Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").
The very words cause many people to grin at what appears to be simply a play on words. No one reads about such people in european authored history books and there are only a few references to "Ethiopian Jews" in white Jewish sources. Yet Black Hebrews have existed since biblical times. In fact, they are the original or proto-typical Hebrews.
Their story begins with the Patriarch Abraham (2117-1942 B.C.), a native of the Sumerian city of Ur in ancient Mesopotamia. Archaeological discoveries have proven that the earliest inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia were members of the "Brown Race," i.e., the Negroid branch of humanity.
It has been confirmed that the ancient Sumerians were akin to the modern Black Dravidians of India. The Sumerians also had an affinity with a people known as the Elamites, the very first Semitic group mentioned in the Bible (Gen. 10:22). The Elamites were a black-skinned and woolly-haired people as the colorful glazed artwork on the royal palace walls of the ancient Persian city of Susa clearly show.Thus Abraham, the native of Sumerian and the founding father of the Israelite nation, was a black man. The black racial origins of the Patriarchs is not based on mere conjecture, it is in complete agreement with the picture one gets from examining the identity of the earliest inhabitants of southern Mesopotamia.
This truth is grossly neglected, suppressed, and distorted in most European and American historical texts which are flavored with race prejudice. Fortunately, however, there are enough well authored and highly researched works by Black historians that challenge the Eurocentric revisions of history and correct the various erroneous views regarding the ethnic identity of the Hebrews.
Biblical history relates that the descendants of Abraham, namely Jacob (Israel) and his twelve sons and their wives, 70 in all, migrated from Canaan to Egypt around the year 1827 B.C. During their sojourn in Egypt the Children of Israel multiplied from being a family of 70 souls to a nation of over 3 million people at the time of the Exodus which took place in 1612 B.C.
This astounding number of people in so short a time can only be adequately explained by intermarriage between the family of Jacob and the native Egyptian populace. It is an established fact that the ancient Egyptians were a black African people. Thus, even if the Hebrews were not black before they arrived in Egypt, which is unlikely given Abraham's background, they were definitely black by the time they left Egypt under Moses
The biblical Hebrews were indistinguishable from native Egyptians and Ethiopians. The Bible is full of examples which demonstrates this, and even ancient secular historians remarked of the physical appearances of the Hebrews. The historian Tacitus, for example, stated that it was a common opinion among the Romans that the Jews "were an Ethiopian race." In Roman times PalestinianIsraelites were classed among Black Africans because it was almost impossible to tell them apart.
Hence, the Eurocentric notion of the Black Hebrew as a kind of Johnnie-come-lately in Hebraic history does not accord with the facts. On the contrary, the historical record is abundantly clear that the majority of white European Jewry are not Hebrews in the biological sense but are actually the descendants of converts to Judaism during Greco-Roman and Mediaeval times. Professor Roland B. Dixon states emphatically that: "The great majority of all Jews [Ashkenazi] to-day are 'Semites' only in speech, and their true ancestry goes back not so much to Palestine and Arabia as to the uplands of Anatolia and Armenia, the Caucasus and the steppes of Central Asia, and their nearest relatives are still to be found in these areas to-day" (Racial History Of Man, p. 175).
Caucasian Jews are not the lineal descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Nor do they constitute a separate race but rather a religious fraternity which adheres to the ethnic tradition of a people whose origins are inextricably linked to Black Africa.
But if the original Hebrews were black where are their descendants in the world today? Are all black people Hebrews? The answer to the latter question is obviously no. The Israelites were only one of several black people existing in ancient the ancient world. Nevertheless, it is certain that the ancient Hebrews customs and practices who's legacy orginated in Africa, were adopted by that of white Jews in Europe. Very little is heard about the hundreds of thousands of Black Hebrews living in various parts of the world such as Africa, Asia, India, Arabia, the Caribbean islands, South America, and North America.
The history of Black Hebrews in North America is perhaps one of the most important chapters in US history which has yet to be fully written. The ancestors of African Americans came from West Africa during the era of slavery. That particular region of Africa was once home to a number of Black Hebrew tribes that migrated from North and East Africa over many centuries. In speaking of these migrations, Dr. Yoseph A. A. ben-Yochannan writes that: "In North Africa, just before the period of Christianity's legal entry into Rome - due to Constantine "the Great" conversion in the 4th century - there were many Hebrew (Jewish) 'tribes' that are of indigenous African (the so-called 'Negroes') origin.
These African Jews, as all other Romanized-African of this era, were caught in a rebellion in Cyrene (Cyrenaica) during 115 C.E. against Roman imperialism and colonialism. This rebellion also marked the beginning of a mass Jewish migration southward into Soudan (Sudan or West Africa) along the way of the city Aer (Air) and into the countries of Futa Jalon and Senegal (Sene-Gambia) which lie below the parabolic curve of the Niger River's most northern reaches, where the City of Tumbut (Timbuktu, Timbuctoo, etc.), Melle (Mali) presently stands." ("African Origins of the Major Western Religions," 1970, p. 76).
