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272 Slaves Were Sold To Keep Georgetown University Afloat in 1838

The Catholic Church held slaves in America (and perhaps elsewhere), and when the premiere Catholic College in the Americas got into financial trouble, the Jesuits organized the sale of 272 slaves to raise money to keep the School afloat. The Church also operated several plantations in southern Maryland to fund the School which used slave labor.

272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants?

The human cargo was loaded on ships at a bustling wharf in the nation’s capital, destined for the plantations of the Deep South. Some slaves pleaded for rosaries as they were rounded up, praying for deliverance.

But on this day, in the fall of 1838, no one was spared: not the 2-month-old baby and her mother, not the field hands, not the shoemaker and not Cornelius Hawkins, who was about 13 years old when he was forced onboard.

Their panic and desperation would be mostly forgotten for more than a century. But this was no ordinary slave sale. The enslaved African-Americans had belonged to the nation’s most prominent Jesuit priests. And they were sold, along with scores of others, to help secure the future of the premier Catholic institution of higher learning at the time, known today asGeorgetown University.

Now, with racial protests roiling college campuses, an unusual collection of Georgetown professors, students, alumni and genealogists is trying to find out what happened to those 272 men, women and children. And they are confronting a particularly wrenching question: What, if anything, is owed to the descendants of slaves who were sold to help ensure the college’s survival?

More than a dozen universities — including Brown, Columbia, Harvard and the University of Virginia — have publicly recognized their ties to slavery and the slave trade. But the 1838 slave sale organized by the Jesuits, who founded and ran Georgetown, stands out for its sheer size, historians say.

At Georgetown, slavery and scholarship were inextricably linked. The college relied on Jesuit plantations in Maryland to help finance its operations, university officials say. (Slaves were often donated by prosperous parishioners.) And the 1838 sale — worth about $3.3 million in today’s dollars — was organized by two of Georgetown’s early presidents, both Jesuit priests.

Some of that money helped to pay off the debts of the struggling college.

“The university itself owes its existence to this history,” said Adam Rothman, a historian at Georgetown and a member of a university working group that is studying ways for the institution to acknowledge and try to make amends for its tangled roots in slavery.

Although the working group was established in August, it was student demonstrations at Georgetown in the fall that helped to galvanize alumni and gave new urgency to the administration’s efforts.

The students organized a protest and a sit-in, using the hashtag #GU272 for the slaves who were sold. In November, the university agreed to remove the names of the Rev. Thomas F. Mulledy and the Rev. William McSherry, the college presidents involved in the sale, from two campus buildings.

An alumnus, following the protest from afar, wondered if more needed to be done.

That alumnus, Richard J. Cellini, the chief executive of a technology company and a practicing Catholic, was troubled that neither the Jesuits nor university officials had tried to trace the lives of the enslaved African-Americans or compensate their progeny.

Mr. Cellini is an unlikely racial crusader. A white man, he admitted that he had never spent much time thinking about slavery or African-American history.

But he said he could not stop thinking about the slaves, whose names had been in Georgetown’s archives for decades…

Broken Promises

There are no surviving images of Cornelius, no letters or journals that offer a look into his last hours on a Jesuit plantation in Maryland.

He was not yet five feet tall when he sailed onboard the Katharine Jackson, one of several vessels that carried the slaves to the port of New Orleans.

Photo

The ship manifest of the Katharine Jackson, available in full at the Georgetown Slavery archive, listed the name, sex, age and height of each slave transported to New Orleans in the fall of 1838. It showed that the cargo included dozens of children, among them infants as young as 2 months old…

.Read The Rest Here

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2016 in American Genocide, Black History

 

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Black Voters and the Democrat Party

The following article attempts to make the case that the mass exodus from the Republican Party in the late 60’s due to Goldwater’s anti Civil Rights stance was counterproductive. That somehow, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 failed because while it made the legal structure of Jim Crow in America…It didn’t go far enough in eliminating the structure of White Privilege which remained. Never mind that it was the Republicans, led by Goldwater who gutted the legal and criminal enforcement section of Title IV of the Civil Rights Act leveling criminal and civil sanctions against violators, and protecting the continuation of discrimination to this day.

