WE MUST NEVER FORGET!!
PRAISE OUR TRIUMPHS…..LEARN FROM OUR ERRORS!
THE AFRICAN CIVILIZATION SOCIETY 1858-1869
The African Civilization Society (ACS) was founded in 1858 by Henry Highland Garnet who sought to encourage black American to immigrate to Africa. Garnet envisioned educated black Americans moving to the African Continent as cultural missionaries to lead the economic, political, and moral development of the various indigenous peoples. The ACS Constitution outlined its goals for Africa and people of African descent in other areas of the world. The ACS also saw itself as a major force in the destruction of the African slave trade and in promoting African self-governance and self-reliance. Specifically, the ACS sought to make African nations independent cotton producers. They believed that cotton grown in Africa and sold on the world market would break the monopoly of southern United States slave-grown cotton in European and American textile production, and thus hasten the end of slavery.
Headquartered in the Weeksville section of Brooklyn, New York, the ACS worked with black churches and schools. Prominent African Americans involved with the ACS included Reverend Amos N. Freeman, Reverend Rufus L. Perry, Richard H. Cain, and John Sella Martin.
Embracing a 19th Century version of cultural nationalism, the ACS argued that black Americans should lead their own education efforts and establish and control the political and social institutions in their communities. This majority-male organization was one of the first 19th Century groups to recognize the importance of black women in reform and uplift efforts. Challenging the prevailing view that black Americans were dependent by nature and by generations of enslavement, they called on black leaders to elevate their race through the promotion of ideas of self-reliance and self-help. Such efforts, they said, required an educated leadership.
By 1866 the African Civilization Society employed 69 African Americans engaged in teaching over 2,000 students in Sabbath and day schools in the Northeast. Also by that date, the ACS was the only black association sending teachers to the South to educate the freed people.
The African Civilization Society began to decline around 1866 due to financial difficulties. By 1869 the organization ended its activities.
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By Elliot Booker — 3 years ago
George was an African-American youth convicted of the first-degree murder and, at age 14, the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century. George was executed for the first-degree murder of two pre-teen white girls: 11-year-old Betty June Binnicker, and 8-year-old Mary Emma Thames; HOWEVER NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE EXISTED IN THE CASE, AND THE SOLE EVIDENCE AGAINST STINNEY JR. THE CIRCUMSTANTIAL FACT THAT THE GIRLS HAD SPOKEN WITH STINNEY AND HIS SISTER SHORTLY BEFORE THEIR MURDER, and the testimony of three white police officers, who testified at a trial which lasted barely two hours, that Stinney had confessed to the murders.
The girls had disappeared while out riding their bicycle looking for flowers. As they passed the Stinney property, they asked young George Stinney and his sister, Katherine, if they knew where to find “maypops”, a type of flower. When the girls did not return, search parties were organized, with hundreds of volunteers, and their bodies were found the next morning in a ditch filled with muddy water. Both had suffered severe head wounds.
Stinney was arrested a few hours later and was interrogated by several white officers in a locked room with no witnesses aside from the officers; within an hour, a deputy announced that Stinney had confessed to the crime.
According to the confession, Stinney (90 lbs, 5’1″) wanted to “have sex with” 11 year old Betty June Binnicker and could not do so until her companion, Mary Emma Thames, age 8, was removed from the scene; thus he decided to kill Mary Emma. When he went to kill Mary Emma, both girls “fought back” and he thus decided to kill Betty June, as well, with a 15 inch railroad spike that was found in the same ditch a distance from the bodies.
According to the accounts of deputies, Stinney apparently had been successful in killing both at once, causing major blunt trauma to their heads, shattering the skulls of each into at least 4-5 pieces. The next day, Stinney was charged with first-degree murder.
With the murders raising racially and politically charged tension. Townsmen threatened to storm the local jail to lynch Stinney, but prior to this, he had been removed to Charleston by law enforcement.
