The July 26th Movement Cuba 🇨🇺 Long Live The Revolucion

Fidel Castro is seen here wearing a 26-7-53 arm band which is the symbol for the July 26 Movement, the date of the Moncada Barracks attack.

The date of the Moncada Barracks attack, July 26, 1953, would give Fidel Castro the name of his organization, the 26th of July movement, and would become the most sacred date of communist Cuba. And, speaking of sacredness, why did Fidel Castro choose the 26th of July for the commencement of his Revolution? Sources tell us Fidel chose July 26 because the patron saint of the city of Santiago de Cuba was the Apostle James the Elder. In medieval Spanish tradition he was resurrected as Santiago the Moorslayer, the avenging angel of the Spanish knights during the Reconquista, as well as the charging fury that led the indomitable conquistadores of Hernán Cortes when battling the Aztecs of Mexico.

The saint was honored every July 25, which also coincided with the end of the sugar harvest, hence the day of the most joyous celebration in Santiago de Cuba. Fidel Castro, “the new Moorslayer, would destroy Batista.” Indeed, Fidel had told his Ortodoxo friend, José Pardo Llada, after Batistas bloodless March 10, 1952 coup d’état in which Batista had seized the government, “We have got to kill that Negro.”

It is of interest that Fidel has admitted in moments of candor that the Moncada attack was carried out for sensationalism to stir up the public and to begin his Revolution with a splash. The fact is that despite the infamous Batista coup of March 10, 1952, Cuba was and remained prosperous and at peace. There was no popular protests or public outcry, except for the measured protests by the intellectuals chiefly in Havana. Fidel, then, had to do something spectacular to get the people’s attention and rally them against Batista. In Fidel’s view, the Moncada Barracks attack was “a gesture which would set an example for the people of Cuba.”

 

Haki Kweli Shakur 7-26-52 ADM Talks Scientific Socialism ATC- NAPLA NAIM MOI

 

On July 26, 1953, Fidel Castro, along with his brother Raúl, led an attack on a remote outpost, the Moncada Barracks, in Oriente province, the easternmost province of Cuba. As discussed above, the fortuitous day was chosen after a major celebration in Santiago de Cuba. He expected Batista’s soldiers to be drunk and stuporous when his band of revolutionaries would surprise them at the crack of dawn. He had 160 men, which included as mentioned, his brother Raúl, Abel and Haydée Santamaría, and several others like Juan Almeida, who would become better known as the Revolution unfolded. Fidel Castro and the principal group of assailants were to attack the main post in the barracks.

In the meantime, the doctor in the group with Abel Santamaría and the two women, Haydée Santamaría and Melba Hernández, were to secure the infirmary. But everything went wrong. In the lead vehicle, Ramiro Valdés encountered one of the guards and smashed his face in with the butt of his rifle. The vanguard of the group surprised the sentries, who, nevertheless, were able to warn the garrison. They suffered eight deaths in the ensuing gunfight. Fidel Castro did not even enter the compound. In the infirmary, the small group viciously killed the sleeping soldiers, accounting for the majority of the 22 enemy casualties.

Abel and the women were captured by Batista forces, and the soldiers, upon discovering the slaughter of their sick and wounded comrades in the infirmary, retaliated. Abel was tortured and brutally killed while in police custody. He would later become an icon of the Revolution. In the chaos that followed, 56 revolutionaries were killed, the majority of them after their capture, in retaliation for the infirmary massacre.

Years later, Abels sister Haydée, a member of the ruling nomenklatura, would commit suicide while working in Castro’s communist government as director of the States official publishing house, Casa de las Américas. She had become disillusioned, it seemed, with the course of the Revolution and her equally failed marriage with playboy and compañero Armando Hart, Minister of Culture.

Comandantes Juan Almeida and Ramiro Valdés would remain in Fidel’s revolutionary hierarchy for decades(Almeida as Communist Party apparatchik and Valdés working in the dreaded internal State security apparatus). Valdés, along with the dissolute quartet of Osmony Cienfuegos, Sergio del Valle, José Abrantes, and Manuel Piñeiro (“Red Beard”), would put Batista police and military chiefs such as the Salas Cañizares, the Masferrers, the Mirabales, and Estéban Ventura to shame in using effective repressive tactics to squelch opposition and spread terror.

And yet, Batista forces in that remote outpost fought back and defeated Fidel and his ragtag band. Fidel, who stayed safely behind during the attack, was also protected after his arrest and apprehension by the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba, Mons. Enrique Pérez Serantes. Fidel and the members of his band were rounded up, tried, and convicted. Fidel’s failed legal defense of himself at his trial on October 16, 1953 became a major revolutionary document, History will absolve me. While in prison, Fidel accused his wife Mirta Diaz Balart, who he abandoned along with their infant son, of collaborating with the dictator’s Internal Ministry. Mirta would be forced to divorce Fidel.

Interestingly, before the Moncada Barracks attack, Fidel had visited Batista at his palatial home at least twice. On one occasion, accompanied by his brother-in-law, Rafael Diaz Balart, Fidel had promised the dictator that he would support his government. Before that, when Fidel and Mirta went on their honeymoon in 1949 to the Bronx, New York, they had both received a $500 bill from Senator Batista as a wedding present.

For his part, Batista, the corrupt and vengeful dictator, released Fidel Castro and his men from prison in 1955 as a gesture of national reconciliation in a general amnesty release. Fidel and his men had been treated exceptionally well. While Fidel and his conspirators were sentenced by the presiding judge specifically to be incarcerated in the dreaded old fortress prison of La Cabaña to serve his sentence of fifteen years, the Cuban Minister of the Interior, Ramón Hermida, ordered them, instead, sent to the newest Modelo Prison on Isla de Pinos. There, they were classified as political prisoners, and rather than being treated harshly and inhumanely, they were treated with the same respect and special privileges that Batista gave to “political prisoners” at the time. As we shall see, when the tables are turned and Fidel is doing the incarcerating, things would be totally different.

Yes, the Moncada assailants who survived the attack and the immediate vengeful aftermath were treated favorably with special privileges following their prosecution and conviction. While in prison, Fidel and his conspirators were given books and magazines and were allowed to keep subversive political literature, including books of Marx, Lenin, and other revolutionary subversives.

Quirk notes that while at the modern Modelo Prison, Fidel was more influenced by Nikolai Ostrovskis How the Steel Was Tempered and Hewlett Johnson’s (the “Red Dean” of Canterbury), The Secret of Soviet Strength, than by the more lengthy and soporific works of Marx and Lenin. Thus, Fidel had ample time to expand his egalitarian, collectivist sentiments and transform them into solid, communist ideology. Quirk sees Fidel and his writings and speeches as being those of an idealist egalitarian who admired FDR’s New Deal and who only later, after the Revolution, pragmatically or for personal reasons, became a socialist. “Because,” writes Quirk, “he was open to the moral, if not intellectual appeal of Marxism.”

Any careful study of Fidel Castros pronouncements during his years in prison in 1953-1954 and his actions thereafter, 1955-1958, reveal that the young autocratic revolutionary was carefully adding details to his elitist mentality and collectivist frame of mind. He was becoming an authoritarian, whether fascist or communist, only time would tell, but by the 1950s, fascism was certainly on the decline, whereas communism was on the rise.

In addition to the works of communist authors, Fidel Castro treasured Benito Mussolini’s volumes and avidly read the works of Spanish Falangist José Antonio Primo de Rivera, both of whom are said to be on the far right side of the political spectrum. Let me explain.

Since the turbulent days of the early 1790s, when the Jacobins and Girondins held the raging debates at the National Convention during the French Revolution, the meaning of “right” and “left” which was dictated by the seating arrangement of the delegates, has changed considerably. Then, it was moderate versus radical in the ideological political spectrum. Today, it supposedly separates liberal from conservative.

As Fidel’s choice of political books demonstrates, collectivist writings appeal to authoritarians because birds of a feather tend to flock together. All forms of authoritarianism and collectivism – whether national socialism (Nazism), communism, or their seemingly milder cousins, corporativism and fascism – are, in reality, all nuances of the same ideology of the left side of the political spectrum, where the collective power of the State becomes all powerful and supreme over the individual.

On the other end of the spectrum, we find anarchy, the extreme condition of having no government at all, which occupies the far, extreme right. Imagine then, a horseshoe with an accentuated bend, the ends almost meeting at the extreme right and left. The gap, a narrow one, can be easily traversed from one side to the other by the extremisms of a police State on the one hand or rampant terrorism and chaos on the other. The end result is anarcho-tyranny. Anarchy, tyranny, or their confluence are neither conducive to economic prosperity nor political freedom.

In the stable middle of the horseshoe where the bend occurs, lay the blessings of constitutional rule, as is the case in the United States and was the case, to some extent, in Cuba with the constitutions of 1901 and 1940. Restoration of the Constitution of 1940 is what Fidel promised the Cuban people, but never delivered, and never intended to deliver.

Whether Fidel’s Marxism was inchoate or inveterate in 1955 or 1958, or even 1959 or 1961, in the final analysis, becomes moot. In the end it does not matter for how long he deceived the Cuban people. The reality is that he betrayed the Cuban people and did not reveal his Fidel Castro enters Santa Clara, CubaMarxism-Leninism until he was fully entrenched in power with his State Security apparatus equally and firmly in place. No matter how much the United States had tried to appease him, tolerated his insults, or even forgiven the nationalization of U.S. properties (i.e., expropriations without compensation), in the end, Fidel would have turned to the Soviets. Deep inside, he had become, like Raúl and Ché, a dedicated communist.

Communism allows autocrats to maintain power over the individual citizens. It is a symbiotic relationship. Fidel Castro needed communist tactics to seize power, and the communists needed a populist autocrat to accomplish their objective. They worked hand in glove and wanted similar ends totalitarianism and collectivism while crushing individual freedoms and holding onto power.

To camouflage his true intentions, Fidel allied himself to Cuban politicians and personalities as long as they were useful to him to make himself more acceptable, to emanate, to effuse the aura of respectability he had always yearned for and desired. For example, after the Revolution, there was Manuel Urrutia, who had been a judge voting favorably at the trial of Granma survivors captured by Batistas soldiers, and Prime Minister José Miro Cardona, a former law professor at the University of Havana. After Fidel took power, he would force Miro Cardona out of office as Prime Minister, and the good judge, Urrutia, out of the presidency. Fidel would eventually assume the duties and capacities of both of these offices. Before that, he allied with and took money from former foes, like Justo Carrillo and even mortal enemies like Prío Socarrás, in his quest for power. And he never kept any accounting of the monies received.

The truth is the Cuban people did not know Fidel, and what they (and the world) learned came mostly from the image Herbert Matthews created after he visited the Sierra Maestra, and the articles he wrote for The New York Times and faithfully reprinted in Bohemia, Cuba’s popular and largest circulation weekly magazine, as well as the photographs of Matthews and Castro jovially conversing in the Sierra Maestra. To the very end, until it was too late, Cuba’s and America’s major magazines and newspapers kept the Cuban people benighted about Fidel’s intentions, his past shenanigans, and his authoritarian proclivities. The fact is Fidel was always an autocrat, and he became more so as the years passed, although he was careful to conceal it from the Cuban people.

After their imprisonment, Fidel and his comrades were kept in the hospital wing of the Modelo Prison away from common criminals. There, Fidel was permitted to organize and conduct a school for his fellow insurgents where political economy, philosophy, and history were taught. Not until the audacious prisoners insulted President Batista on an official State visit to the Isla de Pinos prison did the situation change, and their privileges were withdrawn. By then, Fidel and his prison conspirators would have less than eight months left to spend in prison. Moreover, while incarcerated, Fidel continued to have friends in the press and on the radio air waves who helped to keep his name alive with the populace – friends like Luis Conte Agüero and José Pardo Llado, and in Bohemia, writers like Jorge Mañach and Ernesto Montaner, as well as the magazines influential chief editor, Miguel Angel Quevedo.

And, of course, there was ex-communist Carlos Franqui, who helped Fidel Castro as a journalist and radio broadcaster beginning in 1955 and who would later head clandestine Radio Rebelde from the Sierra Maestra. After the triumph of the Revolution, Franqui would also edit the official organ Revolución. All of these capable journalists would later see the light and be forced into exile.

In 1955, when Ramón Hermida, Batistas Minister of the Interior, found that Fidel was despondent in prison because of the break up of his marriage with Mirta Balart, he went to see young Castro to cheer him up. Fidel had found that Mirta had a sinecure job with his Ministry, and this was not only an embarrassment to Castro but also an actual “betrayal.” Hermida reassured him saying, “Don’t be impatient. Youre still a young man. Keep calm. Everything will pass.” Could you imagine the sanguinary and dissolute Ramiro Valdés or José Abrantes or any of Fidel’s henchmen in the Ministry of the Interior, visiting a prison cell to give hope and encouragement to a gusano (worm), serving time in Castros jails after leading a counterrevolutionary insurrection?

