Sojourner Truth delivered her infamous “Ain’t I A Woman” speech. She Also Advocated for “Negro state” in the West

On this day in 1851, Sojourner Truth delivered her infamous “Ain’t I A Woman” speech. She Also Advocated for “Negro state” in the West

Truth was renowned in her time for her speaking and singing ability. As a person who could neither read nor write, she had people read to her, especially the Bible, and from this she developed her unique voice about how the world worked and how it could be improved. She sounds like a down-to-earth preacher in many of her speeches.

Sojourner Truth, a prominent abolitionist and women’s rights activist, was born into slavery in New York. Truth’s parents were slaves in Ulster County, New York. Details about her childhood are not recorded, but it is clear that her name was Isabella. She gave birth to five children.

After escacping slavery in 1827 by fleeing to a Quaker family’s home, she moved to New York and became heavily involved with moral reform, religion, and street preaching. Her escape came only a year before mandatory emancipation in New York State.

She became a popular figure in the community and then changed her name to “Sojourner Truth.” In the mid 1850’s, she moved to Battle Creek, Michigan.

Truth later became involved with the women’s suffrage movement, organized petitions, and even suggested creating a “Negro state” in the West.

She delivered her speech, “Ain’t I a Women,” at the 1851 Women’s Rights Convention in Ohio. The speech was focused on the rebuttal of antifeminist arguments and the progression of women’s rights.

100 Years Ago East St. Louis Massacre, Marcus Garvey Condemns Attacks

The St. Louis Area Has a Long History of Shameful Racial Violence

The East St. Louis riots of May and July 1917 were an outbreak of labor- and race-related violence that caused between 40 and 200 deaths and extensive property damage.
Death(s): 40-200
Causes: White mobs inflamed over labor inequities, beat, shot and lynched African Americans
Date: May 28 and July 2, 1917
Methods: Riot, Lynching,

A mob blocks a street car during the East St. Louis Riot of July 1917 University of Massachusetts-Amherst Libraries The shooting of Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent riots, protests, and police crackdown have highlighted the area’s long history of racial strife. One chapter from that history, a century-old summer riot just fourteen miles away from Ferguson, in East St. Louis, Illinois, shows how black Americans were subjected to racial violence from the moment they arrived in the region.

In 1917, East St. Louis was crowded with factories. Jobs were abundant. But as World War I halted the flow of immigration from Eastern Europe, factory recruiters started looking toward the American South for black workers. Thousands came, and as competition for jobs increased, a labor issue became a racial one.

 

East St. Louis’ angry white workers found sympathy from the leaders of the local Democratic party, who feared that the influx of black, mostly Republican voters threatened their electoral dominance. In one particularly striking parallel to today’s political landscape, local newspapers warned of voter fraud, alleging that black voters were moving between northern cities to swing local elections as part of a far-reaching conspiracy called “colonization,” according to the documentary series Living in St. Louis.

A cartoon from the time of the riot, lambasting then-president Woodrow Wilson for making the world “safe for democracy” while ignoring the plight of East St. Louis.
That May, a local aluminum plant brought in black workers to replace striking white ones. Soon, crowds of whites gathered downtown, at first protesting the migration, then beating blacks and destroying property. On July 1, a group of white men drove through a black neighborhood, firing a gun out their car window. (The perpetrators were never caught.) A few hours later, another car drove through the neighborhood. Black residents fired at it, killing two police officers.

On July 2, as news of the killings got out, white residents went tearing through black neighborhoods, beating and killing blacks and burning some 300 houses as National Guard troops either failed to respond or fled the scene. The official toll counted 39 black and eight white people dead, but others speculated that more than a hundred people died in what is still considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in twentieth-century America. Afraid for their lives, more than six thousand blacks left the city after the riot.

That the United States was then fighting in Europe to defend democracy while failing to protect its own citizens was not lost on Marcus Garvey, soon to become one of the most famous civil rights leaders of his time: “This is no time for fine words, but a time to lift one’s voice against the savagery of a people who claim to be the dispensers of democracy,” he said to cheers at a speech in Harlem on July 8. “I do not know what special meaning the people who slaughtered the Negroes of East St. Louis have for democracy… but I do know that it has no meaning for me.”

Reflection on Sacrifice Ojore Lutalo New Afrikan Anarchist Former Political Prisoner Spent over 28 Years in Prison

Ojore Lutalo is locked down in Trenton, New Jersey, for actions carried out in the fight for Black Liberation. In Ojore’s own words, he is “serving a parole violation sentence (we received 14 to 17 years) stemming from a 1977 conviction for expropriating monies from a capitalist state bank (in order to finance our activities) and engaging the political police in a gun battle in December 1975 in order to effect our departure from the bank, and to ensure success of the military operation…”

“After my parole violation term terminated in December 1987, I started serving a forty year sentence with a twenty year parole ineligibility (I was paroled in 1980, and I have been back in captivity since April 20, 1982) that I have received in 1982 for having a gun-fight with a drug dealer. The overall strategy of assaulting a drug dealer is to secure monies to finance one’s activities, and to rid the oppressed communities of drug dealers.” Ojore was originally arrested with New Afrikan P.O.W. Kojo Bomani Sababu, and was struggling with comrade Andaliwa Clark up until the point that Andaliwa was killed in action within the confines of New Jersey’s infamous Trenton State Prison after he shot two prison’s security guards in the repressive Management Control Unit (M.C.U.) on January 19th, 1976 when they tried to stop him from escaping from captivity.

Ojore was a comrade of the late Kuwasi Balagoon, a New Afrikan anarchist P.O.W. “I’ve been involved in the struggle, the war against the fascist state since 1970. I’ve been an anarchist since 1975 without any regrets. Prior to my involvement in the struggle, I was just another apolitical lumpen (bandit) here in Amerika.”

