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To Know There Is To Go There



On February 26, 1939, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt fired off a letter to Mrs. Henry Martyn Robert Jr., the President General of the DAR. Mrs. Roosevelt was resigning from the organization as a result of their refusal to permit Marian Anderson to perform at Constitution Hall, a concert hall owned and operated by the DAR.

One of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century, Marian Anderson was an African-American contralto. Anderson was born on February 27, 1897, nine months after the U.S. Supreme court handed down its’ separate but equal ruling in the case of Plessy v. Ferguson.

The National Society of DAR The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) is a lineage-based membership organization for women who are descended from a person involved in United States’ independence. It was incorporated by a congressional charter in the same year as the Plessy decision.

In response to the First Lady’ letter of resignation, Sarah Corbin Robert wrote “I am indeed sorry not to have been in Washington at this time. Perhaps I might have been able to remove some of the misunderstanding and to have presented to you personally the attitude of the Society”.

That attitude of the Society was now the law of the land thanks to the Plessy decision. How ever that attitude was not embraced by Robert’s father in law General Henry Martyn Robert Sr. General Robert, the author of Robert Rules of Parlimentary Procedure was born and raised in Robertville, S.C. a place he left because he despised slavery. It was probably not embraced by Clement Corbin, Mrs. Robert’ great great grandfather who fought with the Connecticut Rangers in the Revolutionary War in Rhode Island. Clement Corbin fought along with such black men as Lot Little, who was a slave.

And it certainly was not the attitude of Eunice Davis. A known Abolitionist who worked with William Lloyd Garrison, publisher of the anti-slavery newspaper, the Liberator, Davis was the daughter of a revolutionary war hero by the name of Prince Ames. Ames who was married to Eunice Russ a Narragansett Indian was the son of a white father and Narragansett Indian mother.

The Narragansett Indians were known as a tribe of diverse cultures which also included Africans. The tribe had a vision of themselves as “a nation rather than a race”, and it was a multiracial nation. Therefore the y did not frown on what has been termed as interracial or mixed marriages, which of course was illegal I this country until the U.S. Supreme ruled the unconstitutionality of such local laws in the historic case known as Loving v. Virginia.

Eunice Davis first marriage was to a white man. That marriage ended after his death. Together they had three children. Eunice whose second husband was black became a member of the DAR in 1896 at the age of 96.

As a result of the DAR’s refusal, Marian Anderson went on to give her Concert at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday. On April 9, 1939 at the invitation of Interior Secretary Harold L. Ickes. Ms. Anderson sang before an integrated crowd of 75,000. That audience included Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, and New York Senator Robert Wagoner The concert was also broadcasted over the radio to millions.

This Easter marks 73 years since the Marian Anderson Lincoln Memorial concert. In these 73 years the Daughters of The American Revolution has made a lot of progressive changes. In 1943 they welcomed Marian Anderson to Constitution Hall for a benefit concert for war relief. In 1964, Ms. Anderson chose the Hall as the launching pad of her American farewell tour.

The DAR changed their policy in regards to Constitution Hall in 1957, three years after Brown v. Board of Education overruled Plessy. However, they did not accept their first acknowledged black member a until 1977.

Karen Batchelor also known as Karen Farmer sat down at the Lunch Counter with Febone1960.net. Karen is that first acknowledged black member invited and accepted into the DAR after the unfortunate Marian Anderson incident.

Also sitting with us at the lunch counter is Kim Harrison, a descendant of Lot Little. Lot Little was, a slave who fought at the Battle of Saratoga. Both women described their journey leading them to the DAR. They also discussed the surprising revelations of that journey.

Take listen to their interview by viewing the video above. Febone1960.net think you will find this interview very revealing with respect to race.

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    Posted 2 years, 6 months ago at 10:56 am. Add a comment

    GET ON THE BUS: A Story Of Civil Disobedience

    The Freedom Riders were mostly middle aged civil rights activists that rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia (of 1960). The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in the Big Easy (New Orleans) on May 17.

    Boynton v. Virginia had outlawed racial segregation in the restaurants and waiting rooms in terminals serving buses that crossed state lines. Five years prior to the Boynton ruling, the Interstate Commerce Commission (“ICC”) had issued a ruling in Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company that had explicitly denounced the Plessy v. Ferguson doctrine of separate but equal in interstate bus travel. The ICC, however, had failed to enforce its own ruling, and therefore Jim Crow travel laws remained in effect throughout the South.

