Archive for Black Men

Forgiving Ferguson

Posted in African Americans, Black Men, Trayvon Martin with tags , , , , on December 8, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Ferguson Looters2

By Ulysses “Butch” Slaughter

I know Michael Brown lived in Ferguson. I know Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson. I know Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson. I recommend forgiving in Ferguson.

I see the frustration in Ferguson. I hear the cries in Ferguson. I sense the fear in Ferguson. And I still recommend forgiving in Ferguson.

But what does Forgiving Ferguson mean?

Maybe we should start by asking and answering the question: What is forgiving? Yes, let’s start there.

What is forgiving?
No. We shouldn’t start there. That is too broad. You and I need to be more specific.

I think it makes more sense to start this discussion with me: the writer, the author, the channel of this idea called Forgiving Ferguson.

Yes. Let’s start with me.

Why start with me? Because that’s how all of us start to understand anything: we start with our individual selves. We start with our individual understanding based on our individual experiences. We start from within. We don’t start with FOX, CNN, OWN or CNBC. I start with Channel ME. You start with Channel YOU.

Michael Brown

So – yes – let’s start with me and then we will talk about the idea of forgiving and then we will go to Ferguson and revive Michael Brown. We will go to New York and resuscitate Eric Garner. We will go to Sanford and reawaken Trayvon Martin. We will even go to Money and resurrect Emmett Till.

But before we talk about anything else, I have to start with me and you have to start with you. As I share with you what I know about forgiving, I want you to think about what forgiving means in your life. More often than not, it is through your personal lens of forgiving that you see the possibilities of forgiving for others.

If you have already decided you don’t want to take this journey of forgiveness then it is best that you stop here and stay here. It’s your channel. It’s your choice. You can ignore this call to forgiving Ferguson.
But remember: time will reconcile all of your problems with or without your permission. You can stop but the world will keep spinning. Forgiving offers you an opportunity to enhance your channel and experience a miracle. Want to experience a miracle? Forgive.

So I’m starting with me. I know something about forgiving. I’ve had to consider this idea and its implementation. I’ve had to consider the theory and how I apply it. I know a little about forgiving. That’s all any of us can ever know: our little part. And we know it intimately. Our experience with forgiving is like the blood running through our veins and arteries. We feel it. It feeds us. We can talk about our relationship to forgiving. We can tell others what we know but they won’t ever really know what we’re talking about. They have to do the forgiving work to know the forgiving work.

I was a 12-year-old boy when I heard my father shoot my mother in her head and kill her. I was a 12-year-old boy when I found my mother’s body fallen outside my bedroom door bleeding from a hideous hole in her right temple. I was a 12-year-old boy when the State of Illinois called on me as a chief witness against my father.

I was 45 years-old boy when I went to my father’s house to kill him. For 33 years, I deteriorated inside memories of my father’s cruel domestic violence. For 33 years I was steeped in rage, anger and hatred. So I went to kill my father. I went to his doorstep and put my frustrated face in front of his fragile face. I thought murder was the answer. I thought revenge held the key. I was wrong.

I forgave my father. I took him to my mother’s gravesite. I took him to meet my children. He died two months later.

Before I reunited with my father, I often said “I hate him.” People would say “you should forgive him.”

When I reunited with my father, I often said “I love him.” People would say “how can you love him?”

I stopped tuning in to other people’s advice on the matter. I tuned into Channel Me.

I didn’t want the “weight” of hate and I despised the burden of revenge. I forgave my father, liberated myself and established a new family legacy.

I know something about forgiving. But the word forgiving means something different for everyone who says the word. We’ve all got different experiences. We all have different translations. We all have different truths.

Generally speaking to forgive is to surpass limitations. Forgiving is an expansion not a concession. Forgiving is forward. Forgiving is not failure. To forgive is to free your mind from the deceptive demons that whisper in your ears and say “you were defeated.” Forgiving brings on an instant and deep inner justice that no verdict can reverse. To forgive is to journey forward completely unshackled by chains of the past.

People will say: “I will forgive, but I will not forget.”

That popular, but questionable, saying is a discussion for another article. But to be sure here, I am not suggesting that you forget. I am suggesting you embrace liberating memories. Liberating memories are the channel through which you create a liberated future. Pain-filled memories can create a pain-filled future.

Change your channel and let the dead bury the dead.

Like a lot of people – like too many people – I watched the news on some television channel waiting for a verdict. FOX, CNN, CNBC. Doesn’t matter which channel, doesn’t matter the talking head. I was running their “objective” information through Channel Me. I looked at scenes from a place called Ferguson. I’d seen images like these before. I’d seen Black people respond like this before. Is this our best response? Is this our only response? Have we lost our imaginations?

How do we disrupt what we say is a vicious cycle perpetrated against Black Men? Is the answer to set fires? Loot for material shit? Turn cars over? Fight police? Throw bottles? Are these actions part of a spontaneous ritual in honor of people we claim to love?

We can and should do better. We can and should forgive Ferguson.

What would forgiving look like in Ferguson? It could start with a massive silence. It could continue with people quietly returning to their own homes, looking at their family members, expressing gratitude for life and recommitting to deep love. It could start with people forgiving and seeking forgiveness from those closest to them. It’s easy and maybe even convenient to go running out into the big crowds, getting lost in the group mentality and forgetting you have rifts right in your own home. Forgiving in Ferguson could start with each individual and in each individual household. I bet Michael would be cool with that.

There was a time when I would look at my children and wish my mother was alive and could see them. It took some time, but eventually it became very clear to me that my mother lives inside of my children. Her blood runs through their veins. Her blood supplies their heartbeats. She sees through their eyes. She is alive and very well.

My father did not and could kill my mother. Darren Wilson did not and could not kill Michael Brown. But is our inability to forgive killing Michael? Is our lack of imagination setting us up for more of the same shit on a different day?

When I was a little boy, I used to ask my mother when I would be old enough to fight my father. She always said the same thing: “I don’t want you to fight your father. I want you to be better.” She didn’t say I was better. She said “be better.”

