Monday, April 29, 2019


Culture is one of the greatest subjects to learn and study. Culture is the social behavior and norms found in human societies. Culture has been studied by anthropologists and sociologists for generations. Culture has been found in societies universally. It can deal with art, music, dance, religion, technologies, fashion, etc. Culture can be passed down throughout generations over time. It can be written in literature or passed down orally. So, culture about the way people think, act, and interpret reality. Readily, material objects used to form a people’s way of life. Ideals formed are part of nonmaterial culture. Material culture is the physical things formed by people in a society. The United States of America is a multicultural society where different cultures flourish together and blend. There are almost 400 languages spoken in America. Various museums specifically celebrate African American culture, Native American culture, Irish culture, Greek culture, Latino culture, etc. Culture can include symbols, language, values, beliefs, and various norms. Values readily change over time. In human history, we have agriculture, industrial societies, and post industrialism (which means that the production of information via computer technology that dominates society). Subcultures, countercultures, and other parts of culture exist. Diffusion, invention, and discovery can influence cultural changes. Culture is a human trait. We can shape our cultures positively from cooperation, assistance, and progressive developments.

Identity is part of our lives. We identify ourselves by our location, by the region in where we live, and by the family in which we are born in. Race is a serious topic being discussed in the 2020 election, and in everyday life. My ancestors came from West and Central Africa. My ancestors were also the victims of the Maafa and antebellum slavery in Virginia plus North Carolina. Therefore, I know a great deal on the issue of race. In America, we have only lived almost 60 years since the end of legalized Jim Crow. Jim Crow ended not too long ago. Today, the institutions of redlining, discrimination, excessive gentrification, macroaggressions, and racism harm many black people plus other people of color in 2019. That is why it is important to discuss about race. The reason is that the only way where we can have justice in this world is by talking about it, eliminating systems of oppression, mentoring, stopping injustice, and building institutions where black people and all people can live in a world filled with tranquility plus safety. What is race? Race is a social construct used by individuals to categorize people (usually if these people share similar biologically transmitted traits that members of a society consider specific distinctions). Back then, people have classified race in both nationality terms and by physical traits. Modern sociologists and scientists view race as partially based on physical similarities within groups, but they believe that race is not an inherent physical or biological quality. It is a historical fact that people have used the issue of race to promote racism. What is racism? Racism is the belief that one’s skin color or physical appearance denotes superiority or inferiority among the human family (and racism is about hating someone because of his or her color including using the institutions of power to deprive people of rights because of his or her color). In other words, racism is about the lie that one is better than another person by virtue of his or her color or physical phenotypes. Thomas Jefferson is one of the most evil slave owning racists of all time. In his words and literature, Jefferson saw Africans as inferior to whites especially in regards to their intellect, and slandered black other ways, but described Native Americans as equals to whites. Of course, Thomas Jefferson is a liar, because tons of black people have PhDs, are inventors, and have great intellectual power. Racial categories have evolved over time and are not very comprehensive (and they can be ambiguous. Brazil has multiple racial categories). One example is that a Turkish person’s ancestors usually didn’t originate from China or England. Another example is that an Aboriginal living in Australia is not a black African and he or she is not Siberian. Therefore, humankind is complex culturally and live in diverse geographic locations. There is why there is human genetic variation among people in the same cultural group. Humans are diverse because of many reasons. Many physical differences are environmental as humans with darker melanin readily live in warmer climates and those with lighter melanin readily live in colder climates. Europeans and Asians have a higher level of Neanderthal DNA than other humans. What we have learned about race is learned. Today, the United States allows the census to classify people in one racial category or in more than one racial category. Over the course of years, many people want to identify themselves as multiracial. Right now, there are over 41 million black people living in the United States of America. Certainly, we want black populations to flourish worldwide.

There is the concept of ethnicity too. Ethnicity is a shared cultural heritage. Ethnicity is different than race. An ethnicity is a group of people that share the same language, religion, or social identity. America is multiethnic nation. Ethnicity is culturally constructed too. The difference between race and ethnicity is that race is a social construct from biological traits while ethnicity is socially constructed form cultural traits. For example, a French person refers to ethnicity while Caucasian is in reference to race. Many people do identify themselves in multiple ethnic backgrounds. Soledad O’Brian is a woman with black and white ancestries. Examples of racial or ethnic groups in America are: Native Americans, African Americans, European Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Arabic Americans. Minority groups make up a small percentage of the population in any nation, and many minorities experience prejudice, racism, and other injustices. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2044, America will be a majority minority nation. It is important to fight evil stereotypes and nefarious prejudices. The Golden Rule works. Also, it is important to mention that minority groups are diverse. Many minorities are rich, poor, middle class, young, old, middle aged, etc.

Cultural regions are key involving the subjects of anthropology and geography. A cultural region deals with geography with one relatively homogenous human activity of a complex of activities. Such a region can be dealing with ethnolinguistic groups too. Specific cultures often do not limit their geographic coverage to the borders of a nation state, or to smaller subdivisions of a state. Cultural "spheres of influence" may also overlap or form concentric structures of macro cultures encompassing smaller local cultures. Different boundaries may also be drawn depending on the particular aspect of interest, such as religion and folklore vs. dress and architecture vs. language. Culture region can be defined by religion, language, or a type of livelihood. For example, the Roman Empire was divided into the Eastern and Western regions. It is important to note that a cultural region can be as small as a neighborhood. Chinatown in New York City is a cultural region that has language, actions, religion, and beliefs unique in its structure.

Religions are truly part of human existence for billions of people. Religion is an institution or a celebration of one entity (or many entities) in relating to human interaction. There are people who use religion to help people, create hope, and build up societies. Others have exploited religion to advance brutality, unjust wars, slavery, economic exploitation, and other evils. Religion deals with the sacred. Ritual, faith, and belief systems are found in numerous religions from Christianity to Islam.  To many followers of spirituality, they want social cohesion, social control, and meaning plus purpose in life. People celebrate holidays like Passover, Easter, Ramadan, etc. Conservatives have used religion to promote fundamentalism in many cases. Liberals have used religion to advance liberation theology or other social justice causes. You have churches, sects like the Amish, and cults (which deals with a strict policy of being outside of cultural traditions). Cults like Heaven’s Gate have been very deadly. Religions have been polytheistic, monotheistic, and animist (or forests, water, mountains, and the wind being seen as spiritual forces). The most common religious belief is the belief in a single divine Creator which existed after pastoral and horticultural societies grew thousands of years ago. Sociologically wise, the most religious nations are in low income nations than in high income nations. Most Americans believe in God, but an increase of Americans is turning to the New Age, no religious affiliation, and alternative belief systems.

By Timothy

Biden's Controversies.

The Racist Dawn of Capitalism

Why ADOS “Reparationists” Oppose Free Tuition and Student Debt Forgiveness

Friday, April 26, 2019

Late April 2019 Information.

When you have Republicans and numerous progressives making the case for impeachment of Trump, then Trump is having a real problem. There is no question that Trump committed obstruction of justice. Trump has called on people to lie for him, fired people because of the Mueller report, resisted subpoenas, and refused to allowed officials to testify in Congress. Some of Trump's actions are worse than what Nixon did during Watergate. The Mueller report specifically documented incidents of Trump obstructing justice. Nixon resigned. Trump is refusing to submit to the principles of the separation of power and other aspects of democracy.

The reason is that Trump could care less about democracy. He wants an unitary executive branch with more political power than the legislative and judicial branches of government. Now, Democrats control the majority of the House. An impeachment is not about getting rid of the President immediately. An impeachment is about sending an injury in response to the crimes of the President. I support an impeachment of Trump, because no one is above the law. People have to allow one member of the executive branch to experience accountability. Congress has a job, and its job is the investigate these issues. While others want to appease the Trump regime, we will not compromise our core convictions.

Recently,Saudi Arabia has beheaded 37 political prisoners. This barbaric action is abhorrent, callous, and evil. The Saudi regime is funded by our taxpayer dollars. Trump is a key ally to Saudi Arabia despite its human rights violations. The reason that is relates to the oil interests that Western corporate elites dominate worldwide. Saudi oligarchy have massive wealth and they are key advocates for Western imperialists. That is why Saudi Arabia loves American corporate interests. Saudi Arabia's ambiguous antiterrorism law can equate dissent in some cases with terrorism. 109 people have had their headed beheaded in Saudi Arabia in 2019 alone. Top Wall Street executives and Riyadh representatives have meetings to grow their economic portfolios at the expense of dissidents dying. Western imperialists allying with authoritarians and tyrants shows that Western imperialists' claims of advancing freedom, and democracy are hallow. They don't desire real democracy but hypocrisy. We have to be clear on where we stand. We oppose imperialism, executions by beheadings, and suppression of human rights in any nation. We desire unconditional justice worldwide.

It is also important to acknowledge the hero Sister Ella Fitzgerald. She was born in Newport News, Virginia, which is in the 757. 757 is in the house as that is where I'm from. She was a famous jazz singer. Her scat singing was innovative and creative. She was in movies and television shows. She listened to jazz music from Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and the Boswell Sisters. Fitzgerald performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt Jackson, and Timme Rosenkrantz. She won many awards and had numerous achievements. People of every background and from every political spectrum loved her. They not only loved her talent. They loved her down to Earth personality and her charisma. Fitzgerald was a civil rights activist; using her talent to break racial barriers across the nation.

She was awarded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Equal Justice Award and the American Black Achievement Award. In 1993, Fitzgerald established the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation focusing on charitable grants for four major categories: academic opportunities for children, music education, basic care needs for the less fortunate, medical research revolving around diabetes, heart disease, and vision impaired. She has 13 Grammys. Her goals were to give back and provide opportunities for those "at risk" and less fortunate. In addition, she supported several nonprofit organizations like the American Heart Association, City of Hope, and the Retina Foundation. Ella Fitzgerald was a champion to our community.

Rest in Power Sister Ella Fitzgerald.

