Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Richmond Historical Information

By 1900, Richmond’s population grew to 85,050 people. There was the theater mogul Jake Wells. He built many vaudeville theaters and opera houses in Richmond during the early 20th century. There were other theater and opera houses which started to open on what became “Theater Row.” They included The Bijou, the Colonial Theater, and The Lyric Opera House. In 1903, the African American businesswoman and financier Maggie L. Walker chartered St. Luke Penny Savings Bank. She served as its first President. She was the first woman (of any race) bank President of America. Today, the bank is called Consolidated Bank and Trust Company. It is the oldest surviving African American bank in the United States. For over 250 years, the James River divided Richmond on the north bank from its sister, independent city of Manchester. It is located on the south bank. There was the issue of toll bridges over the James River among the Manchester and Richmond residents. By 1910, Manchester agreed to a political consolidation with the much larger independent city of Richmond. Richmond's better-known name was used for both areas as it contained the location of Virginia's state capital. Key features of the consolidation agreement were requirements that a "free bridge" across the James River and a separate courthouse in Manchester be maintained indefinitely. Instead of a barrier between neighboring cities, under the consolidation the James River became the centerpiece of the expanded Richmond. Although Manchester is now defunct as an independent city, vestiges of the name can be found in the Manchester Bridge, Manchester Slave Trail, and the Manchester Courthouse. In 1914, Richmond was the headquarters of the Fifth District of the Federal Reserve Bank. It was selected, because of the city’s geographic location. It was the place with importance as a commercial and financial center. It has transportation and communication facilities. Virginia had a leading regional role in the banking business. The bank was originally located near the federal courts downtown and moved to a new headquarters building near the Capitol in 1922 (today the Supreme Court of Virginia building), and finally to its present location overlooking the James River in 1978.

In 1919, (or at the end of World War I), Philip Morris was established in the city. Richmond was in the broadcasting era by late 1925 when WRVA (or known originally as Edgeworth Tobacco Station and owned by Larus & Brothers) went on air. There were white ballad singers and black gospel quartets who were popular on the radio during that time. Richmond back then knew of its southern roots. Entertainment locations grew in Richmond by the 1920’s. In 1926, the Mosque (now called the Altria Theater) was constructed by the Shriners as their Acca Temple Shrine, and since then, many of America's greatest entertainers have appeared on its stage beneath its towering minarets and desert murals. Loew's Theater was built in 1927, and was described as, "the ultimate in 1920s movie palace fantasy design." It later suffered a decline in popularity as the movie-going population moved to the suburbs, but was restored during the 1980's and renamed as the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts. In 1928, the Byrd Theater was built by local architect Fred Bishop on Westhampton Avenue (now called Cary Street) in a residential area of the city. To this day, the Byrd remains in operation as one of the last of the great movie palaces of the 1920's and 1930's. In 1926, the Carillon in Byrd Park was constructed as a memorial to the World War I dead. The Carillon still towers above Byrd Park in the city. In 1927, the dedication of Byrd Airfield (now Richmond International Airport) included a visit by Charles Lindbergh. The airport was named after Richard E. Byrd, the famous American polar explorer. The John Marshall Hotel opened its doors in October 1929.

The tobacco industry grew. This was the industry that helped Richmond recover from the Great Depression. Within 5 years, Richmond’s economy bounced back. Richmond attracted businesses relocating from other parts of the country as one of the northernmost cities of the right to work states. The population of the city had grown to 255,426 by 1936, and the value of new construction to the region was 250% over that of 1935. By 1938, Reynolds Metals moved its executive office from New York City to Richmond. By the end of World War II in 1945, more than 350,000,000 pounds of war supplies were being shipped through the Defense General Supply Center, located nine miles (14 km) south of the city. 1946 marked a crucial turning point for Richmond’s economy. During that year, the highest level of business activity was recorded in the history of the city. Within one year, Richmond was the fastest growing industrial center in the United States.

From 1945 to 1960, Richmond continued to grow. In 1948, Oliver Hill was the first black person elected to the city council of Richmond since the Reconstruction era. In 1948, WTVR-TV or the south’s “first television station” existed to broadcast in Richmond. Roads improved in the early20th century. Streetcars soon disappeared after World War II as they couldn’t compete with automobiles and buses. The Richmond-Petersburg area's interurban services were gone by 1939. The last streetcars ran in 1949 on the Highland Park line when they were replaced by buses. The National Auto Trails system grew into a national network of highways. The area was served by the Davis Memorial Highway or the busy north-south corridor in central Virginia shared by U.S. 1 and U.S. Route 301 through the cities of Richmond, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg. It crossed the James River on the Robert E. Lee Memorial Bridge. After World War II, with only four traffic lanes and long stretches of undivided roadway, the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway became a major area of traffic congestion, as well as the site of occasional spectacular and deadly head-on collisions. The 1952, the Wilton House museum opened up. In 1954,  Davis v. County School Board of Prince Edward County is decided as part of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling (officially overturned racial segregation in U.S. public schools). The Davis case was the work of Richmond civil rights attorneys Oliver Hill and Spottswood William Robinson III who took on the state's law firm of Hunton, Williams, Gay, Powell and Gibson, also based in Richmond. In 1955, VMFA, under the leadership of Leslie Cheek Jr, constructs a 500-seat proscenium stage known as the "Virginia Museum Theater" to feature the arts of drama, acting, design, music, and dance alongside the static arts of the galleries. In 1955, prior to the creation of the U.S. Interstate Highway System, the Virginia General Assembly created the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike Authority as a state agency to administer the new Turnpike of the same name. The new toll road was planned with only 15 exits, and most of these were well away from the highly developed commercial areas along parallel U.S. 301. Following the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling the Byrd Organization (in 1956) passed the Stanley plan to advance Massive resistance policy of segregated schools. Some of the intellectual framework for these laws was due to forceful editorials from Richmond News Leader editor James J. Kilpatrick. Effects of these policies would affect the Richmond area for years, especially in rural areas like New Kent and Prince Edward County. The Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike opened in 1958, and soon was granted the Interstate 95 designation in the Richmond area, splitting into Interstates 85 and 95 at Petersburg.

New Developments came from 1960 to the year of 2000. Richmond had natural gas in 1950. Energy demands were desired to be met. By 1952, cigarettes production reached an all-time high for Richmond at 110 billion per year. There was the huge downtown boom from 1963 to 1965. This came to cause the construction of more than 700 buildings in the city. By 1968, Virginia Commonwealth University was created by the merger of the Medical College of Virginia with the Richmond Professional Institute. The Richmond Coliseum opened in 1971. In 1972, Richmond experienced severe flooding. Hurricane Agnes dumped 16 inches of rain on central Virginia. The rain flooded the James River to 6.5 feet. This was over the original 200 year old record. In 1984, Richmond completed the Diamond ballpark and the Richmond Braves or an AAA baseball team, was created for the Atlanta Braves. The Richmond Braves started to play in that year. In 1985, Richmond saw the opening of the 6th Street Marketplace. This is a downtown festival marketplace which was a solution to the downtown area’s urban erosion. The project did fail and the shopping center was closed and demolished in 2004. In 1990, Richmond native L. Douglas Wilder (the grandson of slaves) was sworn in as Governor of Virginia. Douglas Wilder was the first elected African American governor of any state in United States history. In 1995, a multimillion dollar floodwall was complete. This was down to protect the city and the Shockoe Bottom businesses from the rising waters of the James River. Also during 1995, a statue of Richmond native and tennis star Arthur Ashe was added to the famed series of statues on Monument Avenue. Notwithstanding objections of purists in the country, Ashe was added to a group of statues that previously had consisted primarily of prominent Confederate military figures (we know that the Confederacy was heinous and evil), as a sign of the changing nature of the city's population. Richmond continued to grow well into the 21st century.

By Timothy

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

African Americans in World War II: Legacy of Patriotism and Valor

A Lesson on Strength and Power from Bruce Lee

FROM BRUCE LEE'S BOOK, "The Tao of Jeet Kune Do" (Page 45-46). Bruce's explanation about Power.


 To be accurate, the striking or throwing skills should be executed from a body base that possesses enough strength to maintain adequate balance during the action.

To appropriately incorporate momentum with mechanical advantage, neural impulses are sent to the working muscle to bring a sufficient number of fibers into action at precisely the right time, while impulses to the antagonistic muscles are reduced to lessen the resistance - all acting to improve efficiency and to make the best use of available power.

When approaching an unfamiliar task, the athlete tends to overmobilize his muscular forces, exerting more effort than required. This is a lack of "knowledge" by the reflective neuromuscular coordinating system.

A powerful athlete is not a strong athlete, but one who exert his strength quickly. Since power equals force times speed, if the athlete learns to make faster movements he increases his power, even though the contractile pulling strength of his muscles remains unchanged. Thus, a smaller man who can swing faster may hit as hard or as far as the heavier man who swings slowly.

The athlete who is building muscles through weight training should be  very sure to work adequately on speed and flexibility at the same time. Combined with adequate speed, flexibility and endurance, high levels of strength lead to excellence in most sports. In combat, without the prior attributes, a strong man will be like the bull with its colossal strength futilely pursuing the matador or like a low-geared truck chasing a rabbit.

Monday, July 24, 2017

'WHAT GOT HIM KILLED': Martin Luther King Jr. SPEAKS OUT Against The VIE...



Revolution '67

Crossroads: The 1967 Newark Riots

#StopProfiling | Market Priority | truth

Exploited | Food Stamps | truth

Detroit's Great Rebellion of 1967

American nightmare: Nine immigrants suffocate to death in trailer left in Texas parking lot

Historical Research

After the 1968 assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., many people rejected nonviolence as a way of life. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense grew into a higher level and membership radically increased by 1968. On the night of April 6, 1968, the Black Panthers had a shootout with the Oakland police. In this shoot out, Black Panther member Bobby Hutton was murdered by the police. Eldridge Cleaver was with him and Cleaver was injured. According to Cleaver and the deposition of Officer Eugene Jennings (or one of the 2 black police officers who witnessed Hutton’s murder), Cleaver and Hutton was brutalized by the police. The officer said that one officer stepped forward and shot Hutton in the head. More than 2,500 people attended his funeral at Ephesians Church of God in Christ on Alcatraz Avenue in Berkeley, California. In the midst of police brutality and economic oppression, the BPP continued to have a huge following back then. The FBI and J. Edgar Hoover used COINTELPRO and other policies to try to suppress the BPP. Black Panthers spread across America. Many were arrested on trumpeted up charges. The Seattle BPP headquarters were raided in July of 1968. Captain Aaron Dixon of the Seattle BPP and Panther Curtis Harris were arrested for grand larceny. Both men were found not guilty later on. Protests continued to try to make Huey P. Newton free. The Black Panther Party also formed alliances with non-black organizations like the Brown Berets and white progressives. Black Panthers were shot at, harassed, and abused of their rights in Oakland, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc. As the 1968 election existed, Chairman Bobby Seale and Captain David Hilliard spoke to a crowd of 5,000 across the street from the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. The Panthers also supported international proletarian solidarity. In other words, they wanted poor and oppressed peoples to be free globally. They also explicitly opposed the Vietnam War, which was one of the greatest things that they did.  The BPP had imperfections. Many Panthers were sexists, some were violent against women (including women Panther members), and some lacked a class analysis (as you have to have both racial justice and an end to capitalist exploitation at the same time in order for liberation to come). Communications Secretary Kathleen Cleaver spoke nationwide during this time as well. She promoted black liberation and the beauty of our black African features. 1969 would be the start of the Free Breakfast Children Program or the FBCP. It first started in January of 1969 in St. Augustine’s Church in Oakland, California. They helped to feed children free food, they helped to educate children, and to the Panthers it was a socialist display of a community service to humanity. Also, they existed in response to the lax funding from the War on Poverty’s programs involving feeding poor children. The Breakfast program was very successful. Los Angeles Black Panther captain Bunchy Carter and John Huggins were murdered in Campbell Hall on the UCLA campus on January 17, 1969. There was a dispute between the Panthers and the cultural nationalist Us organization (which was exacerbated by the FBI). Black Panthers Seale and Masai Hewitt came into the Scandinavian countries (of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. These nations have social democratic policies) as a way to promote anti-war, pro-liberation views. Bobby Seale was part of the Chicago 8 or those who protested the DNC in Chicago back in 1968. Seale was gagged in trial. Early in the course of the trial, Black Panther Party activist Bobby Seale was denied his constitutional right to counsel of his choice and was thereafter illegally denied his right to defend himself. Later, he was released from prison in 1972. His charges (of inciting violence and a riot in Chicago) were serious. Many Panther headquarters in America continued to be bombed.