Imagine a large, poised group of Black Men in Ferguson holding a press conference – a forgiveness press conference and asking Darren Wilson to join them. He agrees. They look him in the eyes and they forgive him. They embrace him. Together with Wilson, these Black Men establish an annual ritual for Michael. They get together to “be better” and remember together. This could actually happen. There are all kinds of possibilities when you journey into forgiving.

Can you imagine breaking bread with someone who killed your loved one? Can you imagine getting to know someone who killed your loved one? I can.

You can’t? Maybe it’s time for you to tune out the social static and change your channel. Maybe you should reflect on what you can do where you live to Forgive Ferguson and bring honor to this moment.

Michael is watching us. Eric is watching us. Trayvon is watching us. Emmett is watching us. Like my mother Clarice, they are alive and very well. What do they see? What would they want? Fighting or forgiving? Bitter or better?

Forgiving changes everything and everywhere.

Even in Ferguson.

Butch SlaughterUlysses “Butch” Slaughter is author of the forthcoming book “Forgive: the new mantra for Black Men.” Mr. Slaughter has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Network, The Dr. Phil Show and The CNN Headline News Network with Suzanne Roberts. Visit www.butchslaughter.biz for more information about his work.

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What Happened?

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , on December 3, 2014 by Gary Johnson

The 1950’s and 1960’s

1950 Black MenSammy on GQ

1950 Black Fashion

Today

Saggy-Pants-_t23b Saggy-1

Sagging Pants

If you can capture your reaction in one word, what word would you use?

Video “10 Hours of Walking in NYC As A Woman” Raises Question of Racial Bias

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Diversity, Racism, Women's Interests with tags , , , , , , on November 1, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Shoshona

By Gary A. Johnson

There’s been a lot of talk among social media the last few days about the Public Service Announcement (PSA) video featuring 24-year old actor Shoshana B. Roberts, who worked with Rob Bliss, a Washington Times Columnist, Director, and a professional speaker.  Bliss runs his own agency that specializes in viral videos connected to current topics, trends and events.

Bliss partnered with Hollaback!, an organization that wants to call attention to street harassment and intimidation, including “catcalls” directed at women.  In the video, Roberts was secretly recorded walking 10 hours through parts of New York City.

Roberts was not dressed provocatively.  In fact, she wore a T-shirt and jeans.  The video is supposed to remind viewers that many men don’t think about the consequences of invading the space of women and intimidating them by yelling, hollering, complimenting and in some cases, following them.

I don’t doubt for one second that this is the experience of many, if not all woman at some point in their lives.  The video sparks a conversation about when does one cross the line.  When you watch this video the “compliments” appear to be unwanted.

When does giving a woman a compliment cross the line into harassment?  Harassment is against the law.

Often times, “how” things are said, can be just as offensive as what was said.  You can also make an argument that not all women would have found some of the comments in the video to be unwanted or offensive.  However, many of the women that I know talk about the cumulative affect of men just hollering at them and how that behavior ranges from annoying to unwanted to offensive.  Further, many of the women that I know report that some men don’t know when to STOP, even if you acknowledge them with a polite nod, “thank you” or smile.

My concern is not the message of the video–it is the EDITING of the video.

The video notes that 100+ instances of verbal street harassment took place within 10 hours, involving people of all backgrounds.   Most of the men shown following, harassing and yelling at Roberts are Black and Latino.  Did Roberts only walk through areas heavily populated by Blacks and Latinos?  The video, which is less than 2:00 minutes long, clearly makes the point about women being harassed.

The video was viewed more than 15 million times in the first three days.  What was left on the cutting room floor?  Who decided what would be seen by the public?  When viewed through a racial prism the video shows a young white woman walking through New York City being harassed mostly by Black and Latino men.

Where were the white guys?  Did they not holla or say anything?

Several media outlets have questioned the video’s racial portrayal.  Last week, Bliss issued the following statement via a blog post that was later deleted.  “We got a fair amount of white guys, but for whatever reason, a lot of what they said was in passing, or off camera.”

Hollaback! also issued a statement about the video.  Part of the statement read:  “First, we regret the unintended racial bias in the editing of the video that over represents men of color. Although we appreciate Rob’s support, we are committed to showing the complete picture. It is our hope and intention that this video will be the start of a series to demonstrate that the type of harassment we’re concerned about is directed toward women of all races and ethnicities and conducted by an equally diverse population of men.  Hollaback! understands that harassment is a broad problem perpetuated by a diversity of individuals regardless of race. There is no one profile for a harasser and harassment comes in many different forms.”

In a telephone interview with The Washington Post, Shoshana Roberts said:  “We walked in a lot of neighborhoods. We’d hop on the subway, head to another neighborhood.  Midtown, Soho, Harlem, Brooklyn Bridge, South Ferry area. We went just a tad into Queens.  The two-minute video couldn’t show all that we did. There was a lot of ground we covered.”

I don’t think there was any sinister racial motives on the part of anyone making of this video.  The video clearly makes the case about the problem of street harassment.  As a result of the video, a secondary conversation about race is also taking place and that’s a good thing.  One of the unintended consequences of the video is that we all have “blind spots.”  The “blind spot” in this case was the racial imbalance of the men portrayed in the video.  Things like this happen at an unconscious level.  Just because it happened doesn’t mean that the video is less effective or that the people who made the video are bad people–they’re not.

Another conversation can be about the onslaught of rape and death threats directed at Shoshana B. Roberts.  According to Hollaback! Roberts has rape and death threats.

In case you haven’t seen the video, click here.  The following 2 videos, crude as they may be show the other point of view and perhaps calling into question, that much of the behavior directed toward Shoshana does not cross the line and constitute harassment.

So what can we learn about sexual harassment and racial bias as a result of this video?  Are there any additional lessons to be learned?