By Timothy

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

The FBI Appears to Be Targeting Black Activists

There Is a Scottsboro in Every Country


There is no question that Trump is a person who makes a mockery of democracy. He wanted to pressure Jeff Sessions and James Comey to try to end the Mueller investigation. He publicly attacked witnesses. He wanted McGahn to fire Mueller and McGahn refused to do so. The Mueller report is now the best selling book at the Amazon list of books. The report documents 10 times when Trump obstructed justice. Trump told people in his cabinet to lie for him. He has encouraged people to lie in order to give them pardons. So, Trump's evil actions are clear. Trump is clear to have a hatred of the rule of law. Therefore, I do believe in the impeachment of Donald Trump. Today, there is the She the vote forum featuring 2020 Democratic candidates. This forum represents the truth that black women and women of color are the most progressive electorate in America. No Democrat can win the Presidential election without a massive support among black women voters. That's the truth. Women of color were on the front-lines in the 2018 midterms.

Some news today is that a judge ruled that former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and the EPA can be sued by Flint residents. The Flint water crisis was caused when corporate interests (and state governmental institutions) switched the water supply in Flint from a cleaner water supply to a lead-filled poisonous water supply. That has caused many Flint resident to have disabilities, diseases, and death in many cases. Lead filled water supply and lead filled homes are found nationwide in cities plus rural locations. The former Governor Rick Snyder, who presided over the switch in the city’s water supply from the Detroit system to the heavily polluted Flint River, was protected from liability under the “sovereign immunity” doctrine. The same was true for the federal government, including the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Yet, one judge said that both can be used for civil liabilities.

Legal actions were initiated by residents and businesses charging Flint city officials, the state of Michigan and two private consulting firms with 14 claims of harm, ranging from violation of bodily integrity to gross negligence. Another action by approximately 3,000 city residents is underway in federal court targeting the EPA for its negligence. One problem is that the money to rebuild the infrastructure in Flint has been lax. $77 million of federal money are just loans and must be repaid without grants and outright investments to the people of Flint. This is a national emergency and the infrastructure of Flint must have total reconstruction without delay.

There is a debate among Democrats about impeachment. Pelosi said that Trump is an existential threat to democracy. Yet, she won't call for impeachment since she wants impeachment to exist in a strict framework of bipartisan support for it, explicit crimes, and other reasons. Other Democrats want impeachment. Recently, the Presidential candidates of Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren want Trump to be impeached. The White House will fight the House subpoena of the former White House counsel Don McGahn. No man is above the law. We have these democratic institutions to make the point that a reactionary resident of the White House must be held accountable for his actions.

There is the reality of armed vigilante militia groups illegally detaining migrants along the U.S./Mexico border. This is fascism. No armed vigilante has the right to illegally detain any human being. United Constitutional Patriots (UCP) is one name of such organization. Trump has promoted xenophobic rhetoric by slandering migrants as "invaders." ICE has increasingly detained many people including black immigrants. Some of the vigilante falsely called themselves as Border Patrol. Many members of such groups have ties to neo-Nazis, white supremacists, etc. For example, the neo-Nazi co-founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), J.T. Ready, was investigated for the murder of 3 migrants. He was investigated by the FBI. He committed suicide. Three members of the Minutemen American Defense militia, a split-off from the MCDC, were convicted in 2011 for the 2009 murders of Raul Flores Jr. and his nine-year-old daughter Brisenia. This is not new, but the persecution of immigrants continues even in 2019.

By Timothy

Monday, April 22, 2019

Ruby Dee.

The Early Obama Years.

The 2009 Inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America was a historic time. It occurred on January 20, 2009 just after 10 years ago. I was 25 years old on that day. The event set a record attendance for any event held in Washington, D.C. Barack Obama’s wife and the First Lady in 2009 was Michelle Obama. The Vice President was Joe Biden. Barack Obama had to resign from the Senate on November 4, 2008 in order for him to be sworn in as president. The inauguration was planned by mostly 2 committees of: the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Although the election was scheduled for November 4, 2008, the congressional committee began construction of the inaugural platform on September 24, 2008. The District of Columbia allowed bars and restaurants to stay open around the clock to help people celebrate the festivities. The co-chairs of the Presidential Inaugural Committee were William Daley, Penny Pritzker, John Rogers, Patrick Ryan and Julianna Smoot. The full length of the National Mall was used as the public viewing area for the swearing in ceremony. That extended from the United States Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial. They used environmental friendly actions like recyclable carpet for the platform, recycled paper for invitation and inaugural ball tickets, etc. Money raised for the event came from Halle Berry, Jamie Foxx, George Lucas, George Soros, and others. Tickets were sold. There were many pre-inaugural events. Barack Obama traveled on a train to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln on January 17, 2009. 

He rode the Georgia 300 from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. They stopped at Wilmington, Delaware where Biden joined the tour. During his speeches to the crowds, Barack Obama emphasized the theme "A New Birth of Freedom" using phrases associated with Lincoln such as "better angels" and "a new declaration of independence.” Thousands of people cheered him. By January 18, 2009, there was the We Are One concert. It happened at the Lincoln Memorial. The eve of the Inauguration Day, January 19, 2009, fell on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a U.S. federal holiday in recognition of Dr. King's birthday. Obama called upon communities everywhere to observe the King Day of Service, a day of citizen volunteer service honoring the human rights leader.  More than 13,000 community service events took place across the nation on the day, the largest participation in the 14 years since Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act and more than double the previous year's event. Barack Obama and his family plus Joe Biden including his family worked in charities on that day. The Kids’ Inaugural: We are the Future concert was held at the Verizon Center (headed by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden) on January 19, 2009. Celebrities at the concert were Miley Cyrus, Demi Lovato, the Jonas Brothers, Bow Wow, George Lopez, Corbin Bleu, Queen Latifah, Billy Ray Cyrus, Shaquille O’Neal, and Jamie Foxx. Michelle Obama wanted people to volunteer in real life. 

The inauguration ceremony took place at the West front of the United States Capitol. Performances existed from the United States Marine Band. Live performances came from the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and the first woman to preside over a U.S. presidential inauguration, acted as the day's Master of Ceremonies. The Evangelical pastor Rick Warren gave the invocation at the inaugural ceremony. After that, the great vocalist Aretha Franklin sang “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” Vice President Biden took the oath first form Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. President Barack Obama took his oath after noon by Chief Justice John Roberts. Michelle Obama held the Bible, which was used by Abraham Lincoln at his 1861 inauguration, as Barack Obama placed his hand on the Bible and recited the presidential oath. Barack Obama’s inaugural address combined the responsibility of government to be accountable and hope for the future. The speech was traditional. He invoked the Founders in wanting change.  Obama also highlighted the United States' religious diversity, referring to the country's "patchwork heritage" as a strength and saying, "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and non-believers." This was the first time a United States President acknowledged American non-believers in an inaugural address. The luncheon came after the speech. Then, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walked the inaugural parade route. Marching bands were in the celebration. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended 10 official inaugural balls during the evening of January 20, 2009. The Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, one of six balls held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, was the first stop of the evening for the President and First Lady. The Obamas danced their first song as Beyoncé Knowles serenaded them with her rendition of the Glenn Miller classic "At Last.”  Etta James sang At Last too. According to the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball was the first ball ever with free or affordable tickets, a contrast to recent history in which "inaugural balls generally have been closed to everyday Americans, populated instead by an exclusive circle of dignitaries and donors.” A portion of the tickets for the ball was reserved for Washington D.C. residents. President Barack Obama and his family plus Joe Biden and his family attended the interfaith National prayer service on January 21, 2009 (at Washington National Cathedral). Therefore, the Presidency of Barack Obama started in 2009 with exuberance and hope.

Immediately, Barack Obama revoked Executive Order 13233. This revocation allowed more records of former Presidents to be seen by the public. Barack Obama said that he wanted the closure of Guantanamo Bay detention camp. He signed an executive order banning torture and other illegal coercive techniques like waterboarding during interrogations. He wanted the Army field manual to be used as a guide. He invested in abortion. He ordered airstrikes with Predator drones in his Presidency. President Obama announced that companies receiving large amounts of federal bailout money through the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) must cap top executive pay at US$500,000 on February 4, 2009. Throughout both terms of the Presidency of Barack Obama, domestic terrorism was very common. The Tucson shooting in 2011 killed 6 people and injured Representative Gabrielle Giffords. There was the 2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting in the year of 2012. This was when on August 5, 2012; Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people and wounded four others in a mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Page was an American white supremacist and a United States Army veteran from Cudahy, Wisconsin. All of the dead were members of the Sikh faith. There was the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs detonated 12 seconds and 210 yards apart at 2:49 p.m., near the finish line of the annual Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring several hundred others, including 16 who lost limbs. Kyrgyz-American brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were apprehended and claimed to have been motivated by radical Islamist beliefs. 

On June 17, 2015, there was the Charleston Church massacre. Nine African American women and men were murdered. Their names were Clementa C. Pinckney (41), Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd (54), Susie Jackson (87), Ethel Lee Lance (70), Depayne Middleton-Doctor (49), Tywanza Sanders (26), Daniel L. Simmons (74), Sharaonda Coleman-Singleton (46), and Myra Thompson(59). Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist, went into the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina and shot and killed nine people. Roof is a white supremacist and owned a website where he wrote a manifesto in which he outlined his views toward black people, among other peoples. Barack Obama gave a funeral sermon about America and race. He sang a song there too. Charleston united to condemn racism and to fight for justice. Today, white supremacists are the biggest domestic threat in America. Hurd's family announced that they are establishing the Cynthia Graham Hurd Fund for Reading and Literacy organization in her memory; it is expected to give children easier access to books. Nine artists from across the U.S. created portraits of the victims as a tribute. The portraits were put on display at Principle Gallery for one month, and were given to the victims' families afterwards. Artists involved in the memorial included Ricky Mujica, Mario Andres Robinson, Lauren Tilden, Paul McCormack, Gregory Mortenson, Catherine Prescott, Terry Strickland, Judy Takács, and Stephanie Deshpande. The aftermath of the Charleston Massacre was the eliminating of the racist Confederate flag from the state capitol in 2015. I will show more information about this historic event later on. Terrorism continued in the Orlando Pulse nightclub in June 12, 2016 where 49 people were murdered by Omar Mateen. 53 people were injured.  At the time, this event was the deadliest mass shooting in United States history (after 1945) by a single gunman, later eclipsed by the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. Additionally, it was the deadliest confirmed terrorist attack on U.S. soil since the 9/11 attacks.