One of the most tragic events of Black Panther Party history was the murder of Fred Hampton in December of 1969. Hamptons’ murder was so unjust that people from across the political spectrum condemned his murder. Fred Hampton was a great leader. He was born in Summit, Illinois on August 30, 1948. He was a natural leader. He worked in the NAACP. He graduated from high school. He worked in his community and knew of the great importance of leadership. He was the greatest Black Panther member of Chicago.  Fred Hampton fought to organize gang truces in Chicago. He was publicly in favor of socialism and revolutionary change. He condemned racism and imperialism. Brother Fred Hampton fought for justice. He wanted black people, who were improvised in Chicago, to have their rights. He formed a class conscious, multiracial alliance among the Black Panther Party, the Young Patriots Organizations, and the Young Lords. They met in Lincoln Party. The SDS, the Blackstone Rangers, the Brown Berets, and the Red Guard allied with the BPP too. The truce came about in May of 1969. The FBI monitored Fred Hampton constantly since 1967. We know that William O’Neal was an informant (he committed suicide in 1990). O’Neal told the Chicago police and the FBI about Hampton’s whereabouts and where he lived. O’Neal was Hampton’s bodyguard. O’Neal tried to instigate tensions among the BPP and the Rangers. On December 4, 1969, the Chicago police executed Fred Hampton. He was asleep. The raid was organized by the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan (who was criticized by Fred Hampton). Hanrahan had recently been the subject of a large amount of public criticism by Hampton, who had made speeches about how Hanrahan's talk about a "war on gangs" was really rhetoric used to enable him to carry out a "war on black youth.” Other Black Panther members were arrested including Hampton’s pregnant girlfriend. Her name is Deborah Johnson. Mark Clark was murdered too by the Chicago police in that 1969 shooting. Black Panthers, progressive groups, and civil rights organizations all condemned the murder. Many called for an independent investigation. More people condemned this police repression like Reverend C. T. Vivian and others. Nearly every shot into the building was shot by the police. His funeral was met by about 5,000 people including Ralph Abernathy and Jesse Jackson. The families of Hampton and Clark had to settle a lawsuit with the government for $1.85 million. December 4th is Fred Hampton Day in Chicago. RIP Brother Fred Hampton. The Black Panthers grew in New York City too. The Panther 21 were falsely accused of planning to blow up buildings in NYC. Assata Shakur was part of this group. The Black Panthers continued to grow by 1971 to reach its peak. After 1971, the Black Panther Party was split among a dispute among Huey P. Newton and Cleaver over philosophies and tactics. Many famous Black Panther leaders who were women include Kathleen Cleaver, Angela Davis, Erika Huggins, Assata Shakur, Elaine Brown, and other people. The Black Panther Party’s anti-capitalist, pro-black liberation views inspired many back then and today.

Richard Nixon was President from 1969 to 1974. His two term Presidency was controversial and antithetical to progressive Black Americans. Early on, he tried to gain some black support under the guise of ‘black capitalism.’ This was the philosophy that investments in capitalist enterprises in the black community would end the rebellions and incorporate black Americans into the mainstream of American society. Many black conservatives supported Nixon even former CORE and conservative civil rights leaders supported him. James Farmer was elected as assistant secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. Nixon promoted affirmative action programs like the Philadelphia Plan. Nixon allied with Roy Wilkins (who was the Executive Secretary of the NAACP) and other people to work with him. Later, Wilkins opposed Nixon because of his policies on civil rights and on the poor. The hypocrite Agnew lectured many people on morality, but he resigned because he was involved in financial corruption. The law and order radical Spiro Agnew was his Vice President. He was the one who was former Maryland governor during the 1968 rebellions. Nixon wasn’t so apt to promote busing or the desegregation of schools. That was why Leon E. Panetta resigned to protest Nixon’s policies. Panetta was the director of civil rights for the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Nixon promoted the view of New Federalism, which wanted more power sent to the states from the federal government (which is anti-New Deal). By September 1970, less than ten percent of black children were attending segregated schools. By 1971, however, tensions over desegregation surfaced in Northern cities, with angry protests over the busing of children to schools outside their neighborhood to achieve racial balance. Nixon opposed busing personally but enforced court orders requiring its use. Nixon supported the ERA. The ERA was the Equal Rights Amendment which promoted gender equality federally. Also, Richard Nixon supported the FBI’s effort to destroy the Black Panthers and progressive activist groups. Nixon declared a War on Drugs in July of 1969. Recently, the Nixon aide admitted the following: "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people," former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper's writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday. "You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities," Ehrlichman said. "We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did." Ehrlichman's comment (on tape Ehrlichman made racist remarks about black people and Jewish people. One sign of a demonic person is a person who hate black people or Jewish people) is the first time the war on drugs has been plainly characterized as a political assault designed to help Nixon win, and keep, the White House. The Nixon tapes proved that Richard Nixon was a bigot and an extremist. (On those tapes, he made anti-Semitic and racist commentaries). Nixon committed the bombing in Cambodia and other war crimes in Vietnam. He ended the draft, but that doesn’t justify his criminal actions in Watergate. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights criticized Nixon for his approval of delays of school desegregation. So, Richard Nixon was slicker than a person like Trump in advancing reactionary politics.

Angela Davis is a black woman who made many lasting contributions of the black freedom struggle. We know of her working hard during the 1970’s, but she fought for justice long before the 1970’s. She was part of the counterculture, the Communist Party USA, and she had close ties to the Black Panther Party too. She was born in the South in Birmingham, Alabama (in 1944). She is also a great educator, author, and social activist. During her childhood, she heard the bombing of homes in her middle class neighborhood. She traveled into New York City too. Her relatives were active in the Civil Rights Movement. Her mother was a national officer and leading organizer of the Southern Negro Youth Congress. Her name was Sallye Bell Davis. She grew up learning about communism and liberal thinking. She attended Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She also studied the Frankfurt School philosophy of the philosopher Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse criticized capitalism, modern technology, historical materialism, and entertainment culture. He was a theorist of the New Left. Angela Davis at her core was a social activist. She attended the conference on "The Dialectics of Liberation" in 1967. The black contingent at the conference included the Trinidadian-American Kwame Ture and the British Michael X. Although moved by Carmichael's rhetoric, she was reportedly disappointed by her colleagues' Black Nationalist sentiments and their rejection of communism as a "white man's thing." The truth is that socialist thinking has existed throughout human history, especially in Africa, Europe, Asia, etc. Angela Davis was part of the Communist group called Che-Lumumba Club (an all-black branch of the Communist Party USA). Davis earned her master's degree from University of California-San Diego. She earned her doctorate in philosophy from the Humboldt University in East Berlin. She was an acting assistant professor in the philosophy department of the University of California from 1969 to 1970. Back then, Reagan was Governor and he opposed her being a professor, because she was a Communist. Back then, there was massive red baiting in America. I believe that a Communist or a non-Communist has the right to teach wherever they want to. Angela Davis was in favor of feminism and equality. The Board of Regents of the University of California, urged by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan, fired her from her $10,000 a year post in 1969 because of her membership in the Communist Party. The Board of Regents was censured by the American Association of University Professors for their failure to reappoint Davis after her teaching contract expired.

She didn’t back down. On October 20, 1969, when Judge Jerry Pacht ruled the Regents could not fire Davis solely because of her affiliation with the Communist Party, Davis resumed her post. Angela Davis supported the Soledad Brothers. She was and is a supporter of the prisoner rights movement. She condemned the prison system as inhumane, corrupt, and repugnant. On August 7, 1970, Jonathan Jackson was armed and held up and took hostage Judge Harold Haley, the prosecutor, and three female jurors as hostages. As Jackson transported the hostages and two black convicts away from the courtroom, the police began shooting at the vehicle. The judge and the three black men were killed in the melee; one of the jurors and the prosecutor were injured. Although the judge was shot in the head with a blast from the shotgun, he also suffered a chest wound from a bullet that may have been fired from outside the van. Evidence during the trial showed, however, that either could have been fatal. California authorities accused Angela Davis of giving support to Jonathan Jackson in sending him the gun to do the prison break. Hours after the judge issued the warrant on August 14, 1970, a massive attempt to locate and arrest Angela Davis began. On August 18, 1970, four days after the initial warrant was issued, the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover listed Davis on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List; she was the third woman and the 309th person to be listed. Angela Davis was a fugitive. She left California. She lived with friends’ homes and traveled into NYC. She was captured by FBI agents in a Howard Johnson Motor Lodge in New York City on October 13, 1970. Nixon congratulated the FBI on capturing Davis. She was on trial. She was found innocent by an all-white jury. She spent 16 months in jail. She once dated George Jackson. Both exchanged love letters with each other. There is no evidence that she was involved in the plot. Angela Davis was a free woman by 1972. By 1997, she publicly came out as a lesbian. To this very day, she has a love of academics and politics. She continues to speak up against the prison industrial complex, against imperialism, against xenophobia, and against many injustices. The documentary "Free Angela Davis and All Political Prisoners" shows the ordeals of her life. I have the DVD at my home and it's a great, superb documentary. Angela Davis spoke out for a long time in favor of black liberation. The struggle for black freedom continues.

By Timothy

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Jada Pinkett Smith Loves The Spirit of Black People

Research on World War II

Detroit 1967: When a city went up in flames

Childhood memories from Detroit 1967: 'It was war'

Newark, 50 years after ‘A rebellion, not a riot’

Ferguson activist Ashley Yates talks Oakland, Assata Shakur and Black Woman leadership

Celebrating Combahee's 40th birthday

The 50th year Anniversary of the Detroit rebellion


Today is the weekend of the 50th year anniversary of the rebellion of Detroit. The rebellion started on July 23, 1967.

I wasn't born during that time, but my parents were alive then. It happened during the post-World War II boom (from 1945-1973), which many middle class people had economic growth while the poorest of Americans still suffered a great deal. It was an uprising and one of the most serious uprisings in American history. The rebellion was very large and it was suppressed by the police, the State National Guard, and U.S. Army troops. It was caused by many factors.

For decades before 1967, the Great Migration caused thousands of black people from the South to come into Detroit. They wanted economic opportunities and escape from Southern tyranny (filled with lynchings, murder, violence, and discrimination). Yet, many of them found in Detroit: de facto segregation, lax educational opportunities, dilapidated housing, discrimination, and police brutality. Police brutality existed nationwide from NYC to Los Angeles. Detroit had it too. America was in a crossroads. Many young people wanted more radical action to end pernicious injustices in the world. By the early 1960's, the black middle class in Detroit grew into a great level, because more black residents joined unions and jobs with adequate benefits. The economic burden of the Vietnam War by the late 1960's started to restrict investments in poor communities. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Acts were passed and they were great, progressive legislation, but economic inequality wasn't truly addressed by the federal government. By the late 1960's, housing and racial discrimination were rampant in Detroit. City schools were underfunded as compared to the suburbs just before the rebellion.

That is why a diversity of black people in Detroit from integrationalists to Black Nationalists wanted real change in their lives. Incidents of racist terror continued in Detroit well into the 1960's. Danny Thomas was a black Army veteran and he was killed by a racist white gang just before the rebellion. Danny Thomas was a courageous man who tried to protect his pregnant wife from the sexual advances of the racist gang. She later lost the baby. The police refused to arrest the gang. The incident was kept out of the major newspapers until the city's Black newspaper made it a banner headline. The rebellion of July of 1967 started by the police trying to shut down a blind pig. A blind pig is an unregistered club. Many black Vietnam War veterans were in the club. Then, the crowd increased and the rebellion started. It was long spanning many days. It was bloody. The result was 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, about 5,000 people were left homeless, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed. Hundreds of people were wounded. Military tanks roamed the streets. Innocent people were killed. There was the Algiers Hotel incident where many innocent people were assaulted and killed by authorities. Businesses were destroyed. People were confused. Men, women, and children were displaced of their homes. Many people, who were arrested, were viciously assaulted by the police. 12th Street (in the Virginia Park area of Detroit) is a major focus point of the black community in Detroit. From Albert B. Cleage, Jr. to Malcolm X, Detroit has a long history in the black freedom movement.

The result of the rebellion was an exodus of many people from Detroit along with the acceleration of deindustralization for decades to come. For decades, Detroit's population declined and there was the bankruptcy of Detroit during the 21st century. Also, there has been many activists in Detroit fighting for a new, better Detroit to this very day. Their efforts should be acknowledged and respected. The rebellions of the 1960's represented how American capitalism was fallible (in the sense of it claiming to be for the rights of people domestically while funding reactionary foreign policy actions overseas) and the issues of class oppression and racial oppression must be addressed if we are to be in the Promised Land of justice for real. Even the Kerner report outlined that economic oppression and racism were contributing factors to the rebellion. Today, we see the growth of the middle class and the rich.

We see also the growth of the economic inequality and militarism in the world. The rebellions of the 1960's was exploited by the powers that be, so they could make militarized more of the local police, to expand the mass incarceration state (under the guise of "law and order" which reactionaries use all of the time), and to use other evil methods of suppression. The Detroit rebellion caused the increased military involvement in the lives of suppressing future rebellions. Also, Coleman Young was soon mayor of Detroit. He was the first black mayor of Detroit.

The Detroit rebellion was a reminder that hurting, oppressed people don't need scapegoating. They need adequate resources, compassion, and respect to achieve their own aspirations in life. Still, Detroit residents are resilient and they a'int backing down. They are our Brothers and our Sisters.

