By Mario Salas
We always hear about Crispus Attucks, a black man that fought in the American Revolution for the slave owners, but we never hear about the thousands of blacks that fought for the British between 1808 and 1816. Three events led to the American Revolution and all three were based on slavery and black resistance to the slave system of Virginia and other colonies. They were:
- The Somerset Case: In 1772, a slave owner named Charles Stuart bought a slave from Virginia to England named James Somerset. Stuart was trying to send Somerset to Jamaica for sale. An English abolitionist sued for his freedom arguing that slaves became free when brought to England. The Chief Justice, Lord Mansfield, ruled that slavery had no basis in nature or under English law. Somerset was set free and back in America the American slave owners went ballistic. Even though white Americans thought themselves champions of freedom they were angered by the British ruling of freedom for James Somerset.
- About the same time as the Somerset Case, an event would take place that would drive the Americans insane with anger. A British ship was burned and the captain killed. The only witness against the Americans was a black man named Aaron Briggs who would testify against the Virginians. Briggs was about 16 years old, but hatred against him was racial. This hatred was generated by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry who led the way. Historians believe that this was a crucial moment prompting the Americans to revolt against England. In writings and speeches, Briggs was referred to as the “Negro-Indian witness.” This incident, of a black man testifying against whites, led to the formation of the Continental Congress and the Committees of Correspondence. This event was greater than the Boston Tea Party in popularity, but white supremacy suppressed this incident. Thus, 1772 became the cornerstone of the American rebellion. The Gaspee Affair led straight to the 1776 Revolution, and later to fasten slavery upon America. The leaders of the attacked ship were slave owners (John Brown and Abraham Whipple). As was typical throughout history, the black witness was made into a liar by the Virginia colonists.
- Lastly, Lord Dunmore called for blacks to escape slavery and join the British army with a promise of freedom and to smight their brutal owners. In November of 1775, he offered freedom to slaves and indentured servants if they would help fight the American rebels. In early 1776, about 800 enslaved men flocked to the British camps and Dunmore organized them into a unit he called the “Ethiopian Regiment.” To discourage black slaves, Virginia slave owners brutally beat blacks in the public square and often cut off an ear in revenge. They sometimes cut off heads and stuck them on polls and lined the streets with skulls. In 1781, Lord Cornwallis led a British army to Richmond, Virginia which attracted over 4,500 runaways including 23 from the Thomas Jefferson slave plantation, and 16 from George Washington plantation.
Blacks Burn White House
During the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, black soldiers called the Colonial Marines, who were former slaves that escaped American slavery, attacked Washington, DC. These black troops defeated American forces at Bladensburg, Maryland, on August 24, 1814, and arrived as the sun went down in Washington, where they burned the White House and the U.S. Capitol down.
Escaped black slaves formed a military unit called Britain’s Royal Navy Corps of Colonial Marines. After the War of 1812 these former soldiers established Trinidad’s “Merikin” communities (Merikin is short for American), which became free communities after the British refused to return slaves to America. These marines in the British Navy were first organized in 1808 to support Britain’s Caribbean bases. During the War of 1812, British Rear Admiral Alexander Cochrane formed the Colonial Marines. Although they were of direct African descent many more were formerly enslaved people in the Americas. These troops received the same training and benefits as their white Royal Marine counterparts. This would anger the American slave owners and explains why Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner with the 3rd Verse attacking blacks.
Colonial Marines were part of the British troops that attacked Americans outside of DC and drove them back into the city, setting the White House on fire. One of the Americans who witnessed it was Francis Scott Key-a pro-slavery man. Key also witnessed continuous British bombardment of Fort McHenry. After seeing the White House burn, Key became so angry at blacks that he wrote a poem that became the national anthem. In the third verse, Key had a special message for the enslaved people who had dared to fight for freedom:
The Hidden Third Verse
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
This is hardly ever mentioned in American History courses; it is purposefully ignored to mythologize American history along white supremacist lines. In April of 1814, Vice-Admiral Alexander Cochrane made the British position official: “All those who may be disposed to emigrate from the United States, will, with their Families, be received on board of His Majesty’s Ships…. They will have their choice of either entering into His Majesty’s Forces, or of being sent as FREE Settlers to British possessions, … where they will meet with all due encouragement.” Afterwards, Cochrane ordered Rear-Admiral George Cockburn to form the black Colonial Marines, units made up of refugee slaves that hated their American masters.
The Colonial Marines saw military action from across North America between 1814 and 1816. These former slaves often had extensive local knowledge of creeks, wetlands, and river valleys during that period as a result of being slaves and contact with Native Americans. They participated in numerous battles and raids during the War of 1812. They supported the British forces who burned Washington D.C. in 1814 and who were later repulsed by US troops at Baltimore, Maryland. The Colonial Marines assisted Britain’s Southern Coastal Campaign by guarding the British Army’s right flank during the invasion and subsequent Battle of New Orleans in 1815. When the 1814 Treaty ended the War of 1812, the Colonial Marines was transferred to British bases in Bermuda and later to Canada, Nova Scotia, and Trinidad.