Gary A. Johnson is the Founder & Publisher of Black Men In America.com a popular online magazine on the Internet and the Black Men In America.com Blog. Gary is also the author of the book “25 Things That Really Matter In Life.To learn more about Gary click here.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith: Great Voice Wrong Message: Fighting Against the NFL’s N-word Policy

Posted in Black Men, Sports News with tags , , , , on October 5, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Stephen-A-Smith

By H. Lewis Smith

During the course of a nationally-televised football game on September 14, 2014, the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick called Chicago Bears’ defensive end Lamarr Houston the n-word (n**ga). It was then that a referee (who happened to be white) penalized Kaepernick for use of the vitriolic; the penalty resulted in an $11,025 fine.
On September 23, 2014, on national TV, ESPN’s First Take commentator Stephen A. Smith took issue with the policy. He presented an arousing and passionate response to the enforcement of the policy that he diametrically opposes. Smith feels it is okay for two African-American athletes to “trash talk” one another on the field, and if the term is spoken, then so be it. Smith argues that the rest of the world isn’t “sensitive” to how the athletes were raised and that, perhaps, in their neighborhoods and homes, the n-word was acceptable and a term of endearment.

Smith’s main point of concern, however, is that a white referee penalizing a black player for use of the n-word is egregious and offensive to him. Sadly, there are many who agree with him. Smith goes on to say that though he has deep respect for Mr. John B. Wooten, Chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance and the black man who spearheaded the movement for the NFL to adopt such a policy, he’s in complete disagreement with Wooten. He further attempts to paint a picture that the “older heads” (or older generation) including Mr. Wooten and others need to listen to the “younger heads” (or younger generation) such as himself and others when it comes to penalizing and fining NFL athletes for use of the n-word.

Moreover, although Smith seemed to have made a convicted argument as to why the n-word should not be a point of discussion or penalty, it needs to be pointed out that there are many capable and brilliant young heads who are not searching for pseudo-intellectual reasons to refer to themselves or any member of their race as n**ga. In fact, some young heads may have listened to that argument and heard nothing but ignorance spew from the mouth of a seemingly gifted speaker and well-educated African-American man. Some too may have immediately seen that Mr. Smith is a primary example of the systemic veiling of the populous, twisting of the black man’s mentality to continue to argue for inferiority, and the working of the very essence of the 400-year-old plight.

In “The Mis-Education of the Negro”, Dr. Carter G. Woodson said:
“If you can control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his action. When you determine what a man shall think you do not have to concern yourself about what he will do. If you make a man feel that he is inferior, you do not have to compel him to accept an inferior status, for he will seek it himself. If you make a man think that he is justly an outcast, you do not have to order him to the back door. He will go without being told; and if there is no back door, his very nature will demand one.”

Smith may believe that he represents the voice of the entire younger generation, but he does not. It is a known fact that many younger generation parents educate their children on the term and view it as a disrespectful profanity. The term is forbidden as everyday language in many Black households across America, and cannot be used—not even when one wants to use the term as so-called endearment or to cut down the confidence of anyone. Even further, many African-American children are taught to not only refrain from referring to anyone as such, but should also not allow anyone else to refer to them as such. Respect is a two-way street: it must be given and received.

To the contrary, Smith only represents that fraction of society that continues to lean in and remain shackled in the darkness. The ears of the enlightened have listened to that commentary and yelled at or argued back with the sentiments made. However, their voices simply cannot be heard because they do not have access to the news media to espouse their beliefs as does a Stephen A. Smith and some other proponents of the n-word (n**ga). And when they do share their views, they are considered troublemakers, too sensitive, or disillusioned; because they tend to be met with so much conflict from within and without the community, many times their arguments are suffocated or the cultural in-fighting takes center stage more so than the actual issue at hand.

Younger generation celebrities like Stephen A. Smith are to be applauded for their individual achievements; however, Black America’s paradigm should be to the commitment of the entire race’s preservation as a group, and not limited to the success of individuals, which unfortunately is the mindset of Black America. Until Black African Americans, as a group, can learn to separate themselves from the n-word the shackles of mental slavery will always remain intact.

Another thing: By saying the “young heads” vs. the “old heads”, Smith has promoted further separation within the Black community that is not going unseen—even Skip Bayless referred to this “cultural clash” within the Black community. The most unfortunate part is that, again, so long as the Black community remains divided, African Americans will never be able to re-unite, come together as a single being of force, and regain the cultural dignity and superior status divinely-granted upon the race. Instead, people like Smith continue to carry out the plight of White America ignorantly and unadulterated.
Now, truly, there is some agreement that a white-ruled NFL having to chastise black players for their use of the n-word is a bit brow-raising. The primary concern is that it should never have come to a white-run organization agreeing to help police the word if not for the Black community dropping the ball on this issue. Use of the n-word is a Black African-American issue, which should have been resolved within the community decades ago; instead, it has been allowed to fester.

By requiring the NFL or any other entity, organization or person outside of the Black community to regulate use of the n-word, smacks of paternalism. It is as if the Black community is unable to self-determine and self-regulate and, therefore, needs the white man to save them from themselves. Use of the degrading and demeaning term n**ga has grown far out of hand. In order for Black America to regain its full cultural respect and not have to expend its precious energy on such self-imposed issues—which in this case is really fighting over whose allowed to tell African Americans they cannot use the word (when NO ONE should need to be told because they should not be using the term in the first place), use of the term needs to be cut down dead in its tracks and buried by all.

Stephen A. Smith on a couple of occasions used the n-word on national TV and never got as much as a slap on the wrist for it. And as he openly evangelizes the support of the n-word, his spill is given full airtime—he’s allowed to go on this rampage campaigning for use of the n-word with not one cut or edit. Conversely, most recently when he slipped and used the word “provoke” relative to comments he was making about the Ray Rice case and domestic violence, white women were offended by it. As a consequence, Smith was suspended for seven days from his job.

But as Wooten goes on his rampage about using the n-word, Black America does or says nothing. However, Mr. Wooten recognized that, sadly, since the Black community refuses to address the matter themselves and hold all members within and without the community accountable to upholding and respecting Black Americans, he was required to approach the NFL to demand the respect many self-respecting Black Americans deserve. Had Mr. Wooten not taken this step, the blatant disrespect would have continued to fester at an even more severe rate. The reality is that Black America refuses to address the issue and does not want anyone else doing it either.

Unfortunately, Black America, collectively, just does not get it. The community refuses to remove the DO NOT DISTURB sign outside its door, refusing to WAKE UP.