By Timothy

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Abbey Lincoln, Mr. Tambourine Man

Abbey Lincoln

Max Roach 5tet wt Abbey Lincoln Driva Man 1964 HD

Friday Information in late July of 2017

The myth of the West is pernicious and influential today. The myth of the West involves the romanticization of the frontier West. It involves many things. It involve the myths that cowboys and gold miners had a quaint experience, that the frontier was filled with little violence, that most of the Western heroes were white males, that cowboys were totally independent without any assistance, that tons of people of the West were filled with happiness plus joy, and the racist myth that the Native Americans were the enemies of frontiers people. Another myth was that the land of the frontier was unlimited and that anyone could just go over there and conquer it without restraint. The mythical image of the American West has been promoted not only by movies. It has been shown by books, magazines, and other forms of media from the 19th century to this very day during the early 21st century. Many people criticized Frederick Jackson Turner’s interpretation of the American West. Turner published the “The Significance of the Frontier in American History" in 1893. The literature was promoted before the American Historical Association in Chicago during the World’s Columbian Exhibition (Chicago World's Fair). His Frontier thesis was that expansion into the West caused more American democracy, a lack of interest in high culture, and violence. These characteristics in his mind was unique and American. Scholars of the New Western History, including Limerick and Richard White argue that Turner ignored gender, race and class in his work, focusing wholly on facets of American exceptionalism. The one-dimensional aspects of his work can be seen in the stereotypically male frontier myth that endures. The major myth of the West is that the West mostly was a great time of exploration and drama was kept to a minimum.

The truth about the frontier West is the opposite. Often, the West was very violent. There was racism against Mexican-Americans and African Americans. There was the massive exploitation of natural resources which cause boom and bust towns. Many Native Americans experienced discrimination, murder, and terror. Many settlers were massacred by many factions. People fought against each other massively. Also, many people in the West were progressive, opposed bigotry, and fought for justice too. So, the frontier West was complex. I am more in line with the New Western History ethos. You have to take into account of race, class, gender, the environment, and other aspects of history in order to gauge a clear, excellent picture of frontier Western existence. Scholars of the New Western History movement criticized Turner’s Frontier Thesis. These new scholars (from the 1970’s and beyond) include Patricia Nelson Limerick, Michael Allen, Richard Slotkin and Richard White. They have disputed the value of Turner's thesis. They also focused on an examination of the problems of expansion; destruction of the environment, indigenous massacres, and the realities of settler lives. In essence, people want truth not myths. Journalist Samuel Lubell saw similarities between the frontier's Americanization of immigrants that Turner described and the social climbing by later immigrants in large cities as they moved to wealthier neighborhoods. He compared the effects of the railroad opening up Western lands to urban transportation systems and the automobile, and Western settlers' "land hunger" to poor city residents seeking social status. Just as the Republican party benefited from support from "old" immigrant groups that settled on frontier farms, "new" urban immigrants formed an important part of the Democratic New Deal coalition that began with Franklin Delano Roosevelt's victory in the 1932 presidential election. The real West must be shown, so this generation and future generations can understand the diverse, complex historical legacy of the frontier West.

The American frontier West has been influenced by popular culture for a long time. Art, music, novels, dance, magazines, stories, movies, television, etc. show information about the West. There are many composers that showed their voices on this issue from Aaron Copland to Arthur Farwell. The concept of the wilderness to some related to environmental issues. The mythologizing of the West has been shown by minstrel shows and music since the 1940’s. P.T. Barnum shown Native American chiefs, dances, and other exhibits in his museums. Many novels exaggerated what was really going on in the West like the 1859 book of Malaeska, the Indian Wife of the White Hunter.” It simplified reality and exaggerated the truth. The novel gathered the attention of many people. It showed the stereotypical images of heroes and villains. It showed cowboys as courageous while Native Americans were portrayed as “savage.” It showed the lawmen as heroes and the cattlemen as predators. The most successful of all dime novels was Edward S. Ellis' Seth Jones (1860). Ned Buntline's stories glamorized Buffalo Bill Cody and Edward L. Wheeler created "Deadwood Dick", "Hurricane Nell", and "Calamity Jane.” Buffalo Bill Cody popularized the Old West in the U.S. and in Europe. By the 20th century, many tourists can into the West to research the land and its history. One of the most famous filmmakers of the 20th century who showed his depictions of the West was John Ford. John Ford loved scenery. Many early movies talked about the transcontinental railroad, cowboys, Native Americans, etc. Movies especially romanticized the cowboy. The cowboy is an American archetype. Many American revere the cowboy from President Theodore Roosevelt to others. Roosevelt conceptualized the herder (cowboy) as a stage of civilization distinct from the sedentary farmer—a theme well expressed in the 1944 Hollywood hit Oklahoma! that highlights the enduring conflict between cowboys and farmers. Roosevelt argued that the manhood typified by the cowboy—and outdoor activity and sports generally—was essential if American men were to avoid the softness and rot produced by an easy life in the city. The reality is that manhood is diverse and sensitivity is not antithetical to true manhood or womanhood.

Will Rogers was famous for his depictions of the West. He was the son of a Cherokee judge in Oklahoma. Many fictional stories came about to describe life about cowboys, Native Americans, etc. There were cowboy autobiographical stories too. Western films were existence by the early 1900’s too. John Ford directed the film called Stagecoach in 1939. It was the movie that showed John Wayne in a breakthrough role. John Wayne is famous for being in Western films. He was once more liberal and became one of the most conservative movie actors in history. He not only supported the Vietnam War and voted for Nixon instead of JFK in 1960. He also supported white supremacy in a 1971 interview. He was notorious for his racism and far right politics. The film Stagecoach was about a group of settlers and them going into Apache territory. Stagecoach was the first of many Westerns that Ford shot using Monument Valley, in the American Southwest on the Arizona–Utah border, as a location. Stagecoach was a very popular film. It is not a secret that many Western films used negative stereotypes against Native Americans. Many films back then showed Native Americans in a more negative light while white settlers were portrayed as virtuous. Back then, it was so bad that many white actors acted as Native Americans with feathers and makeup. The 1913 film of The Battle of Elderbusch Gulch portrayed Native Americans as criminals trying to raid a white establishment. The director was D. W. Griffith who directed the notoriously racist film Birth of a Nation. Nicolas Rosenthal wrote a book entitled, “Reimagning Indian County.” He wrote that many high paying roles of Native American chiefs came to non-Native American actors while many Native Americans were used in the background. Those Native Americans were paid a lower rate.

Many Native Americans who were actors fought for fair wages in the War Paint Club and the Indian Actor’s Association with people like Luther Standing Bear, William Eagleshirt, and Richard Thunderbird. The Native American Movement for justice in the 1960’s and the 1970’s caused people to fight against racist stereotypes in film. The 1962 film Geronimo has Geronimo fighting for his family and tribe while 1939’s Stagecoach has Geronimo being blood thirsty. After the 1970’s, more diverse depictions of Native Americans existed. There was Dances with Wolves in 1990 and the Last of the Mohicans in 1992. Native Americans also directed, produced, and acted in their own films and productions. The Falling Arrow was directed in 1909 by the Native American James Young Deer (of the Nanticoke tribe). In 1966, several Navajos near Pine Springs, Arizona, participated in an anthropological study that produced several short films known collectively as Navajos Film Themselves. Victor Masayesva, Jr. directed Weaving in 1981. Native Americans like Jeff Barnaby and others directed their own films. Native American films continue to exist. Many Westerns, even today, have shown stereotypes. Yet, more people are learning the truth and taking their time to promote fair, accurate depictions of Western life and of Native American human beings.

By Timothy


Thursday, July 20, 2017

Women’s Leadership in the Organization of Afro-American Unity

Afro Blue - Abbey Lincoln

Foreign Policy

4:44 and Capitalism


50 Years Later, Newark and Detroit Still Feel Tremors from 1967 Rebellions

The Abandonment: Reflections on James Foreman’s Locking Up Our Own

Organizing Pennsylvania’s 197: Cheri Honkala on Frontline Communities

Black Women experiencing injustices.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Economics and Mandela

Macroeconomics deals with researching the economy as a whole. It deals with general equilibrium theory, national income, output, the unemployment rate, inflation (which are aggregates), and sub aggregates like consumption, investment spending, etc. It also studies the effects of monetary policy and fiscal policy. In macroeconomic analysis, people research the growth of national income. There are investigations on technological change and labor force growth. Economic growth deals with the increase in output per capita of a country over a long period of time. There are many factors that tell the differences in the level of output per capita between nations (in why some countries grow faster than others and whether countries converge at the same rates of growth). These factors include the rate of investment, population growth, and technological change. These are represented in theoretical and empirical forms (as in the neoclassical and endogenous growth models) and in growth accounting. In macroeconomics, there is the study of the business cycle. There are many theories on whether to do something or nothing in dealing with the business cycle. John Maynard Keynes wrote a book during the 1930’s called, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.” This book came out during the Great Depression. In the book, he believed that the aggregate demand for goods might not be sufficient during economic downturns. This caused high unemployment and losses of potential output. He wanted the public sector like monetary policy actions by the central bank and fiscal policy actions by the government to stabilize output over the business cycle. This is Keynesian economics in wanting the government to move forward (via strong intervention in the market) towards full employment. The business cycle involves the different stages of an economy. There is the expansion, then the boom, the recession, and the depression. Later, the business cycle comes about back again with expansion.

Friedman’s permanent income hypothesis dealt with this issue too. The neoclassical synthesis refers to the reconciliation of Keynesian economics with neoclassical economics, stating that Keynesianism is correct in the short run but qualified by neoclassical-like considerations in the intermediate and long run. There are the new classicals assume that prices and wages adjust automatically to attain full employment, whereas the new Keynesians see full employment as being automatically achieved only in the long run, and hence government and central-bank policies are needed because the "long run" may be very long. To find the amount of unemployment in an economy is about measuring the unemployment rate, and the percentage of workers without jobs in the labor force. The labor force includes only people actively looking for jobs.  People who are retired, pursuing education, or discouraged from seeking work by a lack of job prospects are excluded from the labor force. Unemployment can be generally broken down into several types that are related to different causes. Unemployment can happen when wages are too high for employers to be willing to hire more workers. Structural unemployment deals with skills, etc. While some types of unemployment may occur regardless of the condition of the economy, cyclical unemployment occurs when growth stagnates. Okun's law represents the empirical relationship between unemployment and economic growth. The original version of Okun's law states that a 3% increase in output would lead to a 1% decrease in unemployment. Government using fiscal policies definitely deals with macroeconomics. Some fiscal policies involve adjusting spending and taxation policies to change aggregate demand. When aggregate demand falls below the potential output of the economy, there is an output gap where some productive capacity is left unemployed. Governments increase spending and cut taxes to boost aggregate demand. Resources that have been idled can be used by the government.

For example, unemployed home builders can be hired to expand highways. Tax cuts allow consumers to increase their spending, which boosts aggregate demand. Both tax cuts and spending have multiplier effects where the initial increase in demand from the policy percolates through the economy and generates additional economic activity. Some fiscal policy can be limited by crowding out when the economy is producing at full capacity. That is when there are no excess productive resources. Some people believe in a Ricardian equivalence (which is a hypothesis) or people must save money, reduce consumption, and future tax increases must exist in order for an increase in debt to be paid for. Chris Carroll, James Poetrba, and Lawrence Summers disagree with the Ricardian equivalence hypothesis. The government readily provides certain goods and services that individuals and businesses acting alone can’t provide efficiently. The government provides these benefits to many simultaneously. They wouldn’t be in massive supply if individuals had to provide them. These services include interstate highways, postal service, and national defense. The government pays for public and services by tax revenues, borrowed funds, and by fees (like tolls and park entrance fees). The government taxes, borrows, and spends its influence to promote economic activity. The government tax increases can reduce the funds available for individuals and business spending. Tax decreases increase funds for some corporate businesses. The government can reduce or increase funds available for borrowing by individuals or businesses. More government spending can increase demand which can increase employment and production. The decrease of government spending can have the opposite effect or a slowing of the economy. Increasing government spending can increase taxes while decreased government spending may result in lower taxes. The 16th Amendment of the Constitution authorizes Congress to tax personal and business incomes. The Federal Reserve Bank maintains the value of the national currency or the dollar. It regulates banks, and manages the money in the economy in dealing with inflation. Some have called it the nation’s central bank.

When I think of Nelson Mandela, I think of a hero (as he was one). Yesterday, it was Madiba's Birthday. No words can eloquently describe his courage and his ebullient spirit. Yet, he followed a path of love and of hope. He desired black people and the rest of the human race to be free from injustice and oppression. Nelson's sacrosanct wisdom taught all about perseverance and never wavering in the midst of tyranny. Nelson Mandela was born in 1918 to a strong Xhosa family in South Africa. He was a brilliant man intellectually and he was highly educated. Later, he was in the legal field and an early opponent of the vicious system of apartheid. Apartheid is not only evil and racist. It restricted the human rights of black people and forced black people to be denied of basic economic rights. Nelson Mandela worked with a diversity of people in trying to eliminate apartheid. He worked with communists, socialists, black nationalists, liberals, and others. They differed on many issues, but they agreed with the principle that apartheid is incompatible with equality and that a new South Africa must be instituted in order for South Africans to exist in a land filled with true freedom. The 1955 Freedom Charter, as advocated by Nelson Mandela and others, wanted economic equality, justice, and an end to oppression. He worked in the ANC and other groups. Walter Sisulu, Oliver Tambo, and other heroes were his close friends.