    The Freedom Riders set out to challenge this segregation status quo set of local laws and customs by riding various forms of public transportation in the South. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement and called national attention to the violent disregard for the law that was used to enforce segregation in the southern United States. Riders were arrested for trespassing, unlawful assembly, and violating state and local Jim Crow laws, along with other alleged offenses.

    Most of the subsequent rides were sponsored by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), while others belonged to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, pronounced “Snick”). The Freedom Rides followed on the heels of dramatic sit-ins against segregated lunch counters conducted by students and youth throughout the South and boycotts beginning in 1960.

    The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Boynton v. Virginia granted interstate travelers the legal right to disregard local segregation ordinances regarding interstate transportation facilities. But the Freedom Riders’ rights were not enforced, and their actions were considered criminal acts throughout most of the South. For example, upon the Riders’ arrival in Mississippi, their journey ended with imprisonment for exercising their legal rights in interstate travel. Similar arrests took place in other Southern cities.

    The Freedom Riders were inspired by the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, led by civil rights activists Bayard Rustin ( March on Washington) and George Houser. Like the Freedom Rides of 1961, the Journey of Reconciliation was intended to test an earlier Supreme Court ruling that banned racial discrimination in interstate travel. Rustin and a few of the other riders, chiefly members of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), were arrested and sentenced to serve on a chain gang in North Carolina for violating local Jim Crow laws regarding segregated seating on public transportation.

    The first Freedom Ride began on May 4, 1961. Led by CORE Director James Farmer, 13 riders (seven black, six white) left Washington, D.C., on Greyhound and Trailways buses. Their plan was to ride through Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, ending with a rally in New Orleans, Louisiana. Most of the Riders were from CORE, and two were from SNCC. Many were in their 40s and 50s.

    The Freedom Riders tactics for their journey were to have at least one interracial pair sitting in adjoining seats and at least one black Rider sitting up front (seats usually reserved for white customers only), while the rest would sit scattered throughout the rest of the bus. One rider would abide by the South’s segregation ideals in order to avoid arrest and to contact CORE and arrange bail for those who were arrested.

    Only minor trouble was encountered in Virginia and North Carolina, but John Lewis was attacked in Rock Hill, South Carolina, and some of the Riders were arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Winnsboro, South Carolina.

    Violence in Alabama was organized by Birmingham Police Sergeant Tom Cook (an avid Ku Klux Klan supporter) and the infamous police commissioner Bull Connor. The pair made plans to bring the Ride to an end in Alabama. They assured Gary Thomas Rowe, an FBI informer and member of Eastview Klavern #13 (the most violent Klan group in Alabama), that the mob would have fifteen minutes to attack the Freedom Riders without any arrests being made. The final plan laid out an initial assault in Anniston with a final assault taking place in Birmingham.

    In Anniston, Alabama, a mob attacked the Greyhound bus and slashed its tires. When the crippled bus had to stop several miles outside of town, it was firebombed by the mob chasing it in cars. As the bus burned, the mob held the doors shut, intent on burning the riders to death. Sources disagree, but either an exploding fuel tank or an undercover state investigator brandishing a revolver caused the mob to retreat, allowing the riders to escape the bus. The riders were viciously beaten as they fled the burning bus, and only warning shots fired into the air by highway patrolmen prevented the riders from being lynched.

    That night, the hospitalized Freedom Riders, most of whom had been refused care, were removed from the hospital at 2 AM, because the staff feared the mob outside the hospital. Local civil rights leader Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth organized several cars of blacks who defied the mob to rescue the injured Freedom Riders.

    When the Trailways bus reached Anniston and pulled in at the terminal an hour after the Greyhound bus was burned, it was boarded by eight Klansmen, who proceeded to beat the Freedom Riders and afterwards left them semi-conscious in the back of the bus. When the bus arrived in Birmingham, it too was attacked by a mob of Ku Klux Klan members, aided and abetted by the police under the orders of Commissioner Bull Connor. As the riders exited the bus, they were mercilessly beaten by the mob with baseball bats, iron pipes and bicycle chains. Among the Klansmen attacking the riders was FBI informant Gary Thomas Rowe. White Freedom Riders were particularly singled out for frenzied beatings; James Peck required more than 50 stitches to the wounds in his head. Peck was taken to Carraway Methodist Medical Center, which refused to treat him; he was later treated at Jefferson Hillman Hospital.

    When reports of the bus burning and beatings reached US Attorney General Robert Kennedy, he urged restraint on the part of Freedom Riders and sent an assistant, John Seigenthaler, to Alabama to try to calm the situation.