Use of the n-word today is trans-generational and is the one and ONLY reason why the term still flows from the lips of contemporary Black African Americans. Black users of the term are allowing themselves to be defined by a racist term as opposed to defining themselves, for the reality is that the term n**ga is simply ghetto vernacular for n**ger, obviously there ISN’T any difference between the two.

h-lewis-smith H. Lewis Smith is the founder and president of UVCC, the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc., http://www.theunitedvoices.com author of Bury that Sucka: A Scandalous Love Affair with the N-Word, and the recently released book Undressing the N-word: Revealing the Naked Truth, Lies, Deceit and Mind Games https://www.createspace.com/4655015

Why Black Men Need More Black Women

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Racism with tags , , on June 8, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Raynard Jackson 2013

By Raynard Jackson

Black women constantly complain about the dearth of “eligible” Black men to date and marry. Noted sociologist William Julius Wilson has argued that “the increasing levels of non-marriage and female-headed households is a manifestation of the high levels of economic dislocation experienced by lower-class Black men in recent decades.”  He further argued that, “When joblessness is combined with high rates of incarceration and premature mortality among Black men; it becomes clearer that there are fewer marriageable black men relative to black women who are able to provide the economic support needed to sustain a family.”

Then you add in the unfortunate increase in homosexuality within the Black community and you have a recipe for disaster.
This is why Black men need more White women like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham. Even though they are conservative media personalities, they have done more to promote the well-being of Black males than many of the very women who stridently complain about the lack of “eligible” Black men.

Coulter is a friend and I find her comments regarding the Black community very insightful.  Look at what she said two years ago on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She said, “Groups on the left, from feminists to gay rights groups to those defending immigrants, have commandeered the Black civil rights experience.”

She continued, “I think what – the way liberals have treated Blacks like children and many of their policies have been harmful to Blacks, at least they got the beneficiary group right. There is the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. We don’t owe the homeless. We don’t owe feminists. We don’t owe women who are desirous of having abortions, but that’s — or — or gays who want to get married to one another. That’s what civil rights has become for much of the left.”

Stephanopoulos asked, “Immigrant rights are not civil rights?” Coulter responded, “Civil rights are for Blacks…what have we done to immigrants? We owe Black people something…We have a legacy of slavery. Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.”
Earlier this year, she said, “I mean my whole life I’ve heard Republicans hate Black people, I’ve never seen any evidence of it until I read Marco Rubio’s amnesty bill. We are the party that has always stood up for African-Americans. Who gets hurt the most by amnesty, by continuing these immigration policies it is low-wage workers, it is Hispanics, it is Blacks.”

I don’t know Ingraham personally, but I like what she had to say last month about Democrats and Blacks.
“[Congressman] Steve Israel is reprehensible in what he said [on alleged racism in the Republican Party]…Nancy Pelosi, throw her into the ring [for similar comments]…I say this is a race to the bottom…The Democrats have failed the Black youth in this country with their terrible economic approach. Do we call that racist?

“…They turn their heads away from the millions upon millions of Black babies slaughtered in the womb over 10 years… Is that racist?…Is it racist that they allow inner cities to continue to crumble as families decay across the board in America – especially hard hit is African-American families…It is reprehensible and it’s all about November…This is not about ‘They care about Black people.’ They care about their majority eroding away.”

So, let me make sure I understand. Black women complain about the state of “eligible” Black males to date and marry, yet they support the policies of a president who is going to make the problem much worse.  Under Obama, Blacks have regressed on every economic, social and moral indicator that is tracked. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the current Black unemployment rate is 11.6 percent; for Blacks aged 16-19 it is at 36.8 percent.  However, the average Black unemployment rate during the terms of the last three presidents, as well as the average over the past 30 years, are noteworthy. Under Clinton, it was 10 percent; under George W. Bush, 9.3 percent but under Obama, 14 percent for the total time he has been in office. The 30-year average for Blacks is 12.4 percent.

Campaign slogans notwithstanding, this isn’t the kind of change we have been waiting for.

Obama has done more for same-sex marriage couples than he has for his same-race brothers and sisters. In fact, Newsweek dubbed him our first gay president – not for his sexual orientation, but for his relentless pandering to homosexuals.

He has also advocated amnesty for those in this country illegally, which will only continue to increase the unemployment rate in the Black community, especially among low and under-skilled Black workers. This will further decrease the pool of potential Black men for women to date and marry. Let’s face it, our women are not going to marry someone who is unemployed or underemployed.

Historically, Black women have been notoriously protective of their men and children. It is ironic that Coulter and Ingraham, two conservative White women, are now assuming that role. We Black men need more White women like Coulter and Ingraham, not Black women who will give a pass to a failing Black president.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, http://www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @raynard1223.

 

Black women constantly complain about the dearth of “eligible” Black men to date and marry.  Noted sociologist William Julius Wilson has argued that “the increasing levels of non-marriage and female-headed households is a manifestation of the high levels of economic dislocation experienced by lower-class Black men in recent decades.”

He further argued that, “When joblessness is combined with high rates of incarceration and premature mortality among Black men; it becomes clearer that there are fewer marriageable black men relative to black women who are able to provide the economic support needed to sustain a family.”

Then you add in the unfortunate increase in homosexuality within the Black community and you have a recipe for disaster.

This is why Black men need more White women like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham.  Even though they are conservative media personalities, they have done more to promote the well-being of Black males than many of the very women who stridently complain about the lack of “eligible” Black men.

Coulter is a friend and I find her comments regarding the Black community very insightful.  Look at what she said two years ago on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She said, “Groups on the left, from feminists to gay rights groups to those defending immigrants, have commandeered the Black civil rights experience.”

She continued, “I think what – the way liberals have treated Blacks like children and many of their policies have been harmful to Blacks, at least they got the beneficiary group right. There is the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. We don’t owe the homeless. We don’t owe feminists. We don’t owe women who are desirous of having abortions, but that’s — or — or gays who want to get married to one another. That’s what civil rights has become for much of the left.”

Stephanopoulos asked, “Immigrant rights are not civil rights?”  Coulter responded, “Civil rights are for Blacks…what have we done to immigrants?  We owe Black people something…We have a legacy of slavery.  Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.”

Earlier this year, she said, “I mean my whole life I’ve heard Republicans hate Black people, I’ve never seen any evidence of it until I read Marco Rubio’s amnesty bill. We are the party that has always stood up for African-Americans.  Who gets hurt the most by amnesty, by continuing these immigration policies it is low-wage workers, it is Hispanics, it is Blacks.”

