On this day in history (April 7, 1712) began a slave uprising that would lead to the deaths of at least nine whites, and leave at least six others wounded. Intended to inspire others to follow suit, only the intervention of the State Militia would stop the revolt from spreading beyond the area in which it started. As the story goes, a group of approximately 23 slaves met in an orchard on Maiden Lane in Manhattan, and began setting fire to houses & buildings in and around Manhattan. When the European Colonists & Slave Owners came out to fight or escape the fires, they would be attacked by slaves carrying Guns, Hatchets, and knives. in the end 27 rebels were captured. six allegedly committed suicide, rather than face a return to bondage or worse. the remaining 21 were tortured and ultimately executed. Some were said to have been burned alive. fearing similar rebellions, already established Slaves Law were made even more strict. No more than three slaves could be in the same place, at the same time; and slaves would be severely beaten without reason, as long as they were not killed (profit reigns supreme over all). Prior to the rebellion, slaves already endured savagely inhumane conditions of beatings & starvation; so there really was never anything to lose. the narrative about slavery & racism in general always focuses on The South; but history records some of the most horrible acts of aggression coming from the supposedly more safe North. This would continue right on into the sixties when Dr. Martin Luther King would endure the worst of all of his violent encounters right in Chicago. THE WANDERING EYES BLOG SALUTES ALL FREEDOM FIGHTERS, past & present!!!
Before Marcus Garvey, before Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, before The Black Panthers & Black Liberation Army, there was Martin Robinson Delany. Considered the First to promote the core philosophies of Black Nationalism, Martin Delany was a Radical Abolitionist, Writer/Editor, Dentist, Physician, One Of The First Black Men To Be Admitted To Harvard Medical School, Military Officer & a key figure in recruiting the famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Brigade (featured in the film "Glory").
Born May 6th 1812, Martin R. Delany was born a Free Man. His family would move to Pennsylvania to avoid prosecution for knowing how to read & write. By the age of 19, Delany himself would be firmly entrenched in his study of medicine; but all the while developing his militant stance in opposition to the institution of slavery. By the late 1830's he had launched a newspaper, called "The Mystery," which spoke to the plight of Blacks and Women in America. Soon thereafter he would be recruited by Frederick Douglass, and the two would work together on "The North Star" weekly newspaper. This partnership would last from 1846 to 1849, but would end allegedly due to the Martin Delany's more militant approach to resolving the injustices faced by Black People daily. Around that same time, Delany would go on to enroll at Harvard; but continued fight & evolve his position in regard to how to resolve the concerns of his race. Starting around 1850, he would begin pushing the case for repatriation back to Africa, leading exploratory missions to West Africa & even temporarily relocating to Canada (that same year Delany & the two other Black Students would be kicked out of Harvard to pressure from angry Whites).
"We are slaves in the midst of freedom, waiting patiently and unconcernedly, indifferently, and stupidly, for masters to come and lay claim to us, trusting to their generosity, whether or not they will own us and carry us into endless bondage."
With the onset of The Civil War, however, he would return to The U.S. to serve as a surgeon for The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and leading recruiter of current & former slaves for The North. Commissioned as Major, Delany would be one of the first-if not The First Black Soldier to hold an official commission as an officer. After the war he also served on The Freedmen's Bureau. Delany spent the bulk of his remaining life pushing for emigration first to South/Central America, and then Back to Africa. Delany's position was that justice would never be achieved in any situation where Black People were not in the majority. This core value, along with his refusal to assimilate into American Culture or identify himself as anything other Purely African, are chief reasons why Martin R. Delany is largely hidden from the history books. But to the learned reader, his true impact clearly eclipses that of all of his contemporaries of that time. Martin R. Delany died January 24th 1885. He authored one book "The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States Politically Considered" in 1852.
