A Call For Support For The Jericho Movement’s Political Prisoners Chief Malik/Jeff Fort

_20161022_163303THE JERICHO MOVEMENT  click link at bottom of the blog thanks!







Historic Public Hangings of Afrikans at 15th and Broad St. For Entertainment in Richmond Virginia

The Richmond Husting Court did not condemn slaves to death before 1790, from 1782 to 1820 however it tried 427 criminal slave cases excluding misdemeanors. Virginia’s capital city Thousands of witnesses attended the executions, which were seen as a form of entertainment.

There were enough hangings in Richmond that citizens only had to be informed of the usual place of execution, Richmond executions/hangings primarily took place at the lower end of the hill ( Today’s location of the VCU medical school ) In shockoe valley/shockoe creek , the site may be more precisely defined as being on the northwest corner of today’s Fifteenth Street and Broad Street presently under Interstate 95 over pass , Friday’s were execution/hanging day.

Other sites used by the city the city jail ( When located in shockoe valley ) Manchester across the river now SouthSide and The Manchester courthouse jail yard! A few Gabriel Conspirators condemned in 1800 were hung just outside the city! ( Public Execution in Richmond Virginia 1782 to 1820 ) Book 📗📘📙📚📔📒📓📖📕📑

Historical executions (public hangings) of Gabriel Prosser and Cadre 15th & Broad st Richmond
Slaves had long believed god to be on there side. Now they prayed only to have their souls set free. Seven blocks away, near 15th and broad the hangmen made sure that all was in working order. In a low spot surrounded by tall pines and undergrowth sat the city gallows. the hanging of the rebellious slaves like all executions was a publlic affair. Hangings were at once a form of entertainment and a potent symbol of the power of state over the individual; for slaves who were encouraged to attend they were bloody lesson of the futility of resistance to white domination. “NOTHING WAS MORE SUCCESSFUL IN INDUCING PASSIVE BEHAVIOR -OR PROVED MORE PSYCHOLOGICALLY DAMAGING TO BLACK MEN AND WOMEN-THAN BEING FORCED TO WATCH FATHERS AND HUSBANDS AND FRIENDS KICKING AT THE END OF A NOOSE”.

Even such lessons however had their limits in an allegedly civilized society. Soon after sunrise will,mike,nat and isaac marched into a tumbril for their journey to the gallows. Expecting trouble from black jacobins still on the loose, the governor instructed several companies of infantry and horse to form a circle around the gallows to keep off the crowd. The four men -perhaps tied and blind folded -mounted the scaffold the sound of their feet on the boards drowned out by shouts and cat calls from whites and the singing of hymns and the wails of there fellow slaves and friends who were allowed to crowd the space outside the line of military. The trap door swung open the heads of the four men snapped back and they were still… When at all possible the families of the executed retrieved the bodies and carried them country side for burial. All afrikans believed that human spirits lived on after death in another realm(rarely in the sky) that was far from this troubled world.

The last of the seven to go was the man who planned it all standing alone in the back of the tumbril with his hands bound behind him, Gabriel was driven to the town gallows near 15th and broad. a considered crowed gathered but probably his wife was not among them. Because he was hanged in Richmond it was unlikely that Gabriel was able to say goodbye to nanny,an because he was hanged alone, he was denied the small comfort of being executed by the side of one of his comrads. The trap door fell open and Gabriel at long last found sweet freedom. Virginia authorities hoped that would be the end of it. Many slaves believed otherwise black baptist retained enough of the west african worldview to believe that a restless soul who died unnaturally would not pass into the spirit world but instead would find a home in a body of a newborn child…. (Gabriels Rebellion The Virginia Slave Conspiracies) 1800 Richmond Book 📗📘📙📚📔📒📑📓📕📖





Haki Kweli Shakur 10-20-51ADM August Third Collective NAPLA NAIM

The Gabriel Pross Panther Rebellion 1800 to 1966

Bill of Sale For Enslaved Mother and Son January 25, 1854 is The Conclusion The U.S. Must Pay Reparations to Blacks , Richmond Virginia

01-25-1854-0308111_01BILL OF SALE FOR TWO SLAVES, JANUARY 25, 1854

This printed bill of sale, which was filled in on January 25, 1854, documents that Joseph Reid Anderson, of Richmond, director of the Tredegar Iron Works and one of the most important industrialists in nineteenth-century Virginia, purchased an enslaved woman named Martha and her son named Edward for $650. The bill of sale, like a deed for land, legally transferred ownership of the woman and her son to Anderson. This bill of sale is unusual, however, because it lists the signatures of three sellers. John George and Miles George and their younger half-brother William Oliver George, jointly owned Martha and her son and numerous other enslaved people whom they inherited from their father, Byrd George, after the death of his widow in 1838.

As very fine print at the lower right corner of the bill of sale indicates, this form was “Sold by James B. Gibbs, Bookseller, Richmond.” The Anderson family and business records contain numerous bills of sale that vary in size and style but not in wording, evidence that buying and selling of slaves in Richmond was such a commonplace event that several printers produced and sold blank forms like this. A separate bill in the George family papers records that a slave trader, or broker, named Sidnum Grady negotiated the sale of Martha and Edward and charged the Georges a commission of $7.50.

The cities of Alexandria, Norfolk, and Richmond each had several large slave trading firms that bought and sold slaves locally and for export from Virginia. Most smaller Virginia towns had brokers or agents who bought and sold slaves or negotiated leases by which people rented the work of enslaved people. Lease agreements usually, but not always, operated for twelve months and itemized the renter’s responsibilities to house and feed and perhaps clothe and provide medical care for the rented slaves. The records of the George family indicate that they often leased slaves to people in and around Richmond, including one woman named Martha who did domestic work and was a washerwoman.

The deaths of people who owned slaves as well as family financial difficulties often resulted in enslaved people being sold and members of enslaved families being separated, sometimes forever. In some cases enslaved people were sold to new owners in or near the city or county where they were living, but sometimes to dealers who transported them to other states, usually in the South or Southwest, for resale there. In this instance, Martha and her son Edward were sold together, although this individual document and the surviving records of the George and Anderson families do not indicate whether Martha had other children or whether Edward’s father lived with or near them or belonged to any members of the George or Anderson families. Records of sales, such as this, and of estate settlements, like the records generated following the death of Byrd George contain valuable information that enables researchers to trace family relationships among enslaved people.

This bill of sale is also unusual in that the portion of the printed text containing the required warranty that the slaves were in good health was amended to specify that Martha suffered from asthma and was therefore “not warranted either sound or healthy.” Sellers of slaves were required to provide a guarantee of sound health when they sold slaves in order that buyers not unknowingly purchase laborers with health problems, that were difficult to detect and which might detract from the laborers’ ability to work, thereby reducing their value. This amended bill of sale, therefore, provided the Georges with legal protection if Anderson was later disappointed in Martha’s physical limitations caused by her asthma.


Maurice Bishop Speech – In Nobody’s Backyard (13 April 1979)

Bishop Speech – In Nobody’s Backyard (13 April 1979)quickgrid_2016101912103568

The following speech, like most all speeches from Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, is from a text issued by the Grenada Information Service. The speech was broadcast over Radio Free Grenada.

