15% of whites
Effects of Incarceration
• Jail reduces work time of young people over the next decade by 25-30 percent when compared with arrested youths who were not incarcerated
• Jails and prisons are recognized as settings where society’s infectious diseases are highly concentrated
• Prison has not been proven as a rehabilitation for behavior, as two-thirds of prisoners will reoffend
Exorbitant Cost of Incarceration: Is it Worth It?
• About $70 billion dollars are spent on corrections yearly
• Prisons and jails consume a growing portion of the nearly $200 billion we spend annually on public safety

African-American workers were transformed from being exploited to becoming “useless”

A series of recent reports cite the drastic lack of economic progress for Black people in general and Black men in particular. Freddie Allen, NNPA Washington Correspondent, wrote “Black men are no better off than they were more than 40 years ago, due to mass incarceration and job losses suffered during the Great Recession, according to a new report by researchers at the University of Chicago.”
Sidney Dinan, writer for the Washington Times, in an article titled, “All of the net jobs gained in the U.S. since 2000 have gone to immigrants,” stated, “Nearly 6 million more people are working in the U.S. now than in 2000, but the number of native-born Americans holding jobs has declined slightly, from 114.8 million to 114.7 million, according to census figures…Instead, all of that job growth – a total of 5.7 million – has gone to immigrants.”
A third example is an article titled, “Economic justice eludes black Americans 50 years after MLK’s ‘dream,” written by Gerald Britt. It disclosed, “The average unemployment rate during recession years over the past 50 years has been 6.7 percent. Yet for African-Americans during that time, the average has been 11.6 percent while for whites the rate has been 5.1 percent, at times falling as low as 3.1 percent. Only in 1969 did black unemployment dip below the national recession average to 6.4 percent. The report’s conclusion: Over the last 50 years, the black unemployment rate has been at a level typical for a recession or higher.”

Black unemployment rates have risen at very high alarming rates

Black unemployment rates have risen at very high alarming rates

The articles cited above should cause one to rethink the notion of Black obsolescence, as Frederick Douglass and others down through the years have posited. Have we become obsolete? Based on the structural inequities that plague us, is it planned? Was it built into the economic system? If so, how can we overcome it? My suggestion is coalescence.
Other groups in this country, although unencumbered by the exploitation that Black people suffered, have enough sense to work together in support of one another to gain a reasonable level of economic empowerment. In other words, they believe in and practice coalescence. In light of what we have endured in this land of plenty, the wealth of which was produced by the free work of our hands, one would reasonably think that Black people, having the most to lose, would be working more on coalescence in order to stave off obsolescence.

African Americans were transformed from being exploited to becoming “useless

African Americans were transformed from being exploited to becoming “useless

Coalition-building rather than the HNIC model is the best way for Black people to make significant progress in this country, especially when it comes to economic empowerment. From the agricultural economy to the industrial and mass production economy, Black folks, in some cases, had it going on. Many individual Blacks did quite well with jobs and businesses in those areas. As we moved to the technology/information economy and now into the knowledge-based economy, the rules for survival have changed.
“In 1970, Sidney Willhelm’s book, Who Needs the Negro? argued that with the rise of automation within a capitalist economic system, African-American workers were transformed from being exploited to becoming “useless” from the viewpoint of those who controlled the economy and the automated productive processes emerging within it.
Because of the racism of U.S. business interests, the workforce that automation would require could and would be largely White. Yes, business would continue to hire a number of Blacks, but as much as the cloaked face of racism within companies would allow, Black workers would become productively “unneeded.” If Black people disappeared tomorrow, Willhelm maintained, for capital they “would hardly be missed.”
The above statement was written by Gerald Coles, who went on to say, “Willhelm’s assessment is now truer than ever for both poor blacks and many whites who constitute part of the potential U.S. workforce within global capitalism. Since overseas labor is less costly, fewer U.S. workers are needed for the jobs that are and will be available in this country. Why spend money to provide U.S. poor children with adequate food, clothing, healthcare and other basics of life, along with the full funding needed to educate them? For business needs it would be a waste of money.”
I believe it was Marcus Garvey who said, “All the shoes have been shined and all the cotton has been picked.” He went on to suggest that Black people were no longer needed by White folks, therefore, if we did not change our ways when it came to business development we would indeed become obsolete. Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, and Garvey spoke of a time when we would have to consider this question if we did not awaken from our deep sleep and refuse to be dependent upon the largess of others for our sustenance.
We have two choices: Coalescence or obsolescence. Which one will we choose?