The Sharpeville Massacre of the early 1960's when when mostly black peaceful protesters were murdered by apartheid forces. Lilian Ngoyi and other women were leaders in the anti-apartheid movement too. Mandela was monitored by the apartheid government and by the CIA. He was captured by authorities in June of 1963. He was imprisoned for a long time in Robben Island including Pollsmoor Prison. In prison, he worked long hours. Letters, sent to him, were censored by prison authorities. He was mistreated, but he never lost the faith. Meanwhile, the anti-apartheid movement globally existed. Black youth was murdered in the Soweto massacre during the 1970's. Steve Biko was assassinated. Boycotts against South African corporations transpired. So, the movement for change continued. Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. It was a time of jubilation. He used his abilities to find common ground to end apartheid and to be elected as the first black President of South Africa in 1994. He lived in the age of globalization and a more international world. Yet, he did the right thing to oppose the Iraq War, to stand up for the rights of minorities, and to believe in compassion for humanity. He passed away in 2013. I was 29 years old when he passed. It was very close to my 30th birthday. He was 95. He lived a long life of service and of commitment to our people. For that, I send great honor and appreciation to his heroic memory. Today, South Africans are still fighting racism, xenophobia, economic inequality, and other issues, but we stand firm to promote liberation. That is our goal and that is our right.
Rest in Power Brother Nelson Mandela.

By Timothy

Monday, July 17, 2017

Malcolm X BANNED from France


Sarah Vaughan - Tenderly (Live from Sweden) Mercury Records 1958

More News about African American Life

NATO-Russia Tensions Rise, Arms Makers Benefit

Research and Culture

Sarah Vaughan - Live in Sweden 1964 (Jazz Icons)

History of Black America (from the late 1960's to the early 1970's)

There is always the beauty of Blackness since the beginning of human history. The modern Black is Beautiful cultural movement started in America by the 1960’s by African Americans. It also spread into South Africa by Steve Biko and his Black Consciousness Movement. Black is Beautiful is self-explanatory. It means that Black is glorious, beautiful, strong, and inspirational. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in many of his speeches, especially from 1966 to 1968, said that Black is Beautiful. The movement wanted black people to love their natural features and fight for justice. It was a movement that wanted us as black people to always love our skin, our melanin, our hair, our facial features, and our African being. It was an antidote to the evil of internalized racism and colorism (back in the day, self-haters had paper bag parties where African Americans with lighter skins complexions were only allowed in social circles. My father talked about these evil social gathering back in the day). Black people are beautiful regardless of hue. The beauty of Blackness has been articulated by a diversity of black people from Malcolm X, the Black Panthers, black women leaders, the NOI, and other black Nationalists. One of the earliest promoters of Black is Beautiful is John Rock. John Rock didn’t verbatim use the term black is Beautiful, but in one speech, he did promote the beauty of the blackness of our people by saying, “"the beautiful, rich color ... of the negro.” Throughout his life, he promoted equality and justice for black Americans. He lived to see the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The law promoted equal protection under the law or all American citizens. He lived to see the existence of the Thirteenth Amendment. The Black is Beautiful movement is part of the Black Power movement and the overall black freedom movement. By the late 1960’s, more African Americans wore Afros, dashikis, spoke Swahili and other African languages, etc. Many black people started to investigate African history, study black African art, and rejected the racial stereotypes that were so prominently shown in the mainstream media back during the early 20th century. Self-love is a very powerful force that has inspired our people for a very long time. Black is Beautiful has been shown in Soul Train, weddings, the streets, in the rural areas, and in other places globally. Muhammad Ali’s confidence, Cicely Tyson’s talent, Angela Davis’ intellectual power, and Nina Simone’s wisdom outline the power of Blackness in action.

The period of the 1960’s to the 1970’s saw an explosion of the growth of black political power. Many black people started to be mayors, lawyers, Congress people, etc. The majority of our people were in the Democratic Party. In November 1967, Carl Stokes was the first black elected mayor  of one of America’s 10 largest cities in November of 1967. The campaign was long and tough. He was supported by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. too. Stokes later spoke his views. By 1967, many people viewed Dr. King as too radical. In the same year, Richard Hatcher was elected Mayor pf Gary, Indiana. African American political leaders won victories against white candidates. Gary Hatcher was mayor for five terms before his defeat in a 1987 primary. Carl Stokes served for two terms before he voluntarily stepped down in 1971. Back during the 1960’s, Cleveland was in a Civil Rights Movement of its own. Its black population was about 37 percent by 1967. Black people had disproportionately lowest paying jobs and white people in Cleveland had disproportionately higher wage jobs. Many whites left Cleveland. Unemployment rates were high for black residents by 1966. The election of Stokes had mostly black support while most white people voted for his Republican opponent. Black mayors started to experience many of the same issues and controversies as previous white mayors. Many black mayors would be progressive and many black mayors would go and compromise to appease reactionary forces. Carl Stokes faced massive opposition as mayor. He opened city hall jobs to black people and women. He formed Cleveland: Now!, which is a program that used public and private resources in trying to revitalize Cleveland neighborhoods. Carl Stokes continued to work. He was reelected in 1969. Many black mayors believed that finding a niche in the system would cause progress for black people. Yet, the system of capitalism in urban communities will not go far enough to cause social liberation for all since capitalism by its nature promotes inequality and disparities economically. Only 2 of Stokes’ 10 first appointments went to black people. He hired the right wing Michael Blackwell as police chief. This was a shock to black people who experienced police terror during the Hough rebellion. Blackwell’s rhetoric and black nationalists groups like the Black Nationalists of New Libya were real in Cleveland. Stokes tried to keep the peace by joining a July 21, 1968 march to remember the 2 year anniversary of the Hough rebellion. 2 days later, the  the Black Nationalists of New Libya were in a shootout with Cleveland police and the Ohio National Guard, sparking a rebellion that lasted five days. Seven people, three of them cops, were killed; fifteen people, 11 of them officers, were injured. A FBI report said that people wanted him or Stokes assassinated including other black liberals. So, Stokes ordered the police to watch or surveil New Libyan Leader Fred Ahmed Evans. Evans was captured and Evans said that the group’s weapons were purchased with funds from Stokes’ neighborhood redevelopment program. In 1969, Stokes embraced the reactionary “law and order” rhetoric. He gained backing of local business, the media, and national Democrats. Stokes appointed Benjamin O. Davis Jr. as director of public safety. Davis supported the police suppression of local black nationalists in Cleveland. Davis agreed with the police using soft core bullets that expand on impact. Davis resigned by 1970. Stokes faced scandals and the same challenges that other black politicians faced. One issue was that many mayors experienced fiscal problems which came before they took office, but some of them used neoliberal policies and cut services from workers and resources sent to the poor. As early as the 1970’s, the right wing backlash was in full swing. In 1968, political leader Beualah Sanders was part of the National Welfare Rights Organization who wanted to help the poor. She spoke in Chicago on August 22, 1968. She was the leader of the NWRO too. Shirley Chisholm was in a state of NY seat in 1964. She was a Congresswoman by 1968. She was a progressive Democrat who believed in health care rights, civil rights, and human justice. She was the first African American woman to be elected to the Congress. The Black Expo featured black leaders in promoting economic causes too. Kenneth Gibson was the first black mayor of Newark in 1970. Coleman Young was the first black mayor of Detroit. Tom Bradley was the first black mayor Los Angeles. Maynard Jackson would be elected as the first black mayor of Atlanta by the 1970's too. One of the greatest events of black political history was the National Black Political Convention which was held in March of 1972 in Gary, Indiana. Back then, many black people wanted an independent black political movement to be independent of both the Republican and Democratic parties. They wanted to be use liberation politics. This is why this convention was created. The convention was diverse. It included black liberals, progressives, socialists, nationalists, Republicans, Democrats, etc. This comes during the time of FBI using COINTELPRO harassing black activists. Political establishment leaders wanted to co-opt the struggle. In 1972, black people wanted mass action. The preamble of the National Black Political Agenda was very radical and progressive. It exposed both major parties and wanted radical change in society. Mayor Richard Hatcher convened the meeting. Black Nationalist Amiri Baraka was involved in the meeting too. Congressman Charles Diggs of Michigan was there along with Queen Mother Moore (who wanted reparations. She is a great Black Nationalist legend). Jesse Jackson of PUSH was there and called for a Black Liberation Party. It lasted from March 10-12, 1972. There was a debate in the meeting on whether to ally with Democrats or be independent politically. The promises of continued support for the Democrats were not enough to stop a walkout by the convention's Michigan delegation. These delegates, many of whom were NAACP leaders and trade union officials, were worried that any association with the National Black Political Agenda would damage their relationship to the Michigan Democratic Party. Jackson and Baraka wanted to stop the walk out, but it was too later. Many members of the convention wanted Palestinian liberation. Back then, that was extremely taboo. The Black Agenda was eventually dumped in favor of the Congressional Black Caucus' watered-down Black "Bill of Rights." Although the convention formed a National Black Political Assembly, the perspectives of this group were left largely undefined. The 2nd National Black Political Convention took place in Little Rock, Arkansas. This was in 1974. Many statements wanted to promote an independent black party. Afterwards, the convention’s leaders left the organization. Many black leading politicians followed the Democratic machine. The National Black Political Conventions wanted independent black movement for change legitimately. Members wanted a black independent party. It was a glorious dream. They were sidetracked by establishment forces who desired imperialism and slick policies of neoliberalism instead of black liberation.

One of the greatest parts of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City was the Black Power salute shown by Gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos on October 16, 1968. They were sprinters. They wore black socks without shoes and use the black gloved fist as the Star Spangled Banner was played. They expressed solidarity with the Black Freedom Movement in America. Both sprinters were members of the Olympic Project for Human Rights. This was a group in favor of human equality. It was created in 1967 by sociologist Harry Edwards and others including Tommie Smith and John Carlos. The group wanted to oppose racism in sports, racial segregation in America, and apartheid in South Africa. Smith said that the project was about human rights, of "all humanity, even those who denied us ours." Most members of the OPHR were African American athletes or community leaders. They once called for a boycott of the 1968 Olympics unless 4 conditions are met like South Africa and Rhodesia not being in the Olympics, Muhammad Ali’s world heavyweight title restored, Avery Brundage to not be the President of the International Olympic Committee, and hiring more African American assistant coaches. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. supported the boycott. While the boycott largely failed to materialize, African-American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos and Australian sprinter Peter Norman wore OPHR patches during the medal ceremony for the 200-metre race. Despite being a primarily African-American organization, the OPHR was supported by white athletes such as Norman and members of the Harvard University rowing team. After Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised the black fist, they were ordered by the U.S. Organizing Committee to leave the Olympic Village. The International Olympic Committee used an excuse that politics played no part in the games. Yet, many racists sent death threats to both Smith and Carlos for a long time. The 1968 Summer Olympics was the first Olympic Games to be staged in Latin America and the first to be stage in a Spanish speaking country. George Foreman won a gold medal for boxing in the heavyweight division. He defeated Soviet Ionas Chepluis in a second round TKO. He waved a small American flag and bowed to the crowd after the victory. This was the time first time when East and West Germany participated in separate nations. It was the first games at which there was a significant African presence in men's distance running. Africans won at least one medal in all running events from 800 meters to the marathon, and in so doing they set a trend for future games. Most of these runners came from high-altitude areas of countries like Kenya and Ethiopia, and they were well-prepared for the 2240m elevation of Mexico City. It was the first Olympic Games in which the closing ceremony was transmitted in color to the world, as well as the events themselves. Wyomia Tyus returned to the 1968 Olympics to defend her title in the 100m. In the finals, she set a new world record of 11.08s to become the first person, male or female, to retain the Olympic 100 meters title. Tyus also qualified for the 200m final, in which she finished sixth. Running the final leg for the relay team, Tyus helped setting a new world record, winning her third gold medal. Long jumper Bob Beamon broke the 29-foot record at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.  Black Excellence was in full display during the 1968 Olympics.

