Slavery

There are a few definitions of slavery, here are some of them, One is taken from Britannica the other from Mirriam-Webster.

“slavery, condition in which one human being was owned by another. A slave was considered by law as property, or chattel, and was deprived of most of the rights ordinarily held by free persons.”

” 1a: the practice of slaveholding
b: the state of a person who is held in forced servitude
c: a situation or practice in which people are entrapped (as by debt) and exploited. 2: submission to a dominating influence slavery to habit 3:DRUDGERY, TOIL”

In none of the definitions is there a reference of skin color, yet anytime you see a picture about slavery it is always of black slaves.

When people see the picture above and out it in the context of slavery, immediately they think that the black man is the slave and the white man is his owner. However they would be wrong. The picture was take by Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje, circa 1888 it is a photograph of a Meccan merchant (right) and his Circassian slave. Entitled, “Vornehmer Kaufmann mit seinem cirkassischen Sklaven’ (Distinguished merchant and his circassian slave)”

The Circassians, are a Northwest Caucasian ethnic group and the indigenous people of the North Caucasus. The picture was taken in 1888 or near to that time. Which is 2 decades after the abolishment of slavery in the USA, and most other western countries.

I don’t want this to become a political blog but I just feel compelled to say that it is bizarre, that the BLM movement is looking for compensation for something which happened more then 400 years ago. You can not hold people in 2021 responsible for what happened 400 years ago. Most of all if you set up a political movement you need to have all the facts, and distort history to further your agenda, because that will not help against racism, it will create racism.

No one in their right mind will deny that the slavery of our black fellow human beings was awful and nothing less than a genocide. However one thing that is always overlooked in the BLM narrative is the fact that the slaves were brought to slaves markets, not by white men but by. fellow Africans

Records from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, directed by historian David Eltis at Emory University, show that the majority of captives brought to the U.S. came from Senegal, Gambia, Congo and eastern Nigeria. Europeans oversaw this brutal traffic in human cargo, but they had many local collaborators. “The organization of the slave trade was structured to have the Europeans stay along the coast lines, relying on African middlemen and merchants to bring the slaves to them,” said Toyin Falola, a Nigerian professor of African studies at the University of Texas at Austin. “The Europeans couldn’t have gone into the interior to get the slaves themselves.”

A slave trader of Gorée, c. 1797

The anguished debate over slavery in the U.S. is often silent on the role that Africans played. That silence is echoed in many African countries, where there is hardly any national discussion or acknowledgment of the issue. From nursery school through university in Nigeria, I was taught about great African cultures and conquerors of times past but not about African involvement in the slave trade. In an attempt to reclaim some of the dignity that we lost during colonialism, Africans have tended to magnify stories of a glorious past of rich traditions and brave achievement, according to professor Toyin Falola.

How slaves were traded in Africa

European buyers tended to remain on the coast
African sellers brought slaves from the interior on foot
Journeys could be as long as 485km (300 miles)
Two captives were typically chained together at the ankle
Columns of captives were tied together by ropes around their necks
10%-15% of captives died on the way

Before African slaves there were Christian slaves and other white slaves, enslaved by the Roman empire. Anyone who has seen the movie “Gladiator” will know the tagline “The general who became a slave. The slave who became a gladiator. The gladiator who defied an empire.” although the main character is fictional, the Gladiators were mostly slaves taken from all over the Roman empire including ‘white’ Europe.

After the Romans the Vikings did their share in white slavery.

The Jews have been enslaved many times before that and after that.

Many in the BLM movement are trying to distort the History, by implying that slaves were only black and slave traders were always white. This is factual not true and will do more harm then good to the movement.

And I know that some will imply that I am a racist, even though I am as far removed from racism as you can be. I totally agree with those who want to highlight that there still is inequality between black and white ,because there is. Every human being regardless what race, colour, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, background should have the same rights and opportunities.

But by calling everyone who is white ‘privileged’ you are actually creating racism. Because so many, including me, are not

sources

Jacques Grasset de Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Labrousse (France, Bordeaux, active late 18th century) – Image: http://collections.lacma.org/sites/default/files/remote_images/piction/ma-31858248-O3.jpg Gallery: http://collections.lacma.org/node/208516 archive copy

https://www.wsj.com/articles/when-the-slave-traders-were-african-11568991595

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-53444752

https://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15861.html

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0172495/taglines

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slavery

https://www.britannica.com/topic/slavery-sociology

The not so original Cancel Culture

The buzz word nowadays is ‘Cancel Culture’ the definition of this phenomenon according to WikiPedia is

-Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – whether it be online, on social media, or in person. Those who are subject to this ostracism are said to have been “cancelled”-

However cancel culture is nothing new. It does appear to resurface every once and again. Although the current ‘woke’ generation may think it is a socially very responsible thing to do, it is far from it.