Good evening sisters and brothers of free Grenada:

Today, one month after our historic people’s revolution, there is peace, calm, and quiet in our country. Indeed, there has been a tremendous drop in the crime rate since our revolution. Foreign residents in the Levera Bathway are feeling so comfortable and safe nowadays that they have advised the commissioner of police that he could close down the sub police station in that area.
An unusually high number of tourists for an off season period are presently enjoying the beauty of our land and the warmth of our people, and this is so in spite of the fact that we have just had a revolution and that a real and present threat of mercenary invasion is faced by our country. In fact, it is almost impossible to rent a vehicle or to find an empty cottage at this point. Tourists and visitors to our country have all been greatly impressed by the discipline of our troops and the respect that has been shown for the lives and property of local and foreign residents and visitors. From all over the island the same reports have come to us that the tourists are commenting on the warmth, friendliness, and discipline of our people and the People’s Revolutionary Army The same comments are being daily made by the hundreds of medical students studying in Grenada.
The annual boat race from Trinidad to Grenada took place as usual last night with a bigger than ever participation. The greatest sense of relief and happiness of our people are obvious to all. In fact is it clear that there is no sense of panic here or hesitation by the tourists who daily continue to stream into Grenada.
For this reason we want the people of Grenada and the Caribbean to realize that if all of a sudden tourists start panicking and leaving the country, or stop coming to our country, then they should note that this came after veiled threats by the United States ambassador with respect to our tourist industry. The ambassador, Mr. Frank Ortiz, on his last visit to Grenada some days ago, went out of his way to emphasize the obvious importance of tourism to our country. He argued that as Grenada imported some $32 million a year in goods but exported only $13 million, we had a massive trade deficit of some $19 million which earnings from the tourist industry could substantially lessen. His point was, and we accept that point, that tourism was and is critical to the survival of our economy.
The ambassador went on to advise us that if we continue to speak about what he called “mercenary invasions by phantom armies” we could lose all our tourists. He also reminded us of the experience which Jamaica had had in this regard a few years ago. As some of you will undoubtedly recall, Jamaica at that time had gone through a period of intense destabilization. Under this process the people of Jamaica were encouraged to lose faith and confidence in themselves, their government and their country, and in the ability of their government to solve the pressing problems facing the country and meeting the expectations of their people. This was done through damaging news stories being spread in the local, regional, and international media, particularly newspapers, aimed at discrediting the achievements of the Jamaican government. It was also done through violence and sabotage and by wicked and pernicious attempts at wrecking the economy through stopping the flow of tourist visitors, and hence much needed foreign exchange earnings of the country. The experience of Jamaica must therefore remind us that the economies of small, poor, Third World countries which depend on tourism can be wrecked by those who have the ability and the desire to wreck them. In his official meetings with Minister of Finance Brother Bernard Coard, and then with me on Tuesday of this week, and in his unofficial discussions with a leading comrade of the People’s Revolutionary Army at Pearls Airport on Wednesday, the ambassador stressed the fact that his government will view with great displeasure the development of any relations between our country and Cuba. The ambassador pointed out that his country was the richest, freest, and most generous country in the world, but as he put it, “We have two sides.”
We understood that to mean that the other side he was referring to was the side which stamped freedom and democracy when the American government felt that their interests were being threatened. “People are panicky and I will have to report that fact to my government,” he advised us. However, the only evidence of panic given by the ambassador was the incident which took place last Monday when the People’s Revolutionary Army, as a result of not having been warned beforehand, shot at a plane which flew very low, more than once over Camp Butler. He calls that panic. The people of Grenada call it alertness.
At the end of our discussion on Tuesday, the ambassador handed me a typed statement of his instructions from his government, to be given to us. The relevant section of that statement reads, and I quote: “Although my government recognizes your concerns over allegations of a possible counter coup, it also believes that it would not be in Grenada’s best interest to seek assistance from a country such as Cuba to forestall such an attack. We would view with displeasure any tendency on the part of Grenada to develop closer ties with Cuba.” It is well established internationally that all independent countries have a full, free, and unhampered right to conduct their own internal affairs. We do not therefore recognize any right of the United States of America to instruct us on who we may develop relations with and who we may not.
From day one of the revolution we have always striven to have and develop the closest and friendliest relations with the United States, as well as with Canada, Britain, and all our Caribbean neighbors English, French, Dutch, and Spanish speaking, and we intend to continue to strive for these relations. But no one must misunderstand our friendliness as an excuse for rudeness and meddling in our affairs, and no one, no matter how mighty and powerful they are, will be permitted to dictate to the government and people of Grenada who we can have friendly relations with and what kind of relations we must have with other countries.
We haven’t gone through twenty eight years of fighting Gairyism, and especially the last six years of terror, to gain our freedom, only to throw it away and become a slave or lackey to any other country, no matter how big and powerful. Every day we fought Gairy we put our lives on the line. On the day of the revolution we started out with almost no arms, and in so doing we again put our lives on the line. We have demonstrated beyond any doubt that we were prepared to die to win our freedom. We are even more prepared to die to maintain that freedom now that we have tasted it.
We feel that people of Grenada have the right to know precisely what steps we have taken in our attempts to establish relations at various levels with the United States, and the response which we have so far received. From the second day of our revolution, during our first meeting with American government representatives in Grenada, we were at pains to emphasize the deplorable and ravished state in which the Gairy dictatorship had left our economy and our country. We pointed out then that massive assistance, technical and financial, would be required in order to begin the process of rebuilding the economy.
The American consul general told us that he was not surprised to hear this and assured us that he would encourage his government to give us the necessary assistance, particularly as he had been so impressed by the bloodless character and the self evident humanity of our prompt assurances in the first hours of the revolution that the safety, lives, and property of American and other foreign residents were guaranteed. Indeed, he freely admitted that his American residents had all reported to him that they were happy and comfortable and felt secure. However, one month later, no such aid has arrived.
It is true that the ambassador did point out, and correctly so, that his government generally grants aid on a multilateral basis through the Caribbean Development Bank. It is also true that he said his government would prefer to maintain that approach rather than help directly, despite his admission that red tape and bureaucracy could cause delays of up to one year in receiving such multilateral aid.
It is also true that he advised us that his government is monitoring Gairy’s movements and that it is against United States law for Gairy to recruit mercenaries in the United States of America. This we appreciate.
However, we must point out that the fact is that in place of the massive economic aid and assistance that seemed forthcoming, the only aid which the American ambassador has been able to guarantee that he could get to Grenada in a reasonably short time would be U.S.$5,000 for each of a few small projects. Sisters and brothers, what can a few $5,000 do? Our hospitals are without medicines, sheets, pillowcases, and proper equipment. Our schools are falling down. Most of our rural villages are in urgent need of water, electricity, health clinics, and decent housing. Half of the people in our country who are able to and would like to work are unable to find jobs. Four out of every five women are forced to stay at home or scrunt for a meagre existence. $5,000 cannot build a house or a health clinic. We feel forced to ask whether the paltry sum of a few $5,000 is all that the wealthiest country in the world can offer to a poor but proud people who are fighting for democracy, dignity, and self respect based on real and independent economic development. Let us contrast this with the immediate response of our Caribbean brothers. We will take two examples: Guyana and Jamaica, countries thousands of times poorer than the United States of America; countries indeed, like ourselves, which are poor, over exploited, and struggling to develop. These two countries have given us technical assistance and cheaper goods and are actively considering our request for arms and military training. This assistance has included a shipment of rice which arrived two days ago, a six man team of economic and other experts from Guyana presently in our country, and the imminent arrival of Mr. Roy Jones, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Jamaica and Professor George Eaton, a leading authority on public service structures.
And, notwithstanding these concrete and much appreciated acts of assistance and solidarity, they have never once attempted to instruct us to the manner in which we should conduct our own internal affairs or as to which countries we should choose to develop relations with.
The American ambassador is taking very lightly what we genuinely believe to be a real danger facing our country. Contrary to what anyone else may think we know that the dictator Gairy is organizing mercenaries to attack Grenada in order to restore him to his throne. We know the man Gairy. Nobody knows him better than we, the people of Grenada, and we recognize the meaning and implications of the evidence which has come before us. We say that when Frank Mabry, Jr. and Mustaphos Hammarabi, Gairy’s underworld friends, write to him indicating how much and what kind of arms are available, and when Gairy says on radio broadcasts and in newspaper interviews that he will never give up and that he intends to return to Grenada as prime minister, that he can only mean that he will use force in order to achieve these ends.
And because our revolution is a popular one supported by the vast majority of our population and because many of our patriots are armed, force here can only mean getting another country to intervene on his behalf or hiring mercenaries to do his dirty work for him. And this in turn could only mean the mass killing of thousands of innocent Grenadians, regardless of which political party they support. It is in these circumstances, and because we have an undoubted right to defend our people, our sovereignty, and our freedom, that we called on the Americans, Canadians, British, our fellow countries in the Caribbean Community [CARICOM], like Guyana and Jamaica, Venezuela, and Cuba to assist us with arms. And we reject entirely the argument of the American ambassador that we would only be entitled to call upon the Cubans to come to our assistance after mercenaries have landed and commenced the attack. Quite frankly, and with the greatest respect, a more ridiculous argument can hardly be imagined. It is like asking a man to wait until his house is burning down before he leaves to buy a fire extinguisher. No, we intend if possible to provide ourselves with the fire extinguisher before the fire starts! And if the government of Cuba is willing to offer us assistance, we would be more than happy to receive it. Sisters and brothers, what we led was an independent process. Our revolution was definitely a popular revolution, not a coup d’etat, and was and is in no way a minority movement. We intend to continue along an independent and nonaligned path. We have stayed in the Commonwealth, we have stayed in the Organization of American States and in CARICOM; despite pressures we have stayed in the Eastern Caribbean Common Market and in the expanded West Indies Associated States Organization. We have applied to join the Nonaligned Movement. We will be applying to join the International Labor Organization the ILO.
We are a small country, we are a poor country, with a population of largely African descent, we are a part of the exploited Third World, and we definitely have a stake in seeking the creation of a new international economic order which would assist in ensuring economic justice for the oppressed and exploited peoples of the world, and in ensuring that the resources of the sea are used for the benefit of all the people of the world and not for a tiny minority of profiteers. Our aim, therefore, is to join all organizations and work with all countries that will help us to become more independent and more in control of our own resources. In this regard, nobody who understands present day realities can seriously challenge our right to develop working relations with a variety of countries. Grenada is a sovereign and independent country, although a tiny speck on the world map, and we expect all countries to strictly respect our independence just as we will respect theirs. No country has the right to tell us what to do or how to run our country or who to be friendly with. We certainly would not attempt to tell any other country what to do. We are not in anybody’s backyard, and we are definitely not for sale. Anybody who thinks they can bully us or threaten us clearly has no understanding, idea, or clue as to what material we are made of. They clearly have no idea of the tremendous struggles which our people have fought over the past seven years. Though small and poor, we are proud and determined. We would sooner give up our lives before we compromise, sell out, or betray our sovereignty, our independence, our integrity, our manhood, and the right of our people to national self determination and social progress.
Long live the revolution!
Long live free Grenada!