The 1968 Presidential election was one of the most important elections in history. It represented the end of one era and the beginning of a new one. It outlined the divisions of the Democratic Party and the total near unity of Republicans, who promoted “law and order" and the silent majority to control society. Some candidates readily didn’t appeal to black people or to progressives in general. 1968 dealt with labor rights, international workers’ revolts, the Vietnam War, racism, rebellions, and other events. It was an election that brought down the New Deal Coalition for decades to come after 36 years. The election came during the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was one leader of the Civil Rights Movement. There was widespread unrest in university campuses. The election campaign started as early as 1967. By that time, the Vietnam War dominated much of the resources that could have been used for the Great Society domestic programs. Landmark civil rights legislation existed. The exploration of space continued. Young people and minorities wanted a more radical society. The rise of the Black Power movement, the hippie counterculture, and New Left activism was a rejection of far right politics and mainline political establishment people too. Women rights leaders grew in influence as well. One of the early candidates for President was Eugene McCarthy. He opposed the Vietnam War. He was supported by many college educated liberals. He had a progressive platform in economic issues. His problem was that he made comments calling Robert Kennedy supporters as not intelligent, which lost him much support. Robert Kennedy ran for President later. Many people glamorize RFK as a total progressive. It is true that Robert Kennedy was a progressive on civil rights, on pollution, on the death penalty, and on other issues. Yet, he wasn’t on other issues. He refused to support a boycott of companies supporting apartheid South Africa though he opposed apartheid on moral grounds. He wants tax breaks to corporations to help communities.   He questioned the current policies of the Vietnam War, but he didn’t want an immediate withdrawal of military forces. As time went on, Robert Kennedy did the wise thing by building a strong coalition among black Americans, Latino Americans, working class whites, labor, Asian Americans, and the youth in order to gain primary victories, especially in California. By California’s primary, Eugene and Robert were close in votes. When Robert Kennedy won, he could win the nomination. LBJ dropped out after the Tet Offensive. Yet, Robert Kennedy was assassinated in June of 1968. It was blow to the movement for change. Hubert Humphrey won the Democratic nomination for President while Richard Nixon won the Republican nomination for President. Nixon beat Ronald Reagan and Rockefeller in the Republican primary. Nixon called himself a new Nixon, but he had right wing views on legal matters. He wanted to use the government to suppress the liberal movements in America. He was overt about it. He wanted “law and order.” George Wallace ran for President as an Independent candidate, but he appealed to racism, extreme nationalism, and militarism back then. His campaign was very similar to the Trump campaign. The Democrats bickered on platform and policies. They were weakened, because of generational and ideological divisions. Four factions of the Democrats existed. One was of labor union and big cities bosses like Richard Daley of Chicago. The second faction was behind McCarthy made up of middle class and upper middle class college students and intellectuals who wanted to be the future of the Democratic Party. The third group was mostly made up of black people, people of color, Roman Catholics, and anti-war people who allied with Robert F. Kennedy. The fourth group consisted of white Southern Democrats.  Many of them supported Humphrey for his pro-New Deal policies and others allied with Wallace. The Democratic National Convention in late August 1968 had police using terror against protesters, chaos on the floor, and divisions growing further. It was a moment of challenges. Richard Nixon promoted black capitalism or using tax incentives to help small businesses and struggling communities.  Nixon developed a "Southern strategy" that was designed to appeal to conservative white southerners, who traditionally voted Democratic, but were opposed to Johnson and Humphrey's support for the civil rights movement, as well as the rebellions that had broken out in the ghettos of most large cities. Wallace, however, won over many of the voters Nixon targeted, effectively splitting the conservative vote. Indeed, Wallace deliberately targeted many states he had little chance of carrying himself in the hope that by splitting the conservative vote with Nixon he would give those states to Humphrey and, by extension, boost his own chances of denying both opponents an Electoral College majority. Humphrey, meanwhile, promised to continue and expand the Great Society welfare programs started by President Johnson, and to continue the Johnson Administration's "War on Poverty." He also promised to continue the efforts of Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and the Supreme Court, in promoting the expansion of civil rights and civil liberties for minority groups. However, Humphrey also felt constrained for most of his campaign in voicing any opposition to the Vietnam War policies of President Johnson, due to his fear that Johnson would reject any peace proposals he made and undermine his campaign. As a result, early in his campaign Humphrey often found himself the target of anti-war protestors, some of whom heckled and disrupted his campaign rallies.

Nixon asked Anna Chennault to be his "channel to Mr. Thieu" in order to advise him to refuse participation in the talks. Thieu was promised a better deal under a Nixon administration. Chennault agreed and periodically reported to John Mitchell that Thieu had no intention of attending a peace conference. On November 2, Chennault informed the South Vietnamese ambassador: "I have just heard from my boss in Albuquerque who says his boss [Nixon] is going to win. And you tell your boss [Thieu] to hold on a while longer." In 1997, Chennault admitted that "I was constantly in touch with Nixon and Mitchell." The effort also involved Texas Senator John Tower and Kissinger, who traveled to Paris on behalf of the Nixon campaign. William Bundy stated that Kissinger obtained "no useful inside information" from his trip to Paris, and "almost any experienced Hanoi watcher might have come to the same conclusion". While Kissinger may have "hinted that his advice was based on contacts with the Paris delegation," this sort of " at worst a minor and not uncommon practice, quite different from getting and reporting real secrets." In 2007, Conrad Black asserted that there is "no evidence" connecting Kissinger in particular, who was "playing a fairly innocuous double game of self-promotion," with attempts to undermine the peace talks. Black further commented that "the Democrats were outraged at Nixon, but what Johnson was doing was equally questionable," and there is "no evidence" that Thieu "needed much prompting to discern which side he favored in the U.S. election." Johnson learned of the Nixon-Chennault effort because the NSA was interfering in communications in Vietnam. In 2009, new tapes were declassified revealing that Johnson was enraged and said that Nixon had "blood on his hands" and that Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen agreed with Johnson that such action was "treason." Defense Secretary Clark Clifford considered the moves an illegal violation of the Logan Act. In response, Johnson ordered NSA surveillance of Chennault and wire-tapped the South Vietnamese embassy and members of the Nixon campaign. He did not leak the information to the public because he did not want to "shock America" with the revelation, nor reveal that the NSA was interfering in communications in Vietnam. Johnson did make information available to Humphrey, but at this point Humphrey thought he was going to win the election, so he did not reveal the information to the public. Humphrey later regretted this as a mistake. The South Vietnamese government withdrew from peace negotiations, and Nixon publicly offered to go to Saigon to help the negotiations. Dallek wrote that Nixon's efforts "probably made no difference," because Thieu was unwilling to attend the talks and there was little chance of an agreement being reached before the election. However, his use of information provided by Harlow and Kissinger was morally questionable, and Humphrey's decision not to make Nixon's actions public was "an uncommon act of political decency."

Hubert Humphrey almost beat Richard Nixon, because Humphrey at the end of the campaign called for a bombing halt in Vietnam. In October, Humphrey—who was rising sharply in the polls due to the collapse of the Wallace vote—began to distance himself publicly from the Johnson administration on the Vietnam War, calling for a bombing halt. The key turning point for Humphrey's campaign came when President Johnson officially announced a bombing halt, and even a possible peace deal, the weekend before the election. The "Halloween Peace" gave Humphrey's campaign a badly needed boost. In addition, Senator Eugene McCarthy finally endorsed Humphrey in late October after previously refusing to do so, and by Election Day the polls were reporting a dead heat.  Also on the ballot in two or more states were black activist Eldridge Cleaver (who was ineligible to take office, as he would have only been 33 years of age on January 20, 1969) for the Peace and Freedom Party, Henning Blomen for the Socialist Labor Party, Fred Halstead for the Socialist Workers Party, E. Harold Munn for the Prohibition Party, and Charlene Mitchell – the first African-American woman to run for president – for the Communist Party. Comedians Dick Gregory and Pat Paulsen were notable write-in candidates. Richard Nixon won the 1968 election. From that time forward, many Democrats would be more moderate and compromise. Republicans would also be more conservative in their thinking. Nixon would be a controversial President and Black America would be changed forever.

By Timothy

Friday, July 14, 2017

The White House just posted the emails of critics — without censoring sensitive personal information

Top 10 Healthiest Fruits On Earth

To my colleagues in Congress: I have MS. Don’t make my insurance unaffordable.

There was no wave of compassion when addicts were hooked on crack – PBS

The American West Part 3: The Postbellum Period (1865-1900)

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The American West Part 2: The Postbellum Period (1865-1900)

The period from 1865 to 1900 represented the Postbellum period of the frontier West. This was the time where most movies shown in America about the West describe. It was a period of massive change, of wars, of murder, of migrations, and of many societal changes. The Civil War was over and slavery is abolished forever in America. The federal government wanted to govern the territories. They used policies to prepare Western territories for statehood. This was done before by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 (which was when the federal government acquired, prepared, and distributed public land to private ownership from the Ordinance system). The federal bureaucracy grew. Territorial governments grew beyond local powers. The federal government had an immense involvement in territories. They used direct subsidies to maintain military posts, provided safety from Native American attacks, bankrolled treaty obligations, built roads, etc. They also created surveys, staffed land offices, made labor improvements, and subsidized overland mail delivery. Many territorial citizens came to both oppose federal power and local corruption. Also, they paradoxically lament that more federal dollars were not sent their way. Territorial governors were political appointees. They were beholden to Washington. They allowed the legislatures to deal with local issues.

A territorial governor acted as a militia commander and a local superintendent of Native American affairs. They were the state liaison with federal agencies. Yet, the legislatures spoke for the local citizens. They were also having great leeway by the federal government to establish local law. These improvements to governance still left plenty of room for profiteering. As Mark Twain wrote while working for his brother, the secretary of Nevada, "The government of my country snubs honest simplicity, but fondles artistic villainy, and I think I might have developed into a very capable pickpocket if I had remained in the public service a year or two." "Territorial rings", corrupt associations of local politicians and business owners buttressed with federal patronage, embezzled from Native American tribes and local citizens, especially in the Dakota and New Mexico territories.

The federal government had a land system in the frontier West too. The government utilized exploration and scientific teams to take reconnaissance of the land. They wanted to find out about Native American habitation too. Via treaty, land title would be ceded by the resident tribes. The surveyors created detailed maps. They marked the land into squares of six miles on each side. It would be subdivided first into one square mile blocks, then into 160 acre lots. Townships would be formed from the lots and sold at public auction. Unsold land could be purchased from the land office at a minimum price of $1.25 per acre. The government, via public policy, would award public land to certain groups like veterans via the use of “land script.” The script traded in a financial market, often at below the $1.25 per acre minimum price set by law, which gave speculators, investors, and developers another way to acquire large tracts of land cheaply. Land policy became politicized by competing factions and interests, and the question of slavery (before 1865) on new lands was contentious. As a counter to land speculators, farmers formed "claims clubs" to enable them to buy larger tracts than the 160-acre (0.65 km2) allotments by trading among themselves at controlled prices.

In 1862, Congress passed three historically significant bills that transformed the land system of the West. One was the Homestead Act. This law granted 160 acres free of land to each settler who improved the land for 5 years. It was given to citizens and non-citizens including squatters and women. They were all eligible. The only cost was a modest filing fee. The law was especially important in the settling of the Plains states. Many took free homesteads and others purchased their land from railroads at low rates. The Pacific Railway Acts of 1862 provided for the land needed to build the transcontinental railroad. The land was given to the railroads alternated with the government owned tracts saved for free distribution to homesteaders. The federal government reduced each tract to 80 acres because of its perceived higher value given its proximity to the rail line.

The deal is that railroads had up to five years to sell to mortgage their land. The tracks had to be laid. Unsold land could be purchased by anyone. Some railroads sold some of their government acquired land to homesteaders immediately to encourage settlement and the growth of markets that the railroads would then be able to serve. Nebraska railroads in the 1870’s were strong boosters of lands along their routes. The railroad companies sent agents to Germany and Scandinavia with package deals. These deals included cheap transportation for the family like furniture and farm tools. They offered long term credit at law rates. Boosterism succeeded in attracting adventurous American and European families to Nebraska, helping them purchase land grant parcels on good terms. The selling price depended on such factors like soil quality, water, and instance from the railroad. The Morrill Act of 1862 gave land grants to states to start colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts (or engineering). Black colleges became eligible for these land grants in 1890. The Act succeeded in its goals to open new universities and make farming more scientific and profitable.

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The Transcontinental Railroads

The transcontinental railroad has a long history. By the 1850’s, the government had surveys to explore many regions of the West. They wanted to possibly build a transcontinental railroad in various routes. This work was heavily executed by the Corps of Engineers, the Corps of Topographical Engineers, and the Bureau of Explorations and Surveys. This has been known as “The Great Reconnaissance.” There have been regional debates in Congress on whether the route would exist in the North, the central, or the southern part of America. Engineering requirements for the rail route were an adequate supply of water and wood and as nearly-level route as possible, given the weak locomotives of the era. Proposals for a transcontinental railroad system failed during the 1850’s, because of Congressional disputes over slavery. Confederate states started to secede in 1861. The modernizers in the Republican Party therefore took over Congress and wanted a line to link to California. Private companies were to build and operate the line. Construction was done by many workers who lived in temporary camps along the way. Immigrants from China and Ireland did most of the construction work. That is why in high school, we all heard of stories of Chinese people (who suffered racism and discrimination) contributing a great deal in the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Theodore Judah was the chief engineer of the Central Pacific. He surveyed the route from San Francisco east.

Judah used lobbying efforts in Washington were largely responsible for the passage of the Pacific Railroad Act. This law authorized construction of both the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific (which built west from Omaha). In 1862, four rich San Francisco merchants (whose names are Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins) took charge, with Crocker in charge of construction. The line was completed in May 1869. Coast-to-coast passenger travel in 8 days now replaced wagon trains or sea voyages that took 6 to 10 months and cost much more. The road was built from mortgages from New York City, Boston, and London. It was backed by land grants. There were no federal cash subsidies for the project. There was a loan to the Central Pacific that was eventually repaid at six percent interest. The federal government offered land grants in a checkerboard pattern. The railroad sold every other square with the government opening its half to homesteaders. The government also loaned money later repaid at $16,000 per mile on level stretches (and $32,000 to $48,000 in mountainous terrain. Local and state governments also aided the financing).

Most of the manual laborers on the Central Pacific were new arrivals from China. Kraus showed information how these men lived and worked (plus how they managed their money). He mentioned that the Chinese people were very reliable. The Central Pacific employed over 12,000 Chinese workers. 90% of them did its manual work force. It is a fact that many Chinese railroad workers were discriminated against. The railroad set different wage rates for white people and Chinese people. Chinese people were placed in more menial and dangerous jobs like handling and pouring nitroglycerin.  The railroad had camps and food for the Chinese. Many railroads protected Chinese workers from threats from many white people. Many actions were done to build the railroads. These activities included surveying the route, blasting a right of way, building tunnels, and bridges, etc. They also had to clear and lay the roadbed, lay the ties and rails, and maintaining plus supplying the crews with food and tools. Very physical defines the work. People used horse drawn plows and scrapers. There were manuals picks, axes, sledgehammers, and handcarts that people used. Steam driven machines like shovels were used. The rails were iron (steel came a few years later) and weighed 700 lb. (320 kg). and required five men to lift. For blasting, they used black powder. The Union Pacific construction crews, mostly Irish Americans, averaged about two miles (3 km) of new track per day. All of these actions happened during the Gilded Age. Railroads were in Canada too. These railroads caused more farmers to open markets in the West including to ranchers.