Dr. Ben goes on to relate that Black Israelite immigrants from northern and eastern Africa merged with indigenous groups in western Africa to become the Fulani of Futa Jalon, Bornu, Kamen, and Lake Chad. They also formed the parent-stock of groups such as the Ashanti, the Hausa, the B'nai Ephraim (mentioned in earlier posts), and the Bavumbu (Mavumbu or Ma-yomba). All of these groups suffered tremendous population decreases during the years the Atlantic slave trade was in operation, others were completely eliminated.
Thus, every so-called African American has Israelite ancestry in their family tree whether he or she knows it or not. Even in the very crucible of slavery the descendants of West African Hebrew captives in America struggled to keep their heritages from being obliterated by forced assimilation and acculturation. Their distinctive traditions became submerged in Christianity but always remained a part of the oral tradition via the so-called Negro Spirituals which praise the memory of ancestors and kinsmen like Moses, David, Joshua, and Daniel.
Since the African-American conviction of having Israelite ancestry antedates the Civil War it is not surprising that the earliest Black Hebrew congregation to be established in North America was founded in the 1880s in Chattanooga, Tennessee by F. S. Cherry (the group later moved to Philadelphia). Cherry was a railroad worker and seaman who was fluent in both Yiddish and Hebrew. He adamantly preached that so-called American Negroes are really the lost sheep of the House of Israel whose true legacy was stolen from them during slavery. He urged his hearers to investigate their history in order to rediscover this truth and reclaim their heritage.
In 1896, a man by the name of William S. Crowdy established another Hebrew congregation in Lawrence, Kansas. In 1899, Leon Richlieu established the Moorish Zionist Temple in Brooklyn. To date there are literally hundreds of uncharted Black Hebrew congregations in North America. They do not exist because of an aversion for mainstream American Protestantism or an attraction to white Jewish culture. As stated earlier, Black Hebrews have always been in the world; and they repudiate the notion that they are usurpers of the heritage of white Jews.
The great proliferation of Black Hebrew groups occurred after World War I during the Great Migration of Blacks from rural areas in the South to urban centers in the North. There were at least nine Black Hebrew congregations in New York in the early 1900s, one of which was founded by a West Indian named Arnold Josiah Ford called "Beth B'nai Abraham Congregation." In 1918, another West Indian born Israelite named Wentworth Arthur Matthews founded the "Commandment Keepers," and emerged as one of the leading Black Israelite rabbis in Harlem. Born in 1892 of African Hebraic parentage in Lagos, West Africa, Matthews moved with his family to St. Kitts in the West Indies before coming to America in 1911.
Branches of the "Commandment Keepers" exist in many American cities such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Cincinnati, Chicago, Ohio, Virginia, and New Jersey. In 1965, the "House of Judah" was founded by William Lewis in Wetumpka, Alabama. The group later purchased a twenty-acre tract near Grand Junction, Michigan where they practice a communal life-style. Black Hebrews feel that by reclaiming their Israelite identity they have also recovered an important part of their ancestral heritage. They hold to the conviction that their "Hebrewness" is directly traceable to their African forebears of Israelite extraction who were brought to this country during slavery. They are cognizant and proud of their non-Hebrew African heritages but like many other people with mixed backgrounds they opt to give certain of their forebears a more pronounced place in their identity.
Black Israelite groups in America are decentralized and varied in ideology.Unlike white Orthodox Jews, Black Hebrews reject the Talmud, a collection of commentaries, as being on a par with the Bible and so they do not conform to rabbinical judgments which emphasize the need of conversion to Talmudism in order to be considered "truly" Jewish.
Since the Bible recognizes patrilineal as well as matrilineal descent, Black Hebrews (like Reform Jews) do not place any special significance on having a "Jewish" mother as do Orthodox Jews. Another major reason why the Talmud is rejected is due to its role in creating the so-called Hamitic Myth which is the doctrine that teaches that all black-skinned people are the cursed descendants of Ham in the Bible.
It was the promulgation of this erroneous myth, passing under the guise of "Jewish" talmudic scholarship, which provided the moral pretext for European slavery of Africans. The Talmud was not the product of ethnic Hebrews but of proselytized Babylonian sages who worked on editing it from the 3rd to in the 6th century A.D. It should not be used as the litmus test on Hebrew identity, particularly since it was of men who were clearly prejudice of Blacks, Israelites or otherwise.
A major dilemma facing many Black Hebrews who wish to settle in Israel has to do with the Talmud and the fact that conversion is a mandatory prerequisite for gaining Israeli citizenship. The Black Jews from Ethiopian were not allowed to immigrate to Israel until they agreed to undergo a ceremonial conversion to white Judaism (which was tantamount to a denial of their own Hebrewness) and embrace the Talmud. However, many Ethiopian Jews, particular in the aftermath of the recent blood scandal in Israel, are seriously rethinking their decision to adopt the Talmud because it has not given them equal status with other white Israelis.
Ethiopians Jews occupy the bottom rung of Israeli society today because they are black and are not considered "true" Hebrews because of their blackness. American Black Hebrews wanting to join their Ethiopian brethren feel that the Israeli Law of Return is unjust because it forces recognition of a racist text (the Talmud) in order to be considered eligible for citizenship It is truly ironic that the descendants of the original Hebrews are not considered to be Hebrews even in their own land because they happen to look like their distant forebears.
