Honoring Harriet Tubman


National Historic Park Honoring Harriet Tubman May Soon Become a Reality

Kirstin Fawcett

Harriet Tubman’s residence near Auburn, New York is now closer than ever to becoming an official national historic park, the Associated Press reports.

According to New York state senator Charles Schumer, the Department of the Interior has finalized a land transfer agreement that allows for the National Park Service to create the park. Now, all the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park needs to become a reality is approval from the secretary of the interior. (Congress approved legislation to create the park in December 2014, along with a similar park near Tubman’s birthplace on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.)

In 1859, the famed Underground Railroad conductor moved to the Auburn area—then home to a strong abolitionist community—after New York senator William Seward offered to sell her his home. Tubman lived there with her parents, and in 1896, purchased 25 acres of adjoining land to build a housing community for elderly African-Americans, eventually called the Harriet Tubman Home for the Aged. In 1903, Tubman deeded the home to a local church, the Thompson Memorial AME Zion Church, on the condition that they manage the home.

The Harriet Tubman National Historical Park will include several properties, Syracuse.com reports. The land transfer deal approved by the Department of the Interior allows for the Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. and AME Zion Church to sell its ownership of the church and the Home for the Aged Rectory to the federal government. Meanwhile, Tubman’s former home, the Home for the Aged, and a historic barn will be jointly run by the National Park Service and Harriet Tubman Home, Inc. through a preservation easement.

“As a New Yorker and an American, I’m deeply proud to see Tubman Park finally become a reality,” Schumer said in a statement quoted by Syracuse.com. “The Tubman Historic Park in Auburn will be a magnet for visitors that will tell the amazing story of Harriet Tubman’s life, an extraordinary American, and her story deserves to be shared with our children and grandchildren. This park will serve that solemn purpose and preserve her legacy for countless generations to come.”

 

 

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I Like To Think of Harriet Tubman
by Susan Griffin

I like to think of Harriet Tubman.
Harriet Tubman who carried a revolver,
who had a scar on her head from a rock through
by a slave-master (because she
talked back), and who
had a ransom on her head
of thousands of dollars and who
was never caught, and who
had no use for the law
when the law was wrong,
who defied the law, I like
to think of her.
I like to think of her especially
when I think of the problem of
feeding children.

The legal answer
to the problem of feeding children
is ten free lunches every month,
being equal, in the child’s real life,
to eating lunch every other day.
Monday, but not Tuesday.
I like to think of the President
eating lunch Monday, but not
Tuesday.
And when I think of the President
and the law, and the problem of
feeding children, I like to
think of Harriet Tubman
and her revolver.

And then sometimes
I think of the President
and other men,
men who practice the law,
who revere the law,
who make the law,
who enforce the law
who live behind
and operate through
and feed themselves
at the expense of
starving children
because of the law,
men who sit in paneled offices
and think about vacations
and tell women
whose care it is
to feed children
not to be hysterical
not to be hysterical as in the word
hysterikos, the greek for
womb suffering,
not to suffer in their wombs,
not to care,
not to bother the men
because they want to think
of other things
and do not want
to take the women seriously.
I want them
to take women seriously
I want them to think about Harriet Tubman,
and remember,
remember she was beat by a white man
and she lived
and she lived to redress her grievances
and she lived in swamps
and wore the clothes of a man
bringing hundreds of fugitives from
slavery, and was never caught,
and led an army,
and won a battle,
and defied the laws
because the laws were wrong, I want men
to take us seriously.
I am tired of wanting them to think
about right and wrong.
I want them to fear.
I want them to feel fear now
as I have felt suffering in the womb, and
I want them
to know
that there is always a time
there is always a time to make right
what is wrong,
there is always a time
for retribution
and that time
is beginning.

 

 

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The African American and their his/herstory with Missionaries.

The African American and their his/herstory with Missionaries.