The problem with cancel culture it only cheery picks elements of the truth in order to pursue a political philosophy. It also is more an ideology which is endorsed by both fringes of society, The far and extreme right and also the far and extreme left. You only have to look at the call out for banning of the Teletubbies ,by some far right evangelists in the USA, because it supposedly encouraged homo sexuality- Tinky Winky was allegedly a gay icon.

On the other hand there were calls for the books of Laura Ingalls “Little House on the Prairie” to be banned, by far left socialists, because if allegedly encouraged racism.

These are just 2 examples of the more current cancel culture phenomenon. As I said this however is nothing new. Back in the 1920’s there was a call for the banning of some movies because they went against the moral values of the wider society. Especially when there was nudity involved

A still of Annette Kellermann from A Daughter of the Gods (1916).

What many people nowadays don’t realize is that the first movie to win a best picture Oscar (the 1927 silent film “Wings”) had both male AND female nudity. In 1922, after several risqué films and a series of off-screen scandals involving Hollywood stars, the studios enlisted Presbyterian elder Will H. Hays to rehabilitate Hollywood’s image. Initially it started of with a list of 36 self-imposed “Don’ts and Be Carefuls,”

But soon that was no longer enough and the Hays code was introduced in 1934 and lasted for 34 years. The Hays Code was so strict that even the display of cleavage was controversial. There were some exemptions like in documentaries and comedies where some nudity was involved. Like the 1963 comedy “Promises! Promises!” starring Jayne Mansfield

We may not have the Hays code anymore but nowadays we have the “Community Standards” set by Social Media platforms such as Facebook, where it is possible toe get porn sent you via anonymous sources as spam and there seems to be no rule for that, however posting a topless picture of a wife or girlfriend on the beach is seen as totally offensive, but it is never explained who is offended by it. Or in my case where I was banned for posting a meme of Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler and his daughter actress Liv Tyler.

So far these examples have been relatively harmless but social media is becoming more and more the source for many of these cancel culture events. People just are not interested in educating themselves with all the facts. I totally condemn all racism, and I mean all racism. No one in their right mind will deny that there was slavery but slogans like “White Privilege” or “Black lives matters” will not help fight racism, in fact it will do the opposite. Of course we need to look at the history of slavery, but we need to look at all the history.

It is true that white slave traders went to Africa where they got slaves, but it mostly wasn’t them who captured the slaves. That was mainly done by other Africans often from other tribes.

This is a front cover of a London news paper a printed in 7 December 1889, of Tippu Tip, or Tippu Tib an Afro-Arab slave trader, ivory trader, explorer, plantation owner and governor. He worked for a succession of the sultans of Zanzibar. Tippu Tip traded in slaves for Zanzibar’s clove plantations. As part of the large and lucrative ivory trade, he led many trading expeditions into Central Africa, constructing profitable trading posts deep into the region. He bought the ivory from local suppliers and resold it for a profit at coastal ports.

Although he owned thousands of slaves and sold them for a profit , I haven’t heard anyone ask for him to be cancelled. He is not the only African slave traders there were many.

As for the aforementioned the banning or cancelling books like “the little house on the prairie” or a series of books of Dr Seuss really is nothing different then the 21st century version of book burning.

On April 8, 1933, he Main Office for Press and Propaganda of the German Student Union (DSt) proclaimed a nationwide “Action against the Un-German Spirit” Yes indeed the student union, supposedly educated people who actively encouraged fellow students and citizens to destroy books.

Of course the subject of History itself is under scrutiny and has been already cancelled in many schools.

We should all learn from the mistakes in history. We should also respect our differences and embrace them. But not by cancelling it but by debate and education. and especially education in History.

If we give in to these extreme philosophies on each side of the political spectrum we will make the same mistakes again. My biggest fear is that , and I mean this sincerely and genuinely, if we look at everything from just one side we will be contributing to a genocide we have never seen before.

When Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali

On March 6,1964 Cassius Clay announced that he no longer would be known as Cassius Clay but as Muhammad Ali.

Clay had been linked to the Nation of Islam, although they initially had refused him entry as a member due to his boxing career. However when Clay beat Joe Liston in 1964, the Nation of Islam did accept him , I can only speculate that this was a good Public Relations move for them.

Shortly afterwards on March 6, Elijah Muhammad gave a radio address that Clay would be renamed Muhammad (one who is worthy of praise) Ali (most high).

Muhammad Ali had claimed that his old name Cassius Clay was a “slave name and a white man’s name”

Unfortunately this is what happens so often when athletes, musicians, actors or other celebrities get involved in a political movement(although the nation of Islam had religious elements, it was really a political movement) they get very enthusiastic about the cause and sometimes forget to do all the research.