Fifty-Eight Years ago today, The African Republic of Ghana (formerly known as The Gold Coast) gained its independence from Britain. One of the first to break free from what had been hundreds of Years Exploitation & Oppression at the hands of European Nations, this set off a wave of additional revolutions all across The Continent of Africa. Between 1957 & 1960, eighteen African Nations gained their Independence from British, French & Belgian Oppressors. In the case of Ghana, many of its citizens had fought along-side The British in World War II & returned home to find the same Poverty, Unemployment & Violence they thought they had fought to end. At the forefront of Ghana's struggle for independence was Kwame nkrumah. Previously imprisoned for leading protests against the British Colonial Government, Nkrumah would be elected as The Gold Coast's First Prime Minister & eventually President. Renaming his new nation Ghana, in honor of The Ancient African Empire, Nkrumah went about the work of improving the nation's Roadways, Universities & Infrastructure. However his Marxist-Leaning ideals did not sit well with the Western World, and soon the campaign to bring him down would kick into high gear. Blamed for the Ghana's new & old economic woes, public opinion of Kwame Nkrumah began to change. Nkrumah made several errors during his time, which led the military to believe that he had too much power. At least two failed assassination attempts would only make Nkrumah close ranks to more of a Dictator-Like Regime. In 1966, a CIA-backed Coup took place while Nkrumah was away in China. Nkrumah would never be allowed to return home to Ghana, and would end his days in Exile. Numerous regime changes would follow-most of them far more repressive than Nkrumah could have ever been accused of being. The early 1970's regimes of Ignatius Acheampong and Frederick Akuffo were said to be especially brutal. Some stability would return in 1979, under the rule of Jerry Rawlings; but by that time the spirit pf The African Revolution was long dead.
“Divided We Are Weak. United, Africa Could Become One Of The Greatest Forces For Good In The World.”
With a vision for a "United States Of Africa," Kwame Nkrumah was one of the pioneering forces behind the formation of The Organization Of African Unity established in may 1963. The OAU, which consisted of 32 African Nations, sought to ensure a return to Political & Economic Prosperity for the Entire Continent. Kwame Nkrumah warned of this Unified Africa as the only deterrent to a second wave of returning to continue to exploit The Continent of Africa for all of its Natural Resources again. Today we honor You President Kwame Nkrumah & All others that stood to fight for the greater good.
"My name is Assata Shakur, and I am a 20th century escaped slave. Because of government persecution, I was left with no other choice than to flee from the political repression, racism and violence that dominate the US government’s policy towards people of color. I am an ex-political prisoner, and I have been living in exile in Cuba since 1984.
I have been a political activist most of my life, and although the U.S. government has done everything in its power to criminalize me, I am not a criminal, nor have I ever been one. In the 1960s, I participated in various struggles: the black liberation movement, the student rights movement, and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. I joined the Black Panther Party. By 1969 the Black Panther Party had become the number one organization targeted by the FBI’s COINTELPRO program. Because the Black Panther Party demanded the total liberation of black people, J. Edgar Hoover called it “greatest threat to the internal security of the country” and vowed to destroy it and its leaders and activists."
These are the words of Assata Shakur, formerly known as JoAnne Chesimard. Wrongfully convicted in 1977, for a murder that she would have been physically unable to commit. It's pretty hard to shoot someone with an arm that you had been shot in, and which Forensics experts testified that her hands were in the "Surrender Position." Nevertheless, she was sentenced to Life in Prison for the 1973 murder of a New Jersey State Trooper. Her conviction was at the hands of an All White Jury. If you've ever read her biography "Assata," you would have no choice but to agonize at the treatment she received between the time of her arrest & eventual escape from Clinton correctional in 1979 (being left in the morgue-next to her fallen comrad Zayd Shakur, being abused in the hospital & then placed in a Men's Prison, etc.).