 

 

 

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Nat Turner and the Forgotten Women Who Resisted Slavery


Nat Turner and the Forgotten Women Who Resisted Slavery

 

Colman Domingo as “Hark” and Aja Naomi King as "Cherry" in THE BIRTH OF A NATION. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Colman Domingo as “Hark” and Aja Naomi King as “Cherry” in THE BIRTH OF A NATION. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

 

 

BJSquiggel

I dedicate this post to the thousands of men and women who were sold into slavery and treated like animals. My heart is heavy for you and I can’t tell you but I  will work for your grandchildren and great grandchildren. I will speak for them and support them. I will stand up for them. They are equal to me and my grandchildren.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

 

Slavery in the Old South

Slavery in the Old South

Truth No One Wants to Talk About


 

America has a lot to be ashamed about in our history. The are four huge things I am going to mention. There are others, and though we like to think of ourselves as the standard that all countries should strive for, we are not. The first is our indigenous population, the many tribes of Native Americans who lived here for centuries before white Europeans came to these shores.  I am sure it was unnerving to have the strange colored and strangely dressed people arrive at their shores, yet they welcomed these new people.

 

Despite the myth of Thanksgiving, we came and brought disease and began to take their land. They had been the caretakers of all of this beautiful land that comprises America for centuries. The land was lush and fertile. It was full of wild animals, including buffalo. There was more than enough bounty to go around. The indigenous people did not pollute the water or the air. They proudly took care of their land. White people came in an took the land and killed the “American Indians” or fought them in bloody battles. White people would not give up so they killed thousands of braves, the women and children. We “gave” them little patches of worthless land (that they already owned) and made treaties that weren’t worth the paper they were written on. Still to this day, they care for Mother Earth as best as they can.

 

Our second shame is the issue of slavery. The first black men were brought to Jamestown in chains in the 1600’s. They were brought to sell to people who wanted them to do work their new owners didn’t want to do. The south became the biggest owner of slaves because of the plantations and crops such as tobacco, cotton and sugar cane. There were some slaves early on in the north but the practice didn’t last long. The 1840 census showed that New Hampshire had one slave.

 

Today slavery is long gone, thanks to a war. Even after the Civil War, the South enacted segregation and an organization called the Klu Klux Klan was formed. It was made up of cowardly southern men who rode at night under white sheets lynching Black people, beating them up. Setting themselves up as judge, jury and executioner for the helpless black people.

 

We now have our first black president and I voted for him twice. His Presidency has brought out the racism that is still alive and well in America. Which brings me to the group Black Lives Matter. I believe in Black Lives Matter. There is no need for White Lives Matter because here in America White lives are the only lives that matter in the eyes of too many people, and often in the eyes of the law.

 

In 1947, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and much of our Navy Fleet was lost. We lost many sailors and navy nurses. The attack was a terrible shock to America. My father kept a file about the attack that I found in 1984 when he died. Japan had woken the sleeping Tiger that was the U.S., and they payed the ultimate price, unfortunately. After the Pearl Harbor attack, came our third great shame, when we rounded up all Japanese people and some who looked oriental and put them in internment camps. We even included the Japanese who were born here and had lived in America their entire lives. Why? The were different. They were a different color, and LOOKED like the enemy, so they were judged to BE the enemy.

 

In 2001, we were attacked again by religious Jihadists. The hit us in three locations: The Pentagon, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and a hijacked plane that was brought down by the passengers rather than let it fly to Washington DC. This attack was allegedly done “in the name of Islam” (although Islam is a peaceful religion) and over 3000 people were directly killed and many first responders have died since. Our fourth shame comes in because many here in America blame every Muslim. The vast majority of Muslims had no more idea of what was going to happen on September 11 than any non-Muslim, and are just as hurt, angered and appalled. But, because we are scared, we want to make all Muslims responsible. It’s easier for us to blame them because they often are a different color and dress differently, but this is not fair. Some want to keep all Muslims out of America. This is not right, and goes against everything America stands for, particularly the 1st Amendment Right of Freedom of Religion. There are many Muslims who are as peaceful and loving in their religious beliefs as anyone else, and should be able to come here and live.