Posted by Sawaad Amen Ra at 3:04 PM
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").
"Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form."
White privilege is the subject where whites are given certain advantages simply because they are white. In a white-dominated society, privileges are not only plentiful, but are also normal. Of course, it's not surprising that many whites are either unaware of their privileges, or go so far as to deny that they even have privileges by playing the victim role.
In critical race theory, white privilege is a way of conceptualizing racial inequalities that focuses as much on the advantages that white people accrue from society as on the disadvantages that people of color experience. Most such theories focus on American and European societal condition, since inequality between whites and non-whites is a long-standing feature of these academic areas. White privilege differs from conditions of overt racism or prejudice, in which a dominant group actively seeks to oppress or suppress other racial groups for its own advantage. Instead, theories of white privilege suggest that whites view their social, cultural, and economic experiences as a norm that everyone should experience, rather than as an advantaged position that must be maintained at the expense of others. This normative assumption implicitly constrains discussions of racial inequality within the dominant discourse: such explanations are limited to factors specific to disadvantaged racial groups - who are viewed as having failed to achieve the norm - and solutions focus on what can be done to help those groups achieve the 'normal' standards experienced by whites.
In essence, theories of white privilege assert that discourses on racial inequality do not truly discuss differences between white and non-white social status, but only discuss the failure of non-white groups to achieve normal social status, effectively turning race into an issue that does not involve whites. In this sense it is similar to confirmation biases and the fundamental attribution error in social psychology.
The general claim of theories of white privilege is that racial inequity cannot be resolved solely by looking at the life conditions of disadvantaged groups. They suggest that solutions to problems of racial inequality can only be achieved by explicitly discussing the implicit advantages that whites as a group hold in society.
However, the list shows the harsh realities that blacks face no matter the socioeconomic, political, or religious/spiritual sense or status. Some of these vary depending on the individual, but overall, here's a list of adversities blacks have to struggle with and overcome. Also within the list are things whites must be aware of and overcome which is associated with fear.
1. If I'm in a group of others who look like me, that is a cause for some kind of suspicion.
2. In order to not cause suspicion, I must be in the company of (mostly) whites.
3. If I move, I can be sure I will likely end up in poor neighborhood whether I want to or not.
4. If I move into a white neighborhood, it will be enough to arouse suspicion with my neighbors.
5. When I go shopping, I can be sure I will arouse suspicion and be followed around.
6. I will be sure that when I turn on the TV, I will most likely see others who look like me as ball players, criminals, clowns or overall failures of society.
7. When I turn to the local news on tv or in a newspaper, I can be sure most of the crime reported will have faces of suspects who look like me.
8. I know that my history is celebrated during the shortest month of the year and will likely not be celebrated any other time.
9. I know that most of the history taught is of history of mainly white people.
10. I can be sure that most of the stories I have to read for class are stories written by whites featuring white characters.
11. I can be sure that in order to pass in school I have to learn history and literature of whites by whites.
12. In order for whites to listen to me, I must agree with what they think about me and my people.
13. I can be sure that whites will not listen to me when it comes to race and racism.
14. I can be sure that in order to "make it" in the music industry I must sing or rap about sex, drugs, violence and killing my own people.
15. I can be sure that in order to "make it" in the music industry I must be an R&B, Jazz, rap or hip-hop artist.
16. When I use cash, checks, or credit cards, my skin is enough for suspicion.
17. When children of my race are missing, I know the media will likely not pay too much, if any, attention to them.
18. I know during my lifetime, I will be taught that my race is inferior in some way, shape or form.
19. I can be pretty sure that teachers will likely and severely punish children of my race for small infractions.
20. I can be pretty sure that children of my race will be put down or judged because of their race.
21. I know that the dropout rate for male children of my race is the highest among other races.
22. The way I look contributes to the way I should talk in order to be considered black.
23. I know that making good grades and good manners are signs that I'm "acting white."
24. I can be pretty sure that I'm automatically a representative for my group in the entertainment, political, religious or social area.
25. I know that any bad manners I have is associated with my color.
26. As a male I can be sure that living beyond 30 is a blessing.
27. I know that growing up, I will see poverty, drugs, violence and/or murder at least once.
28. If I grew up middle-class or upper-class, I may be looked upon with negativity by some of my own peers. If I grew up lower-class, I may still be looked upon with negativity by some of my own peers.
29. As a female I can be sure that the standard for beauty in this society is white or light skin.
30. I have a good chance of growing up in a single parent home.
31. I have at least one family member or relative who is either in prison or has been in prison.
32. As a child there's a chance that I will likely be considered "bad" by adults who know me faster than being acknowledged of any positives.
33. If I murder a white person, I can be pretty sure that I will get the death penalty.
34. If I murder a black person, I can be pretty sure that my sentence will be lighter compared to white victims.
35. I can be sure that I will be pulled over by police because of my race.
36. I can be sure that I will either be harassed, abused or even killed by police because of my race.
37. In court, I will likely not get a fair trial.
38. I know that as a male, there's a 1 in 3 chance that I will end up in prison, and losing my right to vote.
39. As a male I must marry within my race or be considered a sellout.
40. As a male I know my number one cause of death is homicide most likely by another male who looks like me.
41. I know a new television series will have main characters that will not look like me.
42. I know that negative stereotypes about my people will continue despite a high number of those who do not fit those stereotypes. In other words I will be judged by the actions of a few.