Thousands of Voyages to America by Africans before Christopher Columbus

0ba07b71e1fcb16c9b725bbc37388d56.383x428x1On Monday, America’s government offices, businesses, and banks all grind to a halt in order to commemorate Columbus Day. In schools up and down the country, little children are taught that a heroic Italian explorer discovered America, and various events and parades are held to celebrate the occasion.

It has now become common knowledge amongst academics that Christopher Columbus clearly did not discover America, not least because is it impossible to discover a people and a continent that was already there and thriving with culture. One can only wonder how Columbus could have discovered America when people were watching him from America’s shores?

Contrary to popular belief, African American history did not start with slavery in the New World. An overwhelming body of new evidence is emerging which proves that Africans had frequently sailed across the Atlantic to the Americas, thousands of years before Columbus and indeed before Christ. The great ancient civilizations of Egypt and West Africa traveled to the Americas, contributing immensely to early American civilization by importing the art of pyramid building, political systems and religious practices as well as mathematics, writing and a sophisticated calendar.

The strongest evidence of African presence in America before Columbus comes from the pen of Columbus himself. In 1920, a renowned American historian and linguist, Leo Weiner of Harvard University, in his book, Africa and the discovery of America, explained how Columbus noted in his journal that Native Americans had confirmed that “black skinned people had come from the south-east in boats, trading in gold-tipped spears.”

One of the first documented instances of Africans sailing and settling in the Americas were black Egyptians led by King Ramses III, during the 19th dynasty in 1292 BC. In fact, in 445 BC, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote of the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs’ great seafaring and navigational skills. Further concrete evidence, noted by Dr. Imhotep and largely ignored by Euro-centric archaeologists, includes “Egyptian artifacts found across North America from the Algonquin writings on the East Coast to the artifacts and Egyptian place names in the Grand Canyon.”

In 1311 AD, another major wave of African exploration to the New World was led by King Abubakari II, the ruler of the fourteenth century Mali Empire, which was larger than the Holy Roman Empire. The king sent out 200 ships of men, and 200 ships of trade material, crops, animals, cloth and crucially African knowledge of astronomy, religion and the arts.

African explorers crossing the vast Atlantic waters in primitive boats may seem unlikely, or perhaps, far fetched to some. Such incredible nautical achievements are not as daunting as they seem, given that
numerous successful modern attempts have illustrated that without an oar, rudder or sail ancient African boats, including the “dug-out,” would certainly have been able to cross the vast ocean in a matter of weeks.

As time allows us to drift further and further away from the “European age of exploration” and we move beyond an age of racial intellectual prejudice, historians are beginning to recognize that Africans were skilled navigators long before Europeans, contrary to popular belief.

Of course, some Western historians continue to refute this fact because, consciously or unconsciously, they are still hanging on to the 19th-century notion that seafaring was a European monopoly.

fb73aa2a3d512e3ac05b21fbef8d18c3After all, history will tell you that seafaring is the quintessential European achievement, the single endeavor of which Europeans are awfully proud. Seafaring allowed Europe to conquer the world. The notion that black Africans braved the roaring waters of the Atlantic Ocean and beat Europeans to the New World threatens a historically white sense of ownership over the seas.

When most people think about ancient Mexico, the first civilizations that come to mind are the Incas, Aztecs and the Maya. However, during the early 1940′s archeologists uncovered a civilization known as the Olmecs of 1200 BC, which pre-dated any other advanced civilization in the Americas.