 

 

“I was… influenced and highly motivated by the Black Liberation Army (B.L.A.) here in Amerika. These sisters and brothers were New Afrikans just like me from the streets of the ghettos who took the initiative militarily, to start assassinating members of the state’s security forces who were murdering black people in our communities. From the inception of all revolutions, I feel that the people need armed combat units to check state sponsored acts of terrorism by the government’s security forces. In addition, I feel that these armed combat units are necessary to show the people that fascist acts of state-sponsored terrorism… will be responded to militarily. In 1975 I became disillusioned with Marxism and became an anarchist (thanks to Kuwasi Balagoon) due to the inactiveness and ineffectiveness of Marxism in our communities along with repressive bureaucracy that comes with Marxism. People aren’t going to commit themselves to a life and death struggle just because of grand ideas someone might have floating around in their heads. I feel people will commit themselves to a struggle if they can see progress being made similar to the progress of anarchist collectives in Spain during the era of the fascist Bahamonde…”

 

 

Ojore is presently locked down in an M.C.U. in Trenton. “I’m encased in a cage of steel and concrete surrounded by by high prison walls topped with gun towers and rows of razor wire while being watched by sadistic fascist pigs. Nevertheless, I’m not complaining because I have accepted revolution, which is an armed struggle for me, and I have come to terms with the prospects of death and captivity… The vast majority of the Prisoners of War and Political Prisoners now being interned here in the concentration camps of North Amerika aren’t receiving any assistance (e.g.: being liberated, assistance in liberating ourselves, financial assistance needed to obtain food packages, winter clothing, reading material and postage stamps) from the so-called progressive revolutionary organizations, groups and individuals here in Amerika. With our talents, we have been abandoned here in the state’s numerous concentration camps and our M.C.U.¹s by those out there in what we call minimum custody…” We don’t need moral support because we have purpose. We don¹t need anyone to tell us to stay strong because we are going to remain stead-fast anyway, because we have come to terms with the prospects of death and captivity.”

KOJO BOMANI SABABU Black Liberation Army / New Afrikan Freedom Fighter , Political Prisoner /POW

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KOJO BOMANI SABABU!
May 27, 1953
Kojo Bomani Sababu
#39384-066
USP Canaan
P.O. Box 300
Waymart, PA 18472
thejerichomovement.com

Kojo Bomani Sababu is a New Afrikan Prisoner of War serving a 55 year sentence. Kojo was captured on December 19th 1975 along with anarchist Ojore Lutalo during a bank expropriation. He was subsequently charged with conspiracy for an alleged plan to use rockets, hand grenades and a helicopter in an attempt to free Puerto Rican Prisoner of War Oscar Lopez Rivera from the federal prison where he was serving.

#newafrikan #prisonerofwar #politicalprisoners #politicalprisonerbirthday #blackliberation #kojobomanisababu #grailingbrown #oscarlopezrivera #ojorelutalo – #regrann

Kojo Bomani Sababu is a New Afrikan Prisoner of War. He is currently serving a 55 year sentence for actions with the Black Liberation Army and attempted escape from prison with Puerto Rican Independista Oscar Lopez Rivera.

Kojo was born May 27th 1953 in Atlantic City New Jersey. In 1962 his father died coming home from work and just two years later his mother was murdered. A guiding presence in his life, Kojo was devastated by the loss of his mother. Still, he continued to live out the lesson he taught him, that education is a tool with which to change society.

Kojo was captured on December 19th 1975 along with anarchist Ojore Lutalo during a bank expropriation. He was also charged with the murder of a drug dealer in his neighborhood.

Convicted of one count of conspiracy for an alleged plan to use rockets, hand grenades and a helicopter in an attempt to free Puerto Rican Prisoner of War Oscar Lopez Rivera from the Federal prison at Leavenworth, Kan., where he was serving a 55-year sentence for a 1981 conviction of seditious conspiracy.

 

 

Kojo Bomani Sababu Interview

1: How did you come by your current name and how old are you? The name Kojo comes from my comrades in arms. It means unconquerable, my full name is Kojo Bomani Sababu which means “unconquerable warrior, one who takes the people to heart”, our names, derived from African roots were adapted as inspiration. I am currently 54 years old, born May 27th 1953 in Atlantic City New Jersey.

2: What caused you to accept revolution in a country where so much is offered? I grew up in a turbulent time in America where racist oppression and repression of New Africans was in vogue, and a great deal of political agitation occurred in the New African communities. Thus I heard speeches by Malcolm X, Elijah Mohamed and so forth and listened intently to their words. As a result I made a transition in my young life as I began to understand what was taking place around me from a nationalistic perspective. The deeds of the Black Panthers pushed me to act.

3: was your life hard or difficult? With the exception of the loss of my parents, life was not so difficult, in 1962 my father died coming home from work, in 1964 I was devastated with the murder of my mother. She was a guide for me, emphasizing education as a tool with which to change society, so her death caused me a pain I still experience. However her advice, that I learn all that I can, still resides within me.

4: How long have you been incarcerated? I was captured on December 19th 1975 along with the anarchist Ojore Lutalo during a bank expropriation, subsequently other charges were added in relation to the elimination of social parasites from New African communities, ie drug dealers were killed, so I have been interned since that time. The war on drugs was started by New African liberation forces not the US government.

5: Your incarceration over all these years has lead you to see many changes in the struggle, what do you now think of the struggle in America? The struggle lost its popularity because the contradiction between the oppressed and their oppressors became blurred, people think everything is resolved by having money, so it was made available by the oppressor. Now the torch bearers who articulated the logic of struggle against the oppressor nation have either been confined in prison cells for a long time or have a comfortable job. This is no indictment against the movement itself, because just as rapidly as it declined, it can experience a great resurgence given the right opportunities. However we must make great strides, reorganizing ourselves to embrace the difficulties we face. I have no solutions but I will say this: There are some great political minds contained in America’s prisons, which are growing old as their era of life departs, this resource needs to be tapped before it expires. Do not abandon the political prisoners and POW s, they are still insightful with their knowledge and experience.

6: Is there a statement or message you would like to pass on? Yes! Immerse yourselves in learning to apply current technologies to organizing. Your problems, your advances, your struggles can become international in seconds so blog constantly, equip our movement with a new voice, use admirably what is used against you. We have had setbacks due solely to our arrogance, our refusal to change and modify our approach. We have to rebuild our resources by seeking effective new ideas, if we commit to that, I believe we will be successful.

7: Would you do it all over again? Of course, anytime. Free the land, build to win!