The Negro Fort
Interestingly, free black people in 1683, built a settlement at St. Augustine while the Spanish were still in control of Florida (Robison, 2003). This settlement later became Fort Mose, which served as a lightning rod for slaves on the English plantations of Mississippi, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Though the fort would be destroyed by James Oglethorpe in 1740, it was rebuilt and established a safe haven for runaways. Because Florida remained on the British side when the 13 colonies went to war with England, Spain was allowed to repossess Florida thus allowing for a greater influx of slaves. Thus, Fort Mose would serve as precedence for another fort that would come to be known as “Fort Negro.”
These black marines fought at Prospect Bluff, Florida in 1816 and were ordered to defend a Spanish-fortified structure at Prospect Bluff. This fort was part of a complex of river and road communication networks extending into Georgia and Alabama. The fort had previously been under the protection of Spanish authorities in Florida and became a sanctuary for runaway slaves, Creeks, and black Seminoles. It became known as the Negro Fort. It would be guarded by the black Colonial Marines
The Discussion w The Writer Fred Blacks in the Media: Have We Made Good Progress?
Instead of Inviting Experts Trump Invites Two “Sambos” to the White House
By Mario Marcel Salas
Topics of discussion at the White House with Kanye West were laid out in a statement by the professional liar and White House story teller Sarah Sanders. However, this bizarre meeting was as crazy as it gets. Trump invited to “Negroes,” not black men, who support his madness, to a meeting at the White House while people in Florida walked through the flood waters and ruins of their homes.
If Kanye West thinks that Trump is going to make life better for black people he really needs to get back to his medication if that has anything to do with it. According to Trump in referring to Kanye, “He’s been a terrific guy . . . . You know, he loves what we’re doing for African-American jobs, for so many different things. Median income, as you see, at an all-time high. Poverty level at the best rate — meaning the lowest rate so far. And Kanye is a smart guy. And he sees that.”
With the November elections coming up Trump would have done better for himself by focusing on the flooding and devastation in Florida instead of two ignorant people that are lost in the swamp that Trump created. Trump also had Jim Brown, the old retiree of the NFL, who has said a lot of ignorant things himself over the years and has little credibility if any, not to mention that he sold out his people in a very “SAMBO” way. Jim Brown and Kanye West are no experts on anything that has to do with the problems in the black community and neither is Trump. So, it was indeed a gathering of imbeciles.
West has met with Trump before in which he pretends to be some sort of spokes person for the black community. Shut up and sit down Kanye you don’t represent us, you represent Trump. I don’t have a problem with rookies addressing the problems with the criminal justice system but advice coming from these two political clowns is hardly worth listening too. Yep, I bet Trump and West have been “friends for a long time,” but apparently not long enough as anyone with a brain knows that Trump is a racist that is always looking for a plantation Negro to claim as his mascot. Maybe Kanye will become the new Omarosa! Trump has done a few minor things for the black community in a less than sincere attempt to pretend that he supports the black community. Pardoning one black person from prison is hardly any way to claim some sort of progress that blacks face in terms of police brutality and the thousands that are in prison from false charges that Trump never thought about pardoning.
Can you believe that Kanye said he might run for president? If he was so mentally unstable I would laugh. One commentator, Tara Setmayer, called him another “token Negro of the Trump administration.”
Can you believe that Kanye said he might run for president? If he was so mentally unstable I would laugh. One commentator, Tara Setmayer, called him another “token Negro of the Trump administration.” She was nice; many of us are calling him a SAMBO! While the IQ level at the White House is already extremely low, Kanye and Jim Brown just dropped it another notch. According to Clay Cane, in writing for CNN, “The meeting between Trump and Kanye was high-octane foolishness and one of many debasing moments in Trump’s circus-like White House.” Kanye loves the hat that says “Make America Great Again” when in fact it is a racist dog whistle to that was used and is being used to fire up white racists. According to CNN, “Comedian D.L. Hughley compared this meeting to that of a black slave and his white master.”
Let us the remember the sweet embrace that Kanye gave Donald Trump as they both enjoyed a metaphorical sweet chicken dinner on the plantation with Secretary Sanders. Beyonce and Jay-Z have severed all ties with Kanye South and his wife, Kim “The Disgrace” Kardashian West, over Kanye’s misplaced support of President Trump and his wife’s visits to the White House. Maybe Kanye West and Jim Brown will get to ride in a carriage under the moonlight to the smell of magnolias and sweet julep mint tea and sit on the porch of the slave master.