Though held in a maximum Security Prison, the visiting area at The Clinton Correctional Facility was said to be more Medium Security. Exposing other shockingly loose security measures, Assata Shakur was liberated by a team of three took three Prison Guards hostage to secure her safe exit from the prison. Each of the three guards were released unharmed & Assata Shakur moved from Safe House to Safe House until eventually being granted Political asylum to Cuba five years later. Today she sits with a $2 Million Dollar Bounty on her Head, and listed on The FBI's Most wanted Terrorist List. But to me, she is a HERO! She personifies every bit of the definition of Freedom, Self-Determination, Justice & Power. May she continue to be safe in these changing times. P.E.A.C.E.
With everything that's going on right now, we need the type of simple/common sense leadership that Chicago Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton displayed. He stressed education, Organization & Mobilization. He was NOT about useless, Symbolic, marches & demonstrations. He was about ACTION, on ANY LEVEL!!! Under his watch, The BPP instituted Political Education Classes, Free Medical Clinics & Free Breakfast Programs (the actual precursor to what millions of children enjoy today). Most impressively, this was all within just one year. Imagine what he would have done, if he was not assassinated by Chicago Police on December 4th 1969. ferguson needs you Fred. New York needs you. THE WORLD NEEDS CHAIRMAN FRED!!!!
To the mainstream public, conversations on the detrimental effects of Race, Gender & Social/Economic Class divisions in America only come up when there's a big controversy. And predictably, those conversations fade away as soon as America becomes obsessed with another drama. For those who still pick up books, we know that Intellectual Giants such as Angela Davis, Michelle Alexander, Dick Gregory, Noam Chomsky, Kathleen Cleaver, and so many more have been warning us of how these differences were being exploited to maintain the Genetic, Economic & Political grip of White Supremacy (aka The 1%) since the late 1980's. Those who quietly control this country have cleverly found ways to manipulate every social & political movement to push forward their own agendas to stay the richest & most powerful. From the Rothchilds & others of the past, to the Koch Brothers of today-your every fear & prideful emotions have been manipulated to get you to advance their cause-which helps you none. The Wandering Eyes Blog will be posting quite a bit of content on this in the coming month; but in the meantime, tune in to this 1997 presentation from Harvard Professor Noam Chomsky & former Black Panther Kathleen Cleaver. For those that don't know about Kathleen Cleaver, LEARN. For those that may question the credibility of Noam Chomsky, understand that this man had a front row seat-from the front lines of the struggle. And remains, to this very day, one of very few white public figures that speaks openly as to the oppression of the Black & Brown Majority. Consider this an introduction.
On this day in history, Ernesto Rafael Guevara de la Serna was assassinated by CIA-backed Bolivian Army troops. Best remembered for his role, along with Fidel & Raul Castro, in The 1959 Cuban Revolution-Che Guevara devoted almost two decades of his life fighting to aid in over-throwing oppressive governments. It has been written that the man affectionately known as "Che" took time away from Medical School in Argentina to travel across South america. While on this journey, Guevara saw first-hand the horrible conditions that the masses of people were forced to live through. Che would return to earn his Medical degree; but would become increasing involved in Leftist Movements & Organizations. After being involved in the 1954 overthrowing of The Guatemalan Government, Guevara would travel to Mexico-where he would first meet Fidel Castro. Two years later, the pair would launch the first stages of fighting to end the regime of Cuban Dictator Fulgencio Batista. This goal was eventually accomplished, after three years of guerrilla warfare; and The Cuban Revolution of 1959 was a success for all of the world to see. With Castro as Cuba's Leader, Ernesto Guevara worked in various roles-geared toward building the Economic Base of the nation. Guevara despised the European & American domination of Latin American, African & Asian countries-and this continued to advocate on the behalf of all of these lands. Eventually this would cause a rift between Che & fidel; and Che would take his fight across the globe. After working in The Congo, and other parts of Africa, he would make his final stop in Bolivia 1966. Attempting to take down the Bolivian dictatorship, would find himself in the cross-hairs of The CIA & The Administration of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson. Eventually betrayed by a tortured comrad, Guevara would be captured on October 8th 1967 & executed the next day. Buried in an unmarked grave, to prevent his grave site from becoming a Symbol of The Revolutionary Culture, his remains would finally be found & returned to Cuba for proper burial in 1997. Forever an Icon in the fight against Imperialism, Ernesto "Che" Guevara was 39 at the time of his assassination.