Kojo Bomani Sababu Audio

http://www.prisonradio.org/media/audio/kojo-bomani-sababu-grailing-brown

 

Igbo Landing May 1803 a Symbol of African Resistance

FREEING THE SOULS OF IGBO LANDING, THE NEVER-BEEN-RULED. “The Water Spirit Omambala brought us here. The Water Spirit Omambala will carry us home.” (Orimiri Omambala bu anyi bia. Orimiri Omambala ka anyi ga ejina. – Ancient Igbo Hymn)

Igbo Landing (alternatively written as Ibo Landing, Ebo Landing, or Ebos Landing) is a historic site in the sand and marshes of Dunbar Creek in St. Simons Island, Glynn County, Georgia (USA).

THE IGBO LANDING

It was the setting of the final scene of an 1803 resistance of enslaved Igbo people brought from West Africa on slave ships. Its moral value as a story of resistance towards slavery has symbolic importance in African American folklore and literary history.

In May 1803 a shipload of seized West Africans, upon surviving the middle passage, were landed by US-paid captors in Savannah by slave ship, to be auctioned off at one of the local slave markets. The ship’s enslaved passengers included a number of Igbo people from what is now Nigeria. The Igbo were known by planters and slavers of the American South for being fiercely independent and more unwilling to tolerate chattel slavery. The group of Igbo slaves were bought by agents of John Couper and Thomas Spalding for forced labour on their plantations in St. Simons Island.

The chained slaves were packed under the deck of a small vessel named the Morovia to be shipped to the island (other sources write the voyage took place aboard The Schooner York). During this voyage the Igbo slaves rose up in rebellion, taking control of the ship and drowning their captors in the process, causing the grounding of the Morovia in Dunbar Creek at the site now locally known as Ebo Landing [Igbo landing].

 

 

The following sequence of events is unclear as there are several versions concerning the revolt’s development, some of which are considered mythological. Roswell King, a white overseer on the nearby Pierce Butler plantation, wrote one of the only contemporary accounts of the incident which states that as soon as the Igbo landed on St. Simons Island they took to the swamp, committing suicide by walking into Dunbar Creek. A 19th century Savannah-written account of the event lists the surname Patterson for the captain of the ship and Roswell King as the person who recovered the bodies of the drowned.

Historical context

Igbo Landing was the final scene of events which, in the heyday of slavery in the United States in 1803, amounted to a “major act of resistance” and as such these events have led to enduring symbolic importance in African American folklore and literary history.

Currently although the site bears no official historical marker, and a controversial sewage disposal plant was built beside the historical site in the 1940s, it is still routinely visited by historians and tourists. The event has recently been incorporated into the history curriculum in Coastal Georgia Schools.

Mythology and folklore

The story of the Igbo slaves who chose death over a life of slavery is a recurring story that has taken deep roots in African American and Gullah folklore. As is typical of oral histories, the facts have evolved over time, in many cases taking on mythological aspects.

Myth of the water walking Africans

Floyd White, an elderly African-American interviewed by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s is recorded as saying:

”Heard about the Ibo’s Landing? That’s the place where they bring the Ibos over in a slave ship and when they get here, they ain’t like it and so they all start singing and they march right down in the river to march back to Africa, but they ain’t able to get there. They gets drown”.

A typical Gullah telling of the events, incorporating many of the recurrent themes that are common to most myths surrounding the Igbo Landing, is recorded by Linda S. Watts:

”The West Africans upon assessing their situation resolved to risk their lives by walking home over the water rather than submit to the living death that awaited them in American slavery. As the tale has it, the tribes people disembark from the ship, and as a group, turned around and walked along the water, traveling in the opposite direction from the arrival port. As they took this march together, the West Africans joined in song. They are reported to have sung a hymn in which the lyrics assert that the water spirits will take them home. While versions of this story vary in nuance, all attest to the courage in rebellion displayed by the enslaved Igbo.”

Myth of the flying Africans

Another popular legend associated with Igbo Landing known as the myth of the flying Africans was recorded from various oral sources in the 1930s by members of the Federal Writers Project. In these cases, the Africans are reputed to have grown wings or turned themselves into vultures, before flying back home to freedom in Africa. Wallace Quarterman, an African-American born in 1844 who was interviewed in 1930, when asked if he had heard about the Igbo landing states:

”Ain’t you heard about them? Well, at that time Mr. Blue he was the overseer and . . . Mr. Blue he go down one morning with a long whip for to whip them good. . . . Anyway, he whipped them good and they got together and stuck that hoe in the field and then . . . rose up in the sky and turned themselves into buzzards and flew right back to Africa. . . . Everybody knows about them.”

As Professor Terri L. Snyder notes:

”The flying African folktale probably has its historical roots in an 1803 collective suicide by newly imported slaves. A group of Igbo (variously, Ebo or Igbo) captives who had survived the middle passage were sold near Savannah, Georgia, and reloaded onto a small ship bound for St. Simon’s Island. Off the coast of the island, the enslaved cargo, who had “suffered much by mismanagement,” “rose” from their confinement in the small vessel, and revolted against the crew, forcing them into the water where they drowned. After the ship ran aground, the Igbos “took to the marsh” and drowned themselves—an act that most scholars have understood as a deliberate, collective suicide. The site of their fatal immersion was named Ebos Landing. The fate of those Igbo in 1803 gave rise to a distinctive regional folklore and a place name.”

Reported haunting

The Igbo Landing site and surrounding marshes in Dunbar Creek are claimed to be haunted by the souls of the perished Igbo slaves.

Influence on arts and literature

The actual historical events pertaining to the Igbo slave escape in Dunbar Creek, and the associated myth and pathos, have inspired and influenced the works of a number of African American artists.

Examples include Nobel laureate Toni Morrison who used the myth of the flying Africans as the basis for her novel Song of Solomon and Alex Haley who retells the story in Roots. The events also strongly influence the Paule Marshall novel Praisesong for the Widow, and are retold from the context of the surviving Gullah in the Julie Dash feature-length film Daughters of the Dust. Other contemporary artists that allude to, or have integrated the complete tale of the Flying Africans in their work include Joseph Zobel, Maryse Conde, Jamaica Kincaid and Toni Cade Bambara.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igbo_Landing

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Igbo_people_in_Jamaica

Rebellions

Igbo slaves, along with ‘Angolas’ and ‘Congoes’ were most prone to be runaways. In slave runaway advertisements held in Jamaica workhouses in 1803, out of 1046 Africans, 284 were described as ‘Eboes and Mocoes’, 185 ‘Congoes’, 259 ‘Angolas’, 101 ‘Mandingoes’, 70 Coromantees, 60 ‘Chamba’ of Sierra Leone, 57 ‘Nagoes and Pawpaws’, and 30 ‘scattering’. 187 were ‘unclassified’ and 488 were ‘American born negroes and mulattoes’.