What a difference from the way Castros jails treat thousands of political prisoners today! Allow me to digress and mention here the barbaric and ghastly treatment of Cuban physician, Oscar Elias Biscet, a prisoner of conscience who only protested human rights abuses in Cuba. He pleaded for Castro’s communist regime to honor the U.N. Charter of Human Rights. He was thrown in jail after a sham trial. Requiring medical attention, he has been denied medical care, tortured, and kept in solitary confinement.

Dr. Biscet completed his sentence in 2002 (incarcerated from November 3, 1999 October 31, 2002) only to be rearrested and incarcerated on December 6, 2002, in another of Castros waves of repression. In April 2003, Dr. Biscet was one of 75 dissidents given long prison sentences (25 years) for engaging in what the communist dictator called “an attempt to undermine the social order.” His brutal treatment and suffering continues, but he remains unbroken.

This article is extracted from Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002) by Dr. Miguel Faria.

Dr. Faria is a former professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History at Mercer University School of Medicine. He is the author of Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995), Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997), and Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002). His books are available at http://www.haciendapub.com.

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. Fidel Castro and the 26th of July Movement. Newsmax media. July 27, 2004. Available from: http://www.haciendapub.com/articles/fidel-castro-and-26th-july-movement

2 Months after Cambridge Maryland Rebellion H Rap Brown Captured Taken to Richmond Virginia City Jail then Extradited Back to Maryland

F i v e Cambridge Negroes also were indicted on charges stemming from the racial dis- orders. Brown now is awaiting ex- tradition to Maryland from Richmond, Va., where a hear- ing will be held Aug. 23. He is free on $10,000 bond set by Virginia authorities after his arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation two days after the riot.

Black power militant H. Rap Brown, wanted in Maryland on charges of inciting … At the request of Alexandria officials, he was taken to the city jail in Richmond, Va., 100 miles to the City Jail!

Haki Kweli Shakur 7-24-52 ADM

July 24 1967 Cambridge Maryland Rebellion, Cambridge Non-Violent Action Committee (CNAC) & Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee 1963-1967

In the midst of ongoing fist fights, rock throwing and gun battles between white segregationists and African American seeking civil rights in 1963 Cambridge, Maryland, there was an astonishing phenomenon.

White workers sought black leadership to aid the struggle to organize and strengthen interracial unions in the town.

Cambridge Struggle Breaks Mold

The Cambridge, Maryland. civil rights struggle from 1963-67 involved the longest occupation by armed forces of a U.S. town since Reconstruction and presents a far different narrative than that of the Civil Rights movement taught in schoolbooks today.

Early on, the leadership deviated from other concurrent civil rights struggles for legal equality by taking up social justice demands such as good jobs, housing, schools and health care. It was also different because it was an indigenous struggle to the town as opposed to one orchestrated by national rights leaders.

The leadership of the Cambridge Non-Violent Action Committee (CNAC) also did not reject armed self-defense. CNAC, which affiliated with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), was the only chapter led by adults and probably the only one whose principal strategist was a woman.

Much has been written about Cambridge elsewhere and a good blow-by-blow account can be found in Civil War on Race Street by Peter B. Levy.

However, less well-known is how in the midst of violent racial clashes between African Americans and whites in the town, white and black workers united behind the local civil rights leaders in their long quest to form labor unions there.

Background

Frederick Douglas: 1870 ca.
Frederick Douglas, abolitionist leader in the 19th century, was enslaved near Cambridge.
Cambridge, located on the Choptank River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, was the trading center for the plantations that surrounded the area. The abolitionist and political leader Frederick Douglas was born on a plantation about 25 miles north of there. The underground railroad conductor Harriet Tubman was born about 10 miles south of Cambridge.

 

 

During most of the first half of the twentieth century, the Phillips Packing Company (a vegetable processing and packinghouse) dominated the town and surrounding farms that provided produce for the plant.

Harriett Tubman: 1911
Harriet Tubman, abolitionist, underground railroad conductor, and rights advocate, also escaped slavery near Cambridge.
Although Maryland is a border state, the economic and social relations were more akin to the Deep South. Racial segregation and prejudice were intense and poverty among both black and white workers was prevalent.

A promising interracial attempt at achieving economic justice began in 1937 when several thousand workers staged a strike at Phillips to form an interracial labor union in the midst of Jim Crow Cambridge.

The strike was defeated by owner Albanus Phillips who set up a company union to ward off the left-leaning CIO union.

A ten-year campaign by the United Cannery, Agricultural, Packing & Allied Workers, CIO followed, but also ended in defeat. The union lost a close representation election supervised by the federal government in 1947 in the midst of accusations of communist leadership against the national cannery union.

Union Business Cambridge Strike 1937 – Hi-Res
1937 Phillips Packing Company strike.
Phillips’ company union became the hiring hall for nearly all the plants in Cambridge. Workers were screened for any independent union sympathies. Phillips remained a source of employment for black workers who generally had lower paying and less desirable jobs than white workers until the company’s decline in the mid to late 1950s.

Cambridge Movement Starts

By 1962 the Civil Rights movement was picking up steam around the country and an initial movement by students attempted to desegregate public facilities in Cambridge, a town of about 11,000 people at that time of whom about one-third were African American.

The initial protests were through peaceful picketing and sit-ins. A number of white racists attacked demonstrators but police often arrested the protesters.

These tactics produced few results until 1963 when a woman from a prominent black family in town, Gloria Richardson, was chosen to head up the movement and CNAC.

One of the first things Richardson did was conduct a survey of the black community to help determine priorities. Data were collected door-to-door and analyzed by faculty at Swarthmore College. In a 1994 interview by Peter Szabo, Richardson recalled,

I forget now which was first. What it ultimately meant to us was that we were going to have to attack the whole thing [effects of segregation] at one time-the housing, the health, because it made very little difference. I think maybe health may have come first and housing second, and schools, but it wasn’t that much difference when those compilations came back.

Demand Equality, Jobs & Freedom in Cambridge MD: 1963
1963 Cambridge MD picket line demanding jobs, equality and freedom.
Much to the chagrin of established black leaders, Richardson changed the focus of the protests to demand both economic and social equality—targeting discrimination in employment, poor wages, inferior schools and health care and segregated facilities.

As more militant tactics–such as a boycott of white owned businesses—and new demands were employed, white resistance also increased.

Two 15-year-old students, Dwight Cromwell and Dinez White, were arrested for praying outside a segregated facility. Both were sentenced to indeterminate sentences in a juvenile facility—meaning they could be held for up to six years.

The sentences outraged the black community and increasingly large marches were held that were in turn met by white mobs. State troopers were present, but mostly sided with the white demonstrators.

Armed Self-Defense

At this point, the philosophy of non-violent resistance moved to a philosophy of armed self-defense of the black community in Cambridge. Herbert St. Clair, a prominent African American businessman active in the movement said, according to Peter Levy,

We are not going to initiate violence. But if we are attacked, we are not going to turn the other cheek.

On June 13, 1963 another mass civil rights march was held, this time with armed black men protecting the demonstrators and setting up a perimeter around the black community.

The following night fighting broke out between whites and blacks that included an exchange of gunshots and several people were wounded. Some white businesses were set on fire and when police attempted to enter the black ward, they were driven back by rocks and gunshots fired into the air.

Gloria Richardson: 1964 ca # 1
Gloria Richardson in an undated photograph.
Gloria Richardson noted in 1994,

There were some people at SNCC that [saw non-violence] really, almost as a religion, and that whole Gandhi concept. I never saw it as that. I saw it as a tactic, because certainly you couldn’t start out picking up guns running out in the street or you’d be slaughtered.

But, to create as much chaos as you could with it [non-violence], and if violence was perpetuated against you, that as long as there wasn’t a demonstration going on, you had the right to defend yourself.

It was the men that protected the community, and had to lay out in those fields with guns all night. They understood exactly what was going on and so did the women. Those men that thought they could be non-violent enough to go in the marches did. Those that didn’t did other things.

Cambridge Protester Helped from Scene of Beating: 1963
One of six youths beaten by whites during a sit-in is helped away from the scene.
The administration of Gov. Milliard J. Tawes offered a plan of gradual desegregation that was rejected by CNAC. Tawes then sent in the National Guard for three weeks.

Following withdrawal of the Guard, CNAC resumed protests. On July 12th, a mob of whites attacked a half-dozen protesters sitting in at a restaurant. A brawl ensued as black residents fought back. Later that night a white mob attacked another civil rights march.

When night riders attempted to enter black neighborhoods, they were met with gunfire and shots were exchanged. Twelve white people were wounded by gunfire and some white owned-stores were set on fire.

Cambridge Rally Against Indeterminate Sentences: 1963
Protest in the African American section of Cambridge July, 12 1963.
The Baltimore Afro-American wrote:

For what seemed like an eternity the Second Ward [the predominantly African American area] was a replica of the Old West as men and boys of all ages roamed the streets, stood in the shadows, and leaned out of windows with their weapons in full view.

Gov. Tawes sent the National Guard back in, and they remained for almost two years—the longest occupation of any community since the Reconstruction period after the Civil War. Civil rights activists staging protests were seized and sent to the Pikesville, Maryland Armory 90 miles away for “protective custody.”

Human Rights, Not White Rights

Guard Moves On Cambridge Rights Protest: 1964
Guard moves to break up protest demanding jobs and aid to low income families February 1964.
Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy brokered a settlement whereby CNAC would suspend protests in return for an end to segregation in public accommodations, desegregation of public schools, construction of public housing, and implementation of a jobs program funded by the Federal government. Kennedy also worked to free Dwight Cromwell and Dinez White after three months in the juvenile prison.

The agreement broke down almost immediately when the all-white Dorchester Business and Citizens Association filed referendum petitions to overturn the agreement.

CNAC leader Gloria Richardson took a principled, but controversial stance, when she announced that CNAC would not take part in the referendum. She said, according to Theoharis and Woodard,

A first-class citizen does not beg for freedom. A first-class citizen does not plead to the white power structure to give him something that the whites have no power to give or take away. Human rights are human rights, not white rights.

In October 1963, the racists won the referendum. In the end the white segregationists had bought nine months of continued legal segregation before the passage of the federal 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Unity from Below

Preventive Detention for Cambridge Rights Protesters: 1964
Cambridge protesters under preventive detention at the Pikesville Armory in February 1964.
The civil rights campaign and the vote had unanticipated effects that threatened the power structure in town in new ways. Poor and working class whites began to seek out civil rights leaders for help.

After the vote failed to end segregation, African American Congressman from New York Adam Clayton Powell arranged for food and other supplies to be delivered to Cambridge.

Richardson remembered in 1994,

The people [authorities] in Cambridge refused to distribute [the food], so the [National] Guard distributed it.

At that time what happened is white folks started calling us on the telephone telling us that they were on welfare and they needed food, but they [racist leaders] had told them that if they went out and got any of that food, or if they saw them on the lines, they were either gonna fire them or take them off welfare or whatever… and that they couldn’t come, and what could they do?

CNAC proceeded to get cars and loaded them up with food … and went and took the food to them. Subsequently, I think they finally got enough nerve to begin to come out.

Interracial Union Organizing

Gloria Richardson brushes off National Guard: 1963
Gloria Richardson unfazed by National Guard during Cambridge civil rights protests.
The fight over segregation also led to the victories in union organizing that had failed in the decade 1937-1947. Richardson related in the 1994 interview,

What had happened was we had gone to a couple of meetings over on the other side of town where union organizers had come down from New York, and we had gone in to fight for black folk. And then when we got there, we ended up fighting for them all, because while there were some black folks in there to stand up and voice their complaints, the white folks would stand but they would come up and just go, ‘Would you tell me about that [the civil rights struggle] …?’

You know, it was weird, it was mind boggling. So then everybody stood up and said, ‘She’s gonna stay.’ So, it’s really very strange because we also were fighting these other things that probably most of them, I would assume most of them, didn’t want to go on, in terms of desegregation.

But that was because black and white people both needed more money and needed a union rather than each of them fighting for the other’s job…. They were working together and they had to come out to the black community in order to meet [at the black Rod & Gun Club]. That was the meat packers union…

The United Packing House Workers of America drive at the Coastal Foods plant (the successor company to Phillips Packing Co.) was successful with the support of CNAC.

Leadership Intertwined

Peter Levy noted how the union leadership and the struggle for civil rights were intertwined.

Leroy Banks spearheaded the organizing campaign inside the Coastal Foods Plant and was subsequently elected head of the local. His wife, Marva Banks, served as CNAC’s first treasurer.

CNAC leader Enez Grubb’s relatives had a history of labor activism dating back to the Phillips plant.

Grubb’s own father quit working at the Phillips Packing Company during World War II because the company union treated German prisoners of war who worked in the plants better than it treated native blacks.

Women Strikers in Cambridge Md.: 1937 – Hi-Res
Some activists had relatives who had been active during the 1937 strike at Phillips.
Still others had relatives who had been active in the 1937 strike at Phillips.