Pretty much everyone knows a little about The "Underground Railroad." But how many have heard of "Fort Negro." Abandoned by fleeing British soldiers, after The War of 1812, Fort Negro served as a rendezvous point for fugitive slaves from the Southern states in the early 1800's. Led by a man simply known as Garcia, the heavily armed fort was occupied by more than 300 Black and Native Americans. Built on the banks of the Apalachicola River in Florida, Fort Negro became a focal point of General andrew Jackson-set for destruction as part to upholding American claims to a land that was not theirs.
So on July 27, 1816, The U.S. Army & Navy surrounded-then launched an assault on Fort Negro. The first attack failed. But the second attack led to an explosion of the fort's Ammunition storage. An estimated 270 Fort Negro soldiers were killed & buried in a mass grave. Only sixty four of the inhabiting soldiers survived. On three of the sixty four escaped injury. The fort's leader Garcia was executed, and the rest were sent back into slavery. Fort Negro, along with nearby Fort Mose stand as little known moments in the struggle against the oppressive & violent occupation of this land, by invading European forces.
They say that his last words were "Organize, Organize..."
Brother Stokely Carmichael aka Kwame Ture stands out as being more Serious & intellectually unique than probably every other Black Leader in history (with the exception of Malcolm X aka El Hajj Malik el Shabazz). He was willing to work with any group that sought to fight for an end to European & American Imperialism. If one approach ceased to be effective, he regrouped & moved forward. always pushing for the establishment of A Black United Front, Kwame Ture fought closely at the side of Dr. Martin Luther King-before holding leadership positions with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, The Black Panther Party, and The All African People's Revolutionary Party. He was ALWAYS On The FRONT-LINES. He was ALWAYS Honest. And he ALWAYS gave off the impression of a Cool Genius-Always Thinking. Look at the pictures...
Perhaps it is his willingness to step outside of the parameters of what other leaders deemed to be appropriate that made him great. Upon being appointed Chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, his first act was to visit The Honorable Elijah Muhammad of the Nation Of Islam. back in that time, other organizations went out of their way to distance themselves from the more radical NOI. But the Union between The NOI & Brother Kwame ture continued, from 1966, through his transition to Africa, & right on up to his death in 1998. Inevitably his evolving stance on what was required to achieve the goals of attaining Freedom, Justice & Equality, Kwame Ture moved from SNCC to The Black Panther Party. From there alliances would be formed with a host of African and Latin Revolutionaries. After working his way up through the ranks of CORE & SNCC, and Actively participating in events such as The "Freedom Summer," young Stokely Carmichael learned that Non-Violent Resistance to Violent Oppression would NEVER work. From then on, Kwame Ture would spend the next 30 years teaching, Organizing, Uniting & FIGHTING for an End To Imperialism. He was the FIRST to Publicly State the Term "BLACK POWER;" and in 1969 he moved his base of operations to Guinea, Africa-where he remained until his death in 1998. He IS, WAS, & ALWAYS WILL BE an Outstanding Example of what we should be aspiring to Evolve into. Happy BornDay Kwame ture
The job of a revolutionary is, of course, to overthrow unjust systems and replace them with just systems because a revolutionary understands this can only be done by the masses of the people. So, the task of the revolutionary is to organize the masses of the people, given the conditions of the Africans around the world who are disorganized, consequently all my efforts are going to organizing people.”
Freedom, Equal Access to Proper Housing, Proper Educational & Employment Opportunities, Payment of The Previously Promised Reparations for The Atrocities Committed During The African Holocaust, The Right To Be Free From Persecution, and An End To The Exploitative & Disproportionate Drafting of Black Soldiers in Foreign Wars are all conditions that most would expect to be a given in a civilized society. But for many of the Black, Brown, red & Yellow Populations of America, this has not always been the case. For many still today, this is STILL NOT THE CASE.