Some popular slave rebellions involving Igbo people include:

The 1815 Igbo conspiracy in Jamaica’s Saint Elizabeth Parish which involved around 250 Igbo slaves, described as one of the revolts that contributed to a climate for abolition. A letter by the Governor of Manchester to Bathurst on April 13, 1816 quoted the leaders of the rebellion on trial as saying “that ‘he had all the Eboes in his hand’, meaning to insinuate that all the Negroes from that Country were under his control”. The plot was thwarted and several slaves were executed.

The 1816 Black River rebellion plot which according to Lewis (1834:227—28) only people of ‘Eboe’ origin were involved. This plot was uncovered on March 22, 1816 by a novelist and absentee planter named Matthew Gregory ‘Monk’ Lewis, when he had recorded what Hayward (1985) calls a proto-Calypso revolutionary hymn, sung by a group of Igbo slaves led by the ‘King of the Eboes’. They sung:

Oh me Good friend, Mr. Wilberforce, make we free! God Almighty thank ye! God Almighty thank ye!God Almighty, make we free! Buckra in this country no make we free: What Negro for to do? What Negro for to do? Take force by force! Take force by force!

‘Mr. Wilberforce’ was in reference to William Wilberforce a British politician who was a leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade. ‘Buckra’ was a term introduced by Igbo and Efik slaves in Jamaica to refer to white slave masters.

Culture

Among Igbo cultural items in Jamaica were the Eboe, or Ibo drums popular throughout all of Jamaican music. Food was also influenced, for example the Igbo word ‘mba’ meaning ‘yam root’ was used to describe a type of yam in Jamaica called ‘himba’. Igbo and Akan slaves affected drinking culture among the black population in Jamaica, using alcohol in ritual and libation. In Igboland as well as on the Gold Coast, palm wine was used on these occasions and had to be substituted by rum in Jamaica because of the absence of palm wine. Jonkonnu, a parade that is held in many West Indian nations, has been attributed to the Njoku Ji ‘yam-spirit cult’, Okonko and Ekpe of the Igbo, and several masquerades of the Kalabari and Igbo have similar appearance to those of Jonkonnu maskers.

Much of Jamaican mannerisms and gestures themselves have a wider African origin and an Igbo origin. Some examples of such behaviours are evident in the influences of the Igbo language in patois with actions such as ‘sucking-teeth’ coming from the Igbo ‘ima osu’ or ‘imu oso’ and ‘cutting-eye’ from Igbo ‘iro anya’. There was also a suggestion of the Igbo introducing communication through eye movements…

John Brown & The Pottawatomie Rifles/Abolitionist Led a Raid on Pro-Slavery Settlement in Kansas & Liberated 11 Slaves From Missouri May 24 -25 1856

May 24, John Brown and 7 other abolitionists killed 5 pro-slavery men. Along Pottawatomie creek. Kansas collapsed into Civil War. 200 killed on both sides in ensuing riots.

May 24, 1856 The Pottawatomie Massacre occurred lasting until the morning of May 25, 1856 and Liberated 11 Slaves in Missouri, It was led by anti-slavery abolitionist, John Brown. Most sources I found failed to mention that this was in retaliation for the attack on an anti-slavery town of Lawrence, Kansas by pro-slavers. History repeats John Brown’s actions but, leaves out the aggressive actions of those who were for slavery. This is my first time ever hearing of the reason for the Pottawatomie Massacre.

 

Some of those who were with John Brown on his anti-slavery campaigns were former slaves.

http://www.civilwaronthewesternborder.org/content/pottawatomie-massacre-0

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/brown/peopleevents/pande07.html

http://www.ushistory.org/us/31d.asp

http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/john-brown.html

The Runaway Enslaved New Afrikan Oney ” Ona ” Judge Who Was Never Caught , George Washington Places Reward Ad May 23 1796 For Her Return ,

MAY 23rd, 1796
_
Ad Offers Reward for Return of Runaway Slave to President George Washington On May 23, 1796, a newspaper ad was submitted for publication that sought the return of Ona “Oney” Judge, an enslaved black woman who had “absconded from the household of the President of the United States,” George Washington. Ms. Judge had successfully escaped slavery two days earlier, fleeing Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and settling in freedom in New Hampshire. In the ad, she is described as “a light mulatto girl, much freckled, with very black eyes and bushy black hair. She is of middle stature, slender, and delicately formed, about 20 years of age.
__
” Known to the Washingtons as “Oney,” Ms. Judge was a dower slave given to Martha Washington by her father and had been held as part of the Washington estate since she was ten years old. As George Washington gained political clout, Ms. Judge traveled with the family to states with varying slave ownership rules, including Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania’s Gradual Abolition Act of 1780 guaranteed slaves of non-residents freedom after living in Pennsylvania for six months, and this provision would have applied to Ms. Judge. However, to avoid enforcement of the law and emancipation of their slaves, the Washingtons regularly sent their slaves out of state to restart the six-month residency requirement.
_
When her eldest granddaughter, Eliza Custis, married, Martha Washington promised to leave Ms. Judge to the new couple as a gift in her will. Distressed that she would be doomed to slavery even after Martha Washington died, Ms. Judge resolved to run. On the night of May 21, 1796, while the Washingtons were packing to return to Mt. Vernon, Ms. Judge made her escape from Philadelphia on a ship destined for Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She had befriended many slaves in Philadelphia and they helped her to send her belongings to New Hampshire before her escape. The Washingtons tried several times to apprehend Ms. Judge, hiring head-hunters and issuing runaway slave advertisements like the one submitted on May 23, which offered a $10 reward for her return. Ms. Judge evaded capture. She lived, married, and had several children as a free woman in New Hampshire. She died, still free, on February 25, 1848.
__

It’s always 1799 at Mount Vernon, where more than a million visitors annually see the property as it was just before Washington’s death, when his will famously freed all 123 of his slaves. That liberation did not apply to Ona Judge, one of 153 slaves held by Martha Washington.