George Cephas had been killed during the 1937 uprising. Gilbert Cephas beame a leader in the local union. Still other civil rights and student activists found work with the UPWA.

“All the Way with UPWA” became a slogan for activists. Civil rights volunteers worked the picket lines during the campaign, helping to convince migratory workers not to cross the picket lines.

After the winning drive at Coastal food, District 6 of the UPWA invited Richardson to their convention in New York City where she was greeted with renditions of civil rights songs. In return, Richardson gave a unequivocal pro-union speech, according to Levy.

Proclaiming that a revived labor movement was one of the keys to uplifting workers, especially African Americans, she [Richardson] pledged her continued cooperation with the union.

The unionization of Coastal was followed with successful campaigns at Maryland Tuna and Chun King.

The UPWA drive aggravated the differences between white “moderates” and CNAC. Those whites, mainly medium and large business owners, saw Cambridge’s non-union status as a boon to businesses. Some prominent African American in town were not happy with the unionization drives either. However, both black and white workers overwhelmingly supported UPWA’s drive for higher wages that in turn addressed issues of inequality.

White Garment Workers Stand with CNAC

Maryland Tuna Plant: 1955 ca. #1
The production line of Maryland Tuna Co. in 1955. The civil rights struggle in Cambridge, Md. led to its unionization in 1964.
In another instance, CNAC took up the plight of garment workers at the Rob Roy factory. The International Ladies Garment Workers Union had negotiated lower rates for Cambridge workers as compared to the Rob Roy facilities in New York City that were doing the same work. Richardson said, according to Faith Holseart,

The Cambridge local had both black and white members, but because of segregation, they didn’t usually meet together. But this time the black trade unionists, with support from white workers, asked us [CNAC] to come to the meetings.

For one large meeting of about two to three hundred people, ILGWU headquarters in New York sent people down who supported the wage discrepancy. In the heat of the conflict over this issue, the New York representatives red-baited me [accused of being a communist] and moved to put me out of the meeting.

When they did that, surprisingly, local white ILGWU members who in the day before civil rights demonstrations probably had been throwing stones at us, got up and said, ‘Oh, no. If she goes, all of us go.’

Richardson remembered in an interview with Joseph Mosnier that the white men in the union were afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation by white authorities in Cambridge and asked CNAC if the black men could speak for them.

CNAC representatives, relating the experiences of SNCC workers assisting a 1963 miners strike in Hazard, Kentucky, inspired the white workers to speak up.

Gloria Richardson: 1964 # 3
Gloria Richardson leading a civil rights march in Cambridge, Md in 1964.
Richardson received a visit from New York ILGWU representatives later that week at her home. She said in her interview with Holseart,

[They] told me they were going to call Jim Forman [the executive secretary of SNCC] and have him stop me from interfering with union business. I said, ‘Jim Foreman is not my boss, and he cannot tell me what to do.’

The union leaders responded, ‘Well somebody must be able to tell you, because you need to just stay out of Rob Roy. This isn’t your business.’ They went to far as to say, ‘And you better be careful.’

I replied, ‘Well you know, we are used to threats here. If you think you can get Jim Foreman to get us to stop, you go right ahead.’ I didn’t hear anything more about that from them.

In these instances, white workers were inspired by the CNAC campaign and recognized the power and leadership that it represented.

Black and white unity was achieved on this level not by Robert Kennedy’s intervention, but by the recognition by white workers that the black struggle for freedom represented new power that could benefit them also.

Aftermath

Following the 1962-64 protests, some federal dollars began to flow into Cambridge for parks, schools, streets, public housing and other projects. However, problems in Cambridge were not erased by the passage of civil rights legislation and President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs.

Discrimination continued despite the legal end of segregation. The Cambridge economy was also continuing to slide and African Americans were faring worse in the slumping town than whites.

As protests picked up in 1967 CNAC, now named the Cambridge Black Action Federation, decided to invite H. Rap Brown (Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin) to speak on black power. Brown was chair of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and an outspoken advocate of black power who no longer believed that non-violent change was possible.

CNAC turned to Richardson who had moved to New York City with her new husband in late 1964, but still had relatives living in Cambridge. She knew Brown and invited him to speak in the town.

Brown spoke on July 24, 1967 to a crowd of several hundred people in the African American section of town.

1967 Uprising

H. ‘Rap’ Brown Speaks to Cambridge MD Crowd: 1967
H. ‘Rap’ Brown gives a speech July 24, 1967 to several hundred in Cambridge, Maryland.
Brown gave a fiery speech on black pride, a critique of U.S. white society and willingness of black people to fight for a better life.

Brown stayed in town for another hour or two and at one point escorted a young woman home along with several others. A shot was fired at Brown who was hit by a shotgun pellet, then gunfire began to be exchanged between white gunmen and black shooters.

At one point a carload of whites sped through the black section of town indiscriminately firing weapons.

Scene of the Pine Street Fire in Cambridge: 1967
Aftermatch of the Pine Street fire in Cambridge, Maryland July 25, 1967.
In the early morning hours, someone set fire to the Pine Street Elementary School in the African American area of town. The white fire department refused to answer the call, and as a result two blocks and 20 buildings in the black section of town burned to the ground.

While the fire was burning, Richardson desperately tried to get help.

I had to end up calling his [National Guard Commander Gelsten’s] wife, who had just talked to him and everything was quiet … I had to finally tell her, ‘My daughter is there, Miss, she’s calling me, the firemen didn’t come in, the coals are flying all over,’ and she finally called him. And then somebody called me from the press and told me that the Guard was on its way….

I think it was finally some people way down, what we consider really racist part of the county, that let them have a fire truck. Because the city wouldn’t.

Throw Away the Key

Guard Arrives in Cambridge: 1967
Maryland National Guard arrives in Cambridge for the third time in four years July 25, 1967.
Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew again mobilized the National Guard and showed up in town the next day saying, “”I hope they pick him [Brown] up soon, put him away and throw away the key.”

Brown was soon charged with inciting to riot, among other charges, and ultimately arrested by the FBI on additional charges of fleeing prosecution and a weapons violation. Brown was scheduled to go to trial on the riot charge in Maryland in March 1970.

On March 9, 1970 two SNCC officials, Ralph Featherstone and William (“Che”) Payne, died on U.S. Route 1 south of Bel Air, Maryland when a bomb on the front floorboard of their car exploded, completely destroying the car and dismembering both occupants. The next night the Cambridge courthouse was bombed.

Brown disappeared for 18 months before being arrested on unrelated charges. The Cambridge “inciting to riot” charge was ultimately dropped.

Cambridge Afterwards

State Police Patrol Cambridge Streets: 1967
Maryland state police patrol Cambridge, Maryland July 25, 1967.
The five-year mass movement in Cambridge ended in the aftermath of the 1967 uprising. Federal representatives offered aid, but Agnew refused to accept it. Richardson remembered that,

Anything else that was left over from the two years or three years before-got agreement on it from Washington … Agnew stopped it. That was it. They did not control him like they did Tawes, and it fell apart at that point. … I think the [federal] government was sincere at that time, but it was just that Agnew said no. He hated Rap Brown. He hated Stokely Carmichael.

Richardson remembered that when Agnew came to town the day after the fire, he maligned all African Americans in the town.

[He said] ‘These were thugs.’ He made the mistake of standing up and calling them thugs. That’s after they’d been up all night long trying to put out the fires.

Agnew went on to further his career seeking to pit white voters against African Americans. Ironically he had initially been elected governor of Maryland when liberals flocked to him in 1964 in opposition to Democrat candidate George Mahoney’s slogan, “Your home is your castle,” a call for resistance to open housing legislation.

Agnew was chosen by Richard Nixon to be his vice-presidential candidate in 1968 and became the mouthpiece for Nixon’s “law and order” crusade against left-leaning African Americans and white antiwar activists.

The hypocrisy of the Nixon/Agnew campaign was revealed when Agnew was forced to resign the vice-presidency in 1973 because he was facing corruption charges and Nixon resigned the presidency in 1974 after his cover-up of crimes committed during the Watergate scandal.

The Pine Street neighborhood, once thriving, has never recovered. As the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries became increasingly polluted and overfished and economic changes made vegetable production less profitable, most of the packinghouses throughout Maryland closed.

While legal segregation ended, economic conditions and opportunities for the vast majority of African Americans in Cambridge improved briefly in the mid 1960s, but little over the subsequent decades.

Author’s Notes

As the Black Lives Matters movement today increasingly makes connections to economic and social repression, it opens the possibility of the movement expanding its influence by taking up the economic and social struggles much in the way Richardson’s CNAC was able to extend its influence and leadership to build more powerful organization.

Unions, besieged today with relentless attacks, have in large part stood on the sidelines of the movement against unwarranted police violence. Perhaps both movements would do well to apply some of the lessons drawn from a small Maryland town some 50 years ago.

The sources for this post include Civil War on Race Street by Peter Levy; Groundwork: Local Black Freedom Movements in America by Jeanne Theoharis and Komozi Woodard; Hands on the Freedom Plow by Faith Holseart; Transcript of H. “Rap” Brown’s 1967 Cambridge Speech by Lawrence Peskin and Dawn Almes; Oral History Project interview with Gloria Richardson with Joseph Mosnie, 2011; Maryland Historical Magazine, Fall 1994; The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun and the Baltimore Afro-American among others.

Postscript

H ‘Rap’ Brown at Press Conference: 1967
H. ‘Rap’ Brown at a press conference two days after his Cambridge speech. Bandage from shotgun wound is visible.
Some excerpts of H. Rap Brown’s (Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin) 1967 speech in Cambridge:

On the word black:

It takes a lot of effort to love black in America. You’ve been told all your life if you’re black, you’re wrong. If you’re black, there’s something wrong with you. They tell you black cows don’t give good milk; black hens don’t lay eggs. Devil’s food cakes. You know, you put on black to go to funerals. When you put on white you go to weddings.

On taking on the white power structure:

They run around and tell you: “Don’t start no fight with the honky pecker `cause you can’t win. He outnumber you. Hell! Don’t you know they always outnumber us? David was outnumbered when he fought Goliath. He was outnumbered. Hell! Daniel in the lion’s den was outnumbered. Moses was outnumbered. All of us is outnumbered. That don’t make no difference.

FBI Wanted Poster for H. ‘Rap’ Brown: 1967
FBI wanted poster for H. Rap Brown following his Cambridge, Maryland speech in 1967.
On looting that occurs during an uprising:

He run around and he talk about black people looting. Hell, he the biggest looter in the world. He looted us from Africa. He looted America from Indians. Man can you tell me about looting? You can’t steal from a thief. This is the biggest thief going.

On President Lyndon Johnson:

Now we’re gonna talk about Lyndon Johnson. Lyndon Johnson is the greatest outlaw going. He is a two-gun cracker. He killing black folks here and he killing them in Vietnam. That’s Lyndon Johnson, your President. That’s who he is.

And they talk about how bad Hitler was. At least before Hitler burned the Jews he killed them with gas. Lyndon Johnson is throwing napalm on human beings in Vietnam. Burning them to death. He burning babies. He burning hospitals. He can’t be nothing but an outlaw.

Any time a man sends a plane full of napalm over a village of children, over school houses and blow them up and burn children, believe me, brother, the only reason he do it is because the Viet Cong is black, too.

Closing Remarks:

He’s [white man] been running around here letting them do everything they want. I mean, don’t be trying to love that honkey to death. Shoot him to death. Shoot him to death, brother. ‘Cause that’s what he’s out to do to you.

‘Do to him like he would do to you, but do it to him first.’ Like I said in the beginning, if this town don’t come ‘round, this town should be burned down. It should be burned down, brother.

They going to have to live in the same stuff I live in ’cause I ain’t going to make it no better for them. But do this brother — don’t burn up your own stuff. Don’t tear up your own stuff. Whenever you decide to fight the man, take it to his battleground.

One thing that man respects. It’s money. That’s his god. When you tear down his store, you hit his religion. You hit him right where it hurt him on Sunday. In his pocket. That’s his best friend. In his pocket. So, when you move to get him, don’t tear up your stuff, don’t tear up your brother’s store, hear?

50 Years Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin/ H Rap Brown’s Cambridge Maryland’s Speech July 24 1967

A Collation of transcripts of a speech given by
H. Rap Brown on July 24, 1967, in Cambridge Maryland by Lawrence Peskin and Dawn Almes, Archival Interns, Maryland State Archives

Note: the following collation is based upon a transcript made by Wayne E. Page which is an appendix to his masters thesis “H. Rap Brown and Cambridge Incident: A Case Study,” University of Maryland, 1970, and is used with his permission. Mr. Page’s transcript was checked against one which appeared in the 1967 Congressional hearings on the Antiriot Bill (H.R. 421), Part 1, pp. 31-36, and a court reporter’s transcription made in 1967 or 1968 found among the papers of Governor Agnew. Bold words are as found in the Page transcription with the differences between it and the court reporter’s transcription immediately following in brackets [ ]. The court reporter’s version has two paragraphs and a sentence of a third at the beginning of the speech which do not appear in the Page or the Congressional transcript. Words in parentheses ( ) are found in the Page transcript but not in the court reporter’s version.
[Black Power. That’s the way to say it. Don’t be scared of these Honkies around here. Say Black Power. I come back a few years later and I still find Race Street out there still dividing the community. That ain’t bad because we want to be by ourselves anyway, we don’t want to be with no animals. A Honkie is an animal. A Cracker is an animal. We don’t need to be with him. There is one thing we want to do. We are going to control our community.