One of his most important laws that he signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It promoted fair pay regardless of sex, race, or age. Lilly Ledbetter, the plaintiff in the employment discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. joined Barack and Michelle Obama at the signing ceremony. It was a long time coming, but the law has protected the lives of millions of Americans. President Obama signed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 reauthorizing and expanding the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). President Obama overhauled the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, renaming it the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This plan included an economic stimulus plan. Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act into law. On May 20, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 and the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act are signed into law by President Obama to help alleviate burdens caused by the economic financial crisis in the United States. President Barack Obama nominated federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to take over the retiring Justice David Souter. Judge Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latino Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize by October 9, 2009. He left the HIV travel ban and signed the Hate Crimes Prevention Act in 2009 too. Barack Obama regulated banks with the Volcker Rule. 

One of his biggest reforms was the Affordable Care Act. It has been called Obamacare. It took long debates to get it passed and signed. A compromise allowed the bill to lack a public option while banning discrimination based upon pre-existing conditions, it allowed young people to be on their parents plan until 26 years old, etc. The law transformed the American healthcare system in a way that wasn’t seen since the 1960’s. Obama wanted to increase quality, affordable, health care with better access. By 2019, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act exists with its strengths and weaknesses. Millions of Americans have health care for the first time and further action is needed to make the ACA better. The BP oil spill in 2010 showed the world that regulation involving the environment is necessary. The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is signed by President Obama. The Act gives regulators stronger authority when it comes to breaking up large companies and attempts to protect the consumer by restricting practices in consumer loans and credit cards. Barack Obama assisted veterans with the post 911 GI law. He signed Rosa’ Law that changes federal statues to use the more respectful phrase of intellectual disability. The October 2010 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act becomes law. It sets new standards so that Americans who are deaf, blind, or live with a visual impairment have equal access and opportunity to new technological innovations. The 2010 midterm elections increased the power of the Republicans in both houses of Congress. Reforms still existed like the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 that invested in nutrition programs. He banned Don’t Ask, Don’t tell in December of 2010. This ban allowed open LBGTQIAPK+ human beings to serve in the Armed Forces. By 2011, President Barack Obama signed laws dealing with the budget, he announced the end of the Iraq War in 2011, and he signed the American Jobs Act. As 2011 ended and 2012 began, President Barack Obama would not only run for President for his second term, but he lived through some of the most historic social changes in American history. By early 2012, the Presidential election of 2012 was under way. It was a much closer election than in 2008, but President Barack Obama would win a second term by November of 2012.

By Timothy

Friday, April 19, 2019

The History of the United States Part 8 (The Second Era): 1974-1980 (with more information)

Howard University.

The Mueller report.

Today has been one of the most important days of our history. The Attorney General William Barr first shown his press conference not as an unbiased leader, but as a pro-Trump lawyer. He said that he is the one that Mueller sent his report to. Likewise, the Mueller report is meant for the American people ultimately. Before the report's release to the public, Barr shared the report with Trump's lawyers, which is highly unethical and disrespectful. Barr left his press conference when a media person asked him a question. William Barr also admitted that he disagrees with Mueller when Mueller has more experience than him in investigating the issue of the election tampering issue. Barr attempted to spin the results of the findings. No one is above the law. He tried to give a weak explanation of why Trump doesn't need to be charged with obstruction of justice. The truth is that the Trump regime is filled with conflicts of interests, corruption, and acts of hostility towards democracy. The Trump administration is one of the most corrupt administrations in American history. That is why many of their cabinet members are either in prison, indicted, or cooperated with authorities to try to convict others. Barr is wrong to excuse Trump trying to obstruct the Mueller invrstigation, trying to fire Mueller, and wanting officials to lie for him.

The Mueller report has been released yesterday. The name of the title of the report is, "Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election." It has confirmed that Russian agents tried to influence the election. Many incidents show that Trump tried to stop the Mueller investigation multiple times. Mueller could never clear Trump of obstruction of justice because of many corrupt actions. The report is over 400 pages long with redactions pertaining to jury testimony and ongoing investigations. Trump's written answers are highly ambiguous and not transparent. He just said "I don't recall" repeatedly. The Trump team didn't want Trump to have a face to face interview, because of the risk of Trump perjuring himself multiple times. The report didn't find that the Trump campaign or other Americans colluded with the Russians to influence the 2016 election. The report exposed Trump/Russia contacts and efforts to obstruct the investigation.

The report shows evidence that the Trump campaign was receptive to Russian interference. Trump wanted White House counsel Donald McGahn to fire Mueller as special counsel in June of 2017. The report found that Trump believed that the independent special counsel was the beginning of the end of his Presidency. McGahan refused to fire Robert Mueller. The people around the Trump refused to end the investigation. The report doesn't exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice. The whole report was long and extensive. That is why Robert Mueller wants Congress to make a decision if Trump is in violation of high crimes and misdemeanors. Congress has the right to investigate the report and if necessary bring up articles of impeachment if it desires to.

Days ago was the Birthday of Sister L. Scott Caldwell. She is a great actress, and she is now 59 years old. She once played Rose on the show Lost. She was born in Chicago. Both of her parents were working class human beings. She lived in the Woodlawn neighborhood at the South Side as a child. She joined the drama club when she attended Hyde Park High School. She loved acting as being inspired by the greats. She taught at the Chicago High School of the Performing Arts. Loving theater is her forte too as L. Scott Caldwell was involved in numerous plays. In 2011, Caldwell is on the SAG national board of directors ballot for a fourth consecutive year. She won a three-year term on the national and Hollywood boards. She served as national chair of Women, and Healthcare Safetynet committees. Her acting career is extensive. She was in the six part PBS Civil War drama miniseries called, "Mercy Street." She has a child. She also fulfilled her last husband Dasal Banks's wish to finish the documentary of My Brothers and Me. It was a documentary that helped to raise awareness about prostate cancer among black men. Men in general has to get checked in dealing with prostate cancer especially in their late 40's and beyond. She works to assist actors and actresses. Caldwell wants African Americans to be portrayed fairly in diverse roles. In February 2010, she directed a staged reading of Standing On My Sisters' Shoulders for the Los Angeles chapter of Actors Equity Association. I wish Sister L. Scott Caldwell more Blessings.

He is one of the greatest basketball players in history. He is Brother Kareem Abdul Jabbar. For generations, people know that he is one of the top 3 best players in the NBA. He was born in NYC. He excelled in high school, college, and the NBA. He was so good that he gave Wilt Chamberlain a run for his money when he was a rookie in the NBA. Always woke, Kareem has spoken out against income inequality, against racism, against police brutality, and for social justice. He has six NBA Championships, six MVPs in the NBA, Rookie of the Year, and he is a 3 time NCAA Champion. At the time of his retirement at age 42 in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar was the NBA's all-time leader in points scored (38,387), games played (1,560), minutes played (57,446), field goals made (15,837), field goal attempts (28,307), blocked shots (3,189), defensive rebounds (9,394), career wins (1,074), and personal fouls (4,657). He remains the all-time leader in points scored and career wins. He is easily the greatest college basketball player in human history. He used the skyhook in basketball which was unblockable. Known as a martial artist, he was a friend with Bruce Lee. He acted with Bruce Lee in the film Game of Death. He loves to write books including comics. He is a great role model for anyone who desires freedom and social tranquility. I wish Brother Kareem Abdul Jabbar more blessings.

By Timothy

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Mueller report (the report was written for the people)

Coretta Scott King.

ADOS' anti-African bigotry exposed.

MALCOLM X: "Send GUERRILLAS to ‪Mississippi‬" (1964)

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

American Exceptionalism Exposed.

On Real Issues.

I reject the ADOS movement 100 percent, because it limits black liberation, and many of its members are hostile to black immigrants (who helped African Americans for years. For example, Shirley Chisholm fought for African Americans, and Kool Herc invented hip hop. ADOS is filled with xenophobic, lying rhetoric). I believe in Pan African unity and Pan-Africanism. There is a recent story of a minister named Mark Thompson who had a confrontation with another person (who calls himself Afrika). This person called Thompson slurs, and that person was wrong. Later, Thompson put hands on that person. I don't believe in putting hands on that person, but I understand why Thompson was angry. Mark Thompson experienced verbal abuse and was blocked in trying to walk away by one disrespectful person (who calls himself Afrika, who has a known history of using profane language to try to provoke people into confrontations. That guy Afrika is a coward). A sister named Nkechi Taifa is a witness who saw Afrika throw Mark Thompson's producer to the ground. On the Internet, I saw the video of Afrika throwing the man to the grown violently. So, Afrika is a violent person. Thompson was in error by putting hands on that person. We have every right to express disagreements without unjust violence. This person Afrika isn't part of the ADOS, but ADOS members are exploiting this incident as an excuse to slander Mark Thompson's character. For years, Mark Thompson has advocated for reparations and black liberation long before the ADOS was born. Many ADOS propagandists are harassing and slandering real black activists like Dr. Jared Ball, Professor Carr, and other Brothers and Sisters. I'm not intimidated by any ADOS deceiver since all black people worldwide should be free not just black people in America. I am a descendant of black Africans. My family tree didn't start with slavery.

The problem with the ADOS is that it's limited in scope. It offers no revolutionary solutions for the liberation of black people internationally. It totally ignores the problem of imperialism and ecological disasters. It promotes an agenda of division among black people based upon colonial-imposed entities like nationality. Regardless of my personal views of the ADOS (I think that the ADOS is fraudulent movement), I don't believe that every ADOS person is a Trump supporter or a Russian bot. The ADOS is composed of sexists like Tariq Nasheed, allies of Tanton (who funds Carnell's group of the PFIR. Tanton is a white supremacist) like Yvette Carnell, and an ex-writer for Newsmax like Antonio Moore (who disrespected Sister Lupita). That hypocrite Tariq Nasheed disrespected Roland Martin because some of his ancestors came from Haitian, but he featured Haitians in his 1804 documentary. Nasheed should apologize to Haitians period. By their fruits, you shall know them. The fruit of ADOS is hatred, tensions, xenophobia, anti-African rhetoric, and divisiveness.

Yvette Carnell agrees with Trump on hating birthright citizenship, calls Trump Presidential involving a speech, minimizes Russian interference in the election, and follows extreme anti-immigrant policies. Also, many of my ancestors were black Americans slaves. That doesn't mean that I have a superiority complex though. We deserve reparations, but reparations alone isn't going to cut it. We need fundamental, structural change. All black people worldwide are deserving of freedom and justice.