 

Despite all the wrongs we have done to the Native Americans, they are now finally using their right to protest. They are protesting the continuation of the pipeline through their lands in the Dakotas. Whites should care as much about this land as do the descents of those from whom it was stolen. Native Americans are still taking of Mother Earth. Please listen to the important video below. Listen and take a stand. One you can be proud of.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

” I, too, am America.” – Langston Hughes


 

I have been thinking about Black Lives Matter.

 

First of all, I am totally behind this movement. In fact, I hope it grows by leaps and bounds. I also wish it started a couple of hundred years ago. This is not realistic, I know, but I wish it were.

 

I have been writing at different times about Black Americans  who, through luck or circumstance, have made a difference in the world;  enough of a difference that history records their deeds and contributions to civilizations. Inventors, freedom fighters, writers, fighters for freedom, poets, doctors and others.

 

Because every black life matters, I want to take the time to honor every black person who survived every day of their life in slavery. They all matter. Every black person who lived through segregation matters; From the domestics who worked for white people, to those who drank at the black water fountain to those who rode at the back of buses. Black men who were referred to as “boy”;  any black person who was referred to as “nigger”: You all shine to me. Your courage and strength of character is amazing. You were brave and tread where angels feared to go.

 

Since there has been integration — at the cost of hundreds of black lives and Martin Luther King Jr. , JFK and Bobby Kennedy — there have been some improvements. My children and grandchildren went to school with and are friends with black people and other minorities, including Native Americans.

 

Today, there should be no more racism. In America alone, there are millions of black people who have so much to give. What they need is for us white, Caucasian, people to let go of racism and give them a chance at educations equal to what our children receive.

 

Black parents need to tell your children that they are wonderful and smart and will be successful in life. However to do this, they need to be able to stop spending time teaching their children what to do when the inevitable cop stops them because of the color of their skin. How to answer their questions, where their hands should be, the tone of voice they should use: the type of training white children never receive because no cop will stop and frisk them for being white.

 

In another life, I marched and picketed in many cities in different states including Washington DC. I never got arrested. I believe my whiteness had a lot to do with that. I can have a sarcastic voice, so I doubt it was because I was so sweet.

 

American society has pushed the black portion of our society about as far as they are willing to go. I don’t blame them. Would your white friends take what black people are expected to swallow? Mine wouldn’t and neither would I.

 

America has come to yet another fork in the road that makes up our society. There have been enough black lives taken, like Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown and so many others. What could they have accomplished had they not been treated as “other” all of their lives? What if they had been told how well they were doing in school, if college had been talked about as a natural step in their growing up? What if their teachers had told them to keep working, they were going to make it? What if one or two had graduated as Valedictorian?

 

What if every child in America, no matter what color they were, or what disabilities they had, would have an equal chance in their life?

 

Well, I am going to say it to any one who wants to hear it:

You, too, are America.

You are a unique child of God/Goddess and you can accomplish whatever you want to.

You are good, smart, strong and people believe in you.

You can ignore those around you who don’t want you to succeed.

You were made to accomplish big things and you can.

Believe in yourself,

I believe in you. I believe in every black person in America.

 

Black Lives Do Indeed Matter.

 

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

 

 

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Some of the great black Back Americans who have made America stronger.

Some of the great  Back Americans who have made America stronger.

Human Trafficking


 

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CINCINNATI — She said she was ashamed that she traded her 11-year-old daughter for sex to get heroin, but the judge pointed out that April Corcoran never offered an apology to the child.

“You showed no kind of mercy,” Judge Leslie Ghiz said.

In turn, Ghiz said she’d have no mercy on Corcoran and sentenced her to 51 years to life during her sentencing Tuesday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

Corcoran, 32, of Warren County, pleaded guilty in June to multiple counts of complicity to rape, of human trafficking and child endangering involving the child. Corcoran also admitted giving the girl heroin sometimes as a reward. The child vomited each time.

Ghiz allowed Corcoran to read a statement in court.

