Black History Fact: The Comprehensive Act & Slavery In America

“An act of 1696, reenacted in 1712 and again in 1722, declared that those who have been sold and their children, are made slaves. By 1725, Governor Arthur Middleton stated that slaves have been and are always deemed as goods and chattel by their masters.

In 1740, The Comprehensive Negro Act abandoned completely the last vestiges of the Barbadian tradition and set slavery on a unique legal foundation. Blacks, Indians, and their heirs were considered slaves, the only colonial law affirming slavery as the presumptive status of persons of color.

The status of Blacks changed from unfree labor to racial slaves. A dark curtain had fallen over the colony. From that time on in law as well as in custom, the wall between white and non-white was set in stone.

The political condition of the African in South Carolina worsened in the 18th century as he was stripped of his humanity as well as his freedom both in theory and in practice.

Slavery in Carolina, from its founding until the Stono Rebellion of 1739, was marked by rising tensions between the races, stricter slave codes, and efforts by whites to maintain control as Blacks increased their numerical superiority.

A ticket was required to leave the place of the master slave patrols enforced the slave code and were on the look out for any signs of rebellion. Punishment of slaves included branding, mutilation, whipping, burning, castration, and execution.

Such measures undoubtedly increased the sense of cohesion among the Black population, but not necessarily a loss of ethnic identity. As Blacks fought back their resistance took many forms including arson, poison, and conspiracy.” -From, “The Gullah People and Their African Heritage” By: William Pollitzer

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Black History Fact Of The Day: The Guided Missile & The Pacemaker

Inventor and engineer Otis Boykin helped to develop the guided missile. He patented over 2 dozen electronic devices. This included the pacemaker.  He was inspired to create the pacemaker sue to his mother dying from  heart failure when he was only a year old. Ironically, Otis Boykin also died from heart failure in 1982.

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Black History Fact Of The Day: Harlem, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Dr. John Henrik Clarke created the Harlem Youth Action Project.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar participated in this program as a youth.  In his most recently published book, “Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On And Off The Court,” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, dedicates the book to Dr. Clarke.  The book’s dedication states:  “This is dedicated to all the young people who value scholarship and the teachers and mentors who sacrifice for them.  I especially want to thank Dr. John Henrik Clarke because the Harlem Youth Action Project, which he created, was crucial to me in understanding my path.”

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Black History Fact: Princess Laura Kofi

Princess Laura KofiGhanaian-born Laura Adorkor Kofi worked for Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) as the national field director.

Reputed to be an African princess, Laura Kofi came to American because dreams and spiritual visions prompted her to do so. She came to America with a mission to empower African-Americans to create an independent, self-sustaining community.

After splitting from Marcus Garvey, she created her own organization, the African Universal Church. She was murdered while delivering a sermon at her church. It was believed that she was murdered by a follower of the UNIA organization.

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Black History Fact Of The Day: The U.S. Virgin Islands

Red, Black & Green Elsie Law Logo“In 1917, the U.S. bought the Dutch West Indies for $125 million and renamed them the U.S. Virgin Islands. WWI was underway, and Uncle Sam wanted the islands as a naval base to protect the strategically important Panama Canal. The U.S. government assigned the administration of the islands to the Department of the Navy.” -From, “Gangsters of Harlem”

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Black History Fact Of The Day: Benjamin Banneker’s Grandfather

Red, Black & Green Elsie Law LogoVia his African grandfather, Benjamin Banneker had a royal lineage. Benjamin Banneker’s grandfather, Bannaky, came to America on a slave ship. In addition to his regal lineage, Bannaky also had an extensive knowledge of agriculture. This included building irrigation systems that prevented flooding. Bannaky also planted crops composed of foods he had grown in Africa (yams, sweet potatoes, rice, and watermelon).

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