43. I know that my experiences with racism mean little or nothing.
44. I know that I will be a scapegoat for almost anything and everything wrong with this society.
45. I know that there will be movies featuring white people saving my people.
46. I know that my history prior to slavery is hardly discussed or brought up in classrooms. We were taught that we came from slaves and nothing else.
47. I can be sure I will likely not get the job or career I want based upon my race.
48. I know that all of my people are judged for the actions of one or a few of my people.
49. I have to live with the fact that my true culture, language, history are stripped away, and the proof I have to live with is in my name.
50. I am often told that something is wrong with me and not with the society I live in.
51. As a female the shade of my skin defines beauty. If my skin is dark or hair is nappy, then there's a chance that I will be considered ugly by my peers.
52. As a female and mother I will be judged negatively by the number of children I have. If I do have children, I will be assumed that I am unmarried, that I'm on welfare, or that I'm simply an unfit mother.
53. As a child I can be sure that the newest cartoon series will not feature characters that look like me. If they do, they will likely be some form of negative stereotype.
54. As a male I will be judged by my male peers on how bad, tough or "street" I am. At school, I will likely be judged for my bad behavior and athletic abilities.
55. In religion I am taught that God is white and that whiteness is purity and cleanliness and that my skin color is the exact opposite.
56. As a female I am assumed to have a bad attitude, that I'm a golddigger or that I like to show off my body.
57. I have to live with the notion that any organiazation for blacks are considered inferior or racist by whites.
58. I am encouraged to be the best black anything in society and not simply the best.
59. I am assumed that any position I'm in is because of affirmative action and not on my own merits.
60. I have to live with the fact that I am not considered a "regular" person, that I am considered a black person
Posted by Sawaad Amen Ra at 2:36 PM
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").
"We cannot be equal with the master until we own what the master owns. We cannot be equal with the master until we have the education the master has. Then, we can say, "Master, recognize us as your equal."
Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975)
Puerto Rican people.
A Puerto Rican (Spanish: puertorriqueño) (Taíno term: boricua) is a person who was born or raised in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Ricans born and raised in the United States are also referred to as Puerto Ricans, although they are not native Puerto Ricans, but descendants of Puerto Ricans. Rarely are Puerto Ricans born in the diaspora called Puerto Rican Americans, or simply Americans.
Puerto Ricans, who also commonly refer to themselves as "boricuas", are largely the descendants of Europeans, Taíno, Africans or a blend of these groups which has produced a very diversified population. The population of Puerto Ricans and descendants is estimated to be between 8 to 10 million worldwide, with most living within the islands of Puerto Rico, Central Florida, Chicago Metropolitan Area and in New York City, where there is a large Nuyorican community.
For 2008, the American Community Survey estimates give a total of 3,846,054 Puerto Ricans classified as "Native" Puerto Ricans. It also gives a total of 3,638,484 (92%) of the population being born in Puerto Rico and 195,506 (4.9%) born in the United States. The total population born outside Puerto Rico is 315,553 (8%).
Of the 107,983 who were foreign born outside the United States (2.7% of Puerto Rico), 5.2% were born in Europe, 92.7% in Latin America, 2.0% in Asia, 0.2% in Northern America, and 0.0% in Africa and Oceania each.
Race and ethnicity.
Spanish immigration to Puerto Rico:
White Puerto Ricans of European, mostly Spanish descent, are said to comprise the majority with 80.5% reported in the 2000 United States Census. For the first time in fifty years the 2000 United States Census asked people to define their race. In 1899, one year after the U.S invaded and took control of the island, 61.8% of people identified as White. One hundred years later, the total was to 80.5% (3,064,862), less than one percent more than reported in 1950. The European heritage of Puerto Ricans comes primarily from one source: Spaniards (including Canarians, Catalans, Castilians, Galicians, Asturians, Andalusians, and Basques).
The Canarian cultural influence in Puerto Rico is one of the most important components in which many villages were founded from these immigrants, which started from 1493 to 1890 and beyond. Many Spanish, especially Canarians, chose Puerto Rico because of its Hispanic ties and relative proximity in comparison with other former Spanish colonies. They searched for security and stability in an environment similar to that of the Canary Islands and Puerto Rico was the most suitable. This began as a temporary exile which became a permanent relocation and the last significant wave of Spanish or European migration to Puerto Rico. Other sources of European populations are Corsicans, French, Germans, Irish, Portuguese, Scots, Maltese, Italians and Jews, with many Arab Christians such as the Lebanese and Palestinians.
Black history in Puerto Rico:
Today 8.0% of people self-identified as Black in the last 2000 United States Census. Immigration of African free men who arrived with the Spanish Conquistadors, the vast majority of the Africans who immigrated to Puerto Rico did so as a result of the slave trade from many different areas of the African continent. Such as West Africans, the Yoruba and the Igbo people.