But Judge, it turned out, evaded the Washingtons’ dogged (and sometimes illegal) efforts to recapture her, and would live quietly in New Hampshire for another 50 years. Now her story — and the challenge it offers to the notion that Washington somehow transcended the seamy reality of slaveholding — is having its fullest airing yet.

“We have the famous fugitives, like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass,” Ms. Dunbar, a professor of black studies and history at the University of Delaware, said in an interview in Mount Vernon’s 18th-century-style food court. “But decades before them, Ona Judge did this. I want people to know her story!

Oney “Ona” Judge (c.1773—February 25, 1848), known as Oney Judge Staines after marriage, was a mixed-race slave on George Washington’s plantation, Mount Vernon, in Virginia. Beginning in 1789, she worked as a personal slave to First Lady Martha Washington in the presidential households in New York City and Philadelphia.

With the aid of Philadelphia’s free black community, Judge escaped to freedom in 1796 and lived as a fugitive slave in New Hampshire for the rest of her life.

More is known about her than any other of the Mount Vernon slaves because she was twice interviewed by abolitionist newspapers in the mid-1840s.

Betty had been among the 285 African slaves held by Martha Washington’s first husband, Daniel Parke Custis (1711–1757). Custis died intestate (without a will), so his widow received a “dower share” – the lifetime use of one third of his Estate, which included at least 85 enslaved Africans, Martha had control over these “dower” slaves, but did not have the legal power to sell or free them. Upon Martha’s marriage to George Washington in 1759, the dower slaves came with her to Mount Vernon, including Betty and then-infant Austin.

Haki Kweli Shakur August Third Collective NAPLA NAIM 5-23- 52 ADM MOI

 

Under the legal principle of partus sequitur ventrem, incorporated into Virginia colonial law in 1662, the legal status of a child was the same as that of the enslaved mother, no matter who the father was. Because Betty was a dower slave, Austin, Oney and Delphy also were dower slaves, owned by the Custis Estate. Upon the completion of his indenture, Andrew Judge settled in Alexandria, Virginia, some 11 miles away.

The Escape

Judge fled as the Washingtons were preparing to return to Virginia for a short trip between sessions of Congress. Martha Washington had informed her that she was to be given as a wedding present to the First Lady’s granddaughter. Judge recalled in an 1845 interview:

“Whilst they were packing up to go to Virginia, I was packing to go, I didn’t know where; for I knew that if I went back to Virginia, I should never get my liberty. I had friends among the colored people of Philadelphia, had my things carried there beforehand, and left Washington’s house while they were eating dinner.”

Runaway advertisements in Philadelphia newspapers document Judge’s escape to freedom from the President’s House on May 21, 1796. This one appeared in The Philadelphia Gazette & Universal Daily Advertiser on May 24, 1796:

 

Absconded from the household of the President of the United States, ONEY JUDGE, a light mulatto girl, much freckled, with very black eyes and bushy hair. She is of middle stature, slender, and delicately formed, about 20 years of age.

She has many changes of good clothes, of all sorts, but they are not sufficiently recollected to be described—As there was no suspicion of her going off, nor no provocation to do so, it is not easy to conjecture whither she has gone, or fully, what her design is; but as she may attempt to escape by water, all masters of vessels are cautioned against admitting her into them, although it is probable she will attempt to pass for a free woman, and has, it is said, wherewithal to pay her passage.

Ten dollars will be paid to any person who will bring her home, if taken in the city, or on board any vessel in the harbour;—and a reasonable additional sum if apprehended at, and brought from a greater distance, and in proportion to the distance.

FREDERICK KITT, Steward. May 23

May 19th Communist Organization( M19CO) / Ho Chi Minh & Malcolm X

The May 19th Communist Organization was a US-based revolutionary organization formed by members of the Weather Underground Organization. It also included members of the Black Liberation Army, Black Panthers and the Republic of New Africa (RNA). The alliance between the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army had three objectives: 1. Free political prisoners in US prisons; 2. Appropriate capitalist wealth (Appropriations) to fund the third stage, and 3. Initiate a series of Strategic Attacks

May 19 Communist Order (M19CO), also known as Armed Resistance Unit, May 19 Communist Coalition, Red Guerrilla Resistance, Resistance Conspiracy, Revolutionary Fighting Group is an inactive group formed c. 1983.

This image is taken from the Clifford Glover Contingent’s Coloring Book published by the May 19th Communist Organization. Clifford Glover was a 10-year-old black youth murdered by Thomas Shea, a white on-duty, undercover policeman, on April 28, 1973. His death, and the policeman’s later acquittal for a murder charge, led to an urban rebellion in the South Jamaica section of Queens, New York. The inside cover of the coloring book reads:

“We want our children to be part of building this new socialist society. That is why we built the Clifford Glover Brigade for our young people to march with us today, under the leadership of the Black Liberation struggle. We want them to understand that a system that survives through the murder of Black children by killer cops and the klan provides no future for them. But for them to live in a better world, they must start fighting for it by fighting white supremacy now. That is the way that they will learn new values and can grow into young revolutionary women and men.”

-Solidarity Statement from May 19th Communist Organization in recognition of New Afrikan Freedom Fighter Day, July 18, 1981.

The May 19th Communist Organization (also variously referred to as the May 19 Coalition, May 19 Communist Coalition, and various alternatives of M19CO), was a US-based, self-described revolutionary organization formed by members of the Weather Underground Organization. The group was originally known as the New York chapter of the Prairie Fire Organizing Committee (PFOC), an organization devoted to legally promoting the causes of the Weather Underground. This was part of Prairie Fire Manifesto change in Weather Underground Organization strategy, which demanded both aboveground mass and clandestine organizations. The role of the clandestine organization would be to build the “consciousness of action” and prepare the way for the development of a people’s militia. Concurrently, the role of the mass movement (i.e., above ground Prairie Fire Collective) would include support for, and encouragement of, armed action. Such an alliance would, according to Weather, “help create the ‘sea’ for the guerrillas to swim in.” The M19CO name was derived from the birthdays of Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X. The May 19 Communist Organization was active from 1978 to 1985. M19CO was a combination of the Black Liberation Army and the Weather Underground. It also included members of the Black Panthers and the Republic of New Africa (RNA).

