Friday, April 14, 2017

Culture and History in Friday

Some people are intrinsically born to play a role. Aisha Hinds was born to play Harriet Tubman on the show of Underground. Her message to her cast mates and to the audience (or people watching) in general makes home the accurate point that Harriet Tubman saved lives and has inspired generations past the 19th century in the cause of liberty. Liberty or freedom is beyond just an ideal. Freedom is part of courageous actions too which relates to our aspirations and the same goal (which is the total liberation of black people in the world). We are all in awe of Sister Aisha Hinds' amazing talent and her wisdom. One of the greatest heroes of our time is Sister Ernestine Shepherd. She is almost 80 years old. She is involved in helping her community in Baltimore, Maryland. She helps people constantly. She is involved in spiritual matters. She is constantly involved in fitness and she is a very nice black woman. Her goal has been to help others and she is fulfilling her goal constantly. She loves her husband and her children. Bless Sister Ernestine Shepherd. Yesterday was the Birthday of Brother Al Green. He is now 71 years old. He is a legendary singer and a person with great talent plus compassion for humanity. He was born in Forrest City, Arkansas. His parents were sharecroppers and he was part of musical group in the age of 10. He has developed great success. One of his great early songs was the song "Tired of Being Alone" from 1971. That single alone sold about 1 million copies. He was full of soul in his music. His album "Let's Stay Together" is another classic and he performed greatly. "I'm Still in Love with You" is a classic R&B record about romance. Later in his life, he has expressed gospel music, which he does to this very day. He is a spiritual man and there is nothing wrong with showing spirituality without apology. His talent is eternal and his legacy is totally etched as a man who not only loves music, but loves the people too. I wish Brother Al Green more blessings.

This is a very sad story of the recent passing of Associate Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman to be appointed to New York’s Court of Appeals, She was a Muslim and her body was found in a river. She was the first Muslim female judge in America. I send condolences to her family and friends. She had a love for the law in not only studying it and analyzing it. She had a love to enforce the law, so all citizens in New York State and throughout America would have their rights preserved. We want the truth to be known. Rest in Power Sister Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam. As for political news, Trump allowed the usage of the MOAB bomb in Afghanistan in claiming to target ISIS targets. Neil Gorsuch (who has ties to the agenda of big corporations) is the new Supreme Court Justice. Relations between America and Russia are in its lowest levels since the Cold War. The civil war in Syria continues to go on. The bigot Steve Bannon is still part of the White House team. War mongering continues and members from the political establishment among both major parties agree with this sick, evil militarism in the world. That is why we have to use discernment, gather facts, and act accordingly.

I want to show this good news. Sister Genet Lakew, a Howard University and New York University graduate, formed a scholarship to help black immigrants. She is part of the Urban League. The Urban League is an organization that helps people to get economic opportunities and it fights for social justice. Her scholarship is called the Mekonnen Family Scholarship. Genet Lakew is from an Ethiopian immigrant family. The xenophobes will hate this policy, so I love this policy. We are one people regardless of our nationality or place of origin. I want black people to succeed whether they are African Americans or black immigrants. Also, the xenophobes omit that non-American born black people had a crucial role in the black American freedom struggle. For example, Hubert Harrison, Cyril Briggs, and other Brothers and Sisters were not originally born in America, but they influenced the black American movement for freedom in immeasurable ways. Also, scholarships to help African Americans should exist as well. That's great as I am an African American. In the final analysis, black people globally have cultural differences (which is fine as diversity is beautiful), but we want the goal of freedom and justice for all black people regardless of nationality.
I do believe in pan-African unity.
Bless Sister Genet Lakew.

After the death of George Washington in 1799 (and after the unpopularity of then President John Adams who advanced the anti-civil liberty Sedition Act), there was the election of 1800. The Election was close and Thomas Jefferson won the 1800 election. Aaron Burr was the Vice President. Burr is famous for killing Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Jefferson was an anti-Federalist. He opposed the Sedition Acts. He was a Democratic Republican. He was a person filled with contradictions. He wrote the words of “all men are created equal,” but he owned slaves and he believed in the myth of black racial inferiority. The truth is that black people are human and made great contributions throughout human history. Jefferson cut taxes and cut resources from the navy and army. He promoted westward expansion too. His advocacy of farm ownership and gaining more lands for America contradicted his streamlining government message. He wanted this expansion to benefit white Americans primarily. We have to keep it real and that documents Jefferson's racism and hypocrisy. He wanted America to go into the Pacific. Back in 1801, the dictator Napoleon Bonaparte forced Spain to give him the Louisiana Territory including the city of New Orleans (which was a very strategic port city). By 1803, France gave Jefferson the Louisiana Purchase. It cost $15 million or about $0.04 per acre ($240 million in 2016 dollars, less than 42 cents per acre). Federalists opposed the expansion, but Jeffersonians hailed the opportunity to create millions of new farms to expand the domain of land-owning yeomen; the ownership would strengthen the ideal republican society, based on agriculture (not commerce), governed lightly. The supporters of the deal claimed that it promoted self-reliance and virtue, as well as form the political base for Jeffersonian Democracy.

This land was acquired without much discussion with the Native Americans who lived in that territory for centuries and thousands of years. Many people paid Native American money for lands to the east of the Mississippi and in parts of west outside of the Louisiana Purchase later on. Jefferson wanted exploration of these lands before the purchase. Thomas Jefferson, in 1804, sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the Louisiana Territory and beyond to the Pacific Ocean. These men received help from a Native American woman named Sacajawea (who was a Shoshone woman) and her husband. They traveled in the Missouri River. They came into Colorado and Oregon. Jefferson told Lewis and Clark to research the native tribes (including their morals, language, and culture), weather, soil, rivers, commercial trading, and animal and plant life. Lewis and Clark discovered new species. They found 15 mammals, 16 birds, 7 fish, and 7 reptiles. They met Black Moccasin (or a Minitari chef). They left St. Louis in 1803 and returned in 1806.  John Jacob Astor (who was a wealthy entrepreneur) expanded fur trading operations into the Pacific Northwest too. He made the American Fur Company to break up the Hudson’s Bay Company monopoly in the region. Astor was a multi-millionaire by 1834 with a strong fur trade enterprise.

By Timothy

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