Amerindian Mestizos, Amerindian, and Taino.
Amerindians and Mestizos are those who have a pure Amerindian descent or mixed ancestry between Europeans and Amerindians within the Puerto Rican context discarding the other definitions that this term may be used for under other settings. Amerindians make up the third largest racial identity among Puerto Ricans comprising 0.4% of the population.
Abolition of Slavery in Puerto Rico.
Former slaves in Puerto Rico, 1898
Indemnity bond paid as compensation to former owners of freed slaves
On March 22, 1873, slavery was abolished in Puerto Rico. Slave owners were to free their slaves in exchange of a monetary compensation. The majority of the freed slaves continued to work for their former masters with the difference that they were now freeman and received what was considered a just pay for their labor.
The freed slaves were able to fully integrate themselves into Puerto Rico's society. It cannot be denied that racism has existed in Puerto Rico since racism is something that may exist in anyone's heart; it is impossible to know. However, racism in Puerto Rico did not exist to the extent of other places in the New World, possibly because of the following factors:
• In the 8th century, nearly all of Spain was conquered (711–718), by the Muslim Moors who had crossed over from North Africa. The first blacks were brought to Spain during Arab domination by North African merchants. By the middle of the 13th century all of the Iberian peninsula had been reconquered. A section of the city of Seville, which once was a Moorish stronghold, was inhabited by thousands of blacks. Blacks became freeman after converting to Christianity and lived fully integrated in Spanish society. Black women were highly sought after by Spanish males. Spain's exposure to people of color over the centuries accounted for the positive racial attitudes that were to prevail in the New World. Therefore, it was no surprise that the first conquistadors who arrived to the island, intermarried with the native Taínos and later with the African immigrants.
• The Catholic Church played an instrumental role in the human dignity and social integration of the black man in Puerto Rico. The church insisted that every slave be baptized and converted to the Catholic faith. In accordance to the church's doctrine, master and slave were equal before the eyes of God and therefore brothers in Christ with a common moral and religious character. Cruel and unusual punishment of slaves was considered a violation of the fifth commandment.
• When the gold mines were declared depleted in 1570 and mining came to an end in Puerto Rico, the vast majority of the white Spanish settlers left the island to seek their fortunes in the richer colonies such as Mexico and the island became a Spanish garrison. The majority of those who stayed behind were either black or mulattos (of mixed race). By the time Spain reestablished her commercial ties with Puerto Rico, the island had a large multiracial population, that is up until the 1850s, when the Spanish Crown put the Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 into effect which "whitened" the island's population by offering attractive incentives to non-Hispanic Europeans. The new arrivals continued to intermarry with the native islanders.
The racism that did exist and which Black Puerto Ricans were subject to was exposed by two Puerto Rican writers; Abelardo Diaz Alfaro (1916–1999) and Luis Palés Matos (1898–1959) who was credited with creating the poetry genre known as Afro-Antillano
Abelardo Diaz Alfaro
Luis Palés Matos
Notable Puerto Ricans of African Ancestry.
Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, also known as Arthur Schomburg, (January 24, 1874 –June 8, 1938), was a Puerto Rican historian, writer, and activist in the United States who researched and raised awareness of the great contributions that Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Americans have made to society. He was an important intellectual figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
Pedro Albizu Campos (June 29, 1893 or September 12, 1891 – April 21, 1965) was a Puerto Rican politician and one of the leading figures in the Puerto Rican independence movement. He was the leader and president of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party from 1930 until his death. He was imprisoned for many years, on several occasions, in both United States and Puerto Rico, dying shortly after his release from federal prison. Because of his oratorical skills he was known as El Maestro ("The Teacher").
Roberto Clemente Walker (August 18, 1934 – December 31, 1972) was a Puerto Rican professional baseball player and a Major League Baseball right fielder.
Akhenaton (1375-1358 B.C.)
Amenhotep IV, better known as "Akhenaton, the Heretic King," is in some respects, the most remarkable of the Pharaohs. After the death of his father, he came into full power in Egypt and took the name Akhenaton. He produced a profound effect on Egypt and the entire world of his day.
Thirteen hundred years before Christ, he preached and lived a gospel of perfect love, brotherhood, and truth. Two thousand years before Mohammed, he taught the doctrine of the "One God." Three thousand years before Darwin, he sensed the unity that runs through all living things.
The account of Akhenaton is not complete without the story of his beautiful wife, Nefertiti. Some archaeologist have referred to Nefertiti as Akhenaton's sister, some have said they were cousins. What is known is that the relationship between Akhenaton and Nefertiti was one of history's first well-known love stories.
At the prompting of Akhenaton and Nefertiti, the sculptors and the artists began to recreate life in its natural state, instead of the rigid and lifeless forms of early Egyptian art.
Althea Gibson (August 25, 1927 – September 28, 2003)
Althea Gibson, who moved with her family to Harlem at the age of three, was from an early age involved in many competitive sports. Gibson began to play tennis in Police Athletic League paddle tennis games. In 1945, she won the girls' singles championship of the all-black American Tennis Association (ATA), and from 1947 to 1956, she held the title for the ATA women's singles. In 1946, Gibson moved to North Carolina to live with Dr. Hubert Eaton, who, along with Dr. R. Walter Johnson, took an interest in her career. Under their tutelage, Gibson's game matured, and she developed her fast footwork and signature big serve.