Following Stinney’s arrest, George Sr. his father was fired from his job at the local lumber mill. Stinney’s parents and siblings were given the choice of leaving town or BE LYNCHED. The family was forced to flee, leaving George Stinney with no support during his 81-day confinement and trial.
The entire Stinney trial, including jury selection, took one day. Stinney’s court-appointed defense counsel was a tax commissioner campaigning for election to local political office. Stinney’s lawyer did not challenge the three police officers who testified Stinney confessed to the two murders, despite this being the only evidence presented by the prosecution. The police did not make written records of Stinney’s purported confession, and at trial, Stinney denied confessing to the crime.
The jury at Stinney’s trial consisted entirely of white people; due to racial segregation, no African-Americans were present in the courtroom.
Other than the testimony of the three police officers, at trial, prosecutors called three inconsequential witnesses: the man who discovered the bodies of the two girls, and the two doctors who performed the post mortem. Stinney’s counsel did not call any witnesses. Trial presentation lasted two-and-a-half hours. The jury took ten minutes to deliberate, after which they returned with a guilty verdict with no recommendation for mercy. Stinney was sentenced to death in the electric chair. When asked about appeals, Plowden replied that there would be no appeal, as the Stinney family had no money to pay for a continuation. When asked about the trial, Lorraine Binnicker Bailey, the sister of Betty June Binnicker, one of the murdered children, stated:
“Everybody knew that he done it, even before they had the trial they knew that he done it. But, I don’t think that they had too much of a trial”.
Local churches, the N.A.A.C.P., and unions pleaded with Governor Olin D. Johnston to stop the execution and commute the sentence to life imprisonment, citing Stinney’s age as a mitigating factor. There was substantial controversy about the pending execution, with one citizen writing to Johnston, stating, “Child execution is only for Hitler”. Still, there were supporters of Stinney’s execution; another letter to Johnston stated: “Sure glad to hear of your decision regarding the nigger Stinney.” Johnston did nothing, thereby allowing the execution to proceed.
The execution was carried out at the South Carolina State Penitentiary in Columbia, South Carolina on the morning of June 16, 1944, less than three months after the crime. At 7:30 a.m. Stinney walked to the execution chamber, a bible under his arm, which they later used as a booster seat in the electric chair.There were difficulties strapping the boy who at 5-1 feet and just over 90 lbs was comparably small for his age, to the electric chair. In addition, the state’s adult-sized face-mask used in executions did not fit properly. As a result, according to witnesses, it slid of his face during the execution, exposing his face to the witnesses “revealing his wide-open, tearful eyes and saliva coming from his mouth. Stinney was pronounced dead less than four minutes after the execution began. From the time of the murders until Stinney’s execution, 81 days had passed.
It was later found that a beam with which the two girls had been killed weighed over twenty pounds. It was ruled that George wasn’t able to lift the beam, let alone swing it hard enough to kill the two girls.
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By Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
WE MUST NEVER FORGET!!!
CHRIS HANI 1942 – APRIL 10, 1993
South African Political Activist and Freedom Fighter who was considered a threat to both the extreme-right wing in South Africa and the new, moderate leadership of the African National Congress,assassinated in April 1993
Martin Thembisile (Chris) Hani was born on 28 June 1942 in a small rural town, Comfimvaba, Transkei, South Africa.
THIS BRIEF AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT WAS WRITTEN BY CHRIS HANI IN FEBRUARY 1991:
“I was born in a small rural town in the Transkei called Cofimvaba. This town is almost 200 kilometres from East London. I am the fifth child in a family of six. Only three of us are still surviving, the other three died in their infancy. My mother is completely illiterate and my father semi-literate. My father was a migrant worker in the mines in the Transvaal, but he subsequently became an unskilled worker in the building industry.
Life was quite harsh for us and we went through some hard times as our mother had to supplement the family budget through subsistence farming; had to bring us up with very little assistance from my father who was always away working for the white capitalists.
I had to walk twenty kilometres to school every five days and then walk the same distance to church every Sunday. At the age of eight I was already an altar boy in the Catholic church and was quite devout.