I mean, what if the folks who constructed the predatory mortgage loan were looking at 5-10 years in Gen pop, instead of a financial slap on the wrist during the 2006 meltdown? The simple fact is, since Goldwater it has always been a “conservative principle” to protect the racists, and the institutions which benefit them. Things like propping up the racist Southern Myth that the Civil War wasn’t necessary because the kindly slave owners would have freed the slaves.

The reason that now, near 97% of black voters support Democrats is really simple…Nixon, Reagan, and Bush. It’s a perverse argument, made in one form or another by the right, and has the logic of the Jews joining the Nazi Party in 1930’s Germany, because eventually Hitler would have seen the light.

The other fiction presented by the author is that Jim Crow only lived in the South. That isn’t quite true.

When Black Voters Exited Left

What African Americans lost by aligning with the Democratic Party

Days before the 1960 election, Coretta Scott King received a call from then-candidate John F. Kennedy while her husband was in a Georgia jail, charged with trespassing after leading a sit-in demonstration against segregation in Atlanta. “This must be pretty hard on you, and I want to let you both know that I’m thinking about you and will do all I can to help,” Kennedy told her. The Democratic nominee’s brother and campaign manager, Robert Kennedy, called a DeKalb County Judge and successfully lobbied for Martin Luther King Jr.’s release.

The personal call and the timely intervention significantly bolstered Kennedy’s standing among black voters. They also strengthened the political alliance between the Democratic Party and African Americans. After his release, King praised Kennedy for exhibiting “moral courage of a high order.” His father, the influential Baptist pastor Martin Luther King Sr., said, “Kennedy can be my president, Catholic or whatever he is. I’ve got all my votes and I’ve got a suitcase and I’m going to take them up there and dump them in his lap.” Kennedy earned 68 percent of the black vote, which was the decisive factor in key states like Illinois, Michigan, and South Carolina.

Once in the White House, Kennedy faced pressure from civil-rights activists to make good on what King called a “huge promissory note” to pass meaningful civil-rights legislation. When President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, he cemented a political alliance between African Americans and the Democratic Party that continues to this day. But celebrating these landmark pieces of legislation makes it easy to overlook what black people in the United States lost when civil rights and equality for blacks were hitched to the Democratic Party.

While the passage of the Civil Rights Act helped Johnson earn support from 94 percent of black voters in 1964, there is a gulf between what black Americans hoped the legislation would achieve and what Democratic politicians actually delivered. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 helped end apartheid conditions in the South, a critical objective for which grassroots black Southern activists fought and died, the legislation did little to address the structures of racism that shaped black lives in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. This was an intentional consequence of how the bill’s sponsors, largely liberals from the North, Midwest, and West, crafted the legislation.

As King understood, Democratic politicians acted more boldly on race issues in Alabama and Mississippi than in New York and Massachusetts. “There is a pressing need for a liberalism in the North which is truly liberal, a liberalism that firmly believes in integration in its own community as well as in the Deep South,”King told the New York Urban League in September 1960. As the Urban League’s executive director Whitney Young put it a few years later, “liberalism seems to be related to the distance people are from the problem.”

After the 1964 election, where Republican candidate Barry Goldwater described the Civil Rights Act as unconstitutional, black voters essentially found themselves in a one-party system for presidential elections. Republicans turned their attention to white voters in the South and suburbs and have made few serious attempts in subsequent campaigns to appeal to the African American electorate. Richard Nixon in 1960 is the last Republican candidate to earn more than 15 percent of black votes.

Voting by Union or former confederate States

This is a problem for black voters, because the Democratic Party’s vision of racial justice is also extremely limited. Northern liberals pioneered what scholars now call “colorblind racism.” That’s when racially neutral language makes extreme racial inequalities appear to be the natural outcome of innocent private choices or free-market forces rather than intentional public policies like housing covenants, federal mortgage redlining, public housing segregation, and school zoning.

Democratic lawmakers drafted civil-rights legislation that would challenge Jim Crow laws in the South while leaving de facto segregation in the North intact. When NBC News asked the civil-rights organizer Bayard Rustin why many African American communities rioted the summer after the bill passed, he said, “People have to understand that although the civil-rights bill was good and something for which I worked arduously, there was nothing in it that had any effect whatsoever on the three major problems Negroes face in the North: housing, jobs, and integrated schools…the civil-rights bill, because of this failure, has caused an even deeper frustration in the North.” Today’s protest movements against second-class citizenship in Baltimore, Ferguson, Oakland, and elsewhere are in part a legacy of the unresolved failures of civil-rights legislation.