I don’t know Ingraham personally, but I like what she had to say last month about Democrats and Blacks.

“[Congressman] Steve Israel is reprehensible in what he said [on alleged racism in the Republican Party]…Nancy Pelosi, throw her into the ring [for similar comments]…I say this is a race to the bottom…The Democrats have failed the Black youth in this country with their terrible economic approach. Do we call that racist?

“…They turn their heads away from the millions upon millions of Black babies slaughtered in the womb over 10 years… Is that racist?…Is it racist that they allow inner cities to continue to crumble as families decay across the board in America – especially hard hit is African-American families…It is reprehensible and it’s all about November…This is not about ‘They care about Black people.’ They care about their majority eroding away.”

So, let me make sure I understand.  Black women complain about the state of “eligible” Black males to date and marry, yet they support the policies of a president who is going to make the problem much worse.

Under Obama, Blacks have regressed on every economic, social and moral indicator that is tracked. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the current Black unemployment rate is 11.6 percent; for Blacks aged 16-19 it is at 36.8 percent.

However, the average Black unemployment rate during the terms of the last three presidents, as well as the average over the past 30 years, are noteworthy. Under Clinton, it was 10 percent; under George W. Bush, 9.3 percent but under Obama, 14 percent for the total time he has been in office. The 30-year average for Blacks is 12.4 percent.

Campaign slogans notwithstanding, this isn’t the kind of change we have been waiting for.

Obama has done more for same-sex marriage couples than he has for his same-race brothers and sisters. In fact, Newsweek dubbed him our first gay president – not for his sexual orientation, but for his relentless pandering to homosexuals.

He has also advocated amnesty for those in this country illegally, which will only continue to increase the unemployment rate in the Black community, especially among low and under-skilled Black workers.  This will further decrease the pool of potential Black men for women to date and marry. Let’s face it, our women are not going to marry someone who is unemployed or underemployed.

Historically, Black women have been notoriously protective of their men and children. It is ironic that Coulter and Ingraham, two conservative White women, are now assuming that role. We Black men need more White women like Coulter and Ingraham, not Black women who will give a pass to a failing Black president.

 

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site,  www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @raynard1223.

– See more at: http://www.blackpressusa.com/2014/05/why-black-men-need-more-white-women/#sthash.aIX95Ci8.Re8WqtrV.dpuf

Black women constantly complain about the dearth of “eligible” Black men to date and marry.  Noted sociologist William Julius Wilson has argued that “the increasing levels of non-marriage and female-headed households is a manifestation of the high levels of economic dislocation experienced by lower-class Black men in recent decades.”

He further argued that, “When joblessness is combined with high rates of incarceration and premature mortality among Black men; it becomes clearer that there are fewer marriageable black men relative to black women who are able to provide the economic support needed to sustain a family.”

Then you add in the unfortunate increase in homosexuality within the Black community and you have a recipe for disaster.

This is why Black men need more White women like Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham.  Even though they are conservative media personalities, they have done more to promote the well-being of Black males than many of the very women who stridently complain about the lack of “eligible” Black men.

Coulter is a friend and I find her comments regarding the Black community very insightful.  Look at what she said two years ago on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” She said, “Groups on the left, from feminists to gay rights groups to those defending immigrants, have commandeered the Black civil rights experience.”

She continued, “I think what – the way liberals have treated Blacks like children and many of their policies have been harmful to Blacks, at least they got the beneficiary group right. There is the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws. We don’t owe the homeless. We don’t owe feminists. We don’t owe women who are desirous of having abortions, but that’s — or — or gays who want to get married to one another. That’s what civil rights has become for much of the left.”

Stephanopoulos asked, “Immigrant rights are not civil rights?”  Coulter responded, “Civil rights are for Blacks…what have we done to immigrants?  We owe Black people something…We have a legacy of slavery.  Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.”

Earlier this year, she said, “I mean my whole life I’ve heard Republicans hate Black people, I’ve never seen any evidence of it until I read Marco Rubio’s amnesty bill. We are the party that has always stood up for African-Americans.  Who gets hurt the most by amnesty, by continuing these immigration policies it is low-wage workers, it is Hispanics, it is Blacks.”

I don’t know Ingraham personally, but I like what she had to say last month about Democrats and Blacks.

“[Congressman] Steve Israel is reprehensible in what he said [on alleged racism in the Republican Party]…Nancy Pelosi, throw her into the ring [for similar comments]…I say this is a race to the bottom…The Democrats have failed the Black youth in this country with their terrible economic approach. Do we call that racist?

“…They turn their heads away from the millions upon millions of Black babies slaughtered in the womb over 10 years… Is that racist?…Is it racist that they allow inner cities to continue to crumble as families decay across the board in America – especially hard hit is African-American families…It is reprehensible and it’s all about November…This is not about ‘They care about Black people.’ They care about their majority eroding away.”

So, let me make sure I understand.  Black women complain about the state of “eligible” Black males to date and marry, yet they support the policies of a president who is going to make the problem much worse.

Under Obama, Blacks have regressed on every economic, social and moral indicator that is tracked. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the current Black unemployment rate is 11.6 percent; for Blacks aged 16-19 it is at 36.8 percent.

However, the average Black unemployment rate during the terms of the last three presidents, as well as the average over the past 30 years, are noteworthy. Under Clinton, it was 10 percent; under George W. Bush, 9.3 percent but under Obama, 14 percent for the total time he has been in office. The 30-year average for Blacks is 12.4 percent.

Campaign slogans notwithstanding, this isn’t the kind of change we have been waiting for.

Obama has done more for same-sex marriage couples than he has for his same-race brothers and sisters. In fact, Newsweek dubbed him our first gay president – not for his sexual orientation, but for his relentless pandering to homosexuals.

He has also advocated amnesty for those in this country illegally, which will only continue to increase the unemployment rate in the Black community, especially among low and under-skilled Black workers.  This will further decrease the pool of potential Black men for women to date and marry. Let’s face it, our women are not going to marry someone who is unemployed or underemployed.