Quotations of Samora Machel

Affectionately referred to as “President Samora”, Machel was a freedom fighter and socialist revolutionary leader of the Mozambican liberation movement FRELIMO and the country’s first president. He dedicated his life to fighting colonialism, exploitation and injustices.

We celebrate the legacy of one of Africa’s founding heroes and remember the words he left us with in his quest to see the liberation and development of Africa.

1. “The rich man’s dog gets more in the way of vaccination, medicine and medical care than do the workers upon whom the rich man’s wealth is built”.

2. “The Emancipation of women is not an act of charity, the result of a humanitarian or compassionate attitude. The liberation of women is a fundamental necessity for the revolution, a guarantee of its continuity and a precondition for its victory.” Speech delivered in 1973.

3. “Personalities and fame pass; the revolution must remain”.

4. “International solidarity is not an act of charity: It is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objective. The foremost of these objectives is to aid the development of humanity to the highest level possible.”

5. There is no place for White racism, as there is no place for Black racism, because racism, racism, in its essence, in its essence racism is an organised attitude, a reactionary attitude”. Beira speech, 14 June 1975.

6. “All races, all peoples in the world want liberty, want independence”. Beira speech, 14 June 1975. Translated from Portuguese by Colin Darch and David Hedges.

7. “To ensure national unity, there must be no Shonas in Zimbabwe, there must be no Ndebeles in Zimbabwe, there must be Zimbabweans. Some people are proud of their tribalism. But we call tribalists reactionary agents of the enemy”. Speech delivered in Harare, Zimbabwe, 1980.

8. “The state must be the first to be organized and totally committed to serving the interests of the people”. Speech given in Maputo, February 7, 1980.

9. “It is essential to link enterprises on the basis of objective laws of a socialist economy and legal system”.

10. “Salaries and wages must reflect the reality of the enterprise’s economic performance; deviations from the planned performance should be reflected in pay”.

Capitalism The Slave Trade as a Commercial Enterprise in Richmond / Receipts Show 4,000,000 $ = 117,000,000 $ Today

The Slave Trade as a Commercial Enterprise in Richmond, Virginia The presence of slavery and the business of buying and selling bondsmen was an essential element in Richmond’s development as one of the preeminent cities in the south during the antebellum period.The city’s pivotal location in proximity to the agricultural fields of Tidewater and Southside Virginia, and North Carolina, the natural power source provided by the falls on the James River, and its accessibility as a shipping port and later as a railroad hub made Richmond an ideal place for manufacturing and exporting operations. Processing, marketing and exportation activities were concentrated near the James River around Shockoe Creek where Richmond was founded. Tobacco processing, flour milling, and iron production were prominent industries and the coalfields of Midlothian contributed yet another facet to the city’s wealth. In 1780, the Virginia state capital was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond further solidifying the city’s status as an industrial, political and economic center. Often overlooked in discussions of Richmond’s economic success in the antebellum period is the impact of the slave trade as a commercial enterprise.

“In the 1850s, Richmond’s biggest business by dollar volume was not tobacco, flour, or iron, but slaves. The first Africans arrived in the British colonies in 1619 at Hampton, Virginia. The great majority of imported slaves came directly from Africa but some were brought into the colonies from the West Indies. Their exact status as slave (lifetime service and inherited status) or servant is unclear but between 1640 and 1660 there is evidence of enslavement and by 1660 the concept of slavery was being solidified in the statute books of the colonies. In the Chesapeake area (Virginia and Maryland) more than anywhere to the northward, the shortage of labor and the abundance of land…placed a premium on involuntary labor.” The cultivation of tobacco in this region “required labor which was cheap but not temporary, mobile but not independent, and tireless rather than skilled.

In 1649, it was estimated that there were 300 slaves in Virginia. The number had grown to 2,000 in 1671 and by 1721, slaves accounted for over 50% of Virginia’s total population. The 1780 United States census enumerated 292,627 slaves in Virginia. In the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the trans-Atlantic slave trade was conducted by British importers and intermediate commission merchants who had access to large amounts of capital and political connections. Importers and commission merchants often served in government offices and occupied privileged positions in Colonial society.