We ain’t going to have the Honkie coming over here and appointing five or six nigger cops to come down here and control our community. That’s what we are going to do. That’s Black Power. That’s what you talk about when you talk about Black Power.]

[A great black man named Winston Hughes wrote a poem one time called A Dream Deferred] A poem went [which said]: “What happens to a dream that were [deferred]? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it fester like a sore [?] — and then run? Or does it sag like a heavy load? Or does it explode?” Uh… that question was never anwered. Detroit answers [ed] that question. Detroit exploded. New York [Newark] exploded. Harlem exploded. Dayton exploded. Cincinnati exploded. It’s time for Cambridge to explode, ladies and gentlemen [baby].

They say [I heard someone up in Dayton once say, they say] “If Dayton don’t come around, we are gonna [going to] burn Dayton down.” Black folks built America. If America don’t come around, we going [should] burn it down, brother. [And] We are going to burn it down if we don’t get our share of it.

It’s [It is] time black folks stopped [to stop] talking about being non-violent `cause we [you] ain’t non-violent towards [to] each other. Every Friday and Saturday you prove that. You cut up more people among your race than any other race.

As for being [If you are going to be] violent, (you) don’t be violent to your brother. Be non-violent in your communities [community] and let it end right there.

“Take your violent [ce] to the hunkies. Take it to the (loud cheering blurred word) [cracker].

(It takes a lot of effort…) It takes a lot of effort to love black in America. You’ve [have] been told all your life if you’re [are] black, you’re [are] wrong. If you’re black, there’s something wrong with you. [Something wrong with you, if you’re black.] They tell you black cows don’t give good milk; black hens don’t lay eggs. Devil’s food cake(s). You know, [when] you put on black to [you] go to funerals. When you put on white you go to weddings. They talk about flesh-colored band-aids. You [I] ain’t never seen a black [colored]-flesh-colored band-aid. So [But] they tell you (there’s) something wrong with (being) black.

You’ve got to be proud of being [to be] black. You’ve got to be proud of being black. You can’t run around here calling yourself (colored. And calling yourself) Negroes. That[`s] a word the honkies gave you. You’re [are] black, brother, and be proud of it. It’s beautiful

Maryland State Archives: Documents for the Classroom, MSA SC2221-12-8- 1

[Just be proud] to be black. [It’s beautiful to be black]. Black folks got to understand that. We built this country. They tell you you(`re) lazy. They tell you [And that] you stink. Brother, [do] you realize what the state be of this country if we was lazy? [that the slaves built this country? If we was lazy how we built this country?]
(Brother,) they captured us in [from] Africa and brought us over here to work for them. Now, who(`s) lazy? [Who is lazy?]

He walks [runs] around and tells you: [that] “You Lazy.” You don’t want to work [do nothing]. All you want to do is lay around [down]. Hell! You can’t do nothing but lay down after he done work[ed] you to death. I tell you what — [I tell you what. Old Sam, before he died, he made a record saying change is going to come] (first thing I’m ( ) representing the change gonna come. Now) w[W]e got to make the change come, see? `Cause it’s [That become] our job. Now, [cause you see,] my mother. She worked from kin to kate [can till can’t] every day of her life. My old man Tommed [Tom] so I wouldn’t have to. Brother, [we ain’t got no excuse] the streets belong to us. We got to take them.

 

 

They ain’t gonna [going to] give it to us. We got to take `em [them]. (There) ain’t no reason in the world why [for] on the other side of Race Street the honky pecker-wood “cracker” owns all the stores [and he takes our money from us. If I can’t own, If I can’t own my stores over here.] If I can’t control my community over here, he ain’t gonna [going to] control his over there. [He ain’t going to control his over there.]

They run around and [they] tell you [,they say,]: “Don’t start no fight with the honky pecker [cracker] `cause he [you] can’t win. He outnumber you. Hell! Don’t you know they always outnumber us [, always they outnumber us]. David was outnumbered when he fought (the) Goliath. He was outnumbered. [Hell!] Daniel in the lion’s den was outnumbered. Moses was outnumbered. All of us is [are] outnumbered. That don’t make no difference . `Cause let me tell you, brother, we work[ing] in their houses. They ain’t got to leave home [, they ain’t got to leave home]. When they want to do work they [and] let us come in their house (and) that shows you how stupid the honky is. Cause [Because] he ain’t got to leave home.

And [Now] we look at what the man does to black people. A 10-year old boy in Newark (is) dead! A 19-year old boy shot 39 times, 4 times in the head. It don’t take but one bullet to kill you. So they’re [are] (really) trying to tell you something else. [They tell you] How much they hate you. How much they hate black folks. [They had a poke in the paper (unclear).] When they shot him 39 times they said: [“This nigger ain’t dead,] “Die, nigger, die.” And they shot him some more. [He was] 19-years old — he’s dead today. But we go over to Vietnam and fight the races crapper [racist cracker] war. We got to be crazy. Something’s got to be wrong with black men. Our war is here.

If I can die defending my Mother land, I can die defending my mother. And that’s what I’m going [the one I want] to die defending first. See, you are less than a man if you can’t defend [protect] your mother, [and] your brother and your family. You ain’t doing nothing, brother. That war over there in Vietnam is not the war of [for] the black man. This is our war.

(You’ve) got to understand what they are doing, though. America has laid out a plan to eliminate all black people who go against them. America is killing people down south by starving them to death in Alabama. Babies die. 500 people [kids] die a year for lack of [proper] food and nourishment. (And) yet we got enough money to go to the moon. Think about that. People in New York and Harlem go rife and bites to death [die from the bites of rats]. Big old rats bite them (to) death and you tell [the man] about it and the honkey say: “Hell, man, [he say] we can’t do nothing about them rats.” Do you realize this is the [same] man who exterminated the buffalo? [He killed the buffalo.] Hell, If he wanted to kill the [get rid of the] rats he could do it.

(See), all this stuff is [called] genocide. This is what the Germans did to the Jews. They got black folks minds so they goin’ [can] kill you off and you won’t rebel. You won’t do nothing but sit back and let them kill you off and that’s what they(`re) doing. They’re [are] killing you off. And they’re [They are] escalating (it). They’re [are] moving (it) up to kill as many black folks [people] as they can. You look at what happens when a brother goes to that war to fight. Do you realize the casualty rate [is 30% black]? (It’s 30% black.) That means that 30% of

Maryland State Archives: Documents for the Classroom, MSA SC 2221-12-8- 2

everybody that [who] goes to Vietnam and gets killed is black. [And] They tell us we [is] just 10% of the United States. Something(`s) wrong with their [the] statistics. Something(`s) wrong with their [the] numbers. [You got to look at —] They say (the) brother[s] who in Vietnam comprise 22% of that fighting force and we 10% over here. You got to look at they killing you off.And they killing off the black young men, so ladies, you better get ready. [Cause] You got to fight them, too. You [ain’t] got no business letting your brother, [and] your sons, your nephews go to that war. That ain’t your war. All right, you’d [But you] better get you some guns. You(`s) better get you some guns. The man’s [is] moving to kill you. And the only thing the [that] honkey respects is force. He proved this [it] up there in Plainfield, New Jersey. Let me tell you what he did in Newark. He killed 24 people. That’s too many people to lose. We ain’t got no business losing 24 people. (But) in Plainfield, which is about 12 miles from Newark, the brothers broke in some [into] stores and stole themselves some guns. They stole some guns. They stole [them] 46 guns. That ain’t stealing. How can you steal from a thief? He(`s) done stole everything from us.

He run around and he talk(s) about black people looting. Hell, he [is] the biggest [greatest] looter in the world. He looted us from Africa. He looted America from [the] Indians. Man can you [How can he] tell me about looting? You can’t steal from a thief. This is the biggest thief going. So don’t you worry about [that], but look what the brothers did in Plainfield. The brothers got their stuff. They got 46 automatic weapons [,46 automatic weapons]. So the peckerwood goes down there [and wants] to take the weapons and they stomp one of them to death. They stomp the cop to death. Good. He(`s) dead! They stomped him to death. They stomped him. You all might think that’s brutal, but it ain’t no more brutal than killing a pregnant woman. And that’s what the honkey does. He kill[s] pregnant black women. They stomped him to death and threw a shopping basket on his head, took his pistol and shot him and then cut him. [And] You know he was hurt. [Yes] They don’t like to hear about niggers cutting. They don’t never want to hear about niggers cutting. But [And] they cut [him]. And [But] then they went back to their community with the(ir) 46 weapons and they told that peckerwood cop, they say [said]: “Don’t you come
in(to) my community.” We going to control our community. And the peckerwood cop says: “(Huh), well, we got to come down there and get them weapons.” The brother(s) told him, “Don’t come in my community.” He didn’t come. And the only reason he didn’t come is [was `cause] he didn’t want to get killed. And the brothers had the material to do it. They had 46 carbines down there. That’s what he respects. Power. He respect[s] that kind of power. So, the next day they were [was] looking back [bad all] across the country, so they say, well, we going to go down there and take them guns. We going to search the houses. So the brothers say, “Cool.” and they hid the guns. And they say we’ll [said, well,] go [ahead] down there and look. So, when he went down there he started kicking down doors and tearing up brothers’ property. and the brothers saw what was going on and the brothers told him: “If you kick down one more door, I’m [am] going to shoot your leg off.” And look what the honky did. He left. That’s the kind of force he respects.

Brothers, you’ve got to [you better] get some guns. I don’t care if its B-B guns [it is a B-B gun] with poison(ed) B-Bs. He’s done [The man has] declared war on (the) black people. [He has declared war on black people and] He don’t mind killing them. It might be your son he kills next. (Or) it might be your daughter. Or it might be you. So, wherever [whenever] you go, brother, take some of them with you. That’s what you do, (brother.) An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. Tit for tat, brother, that’s the only kind of war that man knows. That’s the only thing he recognizes. Ain’t no need in the world for me to come to Cambridge and I see all (of) them stores sitting up [over] there and [with] all them honkies own [over there owning] them. You got to own some of them stores. I don’t care if you have to burn him [them] down and run him [them] out. You’d better [You got to] take over them stores. The streets are yours. (Take `em.) They gave you the streets a long time ago; before they gave you houses. They gave you the streets. So, we own the streets. Take `em [them]. You’ve [You] got to take `em [them]. They ain’t going to [won’t] give them to you.

Freedom is not a welfare commodity. It ain’t like that old bad food they give you. They can’t give you no freedom. You got to take your freedom. You were born free. You got to exercise that right though,

Maryland State Archives: Documents for the Classroom, MSA SC 2221-12-8-3

brother, cause the honkey got you where he want(s) you.

You making money for him. [So] If you make money for that honkey, you don’t make money for yourself. You make money for him [. You make money for him and come home] and then take it back to him. And he take(s) it to his community. And he lets you live over here amidst your roaches, [and] your rats, and mosquitoes. And he lives over home. Then he comes back. You see that school, over there — I don’t know whether the honkey burned that school or not but y’all [you all] should have burned that school a long time ago. You should have burned it down to the ground [,brother]. Ain’t no need in the world, in 1967, to see a school like that sitting over there. You should have burned it down and then go take over the honkey’s school. Go take over his school(s). He burned down your Elks home be[`]cause he didn’t want you out there doing no dancing and stuff. He wants you to go home and suffer the whole summer. He wants you to sit [set] in them hot houses and say [tell you], see what we can do to you when we get ready. He [We] control(s) you niggers. That’s what he’s been [he] telling you and [baby] you been sitting back there saying, “Yassuh, Yassuh [you all control us].” You been sitting back there telling him: “Yassuh, y[ou]’all control us [, yassuh].” They gave you 5 nigger cops who can’t whip [came with] nothing but black heads.

You’ve got to understand, that’s part of that man’s trick. [That’s part of his trick.] You ain’t making no progress [be]cause them niggers ain’t walking but [and they are riding] in a car. (They think they’re making progress, brother.) They ain’t [think they are] making (no) progress. [Brother, that ain’t no progress.] Not when they can’t whip [How come they came with] no honkeys.