Cassius Marcellus Clay had been a slave owner, but he also was a politician, and emancipationist who worked for the abolition of slavery.

He was a founding member of the Republican Party in Kentucky. It was in this same state where a certain Mr. Abe Grady from Ennis in Ireland, met a free African-American woman and married her. They had a son named John Lewis Grady. He married Birdie Moorehead and the couple had a daughter Odessa Lee Grady . Odessa married Cassius Clay Sr, who was the son of Herman H. Clay(born in 1876 after slavery had been abolished in the USA).

In 2009 Muhammad Ali visited Ennis to trace his routes.

No one can ever deny the genius of Muhammad Ali, but I do think he was a small bit blindsided by the politics surrounding the Nation of Islam.

However all in all he was a great man and a generous human being. When it comes to boxing he was without a shadow of a doubt the greatest. There probably will never be a boxer of his caliber again, especially when you look at the boxing industry nowadays, and I say industry because it is very little to do with sports anymore.

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Sources

https://www.espn.com/sportscentury/features/00014063.html

https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/muhammad-ali-irish-roots

The hanging of Amy Spain

amy

On this date in 1865, just weeks before the final collapse of the Confederacy, a slave named Amy Span was hanged on a sycamore tree before the courthouse of Darlingon, S.C., for anticipating her liberty a little too exuberantly.

Amy Spain’s slave master was  Major Albertus C. Spain, a Mexican-American War veteran who owned a large property in Darlington, South Carolina, and had been a member of the South Carolina Secession Convention. Amy was about 17 years old at the time of her death, and was referred to as “mulatto”, with sources noting her light skin. In early 1865, a detachment of the Union Army arrived in Darlington as part of the Carolinas Campaign.Spain reputedly exclaimed “bless the Lord, the Yankees have come!”.Many white residents (including almost all adult men) had deserted the town by that point, and the Union commander allowed slaves to take whatever belongings had been left behind.

But the Union men were not long for the town. It was just a scout party; constrained by strategic objectives, and hindered by swollen early-spring rivers, the main body of Union forces passed Darlington by.

Anticipating an occupation that was not about to occur, Amy recklessly declared herself free and took some of the Spain household’s possessions — the fruit of her own involuntary labor.

A short time later Confederate troops under command of  General Joseph Wheeler, re-occupied the town.

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Those who had stayed behind during the Union occupation reported that Amy Spain had been the “ringleader” of the looting, and accused her specifically of guiding Union troops to places where valuables had been hidden.Amy Spain was captured and charged with “treason and conduct unbecoming a slave” by a Confederate military tribunal;[5] Major Spain reputedly acted as her defense counsel. She was sentenced to death, and hanged from a sycamore tree in the Darlington town square on March 10, 1865.

The September 30, 1865, edition of Harper’s Weekly gave a somewhat embellished account of Spain’s execution, proclaiming that “her name is now hallowed among the Africans”.[3] The story and its accompanying illustration were reprinted by many Northern newspapers. Harper’s Weekly attributed the greater share of responsibility to Darlington’s residents rather than the Confederate troops, stating that her execution “was acquiesced in and witnessed by most of the citizens of the town”.

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Sources

Executed Today

Harpers Bazaar

The other side of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham_Lincoln_head_on_shoulders_photo_portrait

No one in their right mind will argue that Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest states men in US and World History.

However his moral values weren’t as pure as many people think they were. But in my view that probably makes him even a greater leader then he has been given credit for. For he made decision although it did go against his moral fiber, but he made them for the greater good.

Best Abraham Lincon quotes pics images pictures (37)

Just to disperse one myth he was never a vampire slayer.

On September 22 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, in which he declared that as of January 1, 1863, all slaves in states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.

Emancipation_Proclamation_WDL2714

In 1842, Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd, Mary was born in Lexington, Kentucky as the fourth of seven children of Robert Smith Todd, a banker, and Elizabeth (Parker) Todd.Her family were slaveholders, and Mary was raised in comfort and refinement.

Mary_Todd_Lincoln

Lincoln wasn’t an abolitionist.

Lincoln did believe that slavery was morally wrong, but there was one big problem: It was sanctioned by the highest law in the land, the Constitution. The nation’s founding fathers, who also struggled with how to address slavery, did not explicitly write the word “slavery” in the Constitution, but they did include key clauses protecting the institution, including a fugitive slave clause and the three-fifths clause, which allowed Southern states to count slaves for the purposes of representation in the federal government. In a three-hour speech in Peoria, Illinois, in the fall of 1854, Lincoln presented more clearly than ever his moral, legal and economic opposition to slavery—and then admitted he didn’t know exactly what should be done about it within the current political system.