Unfortunately for black voters, most white politicians and voters assume that the civil-rights revolution not only leveled the playing field, but also tilted it in favor of African Americans. The white backlash to civil rights helped resurrect the Republican Party after the disastrous Goldwater campaign in 1964, and, over the last five decades, the Democratic Party has followed the electorate to the right.  …Read the Rest Here

One of the prophetical things Goldwater said that has come to be is –

 

 

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How the Republicans Started the “War on Drugs” to Target Black People

A stunning quote, and the truth at last…

“You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.” – John Erlichman, counsel and Assistant to the President for Domestic Affairs under President Richard Nixon

Nixon Aide Reportedly Admitted Drug War Was Meant To Target Black People

“Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

An eye-opening remark from a former aide to President Richard Nixon pulls back the curtain on the true motivation of the United States’ war on drugs.

John Ehrlichman, who served 18 months in prison for his central role in the Watergate scandal, was Nixon’s chief domestic advisor when the presidentannounced the “war on drugs” in 1971. The administration cited a high death toll and the negative social impacts of drugs to justify expanding federal drug control agencies. Doing so set the scene for decades of socially and economicallydisastrous policies.

Journalist Dan Baum wrote in the April cover story of Harper’s about how he interviewed Ehrlichman in 1994 while working on a book about drug prohibition. Ehrlichman provided some shockingly honest insight into the motives behind the drug war. From Harper’s:

“You want to know what this was really all about?” he asked with the bluntness of a man who, after public disgrace and a stretch in federal prison, had little left to protect. “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

In other words, the intense racial targeting that’s become synonymous with the drug war wasn’t an unintended side effect — it was the whole point.

The quote kicks off Baum’s “Legalize It All,” the cover story for Harper’s April 2016 issue. Read the whole article, which is a comprehensive argument for drug legalization, here.

Baum explained to The Huffington Post why he didn’t include the quote in his 1996 book, Smoke and Mirrors: The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure.

“There are no authorial interviews in [Smoke and Mirrors] at all; it’s written to put the reader in the room as events transpire,” Baum said in an email. “Therefore, the quote didn’t fit. It did change all the reporting I did for the book, though, and changed the way I worked thereafter.”

The quote does, however, appear in the 2012 book The Moment, a collection of “life-changing stories” from writers and artists.

Baum also talked to HuffPost about why Ehrlichman would confess such a thing in such blunt terms.

“It taught me that people are often eager to unburden themselves, once they no longer have a dog in the fight,” Baum said. “The interviewer needs to be patient sometimes, and needs to ask the right way. But people will often be incredibly honest if given the chance.”

 

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History – Black Spies in The Confederate White House

One of my distant ancestral family members was a man named James Armistead Lafayette, related by marriage. During the Revolutionary War, he worked as a double-agent providing false information to the British Lord Cornwallis, and sending British War plans to George Washington. He worked as a servant, and was ignored as a threat because he was a slave. He was one of the most famous of American spies during the war as over dinner, British Officers blithely ignored the slave in the corner, believing him part of the furniture.

The confederates apparently didn’t learn that lesson. Black women were particularly effective in running spy rings, and collecting information even in the Capital of the confederacy.

The Black Spies in a Confederate White House

How a secret intelligence network successfully spied on Confederate leader Jefferson Davis in his own home.

The servants knew. The Confederate White House in Richmond, Virginia, was not a happy home. The coachman had heard Varina Davis, the first lady of the South, wondering aloud if the rebellion her husband led had any prayer of success. It was, he heard her say, “about played out.” Less than a year into the war, she had all but given up hope. And the president himself, Jefferson Davis, gaunt and sere, was under tremendous strain, disheartened and querulous, complaining constantly about the lack of popular support for him and his policies.

What the servants at the dinner table heard could be even more interesting: insights into policy, strategy and very private lives. They could glimpse up close the troubled emotions of Varina, who was much younger than her husband. She was in her mid-30s, he was in his mid-50s, and her energy, even her sultry beauty, were resented by many in that small society. She had a dark complexion and generous features that led at least one of her critics to describe her publically as “tawny” and suggest she looked like a mulatto.