“I made selfish, horrible choices that will affect (the girl) for the rest of her life,” Corcoran said. “I am consumed by guilt and shame every day.”

That didn’t move the judge.

The girl was sodomized, raped, forced to perform oral sex and frequently videotaped by Corcoran’s drug dealer in his Camp Washington home, prosecutors say. The encounters happened between February and June 2014.

Shandell Willingham, 42, who faces the same charges as Corcoran, has been convicted in Indiana on unrelated drug charges as well as on child pornography charges. He was returned to Hamilton County last month. A hearing in his case is set for Aug. 10.

The girl’s grandparents told the judge they hoped for justice for their granddaughter and that others would be protected from Corcoran. The girl’s grandmother spoke quietly in court.

“I saw my granddaughter. I heard her small voice,” Sylvia Corcoran said. “It was horrific. How could she (Corcoran) do this? I don’t know if my granddaughter is going to be able to have a normal life.”

The girl, now, 13, is living out of state with her father and stepmother.

Ghiz said she had to take breaks while reading everything that was admitted into the court case.

“I can honestly say that, in three-and-a-half years on the bench, this is by far the worst thing that has come before this court,” Ghiz said. And she’s seen everything from thefts to physical harm done by people addicted to heroin, she said.

“I don’t know that you grasp the damage that has been done to this poor child,” Ghiz said, noting that the girl is undergoing medical care, has had suicidal thoughts and is taking medications.

Corcoran’s lawyer, James Bogen, said his client has been “sickened and disgusted” by what she’s done since she’s been jailed.

Dr. Daniel Bebo of UC Health told the court that when someone’s in withdrawal from opioids or heroin,  “There’s a lot of leeway to what they’ll say or do.”

But he confirmed Bogen’s statement in court about addicts: “They still know right from wrong.”

Staff writer Kevin Grasha contributed.

 

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This case sickens me and makes me feel that we can never save every child. But we can and we will. The sentence this woman received was just and fair. What she allowed her daughter to live through is beyond description.

What a sad way to begin your life. That little girl needs a lot of counseling and people who care about her to surround her with positiveness, love, support and patience.

 

So in the middle of wars, insurrections, domestic terrorism, Domestic Violence, rape; we must not forget the human trafficking that continues to go on. You can help. If you see or hear something suspicious report it. Better to be wrong than to let something terrible happen to someone.

 

Human trafficking is increasing in infrequency and young people of all colors are being taken and sold. This is just slavery, pure and simple. Every human being has a God given right to live free, to make their own decisions and to never be owned by another human being. I believe that sentences for human trafficking should always be life without parole. The cost of the crime should be worse than people want to pay.

 

Namaste,

Barbara

 

 

Human trafficking in Romania

Human trafficking in Romania

 

Why the 4th of July Does Belong to Slaves


 From the Daily Beast, by Alan Gilbert

 Blackguy with flag

As we know all too well, the Revolutionary War was not fought so that all men could be free, but its role in creating the seeds of abolition should not be forgotten.

A central myth of American history teaching is that the American Revolution was fought for the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” of each person. By each, Jefferson sadly meant mainly white farmers. This patriotic myth—what I call a Founding Amnesia—drove Frederick Douglass, in 1852, to declare that the Fourth of July was not for slaves. 

But perhaps in contrast to its long history of racist exclusion, the Daughters of the American Revolution should first honor black Patriots. As Georg Daniel Flohr, a German private who fought at the decisive battle Yorktown with the French Royal Deux-Ponts for the Patriots, noted while walking around the field of battle the next day: “all over the place and wherever you looked, corpses… lying about that had not been buried; the larger part of these were Mohren [Moors, blacks].”

And as I emphasize in Black Patriots and Loyalists (2012), the acme of freedom in the American Revolution was the gradual emancipation of slaves in Vermont (not yet a state) in 1777, in Pennsylvania in 1780, in Massachusetts in 1782, in Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784, in New York in 1799, and in New Jersey in 1804. If we ask the central question in American history: how did there come to be a free North to oppose bondage in the Civil War, the answer is, surprisingly: gradual emancipation during and just after the American Revolution. Thus, black Patriots and their white abolitionist allies played a central, undiscussed role both in battle and in the deepening of American freedom.