Chinese Immigrants Help Construct the Transcontinental Railroad"Union Pacific Announces the Opening of the Transcontinental Railroad" · HERB: Resources for Teachers

From the north to south, there were the Northern Pacific, Milwaukee Road, and Great Northern. They were along the Canada-U.S. border. The Union Pacific/Central Pacific was in the middle. In the south were the Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific. All but the Great Northern of James J. Hill relied on land grants. The financial stories were often complex. For example, the Northern Pacific received its major land grant in 1864. Financier Jay Cooke (1821–1905) was in charge until 1873, when he went bankrupt. Federal courts, however, kept bankrupt railroads in operation. In 1881, Henry Villard (1835–1900) took over and finally completed the line to Seattle. But the line went bankrupt in the Panic of 1893 and Hill took it over. He then merged several lines with financing from J.P. Morgan, but President Theodore Roosevelt broke them up in 1904. From its first year of operation (1869-1870), 150,000 passengers made the long trip. Settlers were encouraged to travel via promotions to come West. There were free scouting trips to buy railroad land on easy terms spread over many years. The railroads had “Immigration Bureaus.” They advertised package low cost deals like passage and land on easy terms for farmers in Germany and Scandinavia. The prairies, they were promised, did not mean backbreaking toil because "settling on the prairie which is ready for the plow is different from plunging into a region covered with timber.”

The settlers were customers of the railroads, shipping their crops and cattle out, and bringing in manufactured products. All manufacturers benefited from the lower costs of transportation and the much larger radius of business. The Transcontinental railroad has a mixed legacy. It opened the West to settlement. It brought thousands of high tech, high paid workers and managers. It created thousands of towns and cities. It made the nation to focus more on an east-west axis. It was valuable for many in the nation. Yet, many were built ahead of actual demand. There was a bubble that caused many losses to investors. Poor management practices transpired. The lines in the Midwest and the East did support a very large population base, which fostered farming, industry, and mining. This reality caused steady profits and received few government benefits.

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After the Civil War, migrations continued. Many came from the East Coast and Europe to travel in the West. Many reports from relatives inspired people to travel into territories too. Many people wanted discounts, new farmland, etc. Some wanted a better life. The new railroads caused many to travel. The plains were different from back east. They had to deal with water management and more farming. Rainfall was less predictable. Farms grew. Many laborers wanted higher paying work and better conditions. Challenges existed for new settlers in the West. There was a lack of wood for housing, blizzards, droughts, etc. Tornadoes existed. Range disputes happened. Homesteaders had to build their homes with sod, which were called as Sod Houses. One of the greatest plagues that hit the homesteaders was the 1874 Locust Plague which devastated the Great Plains. These challenges hardened these settlers in taming the frontier. There was the Land Rush of 1880. In 1889, President Benjamin Harrison authorized the opening of 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) of unoccupied lands in the Oklahoma territory acquired from the native tribes. On April 22, over 100,000 settlers and cattlemen (known as "boomers") lined up at the border, and with the army's guns and bugles giving the signal, began a mad dash into the newly opened land to stake their claims (Land Run of 1889). A witness wrote, "The horsemen had the best of it from the start. It was a fine race for a few minutes, but soon the riders began to spread out like a fan, and by the time they reached the horizon they were scattered about as far as the eye could see.” In one day, the towns of Oklahoma City, Norman, and Guthrie came into existence. In the same manner, millions of acres of additional land was opened up and settled in the following four years. This land rush in Oklahoma was caused by the theft of the lands of Native Americans. During this time, Native Americans fought for their freedom in many battles.

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Native Americans and fights for their freedom in the West

Native Americans were the first people of the Americas. Long before 1776, they formed civilizations and cultures. Later, conflict would arise and Native Americans would continue to fight for their freedom in the Americas. The federal government from the Constitution made the federal government to regulate trade with the Native Americans. The relationship between the U.S. government and the Native Americans were strained, because of broken treaties, conflicts, and disagreements. During the 1830's, the government unjustly forced thousands of Native Americans from the East to resettle west of the Mississippi River. They promised them the land there forever, which wouldn't be the case. White settlers wanted more land. Native American culture would be changed forever. Native Americans were diverse and they are diversity of cultures and societal structures. After the Civil War, only about 250,000 Native Americans lived in the region west of the Mississippi River. Native Americans viewed themselves as part of Nature, so they wanted Nature to be treated as sacred. There were the Chinoks in the Pacific Northwest who had supplies of fish. The Pueblos irrigated the land to grow corn, beans, and squash in New Mexico plus Arizona. The Sioux, Blackfeet, Crows, Cheyenne, and the Comanches were the Plains Native Americans who were nomadic human beings. They were horsemen and hunted buffalo. The buffalo was used as food, tools, and clothing. Many white settlers viewed the land as a resource to make profits, which contradicted the Native Americans' views on land. This caused conflict.

President Andrew Jackson (who was a far right wing ideologue and a racist) forced Native Americans from lands in Georgia into Oklahoma. By the 1850's, federal policy changed. Gold and silver were founded in the Indian Territory (i.e. Oklahoma). Railroads would develop to cross the continent. The federal government restricted further about where Native Americans could live. Many Native Americans lived in reservations or places set aside by the government for Native American living. They faced poverty and suppression. This happened during the late 1860's. Native Americans were subjected to more diseases by white settlers. The Native Americans had no immunity to them. Many buffalo heads died. The growth of technology and communication in America increased American expansion, but this expansion readily ignored the Native American peoples who already lived in the lands. Many Native Americans fought back for their freedom. Native Americans in the West used their style of limited, battle oriented warfare. The U.S. Army used the telegraph and railroads to coordinate its attack strategies.

Many tribes fought the Army, some supported the Army, and others avoided warfare all together. Most of these battles took place in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. The Snake War from 1864 to 1868 was very bloody. Back in 1862, a group of Sioux people resisted threats to their land rights. They attacked settlements in eastern Minnesota. The government responded by waging a full war against the Sioux, who then were pushed west into the Dakotas. The Sioux rebellion caused many more attacks on settlements a stagecoach lines. Plains Native Americans viewed their lives as being threatened by Westward expansion. Both sides distrusted each other. The Colorado War fought by Cheyenne, Arapaho and Sioux, was fought in the territories of Colorado to Nebraska. The conflict was fought in 1863–1865 while the American Civil War was still ongoing. Caused by dissolution between the Natives and the white settlers in the region, the war was infamous for the atrocities done between the two parties.

White militias destroyed Native villages and killed Indian women and children such as the bloody Sand Creek Massacre, and the Indians also raided ranches, farms and killed white families such as the American Ranch Massacre and Raid on Godfrey Ranch. By the fall of 1864, a band of Colorado militia came upon a group of an unarmed camp of Cheyenne and Arapaho Native Americans. They were under U.S. Army protection at Sand Creek. The troops still opened fire. They killed many men, women, and children Native Americans even when the Native Americans signaled their friendship by raising the American flag. The commanding officer was the murderer John Chivington. This event was the Sand Creek Massacre. It caused more warfare as Plains tribes joined forces to repel white settlement. After the Civil War ended, regiments of Union troops (both white and African Americans troops) were sent to the West to subdue the Native Americans. They were recruitment posters for volunteer cavalry promised that soldiers could claim any "horses or other plunder" taken from the Native Americans. The federal government defended this reprehensible action to use imperialism to harm Native American people. Plains tribes continue to fight. Later, the federal government said that they wanted to build a road throughout Sioux hunting grounds to connect gold mining towns in Montana. Conflict grew. In 1866, Red Cloud (who was a legendary warrior) and his followers lured Captain William Fetterman and his troops into an ambush (killing them all). Reformers and humanitarians promoted education for Native Americans. Other westerners wanted strict controls over Native tribes.

In the Apache Wars, Colonel Christopher "Kit" Carson forced the Mescalero Apache onto a reservation in 1862. In 1863–1864, Carson used a scorched earth policy in the Navajo Campaign, burning Navajo fields and homes, and capturing or killing their livestock. He was aided by other Native American tribes with long-standing enmity toward the Navajos, chiefly the Utes. Another prominent conflict of this war was Geronimo's fight against settlements in Texas in the 1880's. The Apaches under his command conducted ambushes on US cavalries and forts, such as their attack on Cibecue Creek, while also raiding upon prominent farms and ranches, such as their infamous attack on the Empire Ranch that killed three cowboys. The U.S. finally induced the last hostile Apache band under Geronimo to surrender in 1886.

During the Comanche campaign, the Red River War was fought in 1874–75 in response to the Comanche's dwindling food supply of buffalo, as well as the refusal of a few bands to be inducted in reservations. Comanches started raiding small settlements in Texas, which led to the Battle of Buffalo Wallow and Second Battle of Adobe Walls fought by buffalo hunters, and the Battle of Lost Valley against the Texas Rangers. The war finally ended with a final confrontation between the Comanches and the U.S. Cavalry in Palo Duro Canyon. The last Comanche war chief, Quanah Parker, surrendered in June 1875, which would finally end the wars fought by Texans and the Native Americans.

Red Cloud's War was led by the Lakota chief Red Cloud against the military who were erecting forts along the Bozeman trail. It was the most successful campaign against the U.S. during the Native American Wars. By the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868), the U.S. granted a large reservation to the Lakota, without military presence; it included the entire Black Hills. Captain Jack was a chief of the Native American Modoc tribe of California and Oregon, and was their leader during the Modoc War. With 53 Modoc warriors, Captain Jack held off 1,000 men of the U.S. Army for 7 months. Captain Jack killed Edward Canby

The United States Indian Peace Commission wanted to promote the racist lie that peace would only come to Native Americans if they settled on farms and adapted to the civilization of white people.

The government wanted to pacify the Sioux and get more land. So, the government signed the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868. The government agreed to not build the road through Sioux Territory and to abandon 3 forts. The Sioux and other tribes who signed the treaty agreed to live on reservations with support from the federal government. There were problems, because many Native Americans couldn't live in the limited territories restricted to them. Many agents from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (which handled reservation issues) sold funds and resources that were meant to be given to the Native Americans. The government didn't do enough to enough various treaties. Native Americans were forces to live in impoverished areas. Disease and poverty were in those regions. Treaties and promises were broken. So, many young Native Americans warriors were frustrated and turned to rebellion against an oppressive state. There was the Red River War. This was about many battles among the government and the southern Plains Native American tribes (like the Kowas and Comanches). Southern buffalo herds declined as a product of this war. White settlers soon opened the western panhandle of Texas. The government failed to enforce the 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge. White buffalo hunters were not kept off of Native American hunting grounds. Food and supplies from the government were not sent to tribes. Also, white lawlessness was not prevented. Many Native Americans attacked a group of Texans near the Red River in June 1874. It ended with the last Comanche holdouts surrendering to U.S. troops by June 1875.

CROW NATIVE AMERICANS, 1883. Four Crow Native Americans. Left to right: Medicine Man, two unidentified women, Old Coyote. Studio photograph by F. Jay Haynes, 1883.

This image shows Crow Native Americans from 1883

Many settlers wanted gold in the northern Plains too. There was the Black Hills Gold Rush of 1875. Prospectors came onto Sioux hunting grounds in the Dakotas and in Montana too. The Sioux was led by chiefs Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull combined to form a group to try to derive the prospectors out. Later, the U.S. Army sent its own troops against Native Americans. In June 1876, colonel named George Custer rushed ahead of the other columns of the U.S. cavalry and arrived a day ahead of the main force. Custer came in the Little Bighorn River in present day Montana. Custer had a force of about 250 men unexpectedly came upon a group of at least 2,500 Native Americans. Crazy Horse led the charge at what became known as the Battle of Little Big Horn. Custer was killed including all of his men. The U.S. Army wanted revenge. The Army tracked down the Native Americans. Sitting Bull and his followers came into Canada. Crazy Horse and his followers surrendered. Many of them were starving and suffered bad weather conditions. By this time, government suppression of Native Americans continued. In Idaho, the government wanted to move against the Nez Perces. The government wanted to force Native Americans into a smaller reservation.

Many Nez Perces were Christians and settled in a stable life. Nez Perces' leader was Chief Joseph. He wanted to evade U.S. with his people to escape forced relocation. He led his people of more than 1,300 miles to Canada. He was stopped short of the border and said, "I will fight no more forever." He was sent to Oklahoma. He came into Washington, D.C. 2 times to try to allow the state to give mercy to his people. The Native American resistance movement back then started to decline after leaders were captured and killed. The Native American economy declined. The Ghost Dance revival movement came. This was a spiritual movement about a return to justice for tribes. People in the movement hoped for the buffalo to return and for white settlers to leave. The government wanted to see what this movement would go into. The government called for the arrest of Sitting Bull to stop the Ghost Dance movement. Fights broke out.

Survivors of the Wounded Knee Massacre. [left to right] Brothers White Lance, Joseph Horn Cloud, and Dewey Beard . Joseph Horn Cloud was about sixteen years old when he witnessed the Wounded Knee massacre on December 29, 1890, two other brothers, Frank Horn Cloud and Earnest Horn Cloud also   survived, his parents, two brothers, and a sister were killed.