    Despite the violence suffered already and the threat of more to come, the Freedom Riders desired to continue their journey. Kennedy had arranged an escort for the Riders in order to get them to Montgomery safely. However, radio reports told of the mob awaiting the riders at the bus terminal, as well as on the route to Montgomery. The Greyhound clerks also informed them that their drivers were refusing to drive any Freedom Riders anywhere. The Riders agreed that their efforts had already called great attention to the civil rights cause and that if they encountered any more delays, then they would miss the rally in New Orleans. Taking all this into consideration, the Riders decided that their best option was to abandon the rest of the Ride and fly directly to New Orleans from Birmingham.

    Nashville student and SNCC leader Diane Nash felt that if violence were allowed to halt the Freedom Rides, the movement would be set back years. She pushed to find replacements to resume the ride, and, on May 17, a new set of riders, 10 students from Nashville, took a bus to Birmingham, where they were arrested by Bull Connor and jailed. These students kept their spirits up in jail by singing freedom songs. Out of frustration, Connor drove them back up to the Tennessee line and dropped them off, stating, “I just couldn’t stand their singing.” They immediately returned to Birmingham.

    The Freedom Riders who had answered SNCC’s call from across the Eastern US joined John Lewis and Hank Thomas, the two young SNCC members of the original Ride who had remained in Birmingham. On May 19, they attempted to resume the ride, but, terrified by the howling mob surrounding the bus depot, the drivers refused. Harassed and besieged by the KKK mob, the riders waited all night for a bus.

    Under intense public pressure from the Kennedy administration, Greyhound was forced to provide a driver, and Alabama Governor John Patterson reluctantly promised to protect the bus from KKK mobs and snipers on the road between Birmingham and Montgomery after direct intervention from Attorney General’s office employee Byron White. On the morning of May 20, the Freedom Ride resumed, with the bus carrying the riders traveling toward Montgomery at 90 miles an hour protected by a contingent of the Alabama State Highway Patrol.

    However, when they reached the Montgomery city limits, the Highway Patrol abandoned them. At the bus station on South Court Street, a white mob awaited and beat the Freedom Riders with baseball bats and iron pipes. The local police allowed the beatings to go on uninterrupted.

    Again, white Freedom Riders were singled out for particularly brutal beatings. Reporters and news photographers were attacked first and their cameras destroyed, but there is a famous picture taken later of Jim Zwerg in the hospital, beaten and bruised. Justice Department official Seigenthaler was beaten and left unconscious lying in the street. Ambulances refused to take the wounded to the hospital. Local blacks rescued them, and a number of the Freedom Riders were hospitalized.

    On the following night, Sunday, May 21, more than 1500 people packed Reverend Ralph Abernathy’s First Baptist Church to honor the Freedom Riders. Among the speakers were Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, and James Farmer. Outside, a mob of more than 3,000 whites attacked blacks, with a handful of the United States Marshals Service protecting the church from assault and fire bombs. With city and state police making no effort to restore order, President Kennedy threatened to commit federal troops, but Governor Patterson forestalled that by ordering the Alabama National Guard to disperse the mob.[

    On the next day, Monday, May 22, more Freedom Riders from CORE and SNCC arrived in Montgomery to continue the rides and replace the wounded riders still in the hospital. Behind the scenes, the Kennedy administration arranged a deal with the governors of Alabama and Mississippi. The governors agreed that state police and the National Guard would protect the Riders from mob violence (thereby ending embarrassing media coverage of bloody lawlessness), and, in return, the federal government would not intervene to stop local police from arresting Freedom Riders for violating segregation ordinances when the buses arrived at the depots (even though such arrests violated the Supreme Court’s Boynton decision).

    On Wednesday morning, May 24, Freedom Riders boarded buses for the journey to Jackson, Mississippi. Surrounded by Highway Patrol and the National Guard, the buses arrived in Jackson without incident, and the riders were immediately arrested when they tried to use the white-only facilities at the depot. In Montgomery, Freedom Riders including Yale University chaplain William Sloane Coffin, Gaylord Brewster Noyce, Shuttlesworth, Abernathy, Wyatt Tee Walker, and others were similarly arrested for violating local segregation ordinances.

