Free Black Communities and the Underground Railroad: The Geography of Resistance

Funny story: The other day I was on a plane home and sat beside someone I had an amazing conversation with. I brought up this blog, she brought up her friend’s upcoming book, and having actually seen the pre-order information on amazon, I thought many people would actually be quite interested in pre-ordering this book. It sounds amazing. 

alostbird:

Dreaming with the Ancestors: Black Seminole Women in Texas and Mexico by Shirley Boteler Mock

Indian freedmen and their descendants have garnered much public and scholarly attention, but women’s roles have largely been absent from that discussion. Now a scholar who gained an insider’s perspective into the Black Seminole community in Texas and Mexico offers a rare and vivid picture of these women and their contributions. In Dreaming with the Ancestors, Shirley Boteler Mock explores the role that Black Seminole women have played in shaping and perpetuating a culture born of African roots and shaped by southeastern Native American and Mexican influences.
Mock reveals a unique maroon culture, forged from an eclectic mixture of religious beliefs and social practices. At its core is an amalgam of African-derived…

alostbird:

Dreaming with the Ancestors: Black Seminole Women in Texas and Mexico by Shirley Boteler Mock

Indian freedmen and their descendants have garnered much public and scholarly attention, but women’s roles have largely been absent from that discussion. Now a scholar who gained an insider’s perspective into the Black Seminole community in Texas and Mexico offers a rare and vivid picture of these women and their contributions. In Dreaming with the Ancestors, Shirley Boteler Mock explores the role that Black Seminole women have played in shaping and perpetuating a culture born of African roots and shaped by southeastern Native American and Mexican influences.

Mock reveals a unique maroon culture, forged from an eclectic mixture of religious beliefs and social practices. At its core is an amalgam of African-derived…

blackhistoryalbum:

The Way It Was……Mobile, Alabama, 1956. Series 4/5
“By Any Means Necessary”…..An African American teen, with his siblings in the background, standing guard with a gun during racial violence in Alabama,1956. Gordon Parks, Photographer.

blackhistoryalbum:

The Way It Was……Mobile, Alabama, 1956. Series 4/5

“By Any Means Necessary”…..An African American teen, with his siblings in the background, standing guard with a gun during racial violence in Alabama,1956. Gordon Parks, Photographer.

ladymargo:

thecivilwarparlor:

Rare Photograph Reveals Details about pre-Civil War Slave in Baltimore
Martha Ann “Patty” Atavis holds Alice Lee Whitridge, one of the children in her care. The Maryland Historical Society recently acquired the rare photograph and documents that shed light on Atavis’ life as a pre-Civil War domestic slave in Baltimore. Historians plan to use the new information to learn more about urban slavery in Baltimore and around the country. 
“Daguerreotypes of slaves by themselves are incredibly rare, let alone ones that have information as to the sitter. The auction package w/photo included documentation about Atavis, including an 1839 bill of sale that identified Atavis as a “slave for life.” Her previous owner, Ruth McCubbin, sold Atavis to Whitridge for $200. Atavis was about 23 years old when she was sold. 
The images and documentation are currently on display at the Maryland Historical Society. For more information, please call the Historical Society at 410-685-3750 orhttp://www.mdhs.org/.

The look on her face.
I mean, both of them.

ladymargo:

thecivilwarparlor:

Rare Photograph Reveals Details about pre-Civil War Slave in Baltimore

Martha Ann “Patty” Atavis holds Alice Lee Whitridge, one of the children in her care. The Maryland Historical Society recently acquired the rare photograph and documents that shed light on Atavis’ life as a pre-Civil War domestic slave in Baltimore. Historians plan to use the new information to learn more about urban slavery in Baltimore and around the country. 

“Daguerreotypes of slaves by themselves are incredibly rare, let alone ones that have information as to the sitter. The auction package w/photo included documentation about Atavis, including an 1839 bill of sale that identified Atavis as a “slave for life.” Her previous owner, Ruth McCubbin, sold Atavis to Whitridge for $200. Atavis was about 23 years old when she was sold. 

The images and documentation are currently on display at the Maryland Historical Society. For more information, please call the Historical Society at 410-685-3750 orhttp://www.mdhs.org/.

The look on her face.

I mean, both of them.

collective-history:

The Story of Emmett Till

On August 24, 1955, Emmett Till and a group of teenagers entered Bryant’s Grocery and Meat Market to buy refreshments. What exactly transpired inside the grocery store that afternoon will never be known. Till purchased bubble gum, and some of the kids with him would later report that he either whistled at, flirted with, or touched the hand of the store’s white female clerk—and wife of the owner—Carolyn Bryant.

Four days later, at approximately 2:30 in the morning on August 28, 1955, Roy Bryant, Carolyn’s husband, and his half brother J.W. Milam kidnapped Till from Moses Wright’s home. They then beat the teenager brutally, dragged him to the bank of the Tallahatchie River, shot him in the head, tied him with barbed wire to a large metal fan and shoved his mutilated body into the water. Moses Wright reported Till’s disappearance to the local authorities, and three days later his corpse was pulled out of the river. Till’s face was mutilated beyond recognition, and Wright only managed to positively identify him by the ring on his finger, engraved with his father’s initials, L.T.