After finishing my primary school education I had a burning desire to become a priest but this was vetoed by my father.
In 1954, while I was doing my secondary education, the apartheid regime introduced Bantu Education which was designed to indoctrinate Black pupils to accept and recognise the supremacy of the white man over the blacks in all spheres. This angered and outraged us and paved the way for my involvement in the struggle.
The arraignment for Treason of the ANC leaders in 1956 convinced me to join the ANC and participate in the struggle for freedom. In 1957 I made up my mind and joined the ANC Youth League. I was fifteen then, and since politics was proscribed at African schools our activities were clandestine. In 1959 I went over to university at Fort Hare where I became openly involved in the struggle, as Fort Hare was a liberal campus. It was here that I got exposed to Marxist ideas and the scope and nature of the racist capitalist system. My conversion to Marxism also deepened my non-racial perspective.
My early Catholicism led to my fascination with Latin studies and English literature. These studies in these two course were gobbled up by me and I became an ardent lover of English, Latin and Greek literature, both modern and classical. My studies of literature further strengthened my hatred of all forms of oppression, persecution and obscurantism. The action of tyrants as portrayed in various literary works also made me hate tyranny and institutionalized oppression.
In 1961 I joined the underground South African Communist Party as I realized that national liberation, though essential, would not bring about total economic liberation. My decision to join the Party was influenced by such greats of our struggle like Govan Mbeki, JB Marks, Moses Kotane, Ray Simons, etc.
In 1962, having recognized the intransigence of the racist regime, I joined the fledgling MK. This was the beginning of my long road in the armed struggle in which there have been three abortive assassination attempts against me personally. The armed struggle, which we never regarded as exclusive, as we combined it with other forms of struggle, has brought about the present crisis of apartheid.
In 1967 I fought together with Zipra forces in Zimbabwe as political commissar. In 1974 I went back to South Africa to build the underground and I subsequently left for Lesotho where I operated underground and contributed in the building of the ANC underground inside our country.”
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In 1967 he took an active role in the Rhodesian bush war, acting as a Political Commissar in the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA). ZIPRA, under the command of Joshua Nkomo, operated out of Zambia. Hani was present for three battles during the ‘Wankie Campaign’ (fought in the Wankie Game Reserve against Rhodesian forces) as part of the Luthuli Detachment of combined ANC and Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) forces.
Although the campaign provided much-needed propaganda for the struggle in Rhodesia and South Africa, in military terms it was a failure. Far too often the local population informed on guerrilla groups to the police. In early 1967 Hani narrowly escaped into Botswana, only to be arrested and detained in prison for two years for weapons possession. Hani returned to Zambia at the end of 1968 to continue his work with ZIPRA.
In 1973 Hani transferred to Lesotho. Here he organised units of the MK for guerrilla operations in South Africa. By 1982, Hani had become prominent enough in the ANC to be the focus of several assassination attempts, including at least one car bomb. He was transferred from the Lesotho capital, Maseru, to the centre of the ANC political leadership in Lusaka, Zambia. That year he was elected to the membership of the ANC National Executive Committee, and by 1983 he had been promoted to Political Commissar of the MK, working with student recruits who joined the ANC in exile after the 1976 student uprising.
When dissident ANC members, who were being held in detention camps in Angola, mutinied against their harsh treatment in 1983–4, Hani played a key role in the uprisings’ suppression – although he denied any involvement in the subsequent torture and murders. Hani continued to rise through the ANC ranks and in 1987 he became the Chief of Staff of the MK. During the same period he rose to senior membership of the SACP.
After the unbanning of ANC and SACP on 2 February 1990 Hani returned to South Africa and became a charismatic and popular speaker in townships. In 1992 Hani stepped down as Chief of Staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe to devote more time to the organisation of the SACP. Communists were prominent in the ANC and the Council of South African Trade Unions, but were under threat – the collapse of Marxism in Europe had discredited the movement world wide, and the policy of infiltrating other anti-Apartheid groups rather than making an independent stand was being questioned.