Can one with any real sense of what goes on in society deny that these same principles, laid out in the Black Panther Party's Social/Political Platform written in 1966, are still absent from the fabric of American Society forty years later? Be honest. While some individuals have hit Moonshot goals in Politics & Business, that success has never had any real impact for the masses of America's citizens of Color. In fact, due to the ever-expanding Greedy Giant of Capitalism, many of the jobs that one could count on in decades past have moved to cheap international markets overseas. Add in the drug scourge, and decimated of funding for Educational & Social Programs, and we see a once promising society on the edge of ruin. Not to say that every single point to the BPP's Ten Point Program had a realistic path toward changing society; but the fact that the majority of its pieces are still hotly debated principles forty years later speaks volumes. The fact that many of these principles were carried out, ALL ACROSS THE NATION, in the form of Black Panther Party Survival Programs shows that the core goals were certainly practical & attainable. For they were able to do it on a "shoe-string budget," and in the midst of the most extreme repression seen in 20th Century America. The BPP Survival Programs were designed to show the masses an alternative to their current existence; and would later become the framework for so many other social programs-including the School Breakfast Programs that we take for granted every day.
The Ten Point Plan
1. WE WANT FREEDOM. WE WANT POWER TO DETERMINE THE DESTINY OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling all the institutions which exist in our communities.
2. WE WANT FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR OUR PEOPLE.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.
3. WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE CAPITALISTS OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES. we believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of our fifty million Black people. Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make.
4. WE WANT DECENT HOUSING, FIT FOR THE SHELTER OF HUMAN BEINGS.
We believe that if the landlords will not give decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for the people.
5. WE WANT DECENT EDUCATION FOR OUR PEOPLE THAT EXPOSES THE TRUE NATURE OF THIS DECADENT AMERICAN SOCIETY. WE WANT EDUCATION THAT TEACHES US OUR TRUE HISTORY AND OUR ROLE IN THE PRESENT-DAY SOCIETY. We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of the self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.
6. WE WANT COMPLETELY FREE HEALTH CARE FOR All BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE.
We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but which will also develop preventive medical programs to guarantee our future survival. We believe that mass health education and research programs must be developed to give all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information, so we may provide our selves with proper medical attention and care.
7. WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE, OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR, All OPPRESSED PEOPLE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES.
We believe that the racist and fascist government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out its program of oppression against black people, other people of color and poor people inside the united States. We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves against such armed forces and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for self defense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces.
8. WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO ALL WARS OF AGGRESSION.
We believe that the various conflicts which exist around the world stem directly from the aggressive desire of the United States ruling circle and government to force its domination upon the oppressed people of the world. We believe that if the United States government or its lackeys do not cease these aggressive wars it is the right of the people to defend themselves by any means necessary against their aggressors.
9. WE WANT FREEDOM FOR ALL BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE NOW HELD IN U. S. FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY AND MILITARY PRISONS AND JAILS. WE WANT TRIALS BY A JURY OF PEERS FOR All PERSONS CHARGED WITH SO-CALLED CRIMES UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY.
We believe that the many Black and poor oppressed people now held in United States prisons and jails have not received fair and impartial trials under a racist and fascist judicial system and should be free from incarceration. We believe in the ultimate elimination of all wretched, inhuman penal institutions, because the masses of men and women imprisoned inside the United States or by the United States military are the victims of oppressive conditions which are the real cause of their imprisonment. We believe that when persons are brought to trial they must be guaranteed, by the United States, juries of their peers, attorneys of their choice and freedom from imprisonment while awaiting trial.
10. WE WANT LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE, PEACE AND PEOPLE'S COMMUNITY CONTROL OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY.
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are most disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpation, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.