In 1953, Gibson graduated from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. During the 1950s, she began to challenge racial segregation in tennis by playing at tournaments sponsored by the United States Lawn Tennis Association (later renamed United States Tennis Association), which had previously been restricted to white players. In 1950, Gibson became the first black competitor at the National Championships (later renamed the U.S. Open) in Forest Hills, New York. She was invited to compete only after Alice Marble, a four-time singles winner at Forest Hills, expressed her disgust at the efforts to stop Gibson from playing because of her race. In 1951, Gibson was the first black person to play tennis at the Lawn Tennis Championships at the All-England Club in Wimbledon, England.
Gibson's game slowed down in the early 1950s, at which point she worked as a physical education teacher in Missouri for two years. However, her game was revitalized by a tennis tour of Southeast Asia organized by the U.S. State Department in 1955. In 1956, Gibson won the women's singles championship at the French Open Tournament and then went on to win both the women's singles and doubles championships at Wimbledon and the U.S. National Championships at Forest Hills in 1957. In the same year, the Associated Press honored Gibson with the Female Athlete of the Year award. In 1958, she repeated her victories in the women's singles at both Wimbledon and Forest Hills.
Gibson retired from competitive tennis in 1959, turning her attention to other interests. During the 1960s, Gibson played professional golf, joining the U.S. Ladies Professional Golf Association in 1963, although she did not have the same success with golf that she had had with tennis. Gibson worked for the New Jersey state sports commission during the 1980s, and lectured and taught clinics on tennis. In 1971, she was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
During the 1990s, Gibson attempted a golf comeback and continued to speak about tennis and physical fitness in general. She authored two books: I Always Wanted to Be Somebody (1958) and So Much to Live For (1968).
Posted by Sawaad Amen Ra at 9:19 AM
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").
Black Ice: The Lost History of the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes, 1895-1925
The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes was formed in 1895 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Comprised of the sons and grandsons of runaway American slaves, the league helped pioneer the sport of ice hockey, changing this winter game from the primitive "gentleman's past-time" of the nineteenth century to the modern fast moving game of today. In an era when many believed blacks could not endure cold, possessed ankles too weak to effectively skate, and lacked the intelligence for organized sport, these men defied the established myths.
The Colored League was one of the most complex sports organizations ever created and was led by Baptist ministers and church laymen. Natural leaders and proponents of black pride, these men represented a concept in sports never before seen. Their rule book was The Bible. Their game book, the coded words and oral history derived from the experiences of American slavery and the Underground Railroad. Their strategy, the principles and teachings of American black leader Booker T. Washington (the founder of the Tuskegee Institute) and a believer in the concept of racial equality through racial separation.
Twenty-five years before the Negro Baseball Leagues in the United States, and twenty-two years before the birth of the National Hockey league, the Colored League would emerge as a premier force in Canadian hockey and supply the resilience necessary to preserve a unique culture which exists to this day. Unfortunately their contributions were conveniently ignored, or simply stolen, as white teams and hockey officials, influenced by the black league, copied elements of the black style or sought to take self-credit for black hockey innovations.
Rewriting American History.
American history has always promoted the myth of the original thirteen colonies. In truth, at the time of the American Revolution, there was no such thing as thirteen colonies. There were actually nineteen - six of those colonies did not agree with the Revolution. Those colonies became Canada.
Rewriting Canadian History.
Patriotism is a strange creature. The Black man, since the earliest days of Canadian history has been one of the greatest defenders of Canada. And yet, his accomplishments have never been fully told nor recorded. It is as if the Black man had never existed. In fact, if it had not been for the Black man carrying a rifle, Canada herself would have never existed. From the earliest days of British North America and the landing of the Black Loyalist forces in Nova Scotia, through to the War of 1812, and beyond, Black regiments served with distinction along the borderlands separating the British and their Canadian counterparts from the Americans. During the American attack on Canada in 1775 and the subsequent siege of Quebec City, it was a Black Canadian regiment, who comprised part of the "undaunted fifty," who defeated the Americans beneath the Citadel of Quebec. The American General Richard Montgomery had invaded Quebec in an effort to make the territory the 14th State of the Union. He was defeated and killed along the slope rising up to the Citadel. The American failure to invade Canada would be repeated during the War of 1812 when, in the early days of the conflict Black Canadian regiments and soldiers led the charge against the American invaders from New Brunswick to the gates of Fort Detroit. In the 1830's, a Black regiment defeated the Mackenzie - Papineau forces ensuring that British North America remained as one. Additionally, Black soldiers were the first to be mobilized in the British Colony on Vancouver Island in 1856 in order to prevent an American annexation of the region following the discovery of gold in the Interior of British Columbia. Historically, when the Americans had moved north, either militarily or years later as simple gold rush prospectors, the first forces they often encountered were Black men dressed in British military scarlet-red uniforms.