Till’s body was shipped to Chicago, where his mother opted to have an open-casket funeral with Till’s body on display for five days. Thousands of people came to the Roberts Temple Church of God to see the evidence of this brutal hate crime. Till’s mother said that, despite the enormous pain it caused her to see her son’s dead body on display, she opted for an open-casket funeral to “let the world see what has happened, because there is no way I could describe this. And I needed somebody to help me tell what it was like.”

In the weeks that passed between Till’s burial and the murder and kidnapping trial of Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam, two black publications, Jet magazine and the Chicago Defender, published graphic images of Till’s corpse. By the time the trial commenced on September 19, Emmett Till’s murder had become a source of outrage and indignation throughout much of the country. Because blacks and women were barred from serving jury duty, Bryant and Milam were tried before an all-white, all-male jury. In an act of extraordinary bravery, Moses Wright took the stand and identified Bryant and Milam as Till’s kidnappers and killers. At the time, it was almost unheard of for blacks to openly accuse whites in court, and by doing so Wright put his own life in grave danger.

Despite the overwhelming evidence of the defendants’ guilt and widespread pleas for justice from outside Mississippi, on September 23 the panel of white male jurors acquitted Bryant and Milam of all charges. Their deliberations lasted a mere 67 minutes. Only a few months later, in January 1956, Bryant and Milam admitted to committing the crime. Protected by double jeopardy laws, they told the whole story of how they kidnapped and killed Emmett Till to Look magazine for $4,000.

Coming only one year after the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education mandated the end of racial segregation in public schools, Till’s death provided an important catalyst for the American Civil Rights Movement. One hundred days after Emmett Till’s murder, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on an Alabama city bus, sparking the yearlong Montgomery bus boycott. Nine years later, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing many forms of racial discrimination and segregation, one year later it passed the Voting Rights Act outlawing discriminatory voting practices

Here you can read the confession in Look Magazine given by Bryant and Milam

thecivilwarparlor:

Black Civil War Veteran’s Grave Identified at Oak Ridge
People keep finding notable Civil War veterans buried in unmarked graves at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. Lewis was a member of the 29th U.S. Colored Infantry.  He fought at the famous Battle of the Crater in July 1864, where his wounds led to the amputation of a leg and arm.
This image of Lewis Martin was taken by Dr. Reed Bontecu, a surgeon in Washington, D.C., who took more than 1,000 photographs of Civil War soldiers he had treated. Martin’s image has become iconic, symbolizing the sacrifice by African-American soldiers during the war. The photo is in the National Archives. It was only recently discovered that Martin is buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.  The picture was undiscovered until a group working for the Civil War Conservation Corps found it glued to Lewis’ disability certificate.
His Story Here: http://www.sj-r.com/bakke/x1986333597/Dave-Bakke-Black-Civil-War-veterans-grave-identified-at-Camp-Lincoln

thecivilwarparlor:

Black Civil War Veteran’s Grave Identified at Oak Ridge

People keep finding notable Civil War veterans buried in unmarked graves at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield. Lewis was a member of the 29th U.S. Colored Infantry.  He fought at the famous Battle of the Crater in July 1864, where his wounds led to the amputation of a leg and arm.

This image of Lewis Martin was taken by Dr. Reed Bontecu, a surgeon in Washington, D.C., who took more than 1,000 photographs of Civil War soldiers he had treated. Martin’s image has become iconic, symbolizing the sacrifice by African-American soldiers during the war. The photo is in the National Archives. It was only recently discovered that Martin is buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.  The picture was undiscovered until a group working for the Civil War Conservation Corps found it glued to Lewis’ disability certificate.

His Story Here: http://www.sj-r.com/bakke/x1986333597/Dave-Bakke-Black-Civil-War-veterans-grave-identified-at-Camp-Lincoln

blackhistoryalbum:

A group of African American children posing on sliding board ladder at playground on Kennard Field with Terrace Village housing, c. 1949. Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA.
“Teenie Harris photographed for the Pittsburgh Courier for almost 40 years, documenting life in the African-American community. His approximately 70,000 negatives, recently acquired by the museum, form one of the richest-known archives of Black life in an American city from the 1930s to the 1970s.”  ——- Carnegie Museum of Art

blackhistoryalbum:

A group of African American children posing on sliding board ladder at playground on Kennard Field with Terrace Village housing, c. 1949. Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA.

“Teenie Harris photographed for the Pittsburgh Courier for almost 40 years, documenting life in the African-American community. His approximately 70,000 negatives, recently acquired by the museum, form one of the richest-known archives of Black life in an American city from the 1930s to the 1970s.”  ——- Carnegie Museum of Art

unhistorical:

August 28, 1955: Emmett Till is kidnapped and murdered.

