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For a long time Southern whites hadn't wanted blacks to become Christians, preferring to pretend that slaves had no souls. From 1619, when the first human captives landed in Virginia, until 1773 there were no black churches anywhere in America, and the only blacks in white churches were relegated to the galleries. The Rosa Parks Story
Theodore Porter Ball, the son of an old plantation clan came from Charleston, South Carolina. Ball plantations were the oldest and there were more than 20 along Cooper River. Between 1698 - 1865, the family of slave traders brokered nearly 4,000 Blacks either born into slavery or imported Their crop was "Carolina Gold" rice.
By the late 17th century, Virginia had a plantation economy in need of a labor force, but South Carolina had a labor force in search of a plantation economy. With a tobacco economy, Virginia imported slaves when its supply of indentured servants declined near the end of the century. When Virginia recruited more slaves than servants, there was a large white population. Until the end of the 17th century, they were not a slave society. By the 18th century slaves played a central role. In 1700, blacks were 1/6th of the Chesapeake's colonial population. Slaves were central to South Carolina's success. With the In 1666 settlers pointed out that "these Settlement have been made and upheld by Negroes and without constant supplies of them cannot subsist." In the 1670s, slaves made up almost 1/3rd of the new colony's population. In the 1830s, for the first time a significant minority of white Americans began to embraced racial equality.
Slaves and the Courts 1740 -1860 -- Legal cases "concerning the difficult and troubling experiences of slaves in the American colonies and the US." Accounts from "some of the defendants and plaintiffs themselves as well as those of abolitionists, presidents, politicians, slave owners, fugitive and free territory slaves, lawyers and judges, and justices of the US Supreme Court." Library of Congress
Chronology on the History of Slavery and Racism -- Timeline on slavery and the history of racism to guide research into the history of enslaved Americans of African descent. innercity.org
"Everything you thought you knew about slavery is about to be challenged." Africans in America, interviews with historians and luminaries such as General Colin Powell, re-creations, and beautiful photography create a vivid and compelling story of over 400 years of tragedy. Ten million Africans died on the journey to America alone; they and the countless numbers whose lives were wasted in servitude find a voice in Angela Bassett's outstanding narration. --Rob Lightner
Runaway Slaves is another masterpiece from the African American historian, John Hope Franklin, author of the influential From Slavery to Freedom with history professor Loren Schweninger. Franklin examines slave resistance-- runaway slaves. There has been a myth that slaves were happy with their condition. Armed with the data from numerous Wanted posters, letters, county-court petitions, and newspapers, Franklin and Schweninger prove slaves were in a constant state of rebellion with their masters. The circle of violence between blacks and whites was marked by property sabotage, work stoppage, assault, murder, and escape into the North. "Perhaps the greatest impact runaways had on the peculiar institution," the authors suggest, "was in their defiance of the system. Masters and slaves knew that there were blacks willing to do almost anything to extricate themselves from bondage."
Underground Railroad (1999) VHS
The politics of lynching -- According to official NAACP figures, between 1890 and 1960, 5,200 blacks were burned, shot or mutilated by lynch mobs. The death toll is almost certainly higher, since sheriffs and local officials didn't deem the murders significant enough to report. The blame for 7 decades of lynching lies with the federal government. Land was often the motive for lynchings -- Doria Dee Johnson often asked about the man in the portrait hanging in an aunt's living room - her great-great-grandfather. "It's too painful," her elderly relatives would say. Johnson, 40, went to look for answers in Abbeville, SC. She learned the man in the portrait, Anthony P. Crawford, was a prosperous farmer until the day the 51- year-old farmer hauled a wagon load of cotton to town. Links to sites about racial violence and reconciliation
From, the mid-1870s, at the end of Reconstruction, and World War II, there were 3,500 documented incidents of lynching and mob violence against African Americans. The victims were tortured, hung, and displayed publicly or dismembered for souvenirs.
Rosewood Florida lynching in 1923 was a tragedy of American democracy and the American legal system. system.