These are some of survivors of the Wounded Knee Massacre. From left to right are: Brothers White Lance, Joseph Horn Cloud, and Dewey Beard. Joseph Horn Cloud was about sixteen years old when he witnessed the Wounded Knee massacre on December 29, 1890. The two other brothers, Frank Horn Cloud and Earnest Horn Cloud also survived, his parents, two brothers, and a sister were killed. 

Later, well-armed cavalry U.S. troops murdered outgunned Native American men, women, and children in Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890. More than 200 Native Americans were killed in cold blood in the massacre. It was evil. Afterwards, Native American resistance declined rapidly. American forces developed forts in that period. These military forts were owned by the federal government. They were used in counteracting Native Americans in their presence. They were used to launch attacks against Native Americans. Fort Bowie was used to protect Apache Pass. Fort Laramie and Fort Keamy were created to protect immigrants crossing the Great Plains and a series of posts in California protected miners. Forts were constructed to launch attacks against the Sioux. As Native American reservations sprang up, the military set up forts to protect them. Forts also guarded the Union Pacific and other rail lines. Other important forts were Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Fort Smith, Arkansas, Fort Snelling, Minnesota, Fort Union, New Mexico, Fort Worth, Texas, and Fort Walla Walla in Washington. Fort Omaha, Nebraska was home to the Department of the Platte, and was responsible for outfitting most Western posts for more than 20 years after its founding in the late 1870s. Fort Huachuca in Arizona was also originally a frontier post and is still in use by the United States Army.

One person defended the Native Americans way of life like the author Helen Hunt Jackson. She was one of the few Americans back then who told the truth about the genocide that Native Americans experienced. Reservations and assimilation never worked. Assimilation is about forcing Native Americans to embrace white American culture against their will in order for them to be docile and compromise their cultural heritage. Susette La Flesche fought for Native American rights too. She was the granddaughter of a French trader and an Omaha Native American woman. In 1871, the Congress passed the law that Native Americans in American soil couldn't form a nation of their own. The 1887 Dawes General Allotment Act gave Native Americans a 160 acre farmstead. This land wasn't big enough. Many missionaries and other people tried to force assimilation onto Native Americans. To this very day, Native Americans are fighting for their human rights.

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Reservations were created by after attacks on Native American people. It was the usage of state power to forcibly send Native Americans from their own lands into often dilapidated, terrible lands. Today, the lands are under the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. They are not run by the state governments of America. There are 326 Native American reservations in America. Today, there are 567 recognized tribes. They total in about 56.2 million acres or 87,800 square miles. This is about the size of Idaho.  Most reservations are small and the 12 largest Native Americans ones are larger than the state of Rhode Island. The largest reservation in America is the Navajo Nation Reservation, which is similar to the size of West Virginia. Tribes have tribal sovereignty. A majority of Native Americans and Alaska Natives live somewhere other than the reservations, often in big western cities such as Phoenix and Los Angeles. In 2012, there were over 2.5 million Native Americans with about 1 million living on reservations. European colonists often removed Native Americans from their lands via violence. Treaties existed, voluntary moves existed, and genocide occurred. The Treaty of Paris (of 1783) caused the American officials to further strip Native Americans of property rights east of the Mississippi River. During the 19th century, treaties grew and they were broken as well.

The 1830 Indian Removal Act caused the U.S. federal government to forcibly remove Native populations from European populated areas. One example was when the Five Civilized Tribes were removed by force from the southern United States and moved into Oklahoma. This mass migration was called the Trail of Tears. These lands in Oklahoma turned into reservations. In 1851, the United States Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act which authorized the creation of Native American reservations in modern-day Oklahoma. Relations between settlers and natives had grown increasingly worse as the settlers encroached on territory and natural resources in the West. By 1868, President Ulysses S. Grant wanted to use the Peace Policy. This policy wanted to stop violence. It wanted to relocate tribes from their ancestral homes into parcels of lands for their habitation. It promoted assimilation or using religious people to teach Native Americans Christianity and use Quakers in this job especially. This was very controversial. Executive orders formed reservations. Many white settlers didn’t want large amounts of land for this project.

There was corruption found in federal Native American agencies and poor conditions among the relocated tribes as documented by a report sent to Congress in 1868. Some tribes ignored the relocation orders. American Army forces fought Native Americans and caused many massacres. By 1882, religious organizations weren’t involved in the federal Indian agency.

The Dawes Act made reservations to tribes. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, also known as the Howard-Wheeler Act, was sometimes called the Native American New Deal. It laid out new rights for Native Americans, reversed some of the earlier privatization of their common holdings, and encouraged tribal sovereignty and land management by tribes. The act slowed the assignment of tribal lands to individual members and reduced the assignment of 'extra' holdings to nonmembers. Infrastructure and education were sent to tribes. The problem was that the new Indian Commissioners Myers and Emmons introduced the idea of the "withdrawal program" or "termination", which sought to end the government's responsibility and involvement with Indians and to force their assimilation. Many Native Americans were not compensated and some tribes lost their federal status as tribes. Disputes over land continue to this very day. Reservations came about via the acts of oppression and Native Americans have continuously fought back against injustice.

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Societies in the frontier West were eclectic and diverse. Many people back then fought for democracy and equality. There has been literature talked about society like from Frederick Jackson Turner. The new states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Ohio were more democratic in many ways that some parent states back East in terms of politics and society. The Western states were the first to give women the right to vote. By 1900 the West, especially California and Oregon, led the Progressive movement. Scholars have examined the social history of the west in search of the American character. The history of Kansas, argued historian Carl L. Becker a century ago, reflects American ideals. He wrote: "The Kansas spirit is the American spirit double distilled. It is a new grafted product of American individualism, American idealism, and American intolerance. Kansas is America in microcosm." Societies in that region reflected frontier life. There has been individual efforts to grow societies and collective efforts as well. Many people saw unsettled lands and conflicts with Native Americans. The frontier focused on human beings having irrigation and agricultural systems. Places in the West had massive discrimination too. We are not naïve about the frontier West.

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Urban Growth

Cities in the frontier West dealt with transportation, financial and communication centers, and providers of merchandise, services, and entertainment. After 1860, the railroads pushed westward into unsettled territory. Cities once were service towns to handle railroad construction crews, train crews, and passengers who ate meals at scheduled strops. In most of the South, there were very few cities of any size for miles around, and this pattern held for Texas as well. Railroads didn’t arrive fully until the 1880's. Many places shipped cattle out and cattle drives became short distance affairs. Armed gangs often targeted passenger trains. One city that grew in the West was Denver. Mining consumed Denver’s economy before 1870. It grew, because it expanded its role in railroads, wholesale trade, manufacturing, food processing, and servicing the growing agricultural and ranching hinterland. Between 1870 and 1890, manufacturing output soared from $600,000 to $40 million, and population grew by a factor of 20 times to 107,000. Denver had always attracted miners, workers, and travelers. Saloons and gambling dens sprung up overnight. The city fathers boasted of its theaters, and especially the Tabor Grand Opera House built in 1881.

By 1890, Denver had grown to be the 26th largest city in America and the fifth-largest city west of the Mississippi River. The boom times attracted millionaires and their mansions, as well as hustlers, poverty and crime. Denver gained regional notoriety with its range of bawdy houses, from the quarters of madams to the squalid "cribs" located a few blocks away. Business was good; visitors spent lavishly, then left town. As long as the madams and others did not advertise their availability too crudely, authorities took their bribes and looked the other way. Occasional cleanups and crack downs satisfied the demands for reform. Back then, Butte Montana was the largest, richest, and rowdiest mining camp on the frontier. It had a large amount of copper. It had many Irish Catholics, who were in control of politics and had the best jobs at the leading mining corporation called Anaconda Copper. City boosters opened a public library in 1894. Ring argues that the library was originally a mechanism of social control, "an antidote to the miners' proclivity for drinking,...and gambling". It was also designed to promote middle-class values and to convince Easterners that Butte was a cultivated city. The West also had a lot of ethnic diversity. People of many nationalities and colors traveled into the West.

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The Ethnic Diversity of the West

The frontier West always had great ethnic diversity during the 19th century. African Americans have a long history in the West. Many black people went into the West as workers, preachers, cooks, farm hands, and saloon workers. Some were cowboys, and outlaws. James Beckwourth during the 1800’s was the famous African American fur trapper and trader. He came into the Rock Mountains and was a member of the William Henry Ashley Fur Trapping Expedition. He operated throughout the West from Montana south to New Mexico. He worked in California too. Pio Pico from 1831 was a descendant of person of African ancestry. He becomes governor of Mexico California after overthrowing Colonel Manuel Victoria, who was another person of African ancestry. In the summer of 1844, George Bush, a free African American, travels with a party of Missouri emigrants on the Oregon Trail. When Bush reaches Oregon City in November, he decides to move to the sparsely populated area north of the Columbia to avoid the exclusion law. His decision encourages other settlers to follow. Eventually they petition Congress to create Washington Territory. In 1849, early African American settlers in San Francisco create the first two mutual aid associations for blacks in the far west, the West Indian Benevolent Association and the Mutual Benefit and Relief Society.

St. Andrews African Methodist Episcopal Church of Sacramento is the first black church west of Texas, which was established in 1851. In 1852, San Francisco had 464 African Americans. That was the largest urban black population of the Far West. Sacramento had 338 black residents, which had the second largest black community. Black owned businesses back then in San Francisco include the New England Soap Factory established by James P. Dyer and Pioneer Boot and Shoe Emporium owned by Mifflin Gibbs and Peter Lester. In January of 1856, Los Angeles District Court Judge Benjamin Hayes frees Bridget Biddy Mason and her thirteen extended family members. By 1862, San Francisco black Americans organize the Franchise League to campaign for voting rights and to end courtroom testimony restrictions. On April 17, 1863, Charlotte Brown files the first of several lawsuits that challenge black exclusion from San Francisco streetcars. By the late 1860's the streetcar companies end their discriminatory policies. On July 17, 1863, the First Kansas Colored Infantry, fighting with the Cherokee Native American and white Colorado Union regiments, defeat Confederate forces at the Battle of Honey Springs in Oklahoma, the largest military engagement in the Indian Territory during the Civil War. The Buffalo Soldiers were famous from the all black 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments and the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments of the U.S. Army. Many of them served in many western forts. About 4,000 black people came into California during the Gold Rush. By 1879, after the end of Reconstruction in the South, several thousand Freedmen moved from Southern states to Kansas. Known as the Exodusters, they were lured by the prospect of good, cheap Homestead Law land and better treatment. The all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas, which was founded in 1877, was an organized settlement that predates the Exodusters but is often associated with them.

Asian Americans worked as builders of the railroads and worked in mines throughout the frontier West. They had a major role in the workforce of building the Central Pacific portion of the transcontinental railroad. Most of the Chinese Americans went back into China after the railroad was finished by 1870. Many were peasants. Others worked in mining, agriculture, and opened small shops such as groceries, laundries and restaurants. Hostility remained high as seen by the Chinese Massacre Cove episode and the Rock Springs massacre. The Chinese were generally forced into self-sufficient "Chinatowns" in cities such as San Francisco. In Los Angeles, the last major anti-Chinese riot took place in 1871, after which local law enforcement grew stronger. In the late 19th century, many (not all) Chinatowns were squalid slums known for their vice, prostitution, drugs, and violent battles between "tongs." By the 1930's, however, tons of Chinatowns had become clean, safe and attractive tourist destinations. In the 1890–1907 era, thousands of Japanese permanently migrated to Hawaii and California as farm workers. Immigrants born in Asia were generally ineligible for US citizenship until World War II. However their children born in the U.S. automatically became citizens, because of the 14th Amendment rightfully made legal birthright citizenship.

 Buffalo Soldiers to The RescueJim Baker (1818–1898), trapper, scout and guide, was a friend of Jim Bridger and Kit Carson and one of General John C. Fremont's favorite scouts. He was one of the most colorful figures of the old west.Yakima Nation women taken between 1880 and 1957. {Homeland is primarily in southern Washington.}   Upon central Washingt...The brave pioneers who made a life on the frontier were not only male—and they were not only white. The story of African-American women in the Old West is one...

Hispanic Americans were in the West for centuries before the 1800’s. The great majority of Hispanic people lived in the forming territories of New Spain. Many of them became American citizens in 1848. About 10,000 or more lived in California. They were called Californios in southern California. After 1880, more people came into California from the east in the thousands. Those in New Mexico lived in towns and villages. This didn’t change into the early 20th century. More Mexicans came into New Mexico because of the Revolution of 1911. The Revolution caused devastation to thousands of villages across Mexico. Most refugees went to Texas or California, and soon poor barrios appeared in many border towns. The California "Robin Hood", Joaquin Murieta, led a gang in the 1850's which burned houses, killed miners, and robbed stagecoaches. In Texas, Juan Cortina led a 20-year campaign against Anglos and the Texas Rangers, starting around 1859. The Hispanic community grew larger and became involved in agricultural, farming, civil rights activism, and a diversity of constructive actions in the frontier West.

European immigrants often built communities of similar religious and ethnic backgrounds. For example, many Finns went to Minnesota and Michigan, Swedes and Norwegians to Minnesota and the Dakotas, Irish to railroad centers along the transcontinental lines, Volga Germans to North Dakota, and German Jewish people to Portland, Oregon.