Rewriting Black Canadian History.
The history of Black Canadians has, for the most part, either been forgotten, deliberately destroyed, or conveniently ignored. Most historians have often dismissed it, or have viewed it as irrelevant. When it has been discussed, it has often been presented in relation to the cause and effects of American and New World Slavery. If the truth were known, Canadian Black history is as complex and intriguing as that of any European race or nation that has shaped the modern world. It is a history rich in its telling, one that evokes heroism, determination and dignity. It is realism, hidden by popular ignorance and modern theory. It is a legendary story supplanted by modern bias and myths.
Setting the Ice Hockey Historical Record Straight
Our knowledge of the roots of Canadian hockey has been based almost solely on the historical records maintained by early White historians. Because of this, the misconception that hockey is a White man's invention has persisted. We know today, such an assumption could not be further from historical fact. The roots of early Canadian hockey originate with the North American Indians. The roots of modern Canadian hockey originate, in large part, from the influence of an even more surprising source, that of early African-Canadian hockey. For it was Black hockey players in the later half of the nineteenth century whose style of play and innovations helped shape the sport, effectively changing the game of hockey forever.
The First Black Ice Hockey Players - 1820 to 1870
With certainty, we can only date Black hockey to the early 1870's, yet we know that hockey and Black history in Nova Scotia have parallel roots, going back almost 100 years. Among the first reports of hockey being played occur in 1815 along the isolated Northwest Arm, south of Halifax. The date is important for the simple fact that as late as October 1815 the region was not home to a large White settlement but was instead the site of a small Black enclave. Four Black families originally from the Chesapeake Bay area, with a total of fifteen children, had relocated and settled on the Arm. It is reported that these families, Couney, Williams, Munro and Leale, received adequate food, lodging and employment implying that their children were healthy and would have been able to play hockey during the winter months when the Arm was frozen and suitable for skating. Were these children among the first Canadians to play the game of hockey? We do not know. All we can say is that the coincidence between the date of the Northwest Arm's Black settlement and the first records of hockey being played in the area are worthy of reflection.
The Stanley Cup -1893
During the nineteenth century, it had been the English who had introduced the concept of competitive sports to much of the world. In an age of the Victorians and Victorian ideals, sports were regarded as models of teamwork and fair play. Many believed that sports could raise the lower classes and non-White races to a higher level of civilization and social development. All was well, the theory held as long as White men continued to win at whatever sport they played. Hockey was no different. By recognizing Canadian hockey Stanley had accomplished something more. He has given the game "royal acceptance" removing its status as a game of the lowly masses and creating a tiered sport based on club elitism and commercialism. It is no secret that the Stanley Cup was only to be competed for by select teams within Canada. At the time of its presentation, it was a symbol for self-promotion all the while serving a "supposed need". In time, those who controlled the Challenge Cup controlled hockey, effectively creating a "bourgeoisie" sport. A sport that now, by its very nature, would exclude and fail to recognize Black contributions.
The Birth Of All-Black Hockey Teams -1895
The first recorded mention of all-Black hockey teams appears in 1895. Games between Black club teams were arranged by formal invitation. By 1900, The Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes had been created, headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Despite hardships and prejudice, the league would exist until the mid-1920s. Historically speaking, The Colored Hockey League was like no other hockey or sports league before or since. Primarily located in a province, reputed to be the birthplace of Canadian hockey, the league would in time produce a quality of player and athlete that would rival the best of White Canada. Such was the skill of the teams that they would be seen by as worthy candidates for local representation in the annual national quest for Canadian hockey's ultimate prize - the Stanley Cup.
Black Hockey Leadership -1895
They were more than educated Blacks, in fact they were the first generation of Black men who refused to answer the ageless question: "Whose Negro Are You?" The first of their race to demand what was rightfully theirs; the first generation to refuse to stand at the back of a line.
On The Destruction Of The Colored Hockey League -- 1912
Were the Blacks sending a message to area Whites? Was this "an eye for an eye," a payback for Williams' death and other past events? In order for four White-owned buildings to go up in flames almost simultaneously, it would require an orchestrated group effort. It would require a group of people working in tandem with one goal. If it were the work of Blacks it would have been an effort organized either on Gottingen Street or out in Africville. If indeed this was payback, then who better to accomplish this task than members of the Colored League -- men who had had their league destroyed, lands stolen, and business enterprises crushed at the hands of Whites. On January 12, 1912 someone had sent the White Elite of Halifax a message. The message was simple: "Burn Us -- We Burn You!"
When They Destroyed Africville, They Destroyed The Birthplace of Modern Canadian Hockey -- 1960s
The outright theft and destruction of Africville in the mid to late 1960s remains one of the most shameful chapters in modern Canadian history. To date, though numerous Federal government officials in Ottawa, and scores of Provincial and community politicians in Nova Scotia, have given verbal support to the Black fight for retribution, their words are only designed for political benefit and often carry little if any substance. The politicians say what they feel their audience wants to hear and few are ever called to task for their statements. It is a game that is played well by those who are only interested in securing their own social status and economic being. Africville is more than a Black Canadian tragedy. It speaks volumes about the social character of Canada and all Canadians. For by allowing the weak to be crushed by the strong we set the precedent where men's actions and not the rule of law determine the status quo and the definition of democracy and justice. By allowing the powerful to deny justice and dignity to those within our society who cannot fight back we set a standard for which future disputes are resolved. Laws and democracy can only be protected if people are willing to fight for them.