Rosewood (1997) A shameful chapter in American history in the nearly all-black town of Rosewood, Florida, in 1922 where an estimated 40 to 150 blacks were killed in by an all-white lynch mob from the neighboring town of Sumner, where a white woman falsely claimed she'd been assaulted by a black man. Survivors were so traumatized they were silent until the truth was revealed by an investigative journalist in 1982. The authentic film illustrates the truth of Rosewood with a fictional hero named Mann (Ving Rhames), who arrives to buy a five-acre plot coveted by Rosewood's white grocer (John Voight). The emerging trust between these characters and the fate of an extended family led by a defiant father (Don Cheadle) shapes the movie's devastating depiction of racism and the courage of those who opposed the lynch mob's brutality. The film's passion is maintained by its superb cast and the echoes of history.
Jack Johnson was the first black heavyweight boxing champion of the world. In 1913 Johnson was charged and convicted by an all-white jury of violating the Mann Act, outlawing the transportation of Caucasian women across state lines for purposes of prostitution.
Unforgivable Blackness - The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2005) -- Ken Burns's 220-minute biography on heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. The film resonates racial attitudes in the early 20th century as American Blacks struggled for equality. Against the longest odds, Jack Johnson became a champion in heavyweight fighting.
Emmett Louis Till -- How two grown men got by with torturing a 14 year old boy to death and then sold the details of their story for pay.
American Experience - The Murder of Emmett Till -- In Money, Mississippi, Emmett Till, 14, from Chicago, didn't know the unwritten laws of the Jim Crow South until two men dragged him from his bed, brutally beat him and shot him in the head. Shortly after his killers were both acquitted the defendants sold their story, including a detailed account of how they murdered Till. Till's death was a spark that helped to mobilize the civil rights movement. Three months after his body was pulled from the Tallahatchie River, the Montgomery bus boycott began.
Black college students from North Carolina A&T University refused to leave a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina after being denied service on February 1, 1960. Two months later, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), was created at Shaw University in Raleigh to coordinate sit-ins, support for civil rights, and publicity. Feb. 1, 1960, The Greensboro Four felt isolated and alone as they sat at that whites-only lunch counter at the Woolworth Store.
Freedom Summer by Doug McAdam -- In June 1964, over one thousand volunteers--most of them white, northern college students--arrived in Mississippi to register black voters and staff "freedom schools" as part of the Freedom Summer campaign organized by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. Within ten days, three of them were murdered; by the summer's end, another had died and hundreds more had endured bombings, beatings, and arrests.
A Case of Black and White: Northern Volunteers and the Southern Freedom Summers, 1964-1965 by Mary Aickin Rothschild -- Relying on her own interviews with former volunteers, letters the volunteers wrote at the time, and the initial applications many of them submitted to the sponsoring organizations, Rothschild presents a comprehensive and empathic account of who the volunteers were, what motivated them to go south, and what they did and experienced once they were there. . . The Journal of American History
On Tuesday June 24, 2005, in Philadelphia, Mississippi exactly forty-one years after three civil rights workers James Chaney, 21, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24, were killed by Edgar Ray Killen, a Klansman, was found guilty on three counts of manslaughter. Killen, an 80-year-old preacher, received a 60 year sentence. The "Freedom Summer" killings of 1964 galvanized the lead to the major civil rights reform in voting, education and public accommodations. Biography of Edgar Killen. Pre-trial news. Murder Indictment
Mississippi v. Edgar Ray Killen.
The 1963 Birmingham Bombing -- Sunday morning, September 15, 1963, the Ku Klux Klan bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four girls. This murderous act shocked the nation and galvanized the civil rights movement. Church bombing timeline. Bobby Frank Cherry, 71, Birmingham, Alabama is guilty of the 1963 murder of 4 young African-American girls caught in an explosion inside of church. Forty years later.
4 Little Girls -- Spike Lee's first documentary. Four glimpses of black-and-white autopsy photos. Lee remains with the faces, the girls' friends, families, and the historic figures of the era. The troubled history of Birmingham, court proceedings, friends' last run-ins with the girls. Witnesses of living through the era of segregation and bigotry. There's an interview with George Wallace. Lee asserts the bombing energized the civil rights movement and Walter Cronkite, echoes those sentiments. --Doug Thomas
The Ghosts of Medgar Evers --1994 -- The 3rd and final trial of white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith for the June 12, 1963, assassination of Medgar Evers, 37, the NAACP's first field secretary in Mississippi. The Mississippi civil rights leader was shot in the back with in the driveway of his house before his wife and 3 young children. The murderer, freed by two white, male hung juries 30 years before, was brought to justice by Mississippians.