Yesterday, there was a discussion among Zarlena Maxwell, Andrew Sullivan, and other people in Chris Matthews' Hardball show. Sullivan blasted Malcolm Nance as a hack and believing in conspiratorial views. The truth is that Nance is hawkish, and I don't agree with him on some issues. Yet, he isn't some hack, and Nance is right that Russian intelligence has been complicit in nefarious actions. Andrew Sullivan claims to be a centrist, but made the xenophobic remark that we must choose between mass immigration or democracy. The reality is that mass immigration brings taxes, cultural development, and diversity in American society. These great immigrants exist in every color and of every background. In other words, black immigrants exist too. I respect a black immigrant in favor of black liberation over Jesse Lee Peterson (who was born in America. I don't respect Jesse Lee Peterson at all). The reality is that democracy is enhanced by democracy. Suppressing immigrant rights harms democracy. Also, migrants are coming into Europe because Western elites have used policies against the global South (and Middle Eastern nations) that have devastated those territories for decades and centuries.

That devastation is causing migration into Europe. Sullivan loves to scapegoat immigrants when he ignores how Western imperialism and economic exploitation contributes to economic destabilization. Sullivan talking over people is typical of an extremist like him. Sullivan agreed with the unjust invasion of Iraq which started back in 2003. He praised the racist book called the Bell Curve. He hypocritically claims to want less government intervention, but agrees with the existence of Social Security. Sullivan's behavior is not shocking. The silence of Matthews is surprising since he knows Nance. Not to mention that Zarlena Maxwell refuted Sullivan's charges. Maxwell has been very cordial and strong. Sullivan defends Tony Blair, who is complicit in the Iraq War disaster. Centrism doesn't work as history teaches us. Centrism believes in the myth that piecemeal actions are enough to make thorough change. The truth is that real change must be comprehensive and power must extent to all of the people ASAP, not just to the 1 percent. Centrism extends suffering among the oppressed. Dr. King and especially Malcolm X weren't centrists. Both men opposed the Vietnam War, critiqued capitalism, organized movements, and wanted international change. They promoted revolutionary solutions to complex problems.

By Timothy

Robert Reich: 12 Myths About Taxing the Rich

Monday, April 15, 2019

Tiger Woods wins his fifth Masters.

Robert Reich: Socialism of the Rich, Capitalism for the Rest

The 2000s

The journey of Barack Obama from Hawaii, the Southside of Chicago, and to the Presidency is one of the most important stories in American history. Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential candidate was very historic and unlike any campaign in human history. He is a very intelligent person. He organized millions of people to vote for him, he has charisma, and he married a beautiful, very smart black woman Michelle Obama. He is the reflection of America culturally, psychologically, and in other ways.  By 2007, President George W. Bush had massive unpopularity. So, the Democrats used this as an opportunity to run their own candidates. The Republicans had their field too. John McCain ran for President again in 2008. The Republican primary was just as open as the Democratic primary. The Republican field had John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Fred Thompson, Alan Keyes, Duncan Hunter, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback, Jim Gilmore, Tommy Thompson, and Tom Tancredo. Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucus in January of 2008. Huckabee appeared to the Evangelicals and other conservatives. McCain was supported by the GOP establishment ironically when he called himself a maverick. Romney was second and McCain was third in the 2008 Iowa primary. John McCain won the New Hampshire primary. The race was later mostly a battle between John McCain and Mitt Romney. They targeted Western and Midwestern states. Huckabee continued to fight. John McCain soon won the Republican nomination after Super Tuesday. 

As for the Democratic side, then Senator Barack Obama of Illinois officially announced his candidacy for President in a cold day at Springfield, Illinois (on the date of February 10, 2007). He invoked Abraham Lincoln in calling for the nation to be united in the midst of massive political divisions. Springfield was where it started. Immediately, Barack Obama had supporters to use social media, the Internet, and other means to gain massive financial support for his campaign. Other Democratic candidates in 2008 were Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, Joe Biden, Mike Gravel, Christopher Dodd, Evan Bayn, and Tom Vilsack. Early on in the Democratic primary, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were frontrunners. John Edwards was shown in third in numerous polls. Edwards focused on an economic message. Hillary Clinton focused on a campaign on experience since she was a Senator. Hillary Clinton's supporters were passionate. When Barack Obama won the Iowa primary, then it sent a historic message worldwide. Independents, women, and black people voted for Obama in Iowa. Obama presented himself as a “candidate of change.” Hillary Clinton was in a low point and won the next New Hampshire primary. This was when Hillary said that she found her voice. Clinton's win in New Hampshire was the first time a woman had ever won a major American party's presidential primary for the purposes of delegate selection. The debates between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were fierce and personal at times. For a time, the Obamas and the Clintons couldn’t stand each other. Barack Obama won the South Carolina primary, and Bill Clinton said that his or Obama’s campaign was a farce. He or Bill Clinton made the slick, racist comment that if Obama existed decades ago, he would give him some coffee. Later, the Obamas and the Clintons reconciled. The Louisiana, Nebraska, Hawaii, Wisconsin, U.S. Virgin Islands, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia primaries and the Washington and Maine caucuses all took place after Super Tuesday in February. Obama won all of them, giving him 10 consecutive victories after Super Tuesday. At the end, Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination. He was the first African American to have done so. He gave his historic Democratic nomination speech at Denver, Colorado to a large crowd. He criticized John McCain’s policies as policies of the past and linked his views to Bush. Barack Obama was celebrated and achieved even more popularity. The general election dealt with the issues of the Iraq War, the economy, health care (as Barack Obama wanted a national health care system with a private system and a public government option. McCain wanted a more free market health care system), other foreign policy matters, education, and other issues. John McCain was criticized because of being tied to Bush’s Iraq War policies, and Barack Obama was criticized because of experience issues.  Obama and McCain debated numerous times. McCain cited his experience as a factor for those to vote for him, and Obama said that he wanted real change from the past cynicism. Debates came about.

Barack Obama’s strength was that he combined wit, resiliency, and strength. He could take criticism, and he was tested. Pastor Jeremiah Wright gave a provocative speech about America. Wright ironically told the truth about many issues about racial injustice, the evil of the genocide of Native Americans, and the nefarious nature of imperialism. Yet, the far right and some in the media criticized Barack Obama for associating with him. Later, Barack Obama had his Philadelphia race speech where he wanted white people to recognize the legitimate frustration of black people against oppression while telling black people to continue to fight for justice. Obama criticized Wright's speech. It was a moderate speech and the controversy didn’t end his campaign. The general election was very costly. Third Party candidates were abundant like Ralph Nader, Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party, Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, and Cynthia McKinney of the Green Party. Allegations of Republican voter suppression existed in 2008. Election Day was on November 4, 2008. As time came on, Barack Obama won many states never won by Democrats in decades.  Obama won Illinois, the Northeast, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, and other states. McCain, unlike Bush in 2000 and 2004, failed to win all the southern states: Obama won Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia. Obama also won the hotly contested states of Iowa and New Mexico, which Al Gore had won in 2000 and George W. Bush in 2004. After Obama won California by 11:00 pm. EST, the major American networks cited Barack Obama as the new President of the United States of America. It was a historic moment as President Barack Obama was the first African American President in American history.

People celebrated in Grant Park in Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Atlanta, Harlem, and other places. 250,000 people were in Grant Park. Jesse Jackson cried, and Oprah Winfrey cheered. Broken down by age group, voters under 35 voted for Obama by a large majority with McCain most popular among voters over 60. Voters between 35 and 59 were nearly split 50/50 between the two candidates. Expressed as a percentage of eligible voters, 131.2 million votes could reflect a turnout as high as 63.0% of eligible voters, which would be the highest since 1960. This 63.0% turnout rate is based on an estimated eligible voter population of 208,323,000. Another estimate puts the eligible voter population at 213,313,508, resulting in a turnout rate of 61.6%, which would be the highest turnout rate since 1968. Even in southern states in which Obama was unsuccessful, such as Georgia and Mississippi; due to large African American turnout he was much more competitive than John Kerry in 2004.  John McCain gave a gracious concession speech in Arizona. Barack Obama gave his victory speech at Grant Park in Chicago. Barack Obama talked about the future and the responsibility of America to make a better America. The election of President Barack Obama would start a new era of America. It caused an emotional high for people, and it represented how the same issues of race, class, sex, and culture still impacted American society at the same time. The legacy of President Barack Obama would be a mixture of his achievements and mistakes. What Obama is to the liberal movement is akin to what Reagan was to the conservative movement. Nothing would be the same again with President Barack Obama.

The first decade of the 21st century was the time of the beginning of my adulthood. I was 18 years old in the year of 2001. It was the time of the start of the war on terror, the expansion of music, economic global recession, and the growth of globalization. More environmental issues were discussed (like animal extinction and climate change), and we saw political leaders arise. The music of the 2000’s was diverse. One common denominator in the music of that decade was it saw hip hop become the most dominant music of the human race. Hip hop grown into being embraced by tons of people, and it made corporations earn billions of dollars in profit. Crunk, snap, hyphy, and alternative hip hop was popular. The center of hip hop expanded outside of New York into areas like Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, the Bay Area, Miami, Detroit, St. Louis, Virginia, Los Angeles, etc. With its strengths, controversies, and accessibility, hip hop was potent in the 2000’s.  Also, rock, pop, metal, R&B, EDM, country, and indie had their own unique style too in that decade. Computer technology expanded and Napster went out of business since many musicians abhorred them using their content without their permission. Ironically, the end of Napster was the beginning of the end of retail stores selling CDs, etc. Online devices like Ipods and iTunes made buying songs more accessible. YouTube caused more bands and artists to spread their message quicker than going into a large corporate meeting. Nu-disco and post-punk was alive. Teen pop continued with groups like NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. Contemporary R&B was one of the most popular genres of the decade (especially in the early and mid-2000's) which was immensely popular throughout the decade with artists like Usher, Beyoncé, and Rihanna. In 2004, the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 had 15 of its top 25 singles as Contemporary R&B.