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Various Characters of the West

From 1865 to 1900, tons of people lived in the West. Some were heroes and some were villains. The following are stories of many of the characters of the West whose stories have been shown in books, magazines, movies, and other literature. “Wild Bill” Hickok killed the gambler Davis Tutt in a shootout in Springfield, Missouri in July 21, 1865. This confrontation is shown in Harper’s Magazine. Hickok is a household name. This represents a popular image of the Old West. Hickok’s real name is James Butler Hickok. He was a drover, a soldier, a spy, a gunfighter, a showman, and an actor. Sometimes, he exaggerated his exploits. He was born and raised on a farm in northern Illinois. He also fought and spied for the Union Army during the American Civil War. In 1876, Hickok was shot from behind and killed while playing poker in a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory (present-day South Dakota), by Jack McCall, an unsuccessful gambler. The hand of cards which he supposedly held at the time of his death (including the ace of spades, the ace of clubs, the eight of spades and the eight of clubs) has become known as the dead man's hand. The outlaws Frank and Jesse James robbed their first bank in Liberty, Missouri. Jesse James and his brother worked as Confederate guerillas or bushwhackers during the Civil War. They were accused of executing atrocities against Union soldiers like the Centralia Massacre. They were from Missouri. They worked with a gang of outlaws to rob banks, stagecoaches, and trains. The James brothers were most active as members of their own gang from about 1866 until 1876, when as a result of their attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota. Several members of the gang were captured or killed.

They continued in crime for several years, recruiting new members, but were under increasing pressure from law enforcement. On April 3, 1882, James was killed by Robert Ford, a young member of his gang who hoped to collect a reward on James' head. In 1867, Lucien B. Smith of Kent, Ohio issued the first patent for barbed wire fencing. This invention revolutionized cattle ranching on the open prairies of the West. In 1870, William "Hurricane Bill" Martin, a notorious Kansas outlaw, begins rustling cattle southeast of Abilene before he and his gang are driven off by a posse from Marion. The Utah Territorial Assembly (in 1870), supported by Brigham Young, granted women the right to vote. Over the next several decades, this provides Mormons with an added margin of political power. Calamity Jane was a woman, who was an American frontierswoman. She was a professional scout and was born in Missouri. She died in 1903 in Terry, South Dakota. John Younger, a member of the Younger Gang, is killed by Pinkerton detectives Louis Lull and Jim Duckworth in St. Clair County, Missouri (in March of 1878).

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In the same year, Ike and Billy Clanton enlist William "Curly Bill" Brocius and Johnny Ringo as they begin cattle rustling in the New Mexico and southern Arizona Territories. Other famous people of the West were Billy the Kid, “Doc” Holiday, “Belle” Starr, and Geronimo. Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp (March 19, 1848 – January 13, 1929) was an American Old West gambler, a deputy sheriff in Pima County, and deputy town marshal in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, who took part in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, during which lawmen killed three outlaw cowboys. He is often regarded as the central figure in the shootout in Tombstone, although his brother Virgil was Tombstone city marshal and Deputy U.S. Marshal that day, and had far more experience as a sheriff, constable, marshal, and soldier in combat. Wyatt Earp lived restless and had a large list of jobs from hunter, bouncer, saloonkeeper, and boxing referee. He was born in Illinois and died in Los Angeles, California in 1929. Jim Baker (1818–1898), trapper, scout and guide, was a friend of Jim Bridger and Kit Carson and one of General John C. Fremont's favorite scouts. He was one of the most colorful figures of the old west. Mary Fields was the first African-American woman star route mail carrier in the United States. George McJunkin was an African American cowboy, amateur archaeologist and historian in New Mexico. He discovered the Folsom Site in 1908. Born to slaves in Midway, Texas, McJunkin was approximately 14 years old when the Civil War ended. He worked as a cowboy for freighters. He reportedly learned how to read from fellow cow punchers.

McJunkin taught himself to read, write, speak Spanish, play the fiddle and guitar, eventually becoming an amateur archaeologist and historian. Bill Pickett was a great African American cowboy, rodeo, and Wild West show performer. He was born in Texas in 1870. His father was a former slave. He had nine children with Maggie Turner. He invented the technique of bulldogging, the skill of grabbing cattle by the horns and wrestling them to the ground. It was known among cattlemen that, with the help of a trained bulldog, a stray steer could be caught. Bill Pickett had seen this happen on many occasions. He also thought that if a bulldog could do this feat, so could he. Pickett practiced his stunt by riding hard, springing from his horse, and wrestling the steer to the ground. Pickett's method for bulldogging was biting a cow on the lip and then falling backwards. He also helped cowboys with bulldogging. This method eventually lost popularity as the sport morphed into the steer wrestling that is practiced in rodeos. Bill Pickett was very popular and he passed away in Oklahoma.

Sarah Gammon Brown Bickford, who was an African American woman, (c. 1852 – 1931) was born into slavery in either Tennessee or North Carolina. In the 1870’s, she made her way to the Montana goldfields, trading work as a nanny for transportation. She ultimately became sole owner of the Virginia City Water Company, becoming the first and only woman in Montana—and probably the nation’s only female African American—to own a utility. She had children. She organized a restaurant, bakery, and boarding house in Virginia City. She always worked hard as a manager and people in her community respected her. In 2012, the State of Montana honored her by inducting her into the Gallery of Outstanding Montanan.

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Cowboys and Cowgirls

The cowboys of the frontier West have been subject to a lot of myths. Now, in our generation, people know more of the truth. Many cowboys were law abiding people. Many were criminals. Many were bandits and many were caring for their families. Cowboys were diverse. The life of the American cowboy was very hard. Many rounded up cattle during the spring and fall. They drove animals into the market. Some of them used money to spend on food, clothing, gambling, and prostitution. They worked on equipment and buildings during the winter near the cattle towns. On many occasions, one cowboy would handle 250 head of cattle. Some cowboys were hired to do herding, ranching, and protecting cattle. Many cowboys carried weapons like the Bowie knife, lasso, bullwhip, pistols, rifles, and shotguns. They faced many Native Americans and rustlers. Some of them were veterans of the Civil War (from both the Union and the Confederacy).

They were very diverse. They included African Americans, Latino-Americans, Native Americans, European Americans, immigrants, and those from other parts of America. The earliest cowboys as we see them today came from Texas. They traded and used unique clothing. Some of them adopted jargon from the Mexican vaqueros. These were heirs of the Spanish cattlemen from middle-south Spain. African Americans from the Buffalo Soldiers were involved in cowboy like activities from capturing livestock thieves, protecting settlers heading west, building infrastructure, etc. Bass Reeves was a black deputy U.S. Marshall. He arrested more than 3,000 felons and shot and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense. Bass Reeves was born in Crawford County, Arkansas and loved the frontier life in Oklahoma. Ned Huddleston (also known as Isom Dart) was one of the famous black cowboys. He traveled to work on ranches and did other actions too. He lived in Wyoming.

Cowboys wore clothing to protect themselves. All the distinct clothing of the cowboy—boots, saddles, hats, pants, chaps, slickers, bandannas, gloves, and collar-less shirts—were practical and adaptable, designed for protection and comfort. The cowboy hat quickly developed the capability, even in the early years, to identify its wearer as someone associated with the West; it came to symbolize the frontier. The most enduring fashion adapted from the cowboy, popular nearly worldwide today, are "blue jeans", originally made by Levi Strauss for miners in 1850. Handling cattle was a long process. Most male cattle were castrated. They were dehorned and examined plus treated for infections. On average, cowboys earned $30 to $40 per month, because of the heavy physical and emotional toll; it was unusual for a cowboy to spend more than seven years on the range.  As open range ranching and the long drives gave way to fenced in ranches in the 1880's, by the 1890's the glory days of the cowboy came to an end, and the myths about the "free living" cowboy began to emerge.

Cattle trading grew the cowtowns (which promoted the cattle industry). Cattle towns include places like Abilene, Dodge City, and Ellsworth. They lasted for a few years in many cases. Some cowboys worked in rodeos to celebrate their talents. Cowgirls existed too and they have made many achievements involving the frontier West. Cowboys existed globally in South America and Australia as cattle herders. Cowboys in Hawaii were called the panjolo. They learned skills from the Mexican vaqueros. Cowboy celebrations and rodeos continue to exist in the 21st century nationwide. In our time black women have participated in athletic completion in the Bill Picket Rodeo, which is the nation’s only touring black rodeo competition. Some modern day black women in the competition include four Washington, D.C. based women. Their names are Kisha Bowles, Selina Brown, Sandra Dorsey, and Brittaney Logan.

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The environment

Caring for the environment is always important. To care for the environment is to care for yourself. The modern environmental movement in America existed during the 19th century. Many lumber and coal companies wanted the maximum usage of trees, coals, and other resources for jobs, economic growth, and profit. They wanted natural resources. There were many conservationists back then too. Many of them were moderates on environmental issues like Theodore Roosevelt. They were diverse. Some were outdoorsmen, sportsmen, bird watchers, and scientists. They united to fight to reduce waste. They wanted the natural beauty to be preserved. They embraced tourism. They wanted ample wildlife for hunting. So, they desired the careful management of the lands. In that sense, they would in their minds cause long term economic benefit along with environmental protections. Theodore Roosevelt worked in his life to conserve natural resources. He worked closely with Gifford Pinchot and used the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902 to promote federal construction of dams to irrigate small farms and placed 230 million acres (360,000 mi² or 930,000 km²) under federal protection. Roosevelt set aside more Federal land, national parks, and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined. Roosevelt explained his position in 1910:  "Conservation means development as much as it does protection. I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us."

There were many environmentalists who honored nature for its own sake. They rejected the maximizing of the human benefits as a goal. These were progressive environmentalists. One leader of this movement was John Muir. He lived from 1838 to 1914. Muir promoted preservation of wilderness. He was an author and naturalist. He founded the Sierra Club, which is based in California. To this day, the Sierra Club has promoted environmental causes. In 1889, he started to organize support for the preservation of the sequoias (or trees) in Yosemite Valley. Congress passed the Yosemite National Park bill in 1890.  In 1897 President Grover Cleveland created thirteen protected forests but lumber interests had Congress cancel the move. Muir, taking the persona of an Old Testament prophet, crusaded against the lumberman, portraying it as a contest "between landscape righteousness and the devil." A master publicist, Muir's magazine articles, in Harper's Weekly (June 5, 1897) and the Atlantic Monthly turned the tide of public sentiment. He mobilized public opinion to support Roosevelt's program of setting aside national monuments, national forest reserves, and national parks. However Muir broke with Roosevelt and especially President William Howard Taft on the Hetch Hetchy dam, which was built in the Yosemite National Park to supply water to San Francisco.

Biographer Donald Worster says, "Saving the American soul from a total surrender to materialism was the cause for which he fought." The buffalo dealt with the environment too. The rise of the cattle industry and the cowboy influence the decline of bison. The bison is called buffalo too. Once, bison was about 25 million on the Great Plains. They ate grass. Native Americans in the Plains region used the buffalo as a resource for survival literally. They used their bodies for food, hides for clothing and shelter, and bones for implements. The buffalo loss habitat, diseases, and over hunting reduced the hurts through the 19th century. They almost became extinct. The last 10–15 million died out in a decade 1872–1883; only 100 survived. Many Native Americans went into reservations by the government in order to survive the slaughter of the buffalo. The government forced the Native Americans to accept the offer of reservations on the condition that they didn’t militarily resist them. Conservationists founded the American Bison Society in 1905; it lobbied Congress to establish public bison herds. Several national parks in the U.S. and Canada were created, in part to provide a sanctuary for bison and other large wildlife, with no hunting allowed. The bison population reached 500,000 by 2003. The same environmental issues debated back then are with us today.

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The end of the Frontier West

With wars and expansion, the frontier West ended by the late 19th and early 20th century. The frontier West evolved from lands where the populations were mostly Native American to lands filled with diverse ethnic groups. It experienced many wars from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. After the Civil War, Native Americans fought in battles and wars to defend their way of life. The Sand Creek Massacre of 1864, the Fetterman Massacre of 1866, the Battle of Little Bighorn of 1876, the Nez Perce War of 1877, and the Battle of Wounded Knew of 1890 define the controversial and bloody nature of conflicts. Many Native Americans were forced to live in reservations, which had dilapidated land and harsh conditions. Many Native Americans suffered diseases, alcoholism, economic exploitation, racism, discrimination, and other oppressive conditions in those reservations. The federal government not only committed violations of treaties, but was active in genocide against the indigenous peoples of the Americas. This history must be shown. Ironically, the technological development of America (from railroads, telegraphs, mining, etc.) contributed to the further exploitation of the Native American people. The environmental movement grew during this time and the bison became nearly extinct because of over hunting and other factors. The frontier West experienced the growth of towns and cities from Los Angeles to Las Vegas which has changed American culture forever. The 1890 national census said that no longer a square mile of the United States not have least a few white residents. The Manifest Destiny of tyranny and theft expanded beyond the continental United States. It expanded into Guam, the Philippines, Cuba, and other locations globally. The next chapter of this series would be the final chapter of the frontier West. It will describe information about the legacy of the West, movies dealing with the frontier West, and the Native American movement for human liberation (of the 20th century and the 21st century).

Now, you know the truth. The duty of us is to educate, inspire, and help our neighbors.

By Timothy