    This established a pattern followed by subsequent Freedom Rides, most of which traveled to Jackson, where they were arrested and jailed. The strategy became one of trying to fill the jails. Once the Jackson and Hinds County jails were filled to overflowing, Freedom Riders were transferred to the infamous Mississippi State Penitentiary (“Parchman Farm”). Their abusive treatment included placement in the Maximum Security Unit (Death Row), issuance of only underwear, no exercise, no mail, and, when Freedom Riders refused to stop singing freedom songs, they took away mattresses, sheets, and toothbrushes and removed the screens from the windows. When the cell block became filled with mosquitoes, they hosed everyone down with DDT at 2 AM.

    Some of the notable freedom riders were as follows: Stokely Carmichael, James L. Farmer, Jr.,
    US Representative Bob Filner (D-CA), US Representative John Lewis (D-GA), William Mahoney, Wally Nelson, James Peck, and Ruby Doris Smith-Robinson and Diane Nash.

    The Kennedys called for a “cooling off period” and condemned the Rides as unpatriotic because they embarrassed the nation on the world stage. Attorney General Robert Kennedy—the chief law-enforcement officer of the land—was quoted as saying that he “does not feel that the Department of Justice can side with one group or the other in disputes over Constitutional rights.”

    Defying the Kennedys, CORE, SNCC, and SCLC rejected any “cooling off period”. They formed a Freedom Riders Coordinating Committee to keep the Rides rolling through June, July, August, and September. During those months, more than 60 different Freedom Rides criss-crossed the South, most of them converging on Jackson, where every Rider was arrested, more than 300 in total, plus an unknown number of riders arrested in other Southern towns. It is estimated that almost 450 riders participated in one or more Freedom Rides. About 75% were male, and the same percentage were under the age of 30, mostly evenly divided between black and white.

    During the summer of 1961, Freedom Riders also campaigned against other forms of racial discrimination. They sat together in segregated restaurants, lunch counters and hotels. This was especially effective when it targeted large companies, which, fearing boycotts in the North, began to desegregate their businesses.

    In mid-June, a group of Freedom Riders had scheduled to end their ride in Tallahassee, Florida, with plans to fly home from the Tallahassee airport. They were provided a police escort to the airport from the city’s bus facilities. At the airport, they decided to eat at a restaurant that was signed “For Whites Only”. The owners decided to close rather than serve the Freedom Riders. Although the restaurant was privately owned, it was leased from the county government. Canceling their plane reservations, the Riders decided to wait until the restaurant re-opened so they could be served. They waited until 11:00 pm that night and returned the following day. During this time, hostile crowds gathered, threatening violence. On June 16, 1961, the Freedom Riders were arrested in Tallahassee for unlawful assembly. That arrest became known as Dresner v. City of Tallahassee, which made its way to the US Supreme Court in 1963, in which a hearing was refused based on technical reasons.

    On May 29, 1961, bowing to the demands of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders, as well as international outrage, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, in an unorthodox legal maneuver, sent a petition to the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to comply with a bus-desegregation ruling it had issued in November, 1955, Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company. That ruling had explicitly repudiated separate but equal in the realm of interstate bus travel, but, under the chairmanship of South Carolina Democrat J. Monroe Johnson, the ICC had failed to enforce its own ruling.

    In September 1961, bowing to pressure from the Attorney General and the civil rights movement, the ICC issued the necessary orders, and the new policies went into effect on November 1, 1961, a full six years after the ruling in Sarah Keys v. Carolina Coach Company. After the new ICC rule took effect, passengers were permitted to sit wherever they pleased on interstate buses and trains, “white” and “colored” signs came down in the terminals, separate drinking fountains, toilets, and waiting rooms were consolidated, and the lunch counters began serving people regardless of race.

    The Freedom Rides sent shock waves through American society. People worried that the Rides were evoking widespread social disorder and racial divergence. This attitude was supported and strengthened in many communities by the press. The press in white communities condemned the direct action approach CORE was taking, while the national press negatively portrayed the Riders.

    Yet, the Freedom Rides established great credibility with blacks and whites throughout the United States, who became motivated to engage in direct action for civil rights. Perhaps most significantly, Freedom Riders, facing such danger on their behalf, impressed blacks living in rural areas throughout the South who later formed the backbone of the civil rights movement. This credibility inspired many subsequent civil rights campaigns, including voter registration, freedom schools, and the black power movement.

    PBS will be airing a film about this historical event which will be celebrating its’ 50th year anniversary. The film is directed by Peabody award winning film maker Stanley Nelson. A telephone interview with Nelson by Febone1960.net can be heard above.
    Below is a video discussing a PBS event encouraging the young people to learn about civil disobedience. Take a look at both.