In Britain, Britpop, post punk revival and rock were at the height their popularity with acts such as Coldplay, The Libertines, Oasis, Lynda Thomas, Travis, Dido, Blur, The Hives, Björk, and Radiohead, which still continued at the top of the major charts in the rest of the world since the 1990's. J-pop and K-pop flourished in the 2000’s. Reggae, reggaeton, and other songs grew. By the year of 2000, Mariah Carey was celebrated. Craig David debuted his album Born to Do It. Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP was released in 2000 being very controversial. Outkast’s Stankonia took hip hop music into another level. Madonna and Britney Spears released albums. The summer of 2001 saw the tragic passing of Sister Aaliyah, who was one of the greatest artists of our generation. George Harrison of the Beatles passed away in the same year. Michael Jackson released his last studio album called Invincible in 2001. In 2002, the heart and soul of TLC Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes died in Central America. Kelly Clarkson won the first American Idol award in the year of 2002. 2003 was the year of Beyoncé. Her album Dangerously in Love increased her career. She was a songwriter and producer of the album. She won five Grammy Awards the following year for the album. Dangerously in Love has sold over eleven million copies worldwide and produced two US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles – "Crazy in Love" and "Baby Boy" – and two top five singles – "Me, Myself and I" and "Naughty Girl.” Beyonce's future albums of B'Day and I Am Sasha Fierce would cause her to have superstar status. 21st century music is defined in part by Beyonce. Linkin Park released Meterora in 2003. Also, Otutkast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below opened doors and pushed the envelope in hip hop.  50 Cent and Gunit made records in 2003 too. The Black Eyed Peas’s Elephunk mixed pop and hip hop influences. Evanescence’s Fallen was popular too. Nina Simone, Cecil Cruz, June Carter Cash, Johnny Cash, and other artists passed away in the year of 2003.

Kanye West made an impact with The College Dropout in 2004. He can at times speak the truth and in other times be very narcissistic plus inaccurate. The Grey Album was released by Danger Mouse in 2004. Green Day’s American Idiot had critical acclaim. In 2005, Mariah Carey released her 10-million selling The Emancipation of Mimi, the best-selling album of the year worldwide, alongside the album's second single "We Belong Together", the year's most successful single, and the Song of the Decade 2000–2009. Luther Vandross and John Herald passed away in 2005. Madonna released Confessions on a Dance Floor, her 10th studio album. It wins a Grammy award, Brit award, sells in excess of 12 million copies and has the worldwide hit "Hung Up" which tops the charts in a record-breaking 41 countries. Kanye West’s Late Registration grew his popularity. From 2006 to the year of 2008, there were new pop acts like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and other people. In 2007, Rihanna’s third studio album called Good Girl Gone Bad made her into the new superstar. She had music in the mainstream in 2005 with Music of the Sun and A Girl Like Me in 2006. Rihanna’s Umbrella song was one of the most popular songs of the 21st century. She won her first Grammy at 2008. In 2008, Lady Gaga released her first album called Fame. Lady Gaga explores love, romance, sexuality, and other topics in her music and in her politics. In 2008, Lil Wayne released Tha Carter III and sold 1 million copies in the first week, becoming the bestselling album of 2008. Kanye West released 808s and Heartbreak. In 2009, Michael Jackson passed away in California. The Black Eyed Peas, Flo Rida, Lady Gaga, and other artists show music. By the end of this decade, the seeds of mumble rap would grow. 

The culture of the 2000s was very expansive. Internet communication expanded with YouTube, Facebook, and other social media devices. We saw the euro be part of the European Union as a currency. The growth of China was real. With science, research found full genome sequences. The first self-contained artificial heart was implanted in Robert Tools. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission successfully reached the surface of Mars in 2004, and sent detailed data and images of the landscape there back to Earth. Opportunity discovers evidence that an area of Mars was once covered in water. Both rovers were each expected to last only 90 days, however both completely exceeded expectations and continued to explore through the end of the decade and beyond. GPS systems are popular in vehicles. Mobile communications develop. Text messaging became commonplace. The iPhone was released in 2007 being the first modern smartphone. It was Steve Jobs’ brainchild. Google is the most visited website, and broadband internet usage jumped forward. More people used plastic surgery and antidepressants during the 2000's than the 1990’s. TV shows and movies were very prominent in the first decade of the 21st century too. Computer generated films flourished in the 2000’s. 2004's Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore is the highest grossing documentary of all time. Online films became popular, and conversion to digital cinema started. Avatar was a science fiction film directed by James Cameron. He used cutting edge motion capture techniques. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Passion of Christ (with massive violence and other controversies), etc. received awards.  The superhero film genre experienced renewed and intense interest throughout the 2000's. With high ticket and DVD sales, several new superhero films were released every year. The X-Men, Batman and Spider-Man series were particularly prominent, and other notable films in the genre included Daredevil (2003), The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003), Hulk (2003), Hellboy (2004), Fantastic Four (2005), Iron Man (2008), The Incredible Hulk (2008), and Watchmen (2009). Some media commentators attributed the increased popularity of such franchises to the social and political climate in Western society since the September 11 terrorist attacks; although others argued advances in special effects technology played a more significant role. The Dark Knight (released in 2008 and directed by Christopher Nolan) is often considered to be one of the greatest superhero films ever made. The Dark Knight is a film about Batman.

Fashion in the 2000’s included emo, 80’s fashion, large glasses, crop tops, cargo pants, fitted pants, etc. Journalism became more opinionated. Opinion journalists back then include Hannity, O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Phil Donahue, and others. In the 2000's, African Americans had their own films dealing with drama, comedy, thrillers, etc. like Love and Basketball (2000), Why Did I Get Married? (2007), The Great Debaters (2007), I am Legend (2007), Stomp the Yard (2007), Remember the Titans (2000),  Brown Sugar (2002), Two Can Play That Game (2001), The Original Kings of Comedy (2000), Bamboozled (2000), Paid in Full (2002), Antoine Fisher (2002), Akeelah and the Bee (2006), and other movies. Black TV shows were still in abundance like Everyone Hates Chris, Girlfriends, The Chappelle Show, One on One, The Parkers, The Bernie Mac Show, My Wife and Kids, That’s so Raven, Moesha, The Game, The Steve Harvey show, Meet the Browns, etc. The 2000's saw the rise of reality television from Dancing with the Stars to Survivor including Flavor of Love. Shows like CSI, Grey’s Anatomy, and the Ghost Whisperer were watched. Controversial cartoons like South Park and Family Guy were increasingly watched. The decade also saw the rise of premium cable dramas such as The Sopranos, Deadwood, The Wire, Battlestar Galactica, Breaking Bad and Mad Men. The critic Daniel Mendelsohn wrote a critique of Mad Men in which he also claimed this last decade was a golden age for episodic television, citing Battlestar Galactica, The Wire, and the network series Friday Night Lights as especially deserving of critical and popular attention. In terms of sports, many Americans and people globally excelled. From the Redeem Team winning Olympic gold in 2008 at Beijing to many other champions, human athletes have inspired the world. These athletes are Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Shelly-Ann Fraser, Veronica Campbell-Brown, Sanya Richards, Allyson Felix, Natasha Hastings, etc. Sixth and Seventh generation video games from PlayStation to X-box dealt with action, science fiction, sports, and other genres. The Call of Duty series was extremely popular during the 2000's; the diverse shooter franchise released multiple games throughout the 2000's that were positively critically reviewed and commercially successful. The 2000's was the beginning of a new technological revolution indeed.

By Timothy

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Virginia's Story Part 1

The rays of a sunset spread over mountain ridges that turn from green to purple and blue as they progress toward the horizon.The nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) transits the Elizabeth River at Norfolk Naval Shipyard.

Virginia's Story Part 1

Virginia is my home state. I have lived in it for over 35 years. Therefore, I know about its extensive history and culture. This following story of Virginia will cover thousands of years and people from numerous backgrounds. From the Tidewater region to the Piedmont, the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Appalachian Mountains region, we know of the geographic beauty of the state of Virginia. Virginia is not only part of America, but Virginia is an integral part of the whole essence of what America is. This is the land where the Native Americans formed complex civilizations. This is the land where descendants of black African slaves became a Governor, became civil rights heroes, and led lives of distinction plus heroism. This land has a lot of my relatives to this very day. Every era of American history involve Virginia indirectly or directly. This state is the location of contradicting people like Thomas Jefferson and proclaimers of liberty like Evelyn Butts. The Civil War has a long history in Virginia with Virginia being the location of the capital of the evil Confederacy. Not to mention that this state had leaders who fought oppression and championed civil rights too. It has been conservative for a long time.

Recently, with the state, in the majority, voting for Barack Obama in 2008 plus 2012 including Hillary Clinton in 2016, Virginia is very diverse ideologically. From Alexandria, Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke, and to the rural areas, Virginia certainly encompasses the multicultural atmosphere of the United States of America. It is very important to recognize the strong African American influence in Virginia as a lot of strong, progressive black Americans live in the state today (during the early part of the 21st century). Today, Virginia is one of the most resilient states in the United States of America. It has experienced great controversies and great victories. It is known for its resources in water, transportation, and farming. Now, it is the perfect time to evaluate the mistakes of Virginia and praise people in Virginia who promoted the august values of human dignity and human justice. In the future, Virginia will rise up to even greater heights of technological and social development too. This series about Virginia's story is a 7 part series.

The history of Virginia is long. The indigenous Native Americans lived in Virginia for thousands of years. Anthropologist Helen C. Rountree and others used archaeological and historical research to find 3,000 years of settlement in much of the Tidewater. There is a historical marker. It has been dedicated in 2015, and it stated that recent archaeological work at Pocahontas Island revealed prehistoric habitation dating to about 6,500 B.C. By the 16th century, three main Native American cultures dominated Virginia. There are the Iroquoian, the Eastern Siouan, and the Algonquian. The Algonquian Nanticoke lived on the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula south of the Indian River. The Tidewater region along the Chesapeake Bay coastline seemed to have been controlled by the Algonquian Piscataway (who lived around the Potomac River), the Powhatan plus Chowanoke, or Roanoke (who lived between the James River and Neuse River). Inland of them were two Iroquoian tribes known as the Nottoway, or Managog plus the Meherrin. The rest of Virginia was almost entirely Eastern Sioux, divided between the Monaghan and the Manahoac, who held lands from central West Virginia, through southern Virginia and up to the Maryland border (the region of the Shenandoah River Valley was controlled by a different people). Also, people, connected to the Mississippian Culture, may have just barely crossed over into the state into its southwestern corner. Later, these tribes merged to form the Yuchi.