The Olmec civilization, which was of African origin and dominated by Africans, was the first significant civilization in Mesoamerica and the Mother Culture of Mexico.

Olmecs are perhaps best known for the carved colossal heads found in Central Mexico, that exhibit an unmistakably African Negroid appearance. Ancient African historian Professor Van Sertima has illustrated how Olmecs were the first Mesoamerican civilization to use a written language, sophisticated astronomy, arts and mathematics and they built the first cities in Mexico, all of which greatly influenced the Mayans and subsequent civilizations in the Americas. “There is not the slightest doubt that all later civilizations in [Mexico and Central America], rest ultimately on an Olmec base,” once remarked Michael Coe, a leading historian on Mexico.

Africans clearly played an intricate role in the Olmec Empire’s rise and that African influence peaked during the same period that ancient Black Egyptian culture ascended in Africa.

A clear indicator of pre-Columbus African trans-Atlantic travel is the recent archeological findings of narcotics native to America in Ancient Egyptian mummies, which have astounded contemporary historians. German toxicologist, Svetla Balabanova, reported findings of cocaine and nicotine in ancient Egyptian mummies. These substances are known to only be derived from American plants. South American cocaine from Erythroxylon coca and nicotine from Nicotiana tabacum. Such compounds could only have been introduced to Ancient Egyptian culture through trade with Americans.

Similarities across early American and African religions also indicate significant cross-cultural contact. The Mayans, Aztecs and Incas all worshipped black gods and the surviving portraits of the black deities are revealing. For instance, ancient portraits of the Quetzalcoatl, a messiah serpent god, and Ek-ahua, the god of war, are unquestionably Negro with dark skin and wooly hair. Why would native Americans venerate images so unmistakably African if they had never seen them before? Numerous wall paintings in caves in Juxtlahuaca depict the famous ancient Egyptian “opening of the mouth” and cross libation rituals. All these religious similarities are too large and occur far too often to be mere coincidences.

Professor Everett Borders notes another very important indication of African presence, which is the nature of early American pyramids. Pyramid construction is highly specialized. Ancient Egypt progressed from the original stepped pyramid of Djosser, to the more sophisticated finished product at Giza. However, at La Venta in Mexico, the Olmecs made a fully finished pyramid, with no signs of progressive learning. Olmecian and Egyptian pyramids were both placed on the same north-south axis and had strikingly similar construction methods. Tellingly, all of these pyramids also served the same dual purpose, tomb and temple.

Ancient trans-Atlantic similarities in botany, religion and pyramid building constitute but a fraction of the signs of African influence in ancient America. Other indicators include, astronomy, art, writing systems, flora and fauna.

Historically, the African people have been exceptional explorers and purveyors of culture across the world. Throughout all of these travels, African explorers have not had a history of starting devastating wars on the people they met. The greatest threat towards Africa having a glorious future is her people’s ignorance of Africa’s glorious past.

Pre-Columbus civilization in the Americas had its foundation built by Africans and developed by the ingenuity of Native Americans. Sadly, America, in post-Columbus times, was founded on the genocide of the indigenous Americans, built on the backs of African slaves and continues to run on the exploitation of workers at home and abroad.

Clearly, Africans helped civilize America well before Europeans “discovered” America, and well before Europeans claim to have civilized Africa. The growing body of evidence is now becoming simply too loud to ignore. It’s about time education policy makers reexamine their school curriculums to adjust for America’s long pre-Columbus history.

THE MIAMI SOUND MACHINE

While I write this blog I am sipping on my cafecito. It takes me back to my roots; clears my head and puts my thoughts at ease. I don’t do lattes, frappuccinos nor café con leche. In coffee terms a cafecito is Traditional, Cuban-style espresso is made using the darker roasts, typically either Italian or Spanish Roasts. It is identical to Italian pulls, except for the addition of sugar directly to the espresso pitcher. The heat from the coffee-making process will hydrolyze some of the sucrose, thereby creating a sweeter and slightly more viscous result than a normal pull or adding sugar at the table. I do my cafecito 75/25. 75 espresso and 25 warm milk.

un cafecitoI was introduced to this great drink by my uncle David who is a fanatic of the Cuban culture and not to mention their rums and ever since my first cup I’ve been hooked on this magical drink. I’ve been drinking coffee most of my life, mostly instant coffee and homemade coffee from the mountains of Nicaragua hand roasted in my grandmother’s comal but un cafecito is hands down greatest and I recommend it to everyone if you have an espresso machine try it, even if you don’t.