Finally, why did the man believed to be the first martyr of the American Revolution, Crispus Attucks, an escaped slave of black and Native American parentage who became a sailor, fiercely take on the Redcoats in the Boston Massacre? Attucks is part of a complex history that reveals how much the Revolutionary War and the Fourth of July are a day that belongs to African Americans.

1.  The violent fight against Imperial press-gangs

The first part of this story is the emergence of a violent revolutionary movement of self-defense among sailors in the 18th century. The Imperial Navy needed bodies for its expanding empire. But the crown had never relied on volunteers. Instead, it sent armed gangs to kidnap people at sea or in the street. But people did not go willingly. All around the Atlantic—in Antigua, Jamaica, Halifax, and Boston, for example—there were 604 uprisings against these royal gangs in the 18th century. 

Sailors often defended themselves with pikes or muskets. Soldiers and sailors were killed in such raids.

The greatest of these uprisings was a three day battle in Boston against Admiral Knowles’s gangs in 1746. In the Independent Advertiser in 1747, Sam Adams wrote that multiracial, multinational movement against press-gangs was a driving force in making a free regime: “All Men are by nature on a Level: born with an equal Share of Freedom, and endow’d with Capacities nearly alike.”

Whole communities rebelled against the gangs. Women, left behind, were called “Impressment widows.” Mary Jones, an Irish teenager, and her children starved after her husband was taken during the Falklands war scare of 1770. Mary was arrested for shoplifting a small piece of muslin.  Suckling one of her children even as the noose was put around her neck, she was hung. British “law” meant hanging and it was used depravedly against the poor. And in the colonies, it was worse.

Merchants and members of the Boston House of Representatives feared revolutionary crowds. They denounced “a tumultuous riotous assembling of armed Seamen, Servants, Negroes, and others… tending to the Destruction of all Government and Order.” The phrase, “Armed Seaman, Servants, Negroes, and others” became almost a formula in such denunciations. They would be echoed by many later historians.

But a vast, Atlantic-wide succession of rebellions against Impressment was the key feature of the run up to the Revolution. These rebellions mobilized sailors against the crown, motivated them to participate vigorously in other demonstrations about taxes, and taught them, their relatives and communities, in Lockean terms, the need for violent self-defense. In America, press-gangs made revolutionaries.

Now black escapees, like Crispus Attucks, often found freedom at sea. Sailors, notably blacks, would lead revolutionary crowds against press-gangs and other abuses.

In 1760 in Jamaica, Tacky’s Rebellion, the largest uprising against bondage until that time, lasted for 4 months. Between 1760 and 1775, the outbreak of the American Revolution, some 20 slave uprisings took place in Bermuda, Nevis, Surinam, British Honduras, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Vincent, Tobago, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. Kitts.

Seized without compensation, forced to abandon their families, sailors on British ships often identified with slaves. They took the word to London and Boston. In 1760, J. Philmore talked with mariners on London docks, and wrote the memorable Two Dialogues concerning the Man-Trade. In the broad abolitionist movement in England and America, Philmore’s 1760 pamphlet marks the most thorough transition politically from fighting for the basic “rights of an Englishman” to natural, universal or what we name today humanrights. Unlike non-abolitionist authors, Philmore replaces the commonly labeled “slave trade”—a pro-bondage appellation which falsely legitimizes owners, merchants, and hunters—with the shocking but true name: the Man-trade. James Otis wrote a similar pamphlet in Boston. These ideas would be discussed in every poor people’s tavern in the 11 years leading up to the Revolution and shape rank-and-file abolitionism.