The Algonquian

Rountree researched the Powhatan, who are Algonquian people. The political structure of the Powhatan was complex. By the late 16th and early 17th centuries, there was a chief named Wahunsunacock. He formed a large, powerful empire. This empire revolved around the conquering or affiliating with about 30 tribes in eastern Virginia. He was called the Powhatan or paramount chief. His area was called Tenakomakah (or “densely inhabited land”). Monacan people threatened the empire. Jamestown was the first English colony, and they were allowed to be settled by Chief Powhatan. Powhatan wanted new military and economic advantages over the Siouans to the west of his people. The following chief, Opechancanough, succeeded him within only a couple of years after contact. He had a much different view of the English. He led several failed uprisings, which caused his people to fracture. Some tribes went south to live among the Chowanoke or north to live among the Piscataway. After that, one of his sons took several Powhatans and moved off to the northwest, becoming the Shawnee. They took over former Susquehannock territories. As recorded in the states of Maryland and Pennsylvania all over the 17th century, they eventually came into the Ohio River Valley. It is believed that they merged with other native peoples to form the powerful confederacy that controlled areas of West Virginia until the Shawnee Wars (1811-1813).

By only 1646, very few Powhatans remained and were policed harshly by the English, no longer even allowed to choose their own leaders. They were organized into the Pamunkey and Mattaponi tribes. They eventually dissolved altogether and merged into Colonial society. The Piscataway were pushed north on the Potomac River early in their history. They were cut off from the rest of their people. While some stayed, others chose to migrate west. Their movements are generally unrecorded in the historical record, but they reappear at Fort Detroit in modern-day Michigan by the end of the 18th century. These Piscataways are said to have moved to Canada and probably merged with the Mississaugas, who had broken away from the Anishinaabeg. They migrated southeast into that same region. Despite that, many Piscataway stayed in Virginia and Maryland until the modern day. Other members of the Piscataway also merged with the Nanticoke. The Nantiocke seem to be in towns. They relocated to New York in 1778. Later, they dissolved with groups joining the Iroquois and Lenape. The Chowanoke were moved to reservation lands by the English in 1677, where they remained until the 19th century. By 1821, they had merged with other tribes and were generally dissolved. However, the descendants of these peoples reformed in the 21st century and re-acquired much of their old reservations in 2014.

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The Eastern Siouan

The Siouan peoples of Virginia originally were a collection of smaller tribes with uncertain affiliation. There are names recorded during the 17th century like that: Monahassanough, Rassawek, Mowhemencho, Monassukapanough, Massinacack, Akenatsi, Mahoc, Nuntaneuck, Nutaly, Nahyssan, Sapon, Monakin, Toteros, Keyauwees, Shakori, Eno, Sissipahaw, Monetons and Mohetons. They lived and migrated throughout what is now West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. All of these people were said to have spoken at least two distinct languages. They are Saponi, which appears to be a missing link language existing between the Chiwere and Dhegihan variants. The other language is Catawba (which is most closely related to Biloxi and the Gulf Coast Siouan languages). John Smith was the first to note the two groups in the Virginian interior—the Monaghans and the Monahoacs. The words came from the Powhatan & translations are uncertain, however Monaghan seems similar to a known Lenape word, Monaquen, which means "to scalp."  They were also commonly referred to as the Eastern Blackfoot, which explains why some Saponi today identify as the Siouan-Blackfoot people, and later still as the Christannas.

Many people assumed that the Eno, Shakori, and Sapoini lived inland of the Powhatan. Around the James River, there were the Occaneechi or Akenatsi. They were assumed to be the grandfather tribe of the region. In West Virginia, there was the Moneton of the Kanawha River and the Tutelo of the Bluestone River, which separates West Virginia from Kentucky. About midway along the southern shores of the James River, there has been the Sissipahaw. They were probably the only Eastern Siouan tribe in the state who would have spoken a form of Catawba language, rather than Saponi/ Tutelo. North of them were the Manahoac, or Mahock. The Keyauwee are also of note. It is difficult to say whether they were a subtribe of others mentioned, a newly formed tribe, or from somewhere else. These people lived on the current western border of Virginia and up through some of the southwestern mountains of West Virginia plus Kentucky. They seem to have first been driven east by the Iroquoian Westo during the Beaver Wars.  Historians have since come to note that the Westo were almost definitely the Erie and Neutrals/Chonnonton, who had conquered wide swathes (of what is now northern and eastern Ohio approximately during the 1630's). They were subsequently conquered and driven out by the Iroquois Confederacy around 1650. The Tutelo of West Virginia first seem to be noted as living north of the Saponi, in northern Virginia in around 1670. The Iroquois lost their new lands in Ohio and Michigan to the French via the Beaver Wars. The Iroquois later fought the Saponi related tribes and pushed them down into North Carolina.

It is noted in 1701 that the Saponi, Tutelo, Occaneechi, Shakori and Keyauwee were then going to form a confederacy to take back their homeland.  The Saponi wanted to return to their lands, but they weren’t able to do so. By 1702, the Governor of Virginia Colony gave them reservation land and opened Fort Christanna. The fort offered Native Americans economic and educational aid to the locals. The fort was closed in 1718 and the Saponi left. With continued conflicts between the Saponi and Iroquois in the region, the governors of Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York all stepped in together to organize a peace treaty, which did ultimately end the conflict. Sometime around 1722, the Tutelo and some other Saponis migrated to the Iroquoian held Pennsylvania territory and settled there. Among many other refugees of local tribes who had been destroyed, they were absorbed into Colonial society, or simply moved on without them. At 1753, the Iroquois reorganized them into the Tutelo, Delaware, and Nanticoke tribes. They were relocated to New York and were given full honors among the Confederacy. They weren’t Iroquoian though. After the American Revolution, these tribes accompanied them to Canada. Later, the descendants of the Tutelos migrated again to Ohio, becoming the Saponi and Tutelo Tribes of Ohio. Many of the other Siouan peoples of Virginia were also noted to have merged with the Catawba and Yamasee tribes.

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The Iroquoian

The Tuscarora migrated from Virginia into the Delmarva Peninsula in the early 17th century. John Smith noted them on an early map as the Kuskarawocks, (They may have also absorbed the Tockwoghs, who also appear on the map and were most likely Iroquoian). After an extended war with the English, the Tuscarora began leaving for New York and began merging with the Iroquois in groups around 1720. This continued until the Iroquois were banished to Canada following the American Revolution. Those who remained became a new tribe—the Coharie—and migrated south to live near the Meherrin. The Meherrin worked with the Tuscarora in a war. In 1717, the English gave them a reservation just south of the North Carolina border. The North Carolina government contested their land rights and tried to take them away due to a surveyor's error that caused both Native and English settlers to claim parts of the reservation.

However, they managed to, more or less, stay put well into the modern day. The Nottoway also managed to largely stay in the vicinity of Virginia until the modern day without much conflict or loss of heritage. The Iroquois had issues with the Susquehannocks of central Pennsylvania, as was the English colony of Maryland. Although, the two were not known to be allies themselves. Sometime around the 1650's or 1660's, Maryland made peace with and allied themselves to the Susquehannocks. Thus, the Iroquois labelled them an enemy as well. This comes despite being allied with England by this time. After ending their war with the Susquehannocks in 1674, however, the Iroquois went on a more or less inexplicable rampage against Maryland and its remaining Native allies (which included the Piscataways and the Eastern Siouans tribes). The Eastern Siouans were forced out of the state during the 1680's. After the Beaver Wars officially ended in 1701, the Iroquois sold off their extended holdings—including their land in Virginia—to the English. The West Iroquoian people invaded Virginia. They were called the Westo.

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Other Native American peoples

There were many Spanish and English explorers who said that the Cherokee were found as north as Virginia. Some historians believe that there were a large mixed language confederacy in the region called the Coosa.  The Spanish also gave them the nicknames Chalaques and Uchis during the 16th century. The English turned Chalaques into Cherokees. The Cherokees we know today were among these people but lived much further south. Both the Cherokee language (of Iroquoian origin) and the Yuchi language (Muskogean) have been heavily modified by Siouan influence (and carry many Siouan borrow words). This nation would have existed throughout parts of the states of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. There were scores of different culture groups organized at different extremes of the territory, probably, speaking Yuchi as a common tongue. After the Westo punched straight through them, they seem to have split along the line of the Tennessee River to create the Cherokee to the south and the Yuchi to the north. Then, following the Yamasee War (1715–1717), the Yuchi were forced across Appalachia and split again, into the Coyaha and the Chisca. The French, seeing an opportunity for new allies, ingratiated themselves with the Chisca and had them relocated to the heart of the Illinois Colony to live among the Algonquian Ilinoweg.

Later, as French influence along the Ohio River waned, the tribe seems to have split away again, taking many Ilinoweg tribes with them, and moved back to Kentucky, where they became the Kispoko. The Kispoko later became the fourth tribe of Shawnee. Meanwhile, the Coyaha reforged their alliance with the Cherokee and brought in many of the smaller Muskogean tribes of Alabama (often referred to as the Mobilians) to form the Creek Confederacy. While this tribe would go on to have great historical influence to the remaining Colonial Era and the early history of the United States, they never returned to Virginia. Furthermore, alike the Sawannos, it seems many splinter groups fractured off from the core group and moved into places like West Virginia including Kentucky. Afterwards, those lands seemed to be filled with native peoples who claimed "Cherokee" ancestry, yet had no organized tribal affiliation. The descendants of those people live throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Ohio today. However, it also seems probable that these populations married into the surviving Monongahela and other Siouan groups. Yet, the populations must have been quite small on both sides to allow these peoples to create  a government. They remained nomadic for a great deal of time afterwards.