CongaAt any rate I am getting a little carried away. I wanted to write about this new song. Have you guys heard the new Pitbull song titled “FUN” featuring Chris Brown? The song is from Pitbul’s new album Globalization. The song is epic; it has MIAMI written all over it and you cannot talk about MIAMI without the Cubans or all the other Latin American people that reside in MIAMI , like Haitians, Nicaraguans, Brazilians, Argentineans, Dominicans, Colombians and others. Each culture apported a spice in the musical GUMBO of what we call now the MIAMI sound.

The first time I heard the song “FUN” was on television at the Billboard awards when Pitbull performed it live with Chris Brown. It reminded me of Gloria Estefan and the Miami sound machine “CONGA” song. The song FUN has rhythm, flutes, and catchy lyrics all in one bag of MIAMI swagger.
But to understand this sound is to know the history behind this sound what we call CONGA, according to the urban dictionary CONGA is a Cuban ballroom dance that consists of three steps forward followed by a kick, characteristically performed by a group following a leader in a single line but also Conga is also a drum a tall, conical, Afro-Cuban drum played with the hands. CONGA is the essential pillar of any Afro American music whether is Salsa, Merengue, or Cumbia. Any where you go in the Americas you will see how similar the sounds are because of this instrument. I can take you to Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Panama and Dominican Republic and you will see how the sounds are so alike.

How Music Opened My Eyes to Travel

When I was little, music was my escape and a tool to explore other cultures and their history. I remember my father tuning in every morning to K-EARTH 101 Los Angeles radio station. I remember listening to Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Marvin Gaye, Ray Charles and others. Their songs opened my eyes to the past and to exploration. I always imagined how Ray Charles visualized “Georgia” or Otis Redding “Dock of the Bay”. I still remember vividly when my parents took my sisters and me on our first road trip to San Francisco to visit my cousins in Santa Rosa CA. I wanted to see what Otis was talking about and feel when he said, “Rest my bones and watch clouds roll away” and it made sense when I sat there for a few minutes with my mom and Dad. Though my family didn’t have enough money to take us on a ski trips to Telluride CO or a weekend getaway to Maui like my middle school friends in Santa Monica I am grateful for what my parents did by taking us on road trips on the California Coast.

Sitting_on_the_Dock_of_the_BayMy parents didn’t have this kind of opportunity back in the days. For many African-Americans, domestic and international exploration used to be filled with significant roadblocks. From the late 19th century until the civil rights era, the lack of parity in pay left African-Americans with little to spend on leisure (a disparity that continues to this day); segregation meant substandard seats and service on public transportation; and finding lodging on the road if you were black, in particular, was a challenge, especially in the South. “The Negro Traveler’s Green Book” was published from 1936 until 1964 to give black travelers a list of places where it was safe to stay and to stop. Published by a postal worker named Victor H. Green, the book was used by thousands of African-Americans as they crisscrossed the United States by car. Green optimistically wrote in one edition: “There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published. That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States.”
There is no argument that we are making progress in traveling. According to the online website Weekly Travel, the article titled, Reports highlight travel habits of minorities, states that roughly around 50 percent of African Americans in the South travel roughly within 500 miles that is not bad.
African Americans spend an average of $40 billion dollars annually on travel, yet few articles, magazines, books and television shows currently feature African American adventure and international travelers. African Americans venturing out across the planet today still wonder where it is safe to go, how they will be received in various regions of the world, where will they feel welcomed and comfortable and which places offer amenities that will satisfy their unique interests.
In today’s global economy, increasing numbers of African American executives, entertainers, entrepreneurs and professional athletes travel abroad for business. And the large percentage of blacks in the military (26 percent) means many more travel internationally and live abroad, often remaining overseas for a time after their tours of duty. Consequently, word is getting back to the African American community that the racism and specific hardships we experience in America are much more rare abroad. In most places on the planet, we are warmly welcomed and treated very well. Additionally there are numerous African Americans, African American communities and/or venues of African American culture scattered throughout the world.
I, for example made it a habit to travel at least once a year to a city or a state I never visited before. Yes my trip will consist of 500 miles or less but I will save money to go on a longer trip that will require a passport.