Northern ports carried on a large commerce in slaves who were transshipped to the other colonies, especially Virginia, Maryland and South Carolina. Southern ports convenient to the plantation regions grew up at Charleston, Savannah and Richmond. In the Richmond area, the earliest sales of imported slaves took place on board ships at the Manchester Docks, on the south bank of the James River Manchester and the settlement of “Shockoes,” on the north bank of the James River at the mouth of Shockoe Creek, were the first established settlements in what is now Richmond. Manchester, originally called Rocky Ridge, was the site of warehouses and other utilitarian buildings. An advertisement in the Virginia Gazette dated June 16, 1774 announced the sale of slaves in the town of Rocky Ridge. “To be sold 10th November at Rocky Ridge, 150 choice slaves, late the property of Jahn Wayles, dec’d by Francis Eppes and Henry Skipwith.” By 1778, the sale of slaves in Richmond had moved to the north bank of the James River. The port of Rocketts was located just east of “Shockoes”–Robert Rockett had operated a ferry landing at this location since 1730. By 1770, Rocketts was one of the busiest inland shipping ports in the colonies. A seven mile section of the James River and Kanawha canal was opened in 1790 that allowed upland boats to enter Richmond instead of having to transfer goods from bateaux to wagons to be transported into the city. The “basin on Shockoe Hill” subsequently became the port of embarkation for goods traveling to and from Richmond and points west on the James River. With the birth of a new nation, the debate over the importation of slaves rose to the level of material advantages over questions of general welfare and human rights.

In the northern colonies where many were resolutely hostile to the institution there was nonetheless much profit in the fitting out of
ships for the African-slave trade and a desire to preserve the enterprise. In Virginia, it was argued
that there would be a greater benefit if importations stopped. “Her slaves will rise in value, and she has more than she wants.” Other reasons offered for abolishing the international slave trade were the fear that newly imported Africans were more likely to rebel than those already accustomed to the conditions of slavery, and the immigration of “white persons” would increase. Between 1777 and 1804, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, and New Jersey ended slavery within their borders.

The Virginia General Assembly prohibited the importation of slaves in 1778. In 1783 and 1784 the United States Congress debated the issue of slavery, and Rufus King of Massachusetts introduced a resolution that after 1800 there should be no slavery or involuntary servitude in the United States. King’s resolution was defeated but a provision was included in the federal Constitution that the “importation of such persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a Tax or duty may be imposed on such importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each person.”12 By 1803, South Carolina was the only state that had not outlawed the importation of slaves. In 1808, the federal government enacted the African Slave Trade Act that made it illegal to import slaves, thus ending the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The early nineteenth century saw the expansion of the United States into the Lower South. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama became states in 1812, 1817 and 1819, respectively, and Texas was declared a territory in 1836. The depletion of agricultural fields from the over cultivation of tobacco and the collapse of the tobacco market in the Upper South between 1819 and 1830 meant that many planters sought farming opportunities in the Lower South. “Virginia’s rate of population growth for free blacks plummeted from 35 percent in the decade before 1820 to 3 percent between 1830 and 1840. Planters typically took a small group of slaves with them when they moved and if successful they increased their work force by purchasing additional slaves from traders.

The primary crop grown in the Lower South was cotton, a labor-intensive operation dependent on slave labor. Because of the 1808 prohibition on the importation of slaves from Africa, planters in the Lower South had to look elsewhere for a labor source and the interstate slave trade rose to meet the demand. “Statistics show a massive relocation of slaves from the Upper South to the Lower South
once the former region’s agriculture started to decline. One estimate has placed the average movement at 20,000 bondsmen per year from 1820 to 1860, or 10 percent of the Upper South’s slave population…

Virginia, possessing the most slaves, supplied 300,000 bondsmen between 1830 and 1860.Virginia was exclusively a slave-exporting state and Richmond was the best place in the state to sell slaves. “Speculators, planters, farmers, urban purchasers of domestic servants for their own use all preferred to go to Virginia, especially to Richmond, for negroes, because this indicated a certain social as well as a financial advance.

Richmond was known as the greatest market for slaves in the United States, second only to New Orleans.17 Richmond’s profitable industrial economy, its location as a central transportation hub, and its importance as the state capital and a center of banking and commerce, all contributed to the success of the slave trade in the city. The long history of slavery in Virginia and the comfort of many with the presence of the institution set the framework for the development of slave trading as a commercial enterprise. “The Richmond Enquirer’s editorial article about ‘Our Slave Market’ demonstrated that slave-trading was recognized as both an honorable and an important business.The failure of tobacco plantations in the 1820s created a surplus of slaves in the Upper South, which coincided with an increased demand for slaves in the Lower South where many farmers had migrated, seeking new agricultural opportunities. “Many a Virginia ‘country gentleman’ or ‘planter’ was unable to keep his family in comfort and feed and clothe his negroes decently without ultimately selling some of them or running deeply in debt. Many owners sent excess slaves to Richmond either to be sold or hired out. The process of hiring out was a unique aspect of slavery in Richmond because of the presence of manufacturing interests in the city. A niche developed for agents who specialized in the hiring out of slave labor. Often owners worked with an agent to negotiate the terms for the hiring of a slave, or they negotiated with a potential employer directly, and in some cases slaves were allowed to hire themselves out, seeking their own employment and housing. “Under this system, owners allowed slaves to go to Richmond to find work for a specified period of time.

This system became popular among owners who cared little for paying an agent or for the hassles of finding employment for their slaves. According to this practice slaves were required to pay their
masters a stipulated sum of money but whatever they could earn above that amount was theirs to do as they wished. a small amount of cash with which to secure his food and lodgings. Between the years of 1800 and 1840, Richmond experienced considerable economic development and the demographics between those years reflect an increase in the number of slaves, most of whom were owned by or employed in Richmond industries. In 1800, Richmond had a population of 5,737, of whom 2,293 were slaves and 607 were free blacks. By 1840, 20,153 people lived in Richmond, including 7,509 slaves.21 The demand for hiring slaves was high because they were considered the most efficient workforce in many industries and for large construction projects like the James River and Kanawha Canal. Tobacco, iron and mill operators experimented to find the most efficient blend of workers – slaves, free blacks and whites. Because there were so many slaves employed in industries that were dependent upon the rise and fall of market demands, slaves switched jobs frequently. The system of hiring out allowed businesses to, in essence, lay off slave workers when they were not needed. Because manufacturing and ancillary businesses required fewer laborers than farming there was an excess of slaves available for exportation to other areas. Thus the domestic slave trade was born to move surplus slaves from the Upper South to the Lower South and western territories where they were in high demand.

The trade in slaves grew as an industry just as tobacco processing and flour milling did The 1845 Richmond Directory identified nine agents associated with the slave trade. The 1852 directory listed twenty-eight “negro” traders and by 1860 it listed eighteen “negro” traders, eighteen agents, and thirty-three auctioneers, all of whom were engaged in the business of selling slaves.22 Such a large increase in the numbers of those involved in the business suggests that slave trading as a commercial enterprise was viable and financially successful. “The editor of the Warrenton Whig wrote that the gross amount of the Dickinsons’ (referring to the Richmond auction house of Dickinson and Hill) sales in 1856 reached the enormous sum of two million! The entire sales for other houses of similar kind in Richmond would make the amount go over four millions, and still the business is increasing.”23 In 1857, the Richmond Enquirer estimated that receipts for Richmond’s slave auctions totaled $3,500,000.24  By the 1840s, the slave trade had become such a large economic factor that the city of Richmond began to look forrichmonds-slave-trade-strat-1009-46-728richmonds-slave-trade-strat-1009-51-728richmonds-slave-trade-strat-1009-50-728richmonds-slave-trade-strat-1009-17-728 ways to regulate the business and benefitfinancially In 1842, Richmond City Council required that auctioneers be licensed to sell slaves. In 1852, the city charter allowed a tax to be levied on slave jails and slave traders. This tax ranged from $20 to $50 annually depending on the volume of trade. The Virginian General Assembly did not attempt to regulate the slave trade until 1860 when it imposed a licensing fee on auctioneers. In 1861, the city of Richmond realized $10,000 in revenue from the licensing and taxing of the slave trade.