Historically, Black women have been notoriously protective of their men and children. It is ironic that Coulter and Ingraham, two conservative White women, are now assuming that role. We Black men need more White women like Coulter and Ingraham, not Black women who will give a pass to a failing Black president.

 

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site,  www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @raynard1223.

– See more at: http://www.blackpressusa.com/2014/05/why-black-men-need-more-white-women/#sthash.aIX95Ci8.Re8WqtrV.dpuf

EVERY YOUNG, BLACK MALE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Men, Book Reviews and More, Women's Interests with tags , , , , on April 22, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00068]
Martinsville, Virginia—Hey Luv Project announces the release of Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted (April 1, 2014, ISBN: 978-0-578-13580-9, Hey Luv Project) by Wendy Kellam.  

Every Black teenager should read Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted, so they can feel Kellam’s passion, her true love—not just for her sons and her immediate family—for her entire community and the entire Black race. Most importantly, she wants all young, Black males to recognize and understand their worth!

“Pull your pants up!” is one of many solutions Kellam offers in her powerful, thought-provoking book that comes straight from the heart and written with so much passion and sincerity. Kellam emphasizes the importance of good parenting, the foundation and stepping stone to raising good, productive children. As a single mom, raising three, Black males, she knows the importance of being a good parent, putting your children first, and providing good homes and good morals.

“The stats speak loud and clear,” Kellam states in her book, when she points out that 60% of Black males either drop out of school or go to jail. She also stated that 1 and 3 Black men will have a record in his lifetime. Black males are six times more likely to go to jail than white males. Black male achievement begins to decline as early as the fourth grade, and by the fourth grade, only 12% of Black male students read at or above grade level. By eighth grade, the numbers fall to 9% for Black males. An epidemic that needs to cease, Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted should be the handbook for parents, teachers, and mentors and for those who have an immediate impact on the lives of our young, Black males.

Author Wendy Kellam is a native of Martinsville, Virginia. She is employed with Technique Solutions, an IT company. She is the Director of Trudie Reads, a reading program designed to help kids learn to read, as well as instill a love for reading. She is a mentor of the Pretty Girls Rock’s Martinsville Chapter. She is the founder of Hey Luv Project, a group of community partners telling stories to inform, empower and educate. She is a community advocate for her race, an advocate for women, a huge advocate for the youth and an advocate for human rights. She is a daughter, sister and cousin. She is a mother, a grandmother and Messiah has made being a grandmother, oh so grand. She is a friend to few, but cool with many. She rocks to her own beat. I am she and she is me.
Wendy Kellam is available for book signings and speaking engagements. To schedule Wendy for your next event, please email heyluvproject@gmail.com.

Young, Black Males: America’s Most Wanted by Wendy Kellam will be available in Trade paperback on April 1, 2014 everywhere. Currently available for download on Amazon Kindle. For more information contact Sadie-Katie at 276-224-4696.

They Peeked Out From Behind Dirt Floored…

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Men, Black Men In America with tags , , on December 31, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Purnell Headshot

… But When I Became A Man,

            I Put Away Childish Things

By Purnell

Peeking out from behind rough-hewn slave cabin windows and gazing through the elegantly curtained windows of plantation mansions black slaves gasped at the sight they beheld…a sight they did not quite understand, but intuitively sensed constituted a power far greater than that of their masters. It was a martial tableau in motion that set the minds of anxious slaves racing in a search for its exact meaning. Unbeknownst to these confused blacks, their deliverance was at hand. Conversely, the entire unfolding circumstance was an apocalyptic nightmare for their panic-stricken masters. With regimental colors waving above them, a phalanx of soldiers in blue was entering Savannah; white men and black men, all wearing the blue uniform of the Grand Army of the Republic had arrived in coastal Georgia. A sound made by thousands of clomping horses hooves filled the countryside and mixed with the muffled footsteps of 70,000 infantrymen. The noise of teamsters whistling and shouting at their mules to keep up the pace filled the air and combined with the creaking and grinding of supply wagon wheels and the rattling of light artillery caissons.  Metallic clattering made by the sabers of hundreds of mounted Union officers heightened the ominous sense of foreboding that rode into Savannah that day. A massive Union military land force had overrun the coastal Georgia area signaling to friend and foe its willingness to engage any confederate unit that summoned the courage to challenge the presence of its seasoned Yankee war machine.

For the slaves of Georgia it was their first time seeing the fearsome display of the concentrated might of a Union army on the move in the heartland of the Confederate south.Entering the city of Savannah was the formidable, battle-tested Union Army of the Tennessee, 3rd Division of the 14th Corps, led by Major-General William T. Sherman. The march through Georgia to the sea had been brilliant. The approach to Savannah had been uneventful though token resistance from small confederate units had to occasionally be suppressed. The ferocious reputation of Sherman’s well supplied army had preceded its impressive arrival. Columns of U.S. infantrymen from the northern states with regimental colors waving above their heads, stretched for miles. Most of them were in the Deep South for the first time in their lives. Plantation owners who had previously proclaimed sworn oaths to die fighting the “damned Yankees”…, who spoke in disparaging terms of Union fighting prowess, took one look at the stunning display of Union military strength and promptly abandoned their plantation estates. Everywhere in the coastal area of Georgia, confederate military presence yielded to the imposition of Union military might upon the state.

Major-General William Tecumseh Sherman was under the direct command of President Abraham Lincoln with orders to break the will of the south to continue the war…and he was doing so with harsh efficiency. Curious slaves had no insight into the strategy and tactics of the opposing armies; but they could clearly see which side seemed most likely to win the conflict. They enthusiastically aligned themselves with Major-General Sherman and fell in behind the Union Army rear guard, willing to follow them no matter the costs or the perils. Any destination was better than their assured slave status if they remained on the plantations. When the Union army moved, they moved…when the Army rested, they rested…when the army was in battle; they helped, watched and waited. Their continued security was contingent upon their remaining within the U.S. Army’s protective perimeter, even if their swelling number sometimes interfered with military maneuvers. Improvements to the situation of these blacks, labeled as contraband by the U.S. government, would get better… better beyond their imagination. And then it would all crumble under the weight of political betrayal and the misfortune caused by the tragic assassination of Republican President Abraham Lincoln.