The Truth Shall Set Us Free.
Today there are no monuments to the Colored Hockey League of the Maritimes. There is no reference to the league in any but a few books on hockey. There is no reference to Henry Sylvester Williams, James Johnston, James Kinney or the scores of players who wore the Colored League uniforms. There is no reference in the Hockey Hall of Fame of the impact that Blacks had in the development of the modern game of hockey. No reference to the Black origin of the slap shot. There is no reference to the Black origin of the offensive style of goal play exhibited by Franklyn. There is no reference to the Black origin of goalies going down on ice in order to stop the puck. There is no reference to the Black practice of entertaining the crowds with a half-time show. It is as if the league had never existed. For hockey is today a sport Whiter in history than a Canadian winter.
Go to the following link for more information.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2QZm8llvig
Wille O Ree was the first in the NHL.
In 1958 a young man named Willie O'Ree made his debut in the National Hockey League. He was with the Boston Bruins for two games. In 1961, after two more years in the minors, O'Ree had a longer stay with the Bruins--41 games. O'Ree never played another game in the NHL.
This may not seem particularly significant, but O'Ree was different from every other NHL player who had come before him during the league's first 50 years. He was black, and there wouldn't be another black in the NHL for 25 years. Hockey was about 10 years late when it came to integration. All the other professional sports, including tennis, bowling, golf, baseball, football, and boxing were racially integrated by 1950. Hockey was the holdout. It was the whitest sport. There were no black players, coaches, team owners, or sportswriters.
Boxing was the first to integrate with black champs Jack Johnson and Joe Louis dropping one Caucasian after another during the first half of the century. Jackie Robinson integrated baseball to great fanfare in 1947, but O'Ree's breakthrough hardly merited a mention. O'Ree did not appear on the nightly news. The New York Times, for example, did not find it newsworthy. Since Canada didn't have the racial strife that plagued the U.S., no one called much attention to O'Ree.
O'Ree played successfully in the minors until the mid-1970s, and he won numerous scoring titles. To this day, he is regarded as a footnote in the world of sport. The hockey encyclopedias give him only passing reference, if any at all. O'Ree was born in 1935 and grew up in Fredericton, New Brunswick, a small city in coal mining region just north and east of Maine.
Alton White was another Black Player with the WHA.
As in all things hockey history related in North America, the NHL dominates and the WHA is often dismissed. But the WHA was considered to be big league hockey, and they did sign a black athlete two years before Marson joined the Washington Capitals.
Alton White was born May 31st, 1945 in Amherst, Nova Scotia. That is the same Amherst that has quite the black hockey history and brought Bill Riley to the NHL by 1976.
But White did not learn his hockey until he moved to the cold confines of Winnipeg at the age of 8. His father was falling ill from working at the local foundry, and found work as a sleeping car porter for Canadian National Railroad.
In Winnipeg White grew up playing with and against future NHL stars Pete Stemkowski and Ted Irvine. Under the careful guidance of MJHL Winnipeg Rangers coach Gordie Pennell, White soon too realized he had what it took to play big league hockey.
Alton chased his hockey dreams, toiling in the old IHL with Fort Wayne and Columbus before proving his worth with Providence of the AHL.
"Right now," said White in an interview in 1972, "I look at the NHL rosters and see names like Guy Lapointe, Marc Tardif, Rejean Houle, Don Marcotte, Reg Leach and Ken Dryden." These are people I've played against pretty well. I'm a hustler. A good skater. I'm not really that big so I have to rely mainly on skating and hustling. Compared with the past years, I'm a lot more capable hockey player. I feel I'm a lot better than some guys in the NHL today."
And White had very few complaints about racism at that point in his career.
"Once in a while I hear some wisecracks from people in the stands. But at least they know I'm out there working. I was very well accepted in Providence and haven't had any problems whatsoever. I get along with all the people. The fans treat me exceptionally well."
White's problem in the AHL was he was never affiliated with a NHL team. As a result he never got the big league call up that so many of his teammates did.
"It was tough for me to go up because I was owned by Providence. So, in order for me to go up I'd have had to be sold. I got a little bit down when I saw guys go up when I knew I was a better hockey player."
"But then came the WHA and my big chance."
White played four seasons in the WHA with the New York Raiders, Los Angeles Sharks, and the Michigan Stags/Baltimore Blades. He spent the majority of his final season in the lowly NAHL minor leagues, however.
Now what happened to Alton White following the 1974-75 season is a mystery to me. He definitely quit professional hockey, and may have headed off to Vancouver where he summered and worked for his brother Ken's construction business.
Chicago Blackhawks My Favorite Hockey Team.
Chicago Blackhawk's Dustine Byfuglien my favorite Hockey player.
There are a few Black Hockey Players in the NHL today.
Posted by Sawaad Amen Ra at 10:32 AM