Hani campaigned for the SACP in townships around South Africa, seeking to redefine its place as a national political party. It was soon doing well – better than the ANC in fact – especially amongst the young who had no real experiences of the pre-Apartheid era and no commitment to the democratic ideals of the more moderate Mandela at all.
Hani was described as charming, passionate and charismatic, and soon attracted a cult-like following. He was the only political leader who seemed to have influence over the radical township self-defence groups that had parted from the authority of the ANC. Hani’s SACP would have proved a serious match for the ANC in the 1994 elections.
On 10 April 1993, as he returned home to Dawn Park, Boksberg (Johannesburg), Hani was assassinated by Januzs Walus, an anti-Communist Polish refugee who had close links to the white nationalist AWB. Also implicated in the assassination was Conservative Party MP Clive Derby-Lewis. Hani’s death came at a critical time for South Africa. The SACP was on the brink of becoming a significant status as an independent political party – it now found itself bereft of funds (due to collapse in Europe) and without a strong leader – and the democratic process was faltering. The assassination helped persuade the bickering negotiators of the Multi-Party Negotiating Forum to finally set a date for South Africa’s first democratic election.
Walus and Derby-Lewis were captured, sentenced and jailed within an incredibly short period (only six months) of the assassination. Both were sentenced to death. In a peculiar twist, the new government (and constitution) they had actively fought against, caused in their sentences being commuted to life imprisonment – the death penalty having been ruled ‘unconstitutional’. In 1997 Walus and Derby-Lewis applied for amnesty through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings. Despite claims that they were working for the Conservative Party, and therefore the assassination had been a political act, the TRC effectively ruled that Hani had been assassinated by right-wing extremists who were apparently acting independently. Walus and Derby-Lewis are currently serving their sentence in a maximum security prison near Pretoria.Post Views: 722
By Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
WALTER RODNEY 1942 – June 13, 1980
Was a Pan-Africanist, Historian, Political Activist and Preeminent Scholar, who was assassinated in Guyana in 1980.
Walter Rodney was born in Georgetown, Guyana on March 23, 1942. His was a working class family-his father was a tailor and his mother a seamstress. After attending primary school, he won an open exhibition scholarship to attend Queens College as one of the early working-class beneficiaries of concessions made in the filed of education by the ruling class in Guyana to the new nationalism that gripped the country in the early 1950s.
While at Queens College young Rodney excelled academically, as well as in the fields of athletics and debating. In 1960, he won an open scholarship to further his studies at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. He graduated with a first-class honors degree in history in 1963 and. he won an open scholarship to the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. In 1966, at the age of 24 he was awarded a Ph.D. with honors in African History.
His doctoral research on slavery on the Upper Guinea Coast was the result of long meticulous work on the records of Portuguese merchants both in England and in Portugal. In the process he learned Portuguese and Spanish which along with the French he had learned at Queens College made him somewhat of a linguist.
In 1970, his Ph.D dissertation was published by Oxford University Press under the title, A History of the Upper Guinea Coast, 1545-1800. This work was to set a trend for Rodney in both challenging the assumptions of western historians about African history and setting new standards for looking at the history of oppressed peoples. According to Horace Campbell “This work was path-breaking in the way in which it analyzed the impact of slavery on the communities and the interrelationship between societies of the region and on the ecology of the region.”
Walter took up his first teaching appointment in Tanzania before returning to his alma mater, the University of the West Indies, in 1968. This was a period of great political activity in the Caribbean as the countries begun their post colonial journey. But it was the Black Power Movement that caught Walter’s imagination.
Some new voices had begun to question the direction of the post-independence governments, in particular their attitude to the plight of the downpressed. The issue of empowerment for the black and brown poor of the region was being debated among the progressive intellectuals. Rodney, who from very early on had rejected the authoritarian role of the middle class political elite in the Caribbean, was central to this debate. He, however, did not confine his activities to the university campus. He took his message of Black Liberation to the gullies of Jamaica. In particular he shared his knowledge of African history with one of the most rejected section of the Jamaican society-the Rastafarians.