Varina’s closest friend and ally in the cabinet was Judah P. Benjamin, the cosmopolitan Jewish secretary of war and then secretary of state. He was a frequent visitor to the Davis residence. He shaped Confederate strategy around the globe. And over port after dinner, what intimacies might have been revealed about this man, whose Louisiana Creole wife lived in self-imposed exile in Paris, and whose constant companion in Richmond was her beautiful younger brother?

As in any of the big households of yesteryear (one thinks of Downton Abbey, to take a popular example), what the servants knew about the masters was a great deal more than the masters knew about them. And in the Davis household the servants were black slaves, treated as shadows and often as something less than sentient beings. The Davises knew little of their lives, their hopes, their aspirations, and they certainly did not realize that two of them would spy for the Union.

History is almost equally oblivious. When it comes to secret agents, or servants, or slaves, all learned to tell the smooth lie that let them survive, and few kept records that endure. When it comes to the question of the spies who worked in the Confederate White House, where solid documentary evidence has failed, legend often has stepped in to fill the gaps and, to some considerable extent, to cloud the picture.

The one slave-spy we know the most about is William A. Jackson, the handsome coachman who appears to have been hired out by his owner at one point to work as a waiter in a Richmond hotel before being rented to the Davis family to drive them around the city.

In early May 1862, soon after New Orleans had fallen to the Union and as the Federal army under Gen. George McClellan was inching its way up the peninsula from Yorktown toward Richmond, the slave William Jackson crossed the lines into the Federal camp and began telling his story to the officers, who debriefed him at length, then to a handful of reporters. Over the next several weeks, tales about his revelations were printed and reprinted in papers all over the country.

Thus, one could read in the The Liberator, an abolitionist paper out of Boston, an article picked up from Horace Greeley’s Tribune in New York that was a paean to the escaped slaves making their way to Union encampments. Typically they were called “contrabands,” not yet entitled to their freedom (the Emancipation Proclamation was not announced until later that year, and did not go into effect until 1863).

“The fact cannot be questioned that the most important information we receive of the enemy’s movements reaches us through the contrabands,” the author of the Tribunearticle proclaimed.

When Jackson made his appearance in the Union camp, we are told, generals, colonels and majors flocked around him and the commander, Gen. Irvin McDowell, telegraphed the War Department with some of Jackson’s revelations.

If he brought useful tactical intelligence, however, it didn’t make it into the Northern newspapers, which focused on the gossip he passed along.

Jackson described Jefferson Davis as “pale and haggard,” sleeping little, eating nothing, constantly irritable and complaining about his generals: ‘He plans advances, but they execute masterly retreats,’” Jackson is quoted saying.

Varina Davis, meanwhile, had become a terror to her servants. “Mr. Davis treated me well,” said Jackson, “but Mrs. Davis is the d–––l,” the word devil considered too fraught for the paper’s readers.

Jackson seems to have spent quite a bit of time driving Varina around, and listening closely to her depressed views of the “played out” Confederacy. In part, no doubt, Jackson was telling the Union officers and press what they wanted to hear, raising their morale by talking about the declining mood in Rebel Richmond. He said not only slaves but whites were looking forward to the arrival of the Union troops. The Davises kept their bags packed and ready to go, he said, and even Mrs. Davis couldn’t pass off Confederate money…Read the Rest Here, including the story of Mary Elizabeth Bowser the amazing woman who operated a spy ring in the confederate capital...

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2016 in Black History

 

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Jackie Robinson – And When the Republican Party Went South

There has been a lot of effort extended by conservatives to rehabilitate Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater’s record and stances. Until Goldwater, the Republican Party had strong support among black folk and other minorities. Goldwater’s assertion that the Civil Rights Bill wasn’t needed sent the Republican Party off the abyss and led to Nixon’s “Southern Strategy”. It was in Goldwater’s presidential run in 1964 that the Republican Party became the racial cesspool we have today. As a kid, I remember the “AuH2O” bumper stickers and other items, and all along a campaign more driven by race than any “principles”.

When Jackie Robinson Confronted a Trump-Like Candidate

At its core, Barry Goldwater’s campaign threatened blacks’ ability to fully engage in a two-party system.