Fires in Atlanta, Georgia were probably still smoldering when the massive Union Army of General Sherman reached the outskirts of Savannah. The date was December 21, 1864. The next day, December 22, 1864, after offering only skirmish type token resistance to Union forces, the Confederate military completely abandoned the city. In the wake of General Sherman’s successful military “March to the Sea” campaign, were huge numbers of black former slaves and vast swaths of abandoned lands. Southern aristocrats, managers of the American “slavocracy” had hurriedly surrendered their privilege and power rather than stay and face the wrath of Union military might. The social/political vacuum created by the southern plantation class’s displacement was the source of these enormous numbers of emancipated slaves who immediately attached themselves to Sherman’s forces. These ragged black hordes were desperate to keep up with the pace of the advancing Union forces. Afraid and exhausted, they nonetheless had the good sense to refused to remain on the subjugated remnants of former plantations; the scenes of their human degradation.Anxious, happy and at the same time actively suppressing fear, these “contraband” blacks most certainly witnessed their sudden change of fortune in exuberant disbelief. They were probably wondering what could possibly be the eventual outcome of the horrific destruction that led to their sudden and almost providential gift of personal freedom from their previous condition of chattel servitude. This uncertainty lasted exactly 21 days for these former slaves of the coastal Savannah region. Within three weeks of the Union’s occupation of Savannah, a plan for the relief of the freedmen of Georgia and probably for the other nearly four million blacks in America, had been formulated. The blacks of Savannah had successfully organized for survival, economic security and political permanence.

So, why the excursion into Civil War history…? The answer, plain and simple, is to examine African American leadership; black leadership then and black leadership now. Since the political domain of America in 1865 was the exclusive territory of men, black men are naturally the central figures in the emerging political drama surrounding ex-slaves’ desire for independence through the acquisition of land by legal means. To fully explain the point to all of this, it’s necessary and proper to name the unheralded black men involved and to describe what these courageous, newly emancipated men succeeded in accomplishing… On the evening of Thursday January 12, 1865 at 8 p.m. in the city of Savannah, Georgia, a delegation of 20 men of African descent met Major-General William T. Sherman and the Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, to confer on matters relating to the freedmen in the State of Georgia. All of the 20 were ministers. The two oldest men in the group were both 72 years of age and the youngest was 26 years old. Fifteen of the men were born in Georgia, 3 in South Carolina, 1 in North Carolina and one in Baltimore, Maryland. Their average age was 50.

Citing the names of these men is the only tribute that can be posthumously paid to them for their heroic efforts to establish a permanent place on the embattled American landscape for their people. The following black men confidently, diplomatically and wisely spoke for the entire population of freedmen in Savannah and by inference, the other nearly 4 million newly freed and socioeconomically disoriented slaves. Their names are in the order that they appeared in the official United States military record.

The men were: 1) William J. Campbell, 51, former slave 2) John Cox, 58, former slave 3) Ulysses L. Houston, 41, former slave 4) William Bentley, 72, former slave 5) Charles Bradwell, 40, former slave 6) William Gaines, 40, former slave 7) James Hill, 52, former slave 8) Glasgon Taylor, 72, former slave 9) Garrison Frazier, 67, former slave 10) James Mills, 56, free born 11) Abraham Burke, 48, former slave 12) Arthur Wardell, 44, former slave 13) Alexander Harris, 47, free born 14) Andrew Neal, 61, former slave 15) James Porter, 39, former slave 16) Adolphus Delmotte, 28, free born 17) Jacob Godfrey, 57, former slave 18) John Johnson, 51, former slave 19) Robert N. Taylor, 51, former slave 20) James Lynch, 26, free born. Garrison Frazier, being chosen by the persons present to express the group’s common sentiments upon the matters under consideration, responded to questions for the entire group.

Go to http://www.civilwarhome.com/shermanandministers.htm for a reading of the official U.S. military record transcript of the proceedings of the meeting. It’s an astonishing account of a little known epic in American history and even more so, an unusual glimpse into the leadership style of serious, capable, devoted 19th century American black men determined to advance the interests of their people. Secretary Seward, Major-General Sherman and the 20 black ministers chosen to honorably and faithfully represent the concerns of blacks throughout the South, deliberated on the circumstances of freedmen and came away from the table with an agreement that would literally assure an opportunity for the economic, social and political integration of freed blacks into the fabric of post-civil war life in the America south. This astonishing agreement granted 400,000 acres of land, with titles backed by the U.S. government, to black families of the region. The land itself was, “a strip of coastline stretching from Charleston, South Carolina to the Saint John’s River in Florida, including Georgia’s Sea Islands and the mainland thirty miles in from the coast.” These 20 ministers had succeeded in acquiring for ex-slaves some of the best farming land in the American south with access to the Gulf of Mexico for eventual commercial fishing!Negotiations between General Sherman and Secretary Stanton on the one side and the 20 ministers of the other side, took place on the second floor of the Charles Green’s mansion on Savannah’s Macon Street on January 12, 1865 at 8:00 in the evening.

None of these ministers actively sought to be a member of the negotiating team. Not a single one of them was seeking notoriety, nor were they positioning to be a power-broker between the black masses and elite whites. All were nominated and then selected at-large by the colored people of Savannah. The entire organizing effort was formulated at the 1st African Baptist Church of Savannah on January 2, 1865. An overflow crowd of several hundred pressed near the entrance to the church hoping to hear what was going on in the meeting. A transcript of the proceedings is available from the Savannah Education Association. Amazingly, one day after that meeting the people of the city had secured a building to be used as a school from the U.S. Army and had arranged for the black children of Savannah to march through the middle of town their new school. Never had a prouder moment been beheld by the freed black people of that city. Adult black citizens of Savannah were making a profound civic statement and taking a firm political stance. The public parading of the children to their new school established that it as a “new day” for the blacks of Georgia and one of the critical objectives of the newly liberated slave parents was the education of their sons and daughters.