Integrated riots against press-gangs marked the pre-Revolutionary period as well as protest against taxes on tea or stamped paper. In Newport in June 1765, 500 “seamen, boys, and Negroes” rioted after five weeks of impressment. In Norfolk in 1767, Captain Jeremiah Morgan retreated, sword in hand, before a mob of armed whites and Negroes. “Good God,” he wrote to the governor, “was your Honour and I to prosecute all the Rioters that attacked us belonging to Norfolk there would not be twenty left unhang’d belonging to the Toun.” According to Thomas Hutchinson, the Liberty Riot in Boston in I768 was as much against impressment as against the seizure of John Hancock’s sloop. To understand this militancy, we might say that a second and deeper emancipatory revolution against bondage surged from the Caribbean via sailors into the U.S. and London, and shaped the revolution for independence from Britain.

In 1776, the crown authorized large numbers of press warrants in London for bodies to fight the American Revolution. But sailors, armed, marched together “having resolved to oppose any violence that might be done to them, and rather die than assist the Royalists in shedding the Blood of their American Brethren.” This was a startling example of democratic solidarity or internationalism from below, anti-patriotic, despising the Royalists’ haughty colonialism.     

2.  Lord Dunmore’s Proclamations and massive black Toryism

Freedom for blacks did not come about initially on the side of those who opposed the British. From 1772 on, Royal Governor Dunmore of Virginia had threatened rebellious Patriots. “It is my fixed purpose,” he said, “to arm my own Negroes and accept all others whom I shall declare free… and I shall not hesitate at reducing [Patriots’] houses to ashes and spreading destruction wherever I can reach.” By the time he issued his Proclamation on Nov. 7, 1775, thousands of blacks had flocked to the British side to join his Royal Ethiopian Regiment. Because of Dunmore and the High Court’s 1772 Somersett decision that bondage was outlawed on English soil, the Southern states seceded from Britain to preserve slavery. In his 1775 “Taxation not Tyranny,” Samuel Johnson, the great English essayist, rightly quipped: “How come we hear the greatest yelps for liberty from the drivers of Negroes?”

But Dunmore’s black troops suffered smallpox; he was eventually forced to retreat to Manhattan. One of his soldiers, Titus, however, became Captain Tye, the leader of successful multiracial guerrillas operating in New Jersey. In addition, every English commander recruited blacks. And thousands of the unorganized followed every command, gradually being recruited to become soldiers or pursue jobs around the camps.  

In 1779, the commander of British forces in the colonies, Sir Henry Clinton, issued a Proclamation welcoming  blacks in any occupation. A huge number of escapees, perhaps 40,000, ultimately joined the Loyalists; many became regular troops, including at Yorktown. Britain did not have so many Redcoats in America so they had to rely on black troops. In 1781, Murphy Steele, a Black Pioneer, reported a vision to an aide of Sir Henry Clinton. A voice had come to him—God’s voice, he said—telling him to tell Clinton to tell General Washington that he must surrender or Clinton would recruit every black man in America to fight. Steele’s was wise strategic advice. But Clinton did not listen.

Before the Civil War, American abolitionist authors did not discuss the central role of the Empire as the freer of the most oppressed for fear of being thought unpatriotic. Afterward, this matter has long been eschewed as, in Gary Nash’s apt phrase, “the revolution’s dirty secret.”

3.  Black Patriots as the best American soldiers

Free blacks and slaves fought in every American battle. Initially, George Washington sought to discourage black recruitment. But he soon realized that Lord Dunmore’s strength might grow against him, “like a snowball in rolling,” and become an avalanche. It was thus military competition which produced a major impetus to recruit black Patriots.

In 1778, Governor James Mitchell Varnum of Rhode Island wrote to Washington that he could not find enough recruits among whites and wanted to form a black regiment. Washington agreed. Promising to purchase the freedom of black volunteers, the governor formed the First Rhode Island Regiment of some 250 blacks and Narragansett Indians. Most militiamen fought for only nine months. In contrast, these Rhode Island soldiers, who did not desert or were not killed, fought for five years. They became, as Baron von Closen, Washington’s advisor, observed in the march to Yorktown in 1781, “the most neatly dressed,the best under arms and the most precise in maneuvers” among Patriot soldiers. Another black unit was recruited in Connecticut and another in Massachusetts. According to von Closen, these composed one-quarter of the American forces at Yorktown.