The Press Interviews Jackie Robinson at 1964 Republican Convention

“The danger of the Republican party being taken over by the lily-white-ist conservatives is more serious than many people realize,” Jackie Robinson cautioned in his syndicated column in August 1963. He was worried about the rise of Barry Goldwater, whose 1964 presidential bid laid the foundation for the modern conservative movement. Today, Goldwater’s shadow looms over Donald Trump’s campaign for the Republican Party’s nomination.

“During my life, I have had a few nightmares which happened to me while I was wide awake,” Robinson wrote in 1967. “One of them was the National Republican Convention in San Francisco, which produced the greatest disaster the Republican Party has ever known—Nominee Barry Goldwater.” Robinson, a loyal Republican who campaigned for Richard Nixon in 1960, was shocked and saddened by the racism and lack of civility he witnessed at the 1964 convention. As the historian Leah Wright Rigueur describes in The Loneliness of the Black Republican, black delegates were verbally assaulted and threatened with violence by Goldwater supporters. William Young, a Pennsylvania delegate, had his suit set on fire and was told to “keep in your own place” by his assailant. “They call you ‘nigger,’ push you and step on your feet,” New Jersey delegate George Fleming told the Associated Press. “I had to leave to keep my self-respect.”

The 1964 campaign was pivotal for Republicans because, despite Goldwater’s loss, the GOP came away with a dedicated network of people willing to work between election cycles to build the party. The GOP has won more presidential elections than it has lost since Goldwater. Donald Trump’s campaign plays on fears and resentments similar to those that fueled Goldwater’s presidential bid five decades ago. It is not yet clear, however, how this strategy will play out with an electorate that will be the most racially and ethnically diverse in U.S. history (over 30 percent of eligible voters will be racial or ethnic minorities).

As the Draft Goldwater campaign expanded in early 1963, the editors at the Chicago Defender warned that Goldwater’s “brand of demagoguery has a special appeal to ultra conservative Republicans” and that he “cannot be laughed off as a serious possibility as is being done in some quarters unfriendly to him.” After the 1964 Republican National Convention, the Defender suggested, “Goldwater in the White House would be a nightmare from which the nation and the world would not soon recover.” Another editorial two days later struck a stronger tone: “The conviction is universal that Goldwater represents the most diabolical force that has ever captured the leadership of the Republican Party. After 108 years of exhortation to freedom, liberty, and justice, the GOP now becomes the label under which Fascism is oozed into the mainstream of American politics.”

Recalling the applause line in Goldwater’s acceptance speech—“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue”—the Defender argued, “Goldwater’s extremist pronouncement is an invitation to violence and race riots.” On the eve of the election, Defender editors wrote that Goldwater “is in a frantic search for an issue that can stir the voter to an emotional pitch.  He tries to frighten the people into believing the country is not in safe hands.” (These and other editorials cited here can be found at Black Quotidian, a digital archive of black newspapers.)

In 1964, unlike 2016, it was not a foregone conclusion that the vast majority of black voters would support the Democratic Party. Republicans Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon received 39 percent and 32 percent of the black vote in the 1956 and 1960 presidential elections, compared to 6 percent for Goldwater in 1964. No Republican candidate since Goldwater has earned support from more than 15 percent of black voters….Read The Rest Here

 

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A History of Different Justice in WWII Military

Not surprisingly, the US Military in WWII had an entirely different set of rules for non-whites.

Were These U.S. Soldiers Executed Because of Their Race?

Of the U.S. servicemen put to death for crimes committed during the war, 79 percent were black. While their crimes were heinous, were they given harsher sentences?

Shortly after midnight on March 12, 1943, a U.S. Army chaplain and two military policemen walked into a cell in Shepton Mallet Prison, a grim, centuries-old facility in southwest England. The two MPs handcuffed the cell’s sole occupant and, with the clergyman trailing behind muttering prayers, escorted the prisoner down a hallway, through a crude wooden door, and onto a sturdy wooden gallows built within a two-story brick room.

The MPs halted the prisoner a few feet from the square trap door in the floor of the gallows and 73-year-old Thomas Pierrepoint, one of England’s official executioners, quickly stepped forward and with the help of his nephew Albert wrapped restraints around the prisoner’s upper torso and legs. The condemned man stood quietly as an American officer read both the charges against him and the sentence that was about to be carried out. The formalities over, the elder Pierrepoint slipped a white linen hood over the prisoner’s head, moved him into position atop the trap door, placed a simple slip-noose around his neck, then stepped back and quickly pulled the large handle that opened the trap and dropped the man to his death.