Our Negro U.S Presidents

Were There Black Presidents before Obama? Yes indeed there were…and there are many historians that back this claim. Let’s think this through for a second, despite of slavery and racism there was a lot of mixing in the U.S and the West Indies. If you conduct a DNA on all African Americans in the U.S you will shocked to see that they have European genes. My great grandmother was a German who met my grandfather back in the late 1900’s in Cayman Islands but my complexion is still black but you wouldn’t know that I had German blood unless I told you. The same applies to a lot of our U.S presidents….you wouldn’t know unless you searched in deep in their family trees. The following is a list of U.S presidents that have Negro blood in them. 1. John Hanson (a Moor) was actually the 1st President of the United States, he served from 1781 – 1782 and he was black. The new country was actually formed on March 1, 1781 with the adoption of The Articles of Confederation. This document was actually proposed on June 11, 1776, but not agreed upon by Congress until November 15, 1777. Maryland refused to sign this document until Virginia and New York ceded their western lands (Maryland was afraid that these states would gain too much power in the new government from such large amounts of land). Once the signing took place in 1781, a President was needed to run the country. John Hanson was chosen unanimously by Congress (which included George Washington). In fact, all the other potential candidates refused to run against him, as he was a major player in the revolution and an extremely influential member of Congress. As President, Hanson ordered all foreign troops off American soil, as well as removal of all foreign flags. He established the Great Seal of the United States, which all Presidents since have been required to use on all Official Documents. He declared that the 4th Thursday of every November to be Thanksgiving Day, which is still true today. Even though elected, one variable that was never thought through was that America was not going to accept a Black President during the heart of the enslavement period. Enter George Washington. obama-lincoln-16x92. Thomas Jefferson was the 3rd President of the United States, he served from 1801 – 1809 and he was black. His mother a half-breed Indian squaw and his father a mulatto (half white and half black) from Virginia. He fathered numerous children with Sally Hemmings, a mulatto slave with whom he lived with in Europe. 3. Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of the United States. He served from 1829 – 1837 and he was black. His mother was a white woman from Ireland who had Andrew Jackson with a black man. His father’s other children (Andrew Jackson’s stepbrother) was sold into slavery. 4. Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, he served from 1861 – 1865 and he was black. His mother was from an Ethiopian Tribe and his father was an African American. It was told that his father was Thomas Lincoln, a man to cover the truth, but he was sterile from childhood mumps and was later castrated, making it impossible for him to have been his father. Lincoln’s nickname “Abraham Africa-nus the First.” 5. Warren Harding was the 28th President of the United States, he served from 1921 – 1923 and he was black. Harding never denied his ancestry. When Republican leaders called on Harding to deny his “Negro” history, he said, “How should I know whether or not one of my ancestors might have jumped the fence?” 6. Calvin Coolidge was the 29th President of the United States, he served from 1923 – 1929 and he was black. He proudly admitted that his mother was dark but claimed it was because of a mixed Indian ancestry. His mother’s maiden name was “Moor.” In Europe the name “Moor” was given to all Black people just as in America the name “Negro” was used. 7. Dwight E. Eisenhower was the 33rd President of the United States, he served from 1953 – 1961 and he was black. His mother, Ida Elizabeth Stover Eisenhower, an anti-war advocate, was half black. So, America has survived and thrived through our first Seven Black Presidents and we will survive and THRIVE through the election of this one!