In 1855, the black abolitionist Henry Nell reported in his Colored Patriots of the American Revolution that 5,000 African-American soldiers fought for the Patriots. This number has been echoed by American historians ever since. But multiracial protest has finally forced the Daughters of the American Revolution, hesitantly, to count. In their 2008 Forgotten Patriots, Brianna L. Diaz and Hollis L. Gentry list by name 6,600 black and indigenous soldiers. Their dedication is to known and unknown nonwhite Patriots. With more research, this number will increase.

4.  That genuine freedom is freedom for all

The revolutionary struggle in the United States was led by sailors and artisans, black and white, slave and free. It produced gradual emancipation in the North. It also inspired a deeper sense of liberty from below. For instance, General Washington had promised farmer recruits that their lands would be there when they returned. But soldiers from the Northeast came back to find their farms threatened with seizure for debt by banks. Led by Captain Daniel Shays, they rebelled in 1786-87.

These soldier-farmers of Western Massachusetts also protested the Constitution because it sanctioned bondage. Here are the words of three of these men in The Hampshire Gazette. As Consider Arms (a pseudonym), Malachi Maynard and Samuel Field put it,

Where is the man who under the influence of sober, dispassionate reasoning, and not void of natural affection, can lay his hand upon his heart and say, I am willing my sons and my daughters should be torn from me and doomed to perpetual slavery? We presume that man is not to be found amongst us: And yet we think the consequence is fairly drawn that this is what every man should be able to say who voted for this constitution.”

Their words prefigure John Rawls’s later modeling of an original position in which a moral judgment is one that empathically puts ourselves in the position of “the least advantaged.” The ardor of revolutionary soldiers like John Laurens extended this vision even into South Carolina. The movement that created gradual emancipation in the North would eventually explode bondage and, a century later, segregation in the South. As Black Lives Matter and Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s powerful dissent this June in Utah v. Strieff show, the fight for a decent, multiracial America continues to this moment. The long struggle before, during and after the Revolution on the Patriot side was a great and heroic beginning, and deserves, at last, to be widely known.

Alan Gilbert is John Evans Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, and author of Black Patriots and Loyalists; Fighting for Emancipation in the War of Independence, University of Chicago Press, 2012 and “Slave-gangs, Press-gangs and Emancipation in the American Revolution.” 

H/t Jesse Lemisch, Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh.

 

 

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No Honor in Killing


The issue of The War on Women is happening all over the world. It looks different in every country but it still exists everywhere: it is still the disrespect and even hatred of women by men.
In America, it is pay inequality and the glass ceiling. It is also the fact that we are the only citizens who are not legally equal.
Often women are not given an education, and in some countries, women’s bodies are controlled and the government decides if they have children and how many. In other countries, a wife is immolated upon the briar of her dead husband. In some other countries, girls and women are sold because the family is too poor and there is not enough food. In yet other countries, female genital mutilation is performed to make a girl marriageable and to ensure she will not enjoy sex; in others, acid is thrown in a girl’s face to disfigure her because she said no to a young man; and in some a woman is killed in a so-called honor killing to save face for the family. In some countries, men buy little girls to have sex with them because they are pedophiles.
Think about it. It is the most disgusting list of crimes. I can barely think of a more despicable list. Fathers, Brothers, Uncles, Grandfathers look the other way; some participate; some organize the events. Misogyny has existed for many millennia and I realize it will not go away over night. But we must stand up to it. We must speak out. We must do whatever we can to help each woman who is being used, sold or brutalized.
Turning the world light on each incident is a good place to begin. Pressuring police in various countries to arrest and courts to convict perpetrators is also a righteous action.
Women, stand up for each other. Feminist men, stand up, speak up and be the brave souls we know you are and help women everywhere to become free, to live free and to pass that on to their daughters.
Namaste,
Barbara
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Pakistan police arrest 14 in ‘honor killing’ of teen said to have helped bride to elope