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Early European exploration

European explorers traveled to the New World by the 15th century. Later, European states started to form their colonies. England, the Dutch Republic, France, Portugal, and Spain were very active in forming new colonies in America.  Spanish Spanish explorers regularly traveled into Virginia. By 1540, there was a party of people. They were led by two Spaniards whose names were Juan De Villalobos and Francisco de Silvera. They were sent by Hernando de Soto as part of a search for gold in now Lee County. By the spring of 1567, Hernando Moyano de Morales, who was a sergeant of Spanish explorer Juan Pardo, led a group of soldiers northward from Fort San Juan in Joara (or a native town in western North Carolina) to attack and destroy the Chisca village of Maniatique near the present day Saltville. The attack near Saltville was the first recorded European vs. Native American related battle in Virginia history. There was another Spanish party. This group was captained by Antonio Velazquez in the caravel called Santa Catalina. They explored the lower Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia in mid-1561 under the orders of Angel de Villafane.

During the voyage, two Kiskiack or Paspahegh youth including Don Luis were taken back to Spain. An expedition sent from Spanish Florida in 1566, which was sent by Pedro Menedez de Aviles, reached the Delmarva Peninsula. The expedition was made up of two Dominican friars, thirty soldiers, and Don Luis. They failed to set up a Spanish colony in the Chesapeake. They believed it to be an opening in the fabled Northwest Passage. In 1570, Spanish Jesuits established the Ajacán Mission on the Lower Peninsula. However, in 1571 it was destroyed by Don Luis and a party of his indigenous allies. In August 1572, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés arrived from St. Augustine with thirty soldiers and sailors to take revenge for the massacre of the Jesuits, and hanged approximately 20 Native Americans. In 1573, the governor of Spanish Florida, Pedro Menéndez de Márquez, conducted further exploration of the Chesapeake. In the 1580's, captain Vicente González led several voyages into the Chesapeake in search of English settlements in the area. In 1609, Spanish Florida governor Pedro de Ibarra sent Francisco Fernández de Écija from St. Augustine to survey the activities of the Jamestown colonists, yet Spain never attempted a colony after the failure of the Ajacán Mission.

The English

The Roanoke Colony was the first English colony in the Americas. It was created at Roanoke Island at Dare County, North Carolina (which was called Virginia back then). Sir Walter Raleigh, between 1584 and 1587, sponsored two major groups of settlers. He wanted to form a permanent settlement at Roanoke Island, but each attempt failed. The final group disappeared completely after supplies from England were delayed three years by a war with Spain. They were called “The Lost Colony” since they disappeared. The name Virginia came from information gathered by the Raleigh-sponsored English explorations along what is now the North Carolina coast. Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe reported that a regional "king" named Wingina ruled a land of Wingandacoa. Queen Elizabeth modified the name to "Virginia", perhaps in part noting her status as the "Virgin Queen." Although the word is latinate, it stands as the oldest English language place-name in the United States. On the second voyage, Raleigh discovered that, while the chief of the Secotans was indeed called Wingina, the expression wingandacoa, heard by the English upon arrival, actually meant "You wear good clothes" in Carolina Algonquian, and was not the native name of the country, as previously misunderstood.

The Virginia Company of London existed. After Queen Elizabeth I died, King James I assumed the throne of England in 1603. This came after years of war. England was soon strapped for funds. So, he granted responsibility for England’s American colonization to the Virginia Company. The Virginia Company became incorporated as a joint stock company by a proprietary charter drawn up in 1606. There were two competing branches of the Virginia Company and each hoped to establish a colony in Virginia in order to exploit gold (which the region did not actually have), to establish a base of support for English privateering against Spanish ships, and to spread Protestantism to the New World in competition with Spain's spread of Catholicism. Within the Virginia Company, the Plymouth Company branch was assigned a northern portion of the area known as Virginia, and the London Company area to the south.


In December of 1606, the London Company sent 104 colonists in three ships. They were called the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery. They were under command of Captain Christopher Newport. The voyage of the ships was long and harsh. It lasted 144 days. The colonists came to Virginia by April 26, 1607 at the entrance of the Chesapeake Bay. At Cape Henry, they went ashore, erected a cross, and did a small amount of exploring. This event was called the “First Landing.” Under orders from London to seek a more inland location safe from Spanish raids, they explored the Hampton Roads area and sailed up the newly christened James River to the Fall Line at what would later become the cities of Richmond and Manchester. The colonists explored for weeks. They found a location and founded Jamestown on May 14, 1607. It was named after King James I (as was the river). Yet, while the location of Jamestown Island was favorable for defense against foreign ships, the low and marshy terrain was harsh. It was also inhospitable for a settlement. It lacked drinking water, access to game for hunting, or much space for farming.

While it seemed favorable that it was not inhabited by the Native Americans, within a short time, the colonists were attacked by members of the local Paspahegh tribe. The colonists arrived ill-prepared to become self-sufficient. They had planned on trading with the Native Americans for food, were dependent upon periodic supplies from England, and had planned to spend some of their time seeking gold. Leaving the Discovery behind for their use, Captain Newport returned to England with the Susan Constant and the Godspeed, and came back twice during 1608 (with the First Supply and Second Supply missions). Trading and relations were very tenuous. Many of the colonists died from disease, starvation, and conflicts with the Native Americans. There were many failed English leaders. Captain John Smith took charge of the settlement. Many credit him with sustaining the colony during its first years, as had some success in trading for food and leading the discouraged colonists.

After Smith’s return to England in August of 1609, there was a long delay in the scheduled arrival of supplies. During the winter of 1609/10 and continuing into the spring and early summer, no ships arrived. The colonists faced the era of “starving time.”  When the new governor Sir Thomas Gates, finally arrived at Jamestown on May 23, 1610, along with other survivors of the wreck of the Sea Venture that resulted in Bermuda being added to the territory of Virginia, he discovered over 80% of the 500 colonists had died; many of the survivors were sick.

Back in England, the Virginia Company was reorganized under its Second Charter, ratified on May 23, 1609, which gave most leadership authority of the colony to the governor, the newly appointed Thomas West, 3rd Baron De La Warr. In June 1610, he arrived with 150 men and ample supplies. De La Warr began the First Anglo-Powhatan War, against the Native Americans. Under his leadership, Samuel Argall kidnapped Pocahontas, daughter of the Powhatan chief, and held her at Henricus. There were economic problems in the Colony too. Gold never was found. Efforts to make profitable industries in the colony failed until John Rolfe introduced his two foreign types of tobacco: Orinoco and Sweet Scented. These produced a better crop than the local variety and with the first shipment to England in 1612, the customers enjoyed the flavor, thus making tobacco a cash crop that established Virginia's economic viability.

The First Anglo-Powhatan War ended when Rolfe married Pocahontas in 1614. George Yeardley was the Governor of Virginia by 1619. He ended the one man rule and created a representative system of government with the General Assembly or the first elected European legislative assembly in the Americas. In 1619, the Virginia Company sent 90 single women as potential wives for the male colonists to help populate the settlement. That same year the colony acquired a group of "twenty and odd" Angolans, brought by two English privateers. They were some of the first Africans in the colony. They, along with many European indentured servants helped to expand the growing tobacco industry which was already the colony's primary product. Although these black men were treated as indentured servants, this marked the beginning of America's history of slavery. Major importation of enslaved Africans by European slave traders did not take place until much later in the century. In some areas, individual rather than communal land ownership or leaseholds were established, providing families with motivation to increase production, improve standards of living, and gain wealth. Sir Thomas Dale’s Henricus was a development on the south bank of the James River. This was where Native Americans were also to be provided an education at the Colony’s first college. About 6 miles (9.7 km) south of the falls at present-day Richmond, in Henrico Cittie, the Falling Creek Ironworks was established near the confluence of Falling Creek, using local ore deposits to make iron. It was the first in North America.

Virginians were intensely individualistic at this point, weakening the small new communities. According to Breen (1979) their horizon was limited by the present or near future. They believed that the environment could and should be forced to yield quick financial returns. Thus everyone was looking out for number one at the expense of the cooperative ventures. Farms were scattered and few villages or towns were formed. This extreme individualism led to the failure of the settlers to provide defense for themselves against the Native Americans, resulting in two massacres.

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English settlers and Native Americans in Virginia were known for their further conflicts. There were some successful interactions. Yet, they disagreed with issues of ownership, control of land, and disputes about dealing with other resources. This grew distrust of many peoples. Virginia had drought conditions on an average of every three years. The colonists didn’t understand that the Native Americans were ill-prepared to feed them during hard times. In the years after 1612, the colonists cleared land to farm export tobacco, their crucial cash crop. As tobacco exhausted the soil, the settlers continually needed to clear more land for replacement. This reduced the wooded land which Native Americans depended on for hunting to supplement their food crops. As more colonists arrived, they wanted more land. The tribes fought the encroachment by the colonists. There was the massacre of Native Americans in 1622 and the Second Anglo-Powhatan war. Both wars were under the  leadership of the late Chief Powhatan's younger brother, Chief Opechancanough. 

By the mid-17th century, the Powhatan and allied tribes were in serious decline in population, due in large part to epidemics of newly introduced infectious diseases, such as smallpox and measles, to which they had no natural immunity. The European colonists had expanded territory so that they controlled virtually all the land east of the fall line on the James River. Fifty years earlier, this territory had been the empire of the mighty Powhatan Confederacy. The surviving members of many tribes assimilated into the general population of the colony. Some had small communities with more traditional identity and heritage. By the 21st century, the Pamunkey and Mattaponi are the only two tribes to maintain reservations originally assigned under the English. As of 2010, the state has recognized 11 Virginia Native American tribes. Others have a renewed interest in seeking state and federal recognition since the 400th year anniversary of Jamestown in 2007.

There are many celebrations from Native American tribes showing their prominent formal roles in building up the state of Virginia. English forces grew their powers in 1619 and beyond. They wanted more tobacco, many Native Americans were concerned about this like the Powhatan. By this time, the remaining Powhatan Empire was led by Chief Opechancanough, chief of the Pamunkey, and brother of Chief Powhatan. He had earned a reputation as a fierce warrior under his brother's chiefdom. Soon, he gave up on hopes of diplomacy, and resolved to eradicate the English colonists. On March 22, 1622, the Powhatan killed about 400 colonists in the Indian Massacre of 1622. With coordinated attacks, they struck almost all the English settlements along the James River, on both shores, from Newport News Point on the east at Hampton Roads all the way west upriver to Falling Creek, a few miles above Henricus and John Rolfe's plantation, Varina Farms.

