Archives du mot-clé black history

Jean Baptiste DuSable (1745-1848) « The founder of Chicago »


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Jean Baptiste DuSable (1745-1848) « The founder of Chicago ».
Chicago, Illinois, is the third largest city in the United States. But few people know it was founded by a black man, Jean DuSable. Jean was born in Haïti, the world’s oldest black republic, he moved to St Louis when he became a fur trader. When the British took over St Louis, Jean moved to Peoria, Illinois where Native Americans helped him etablish a succesful trading business. Jean made many trips to Canada to bring back furs. He always passed a place called Eschikagov that he used as a lockout point. In 1774, he built a cabin there for his family. Other pionners built stores and homes near this post. The settlement grew into a city that became Chicago. Many years passed before Jean was credited with the founding of Chicago. In 1968, he was finally recognized as the man who founded one of the great cities of the world.

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was born a slave and was named Isabella Baumfree. New York, the state where she lives outlawed slavery in 1827 but Soujourner’s master didn’t care. He would not free her, so she ran away. When she was 46 years old, she decided to start her own campaign against slavery. She could not stand to see her people suffer any longer so she changed her name to Soujourner Truth. She chose that name because she planned to travel from place to place to tell the truth about slavery. Sojourner carried her anti-slavery message throughout th North, she spoke to anyone who would listen and to those who wouldn’t. Soujourner was often beaten for speaking out against slavery but this brave woman could not be stopped. She had a mission. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that outlawed slavery, but the southern states did not recognize the law until they were defeated. After the civil war, Sojourner fought for black equality and women’s rights and she dedicated her life to opening the doors of freedom for all people.


Audley « Queen Mother » Moore (1898-1996)


Audley « Queen Mother » Moore (1898-1996)
Audley Moore became an ancestor on May 2 at the age of 98 in 1996. She was given the honorary title of `Queen Mother’ by an Ashanti tribe in Ghana. Mother Moore lived a long and active life, dedicated to public service and improvement of the lives of African-Americans. Born on July 28, 1898 in New Iberia, LA, to second generation freed blacks, she became a revered public figure in Harlem, best known as an advocate for Africa and African-Americans. Moore’s ideas and teachings of Pan-African Nationalism was influenced by great political personalities such as W.E.B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey. As a civil rights activist, Mother Moore worked on the defense of the Scottsboro boys. Internationally, she spoke on her disapproval of the Italo-Ethiopian war. « I am not a part-time struggler,’ she once said. `I’m in the movement for the liberation of African people full-time, 7 days a week, 24 hours per day, for life. »
Her career was influenced by the violence and hatred she endured as a young child and young woman. While in the fourth grade, Moore’s parents died and thus ended her formal education. During World War I while in Alabama, Moore was a volunteer nurse who involved herself in the first of her movements for the equality of blacks by organizing support services for black soldiers that were denied by the Red Cross. Mother Moore was drawn to the idea of black nationalism and economic independence by the oratory of Marcus Garvey, founder of the Harlem-based Universal Negro Improvement Association. She became an active member of the organization, and founded the Harriet Tubman Association to better the conditions of black women. Through this organization, Moore advocated issues such as higher wages, better education, and the lowering of food prices to help improve the conditions of the poor. Following her brief membership in the Communist party–at the time, the only organization that accepted her radical ideas–she focused her attention on seeking economic reparations for descendants of the victims of slavery, cultural identity, and education. She launched a national campaign in support of economic reparations. Moore believed that economic reparations were the first constructive step in black nationalists ideology. As an orator, her rhetoric on this issue was powerful: « Ever since 1950, I’ve been on the trail fighting for reparations. They owe us more than they could ever pay. They stole our language; they stole us from our mothers and fathers and took our names from us. They worked us free of charge 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, under the lash for centuries. We lost over 100 million lives in the traffic of slavery. »
In 1962, Mother Moore met with President John F. Kennedy, the United Nations, and the Congressional Black Caucus about the issue of economic reparations. She later organized and directed the Reparations Committee of Descendants of United States Slaves. One of her last public appearances was at the Million Man March in Washington, DC. Although weak, her poignant speech was delivered by an associate. Queen Mother Moore died in a Brooklyn nursing home from natural causes at age 98.