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      Posted 3 years, 6 months ago at 6:27 pm. Add a comment

      Isolated Incidents Or Is There Something Brewing With he Tea Party?

      History has a tendency to repeat itself if we let it.

      The Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution was passed by Congress in 1867. The amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. Most Southern states refused to ratify this amendment and therefore Radical Republicans such as Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Benjamin Wade, Henry Winter Davies and Benjamin Butler urged the passing of further legislation to impose these measures on the former Confederacy.

      This resulted in the passage of the first Reconstruction Act on 2nd March, 1867. The act along with a supplement passed on March 23, 1867 guaranteed the right of freed black men to register and vote.

      In 1867, black men voted for the first time. Over the course of Reconstruction, more than 1,500 African Americans held public office in the South. They did not hold office in numbers representative of their proportion in the population, but often elected whites to represent them.

      Although resigned to the abolition of slavery, many former Confederates were not willing to accept the social changes nor political domination by former slaves. The defeated were unwilling to acknowledge that their society had changed. In the words of Benjamin F. Perry, President Johnson’s choice as the provisional governor of South Carolina: “First, the Negro is to be invested with all political power, and then the antagonism of interest between capital and labor is to work out the result.

      The fears, however, of the mostly conservative planter elite and other leading white citizens were partly assuaged by the actions of President Johnson, who ensured that a wholesale land redistribution from the planters to the freedman did not occur. President Johnson ordered that confiscated or abandoned lands administered by the Freedman’s Bureau would not be redistributed to the freedmen but be returned to pardoned owners. Land was returned that would have been forfeited under the provisions of the Confiscation Acts passed by Congress in 1861 and 1862.

      Southern state governments quickly enacted the restrictive “black codes”. The Black Codes indicated the plans of the southern whites for the former slaves. The Black Codes would limit blacks’ ability to control their own employment. The Black Codes outraged northern opinion. They were overthrown by the Civil Rights Act of 1866 that gave the Freedmen full legal equality and the reconstruction act and it supplement gave them citizenship and the right to vote.

      In 1874 the white militias coalesced into paramilitary organizations such as the White League . It was a new organization that operated openly and had political goals: the violent overthrow of Republican (the party of Lincoln) rule and suppression of black voting. Democrats encouraged the poor whites to ally with them over race. As a result White League chapters soon rose, receiving financing for advanced weaponry from wealthy men. In one example of local violence, the White League assassinated six white Republican officeholders and five to twenty black witnesses in 1874. Four of the white men were related to the Republican representative.

      Similarly, the Red Shirts, another paramilitary group, arose in 1875 in Mississippi and the Carolinas. Like the White League and White Liner rifle clubs, these groups operated as a “military arm of the Democratic Party”, to restore white supremacy.

      An explosion of violence accompanied the campaign for the Mississippi’s 1875 election, in which Red Shirts and Democratic rifle clubs, operating in the open and without disguise, threatened or shot enough Republicans to decide the election for the Democrats.

      The campaigns and elections of 1876 were marked by additional murders and attacks on Republicans in Louisiana, North and South Carolina, and Florida. In South Carolina the campaign season of 1876 was marked by murderous outbreaks and fraud against freedmen. Red Shirts paraded with arms behind Democratic candidates; they killed blacks in the Hamburg and Ellenton SC massacres; and one historian estimated 150 blacks were killed in the weeks before the 1876 election across South Carolina. Red Shirts prevented almost all black voting in two majority-black counties.

      Reconstruction continued in South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida until 1877. The end of Reconstruction marked the beginning of a period, 1877–1900, in which white legislators passed laws and new constitutions that created barriers to voter registration and voting for African-Americans

      From 1890 to 1908, starting with Mississippi, ten of the eleven states of the Confederacy passed new constitutions or amendments that created new requirements for voter registration, such as poll taxes, literacy and understanding tests, grandfather clauses and residency requirements. The effect on black disfranchisement was immediate and devastating. Hundreds of thousands of African Americans were removed from voter registration rolls across the South and effectively disfranchised.

      One-party rule under white Democrats was established.

      Reconstruction civil rights legislation was overturned by the United States Supreme Court. Most notably, the court held in the Civil Rights Cases (1883), that the 14th Amendment gave Congress the power only to outlaw public, rather than private, discrimination. In Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the court went further, ruling that state-mandated segregation was legal as long as the law provided for “separate but equal” facilities.