According to Ta Nehisi Coates, a strong black writer, “Like Trump, West is narcissistic, ‘the greatest artist of all time,’ he claimed, helming what would soon be ‘the biggest apparel company in human history.’ And, like Trump, West is shockingly ignorant.” Kanye West may be destined to become a slogan that often repeated by blacks that are aware of racist intent, and that slogan or quote, emphasized by Mr. Coates, “I’m not black, I’m OJAY” may soon been attached to a political buffoon that is headed toward a tragedy. That tragedy being a falling from popularity and success to a political speck of being that can only be called the walking dead. Perhaps Kanye, and his loving friend Trump, have Halloween in mind, when the horrors of ghosts and goblins emerge—a fantasy of sorts that speaks of comedy about that which is dead.
The elections that are coming up are more important that the Obama elections, for we are faced with a racial juggernaut of injustice. We are faced with Republican candidates who are some of the biggest cowards the world has ever known. They are afraid of losing their precious positions as elected representatives. They trail behind Trump following along in the puke he leaves behind. It is of super importance that we get out the vote and try our best to remove the phantom menaces of the Republican copies of the Trump regime.
Some Historic San Antonio Black History – Part 2
According to George Nelson, slaves were sold at the Alamo, the Cradle of Texas Liberty, during the Civil War. In quoting an Express News article in 1917 a Captain Bill Edgar said slaves were sold on a “Platform” which was “one of the old slave markets where Negroes were put up for auction.” Captain Bill Edgar was a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle, a Ku Klux Klan-type group in the 1850s that came before the 1866 Klan.
On November 1, 1917, the U.S. army held court-martials at the chapel at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. The military court tribunals indicted the men of the 24th Black Infantry for participating in the so-called “Houston Riot,” Nineteen soldiers were hanged for trying to help a black woman being brutalized by Houston Police, and the need to protect themselves from white harassment and mobs. White officers who faced courts-martial were released, and none of the white civilians were brought to trial for their crimes. Pastor Isaiah Kelly delivered their last rites. Ironically, Pastor Kelly, a black Baptist preacher, would later be exposed as working with the KKK by W.E. Dubois in the Crisis magazine. The brave men were killed by a military kangaroo court, hanged in the back of the Ft. Sam Houston golf course.
Charles Bellinger, a black leader in San Antonio, basically was able to decide who would be mayor in San Antonio. Bellinger was a black political boss and according to the Texas State Historical Association, “Bellinger entered local politics in 1918 and, with the aid of black ministers, developed support among black voters for John W. Tobin, who served as sheriff and mayor, and later for the Quin family. In return the city government provided the black neighborhood with paved and lighted streets, plumbing, a meeting hall, and a branch library, as well as improved recreation facilities and schools. Black political participation set San Antonio apart from most Texas and southern cities and stimulated the state legislature to require a white primary in the 1920s, a move that led to court decisions in the 1930s and 1940s declaring such voter exclusion unconstitutional.”
It should be noted that San Antonio Mayors Charles Quin (1877–1960) and his political opponent Fontaine Maury Maverick (1895–1954) were ideological different in that Quin was a KKK sympathizer while Maverick was a liberal. However, both of them were racists as Maverick once called Charles Bellinger a “black baboon.” Unfortunately, some leftist groups refuse to recognize the racism of so-called liberals or socialists like writers Mark Twain, Jack London, and others. Even though Quin was a KKK sympathizer he was supported by black political boss Charles Bellinger. Bellinger would be called an Uncle Tom by NAACP president Harold Tarver for doing so. Maverick, the so called liberal, would eventually team up with segregationist Walter McAllister, who would later become mayor, and plotted to send Bellinger to prison. Bellinger was convicted for tax evasion and sent to the federal prison at Leavenworth. However, Mayor Quin would plot with the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt, which resulted in Bellinger being pardoned. Hence, black political power was manipulated by a conservative African American, a racist KKK mayor, and a racist liberal. It was a very trying time for blacks in San Antonio.
The Municipal Auditorium was segregated as was the San Antonio Library for many years all the way to 1955. A rope was placed down the center isle by the San Antonio Fire Department which separated “white” from “colored” ad was clearly marked with signs attached to the ropes. The Majestic Theatre was segregated for many years with blacks and dark-skinned Mexicans having to go around to the back of the theatre on College Street. The only place they could set was on the upper balcony which was often referred to as “N” heaven. San Pedro Park was segregated as well and only on Thursdays could blacks go to the amusement park. This was referred to as “Colored Day.”
During the era of segregation, blacks needed places to stay while driving across the country. Segregated restaurants, restrooms, gas stations, hotels, and other facilities were designated “white only.” As a result, a book was published called “The Negro Motorist Green-Book.” This book listed places where blacks could utilize segregated facilities and San Antonio had at least 3 places listed: one at 1216 Dawson Street, 127 N. Mesquite Street (near St Paul’s Methodist Church) and the other at 245 Canton Street. The book was written by Victor H. Green, a black entrepreneur and available in 1941.