Rosa Parks

On this date february 4, 1913 Rosa Parks was born in Alabama. By refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus in 1955, she helped initiate the civil rights movement in the United States. Over the next half-century, Parks became a nationally recognized symbol of dignity and strength in the struggle to end entrenched racial segregation. We must not forget all the « UNSUNG » Rosa Parks who refuse to give her their seat to a white man before december 1955 like Elizabeth Jenning Graham Ida B. Wells, Irene Morgan Kirlady, Jo Ann Gibson Robinson Sara Keys, Claudette Colvin, Aurelia Browder, Marie Louise Smith, Jeannette Reese, Susie McDonald….


Fumilayo Ransome Kuti (1900-1978)


Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (1900–1978) was a pioneering nationalist who fought against British colonialism. She was a pioneer African feminist and a human rights activist who was tireless in her campaigns for women’s rights and for economic, political, and social justice. She was an educator who gave a voice to the voiceless and education to the uneducated. Kuti was the mother of the activists Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a musician, Beko Ransome-Kuti, a doctor, and Professor Olikoye Ransome-Kuti, a doctor and a former health minister of Nigeria.

7 things that you may not know about Betty Shabazz


1)Born Betty Dean Sanders in 1934, Shabazz married Malcolm during his rise in the Nation of Islam while in nursing school in New York.

2)She met Malcolm in 1956 after attending Nation of Islam events. The two married in 1958. They had six daughters, including twins that were born after Malcolm’s assassination.

3)After the death of her husband, Betty had difficulty to sleep. She had nightmares for weeks. She did not know how to support the family. But she could earn half of the royalty of Autobiography of Malcolm X. The other half of the royalties was for Alex Hailey who helped Malcolm writing the book. Hailey gave the other half of his royalty of this publication to Betty.She  sold the rights of the autobiography to filmmaker Marvin Worth and authorized the publication of her husband’s speeches to bring in more income.

4)Actress and activist Ruby Dee and Juanita Poitier, wife of actor Sidney Poitier, organized a fundraiser and created the Committee of Concerned Mothers organization. By raising $17,000 through a pair of concerts, the group assisted Shabazz in buying a home in Mouth Vernon and covered educational expenses for her daughters.

5) In 1969, Shabazz graduated Jersey City State College, completing her degree in education. She went on to earn her master’s degree in education as well. In 1972, Shabazz enrolled at the University of Massachusetts for her doctorate in higher education administration.

6)Shabazz joined the teaching faculty of New York’s Medgar Evers College, serving as a booster and fundraiser for the institution. She became the Director of Institutional Advancement and Public Affairs in 1984, and held that position until her death in 1997, when she succumbed to injuries in a fire set by her 12 year old grandson, Malcolm.

7)A memorial was set up in the Audobon Ballroom where Malcolm was assassinated. The name of the memorial is the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. The portion of Broadway that sits at the corner of West 165th Street where the Audubon Ballroom is located was co-named Betty Shabazz Way in March 2012.



Vertus Wellborn Hardiman (March 9, 1922 – June 1, 2007)

12644887_10153408966192817_9057625072658698698_nVertus Wellborn Hardiman (March 9, 1922 – June 1, 2007)

Hardiman was born in Lyles Station, Indiana. Lyles Station began in 1927, is known as one of the earliest Black settlements in the United States, and the Hardiman family was among the first to migrate to the area. In 1928, Vertus attended the local elementary school, Lyles Consolidated School. The parents of 10 children at school were approached by county hospital officials. The parents were told that there was a new treatment for dermatophytosis, a fungal infection commonly known as “ringworm.” What the parents didn’t know was that the children were actually part of a human experiment on extreme radiation, probably chosen because they lived in such an isolated location, and probably because they were all Black. The children were exposed to high levels and many were left with disfiguring scalp scars and head trauma. The effects of the experiments were mostly hidden from the townspeople of Lyles Station. Many of the children wore wigs and hats to cover up the results of the experiments. Hardiman was physically affected the worst by the radiation. As a result he experienced a slow dissolving of the bone matter of his skull for the rest of his life. The ensuing deformed head and gaping hole at its top were disguised by a succession of hats, toupees, and wigs. Every day of his life he spent an hour changing bandages and dressing the wound. He died at age 85.