Haki Kweli Shakur – 5-19th-52 ADM August Third Collective NAPLA NAIM  ( May 19th Ho Chi Minh , Yuri Kochiyama , Malcolm X Birth Days ( Malcolm X Day ) 2017

 

From 1982 to 1985 M19CO committed a series of bombings, including bombings of the National War College, the Washington Navy Yard Computing Center, the Israeli Aircraft Industries Building, New York City’s South African consulate, the Washington Navy Yard Officers’ Club, New York City’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, and the United States Capitol Building. Three officers were killed during the Brinks Robbery, but no one was injured or killed in their bombings, Almost all the M19CO members were all convicted in a US Court of Law for these offenses, but Elizabeth Ann Duke remains at large.

In 1979 three members walked into the visitor’s center at the Clinton Correctional Facility for Women near Clinton, took two guards hostage, and freed Assata Shakur, a member of the Black Liberation Army. Shakur was serving a sentence of life plus 26 to 33 years for the murder of a state trooper. Several months later they arranged for the escape of William Morales, a member of the Puerto Rican separatist group, the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN), from Bellevue Hospital in New York City where he was recovering after a bomb he was building exploded in his hands. In 1981 Weather Underground members Kathy Boudin, Judith Alice Clark, and David Gilbert, together with several members of the Black Liberation Army, participated in the robbery of a Brinks armored car at the Nanuet Mall, near Nyack, New York, during which a Brinks guard and two Nyack police officers were killed. Upon her arrest Boudin was identified as a member of the May 19 Communist Organization.
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Jan. 28, 1983, M19CO bombed the federal building on Staten Island, N.Y.
April 25, 1983, they were responsible for a bombing at the National War College at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.
November 7th, 1983 US Senate Bombing
August 18, 1983, bombed Washington Navy Yard Computer Center April 5, 1984, Bombed the Israeli Aircraft Industries Building April 20, 1984, bombing at the Washington Navy Yard Officers Club On November 3, 1984, two members of the M19CO, Susan Rosenberg and Timothy Blunk, were arrested at a mini-warehouse they had rented in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Police recovered more than 100 blasting caps, nearly 200 sticks of dynamite, more than 100 cartridges of gel explosive, and 24 bags of blasting agent from the warehouse. September 26, 1984, bombed the South African consulate The M19CO alliance’s last bombing was on February 23, 1985, at the Policemen’s Benevolent Association in New York City.

By May 23, 1985, all members of the group had been arrested, with the exception of Elizabeth Duke, who remains a fugitive. At a 1986 trial, group members Laura Whitehorn, Timothy Blunk, Alan Berkman, Susan Rosenberg, Marilyn Buck and Linda Evans were tried and convicted of multiple counts of domestic terrorism in the Resistance Conspiracy case. The Black Liberation Army members; including Jeral Wayne Williams (aka Mutulu Shakur), Donald Weems (aka Kuwasi Balagoon), Samuel Smith, Nathaniel Burns (aka Sekou Odinga), Cecilio “Chui” Ferguson, Samuel Brown (aka Solomon Bouines Turned Snitch Informant) were also all eventually captured by 1986 and sentenced to long prison terms.

3 Freedom Fighters , Same Birthday , Liberation Heros , Ho Chi Minh , Yuri Kochiyama , Malcolm X

May 19th is a significant day for all people who wish for liberation, who understand the need for war, and are committed to the idea of a world beyond this one where US Empire stands on top of the world’s people extracting their very lives for an opulent and degenerate life of the big bourgeoisie.

The lives of Ho Chi Minh, Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), and Yuri Kochiyama provide for us the experience of fighters who have lived and died going up against imperialism and fought broadly for the world’s people. Oddly these three remarkable figures, born on the same day have an interconnectedness in their lives which is quite concrete. They lived in the tumultuous time of anti-colonial struggle and communist inspired revolution.

This marked their lives and their practice. Particularly the dimensions of all three of their lives mark a certain solidarity of the world’s people in a moment where US Imperialism and the colonial remnants of the wounded European powers were under attack from the insurgent people of the world’s oppressed majority. Particularly what needs to be highlighted is the Afro-Asian connection here.

This revolutionary internationalist spirit was led by the world’s oppressed nationalities and colonial people’s, engaged in armed struggle and joined in an auxiliary role a section of the most advanced working people and intellectuals in the metropoles. More to the point the historical accident of these three figures being born on the same day gives us the great opportunity to illustrate, by way of example, the need for revolutionary thought, practice, and ultimately will and spirit which brings to issue the problematic of liberation for the world’s oppressed and exploited majority faced with a structurally decaying white supremacist system.

The legacy of the two comrades Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X were not lost years after their death when communist militants and insurgents actively named themselves the May 19th Communist Organization (M19CO) which combined forces of former Weather, BLA, and others to work as a advanced detachment of a revolutionary character.

This piece hopes to clarify, within the perspective of a proletarian internationalism, the lives of these three figures in their intersections of the general struggle of the world’s oppressed and exploited majority. To detail in particular an Afro-Asian solidarity in a time of anti-colonial struggle, the influence of this in regards to each of these individuals political transformations, and the general struggle for self-determination of oppressed nationality people.

 

 

Ho Chi Minh

Uncle Ho
Ho Chi Minh was a Vietnamese Marxist-Leninist. He was born in 1890 to an educated family. His father was a Confucian scholar and a magistrate under the King who had resigned in protest of the colonial domination of the country. Ho attended a school in the city of Hue where he learned under a French curriculum, a school where General Giap (commander of Vietnamese Liberation Army) later attended. He later taught briefly at another school.