Walter had shown an interest in political activism ever since he was a student in Jamaica and England. Horace Campbell reports that while at UWI Walter “was active in student politics and campaigned extensively in 1961 in the Jamaica Referendum on the West Indian Federation.” While studying in London, Walter participated in discussion circles, spoke at the famous Hyde Park and, participated in a symposium on Guyana in 1965. It was during this period that Walter came into contact with the legendary CLR James and was one of his most devoted students.
By the summer of 1968 Rodney’s “groundings with the working poor of Jamaica had begun to attract the attention of the government. So, when he attended a Black Writers’ Conference in Montreal, Canada, in October 1968, the Hugh Shearer-led Jamaican Labor Party Government banned him from re-entering the country. This action sparked widespread riots and revolts in Kingston in which several people were killed and injured by the police and security forces, and millions of dollars worth of property destroyed.. Rodney’s encounters with the Rastafarians were published in a pamphlet entitled “Grounding with My Brothers,” that became a bible for the Caribbean Black Power Movement.
Having been expelled from Jamaica, Walter returned to Tanzania after a short stay in Cuba.. There he lectured from 1968 to 1974 and continued his groundings in Tanzania and other parts of Africa. This was the period of the African liberation struggles and Walter, who fervently believed that the intellectual should make his or her skills available for the struggles and emancipation of the people, became deeply involved.. It was from partly from these activities that his second major work, and his best known –How Europe Underdeveloped Africa – emerged. It was published by Bogle-L’Ouverture, in London, in conjunction with Tanzanian Publishing House in 1972.
This Tanzanian period was perhaps the most important in the formation of Rodney’s ideas. According to Horace Campbell “Here he was at the forefront of establishing an intellectual tradition which still today makes Dar es Salaam one of the centers of discussion of African politics and history. Out of he dialogue, discussions and study groups he deepened the Marxist tradition with respect to African politics, class struggle, the race question, African history and the role of the exploited in social change. It was within the context of these discussions that the book, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa was written.”
Campbell also reports that ” In he same period, he wrote the critical articles on Tanzanian Ujamaa, imperialism, on underdevelopment, and the problems of state and class formation in Africa. Many of his articles which were written in Tanzania appeared in Maji Maji, the discussion journal of the TANU Youth League at the University. He worked in the Tanzanian archives on the question of forced labor, the policing of the countryside and the colonial economy. This work– ” World War II and the Tanzanian Economy”– was later published as a monograph by Cornell University in 1976″.
Rodney also developed a reputation as a Pan-Africanist theoretician and spokes person. Campbell says that “In Tanzania he developed close political relationships with those who were struggling to change the external control of Africa He was very close to some of the leaders of liberation movements in Africa and also to political leaders of popular organizations of independent territories. Together with other Pan-Africanists he participated in discussing leading up to the Sixth Pan-African Congress, held in Tanzania, 1974. Before the Congress he wrote a piece: “Towards the Sixth Pan-African Congress: Aspects of the International Class Struggle in Africa, the Caribbean and America.”
In 1974, Walter returned to Guyana to take up an appointment as Professor of History at the University of Guyana, but the government rescinded the appointment. But Rodney remained in Guyana, joined the newly formed political group, the Working People’s Alliance. Between 1974 and his assassination in 1980, he emerged as the leading figure in the resistance movement against the increasingly authoritarian PNC government. He give public and private talks all over the country that served to engender a new political consciousness in the country. During this period he developed his ideas on the self emancipation of the working people, People’s Power, and multiracial democracy.
On July 11, 1979, Walter, together with seven others, was arrested following the burning down of two government offices. He, along with Drs Rupert Roopnarine and Omawale, was later charged with arson. From that period up to the time of his murder, he was constantly persecuted and harassed and at least on one occasion, an attempt was made to kill him. Finally, on the evening of June 13, 1980, he was assassinated by a bomb in the middle of Georgetown..
Walter was married to Dr Patricia Rodney and the union bore three children- Shaka, Kanini and Asha.
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