The appalling, brutal murder of Emmett Till, a young African-American boy from Chicago, was one of the key events that helped spur the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s. Between 1882 and 1968, nearly 600 lynchings (of both blacks and whites) had, according to the Tuskegee Institute, taken place in the state of Mississippi. It was Mississippi that Emmett Till visited in the summer of 1955 to stay with his relatives. 

What exactly transpired that provoked his murder remains uncertain: according to some, Till whistled at a white woman working in a store; according to the woman herself, Till made advances on her using “unprintable” words. He may, in fact, have had a stutter that caused him to make whistling noises while speaking. Whatever the case, it was after this incident that Till was taken from his great-uncle’s home by three men at around 2:00 in the morning and brutally beaten. One of the perpetrators was Roy Bryant, husband of the white woman at whom Emmett Till had allegedly whistled; the other was his half brother J.W. Milam. According to a 1956 interview, the men had not intended to kill Till but merely beat and frighten him. How did an attempt to scare a teenage boy turn into murder? An excerpt from that interview:

 I [J.W. Milam] tood there in that shed and listened to that nigger throw that poison at me, and I just made up my mind. ‘Chicago boy,’ I said, ‘I’m tired of ‘em sending your kind down here to stir up trouble. Goddam you, I’m going to make an example of you—just so everybody can know how me and my folks stand.’

Bryant and Milam shot Till by the Tallahatchie River and dumped his body, weighed down with a 35-kg fan from a cotton gin. When Till was discovered in the river three days later, his corpse was unrecognizably disfigured, decomposing and swollen. While the lynching of blacks in the South was rarely covered widely by the media, reaction to the murder of Emmett Till was widespread - and local Mississippian newspapers, along with the state’s governor, outright condemned the murder and murderers. Till’s mother, meanwhile, demanded that her son’s body be displayed in an open-casket funeral, which it was. However, the public’s opinion soon turned more sympathetic towards the murderers, who were both shockingly acquitted of the crime after a little over an hour’s deliberation by the jurors, one of whom joked that if the jury had not taken a break to drink soda, they would have come to a decision even sooner.

In 1956, Bryant and Milam unrepentantly confessed to and described the killing of Emmett Till in a magazine interview. 

auntada:

“Stagecoach” Mary Fields (c. 1832-1914) was born a slave in Tennessee and following the Civil War, she moved to the pioneer community of Cascade, Montana. In 1895, when she was around 60 years old, Fields became the second woman and first African American carrier for the US Postal Service. Despite her age, she never missed a day of work in the ten years she carried the mail and earned the nickname “Stagecoach” for her reliability. Fields loved the job, despite the many dangers and difficulties such as wolves and thieves (she was an excellent marksman, defending her route with a revolver and a rifle).
The people of Cascade so loved and respected Fields, that each year on her birthday they closed the schools to celebrate the occasion. They even built her a new house when she lost her home in a fire in 1912.
Photo source: Examiner.com

auntada:

“Stagecoach” Mary Fields (c. 1832-1914) was born a slave in Tennessee and following the Civil War, she moved to the pioneer community of Cascade, Montana. In 1895, when she was around 60 years old, Fields became the second woman and first African American carrier for the US Postal Service. Despite her age, she never missed a day of work in the ten years she carried the mail and earned the nickname “Stagecoach” for her reliability. Fields loved the job, despite the many dangers and difficulties such as wolves and thieves (she was an excellent marksman, defending her route with a revolver and a rifle).

The people of Cascade so loved and respected Fields, that each year on her birthday they closed the schools to celebrate the occasion. They even built her a new house when she lost her home in a fire in 1912.

Photo source: Examiner.com

arcticmuseum:

A very happy 146th birthday to Matthew Henson!

Matt Henson is a seriously cool historical figure. He went to sea at 12 as a cabin boy, where he learnt valuable navigational and seafaring skills. His talents caught Robert Peary’s eye in the late 1880s, and Peary asked Henson to accompany him on his next Arctic expedition. Overall, Henson accompanied Peary on six different Arctic expeditions over the next 20 years. Henson’s ultimate achievement was being one of the six men to reach the North Pole in April of 1909 (along with Peary and Inuit guides Odaq, Sigluk, Iggianguaq, and Ukkujaaq).

Peary frequently praised Henson’s abilities in the Arctic, and he was undoubtedly one of the most talented and necessary members of any of Peary’s expeditions - an expert dog driver, Henson also was fluent in Inuktitut and was called Miy Paluk (“Matthew the kind one”) by the Inuit members of the expedition. But the racial climate of 1909 meant that Henson, a black man, was pretty much ignored for his contributions.

Fortunately, the US started to get its act together in terms of racial equality, and Henson was belatedly honored with a Chicago Geographic Society medal that had been awarded earlier to the white members of the expedition shortly before his death in 1955. The US civil rights movement of the 1960s reignited interest in his status as a black explorer, and he received widespread posthumous recognition and accolades. Today, he is recognized as one of the most talented Arctic explorers of his time, and certainly as a pioneering black American.

- M