You got to understand. You got to know that, all your enemies ain’t white. You got some black enemies, too [, yassuh]. (And) when you find your enemies [y], brother, you got to get rid of him, just like you get rid of the honkey(s). Now if these cops down here, (if they) ain’t doing what you want them to [do], then they shouldn’t [oughtn’t to] be in the community. Put [th]’em out of the community. You got the power. [If one of them, if a cop,] If a black cop ships [puts] a black brother and they ain’t got no more than [but] one car. I know [that] they ain’t going to give him [them] no more than one car. They’re supposed [He is going] to be walking, (cause) from then on [because] I’m going to burn his car up. [Because] I know the white man ain’t going to give him no other [another] car so that means he is going to be walking [walk]. [And] Every time he walks I’m going to bomb him with some bricks. I’m, going to run him out of town cause he ain’t got no business here. He ain’t nothing but a handkerchief-head nigger. A handkerchief-head nigger. He doing what the honkey want(s) him to do. And that’s what all black people do. You got to [are doing who don’t] fight that man. [You got to fight that man toe to toe.] We ain’t behind in terms of manhood, brother; we behind in terms of executing him [it]. If a man runs around and let a honkey cop, or (a) black cop, beat his wife . . . and he don’t do nothing, when his wife get(s) out of jail and go(es) home she oughta beat him. People laughed a few years ago when an [our] organization called the Deacons for Defense came up [out]. Brother[s], you got to [better] get you(rself) [a whole bunch of Deacons for Defense. Cause if you don’t, you better start getting] a whole bunch of some sisters and some ushers for defense. Cause the man is moving. He’s moving to kill black people. He might be doing it one by one but you look at it. [and] In Newark, they lost 24. Beautiful thing about Detroit [is that], they ain’t lost but two [a tooth] and they killed three peckerwoods. Three peckerwoods. That’s tit for tat.

They burned down over a hundred million dollars worth of that peckerwood’s property and that[`s] his god. Money is his god. Don’t you let him tell you the church and the Bible is his god. You look at what he do, man. Who leads the prisoner to the electric chair? The preacher, And he say “Thou shalt not kill.” A preacher! That’s the way the man’s mind works. That’s the way it [he] works. He don’t think nothing of black folks. All you can do for the honkey is work for him and spend your money in [at] his stores.

That’s all he wants you to do. He don’t (even) want to see you no other time. He don’t want to see you. But [Because], brother, he done told you black is bad and he believes[ing] it. But he don’t know how bad black is until you show him. Black is bad, brother. Get that! Black is bad.

Maryland State Archives: Documents for the Classroom, MSA SC 2221-12-8- 4

But you ain’t knowing [You don’t know] how bad black is. Until the brothers get their minds together and start moving on that man. You got to start talking about taking your community and controlling it. You got to control everything in your community from your Elk Hall to your school to your barroom. You got to control that. [Be]Cause if you can’t [don’t] control it, you see it’s a weapon against you. Anything you don’t control in your community is a weapon. Public education is a weapon. [Be]Cause they(`re) teaching people how to hate black. They(`re) teach(ing) little children how to hate black. They(`re) put(ting) in their old stinky [own stinking] history books that Columbus discovered America. How in the world is some (dumb) honkey going to discover a country with people living there? The Indian was here, but he was saying . . . he was saying that the Indian ain’t human [be]cause he ain’t white. So [we had to, it didn’t start], the country didn’t begin util we discovered it. And Columbus was looking for India. (To) show you how dumb he was, did you ever look [at] where India was is on the map? Columbus was the white Joe Louis. That’s who [what] he was. He was the white Joe Louis. He didn’t know nothing. [He didn’t know nothing. Then he come back around and] He tells you that George Washington [,he tell you George Washington] is the father of the country and you should celebrate his birthday. And you do [it]. George Washington had slaves. He had your grandfathers, and your great-grandfathers and their (great-)grandfathers. They were his [He had] slaves. How he going to be the father of my country? That’s a lot of junk, brother[s].

He don’t mean nothing to me. He just another dumb honkey. [He don’t mean nothing.] Abraham Lincoln. [They tell you all niggers should love Abraham Lincoln. Huh-uh.] Love him for what? [Love him for what.] The only reason (he gave,) he declared war against [with] the north, is [was] cause they were losing money. He didn’t dig no black folks. [He didn’t dig black folks.] He didn’t like you. But they got the stuff down there in their [that got in the] history books and you read it and you believe it. You run out (t)here and celibrate their birthday. (The) Fourth of July. Independence Day, and we still in chains. See, [There] ain’t no such thing as second-class citizenship, brother; you either free or you (a) slave. Don’t run around here telling nobody you [is] citizens. [You ain’t. Know] How many black mayors (has) Cambridge got? None. Not [Got] none. How many black councilmen (has) Cambridge got? [None.]

All you got is five nigger cops. [That’s all you got. Five cops.] Them [Your] 5 cops ain’t even working for you. [Because] If you was to go and march down Race Street tonight, the first one [to] hit you in the head, [and] try to lose all the strength [splinters] in his stick in your head, is going to be my man. See people run(ning) around. Yeah, they [its] got a whole bunch of Uncle Toms and you better watch them. [You got a whole bunch of Uncle Toms.] But let me tell you what to do with Uncle Toms. Of course, [Cause] the white man hate(s) niggers so bad, when he move(d) he moves against everybody. He moves agianst everybody, — Uncle Toms included. One day you going to [gonna] wake up one morning and [you going to] be an(d) Uncle Tom knocking on your door saying [you going to know your Uncle Tom and your door knocking]: “Let me in, man [they after me].” You know what you do? [You] Open your door and give him a gun and tell him to shoot some of them. And if he shoots some of them, he can come in. [I know where he at cause I know the man really own him, see.] If he shoots a whole bunch of them, he can come in my house.

But, brother, the man hates everything black. Everything black but black Cadillacs and black shoes. Everything else black he ain’t got nothing else to do with.

Now we’re gonna [And we got to] talk about Lyndon Johnson. Lyndon Johnson is the greatest outlaw going. He is a two-gun cracker. He(`s) killing black folks here and he(`s) killing them in Vietnam. That’s Lyndon Johnson, your President. [That’s your president, brother.] That’s who he is. [That’s who it is.] And they talk [tell you] about how bad Hitler was. At least before Hitler burned the Jews he killed them with gas. Lyndon Johnson is throwing napalm on human beings in Vietnam. Burning them to death. He(`s) burning babies. He(`s) burning hospitals. He can’t be nothing but an outlaw. [He can’t be nothing but an outlaw.] Any time a man sends a plane full of napalm over a village of children, [over school houses and blow them up and burn children, and] believe me, brother, the only reason he do [is doing] it, (brother), is because the Viet Cong is black, too.

Maryland State Archives: Documents for the Classroom, MSA SC 2221-12-8- 5

You (are) going to have to start studying your history. You going to have [got] to understand that black folks is not a minority. We [They] got more black folks across the world than we [they] got white people. You got to start looking at China like brother[s], because they are yellow people. Viet Cong[s]. Some of the Viet Congs are browner than some of us [nigger]. They get [Or] . . . India. Indians are dark skinned people. These are the colored people of the world. These are the black people of the world. That’s the third world [that] they be talking about. [All other people,] Now, the honkey is surrounded. He is surrounded. He don’t know what to do. But, brother, believe me, he knows what to do here because you let him do it. (See), he done renovated 26 concentration camps across the world. If you don’t know what a concentration camp is, let me run it down. You read about all them [heard about all the] Jews that got burned up by Hitler. They burned `em up, they take(n) them to concentration camps [And then they took them to the concentration camps] to the ovens. [They] Told them they were gonna [was going to] get showers and then they turned on the gas and took them out to a furnace and burned them. That[`s a] concentration camp(s).

(Now), America done renovated 26 and they [it] ain’t for the Indians, cause they [are] on reservations. [Now], think who it’s for. All right, now that you know who it’s for, [now that you know who it’s for] look at the way we were then [being] four years ago. We were so non-violent it wasn’t funny. Cause the white man told us we had to be non-violent and he would love us. And we believe[d him] it. All the while he was shooting us, he was telling us to love him to death. And we [was believing] believed it. [These twenty —] A few years ago, if the honkey President had sent out a letter with the President’s seal on it saying report to the concentration camps at 9 o’clock in the morning, every nigger in America would have been there on time. [He would have been there on time.] And to follow that same thing, he’d tell you [, cause he know you love religion, see, he would tell you] to go in there and be baptized and he’d [he would] turn the gas on you. [See,] I mean(s), don’t. . . religion [resistance] is good.

I met [heard] a lady in Alabama once who said [say once, you know,] “Prayers is good in prayer meeting(s) but it ain’t worth a damn in bear meeting(s).” Brother, you need the [meeting a] bear every day. You need the [meeting a] animal(s). You need the [meeting a] animal every day. [You see] He runs around and he tells you how bad you are but [look] how violent that man [is]. He tells you not to be violent [, but look how violent he is]. A few weeks ago, in the Bowery — that’s where all the poor, poor, trashy honky peckerwoods live — who ain’t got no money [cause they lazy and that’s why they ain’t got no money] they live in the Bowery, but look what happened: Some young honkeys went over and poured gas on these people and set them on fire. Bums, drunkards. They set `em on fire. [That’s violence. See?] Charles Whitland [Whitman], in Texas, who shot all them honkies. . . That’s violence. The white man don’t never look at that. Vietnam is violence. But soon as you go out there and burn down a few old filthy stores, that you may own anyway, the man say you trying to be violent. [Hell,] We ain’t trying [can’t try] to be violent with him. He knows all about violence. He taught us how to be violent. But we been using our violence in the wrong way. We been using violence against each other. Ain’t no need in the world for black people [to] have to fight each other. You ain’t got no business in the world hating [hitting] your brother. I don’t care if he make(s) you mad. If my brother make(s) me mad, I’m going to [gonna] go look for a honkey.

I’m going to take out 400 years’ worth of dues on him too. Every time you hit one of them take out 400 years’ worth of dues, cause that’s the dues he owe(s) you for knowing you and owing you. So every time you catch him, brother, you do it to him.

And don’t let him come into your community. Ain’t got no reason [business] for white folks (to) be leisurely walking up and down your community. [You got no… ] He(`s) got no business [over here,] coming over [here], talking about taking black women out (of) your community. [You ain’t a man, you ain’t a man if you let that animal come over here and take a black woman out your community] To do what he want to do with her. And that’s what he[`s] doing. He doing what he want to do with her. Brother[s], it’s up to you to stop that. [You can stop that. I mean] You don’t need God to stop that. You can stop that. (See,) God gave you two arms, [gave you] two legs and everything [just like] he gave [you everything] the honkey [gave you],

Maryland State Archives: Documents for the Classroom, MSA SC 2221-12-8- 6

but the honkey’s been using his. You ain’t been using yours.

He’s [You just] been running around here letting them do everything they want. I mean, don’t be trying to love that honkey to death. Shoot him to death. [Don’t love him to death.] Shoot him to death, brother. [Be]’Cause that’s what he'[i]s out to do to you. “Do to him like he would do to you, but do it to him first.” [Just like I told you, brother, like I told you.] Like I said in the beginning, if this town don’t come [a]round, this town should be burned down. It should be burned down, brother. They(`re) going to have to live in the same stuff I live in [be]’cause I ain’t going to [gonna] make it no better for them. [I ain’t gonna make it no better for them.] But do this brother — don’t burn up your own stuff. Don’t tear up your own stuff. Whenever you decide to fight the man, take it to his battleground. (It’s) one thing that man respects. It’s [That’s] money. That’s his god. When you tear down his store, you hit[ting] his religion. You hit him right where it hurt(s) him on Sunday. In his pocket. [That’s the only god that man got.] That’s his best friend. In his pocket. So, when you move to get him, don’t tear up your stuff, don’t tear up your brother’s stuff, hear? [store here.]

Maryland State Archives: Documents for the Classroom, MSA SC 2221-12-8- 7

Return to Guide to Documents

July 23rd 1903 & 1904 Richmond’s Motormen Trolley Riots, Richmond’s Street Cars Boycott Planted The Seeds of Southern Blacks Resistance 1900s

During the summer of 1903, Richmond was under nearly martial law when a two-month long streetcar strike broke out in late June.

Between 1895 and 1929, almost every major city in the United States experienced a streetcar strike. The Richmond strike followed on the heels of streetcar strikes in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1902 and Waterbury, Connecticut, earlier in 1903. The San Francisco Streetcar Strike of 1907 was among the most violent, with thirty-one people killed and over 1,000 injured. A 1910 labor strike by trolley workers of the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company grew to a city-wide riot and general strike. The Richmond strike was by the street railway employees of Richmond, Manchester, and Petersburg lines, all run by the Virginia Passenger and Power Company.

The striking employees were asking for a raise of three and half cents per hour, or if denied, to submit the matter to arbitration. The motormen were at that time paid between 15 to 18 1/2 cents per hour; the requested raise would be a 14-20% increase in pay. General Manager of the company, S.W.Huff, declined both options in a letter dated June 15, 1903. The employees had strong support in the community – to the point that militia later called in from around the state at first complained that local police officers were intervening on behalf of strikers.