Haki Kweli Shakur 10-18-51ADM August Third Collective NAPLA NAIM #SaveShockoe and Check out The Gabriel Prosser Panther Rebellion 1800-1966 The Resistance and Mission to Destroy The Capitalist System of Slavery!


Ayiti – Haiti Imperialism and Domination ( Freedom Aint Free ) Why Haiti Still Suffering




Haiti and Imperialist Domination( Freedom aint Free ) Since Jean Jacques Dessalines Assassination U.S. and Europe :

Since capitalism reached the stage of imperialism, many imperialist countries have initiated and developed relations with Haiti. From the onset, these have been nothing but relations of domination.

This analysis divides that history into three periods, with an emphasis on the third:

1) The period from our independence to 1915 2) From 1915 to the 1960s 3) From the 1960s to the present

The first period:

Before 1915, the relation of Haiti with imperialism was mostly based on trade. This trade relation was always unequal, with Haiti in the subordinated and disfavored position. Haiti was compelled to sell its products at an undervalued cost, while buying products from imperialist countries at an overvalued cost. This systematically held back the development of Haiti.

In addition to unequal exchange, imperialist countries used other tactics to continue the pillage of Haiti: for example high-interest loans, which Haitians call “Kout Ponya.” Also, imperialist forces intervened militarily many times, and forced Haiti to pay indemnities (in 1850, 500 million dollars to the US; in 1872, 18 thousand Deutschmarks to Germany; in 1877, 682,000 British pounds to England; in 1874-84, 179,750.00 francs to France; and in 1914, the US pillaged the Haitian National Bank).

During this period, imperialist countries did not really invest in Haiti. All of these practices (unequal exchange, loans with high interest, and forced indemnities) blocked the development of Haiti‘s economy, and caused an atrophic and deformed type of capitalism to develop there.

Haki Kweli Shakur 10-17-51ADM August Third Collective NAPLA NAIM

Scientific Socialism is the Combatant to Eliminate Capitalism




#Haiti #Exploitation #Resources #Undevelopment #Imperialism #Capitalism #Dessalines

John Brown & Raiders Harpers Ferry Virginia Raid Goals Was to Create a New Afrikan State-Nation/Maroon Communities and Destroy Virginia and The South’s Capitalist System of Slavery October 16th-18th 1859

differing-perspectives-john-brown-and-the-raid-on-harpers-ferry-8-638_20161016_120646October 16-18 John Brown’s Harper’s Ferry Virginia Raid -Slave Revolt Provisional Army/Raiders

In 1859, Brown led an unsuccessful raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry that ended with the multi-racial group’s capture. Brown’s trial resulted in his conviction and a sentence of death by hanging.

Brown’s attempt in 1859 to start a liberation movement among enslaved African Americans in Harpers Ferry, Virginia (later part of West Virginia), electrified the nation. He was tried for treason against the Commonwealth of Virginia, the murder of five men and inciting a slave insurrection. He was found guilty on all counts and was hanged. During the Kansas campaign, he and his supporters killed five pro-slavery supporters in what became known as the Pottawatomie massacre in May 1856 in response to the sacking of Lawrence, Kansas by pro-slavery forces.

In 1859 he led a raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry. During the raid, he seized the armory; seven people were killed, and ten or more were injured. He intended to arm slaves with weapons from the arsenal, but the attack failed. Within 36 hours, Brown’s men had fled or been killed or captured by local pro-slavery farmers, militiamen, and U.S. Marines led by Robert E. Lee.

As he began recruiting supporters for an attack on slaveholders, Brown was joined by Harriet Tubman, “General Tubman,” as he called her.[39] Her knowledge of support networks and resources in the border states of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware was invaluable to Brown and his planners. Although other abolitionists like Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison did not endorse his tactics, Brown dreamed of fighting to create a new state for freed slaves, and made preparations for military action. After he began the first battle, he believed, slaves would rise up and carry out a rebellion across the south.[40]

He asked Tubman to gather former slaves then living in present-day Southern Ontario who might be willing to join his fighting force, which she did.[41] Brown arrived in Harpers Ferry on July 3, 1859. A few days later, under the name Isaac Smith, he rented a farmhouse in nearby Maryland. He awaited the arrival of his recruits. They never materialized in the numbers he expected. In late August he met with Douglass in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, where he revealed the Harpers Ferry plan. Douglass expressed severe reservations, rebuffing Brown’s pleas to join the mission. Douglass had actually known about Brown’s plans from early in 1859 and had made a number of efforts to discourage blacks from enlisting.

In late September, the 950 pikes arrived from Charles Blair. Kagi’s draft plan called for a brigade of 4,500 men, but Brown had only 21 men (16 white and 5 black: three free blacks, one freed slave, and a fugitive slave). They ranged in age from 21 to 49. Twelve had been with Brown in Kansas raids. On October 16, 1859, Brown (leaving three men behind as a rear guard) led 18 men in an attack on the Harpers Ferry Armory. He had received 200 Beecher’s Bibles — breechloading .52 (13.2 mm) caliber Sharps rifles — and pikes from northern abolitionist societies in preparation for the raid. The armory was a large complex of buildings that contained 100,000 muskets and rifles, which Brown planned to seize and use to arm local slaves. They would then head south, drawing off more and more slaves from plantations, and fighting only in self-defense. As Frederick Douglass and Brown’s family testified, his strategy was essentially to deplete Virginia of its slaves, causing the institution to collapse in one county after another, until the movement spread into the South, essentially wreaking havoc on the economic viability of the pro-slavery states.

Altogether Brown’s men killed four people, and wounded nine. Ten of Brown’s men were killed (including his sons Watson and Oliver). Five of Brown’s men escaped (including his son Owen), and seven were captured along with Brown. Among the raiders killed were John Henry Kagi; Lewis Sheridan Leary and Dangerfield Newby; those hanged besides Brown included John Anthony Copeland, Jr. and Shields Green.[46]

John Anderson[47]
Jeremiah Goldsmith Anderson (killed during the storming of John Brown’s Fort)
Oliver Brown
Watson Brown
John Henry Kagi
Lewis Sheridan Leary
William H. Leeman
Dangerfield Newby
Stewart Taylor (died of wounds)
Dauphin Osgood Thompson (killed during the storming of John Brown’s Fort)
William Thompson captured and killed by militia. For an account of his capture, see “Seven Marstellers and their lineal descendants” by Rev. John Andrew Thompson Marsteller (1938)
Hanged in 1859 following the raid
John Brown
John E. Cook
John A. Copeland, Jr.
Edwin Coppock
Shields Green
Hanged in 1860
Albert Hazlett
Aaron D. Stevens

Died during US Civil War
Barclay Coppock
Charles Plummer Tidd

Osborne Perry Anderson
Owen Brown
Francis Jackson Meriam

Former slave Isaac Gilbert, his wife, and their three children.