Sarah Rector, one on the richest little girl in America in 1914


Little Sarah Rector, a former slave, who became one of the richest little girls in America in 1914…

Sarah was born in 1902 on Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. She was the daughter of slaves who had been owned by Creek Indians before the civil war. In 1887, the Dawes Severalty Act forced members of the Choctaw, Creek, Cherokee, Seminole and Chickasaw to divide up their land and farm it in the hopes that by becoming farmers they would become “civilized” like the white man. When Oklahoma became a state, they would be assimilated into white ways. The land was given to both Indian and their former Black slaves. The best surplus lands that were ideal for farming were given to White people to live on. In 1906, Sarah Rector was given a small, poor quality subdivision of land that was worth only 566 dollars… in 1911 an oil gusher was discovered to be on Sarah’s land. Sarah’s oil reserve had the potential to bring in $50,000 dollars a month. On June 18, 1914, James C. Waters Jr, a special agent for the NAACP, sent a memo to WEB Dubois. Waters had been corresponding with the Indian Affairs Office and the US Children’s Bureau over concerns of the mismanagement of Sarah Rector’s estate. He wrote of her white financial guardian

“Is it not possible to have her cared for in a decent manner and by people of her own race, instead of by a member of a race which would deny her and her kind the treatment accorded a good yard dog?”

This prompted Dubois to establish a Children’s Department of the NAACP, which would investigate claims of wealthy, white oil tycoons who had been scheming Black Children out of their land and depriving them of their rights as land owners. In an effort to protect Rector from ”Greedy White Men,” Booker T. Washington arranged for her to receive a quality education at the Children’s School in the Tuskegee institute. Washington wanted her greedy white financial guardian to be fired and replaced by a trustworthy member of her own race, but this never happened. However, Washington got a $1,000 farmhouse for her, nicer clothes and petitioned the Muskogee County Court for Sarah to have more control over her own estate. At the age of 10 years old, while she was still a student at Tuskegee children’s school, Sarah Rector received hundreds of letters from white men who wanted to be a suitor and or marry the girl once she got older just so they could inherit her land. Some white men from as far as Germany wrote to her. Booker T. Washington called on “The National Federation of Women’s Clubs,” an organization which his wife was President of, and made them aware of the white suitors who were after Sarah’s money. He cautioned them to make sure that Sarah stayed focused on her school and married a suitable man of her own race. At the age of 20, Rector married Kenneth Campbell, a business man, and settled in Kansas City, Mo where she lived in a mansion. However the Missouri Legislature revised its majority Law and stated that the legal age to be guardian of one’s own property was no longer 18, but 21. A white man named John Collins petitioned to become legal guardian of her estate as she and her parents were “incapable” of handling her own money, but he was denied. Rector had two children by her husband Kenneth Campbell and they lived a quiet life in Kansas City. Rector was one of the few Black children who inherited land and was not completely swindled out or her money and estate by greedy white men. She was fortunate that she had the support of the NAACP and Booker T. Washington who made sure that she got her rights to her land.


The Namibian genocide


Untold History…
Between 1904 and 1909, the administration of German South West Africa liquidated the indigenous Herero and Nama peoples of modern-day Namibia. This has become known as the Herero and Namaqua Genocide and is considered to have been the first genocide of the 20th century. This was done in the name of acquiring “living space” for German settlers, and foreshadowed the murderous racism inflicted half a century later by the Nazis. Under German colonial rule natives were routinely used as slave labourers, and their lands were frequently confiscated and given to colonists, who were encouraged to settle on land taken from the natives; that land was stocked with cattle stolen from the Hereros and Namas, causing a great deal of resentment. There were concentration camps. The most notorious of these, set up in 1905, was situated on Shark Island near the town of Lüderitz. Eugen Fischer, a German scientist, came to the camp to conduct medical experiments on race, using children of Herero people and mulatto children of Herero women and German men as test subjects. Together with Theodor Mollison he also experimented upon Herero prisoners. Those experiments included sterilization, injection of smallpox, typhus as well as tuberculosis…