By Mario Salas
Andrew Jackson, in an attempt to capture runaway slaves, and remove the Spanish from the Florida, sought to capture the “Negro Fort.” In July of 1816, Jackson led gunboats toward the fort. American forces defeated the defenders of the fort, which was defended primarily by the Colonial Marines, with Spanish, Creek, and Seminole allies. When artillery shot smash into the fort’s munitions area, it exploded, which forced surrender. After the surrender, Andrew Jackson saw to it that many of the survivors were enslaved or hanged. Some Colonial Marines were withdrawn and demobilized and settled in Trinidad in the West Indies. This ended the Black Colonial Marines duty on the field of battle. The Negro Fort today was stripped of its greatest historic legacy by Andrew Jackson and called Fort Gadsden. Fort Gadsden was built in 1818 directly on the site of the Negro Fort in order to erase history and the 300 free African American men that were massacred there.
These black marines were also known as the West Indies Militia, which defeated American forces at Bladensburg, Maryland, on August 24, 1814. The Americans ran toward the capitol and black soldiers chased them arriving at sunset in Washington, where they burned and destroyed most of the public buildings; most importantly the White House and the U.S. Capitol were burned. Cheering black slaves joined in or joined the British while others tried to protect their masters.
In 1813, a black man named Charles Ball, an escaped slave and self-declared “free man of color,” would make a terrible mistake. His choices would be that he could row out to the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay and join the blacks already part of the British Navy, or he could volunteer for the American navy and defend a country that did not respect him as a human being. Ball chose the Americans, and he was not alone in thinking that perhaps some good would result from it. It can be easily hypothesized, like it has been in modern times that by serving in the military, a black man would finally be respected—they would be totally disappointed.
When Ball enlisted, African Americans made up approximately fifteen percent of U.S. navy. Although official U.S. policy at the start of the war prohibited the recruitment of black sailors, a shortage of manpower compelled the navy to accept anyone. These black sailors had a reputation for intensity in battle thinking they would eventually be honored—this would not happen for centuries. When one captain complained about having blacks on his ship, Commodore Isaac Chauncey replied, “I have nearly fifty blacks on this boat and many of them are among the best of my men.” At the Battle of Lake Erie, his black sailors performed so well that letters were sent praising their courage. But, they would eventually be enslaved as would their ancestors.
It stands to reason that blacks often mistakenly thought they would be treated like human beings for serving in the American military. Living on a ship, closely together, was conducive to the development of mutual respect based on deeds and not on skin color. Black sailors were sanctioned by the U.S. government to harass British vessels while many of their brothers remained enslaved on American plantations. On some of these ships more than half of the crew were black.
Fighting for Both Sides in the War
Charles Ball, as a free man, was fortunate enough to have a choice. Besides the Navy and privatizing their service on naval ships, there were even a few black battalions in the American army, but the plantation owners in the Congress and pro-slavery presidents would eventually have their way, and most blacks would be sent back into slavery after the war. Their history as blacks fighting for the American Revolution would be erased. But for most American slaves, the best option was to escape to the British navy. When the British fleet arrived in the Chesapeake Bay, in March 1813, entire families of slaves made their way by canoe to their ships. The British commanders had orders to welcome these refugees. Eventually more blacks fought for the British than for the Americans, and the white Americans that supported the British were labeled “Tories” forcing them to escape South and into the East Coast mountains, were many of them would eventually become poor whites of the Appalachian Mountains.
Black soldiers and sailors fought courageously on both sides of the war, but the British promised freedom for slaves thus giving them a well-defined advantage. There was another advantage. One British admiral suggested that a “Black Force … could be managed and kept within bounds, and the Terror of a Revolution in the Southern States increased to produce a good effect in that quarter.” The author had a clear understanding of the fear that white plantation owners had of armed black men. This would be evident as fear of the Haitian Revolution would be felt in the U.S. South. In 1836, the Alamo defenders would have been fearful of the hundreds of black soldiers in Santa Anna’s army that paraded outside the Alamo for days, fully armed, and who would be responsible for killing most of the Alamo slave-owner defenders outside the walls.
All told, between 4000 and 6000 people were freed from slavery – the largest liberation that took place in America until the Civil War. Three companies of Colonial Marines were formed, and their presence did inspire hatred and fear among the Americans. The corps took part in the burning of Washington, fought in the Battle of Baltimore, and skirmished against American forces all along the coast. The British commander-in-chief said they were “infinitely more dreaded by the Americans than the British troops.”
After the war, American slave owners demanded that either former runaways be returned to slavery or compensation be given for the loss of their property. With few exceptions, the British rejected the demand and honored their promise to free blacks. Slaves that arrived on British soil were considered free; a British ship at war had the status of being on British land, and thus thousands were freed.
Unlike American slave owners, the British offered the Black Colonial Marines farmland in Trinidad in February (Now Black History Month) of 1816, nearly a year after the end of the war, when the black marines refused to be transferred into the army as soldiers in the West India Regiments. Their descendants live in Trinidad still, in freedom, and call themselves “the Merikins, “an abbreviated term for Americans.
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.
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