All but 7 of the 650 present members of the Local Union No.152 Amalgamated Association of Street Railway Employees voted early on June 17 to strike. No trolley cars ran that day.

That evening 23 special policemen were sworn in by the Police Board and Chief Howard. The Times-Dispatch estimated that 200 strike breakers had already arrived in town, with cots being available in the trolley barns for the breakers. The strikers were taking shifts picketing at the train station to deter the arrival of others.

Using strike breakers from Pennsylvania, the company was able to operate four or five cars on the Main Street line from Robinson Street to Ninth Street for almost four hours that Thursday, June 18th. A street cleaner was arrested at 7th and Main for cursing at the strike breakers, precipitating “an ugly situation that approximated a mob” that “at one time threatened violence”. There were reports that some cars were pelted with “mud, eggs, and filth”, with one lady being struck on the arm by a mud ball thrown by someone in a crowd of women and children. The company president, Sitterding, was hit by an egg.

 

Partial map of Richmond’s trolley lines circa 1903

On the 3rd day of the strike, cars were run from the Reservoir to Fulton with little incident. Strike breakers were “jeered in the suburbs”, and one car was stoned in Fulton. Six more special police were added to the force, and the police worked to keep crowds from forming. There were a few arrests, for “using language calculated to promote disorder.” The trolleys stopped running at dark, as the police were unable to provide adequate protection.

On Monday, June 22nd, the 6th day of strike, the company moved to resume service on Broad Street. Later that evening, the situation began to heat up. Between 6 and 7PM, a crowd gathered at 18th and Broad threw “stones, potatoes, and other missiles” at the cars turing from Broad. The police were unable to disperse the crowd.

A band of about 40 young men were seen in the night gathering “bricks, stones, rocks, huge boxes, and other impediments” to prevent the running of the cars in that stretch the next morning. The curve running around Lester Street in Fulton was thoroughly blocked. An attempt was made to cut the pole at Denny and Second supporting the electric wires, and someone tried to burn Rocketts bridge. Cars were attacked in the West End of the city “by mobs”, in one instance forcing a strike-breaking motorman to flee to avoid injury.

 

On June 23rd there was a “riotous” scene at 29th and P Streets, in which 2 company men were hurt and trolley cars were “roughly used”. At least 50 company men were sent to the hospital after being hit by thrown objects after a riot at Main and Vine Streets during which a trolley car was derailed. In response to the escalating violence, Governor Montague called out 16 companies of militia: the Richmond Blues Battalion, the Richmond Howitzers, and other groups from Danville, Farmville, Charlottesville, Staunton, Lynchburg, Alexandria, and Roanoke to protect the employees and property of the railway company. Sharpshooters were given permission to fire at anyone throwing objects at trolley cars.

 

On June 24th, railway company guards fired into a crowd of between 500-1000 gathered that evening at Lombardy and Main, wounding six people. After a day of having “missiles hurled at the cars and obstructions placed on the track”, the trolleys were recalled to the barns under cover of a Gatling gun. Richmond Mayor Richard Taylor asked women and children to remain at home.

The end of June followed a similar pattern: the cars ran by day, guarded by militia men, and violence broke out at night. Two soldiers were shot near Walnut Street. Warning volleys were fired after rocks were thrown at trolleys near 22nd and Church Hill Avenue. Sixteen-year-old Lester Wilcox was shot in the hip and hand by militia soldiers after an incident on Lester Street after yelling “scab” at a passing street car. The soldier who did the shooting was never identified. Sticks of dynamite were found concealed in the grass by Williamsburg Road.

By June 30, the company was describing the strike as broken.

On July 4, Luther Taylor was shot and killed by a soldier while attempting to escape arrest at Cowardin Avenue and Hull Street. His horse was also shot and killed at that time.

On July 16, two cars were fired upon on the Oakwood line, and an attempt was made to wreck a car near Barton Heights.

By mid-July the militia were being sent home and some of the special police were being withdrawn from the streets.

 

By the end of July, all lines were running back on regular schedule, manned by replacement workers.
William Fox was arrested for dynamiting Car No. 118 at Broad and Lombardy on July 31. There were no injuries.

August’s early headlines turned to the trial of 5 men arrested during the Fulton street car riot on July 15. A.B.Jordan, John Lammie, E.Kane, and John Kane were charged with riotous conduct and throwing and shooting at trolley cars. The 12 members of the jury were proudly identified by the Times-Dispatch as “twelve businessmen” and “well known citizens”.

The defense said that the riotous action was sparked by Detectives Newman and Hanks, two employees of the rail company, to create sympathy for the company and break the strike. This view was attested to under oath by Lt.Ranklin of Colonel Anderson’s staff. Other witnesses for the defense admitted that Power and Passenger officers knew that the riot was to take place, and arranged for the car to be at the particular place at a certain time, and that it had been arranged for the lights to go out. The conductor of the specific car denied allegations that he received $100 to make the Fulton run that fateful evening. The alleged Fulton rioters were acquitted on August 11.

On August 24, the men of Local Union No.152 Amalgamated Association of Street Railway Employees voted unanimously to end the strike which had been nominally over several weeks.

The image at the top is from the Virginia Historical Society. The map is from Carlton McKenney’s Rails in Richmond. All others are from The Times Dispatch issues available at the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America.

John Mitchell Jr’s Richmond Planet & The 1904 Streetcars Boycott

Mitchell’s Planet, on the other hand, ran a front page story on the streetcar boycott in nearly every issue until the Virginia Passenger and Power Company finally went out of business late in 1904. Week after week, articles in the Planet encouraged the African American community to continue the boycott and strongly urged people to keep walking. Using his newspaper as a mouthpiece, Mitchell worked tirelessly to maintain momentum against the growing menace of complete segregation. The Planet’s May 7, 1904 issue reported, “The street-car situation remains unchanged. Few colored people are riding in the ‘Jim Crow’ department.” The front page of May 14, 1904 stated that the “street-car situation here remains the same. Eighty or ninety percent of the colored people are walking.” The June 11, 1904 issue published words to the “Jim Crow Street-Car Song” and on August 20 an article titled “Equal Rights Before the Law” showed just how unequal Jim Crow was. The article explained that a white man who didn’t know the streetcar rules had been forgiven of his Jim Crow offense, while Addie Ayres, the maid of local actress Mary Marble, was arrested and fined ten dollars when she declined to move after a conductor ordered her to do so.

Although momentum for the boycott slowed during the stifling summer months, the Planet’s continued efforts to sustain it may have helped hasten the bankruptcy of the Virginia Passenger and Power Company. On July 23, 1904, the Planet ran the story “The Street Car Co. Here Busted.” By December 3 of that year, the Planet reported that the “Virginia Passenger and Power Co., better known as the ‘Jim Crow’ Street Car Company continues to have no end of trouble and it now seems that the entire system will be sold at auction.” While the boycott probably did contribute to the company’s collapse, it blamed its failure on the 1903 conductor’s strike, not acknowledging the effects of the boycott. After the local streetcar system was taken over by new management, the policy to segregate continued. In 1906 the Virginia legislature passed a mandatory law “to provide separate but equal compartments to white and colored passengers.” Passengers and companies who failed to comply would be guilty of a misdemeanor and fined. Sadly, Mitchell’s courageous and persistent fight to end segregation ended with Jim Crow even more firmly entrenched in Virginia.

The Royal African Virginia Company & King James , First Enslaved Afrikans Were Brought to Hampton Virginia Not James Town

The 100 year Plan Your ancestors are the origin of Stocks & Bonds African Property – We ain’t rocking wit no Pseudo Role Reversals of King James and The Colonist Were Crackers with Black collaborators help He Genocided Hundreds of Thousands of The Melaninated Indigenous Wahunsenacawh/Powhatan Nation/Confederacy & Imported thousands of Political Prisoners (Enslaved Afrikans) of Indigenous Afrikan Nations to The Colony of Virginia! The English Oligarchy are enemies of New Afrikan & Indigenous Sovereignty Globally and Nationally in Virginia!

Hampton Virginia aka Fort Monroe is The Landing Spot of The First English Colonialist in Virginia Not Jamestown! In April 1607 Englishmen aboard three ships—the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery—sailed forty miles up the James River (named for the English king) in present-day Virginia (Named for Elizabeth I, the “Virgin Queen”) and settled upon just such a place. The uninhabited peninsula they selected was upriver and out of sight of Spanish patrols. It offered easy defense against ground assaults and was uninhabited but still located close enough to many Indian villages and their potentially lucrative trade networks. But the location was a disaster. Indians ignored the peninsula because of its terrible soil and its brackish tidal water that led to debilitating disease.

The Royal African Virginia Company ( Stock Company ) in 1618: any person who migrated to Virginia would automatically receive 50 acres of land and any immigrant whose passage they paid would entitle them to 50 acres more.In 1619 the Virginia Company established the House of Burgesses, a limited representative body composed of white landowners that first met in Jamestown. That same year, a Dutch slave ship sold 20 Africans to the Virginia colonists. Southern slavery was born. King James I England had realized the money to be made trading slaves to the West Indies and Virginia. By 1668, over a quarter of the new company’s profits was derived from the slave trade.

 

The Company’s Beginnings

At first, trading directly with other European countries was common in Virginia. But the Navigation Act of 1660 brought such relations to a close. Only English-owned ships could enter colonial ports. The Crown had realized the wealth that could be achieved through trade and wanted that wealth for England. Once the Navigation Act was passed, Virginia planters were forced to rely on the Mother Country to supply them with their labor force. To address this dearth, the Royal African Company was formed in 1672.

Agents in Jamestown

Merchants in London associated with residents of Jamestown were also heavily involved in the slave trade. John Jeffreys, one of these merchants, owned part of a rowhouse in New Towne, and historians speculate that slaves were sold in front of the building on a wharf. The Royal African Company also had agents in Virginia to whom slaves were delivered. These agents received a seven-percent commission on sales. John Page, Colonel Nathaniel Bacon and William Sherwood were all prominent Virginians who served as factors, agents or representatives for the Company.

 

 

The Company’s Decline

Many factors contributed to the loss of the Royal African Company’s monopoly in 1689. First and foremost, the Company was not achieving a profit; as a matter of fact, it resorted to borrowing money to pay dividends. Then there were the complaints from the planters. The demand for slaves was always too high for the Company alone to supply, and the planters urged that the monopoly be abolished so that more slaves could be imported. Finally, the Company, which was always heavily patronized by the Stuart monarchs, fell out of favor when James II was deposed and William and Mary came to the throne.

Cleveland/Detroit Days of Rebellion , Hough Rebellion , Glenville Shootout, Detroit Uprising , July 23rd 1966, 1967, 1968

July 23 66, 67, 68, Days of Rebellion & Resistance Cleveland /Detroit : Photo of Detroit Panthers during 12 Street Riots/ 1967 Rebellion … Forty-three persons killed in rebellion in Detroit. Federal troops were called out for the first time since the Detroit riot of 1943 to quell the largest racial rebellion in a U.S. city in the twentieth century. More than two thousand persons were injured and some five thousand were arrested. Police reported 1, 442 fires. Rioting spread to other Michigan cities..

The 1967 Detroit riot, also known as the 12th Street riot, was a violent public disorder that turned into a civil disturbance in Detroit, Michigan. It began on a Saturday night in the early morning hours of July 23, 1967. The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar then known as a blind pig, on the corner of 12th (today Rosa Parks Boulevard) and Clairmount streets on the city’s Near West Side. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in the history of the United States, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit’s 1943 race riot.

Shortly before midnight on Monday, July 24, President Johnson authorized the use of federal troops in compliance with the Insurrection Act of 1807, which authorizes the President to call in armed forces to fight an insurrection in any state against the government. This gave Detroit the distinction of being the only domestic American city to have been occupied by federal troops three times

Haki Kweli Shakur MOI Guest on The K.Kinte Show 2017

In the early hours of Sunday (3:45 a.m.), July 23, 1967, Detroit police officers raided the unlicensed weekend drinking club in the office of the United Community League for Civic Action, above the Economy Printing Company, at 9125 12th Street. They expected a few revelers inside, but instead found a party of 82 black people celebrating the return of two local GIs from the Vietnam War. The police decided to arrest everyone present. While they were arranging for transportation, a sizable crowd of onlookers gathered on the street. Later, in a memoir, Walter Scott III, a doorman whose father was running the raided blind pig, took responsibility for riot.

The Hough riots were race riots in the predominantly African-American community of Hough (pronounced “Huff”) in Cleveland, Ohio that took place over a six-night period from July 18 to July 23, 1966. During the riots, four African Americans were killed and 30 people were critically injured. In addition, there were 275 arrests, while more than 240 fires were reported.

On July 18, 1966, at dusk, someone posted a sign outside the 79’ers bar, situated on the southeast corner of E.79th Street and Hough Avenue. The sign read, “No Water For Niggers”. Adding to the volatility of the situation, the bar manager and a hired hand, both white, patrolled the front of the bar, armed with shotguns An African American woman described as a “prostitute” was seeking money for charity. An altercation occurred and she was told to leave.