The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), after organizing a Black Student Union at San Antonio College in 1968-1969, went on to organize all of the colleges and universities in San Antonio. The organization was heavily influenced by the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, adopted Black Panther survival programs, and sold the Panther paper on street corners in downtown San Antonio. San Antonio SNCC was both Black Panther and SNCC. During this period, Rev. Claude Black, of Mt Zion First Baptist Church, supported SNCC, and led some of the first protests and marches for Martin Luther King in San Antonio when King was still alive. Rev. Black can be credited with the first protest march in support of Martin Luther King in 1965. Later, activists would lead a march in 1968 and 1969 from the “Eastside Y” to Mt Zion First Baptist Church. These would the first marches in protest of the death of King and for Civil Rights. In 1972, the first memorial marches would be organized by Rev. R, A. Callies. In 1972, the initial marches were very small, but former SNCC members and community organizations organized support to increase the numbers for the memorial marches. Thanks primarily to the organizing efforts of former SNCC-Panther members, and the support of the community, it became the largest march in the country, and is now an event that is both a celebration march and a protest march. Black Lives Matter and other protest groups have participated recently and in the past.
In 1969, SNCC organized a large protest after the beating death of Bobby Joe Phillips by San Antonio Police. The medical examiner ruled his death a homicide but no officer was ever indicted. SNCC organized the First Free Breakfast Program in San Antonio, modeled after the Black Panthers for Self Defense, at Antioch Baptist Church on Walters Street. The program was shut down as a result of an FBI program of illegal spying and the work of a black informant photographer who wanted to steal the project. Eventually, the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) adopted the free breakfast program, as did other schools, not only in San Antonio but across the country. This was done to prevent black activists from feeding the poor and educating them on the real history of America.
In 1974, SNCC organized the African Liberation Support Committee (ALSC) in San Antonio and sent three representatives to attend the conference at Howard University and the protest at the White House. The protest was to support the liberation struggles in Southern Africa and freedom for Nelson Mandela. The FBI, through an illegal program called COINTELPRO, tried to sabotage a local Catholic institution by threatening Sister Mary Boniface at the Healy Murphy Learning Center. They forced her to cancel the showing of an African Liberation film. The FBI also used an informant at KAPE radio, the program director, to sabotage the films. In 1975 or 1976, the San Antonio SNCC lead organizer resigned and a few years later the organization officially disbanded as the last Black Panther Chapter and the last SNCC chapter in the United States. After the main organizer resigned, the organization considered itself a Black Panther Chapter, and changed it outlook regarding women in the movement, fully supporting women to be members of the group. Although there were women members in SNCC in 1969, some in the movement were concerned that if a woman were killed it might mean a death blow to the entire organization. Hence, women were often discouraged from joining. However, all women would be welcomed after 1975. It would eventually be recognized as a Panther chapter. Members of the group would go on to fight for civil and human rights by creating other organizations.
In 1990, Frontline 2000, a civil and human rights organization in San Antonio, was responsible for securing the Texas Martin Luther King State Holiday by threatening a boycott and civil action in court if a Super Bowl was allowed to be played in Houston. The National Football League had already gone on record that they would not play in Arizona unless that state honored Dr. King. The San Antonio delegation headed by Rick Greene and Mario Marcel Salas approached the Texas Speaker of the House at the time , Gib Lewis, and demanded that Texas honor Martin Luther King or a boycott would take place and a suit would be filed in court. Only a few states had not honored Dr. King at the time and Texas was one of them. At the meeting at the Texas State Capital, the speaker pledged that the bill would come out of committee. The bill was being held up by the Calendars Committee of the House which was headed by Pete Laney. Pete Laney was criticized for holding up the bill, but the Speaker ordered the bill out of committee. Hence, Texas created an official state holiday in honor of Dr. King. Rick Greene was the former SNCC-Panther activist that came up with the winning tactic to get Texas to honor Dr. King.
Alamo City Music Hall on East Side Closes
Dis-Integration: A Conversation on School Segregation
Sharing Stories of Racial Discrimination
Mel Waiters Gets Street Named After Him
The Hate U Give Movie Screening & Tips on How to Interact with Police
Community Spotlight Bibliotech East w/Tivy Whitlock
Business1 week ago
Ready to Build or Buy a House?
Community3 weeks ago
Legendary Newsman Eugene Coleman passes
Sports3 weeks ago
Three San Antonio Football Players Get to the Super Bowl
Community3 weeks ago
VIA Transit Celebrates Freedom Rider
Business2 weeks ago
IKEA Opens in San Antonio Feb. 13
Sports2 weeks ago
Black Baseball Legend Dies
Entertainment2 weeks ago
Young and Restless Star Dead
Community7 days ago
Sharing Stories of Racial Discrimination