The Autobiography Of Medgar Evers: A Hero's Life and Legacy Revealed Through His Writings, Letters, and Speeches by Myrlie Evers-Williams -- The life of Medgar Evers as told through his speeches, letters, and papers, in a volume edited by his widow, Myrlie Evers-Williams, and scholar Manning Marable.
Ghosts of Mississippi (1996) -- DVD -- Based-on-fact film about the embattled white prosecutor (Alec Baldwin) who brought racist killer Byron De La Beckwith (James Woods) to justice after 30 years of failed attempts. Charged with the murder of civil rights leader Medgar Evers, Beckwith slimes up the film pretty well via Woods's somewhat showy performance, while Baldwin generously assumes the usual clichés surrounding reluctant heroes. Whoopi Goldberg is at her most stately as Evers's widow.
Over 40 years ago, conflict over integration of Little Rock Central High School captured the attention of the world. That crisis stands as the most significant news event in Little Rock's 20th century history.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of America's greatest nonviolent movement for justice, equality and peace. James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of Martin Luther King Jr. Ray's brother Jerry worked for a convicted church-bomber and professional anti-Semite J. B. Stoner.
Biography - Martin Luther King, Jr. (1997) VHS
Striking images and 1st-class research explore this tragic hero. It tells how his comfortable upbringing made him resistant to his role as leader of the civil rights movement, but he came to terms with it and accepted the inevitability of his martyrdom. Documentary footage of his brilliant speeches and interviews with friends and associates.
The Assassinations: Probe Magazine on JFK, MLK, RFK, and Malcolm X by James DiEugenio, Lisa Pease
Probe magazine was the most respected investigative journal on the murders of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X. The Assassinations collection of Probe present possible answers to the questions. Photographs, illustrations, charts, and tables.
Harry Moore is the Florida coordinator of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which in 1951 was the only viable civil rights organization in the country. For 17 years, traveling alone usually, at night, where no restaurant would serve him, no motel would house him, and some gas stations wouldn't let him fill his tank, empty his bladder, or use the phone. He launched his own investigations of brutal lynching and mob violence.
On June 17, 1966, two men entered the Lafayette Grill in Paterson, New Jersey, and shot four people, killing three. Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a onetime contender for the middleweight boxing crown, and John Artis, an acquaintance of Carter's, were charged with the murders. In a highly publicized and racially loaded trial, the prosecution hinged its case upon the convoluted and contradictory testimonies of two lifelong criminals, and failed to present any definitive evidence of Carter and Artis's guilt. Both innocent men were sentenced to life in prison. The Truth About Rubin "Hurricane" Carter -- Carolyn Kelley, a 61-year-old from Newark, was working as a bail bondswoman in 1975 when boxer Muhammad Ali asked her to get involved in the effort to win a new trial for "Hurricane," who claimed he had been framed in a triple murder.
"Hurricane" A detailed, inspiring account of Carter's 22-year effort to exonerate himself and regain his freedom. Carter refused to behave like a guilty man--by defying the rules: rejecting prison garb, keeping his jewelry, shunning prison food, and failing to see a parole officer. His defiance earned him cruel punishment. Bob Dylan, who immortalized him in the famous song "Hurricane."
The Sixteenth Round: From Number 1 Contender To #45472 by Rubin Carter -- On May 26,1967, the spiraling career of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, then the top contender for the world middleweight boxing crown, came to a shuddering and tragic halt: he and a young man were found guilty of the murder of three white people in a New Jersey bar. Originally published as an attempt by Carter to set the record straight and force a new trial, The 16th Round is a timeless, eye-opening portrait of growing up black in America, a scathing indictment of the prison system, and a mesmerizing re-creation of his furious battles in the ring and in the courtroom.
James Byrd Jr. - Jasper Texas -- He was on his way home from a party on June 7, 1998, when he accepted a ride with 3 men in a pickup. 2 days after finding John William King guilty of dragging James Byrd Jr., 49, to death a jury gave him the death penalty.The murder of James Byrd Jr., spurred demands for toughening the state's hate-crime law and for passage of federal hate-crime legislation.