Abolitionists, by contrast, knew exactly what should be done about it: Slavery should be immediately abolished, and freed slaves should be incorporated as equal members of society. They didn’t care about working within the existing political system, or under the Constitution, which they saw as unjustly protecting slavery and slave owners. Leading abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison called the Constitution “a covenant with death and an agreement with Hell,” and went so far as to burn a copy at a Massachusetts rally in 1854. Though Lincoln saw himself as working alongside the abolitionists on behalf of a common anti-slavery cause, he did not count himself among them. Only with emancipation, and with his support of the eventual 13th Amendment, would Lincoln finally win over the most committed abolitionists.

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Lincoln didn’t believe blacks should have the same rights as whites.

Though Lincoln argued that the founding fathers’ phrase “All men are created equal” applied to blacks and whites alike, this did not mean he thought they should have the same social and political rights. His views became clear during an 1858 series of debates with his opponent in the Illinois race for U.S. Senate, Stephen Douglas, who had accused him of supporting “negro equality.” In their fourth debate, at Charleston, Illinois, on September 18, 1858, Lincoln made his position clear. “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races,” he began, going on to say that he opposed blacks having the right to vote, to serve on juries, to hold office and to intermarry with whites. What he did believe was that, like all men, blacks had the right to improve their condition in society and to enjoy the fruits of their labor. In this way they were equal to white men, and for this reason slavery was inherently unjust.

Like his views on emancipation, Lincoln’s position on social and political equality for African-Americans would evolve over the course of his presidency. In the last speech of his life, delivered on April 11, 1865, he argued for limited black suffrage, saying that any black man who had served the Union during the Civil War should have the right to vote.

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Lincoln thought colonization could resolve the issue of slavery.

For much of his career, Lincoln believed that colonization—or the idea that a majority of the African-American population should leave the United States and settle in Africa or Central America—was the best way to confront the problem of slavery. His two great political heroes, Henry Clay and Thomas Jefferson, had both favored colonization; both were slave owners who took issue with aspects of slavery but saw no way that blacks and whites could live together peaceably. Lincoln first publicly advocated for colonization in 1852, and in 1854 said that his first instinct would be “to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia” (the African state founded by the American Colonization Society in 1821).

Liberia

Nearly a decade later, even as he edited the draft of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in August of 1862, Lincoln hosted a delegation of freed slaves at the White House in the hopes of getting their support on a plan for colonization in Central America. Given the “differences” between the two races and the hostile attitudes of whites towards blacks, Lincoln argued, it would be “better for us both, therefore, to be separated.” Lincoln’s support of colonization provoked great anger among black leaders and abolitionists, who argued that African-Americans were as much natives of the country as whites, and thus deserved the same rights. After he issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln never again publicly mentioned colonization, and a mention of it in an earlier draft was deleted by the time the final proclamation was issued in January 1863.

Emancipation was a military policy.

As much as he hated the institution of slavery, Lincoln didn’t see the Civil War as a struggle to free the nation’s 4 million slaves from bondage. Emancipation, when it came, would have to be gradual, and the important thing to do was to prevent the Southern rebellion from severing the Union permanently in two. But as the Civil War entered its second summer in 1862, thousands of slaves had fled Southern plantations to Union lines, and the federal government didn’t have a clear policy on how to deal with them. Emancipation, Lincoln saw, would further undermine the Confederacy while providing the Union with a new source of manpower to crush the rebellion.

In July 1862 the president presented his draft of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation to his cabinet. Secretary of State William Seward urged him to wait until things were going better for the Union on the field of battle, or emancipation might look like the last gasp of a nation on the brink of defeat. Lincoln agreed and returned to edit the draft over the summer. On September 17 the bloody Battle of Antietam gave Lincoln the opportunity he needed. He issued the preliminary proclamation to his cabinet on September 22, and it was published the following day. As a cheering crowd gathered at the White House, Lincoln addressed them from a balcony: “I can only trust in God I have made no mistake … It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment on it.”

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The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t actually free all of the slaves.

Since Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a military measure, it didn’t apply to border slave states like Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, all of which had remained loyal to the Union. Lincoln also exempted selected areas of the Confederacy that had already come under Union control in hopes of gaining the loyalty of whites in those states. In practice, then, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t immediately free a single slave, as the only places it applied were places where the federal government had no control—the Southern states currently fighting against the Union.

Despite its limitations, Lincoln’s proclamation marked a crucial turning point in the evolution of Lincoln’s views of slavery, as well as a turning point in the Civil War itself. By war’s end, some 200,000 black men would serve in the Union Army and Navy, striking a mortal blow against the institution of slavery and paving the way for its eventual abolition by the 13th Amendment.

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