Though the execution mirrored in most details the hangings of Axis spies and Allied traitors during World War II, the man who died that day almost exactly 73 years ago was neither. He was, in fact, a 21-year-old U.S. Army private from Alabama named David Cobb, and he was the first of 18 American service members put to death at the British-owned but U.S.-operated prison between 1943 and 1945.

From December 7, 1941, through February 22, 1946, a total of 141 U.S. military personnel were executed for crimes committed during the war years—one for desertion and the rest for murder, rape or both. Seventy of those men were put to death in the European Theater of Operations, which encompassed the British Isles, with the largest single number meeting their end at Shepton Mallet.

Given that more than 405,000 American service members died of all causes in World War II, the executions conducted at the forbidding British prison would be little more than a grim historical footnote were it not for the fact that they were representative of a larger and very disturbing trend: Of all the men put to death in the European Theater 55, or 79 percent, were black, as were 11 of the 18 men executed at Shepton Mallet. Simply put, African Americans were disproportionately represented among those executed in Britain, just as they were in the total number of U.S. service members put to death theater-wide.

First opened in 1625, by 1930 Shepton Mallet was deemed by British prison authorities to be unnecessary and was put into caretaker status. The 1939 outbreak of World War II prompted His Majesty’s Government to reopen the facility, which was initially used to incarcerate British military prisoners. However, the increasing numbers of U.S. service members arriving in the British Isles after December 1941—a number that eventually reached some 1.2 million—made it necessary to establish a large, central prison that could replace the unit stockades established to house Army and Army Air Forces troops who had committed serious military offenses such as desertion and dereliction of duty (Navy, Marine and Coast Guard members were held in Navy-run brigs). A cooperative agreement signed between the British and American governments early in 1942 turned Shepton Mallet over to American control and also stated that U.S. military personnel charged with criminal offenses under local law would be tried by general courts martial, rather than in British courts. The majority of those convicted of serious crimes were sent to Shepton Mallet.

US Soldiers on leave in UK during WWII

And the 18 U.S. service members executed at the prison had indeed been found guilty of serious offenses—nine were tried for murder, six for rape and the others for both—with 16 of the crimes committed in England and the other two in Northern Ireland. The victims included both U.S. military personnel and British civilians; among the latter were a 7-year-old girl, a pregnant wife, a 75-year-old-woman and renowned explorer Sir Eric Teichman, murdered by two GIs he caught trespassing on his estate. The Americans were all convicted either as a result of their own confessions, on the testimony of witnesses or surviving victims, or through forensic evidence—including blood and semen studies, hair and fiber samples, and footprint comparisons—that was compelling even at that early stage in the development of what we now call crime scene investigation.

Indeed, that the men executed at Shepton Mallet had actually committed the crimes with which they’d been charged is beyond reasonable doubt. What does come into question, however, is whether skin color was a determining factor in the decision to execute some men for crimes for which others received lesser punishments.

Holding the line in France

rmed forces are always a reflection of the nations that produce them, and the American military of World War II was spawned by an extremely race-conscious society. African-Americans served almost exclusively in segregated units—as, of course, did Japanese-American personnel—and soldiers, sailors and airmen of color were just as likely to encounter racism from their white counterparts in the service as they were from white civilians on the streets back home.

As Professor J. Robert Lilly of Northern Kentucky University has pointed out in his pioneering research into the administration of military justice in World War II, while the roughly 1 million African-American men who served in the nation’s armed services constituted less than 10 percent of the total force, they made up a much larger percentage of those given harsh sentences for serious offenses. Blacks were far more likely to be put to death for murder or rape than their white counterparts—in the European Theater 25 African-American men were executed for murder versus 4 whites; 22 blacks and 6 whites were put to death for rape; and 8 of the 12 killed for rape and murder were men of color. These percentages are roughly reflected in the numbers executed at Shepton Mallet….Read the Rest Here

 

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2016 in Black History

 

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Afrofuturism

Fascinating…

The Parliament-Funkadelic Mothership, now on permanent display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC

 

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