He ended up working and travelling the world as a cook in a streamliner ship. Most of Ho’s life in the years of 1912 and 1918 is unknown. He had lived in Harlem and attended the meetings of Marcus Garvey’s organization and speeches according to himself. He was certainly influenced by Garvey and the struggle of the New Afrikan people in the Western hemisphere, particularly in the United States. He had even penned an article in 1924 on the KKK and its oppression of New Afrikan people he writes

It is well known that the Black race is the most oppressed and the most exploited of the human family. It is well known that the spread of capitalism and the discovery of the New World had as an immediate result the rebirth of slavery, which was for centuries a scourge for the Negroes and a bitter disgrace for mankind. What everyone does not perhaps know is that after sixty-five years of so-called emancipation, American Negroes still endure atrocious moral and material sufferings, of which the most cruel and horrible is the custom of lynching… The victory of the Federal Government had just freed the Negroes and made them citizens.

The agriculture of the South – deprived of its Black labor, was short of hands. Former landlords were exposed to ruin. The Klansmen proclaimed the principle of the supremacy of the white race. Anti-Negro was their only policy. The agrarian and slaveholding bourgeoisie saw in the Klan a useful agent, almost a savior. They gave it all the help in their power.

At this point of writing the article, Ho Chi Minh has already joined the international communist movement after attempts to secure the rights of self-determination through the Allies Versaille Peace Treaty at the end of World War II. Ho is a prominent figure within the Communist movement arguing against the national chauvinism of the European Communist parties in not giving any serious attention to the colonies of their home countries.

In a report to the Comintern he states …Comrade Stalin spoke of the viewpoint which held that the European proletarians can achieve success without a direct alliance with the liberation movement in the colonies. And he considered this a counter-revolutionary viewpoint. But if we judge from practice to make our theoretical examination, we are entitled to say that our big Parties, excepting the Soviet Communist Party, still hold the above-mentioned viewpoint because they are inactive in this matter… As for our Communist Parties in Great Britain, Holland, Belgium and other countries – what have they done to cope with the colonial invasions perpetrated by the bourgeois. class of their countries?

What have they done from the day they accepted Lenin’s political programme to educate the working class of their countries in the spirit of just internationalism, and that of close contact with the working. masses in the colonies? What our Parties have done in this domain is almost worthless. As for me, I was born in a French colony, and am a member of the French Communist Party, and I am very sorry to say that our Communist Party has done hardly anything for the colonies.

Ho Chi Minh would end up returning to Vietnam helped to form the Indochinese Communist Party and leading the struggle for Vietnamese liberation. The struggle of the heroic Vietnamese people under the Communist Party leadership would end up shattering two imperialist powers, and providing a strong basis and impetus for the whole world’s people to rise against the racist imperialist system.

Malcolm X

Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)
Malik El-Shabazz, or as we popularly know him, Malcolm X was a black nationalist figure throughout the civil rights era of struggle. Malcolm and other black nationalist figures are ingrained by the earlier movement of the UNIA and the syncretic groupings which had preached black self-determination and opposed participation within the white supremacist structure.

Such refusal saw Elijah Muhammad put to jail for refusing the draft. Malcolm himself spoke his mind too truthfully when he told the draft staff that he couldn’t wait to get his hands on guns and kill crackers. When Malcolm X became a minister of Nation of Islam he was immediately a target of investigation of the state.

Malcolm already in the middle of 1950 was also speaking out in support or understanding of the anti-colonial struggles, even Vietnam (which then was fighting French colonialism). Malcolm was making transitions throughout his life which brought him from a black nationalist and conservative worldview he had inherited from the Nation of Islam to a more internationalist world view. He began drawing lessons from the anti-colonial struggles which can be seen in his speech on the Ballot or the Bullet.

I just want to give you a little briefing on guerrilla warfare because, before you know it, before you know it. It takes heart to be a guerrilla warrior because you’re on your own. In conventional warfare you have tanks and a whole lot of other people with you to back you up—planes over your head and all that kind of stuff.

But a guerrilla is on his own. All you have is a rifle, some sneakers and a bowl of rice, and that’s all you need—and a lot of heart. The Japanese on some of those islands in the Pacific, when the American soldiers landed, one Japanese sometimes could hold the whole army off. He’d just wait until the sun went down, and when the sun went down they were all equal. He would take his little blade and slip from bush to bush, and from American to American.

The white soldiers couldn’t cope with that. Whenever you see a white soldier that fought in the Pacific, he has the shakes, he has a nervous condition, because they scared him to death. The same thing happened to the French up in French Indochina. People who just a few years previously were rice farmers got together and ran the heavily-mechanized French army out of Indochina. You don’t need it—modern warfare today won’t work. This is the day of the guerrilla.

They did the same thing in Algeria. Algerians, who were nothing but Bedouins, took a rine and sneaked off to the hills, and de Gaulle and all of his highfalutin’ war machinery couldn’t defeat those guerrillas. Nowhere on this earth does the white man win in a guerrilla warfare. It’s not his speed.

Just as guerrilla warfare is prevailing in Asia and in parts of Africa and in parts of Latin America, you’ve got to be mighty naive, or you’ve got to play the black man cheap, if you don’t think some day he’s going to wake up and find that it’s got to be the ballot or the bullet.

What Malcolm was drawing an analytic lesson from in the struggle against imperialism and colonialism is the legacy of People’s War. That is a weakly equipped force can beat a superior force with modern weaponry. That, as Mao has stated, the imperialists are paper tigers who can be defeated even on the plane of war provided that you rely upon the people.

Though Malcolm here even utilizes the Japanese as an example, sardonically relying on those even the American bourgeoisie have lionized as brave fierce fighters, why were the Americans eventually the winner against Japanese Imperialism? Japan didn’t rely upon the people of the East, it oppressed them, therefore it had no backing from the people in its war with America besides the nationalist sentiment of its own people.

Against French imperialism, Algerian and Vietnamese people defeated the stronger country because they waged a protracted war relying on the people. So here Malcolm’s emerging thought of ballot or bullet was encouraged by the national liberation struggles. Malcolm was unfortunately assassinated by agents of US Imperialism and proto-fascist forces in 1964.

However as a figure he helped move thousands of the most advanced black fighters and youth in the liberation struggle towards a black nationalism with a militant internationalist perspective. How Malcolm shaped the discourse of a new emerging militancy among all liberation fighters in the country can be seen readily afterwards in the formations created which combined revolutionary communist politics with black nationalist aspirations – Black Panther Party, League of Revolutionary Black Workers, Congress of Afrikan People which upheld Malcolm X and adopted a Marxist-Leninist Mao Zedong Thought inspired politics. Even radically transforming the thought of young white revolutionaries in Students for a Democratic Society which began moving closer to Maoism and organizations like I Wor Kuen (Chinese-American Communist Organization), Young Lords Party (Puerto Rican Nationalist Organization influenced and developed into a MLM organization).