John Brown & Raiders Goal of Destroying Virginia’s and The South’s Capitalist System of Slavery and Creating Maroon Communities and in The End A All New Afrikan/Black State Nation Within U.S. Borders: image006 



1476632235475_20160602_182617slide_113178614_1085159584888994_8412631101601562808_nThe connection between John Brown’s life and many of the slave uprisings in the Caribbean was clear from the outset. Brown was born during the period of the Haitian Revolution, which saw Haitian slaves revolting against the French. The role the revolution played in helping to formulate Brown’s abolitionist views directly is not clear; however, the revolution had an obvious effect on the general view towards slavery in the northern United States. As W.E.B. Du Bois notes, the involvement of slaves in the American Revolutions, as well as the “upheaval in Hayti, and the new enthusiasm for human rights, led to a wave of emancipation which started in Vermont… swept through New England and Pennsylvania, ending finally in New York and New Jersey.”[95] This changed sentiment, which occurred during the late 18th and early 19th century, undoubtedly had a role in creating Brown’s abolitionist opinion, during his upbringing.

The 1839 slave insurrection aboard the Spanish ship La Amistad, off the coast of Cuba, provides a poignant example of John Brown’s support and appeal towards Caribbean slave revolts. On La Amistad, Joseph Cinqué and approximately 50 other slaves captured the ship, slated to transport them fromHavana to Puerto Principe, Cuba in July 1839, and attempted to return to Africa. However, through trickery, the ship ended up in the United States, where Cinque and his men stood trial. Ultimately, the courts acquitted the men because at the time the international slave trade was illegal in the United States.[96] According to Brown’s daughter, “Turner and Cinque stood first in esteem” among Brown’s black heroes. Furthermore, she noted Brown’s “admiration of Cinques’ character and management in carrying his points with so little bloodshed!”[97] In 1850, Brown would refer affectionately to the revolt, in saying “Nothing so charms the American people as personal bravery. Witness the case of Cinques, of everlasting memory, on board the ‘Amistad.'”[98] The slave revolts of the Caribbean had a clear and important impact on Brown’s views toward slavery and his staunch support of the most severe forms of abolitionism. However, this is not the most important part of the many revolts’ legacy of influencing Brown.

The specific knowledge John Brown gained from the tactics employed in the Haitian Revolution, and other Caribbean revolts, was of paramount importance when Brown turned his sights to the federal arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia. As Brown’s cohort Richard Realf explained to a committee of the 36th Congress, “he had posted himself in relation to the wars of Toussaint L’Ouverture… he had become thoroughly acquainted with the wars in Hayti and the islands round about.”[99] By studying the slave revolts of the Caribbean region, Brown learned a great deal about how to properly conduct guerilla warfare. A key element to the prolonged success of this warfare was the establishment of Maroon communities, which are essentially colonies of runaway slaves. As a contemporary article notes, Brown would use these establishments to “retreat from and evade attacks he could not overcome. He would maintain and prolong a guerilla war, of which… Haiti afforded” an example.[100]

The idea of creating Maroon communities was the impetus for the creation of John Brown’s “Provisional Constitution and Ordinances for the People of the United States,” which helped to detail how such communities would be governed. However, the idea of Maroon colonies of slaves is not an idea exclusive to the Caribbean region. In fact, Maroon communities riddled the southern United States between the mid-1600s and 1864, especially theGreat Dismal Swamp region of Virginia and North Carolina. Similar to the Haitian Revolution, the Seminole Wars, fought in modern-day Florida, saw the involvement of Maroon communities, which although outnumbered by native allies were more effective fighters.[100]

Although the Maroon colonies of North America undoubtedly had an effect on John Brown’s plan, their impact paled in comparison to that of the Maroon communities in places like Haiti, Jamaica and Surinam. Accounts by Brown’s friends and cohorts prove this idea. Richard Realf, a cohort of Brown in Kansas, noted that Brown not only studied the slave revolts in the Caribbean, but focused more specifically on the maroons of Jamaica and those involved in Haiti’s liberation.  Brown’s friend Richard Hinton similarly noted that Brown knew “by heart,” the occurrences in Jamaica and Haiti. Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a cohort of Brown’s and a member of the Secret Six, stated that Brown’s plan involved getting “together bands and families of fugitive slaves” and “establish them permanently in those [mountain] fastnesses, like the Maroons of Jamaica and Surinam.” Brown had planned for the Maroon colonies established to be “durable,” and thus able to endure over a prolonged period of war.

The similarities between John Brown’s attempted insurrection and the Haitian Revolution, in both methods, motivations and resolve, is still seen today as the main avenue in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince is still named for Brown as a sign of solidarity.

Haki KweliShakur 10-16-51ADM August Third Collective NAPLA NAIM

John Brown’s Raid and Virginia Reaction Slide player



Thomas Sankara Accomplished These Things in Only 4 Years With Revolutionary Programs

  • 547dfcb189d81f6d04d1f35f_1419079028938After renaming his country to Burkina Faso, here’s Thomas Sankara’s accomplishments, ONLY 4 YEARS in power (1983-87).

Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara (21 December 1949 – 15 October 1987) was a Burkinabé military captain, Marxist revolutionary, pan-Africanist theorist, and President of Burkina Faso from 1983 to 1987. Viewed by supporters as a charismatic and iconic figure of revolution, he is commonly referred to as “Africa’s Che Guevara”

– He vaccinated 2.5 million children against meningitis, yellow fever and measles in a matter of weeks.
– He initiated a nation-wide literacy campaign, increasing the literacy rate from 13% in 1983 to 73% in 1987.
– He planted over 10 million trees to prevent desertification
– He built roads and a railway to tie the nation together, without foreign aid
– He appointed females to high governmental positions, encouraged them to work, recruited them into the military, and granted pregnancy leave during education.
– He outlawed female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy in support of Women’s rights
– He sold off the government fleet of Mercedes cars and made the Renault 5 (the cheapest car sold in Burkina Faso at that time) the official service car of the ministers.
– He reduced the salaries of all public servants, including his own, and forbade the use of government chauffeurs and 1st class airline tickets.
– He redistributed land from the feudal landlords and gave it directly to the peasants. Wheat production rose in three years from 1700 kg per hectare to 3800 kg per hectare, making the country food self-sufficient.
– He opposed foreign aid, saying that “he who feeds you, controls you.”
– He spoke in forums like the Organization of African Unity against continued neo-colonialist penetration of Africa through Western trade and finance. • He called for a united front of African nations to repudiate their foreign debt. He argued that the poor and exploited did not have an obligation to repay money to the rich and exploiting
– In Ouagadougou, Sankara converted the army’s provisioning store into a state-owned supermarket open to everyone (the first supermarket in the country).
– He forced civil servants to pay one month’s salary to public projects.
– He refused to use the air conditioning in his office on the grounds that such luxury was not available to anyone but a handful of Burkinabes.
– As President, he lowered his salary to $450 a month and limited his possessions to a car, four bikes, three guitars, a fridge and a broken freezer.
– A motorcyclist himself, he formed an all-women motorcycle personal guard.
– He required public servants to wear a traditional tunic, woven from Burkinabe cotton and sewn by Burkinabe craftsmen. (The reason being to rely upon local industry and identity rather than foreign industry and identity)
– When asked why he didn’t want his portrait hung in public places, as was the norm for other African leaders, Sankara replied “There are seven million Thomas Sankaras.”
– An accomplished guitarist, he wrote the new national anthem himself

Sankara seized power in a 1983 popularly supported coup at the age of 33, with the goal of eliminating corruption and the dominance of the former French colonial power. He immediately launched one of the most ambitious programmes for social and economic change ever attempted on the African continent. To symbolize this new autonomy and rebirth, he renamed the country from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso (“Land of Upright Man”). His foreign policies were centered on anti-imperialism, with his government eschewing all foreign aid, pushing for odious debt reduction, nationalizing all land and mineral wealth, and averting the power and influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. His domestic policies were focused on preventing famine with agrarian self-sufficiency and land reform, prioritizing education with a nationwide literacy campaign, and promoting public health by vaccinating 2.5 million children against meningitis, yellow fever, and measles. Other components of his national agenda included planting over ten million trees to halt the growing desertification of the Sahel, doubling wheat production by redistributing land from feudal landlords to peasants, suspending rural poll taxes and domestic rents, and establishing an ambitious road and rail construction program to “tie the nation together”. On the localized level Sankara also called on every village to build a medical dispensary and had over 350 communities construct schools with their own labour. Moreover, his commitment to women’s rights led him to outlaw female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy, while appointing women to high governmental positions and encouraging them to work outside the home and stay in school even if pregnant.[5]

In order to achieve this radical transformation of society, he increasingly exerted authoritarian control over the nation, eventually banning unions and a free press, which he believed could stand in the way of his plans. To counter his opposition in towns and workplaces around the country, he also tried corrupt officials, “counter-revolutionaries” and “lazy workers” in Popular Revolutionary Tribunals. Additionally, as an admirer of Fidel Castro’s Cuban Revolution, Sankara set up Cuban-style Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDRs).

