Know What You Are Celebrating on this “Independence Day”... ***When the Declaration of Independence was "passed" there were more than 1 million enslaved persons in America. ***The Declaration of Independence did not condemn slavery. In fact, Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration enslaved more than 600 people over the course of his life, and raped Sarah “Sally” Hemings, one of his enslaved persons, enough times for her to conceive and bear him 6 children. Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness rang hollow for those whose hue of skin was Black. ***Every celebration of Independence Day in America by Americans in the 17th, the 18th, the 19th, the 20th, and the 21st centuries, has seen millions of enslaved Blacks in chains, and Blacks basically Disenfranchised. ***In the late 1890’s and after the infamous 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson “Separate but Equal” Supreme court decision, Blacks throughout the South led demonstrations against local transportation systems. Rev. John Milton Waldron, pastor of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church, and one of the founders of the NAACP, led a boycott of the Jacksonville Transportation System that historians say, “was very effective.” ***James Weldon Johnson wrote “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” in part on the campus of Bethel Baptist Institutional Church, in 1900 when White America lynched 3-5 Blacks on average a week. Sometimes less, most times more. ***There were 5 million enslaved Blacks in America in 1840, and at a value of 10 billion dollars, they were worth more than ALL the banks, insurance companies, and transportation companies, Combined. ***Dr. W. E. B. Dubois, Ida B. Wells, Rev John M. Waldron, and other Blacks and Whites founded the “National Negro Committee” in 1909, because of national call after a Race Riot in Springfield Illinois, and renamed it the “NAACP” in 1910. ***James Weldon Johnson coined the phrase “Red Summer” for the Summer of 1919 when there were 26 Race Riots throughout this country, with the worst riot occurring in Chicago, Ill. ***The entire area of Greenwood, Archer, and Pine in Tulsa, Oklahoma, referred to as Black Wall Street, was ravaged in 1921 by Jealous and Envious Racist Whites resulting in more than 600 Blacks killed and 1300 buildings destroyed. ***In January 1923, the Black town of Rosewood in Levy County, Florida was destroyed by Whites. ***"The Birth of a Nation", a Racist movie which glorified the Ku Klux Klan, was shown in the White House by Racist president Woodrow Wilson. ***After James Weldon Johnson became the first Black Executive Secretary of the NAACP, he helped Congressman John Dyer with his Anti-Lynching Bill. The Dyer Bill was ultimately defeated by a Southern Democratic filibuster in December 1922 and twice more thereafter. Congress simply refused to pass a Lynching Bill. Still has not. ***The Social Security Act of 1935 as advocated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, excluded from coverage about half the workers in the American economy. Among the excluded groups were agricultural and domestic workers ...and 60% of those workers were Black.
Black folks fought America's Racism with every fiber of their being, as they sought “Independence,” Then and Now! Start with a few great names: Thurgood Marshall, Roy Wilkins, Ruby Hurley, Dr. Martin Luther King, Ella Baker, Ruby Hurley, Constance Baker Motley, Stokely Carmichael, Harry T. Moore, Medgar Evers, John Lewis, Jackie Robinson, Frederick Douglass, Rev. James Bevel, Rev. Hosea Williams, Charlie Cobb, James Farmer, Whitney Young, Daisy Bates, The Little Rock Nine (Minnijean Brown, Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Thelma Mothershed, Melba Patillo, Gloria Ray, Terrence Roberts, Jefferson Thomas and Carlotta Walls), The Greensboro 4 and the start of the 1960 Sit-in Movement (Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil), Bayard Rustin, Dr. W. E. B. Dubois, Ruby Bridges, A. Philip Randolph, Malcolm X, Adam Clayton Powell, Morris Dees, James Baldwin, E. D. Nixon, Rosa Parks, Richard Allen, Absalom Jones, Denmark Vesey, Vernon Dahmer, William Trotter, James Weldon Johnson, Rev. John. Milton Waldron, Ida B. Barnett, Harriet Tubman, Harry T. Moore, Charles Hamilton Houston, John Hope Franklin, Earl M. Johnson, Rutledge Pearson, Arnett E. Girardeau, yet these Real Civil Rights Fighters ---the list is extensive---were fighting then, as many continue to fight today, for "Independence." Putting Things in Their Proper Perspective on This “Independence Day.” The Fight Against Racism-The Struggle, and the Fight for Black Human Dignity and Respect and Independence, Continues.