Yuri Kochiyama

Yuri Kochiyama
Yuri Kochiyama is a figure less well known then the last two, and she is still alive today at the age of 91. We recommend for those unfamiliar with her life to read the interview conducted by the Revolutionary Worker , the former paper of the Revolutionary Communist Party-USA. Mrs. Kochiyama spent a good portion of her young adult life in a concentration camp of Japanese people in the US, 70% were citizens.

Yuri moved with her husband to Harlem in 1960 and was already active in human rights work. She met Malcolm X and began working with him around human rights projects, was a member of his Organization for Afro-American Unity, and was present when Malcolm was murdered. Yuri was also a participant in taking over the statue of liberty with Puerto Rican independence activists. She was pivotal in the movements to free Mumia and end nuclear proliferation. She has been a consistent friend of the people. She has prominently defended the revolutions in both the Philippines, Peru, and elsewhere and is keeping it strong approaching her 90s.

Despite the very small active base of Japanese-Americans involved in struggle for liberation, Yuri is an important figure and worker for liberation precisely because while jettisoned by the persecution and internment of her own family and community, she actively took up the struggle of the world’s majority.

Where today much of AAPI work and discourse is based in quite petty-bourgeois identerianism – issues of microagressions, visibility, etc. – she stands as a figure that breaks from the superficial and aims towards the core of imperialism. Particularly her relationship to other national liberation organizations fighting for self-determination, as a working active figure within this milieu, set her apart from many others.

Tet Offensive

Be Brave Fighters, Fight National Oppression, Grasp Internationalism
We leave off with three points of analysis that can be drawn from these figures’ lives:

1) Fighters for revolution and liberation must be brave against the intent of the state to crush us out. Revolution depends on the masses of people concretely, and we’re often childish and foolish figures in comparison to the masses themselves. However dedication and immersion into the people, learning from them, and committing oneself to struggle can allow us to help organize and lead the masses against the reactionary classes.

While these three figures are mere individuals, remarkable figures they’re in history, precisely because of their dedication of their life in fighting colonialism and imperialism concretely. But this means one needs to prepare for struggle and emulate characters by virtue of revolutionary practice, not mere idolization. How many young people we know today who laud these figures but yet actively do nothing with their relative freedom to conduct work for liberation?

This idol culture must be changed and it can only be done so by looking reality in the face with them about our position today. These figures had no special caliber above anyone else and are made of flesh and bone. Ho lived his life in obscurity and in perpetual hiding losing all sorts of privilege to be gained if he simply bought in with colonialism. Malcolm ended up being murdered by the agents of US imperialism and proto-fascists for standing his ground in fighting for new organizational direction of an emerging Black liberation movement.

Yuri Kochiyama has spent all her decades fighting alongside the people, driven by her solidarity with those who face the harsh repression of the state. It is hard to brave such things and harder to stay committed towards transformation which means liberation for the world’s oppressed and exploited majority. There are of course many questions that need be answered; however it is certain that we won’t win anything if we keep to an impoverished line that refuses to ultimately commit to the prospects of losing one’s life in this struggle.

And with those have too much to lose or perhaps are too frightened at the prospect of such things, there needs to be a network of support to those comrades who are ultimately heading towards this direction and already face the state. Revolution is in the end not a dinner party. It is where one class overthrows and liquidates another, how will that happen?

2) In the struggle for liberation there needs to be recognition that while the structure of world imperialism has changed and there has been significant gains made by the world’s oppressed in fighting colonialism, much of this has taken a new structure that protects the old form of colonialism or more simply has even regressed back to the old.

Throughout the world US imperialism has its bases, is fighting war and preparing for new ones, is cooperating with its puppet states in putting down insurrections and people’s wars. National liberation and the right to self-determination is still on the table, but perhaps the character of it has changed significantly considering the degeneration of some of these movements themselves into comprador agents of neo-liberalism.

In the new struggle for division of the world with BRICS against the old European States, a new scramble for Africa itself, etc. We must defend the right of people to self-determination against colonialism in Puerto Rico for example, against neo-colonialism throughout much of the world including the Philippines. In the territorial United States this struggle still continues in the struggle for the rights of oppressed nations, including that of self-determination, among New Afrikan people in the South, Chican@s and other Latin@s in the Southwest, Indigenous peoples’ throughout the continent, and of course in each internal colonial ghettos of the urban cities.

3) Internationalism means the whole world comes first. That is we need to fight against perspectives of provincialism, localism, and even nationalism in our work because they are not compatible with a revolutionary strategy for liberation. This is not contradictory of course with fighting for national liberation and the right of self-determination.

Mao Zedong said one can be patriotic but must be an internationalist at the same time. Closing our world view to a particular people, to a particular problem, is in the end drawing ourselves to a communitarianism which can turn reactionary. We need to place the issue of internationalism in the forefront so we can assess and strike decisive blows to the enemy, which is a world system of imperialism at this stage – not simply local reactionaries.

We need to make aim armed with a worldview to deliver blow after blow against the enemy strategically and to unite with those comrades around the world who are engaged in concrete manifestations of global class struggle against imperialism. With those who are nationalists but not yet internationalists (let alone communists) we can and should unite to fight against imperialism but also challenge their worldview and hopefully win people over in struggle and change their position to that of patriotism, of love for their community of people, combined with internationalism.

It is incorrect for those of us who are internationalists who are part of an oppressed nationality community to simply up and leave those communities for something else. It is in the end a line which renders us unable to grasp the oppressed majority and link with them in their struggles and experiences to fight for liberation.

Comrades and friends!

We are fighting a capitalist world system we call imperialism. It is a system of exploitation and oppression. It is a system of exploitation of working classes, national and colonial oppression, and the submission of women under men; It is descriptively and characteristically a class system of exploitation which is white supremacist, patriarchal-masculinist, and heterosexist.

Study the lives of Ho Chi Minh, Malcolm X, and Yuri Kochiyama!

All Power to the People!

Smash the State!

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