His revolutionary programs for African self-reliance made him an icon to many of Africa’s poor. Sankara remained popular with most of his country’s impoverished citizens. However his policies alienated and antagonised the vested interests of an array of groups, which included the small but powerful Burkinabé middle class, the tribal leaders whom he stripped of the long-held traditional right to forced labour and tribute payments, and France and its ally the Ivory Coast. As a result, he was overthrown and assassinated in a coup d’état led by Blaise Compaoré on October 15, 1987. A week before his murder, he declared: “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”

On October 15, 1987, Sankara was killed by an armed group with twelve other officials in a coup d’état organised by his former colleague Blaise Compaoré. Deterioration in relations with neighbouring countries was one of the reasons given, with Compaoré stating that Sankara jeopardised foreign relations with former colonial power France and neighbouring Ivory Coast. Prince Johnson, a former Liberian warlord allied to Charles Taylor, told Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that it was engineered by Charles Taylor. After the coup and although Sankara was known to be dead, some CDRs mounted an armed resistance to the army for several days.

Sankara’s body was dismembered and he was quickly buried in an unmarked grave, while his widow Mariam and two children fled the nation. Compaoré immediately reversed the nationalizations, overturned nearly all of Sankara’s policies, rejoined the International Monetary Fund and World Bank to bring in “desperately needed” funds to restore the “shattered” economy,[34] and ultimately spurned most of Sankara’s legacy. Compaoré’s dictatorship remained in power for 27 years until overthrown by popular protests in 2014.

A transformational leader

Sankara’s visionary leadership turned his country from a sleepy West African nation with the colonial designation of Upper Volta to a dynamo of progress under the proud name of Burkina Faso (“Land of the Honorable People”). He led one of the most ambitious programs of sweeping reforms ever seen in Africa. It sought to fundamentally reverse the structural social inequities inherited from the French colonial order.

Sankara focused the state’s limited resources on the marginalized majority in the countryside. When most African countries depended on imported food and external assistance for development, Sankara championed local production and the consumption of locally-made goods. He firmly believed that it was possible for the Burkinabè, with hard work and collective social mobilization, to solve their problems: chiefly scarce food and drinking water.

In Sankara’s Burkina, no one was above farm work, or graveling roads–not even the president, government ministers or army officers. Intellectual and civic education were systematically integrated with military training and soldiers were required to work in local community development projects.

Sankara disdained formal pomp and banned any cult of his personality. He could be seen casually walking the streets, jogging or conspicuously slipping into the crowd at a public event. He was a rousing orator who spoke with uncommon candor and clarity and did not hesitate to publicly admit mistakes, chastise comrades or express moral objections to heads of powerful nations, even if it imperiled him. For example, he famously criticized French president François Mitterand during a state dinner for hosting the leader of Apartheid South Africa.

Who was Thomas Sankara?
– A captain in army of Upper Volta, a former French colony in West Africa
– Instrumental in the coup that ousted Col Saye Zerbo as president in 1982
– Took power from Maj Jean-Baptiste Ouedraogo in an internal power struggle and became president in August 1983
– Adopted radical left-wing policies and sought to reduce government corruption
– Changed the name of the country from Upper Volta to Burkina Faso, which means “the land of upright men”
– Killed in mysterious circumstances by a group of soldiers in October 1987

Robert F Williams and B.A.G. – The Untold Story of The Black NRA , NRA Was Started to Fight KKK

With the violent crime rate increasing disproportionately in urban communities, it’s no surprise that a recent phone survey of black voters found that 80 percent felt gun violence was an “extremely serious” problem. But it seems this surge in violence actually has many in the black community changing their views on gun ownership. In 1993, 74 percent of African-Americans favored gun control. By 2015, that number dropped to 60. However, when asked if they favor gun ownership, the results are much more striking. A 2015 Pew Research poll found 54 percent of black respondents feeling positive about packing – an increase of a whopping 29 percent in two years.

In fact, African-Americans are very much a part of the increasing number of concealed carry permits obtained during the Obama Administration. Between 2012 and 2014, black permit holders increased from 10,389 to 17,594, with African-American women obtaining permits at the fastest rate – 3.44 times that of their white female counterparts. However, this increasingly positive attitude toward firearms might not be a new paradigm, but rather a return to form.

Robert F. Williams and Armed Black Self-Defense

Few are aware that weapons played a pivotal part in the American Civil Rights Movement, specifically through Robert F. Williams. A curious figure in American history, Libertarians are quick to lionize him and his radical approach to black self-defense, but they’ll quickly cool when they learn of his longstanding association with leftist totalitarian politics and governments. Conservatives likewise might initially find themselves infatuated with a man who did not wait for “big government” to deliver his people, but rather leveraged the Second Amendment. Liberals, for their part, might find something to admire in Williams’ notion of liberation, but will recoil in horror when learning that his preferred vehicles for change were the NAACP (great!) and the NRA (terrible!).

Williams was many things, but chief among them was a harbinger of things that would come long after he had fled the United States for what he considered greener pastures in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. He stands across the divide, separating the non-violent, electoral, protest-oriented phase of the Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s from the later, more militant and direct-action-oriented phase that would arise in the mid-to-late 1960s as the movement became more frustrated (particularly after the assassination of Martin Luther King).

Born in North Carolina in 1925, Williams’ experience mirrors that of many African-Americans of his generation. He moved to Detroit as part of the Second Great Migration, where he was privy to race rioting over jobs. He served in the then-segregated United States Marine Corps for a year and a half after being drafted in 1944. Upon returning to his North Carolina hometown, Williams found a moribund chapter of the NAACP. With only six members and little opposition, he used his USMC training to commandeer the local branch and turn it in a decidedly more military direction. The local chapter soon had over 200 members under Williams’ leadership. If nothing else, his leadership was effective at building the movement from the ground up.

Black NRA Gun Clubs KKK An early incident is particularly instructive in how effective these new tactics were. The KKK was very active in Monroe, with an estimated 7,500 members in a town of 12,000. After hearing rumors that the Klan intended to attack NAACP chapter Vice President Dr. Albert Perry’s house, Williams and members of the Black Armed Guard surrounded the doctor’s house with sandbags and showed up with rifles. Klansman fired on the house from a moving vehicle and the Guard returned fire. Soon after, the Klan required a special permit from the city’s police chief to meet. One incident of self-defense did more to move the goalposts than all previous legislative pressure had.

