Black History Fact Of The Day

Gabriel Prosser, was a literate enslaved blacksmith who planned and led a large slave rebellion in the Richmond area in the summer of 1800. Governor James Monroe and the state militia suppressed the rebellion. Gabriel and 26 other enslaved people who participated were hanged. In reaction, the Virginia and other legislatures passed restrictions on free blacks, as well as the education, movement and hiring out of the enslaved.

In 2002 the City of Richmond passed a resolution in honor of Gabriel on the 202nd anniversary of the rebellion.

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Book Excerpt Of The Week: “Seventh Child: A Family Memoir Of Malcolm X” By: Rodnell P. Collins

“Malcolm was led to his position by his vast knowledge of Black history in the United States. He constantly reminded us that the highly praised U.S. Constitution not only did not recognize human rights of Black people; it did not even acknowledge our ancestors as full human beings. To placate southern enslavers concerned about their representation in the House of Representatives, the “freedom loving” Christian founding fathers decided that each African would be counted as three-fifths of a person. Is there any other written constitution in world history that described some of its residents as three-fifths of a person? ‘With that as a beginning,’ said Ma, ‘it’s no wonder that the federal government for over two hundred years had no qualms about failing to protect the human rights of our people. To make a strong case at the United Nations, all Malcolm had to do was cite the three-fifths in the Constitution and list all the documented occasions, from enslavement to lynchings to Jim Crow laws, that the federal government failed to protect our human rights. There was no need to distort or magnify that history.’

Traditional civil-rights leaders knew that history as well as Malcolm did. ‘However, they also knew the history of what happened to Black leaders who spoke forcefully on foreign affairs,’ said Ma. ‘Marcus Garvey, whose slogan, ‘Africa for Africans,’ deeply disturbed the colonialists, was jailed, then deported; Paul Robeson was flagrantly harassed and denied a passport for travel; W.E.B. Du Bois, who attended most of the early Pan-African conferences, was flagrantly harassed and also denied traveling rights. He eventually decided to live permanently in Ghana. Later, five years after Malcolm was assassinated, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated when he spoke the truth about the Vietnam War.'”

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The 2008 not guilty verdict in the Sean Bell case evoked outrage, emotion, and debate. It is not an anomaly that the police officers involved in the Sean Bell slaying were acquitted of all charges on all counts in State Supreme Court. I could run out of ink printing the names of people who have been victimized by the inaptly named justice system.

The American justice system has been especially terroristic towards the African American community. Many community members can cite historic and personal accounts to prove this. Therefore, it would be foolhardy (at the least) to turn to a system that has methodically oppressed us, and request that they free us. We can only free ourselves through extreme discipline and intelligent planning.

As a community we have been too compliant with leaders who organize ineffective, delayed reactions. The only strategy that can save us in this last hour is one that calls for a collective code of conduct that will be conducive to improving the conditions of our community, and shifting the paradigm of how we are treated by outside entities. The first step of this code of conduct should be based on economics.

The old adage of “money talks,” still reigns true in the new millennium. Any political scientist worth his or her library card will tell you that: “Economic powerlessness equals political powerlessness,” and conversely “economic power equals political power.” This means that if we continue to allow our wealth to be extracted from our community, we will remain impotent.

The power of the collective “Black Dollar” is often discussed. However, that power has been left unchanneled. Today is the day to change that. A one-time boycott is not going to bring long-term change and respect to our community. Our community has launched boycotts before. Our success and ascension will be based on what we consistently do. For this reason, we should initiate “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS.”

BUY BLACK FRIDAYS is a small step towards our community acquiring power via controlling our economics. Every Friday, people who acknowledge the injustice and oppression that the African American community has been consistently subjected to should do one of the following:

Option #1: Spend $0 on Friday
Option #2: Spend no more than $10 on Friday
Option #3: Only Shop at Black Businesses on Friday
[PLEASE NOTE THAT THE ABOVE OPTIONS CAN & SHOULD BE EXERCISED ON A DAILY BASIS. However, we can all at the very least focus on Fridays. This way we can take a collective stand and build our collective discipline. Please remember that this is only Phase 1!].

To the people who are tempted to label “BUY BLACK FRIDAYS” as racist, I say this: In the big scheme of things, this is about right & wrong, justice & injustice. The African American community is a strong, proud community that has endured the brunt of America’s iron fist. We must stop the pounding. I feel that any fair-minded individual will concur, and join in.

ANY business that is privileged to enjoy the support of the African American community MUST return that support.

I thank you in advance for your effort and dedication.

-Elsie Law AKA Starface

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Quote Of The Day

“Our people have to be made to see that any time you take your dollar out of your community and spend it in a community where you don’t live, the community where you live will get poorer and poorer and the community where you spend will get richer and richer. Then you wonder why where you live is always a slum area.” -Malcolm X

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