Later, an African American man entered the building and bought a bottle of wine. When he asked for a glass of water, he was told that blacks were not being served.

On July 18, 1966, at dusk, someone posted a sign outside the 79’ers bar, situated on the southeast corner of E.79th Street and Hough Avenue. The sign read, “No Water For Niggers”. Adding to the volatility of the situation, the bar manager and a hired hand, both white, patrolled the front of the bar, armed with shotguns An African American woman described as a “prostitute” was seeking money for charity. An altercation occurred and she was told to leave.

Later, an African American man entered the building and bought a bottle of wine. When he asked for a glass of water, he was told that blacks were not being served. #HoughRebellion

July 23 1968 Rebellion Cleveland Eleven persons, including three policemen, were killed and National Guard was mobilized. Riot was sparked by alleged ambush of police detail by Black radicals.

The Glenville shootout was a series of violent events which occurred in the Glenville section of Cleveland, Ohio, United States, beginning on the evening of July 23 and continuing through July 28, 1968. By the end of the conflict, seven people were killed: three policemen, three suspects, and a bystander. Fifteen others were wounded.

The shootout began on the evening of July 23, in the eastern section of the Glenville neighborhood when two police department tow truck drivers, wearing uniforms similar to those worn by police officers, were shot at in an ambush by heavily armed snipers while checking an abandoned car. Cleveland police officers, who were watching Fred Evans (1928-1978) and his radical militant group, suspected of purchasing illegal weapons, exchanged fire with the militants at this time. It was not clear who fired first. The shootout attracted a large crowd that was mostly black, young, and “hostile”. Before the night was over, seven were dead (three of the seven were Cleveland Police officers) and fifteen were wounded. When it became clear that the police were ill-equipped to handle the situation, Mayor Carl B. Stokes asked Governor James A. Rhodes to activate and deploy elements of the Ohio National Guard the following day.

Evans surrendered to police on the morning of July 24. He was tried and found guilty of murder and sentenced to death in the electric chair. His term was eventually commuted to life imprisonment, and he died of cancer in 1978. During his trial, it was discovered that Evans had received some $6,000 in funds from Cleveland: Now!, a program Mayor Stokes had initiated to help revitalize Cleveland neighborhoods.. #FredAhmedEvans #ClevelandRebellion

Igbo Ancestors Imported to Virginia in Slavery Gave Rise to Afro-Virginian Culture, Gabriel Prosser Was Possibly Igbo Black Smith & Rebellion Leaders, Bight of Biafra

Walter C. Rucker Jr. (2010). Igbo. In: Encyclopedia of African American History. ABC-CLIO. p. 53.

Awka (African) Metallurgy in America

The acknowledgment of the contribution of enslaved Igbo people in the United States recurrently includes their influence on blacksmithing that’s largely associated with the ancient blacksmithing town of Awka. Northern Igbo areas, including Awka, were especially the worst affected by slave raiding attacks by other Igbo towns. Blacksmithing, and particularly iron, held significant spiritual value among Igbo groups. Some suggest Awka blacksmiths were the makers of the ‘Igbo Ukwu’ leaded-bronzes noted for being more advanced than most metal workmanship around the world in the 9th century, and the Lower Niger Bronze Industry. Iron smelting in the region dates back to at least 2000 BC.

Enslaved Africans in the Americas were often chosen for the expertise they held back in Africa, for example rice planting Africans from the Senegambia and Guinea areas were overrepresented in rice planting Georgia. For enslaved Igbo people in particular, planters thought them more sensitive to mistreatment and better suited for the more domestic-oriented work in the Chesapeake area of Virginia on its isolated plantations, another possible reason was for their knowledge of metalworking and craftsmanship.

The Dashiki – The History of The Radical Garment

By DAMOLA DUROSOMO

DIASPORA—The dashiki is clothing as politics.

It might not exactly seem that way in its present state—a revived, streetwear trend largely associated with the intricate and highly recognizable ‘Angelina print,’ but its story is one of African innovation and Black resistance.

The word “dashiki” comes from the Yoruba word danshiki, used to refer to the loose-fitting pullover which originated in West Africa as a functional work tunic for men, comfortable enough to wear in the heat. The Yoruba loaned the word danshiki from the Hausa term dan ciki, which means “underneath.” The dan chiki garment was commonly worn by males under large robes. Similar garments were found in sacred Dogon burial caves in Southern Mali, which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries.

The roots of the garment are not lost on anyone—it is an unmistakably African item. Its symbolic significance, however, was molded thousands of miles outside of the continent’s borders. It was those of African descent, whose ancestors were hauled to North America in chains, who carried this torch. The Civil Rights and Black Panther Movements of the 1960s and early 70s gave the dashiki its political potency. African Americans adopted the article as a means of rejecting Western cultural norms. This is when the dashiki moved beyond style and functionality to become an emblem of Black pride, as illustrative of the beauty of blackness as an afro or a raised fist.

Its meaning developed in the same vein as the “Africa as Promised Land” rhetoric that fueled movements like Pan-Africanism and Rastafarianism. Perhaps ironically, these Afrocentric philosophies—birthed outside of continental Africa—helped shaped some of the fiercest notions about African identity and the politics of blackness.

Many of these outward concepts of African identity adopted by Black Americans were once again reinforced by people on the actual continent. Principles taught by Civil Rights leaders were widely embraced by leaders of African liberation movements, and the revolutionary politics of Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, helped transform Fela Kuti’s relaxed highlife into the socially-charged afrobeat that he’s lauded for today.

This transference of ideas is much less odd than it seems—perhaps such philosophies could have only been nurtured within the context of the Black American and Caribbean experience. The “promised land” could be more clearly envisioned by those savagely removed from its promise, and the dashiki could become something greater than itself when worn by Black folks who were, for hundreds of years, denied the opportunity to embrace anything that represented their African heritage.

Haki Kweli Shakur 300 Year Struggle of The Richmond African Burial Grounds

 

Like the Black Americans who championed it in the mid 20th century, the dashiki is no less African because the bulk of its identity was shaped in a different land. The dashiki, whether worn in Lagos or Washington D.C. is loudly and proudly black.

The dashiki’s political vigor weakened towards the end of the 60s when it became popular among white counterculture groups, whose adoption of the garment—based primarily on its aesthetic appeal—undermined its status as a sign of Black identity. Retailers began to import dashikis made in India, Bangladesh and Thailand in large numbers. These versions, often featured the East African-associated kanga print, commonly worn as wrappers by women in Kenya and Tanzania.

During this period, notable Black intellectuals began to warn their communities against the trivialization of dashikis and other symbols of Black beauty. “Donning a dashiki and growing a bush is fine if it energizes the wearer for real action; but ‘Black is beautiful’ is dangerous if it amounts only to wrapping oneself up in one’s own glory and magnificence,” wrote Civil Rights activist and politician, Sterling Tucker in his 1971 book Black Strategies for Change in America.

The dashiki lost some of its fervor in the tail-end of the 20th century when its use in the United States was largely limited to ceremonies or festivities, or as a pop culture stereotype.

Through it all, the dashiki maintains its underlying cultural significance—even with its recent reappearance on the fashion landscape, which some might consider a fad—the dashiki still relays a commanding message. It can’t be worn without the acknowledgment of the impression that it gives to others: that the wearer has made the conscious decision to put on something that is recognized as being distinctively and uniquely African.

Haki Kweli Shakur Talks Dr Mutulu Shakur & New Afrikan Political Prisoners The k.Kinte Show

 

The dashiki has become a ready-to-wear conveyor of blackness, linking the continent and the diaspora by a shared assertion of the value of an original Black creation. Its inherent symbolism comes from a struggle against white supremacy and an embracing of African culture as its antitheses—yes, this is a lot of weight to put on a clothing item, but symbols are truly that powerful. So much so, that when a Black person dons a dashiki they are sporting one of the most universally understood interpretations of the phrase “I’m Black and I’m proud,” without having to utter a word.

Quotations of Fanon ( Frantz Fanon ) #DECOLONIZE

  • The national bourgeoisie discovers its historical mission as intermediary. As we have seen, its vocation is not to transform the nation but prosaically serve as a conveyor belt for capitalism, forced to camouflage itself behind the mask of neocolonialism. The national bourgeoisie, with no misgivings and with great pride, revels in the role of agent in its dealings with the Western bourgeoisie. This lucrative role, this function as small-time racketeer, this narrow-mindedness and lack of ambition are symptomatic of the incapacity of the national bourgeoisie to fulfil its historic role as bourgeoisie. The dynamic, pioneering aspect, the inventive, discoverer-of-new-worlds aspect common to every national bourgeoisie is here lamentably absent. At the core of the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries a hedonistic mentality prevails—because on a psychological level it identifies with the Western bourgeoisie from which it has slurped every lesson. It mimics the Western bourgeoisie in its negative and decadent aspects without having accomplished the initial phases of exploration and invention that are the assets of this Western bourgeoisie whatever the circumstances. In its early days the national bourgeoisie of the colonial countries identifies with the last stages of the Western bourgeoisie. Don’t believe it is taking short cuts. In fact it starts at the end. It is already senile, having experienced neither the exuberance nor the brazen determination of youth and adolescence.
    Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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You know full well we are exploiters. You know full well we have taken the gold and minerals and then oil from the “new continents,” and shipped them back to the old metropolises. Not without excellent results in the shape of palaces, cathedrals, and centers of industry; and then when crisis loomed, the colonial markets were there to cushion the blow or divert it. Stuffed with wealth, Europe granted humanity de jure to all its inhabitants: for us, a man means an accomplice, for we have all profited from colonial exploitation.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Haki Kweli Shakur – Scientific Socialism is The Combatant to Eliminate Capitalism

Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new  evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is
extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it  is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Tags: liberation, politics, psychology, revolution
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To speak a language is to take on a world, a culture.
Frantz Fanon

Tags: linguistics, politics, psychology
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Each generation must discover its mission, fulfill it or betray it, in relative opacity.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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I am black; I am in total fusion with the world, in sympathetic affinity with the earth, losing my id in the heart of the cosmos — and the white man, however intelligent he may be, is incapable of understanding Louis Armstrong or songs from the Congo. I am black, not because of a curse, but because my skin has been able to capture all the cosmic effluvia. I am truly a drop of sun under the earth.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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The oppressed will always believe the worst about themselves.
Frantz Fanon

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In the World through which I travel, I am endlessly creating myself.
Frantz Fanon

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…There are too many idiots in this world. And having said it, I have the burden of proving it.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Tags: humor, humour, idiots
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O my body, make of me always a man who questions!
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you want them to understand.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: citizenship, development, education, politics
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The basic confrontation which seemed to be colonialism versus anti-colonialism, indeed capitalism versus socialism, is already losing its importance. What matters today, the issue which blocks the horizon, is the need for a redistribution of wealth. Humanity will have to address this question, no matter how devastating the consequences may be.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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Imperialism leaves behind germs of rot which we must clinically detect and remove from our land but from our minds as well.
Frantz Fanon

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When we revolt it’s not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for many reasons, we can no longer breathe
Frantz Fanon

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What matters is not to know the world but to change it.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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And it is clear that in the colonial countries the peasants alone are revolutionary, for they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The starving peasant, outside the class system is the first among the exploited to discover that only violence pays. For him there is no compromise, no possible coming to terms; colonization and decolonization is simply a question of relative strength.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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Today I believe in the possibility of love; that is why I endeavor to trace its imperfections, its perversions.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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The Negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.
Frantz Fanon

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Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions
Frantz Fanon

Tags: america, decadent, u-s
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Violence is man re-creating himself.
Frantz Fanon

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When people like me, they like me “in spite of my color.” When they dislike me; they point out that it isn’t because of my color. Either way, I am locked in to the infernal circle.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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The unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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Mastery of language affords remarkable power.
Frantz Fanon

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They realize at last that change does not mean reform, that change does not mean improvement.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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Negrophobes exist. It is not hatred of the Negro, however, that motivates them; they lack the courage for that, or they have lost it. Hate is not inborn; it has to be constantly cultivated, to be brought into being, in conflict with more or less recognized guilt complexes. Hate demands existence and he who hates has to show his hate in appropriate actions and behavior; in a sense, he has to become hate. That is why Americans have substituted discrimination for lynching. Each to his own side of the street.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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A man who has a language consequently possesses the world expressed and implied by that language.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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Zombies, believe me, are more terrifying than colonists.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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I, the man of color, want only this: That the tool never possess the man. That the enslavement of man by man cease forever. That is, of one by another. That it be possible for me to discover and to love man, wherever he may be.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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The claim to a national culture in the past does not only rehabilitate that nation and serve as a justification for the hope of a future national culture. In the sphere of psycho-affective equilibrium it is responsible for an important change in the native. Perhaps we haven’t sufficiently demonstrated that colonialism is not satisfied merely with holding a people in its grip and emptying the native’s brain of all form and content. By a kind of perverted logic, it turns to the past of the oppressed people, and distorts, disfigures, and destroys it. This work of devaluing pre-colonial history takes on a dialectical significance today.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: afrocentricism, cultural-imperialism, history, neo-colonization, négritude
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When a bachelor of philosophy from the Antilles refuses to apply for certification as a teacher on the grounds of his color I say that philosophy has never saved anyone. When someone else strives and strains to prove to me that black men are as intelligent as white men I say that intelligence has never saved anyone: and that is true, for, if philosophy and intelligence are invoked to proclaim the equality of men, they have also been employed to justify the extermination of men.
Frantz Fanon

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The colonized is elevated above his jungle status in proportion to his adoption of the mother country’s cultural standards.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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Colinialism hardly ever exploits the whole of a country. It contents itself with bringing to light the natrual resources, which it extracts, and exports to meet the needs of the mother country’s industries, thereby allowing certain sectors of the colony to become relatively rich. But the rest of the colony follows its path of under-development and poverty, or at all events sinks into it more deeply.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: colonialism, history, post-colonial-theory
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When someone strives & strains to prove to me that black men are as intelligent as white men, I say that intelligence has never saved anyone; and that is true, for, if philosophy and intelligence are invoked to proclaim the equality of men, they have also been employed to justify the extermination of men.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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The settler makes history and is conscious of making it. And because he constantly refers to the history of his mother country, he clearly indicates that he himself is the extension of that mother-country. Thus the history which he writes is not the history of the country which he plunders but the history of his own nation in regard to all that she skims off, all that she violates and starves.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: colonialism
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To speak pidgin to a Negro makes him angry, because he himself is a pidgin-nigger-talker. But, I will be told, there is no wish, no intention to anger him. I grant this; but it is just this absence of wish, this lack of interest, this indifference, this automatic manner of classifying him, imprisoning him, primitivizing him, decivilizing him, that makes him angry.