Obviously, it is implausible and unfair to attempt to make comparisons between black men born nearly two centuries apart. It is however, fair to examine and compare apparent quality of character over that same expanse of time. This website, BLACKMENINAMERICA.com is for and about black men and can therefore legitimately explore black men past and present within the context of the United States. So, though the separation of black men then and now roughly consists of 3-4 generations, the ideological, behavioral, cultural divide is much wider. Imagine a situation analogous to the gravity of the situation of Dec-Jan 1864-65 in Savannah occurring in the present; could 20 honorable black men be found to represent the collective interest of black America? …What about just 10 prominent, trustworthy, wise, respected black men who could shoulder the burden of deciding the fate of the entirety of their brethren??Could we/you/I be called upon to reliably, confidently name 10-20 American black men upon which such an immense responsibility could be imposed?? If the request were to generate the slightest hesitation…the answer would have to be a categorical NO. There is justifiable reason to cautiously approach an analogous selection process in 21st century America; duplicity, arrogance, buffoonery, charlatanism, hubris, opportunism and obfuscation tend to characterize the black leadership foisted upon the black community of today by the power elite of the American Left. As a result, in many cases, the motives, intentions and strategies of black America’s appointed/anointed leaders… are suspect.

In an informal survey of several longtime professional black men, the question was asked, “Can you name 20 living black men to whom the fate of black America could be summarily entrusted?” After considerable angst, friendly disagreement and the winnowing down of the list of candidates, only two men firmly emerged as indispensable to such a task. Before the two “must haves” are named, it is only fair to provide the full slate of original candidates. The black men included on the list and in no particular order are, Claude Anderson, Carl Nelson, Louis Farrakhan, Dick Gregory, C.T. Vivian, Wyatt Tee Walker, Andrew Young, Robert (Bob) Woodson, Colin Powell, Joe Madison and Neely Fuller…a powerful lineup of black men reflecting courage, intellect, accomplishment and respect across the board. While any of these men could be confidently selected for something comparable to a “Special Field Order #15” type committee, the two that had to be included were Minister Louis Farrakhan and former ambassador Andrew Young. It is an interesting feature of the informal survey that these two dissimilar, but prominent, black men seemed to hold the unreserved trust of the black men used in the inquiry. Certainly, there are other black men in America who could measure up to the standard of performance of the “Savannah 20” in January 1865. The problem here is that mature, middle class, college educated black men had to really soul-search to name 20 good brothers who they confidently felt could be relied upon to honorably represent black America’s total interests if called upon to do so. The hesitation and uncertainty was not reassuring.

If the average life-span of American black men can be conservatively estimated to be 50-60 years, and further, that the meeting with Sherman and Seward was approximately 150 years ago, then the human factor involved here is a little more than 3 generations. What has happened to black men in a century and a half to erode racial unity, diminish political maturity and enfeeble the designated black leadership in most black communities? What might account for the fundamental difference between the strength of character of the black men in the “Savannah 20” and the black men of today?

In 1865, the vision of a robust black community emerged from religious faith, family cohesion and nationalistic pride. Today, such is not the case. In fact, today a cottage industry has sprung up around the production of pathology-based theories that attempt to explain the lack of collective political sophistication in the black community. Despite attempts at convoluted, scholarly explanations for the lack of evidence of elective judgment and maturity, the answer being sought might be much simpler. It is commonly known that the black community, generally speaking, gets its political “marching orders” from celebrities, media types and an assortment of carefully selected “Hollywood” A-level performers; past and present, black and white. Though actors are paid to act; to publically make believe that they are someone other than their real selves, once on the silver screen their personal values/opinions acquire extraordinary legitimacy and are subsequently presupposed to be those values are the most suitable for the general public. Usually their devoted fans don’t even know the real identity of these actors because commercial success usually requires that they discard their real names early in their careers and invent alluring stage names to enhance their personal mystique. Nonetheless, the strange, but fixed, grip of Hollywood on the psyche of the American public continues.

The better these performers are at making audiences believe that they have channeled a fictional, cinematic character, the more they are paid and the closer to a movie industry award they get. Once a year they all meet in Hollywood to admire each other and to determine who was best at making the public believe that they are the believable at not beingthemselves; the Oscars. The black community is especially vulnerable to this schizoid, nonsensical, though extremely useful, approach to elective politics while American black leaders are effectively mute on the implications of this imbedded weakness. While all Americans are manipulated by the band wagon effect of celebrity on American elective politics, it appears that black Americans may be particularly susceptible to this phenomenon.

In the 150 years since the epic meeting of the “Savannah 20” with Major-General Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, an all-out assault upon the black intelligentsia has been waged. Education in black enclaves has alarmingly deteriorated while “experts” debate resource allocation and “best practices.” Black boys have been ruthlessly demoralized by a feminist campaign aimed at the elimination of masculine tendencies from their developing personalities. Social discourse is now dictated by a lower-class ethos generated out of a profane entertainment genre which values vulgarity above showmanship and true talent. Social graces are now considered passé, opening the door for crude behavior and the debasing of black women. Brothers and sisters can now be a child TWICE…once as an adolescent and then again as an adult while black sociological/psychological practitioners fail to acknowledge or attempt to address this peculiar developmental deficiency.

Herein lies the crucial difference between the “Savannah 20” and today’s crop ofblack leaders; those black men of 1865 were grounded in reality, mature in thought and behavior, courageous by virtue of the honor of service to their people and possessed of an ideal vision of the future of the black community. There was not a childish, self-serving, duplicitous slacker among them. Regrettably, the same cannot be said of the vast majority of the black men recognized today as leaders of African American communities. Black America may never witness the assemblage of such a noble, earnest group of men again. But… on the evening of January 12, 1865 twenty of our best and finest examples of black manhood stood tall and when called upon by their brethren, requited themselves admirably in the negotiating of an agreement that they thought would be binding for all time. Regrettably, in a little less than 6 months after the assassination of Republican President Abraham Lincoln and approximately 9 months after the 16th President of the United States had signed it into law, Special Field Order No. 15 was merely a contentious Civil War memory for those living in the region. Andrew Johnson, a nearly impeached democratic President and Lincoln’s successor, aligned himself with the South’s secessionist Democratic plantation class and felt obligated to rescind Special Field Order No. 15 in the fall of 1865. The reversal of that Republican initiated order by President Andrew Johnson returned 400,000 acres of prime farmland to the rebel plantation owners…the very people who had declared war on the United States of America.

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