      African Americans immediately started raising legal challenges to disfranchisement which lasted until deep into the 20th century.

      Re-establishment of white supremacy meant that within a decade, people forgot that blacks were creating thriving middle classes in many states of the South. African Americans’ lack of representation meant they were treated as second-class citizens, with schools and services consistently underfunded in segregated societies, no representation on juries or in law enforcement, and bias in other legislation. It was not until the Civil Rights Movement and the passage of Federal legislation that African Americans regained their suffrage and civil rights in the South.

      The passage of the Federal legislation or civil rights legislation not only covered African Americans, but it also covered women, religion, Latinos, Asian Americans, etc.

      Fast forward to November 4, 2008, and some 44 years after the passage of the voter rights act, and the civil rights act and the death of many black and non-blacks, America elected her first African American President.

      Colbert I. King posted the following article in the Washington Post. With the above historical background, true Americans may have reason to fear something awful is brewing with the Tea Party.

      Take a read and decide for yourself.

      A Dangerous Kind of Hate
      There’s an ugliness and hatred loose in the land — unleashed by the angry right.
      By: Colbert I. King, Op-Ed Columinst

      On Aug. 16, pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., told his congregation that he prays for the death of President Obama. In a sermon titled “Why I Hate Barack Obama,” Anderson preached: “I’m not going to pray for his good, I’m going to pray he dies and goes to hell.”

      Anderson is not the only man of the cloth to wish widowhood upon Michelle Obama. In June, the Rev. Wiley Drake of First Southern Baptist Church in Buena Park, Calif., said he was praying for the president’s death.

      Anderson, however, was explicit in his wish. “I’d like him to die of natural causes. I don’t want him to be a martyr; we don’t need another holiday. I’d like to see him die, like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer.”

      I pray God will not answer their petitions. While I’m at it, I’m going to send up one for the men and women of the Secret Service who endeavor to protect the nation’s 44th president and his family.

      There’s something loose in the land, an ugliness and hatred directed toward Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American president, that takes the breath away. The thread of resentment is woven through conservative commentary, right-wing radio and cable TV shows, all the way to Capitol Hill.

      Look back to Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress Wednesday night and South Carolina Republican Joe Wilson’s crude “you lie” shout. Witness the boorish behavior in the GOP seats.

      They are an inspiration to Obama-haters.

      It’s not just those calling on God to harm the president who cause worry; consider what comes with the territory.

      The day after Anderson’s “I Hate Barack Obama” sermon, Chris Broughton, a member of Anderson’s congregation, appeared at Obama’s speech in Arizona with an AR-15 and a pistol — not to harm the president, Broughton said, but to exercise his constitutional right to have weapons.

      Then there are the walking time bombs.

      Richard Poplawski of Pittsburgh slept with a gun under his pillow, hated Jews, feared Obama was scheming to take away his guns, and thought Obama got good press because he was black. In April, Poplawski showed he meant business. He fatally shot three police officers and wounded a fourth when they showed up at his house in response to a 911 call. Then there’s George Sodini, who went to a Bridgeville, Pa., health club in August, opened his gym bag, pulled out a weapon and shot and killed three women and wounded nine others. Sodini had planned the shooting for the summer, but delayed because, as he wrote on his Web site, he wanted to “stick around to see the [presidential] election outcome.”

      Sodini wrote of Obama: “The liberal media LOVES him. Amerika has chosen The Black Man.”

      Sodini’s writings revealed his contempt for black men and for white women whom he believed were beyond his reach. He wrote that, “dem white hoez dig da bruthrs! LOL. More so than they dig the white dudes! Every daddy know when he sends his little girl to college, she be [reference to sexual act] a bruthr real good. I saw it. Black dudes have their choice of the best white hoez.”

      Inflamed by sexual rejection and his hatred of black men, Sodini opened fire on those attending a fitness class filled with white women he apparently couldn’t have.

      Okay, now let me have it: “King, you’re generalizing, making a big story out of small, isolated examples. People like Anderson, Broughton and Drake, and shooters Poplawski and Sodini, are kooks, representing no one but themselves. Most people who oppose Obama don’t want him dead. They wish him and his family no physical harm.” I won’t argue with that.

      What I will say, however, is that a lot of malicious words have been thrown around about Obama since his election: words that inflame and that inspire the kind of hatred spewed from those two Arizona and California pulpits.

      Right-wing ranters don’t regard the president as a political opponent. Barack Obama, in their minds, is the enemy. He is, to them, dangerous and harmful to the country.