If a man who speaks pidgin to a man of color or an Arab does not see anything wrong or evil in such behavior, it is because he has never stopped to think.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Tags: colonialism, identity, race
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Oh my body, make of me a man who always questions!
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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To educate the masses politically does not mean, cannot mean, making a political speech. What it means is to try, relentlessly and passionately, to teach the masses that everything depends on them; that if we stagnate it is their responsibility, and that if we go forward it is due to them too, that there is no such thing as a demiurge, that there is no famous man who will take the responsibility for everything, but that the demiurge is the people themselves and the magic hands are finally only the hands of the people.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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Taking the continent as a whole, this religious tension may be responsible for the revival of the commonest racial feeling. Africa is divided into Black and White, and the names that are substituted- Africa south of the Sahara, Africa north of the Sahara- do not manage to hide this latent racism. Here, it is affirmed that White Africa has a thousand-year-old tradition of culture; that she is Mediterranean, that she is a continuation of Europe and that she shares in Graeco-Latin civilization. Black Africa is looked on as a region that is inert, brutal, uncivilized – in a word, savage.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: africa, history, postcolonialism, racism
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Introducing someone as a “Negro poet with a University degree” or again, quite simply, the expression, “a great black poet.” These ready-made phrases, which seem in a common-sense way to fill a need-or have a hidden subtlety, a permanent rub.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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[Educated blacks] Society refuses to consider them genuine Negroes. The Negro is a savage, whereas the student is civilized. “You’re us,” and if anyone thinks you are a Negro he is mistaken, because you merely look like one.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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At first glance it seems strange that the attitude of the anti-Semite can be equated with that of the negrophobe. It was my philosophy teacher from the Antilles who reminded me one day: “When you hear someone insulting the Jews pay attention; he is talking about you.” And I believed at the time he was universally right, meaning that I was responsible in my body and my soul for the fate reserved for my brother. Since then, I have understood that what he meant quite simply was the anti-Semite is inevitably a negrophobe.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Tags: antisemitism, oppression, racism
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To speak…means above all to assume a culture, to support the weight of a civilization.
Frantz Fanon

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A government or a party gets the people it deserves and sooner or later a people gets the government it deserves.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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One avoids Creolisms. Some families completely forbid Creole and mothers ridicule their children for speaking it.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Tags: africa, fanon, freedom, negritude, onwuegbute
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I speak of the Christian religion, and no one need be astonished. The Church in the colonies is the white people’s Church, the foreigner’s Church. She does not call the native to God’s ways but to the ways of the white man, of the master, of the oppressor. And as we know, in this matter many are called but few chosen.
Frantz Fanon, Concerning Violence

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Get used to me, I am not getting used to anyone.” I shouted my laughter to the
stars.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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We believe that an individual must endeavor to assume the universalism inherent in the human condition.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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The missionaries find it opportune to remind the masses that long before the advent of European colonialism the great African empires were disrupted by the Arab invasion. There is no hesitation in saying that it was the Arab occupation which paved the way for European colonialism; Arab imperialism commonly spoken of, and the cultural imperialism of Islam is condemned.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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As I begin to recognise that the Negro is the symbol of sin, I catch myself hating the Negro. But then I recognise that I am a Negro. There are two ways out of this conflict. Either I ask others to pay no attention to my skin, or else I want them to be aware of it. I try then to find value for what is bad–since I have unthinkingly conceded that the black man is the colour of evil. In order to terminate this neurotic situation, in which I am compelled to choose an unhealthy, conflictual solution, fed on fantasies, hostile, inhuman in short, I have only one solution: to rise above this absurd drama that others have staged around me, to reject the two terms that are equally unacceptable, and through one human being, to reach out for the universal.
When the Negro dives–in other words, goes under–something remarkable occurs.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Tags: internalised-racism, racism, solutions
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The native must realize that colonialism never gives anything away for nothing.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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Superiority? Inferiority?
Why not simply try to touch the other, feel the other, discover each other?
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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When we revolt it’s not for a particular culture. We revolt simply because, for a variety of reasons, we can no longer breathe
Frantz Fanon

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Two centuries ago, a former European colony decided to catch up with Europe. It succeeded so well that the United States of America became a monster, in which the taints, the sickness, and the inhumanity of Europe have grown to appalling dimensions.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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Once their rage explodes, they recover their lost coherence, they experience self-knowledge through reconstruction of themselves; from afar we see their war as the triumph of barbarity; but it proceeds on its own to gradually emancipate the fighter and progressively eliminates the colonial darkness inside and out. As soon as it begins it is merciless. Either one must remain terrified or become terrifying—which means surrendering to the dissociations of a fabricated life or conquering the unity of one’s native soil. When the peasants lay hands on a gun, the old myths fade, and one by one the taboos are overturned: a fighter’s weapon is his humanity. For in the first phase of the revolt killing is a necessity: killing a European is killing two birds with one stone, eliminating in one go oppressor and oppressed: leaving one man dead and the other man free;
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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Every race will have disagreements amongst themselves, but we must put aside our differences, and work together for the advancement of that race” Sandra Forsythe
Frantz Fanon

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The unveiled Algerian woman, who assumed an increasingly important place in revolutionary action, developed her personality, discovered the exalting realm of responsibility. The freedom of the Algerian people from then on became identified with woman’s liberation, with her entry into history. This woman who, in the avenues of Algier or of Constantine, would carry the grenades or the submachine-gun chargers, this woman who tomorrow would be outraged, violated, tortured, could not put herself back into her former state of mind and relive her behaviour of the past; this woman who was writing the heroic pages of Algerian history was, in so doing, bursting the bounds of the narrow in which she had lived without responsibility, and was at the same time participating in the destruction of colonialism and in the birth of a new woman.
Frantz Fanon

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ô mon corps, fait toujours de moi un homme qui s’interroge.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Tags: life-motto
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I feel my soul as vast as the world, truly a soul as deep as the deepest of rivers; my chest has the power to expand to infinity. I was made to give and they prescribe for me the humility of the cripple.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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I want the world to recognize with me the open door of every consciousness
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Tags: alienation, disalination, humanism, self-realisation
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In the colonial countries, on the contrary, the policeman and the soldier, by their immediate presence and their frequent and direct action maintain contact with the native and advise him by means of rifle butts and napalm not to budge. It is obvious here that the agents of government speak the language of pure force
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: colonialism, government, soldiers, violence
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The militant girl, in adopting new patterns of conduct, could not be judged by traditional standards. Old values, sterile and infantile phobias disappeared.
Frantz Fanon

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إن لجوءك إلى لُغة تكنيكيَّة معناه أنّك قرَّرتَ أن تَعُدَّ الجماهير جاهلة
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: معذبو-الأرض
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In the colonial context the settler only ends his work of breaking in the native when the latter admits loudly and intelligibly the supremacy of the white man’s values.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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The Africans and the underdeveloped peoples, contrary to what is commonly believed, are quick to build a social and political consciousness. The danger is that very often they reach the stage of social consciousness before reaching the national phase. In this case the underdeveloped countries’ violent calls for social justice are combined, paradoxically enough, with an often primitive tribalism. The underdeveloped peoples behave like a starving population—which means that the days of those who treat Africa as their playground are strictly numbered. In other words, their power cannot last forever. A bourgeoisie that has only nationalism to feed the people fails in its mission and inevitably gets tangled up in a series of trials and tribulations. If nationalism is not explained, enriched, and deepened, if it does not very quickly turn into a social and political consciousness, into humanism, then it leads to a dead end. A bourgeois leadership of the underdeveloped countries confines the national consciousness to a sterile formalism. Only the massive commitment by men and women to judicious and productive tasks gives form and substance to this consciousness.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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For the beloved should not allow me to turn my infantile fantasies into reality: On the contrary, he should help me to go beyond them.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

Tags: black-skin-white-masks, frantz-fanon
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Man is human only to the extent to which he tries to impose himself on another man in order to be recognized by him. As long as he has not been effectively recognized by the other, it is this other who remains the focus of his actions. His human worth and reality depend on this other and on his recognition by the other. It is in this other that the meaning of his life is condensed.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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Chaque fois qu’un homme a fait triompher la dignité de l’esprit, chaque fois qu’un homme a dit non à une tentative d’asservissement de son semblable, je me suis senti solidaire de son acte.
Frantz Fanon

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Everything can be explained to the people, on the single condition that you really want them to understand.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

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It is true that if care is taken to use only a language that it’s understood by graduates in law and economics, you can easily prove that the masses have to be managed from above.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: language, power
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The Algerian fidaï, unlike the unbalanced anarchists made famous in literature, does not take dope. The fidaï does not need to be unaware of danger, to befog his consciousness, or to forgot. The “terrorist,” from the moment he undertakes an assignment, allows death to enter into his soul. He has a rendezvous with death.The fidaï, on the other hand, has a rendezvous with the life of the Revolution, and with his own life. The fidaï is not one of the sacrificed. To be sure, he does not shrink before the possibility of losing his life or the independence of his country, but at no moment does he choose death.
Frantz Fanon, A Dying Colonialism

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ليس يكفي أن تُؤلِّف أغنيَّة ثوريَّة حتى تُشارِك في الثَّورة الأفريقيَّة، وإنَّما ينبغي أن تصنع هذه الثَّورة، ثم تأتي الأغاني من تلقاء ذاتها.”
أحمد سيكوتوري
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: معذبو-الأرض
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there is an extraordinary power in the possession of a language.
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

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Today everyone on our side knows that criminality is not the result of the Algerian’s congenital nature nor the configuration of his nervous system. The war in Algeria and wars of national liberation bring out the true protagonists. We have demonstrated that in the colonial situation the colonized are confronted with themselves. They tend to use each other as a screen. Each prevents his neighbor from seeing the national enemy. And when exhausted after a sixteen-hour day of hard work the colonized subject collapses on his mat and a child on the other side of the canvas partition cries and prevents him from sleeping, it just so happens it’s a little Algerian. When he goes to beg for a little semolina or a little oil from the shopkeeper to whom he already owes several hundred francs and his request is turned down, he is overwhelmed by an intense hatred and desire to kill—and the shopkeeper happens to be an Algerian. When, after weeks of keeping a low profile, he finds himself cornered one day by the kaid demanding “his taxes,” he is not even allowed the opportunity to direct his hatred against the European administrator; before him stands the kaid who excites his hatred—and he happens to be an Algerian.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: colonialism, national-liberation, psychology, violence
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The business of obscuring language is a mask behind which stands the much greater business of plunder.
Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Tags: language, power
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The misfortune of man is that he was once a child.
Frantz Fanon

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My final prayer:
O my body, make of me always a man who questions!”
– Frantz Fanon, “Black Skin, White Masks
Frantz Fanon

Tags: frantz-fanon
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It is the white man who creates the Negro. But it is the negro who creates negritude.
Frantz Fanon, A Dying Colonialism

Tags: frantz-fanon
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For me words have a charge. I find myself incapable of escaping the bite of a word, the vertigo of a question-mark.
Frantz Fanon

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I do battle for the creation
of a human world – that ism
a world of reciprocal recognition.
Frantz Fanon

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