Pakistan police arrest 14 in ‘honor killing’ of teen said to have helped bride to elope

May 5
More than a dozen leaders of a small village in northwestern Pakistan were arrested Thursday and charged with burning a teenage girl to death because she helped one of her friends elope, security officials said.The crime, which is renewing attention on Pakistan’s horrific record of protecting women and children from abuse, took place on the outskirts of Abbottabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.Khurram Rasheed, police chief for the northern district of Abbottabad, said Thursday that the body of Ambreen Riasat was found in a burned van in the tourist resort of Donga Gali on April 29, the Associated Press reported. Her exact age was in dispute.A graphic photo of the teenager’s charred remains quickly circulated online. It appeared as though the girl’s arms had been bound before she was set on fire.Initially, police suspected that she may have been raped by a scorned boyfriend or as part of a family dispute. But Saeed Wazir, the regional police chief in Abbottabad, said Thursday that the killing was a “pre-planned act” involving 14 village leaders. Wazir said the entire village council had sanctioned the act to send a message to other minors.“They said she must be burnt alive to make a lesson for other girls,” he said.In an act of defiance against Pakistan’s strict Islamic and paternal customs, Wazir said, the victim had helped one of her friends secretly marry her boyfriend. The bride “didn’t obey her father’s will and did a love marriage at court with a guy,” he said.

After the bride’s father found out, he requested that village elders investigate. In many parts of Pakistan, women and girls are expected to receive their father’s consent before marrying.

The village elders called a meeting, which is referred to as a Jirga. Under Pashtun culture in Pakistan and in neighboring Afghanistan, such gatherings are often held to try to reach consensus on how best to resolve local disputes. At times, the meetings also become a form of street justice.

According to Wazir, the village elders investigating the marriage quickly discovered that the victim had helped her friend evade her father’s will. The elders decided the victim needed to be punished for not disclosing her role in the marriage.

Several men then dragged the teenager out of her house and tied her into the van, Wazir said.

“Despite the requests and pleas from her parents, villagers forcibly brought her out and set her afire while roping her to the seat of the vehicle,” he said.

Both the leader of the Jirga and the father of the newlywed girl were arrested, Wazir said. A dozen other men who participated in the Jirga also were charged, he added.

It was not immediately clear whether the new bride or her husband were punished.

The case represents a troublesome expansion of mob-like tactics that women can face in Pakistan when they disobey their parents or extended family members.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, 8,694 girls and women have died in so-called honor killings here between 2004 and 2015. Those crimes involved revenge killings for dishonoring a family, village or local custom.

About one-fourth of those cases involved the death of a minor. Although most common in remote areas, honor killings still occur in Pakistan even in larger, more progressive cities. The problem was highlighted recently in the Oscar-winning film “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.”

The documentary profiles a 18-year-old woman who was beaten and shot by her father and uncle in Punjab province after she married a man against their wishes. The woman, Saba, survived. Her father and uncle were arrested but later freed, according to HBO Documentary Films.

After he saw the film, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to end honor killings.

Earlier this year, Sharif’s political party, Pakistan Muslim League-N, pushed through a women’s rights bill in Punjab province. The legislation, strongly opposed by the religious community, establishes a 24-hour domestic abuse hotline and network of shelters offering housing, first aid and counseling for women.

Still, a horrific wave of abuse continues.

On Sunday, Punjab police arrested a man and charged him with killing his wife, who was seven months pregnant, the Express Tribune newspaper reported. Using a club, the man apparently beat the woman to death after she refused to allow him to take a second wife.

Also in Punjab over the weekend, a man tossed acid onto a 37-year-old woman, resulting in burns over 30 percent of her body. Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that the woman’s nephew is the main suspect. The man apparently wanted to marry one of the woman’s daughters – his cousin — but was refused.

“He was annoyed with his maternal aunt for turning down his marriage proposal,” Azhar Akram, a police officer in Multan, told Dawn.

Craig reported from Kabul.

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