      Do the Andersons and Drakes have a right to say they hate Obama and want him to die? Yes. Did Poplawski and Sodini have a right to trash the “liberal” press and expound their racist views? You bet.

      Still, the depth of the hostility is extraordinary.

      From a right-wing talk show host who opposed allowing students to see the president’s education speech: “Make September 8 Parentally Approved Skip Day. You are your child’s moral tutor, not that shady lawyer from Chicago.” And from a parent’s e-mail to a Florida TV station’s Web site: “This is exactly how Hitler rose to power in Germany, by preaching to those most vulnerable members of society.”

      Smears? Paranoia? It’s all sweet music to the ears of Lee Harvey Oswald wannabes.

      If the president of the United States ever needed heartfelt prayers, it’s now.

      Posted 5 years, 1 month ago at 4:26 am. Add a comment

      African American Scholar and Historian John Hope Franklin Will Be Missed But His Legacy Will Endure

      John Hope Franklin died Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at the age of 94.

      John Hope Franklin died Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at the age of 94.

      “Because of the life John Hope Franklin lived, the public service he rendered, and the scholarship that was the mark of his distinguished career, we all have a richer understanding of who we are as Americans and our journey as a people.” These are the words spoken by President Obama on learning of the death of John Hope Franklin. Franklin departed this world on Wednesday March 25, 2009 at the age of 94. The revered historian died of congestive heart failure at the Duke University hospital in Durham.

      Dr Franklin taught at many leading universities and, in what is believed to be an American record, received more than 130 honorary degrees. Before his death, he had taught for a decade at the prestigious Duke University were he was professor emeritus of history.

      Known as the pioneer of African-American studies the scholarly Franklin chronicled the struggles of black Americans and this country’s efforts to confront its racial legacy. Dr. Franklin chronicles can be read in his book “From Slavery to Freedom: A History Of Negro Americans”. Considered the original text on the black African American experience in the U.S., the book helped integrate black history into American history. The text which has sold more than 3.5 million copies has gone through multiple editions since it was first published in 1947 and has remained relevant for more than 60 years after it’s publication for it still remains required reading in college classrooms.

      Dr. Franklin conducted his research for the book in libraries and archives that didn’t allow him to eat lunch in its’ dining facilities or use the bathroom because of the color of his skin.

      Born and raised in the all-black community of Rentiesville, Oklahoma, Franklin like all blacks in that era was subjected to humiliating practice of racial etiquette. Later he would be instrumental in bringing down the legal and historical validations of the dispecable practice of racial etiquette.

      The legal team that argued Brown v Board of Education. LtoR: George E.C. Hayes, James Nabrit II, Jack Greenberg, Spottswood Robinson, Thurgood Marshall,  Oliver Hill, Robert Carter, and Louis Redding.

      The legal team that argued Brown v Board of Education. LtoR: George E.C. Hayes, James Nabrit II, Jack Greenberg, Spottswood Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Oliver Hill, Robert Carter, and Louis Redding.

      Dr. Franklin’s research helped Thurgood Marshall and his NAACP legal team along with others to prevail in Brown v. Board of Education, the 1954 landmark Supreme Court case that outlawed public school segregation by over ruling the “separate but equal” doctrine in Plessy v. Ferguson.

      “It was evident how much the lawyers appreciated what the historians could offer,” Franklin later wrote. “For me, and I suspect the same was true for the others, it was exhilarating.”

      As the first black department chair at a predominantly white institution, Brooklyn College, Franklin broke numerous color barriers that included the first black professor to hold an endowed chair at Duke; and the first black president of the American Historical Association.

      Frustrated by racism’s stubborn power, yet refusing to give up, he often regarded his country like an exasperated relative,. “I want to be out there on the firing line, helping, directing or doing something to try to make this a better world, a better place to live,” Franklin told The Associated Press in 2005.

      After Barack Obama broke the ultimate racial barrier in American politics on November 4, 2008, Franklin called President Obama’s ascension to the White House “one of the most historic moments, if not the most historic moment, in the history of this country.”

      Obama’s achievement in obtaining the Presidency fitted with Franklin’s mission as a historian documenting how blacks lived and served alongside whites from the nation’s birth. Black patriots fought at Lexington and Concord, Franklin pointed out in his authoritative text “From Slavery to Freedom,”. We crossed the Delaware with Washington and explored with Lewis and Clark.