A Death in Texas: A Story of Race, Murder and a Small Town's Struggle for Redemption by Dina Temple-Raston -- In the small town of Jasper, in the piney woods of deep East Texas, old slave relations still live below the surface along with an unwritten code of segregation. James Byrd was savagely dragged to death by 3 white men in a pickup. Temple-Raston captures Jasper's desperate attempt to save its image as Jesse Jackson, the New Black Panthers, the KKK, and the media descended. It follows the murderers to Huntsville prison (ground zero for 40% of American executions).
Hate Crime: The Story of a Dragging in Jasper, Texas by Joyce King -- June 7, 1998, James Byrd, Jr. was dragged to his death while chained to the back of a pickup truck by three young white men. King brings us on a journey that begins at the crime scene and extends into the minds of the young men who so casually ended a man's life. She takes us inside the prison where two met, and shows how it played a major role in shaping their attitudes. The result is a deeply engrossing psychological portrait of the accused and a powerful indictment of the American prison system's ability to reform criminals.
Huey P. Newton co-founder and leader of the Black Panther movement for over 2 decades.
Criminal Communities -- Whites say statistics reflect a disproportionate number of criminals are young black men, while blacks say the numbers are the product of a legal system tilted against them. Fair.org
I Am A Man -- Were the words on the signs carried by 1,300 striking Memphis sanitation workers, nearly all black, in 1968. The strike had begun after February 1, 1968, when 2 workers seeking shelter, inside the rear of a garbage truck, during a torrential rainstorm were crushed when a switch was thrown. The city refused to compensate the victims' families. That was compounded when 22 black sewer workers were sent home without pay.
What Do You Stand For? -- "I stood up because I couldn't not." -- For over a decade, South Carolinian Ammie Murray stood up against racial crimes as a local church was burnt, vandalized, and reconstructed twice.
Within 24 hours of Stephen Lawrence's murder on April 23, 1993 in a London suburb, police had the names of 5 suspects. No arrests were made for 2 weeks, allowing suspects to destroy evidence, concoct alibis, and intimidate witnesses.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Racist Punishment Wrongfully Endures San Quentin--- The California state prison here is a sprawling complex clearly visible from the San Rafael Bridge and with a spectacular view of the Bay Area, but the lives of the men inside the penitentiary, and the execution of its death row inmates, are largely absent from the public's consciousness.
The Amadou Diallo Foundation -- Started in August 1999 by Saikou A. Diallo, the father of Amadou Diallo, to insure his son's death would not be in vain. The foundation's objective is to memorialize Amadou by furthering education, humanitarian causes and charity.
The mission of the Urban League movement is to enable African Americans to secure economic self-reliance, parity and power and civil rights.
Is Jim Crow Justice Alive Today? -- "Racial profiling" occurs when the police target someone for investigation on the basis of that person's race, national origin, or ethnicity. ACLU
What's Race Got To Do With It? -- Despite a crime wave, Cincinnati's cops pull back, underscoring the stakes in the conflict over racial profiling. Time
In Cincinnati, Rage Still Simmers -- After the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Cincinnati is still trying to come to terms with its demons.
White lies -- Asking "How could it happen here?" reveals the racism behind our thinking about violence. Salon
Alex Curtis: 'Lone Wolf' of Hate Prowls the Internet -- One of the most radical and influential voices on the racist right hopes that a violent revolution will topple the United States government, he considers "a Jew-occupied government," and replace it with a "race-centered" government, with citizenship and residency restricted to "those of pure White ancestry." Anti-Defamation League
CONFEDERATE FLAG SYMBOL OF EVIL AND HATE Kweisi Mfume, President & CEO, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the Confederate flag today represents evil in much the same way as the German Swastika.
White Girl -- A dialogue on race.
Nothing is Just Black or White
It's a simple question, but the answer defines who you are...how you live...and what you are really about. If you could heal racism, where would you start? What would your one wish be?
The Two Nations of Black America -- Henry Louis Gates, Jr., explores the gaping chasm between upper and lower classes of black America: "How have we reached this point where we have both the largest black middle class and the largest black underclass in our history?"
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