Monroe’s Black Armed Guard wasn’t a subsidiary of the Communist Party, nor an independent organization like the Black Panther Party that would use similar tactics of arming their members later. In fact, “Black Armed Guard” was nothing more than a fancy name for an officially chartered National Rifle Association chapter.

His 1962 book, Negroes With Guns, was prophetic for the Black Power movement to come later on in the decade. But Williams is noteworthy for his lack of revolutionary fervor, at least early on. Williams was cautious to always maintain that the Black Armed Guard was not an insurrectionary organization, but one dedicated to providing defense to a group of people who were under attack and lacking in normal legal remedies:

“To us there was no Constitution, no such thing as ‘moral persuasion’ – the only thing left was the bullet…I advocated violent self-defense because I don’t really think you can have a defense against violent racists and against terrorists unless you are prepared to meet violence with violence, and my policy was to meet violence with violence.”

Robert Williams
Williams himself is an odd figure, not easily boxed into conventional political labels. While often lauded, for example in a PBS Independent Lens hagiography, it’s worth noting that Williams spent a number of years operating Radio Free Dixie, a radio station broadcast from Communist Cuba that regularly denounced the American government. He urged black soldiers to revolt during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Williams personally praised the Watts riots in 1966, simultaneously invoking “the spirit of ‘76.” Radio Free Dixie ceased operations in 1965, when Williams relocated to Red China at the personal request of Chairman Mao Zedong (hardly a proponent of freedom). Williams happily accepted, and this is where he remained for the rest of his exile from the United States – avoiding dubious charges of kidnapping white activists, Williams claimed he was defending from Klan attacks.

However, it’s not entirely fair to brand Williams a pliant, party-line Communist, either. Even while hobnobbing with the elite of the Chinese Communist Party, Williams regularly denounced the U.S. Communist Party as “Gus Hall’s idiots.” To some degree, this reflects internal divisions in the international Communist movement at the time, with national parties and internal factions lining up between Moscow and Beijing. But he also refused to rule out any sort of deal between himself and the federal government – or the far right, for that matter – on the grounds that he would do anything to avoid prison. He gave speeches in China denouncing the United States, including one where he associated Robert Kennedy with an alleged system of international white supremacy.

Upon returning to the United States, Williams was put on trial for the alleged kidnapping and was extradited to North Carolina from Michigan. By the time his case went to trial in 1975, it was a cause celebre among the American far left and the charges were soon dropped. His later years were marked by a lack of political activity. He received a grant from the Ford Foundation to work in the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan. He seemed to have little interest in leading the more militant, Black Power incarnation of the Civil Rights Movement that had emerged in his exile. The title of his New York Times obituary is rather telling: “Outspoken and Feared but Largely Forgotten.”

Williams is a confusing figure, one that’s hard to figure out and even harder for people of any political persuasion to take a hard line in favor of. An iconoclast and a malcontent, he was simultaneously capable of self-sacrifice, exiling himself from his homeland, as well as blatant (and almost certainly appropriate) self-interest, ready to cut any kind of a deal to keep himself out of jail. No matter what your opinion is of Robert F. Williams, one thing’s for sure – we won’t be seeing him on the front of dollar bills any time soon.

Ronald Reagan, The Black Panthers and Gun Control

Black NRA Gun Clubs Panther Capitol March
Around the time Williams returned, gun control was getting some pretty heavy winds in its sails from some rather unlikely sources: Then-California Governor Ronald Reagan (yes, that one) passed the Mulford Act, stating that he saw “no reason why, on the street today, a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.” At the time, however, it was pretty widely understood that the bill was drafted and fast-tracked in response to another band of gun-toting African-Americans – the Black Panthers.

At the time, the Black Panthers were something between Copwatch and Meals on Wheels. They’re mainly remembered today for two things: Their literacy programs and their penchant for hanging out at government buildings armed to the teeth. However, the Panthers’ original activities were far more mundane. They would follow police around, armed with law books, municipal codes and firearms, ensuring that police were held to the letter of the law. What brought matters to a head was the day the Black Panthers showed up on the steps of the California State Capitol, locked and loaded.

The Mulford Act, colloquially called “The Panther Act,” effectively ended open carry in the State of California.

Pacifists Outsourcing Violence: The Curious Tale of C.O. Chinn and Martin Luther King

C.O. Chinn is another figure you won’t read about in the Civil Rights Chapter of your history book. Chinn’s allegiance to firearms was originally just good business sense. He was, among other things, a bootlegger and the owner of a rhythm-and-blues club in Canton, Mississippi. He was also heavily armed, causing the segregationist sheriff to once call him the only other “bad son of a b*tch” in the county besides himself.

Chinn is instructive for one reason: Even officially “nonviolent” sectors of the Civil Rights Movement like SNCC and CORE were happy to outsource their violence to Chinn and his band of rough and readies. Violence for thee, but not for me. As CORE’s Mississippi field secretary noted:

“[Chinn] believed we were doing the right thing and felt he should be supporting us and providing us with a certain amount of protection. Everything he had was just put at our disposal. There was never a time you needed to go someplace that he didn’t assign somebody to go with you. He was his own man in his own mold. I don’t think there were many parts [of him] that came from somewhere else.”

Mateo “Flukie” Suarez, CORE’s Mississippi field secretary
Beyond Chinn, it’s worth noting that guns were not the exclusive domain of the more militant wing of the American Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King applied for a gun permit in 1956, after having his house bombed. Unsurprisingly, the State of Alabama did not see fit to “may issue.”

The Marin County Courthouse Incident and Increasing Militancy

Black NRA Gun Clubs Angela Davis Things did eventually turn more than a bit ugly. Perhaps most noteworthy is what is euphemistically called “the Marin County Courthouse Incident,” when Angela Davis and three inmates on trial kidnapped a judge, the deputy district attorney and three jurors. This event, however, was hardly isolated from the uglier turn of leftist activism at the time, which included not just armed self-defense or careful monitoring of police officers, but also bombings and kidnappings as the business of the day. Politics in general were getting hot and heavy on the streets, with flower power and patient nonviolence giving way to The Weathermen and their ilk.

So what’s the lesson to be learned here? No one is going to shoot anyone for being part of a black rights organization in the current year. Indeed, you’re far more likely to get blackballed from your industry for an off-color joke on Twitter, something that hardly requires lethal force as a response. Still, two things stand out when surveying the less non-violent aspects of the American Civil Rights Movement:

The NRA As An Organ of Individual and Collective Self-Defense

First, the narrative of the NRA as some sort of crypto-racist organization is simply false. In the first place, the NRA is a single-issue organization, which is how Harry Reid is able to obtain a “B” rating and get campaign cash from them, despite voting as a party-line Democrat on virtually every non-gun-related issue. More to the point, the NRA has historically opposed laws that were virtually tailor made to deny African-Americans the right to keep and bear arms. In the case of the Black Armed Guard, they offered a “respectable” veneer for an organization that otherwise would have had a much harder go of things.

Second, the uptick in gun ownership and firearms acceptability in the black community isn’t an anomaly, but a reconnection with a deeper past stretching back to Reconstruction. It’s not that black gun ownership is “good” per se or deserves to be lauded any more than white or Hispanic or Asian gun ownership. The point is that people who are in danger, or at least feel that they are, will often reach out to firearms to protect themselves – especially if state actors seem reluctant or incapable of enforcing the law and protecting them and their families. In this sense, the desire for weapons for self-defense isn’t just a universal impulse, it’s also a basic democratic right.

“The first right” is the one that secures all the others, sure. But an armed insurrection in the streets isn’t a necessary component. In the case of Monroe, North Carolina, all it took was returning fire against one attack.

After all – God made men, but Sam Colt made them equal.