      “Working in a profession that more or less banned him at the outset and ended up its leading practitioner he always managed to keep his grace and his sense of humor, said Tim Tyson, a history professor at Duke.

      Late in life, Franklin received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Spingarn Award.

      Recognizing scholarly contributions that give “eloquence and meaning … to our ideas, hopes and dreams as American citizens.”, President Bill Clinton honored Franklin with the Charles Frankel Prize in 1993.

      Dr. Franklin with President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton

      Dr. Franklin with President Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton

      Clinton also awarded Franklin the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian prize, two years later, and gave him a role outside of the world of academia as chairman of Clinton’s Initiative on Race. It was a job of which Franklin said, “I am not sure this is an honor. It may be a burden.”

      “John Hope Franklin was one of the most important American historians of the 20th century and one of the people I most admired,” Clinton said in a statement. “He graced our country with his life, his scholarship, and his citizenship.”

      Dr. Franklin Inside His Green House

      Dr. Franklin Inside His Green House

      In his advanced age, Franklin spent most of his time in the greenhouse behind his home, where he nursed orchids, and very little time in libraries. Dr. Franklin stated that he fell in love with the flowers for the same reason he fell in love with history- because “they’re full of challenges, mystery”

      In June, Franklin had a small role in the movie based on the book “Blood Done Signed My Name.” The drama tells of the acquittal of a white man who commits the public slaying of Henry Marrow, a black Vietnam vet in Oxford, N.C. in 1970. Tim Tyson, the book’s author, said he wanted Franklin in the movie “because of his dignity and his shining intelligence.”

      Franklin and his wife, Aurelia, in Cambridge, Mass., 1941.

      Franklin and his wife, Aurelia, in Cambridge, Mass., 1941.

      Franklin attended historically black Fisk University, where he met his future wife, Aurelia Whittington. Aurelia was not just his wife but she was his, editor, helpmate and rock for 58 years, until her death in 1999. Plans to follow his father into law, was abandoned after hearing the lectures of Ted Currier, a white professor, who convinced him history was his field. Currier borrowed $500 to send Franklin to Harvard University for graduate studies.

      Franklin’s doctoral thesis was on free blacks in antebellum North Carolina. Dr. Franklin’s wife spent part of their honeymoon in Washington, D.C., at the Census Bureau, helping him finish the doctoral thesis. The resulting work, “The Free Negro in North Carolina, 1790-1860,” earned Franklin his doctorate and, in 1943, became his first published book. Four years later, he took a job at the disitinguish Howard University. This was the same year “From Slavery to Freedom” was published.

      Some of Franklin’s greatest moments of triumph were marred by bigotry. For instance, the joy at being offered the chair of the Brooklyn College history department in 1956 was tempered by his difficulty getting a loan to buy a house in a “white” neighborhood.

      When he was to receive the medal of freedom, Franklin, a long time member hosted a party for some friends at Washington’s Cosmos Club. A white woman lacking in intelligence walked up to him, handed him a slip of paper and demanded that he retrieve her coat. Politely, Dr. Franklin told the foolish woman that any of the uniformed attendants, “and they were all in uniform,” would be happy to assist her.

      Tulsa Black Wall Street After 1921

      Tulsa Black Wall Street After 1921

      Tulsa Oklahoma Black Wall Street before 1921

      Tulsa Oklahoma Black Wall Street before 1921

      Named after the educator John Hope, Franklin was born Jan. 2, 1915, in a town outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his parents moved in the mistaken belief that separation from whites would mean a better life for their young family. In 1921 his father’s law office was burned in the race riots in Tulsa, Okla., along with the rest of the black wall street businesses that occupied the black section of town.

      Mollie, his mother, was a teacher, who began taking him to school with her when he was 3. By the age of 5, he could read and write and sadly by 6, he first became aware of the “racial divide separating me from white America.”

      Franklin, along with his mother and sister Anne were ejected from a train when Mollie refused the conductor’s orders to move to the overcrowded “Negro” coach. Trudging through the woods back to Rentiesville, young John Hope began to cry.

      In response, his mother pulled him aside and told him, “There was not a white person on that train or anywhere else who was any better than I was. She admonished me not to waste my energy by fretting but to save it in order to prove that I was as good as any of them.”

      This writer is in agreement with President Obama, who stated “Dr. Franklin will be deeply missed, but his legacy is one that will surely endure”.

      Dr. John Hope Franklin is survived by his only child John Whittington Franklin.

      On the Net: * Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Web site: http://www.duke.edu/johnhopefranklin

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