At Jamestown, a warning by a Native American boy named Chanco to his employer, Richard Pace, helped to reduce total deaths. Pace secured his plantation. He rowed across the river during the night to alert Jamestown. Those colonists there used some defensive preparation at almost every locations. Several entire communities were essentially wiped out, including Henricus and Wolstenholme Towne at Martin's Hundred. At the Falling Creek Ironworks, which had been seen as promising for the Colony, two women and three children were among the 27 killed, leaving only two colonists alive. The facilities were destroyed.

Despite the losses, two thirds of the colonists survived; after withdrawing to Jamestown, many returned to the outlying plantations, although some were abandoned. The English carried out reprisals against the Powhatan and there were skirmishes and attacks for about a year before the colonists and Powhatan struck a truce. The colonists invited the chiefs and warriors to Jamestown. They proposed a toast of liquor.  Dr. John Potts and some of the Jamestown leadership had poisoned the Native Americans' share of the liquor, which killed about 200 men. Colonists killed another 50 Native Americans by hand. The period between the coup of 1622 and another Powhatan attack on English colonists along the James River (see Jamestown) in 1644 marked a turning point in the relations between the Powhatan and the English. In the early period, each side believed it was operating from a position of power; by the Treaty of 1646, the colonists had taken the balance of power, and had established control between the York and Blackwater Rivers.

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Governor Berkeley and the English Civil War

The Virginia Company’s charter was revoked in 1624. The colony transferred to the royal authority as a crown colony. Yet, the elected representatives in Jamestown continue to have a fair amount of power.  Under royal authority, the colony began to expand to the North and West with additional settlements. In 1634, a new system of local government was created in the Virginia Colony by order of the King of England. Eight shires were designated, each with its own local officers; these shires were renamed as counties only a few years later. The first major attempts at exploring the Trans-Allegheny region (by the English) happened under the administration of Governor William Berkeley. There were English attempts to go further into Virginia. That was hampered in 1644. The reason was that about 500 colonists were killed in another Native American massacred led by Opechancanough. Berkeley is credited with efforts to develop other sources of income for the colony other like tobacco (like the cultivation of mulberry trees for silkworms and other crops at his large Green Spring Plantation). The colonists viewed the 1644 event as an uprising.  Chief Opechancanough expected the outcome would reflect what he considered the morally correct position: that the colonists were violating their pledges to the Powhatan. During the 1644 event, Chief Opechancanough was captured. While imprisoned, he was murdered by one of his guards.

After the death of Opechancanough, and following the repeated colonial attacks in 1644 and 1645, the remaining Powhatan tribes had little alternative but to accede to the demands of the settlers. Most Virginia colonists were loyal to the crown of Charles I during the English Civil War. Yet, in 1652, Oliver Cromwell sent a force to remove and replace Governor Berkeley with Governor Richard Bennett, who was loyal to the Commonwealth of England. This governor was a moderate Puritan who allowed the local legislature to exercise most controlling authority, and spent much of his time directing affairs in neighboring Maryland Colony. Bennett was followed by two more "Cromwellian" governors, Edward Digges and Samuel Matthews, although in fact all three of these men were not technically appointees, but were selected by the House of Burgesses, which was really in control of the colony during these years. Many royalists fled to Virginia after their defeat in the English Civil War. Some intermarried with existing plantation families to create influential families in Virginia like the Washingtons, Randolphs, Carters, and Lees.  However, most 17th-century immigrants were indentured servants, merchants or artisans. After the Restoration, in recognition of Virginia's loyalty to the crown, King Charles II of England bestowed Virginia with the nickname "The Old Dominion", which it still bears today.

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Bacon’s Rebellion

Governor Berkeley was popular after his first administration. He returned to the governorships at the end of Commonwealth rule. Yet, his second administration experienced many problems. They included: disease, hurricanes, battles with Native Americans, and economic difficulties in Virginia. Berkeley formed autocratic authority over the colony. He tried to protect his power by refusing to have new legislative elections for 14 years in order to protect a House of Burgesses that supported him. He only agreed to new elections when rebellion became a serious threat.

Berkeley finally did face a rebellion in 1676. Native Americans started to attack encroaching settlers as they expanded to the north and west. Serious fighting broke out when settlers responded to violence with a counterattack against the wrong tribe. This extended the violence. Berkeley did not assist the settlers in their fight. Many settlers and historians believe Berkeley's refusal to fight the Native Americans stemmed from his investments in the fur trade. Large scale fighting would have cut off the Native Americans suppliers Berkeley's investment relied on. Nathaniel Bacon organized his own militia of settlers who retaliated against the Native Americans. Bacon became very popular as the primary opponent of Berkeley, not only on the issue of Native Americans, but on other issues as well.


Berkeley condemned Bacon as a rebel, but pardoned him after Bacon won a seat in the House of Burgesses and accepted it peacefully. After a lack of reform, Bacon rebelled outright, captured Jamestown, and took control of the colony for several months. The incident became known as Bacon's Rebellion. Berkeley returned himself to power with the help of the English militia. Bacon burned Jamestown before abandoning it and continued his rebellion, but died of disease. Berkeley severely crushed the remaining rebels. In response to Berkeley's harsh repression of the rebels, the English government removed him from office. After the burning of Jamestown, the capital was temporarily moved to Middle Plantation, located on the high ground of the Virginia Peninsula equidistant from the James and York Rivers.

The Williamsburg Governor's Palace in 2000

Williamsburg’s Origin

Local leaders wanted a school of higher education for the sons of planters and for trying to “educate” Native Americans. There was an earlier attempt to establish a permanent university at Henricus failed after the Native American massacre of 1622 that wiped out the entire settlement. Seven decades later, with the encouragement from the Colony's House of Burgesses and other prominent individuals, Reverend Dr. James Blair, the colony's top religious leader, prepared a plan. Blair went to England and in 1693, obtained a charter from Protestants King William and Queen Mary II of England who had just deposed Catholic James II of England in 1688 during the Glorious Revolution. The college was named the College of William and Mary in honor of the two monarchs. The rebuilt statehouse in Jamestown was burned down again in 1698. After that fire, upon suggestion of college students, the colonial capital was permanently moved to nearby Middle Plantation again. The town was renamed Williamsburg in honor of the king. Plans were made to build a capitol building and plan the new city according to the survey of Theodorick Bland.

The English used more and more tobacco products. Tobacco became a large part of the economic force in the Tidewater region surrounding the Chesapeake Bay. Large plantations were built along the rivers of Virginia. Specific social/economic systems were formed to grow and distribute the tobacco cash crop. Some parts of this system included the importation and employment of slaves to grow crops. Planters would then fill large hogsheads with tobacco and convey them to inspection warehouses. In 1730, the Virginia House of Burgesses standardized and improved quality of tobacco exported by establishing the Tobacco Inspection Act of 1730, which required inspectors to grade tobacco at 40 specified locations.

Social Structures

The social structure of colonial Virginia was apparent. Many white people back then were planters. They included the upper middle class and the rich. They had political power and social prestige. They also controlled the Anglican Church. They could choose ministers and handled church property. They were involved in charities and they sought elected and appointed officers. About 60 percent of white Virginians were part of the middle class. They owned farms. By the second generation, death rates from malaria and other local diseases declined. They developed their family structure. About one third of these white Virginians owned no land and verged on poverty. Many people left indentured servitude. Social stratification existed badly in the North Neck. This was where the Fairfax family had been given a proprietorship. In some districts there 70 percent of the land was owned by a handful of families, and three-fourths of the whites had no land at all. In the frontier districts, large numbers of Irish and German Protestants had settled, often moving down from Pennsylvania. Tobacco was not important there; farmers focused on hemp, grain, cattle, and horses. Entrepreneurs had begun to mine and smelt the local iron ores.

Many settlers hunted animals. Slaves hunted. People, who were rich and poor, hunted in colonial Virginia. Sports existed back then.  In 1691, Sir Francis Nicholson, the governor, organized competitions for the "better sort of Virginians only who are Batchelors," and he offered prizes "to be shot for, wrastled, played at backswords, & Run for by Horse and foott." Horse racing was the main event. The typical farmer did not own a horse in the first place, and racing was a matter for gentlemen only, but ordinary farmers were spectators and gamblers. Selected slaves often became skilled horse trainers. Horse racing was especially important for knitting the gentry together. The race was a major public event designed to demonstrate to the world the social status of the gentry through expensive breeding, training, boasting and gambling, and especially winning the races themselves. The historian Timothy Breen wrote that horse racing and high stakes gambling funded the social class system. There was individualism, materialism, and competitiveness back then. After the 1650’s, the corporate elites in Virginia used slavery, racism, and oppression more as a means to maintain control over the Virginia colony.

By 1700, the population reached 70,000 and continued to grow rapidly from a high birth rate, low death rate, importation of slaves from the Caribbean, and immigration from Britain and Germany, as well as from Pennsylvania. The climate was mild; the farm lands were cheap and fertile. During the early 1700’s, Virginia extended its territory past the Shenandoah Valley to West Virginia, Kentucky, and most of the Northwest Territory. There was westward expansion of the colonists. In 1716, Governor Alexander Spotswood led the Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Expedition, reaching the top ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Swift Run Gap (elevation 2,365 feet (721 m)). Spotswood promoted Germanna, a settlement of German immigrants brought over for the purpose of iron production, in modern-day Orange County.

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This painting showed innocent black people awaiting sale. 

Tons of history existed involving African Americans. The first African Americans were in Virginia by the early 1600's. Most black people in early Virginia were slaves and many were free. In 1621, an enslaved African named Antonio arrives in Virginia aboard the James. The following March, he will be one of only a handful of people who manage to survive an Native American attack on the plantation of Edward Bennett. In 1622, an enslaved African woman named Mary arrived in Virginia aboard the Margaret and John. A 1642 census of the Virginia colony reveals about 300 Africans and African Americans (blacks imported to Virginia from the West Indies or second- or third-generation Africans born in Virginia) out of a total population of 15,000. By the 1650's, Anthony and Mary Johnson, two former slaves, are living in Northampton County on the Eastern Shore, where they own 250 acres. Their two sons own adjoining farms of 450 and 100 acres each.

By 1656,  the General Assembly ordered Elizabeth Key, a woman of African descent, to be freed, in part because she is Christian and her father, Thomas Key, is white. In December of 1662, In a newly passed law designed to clarify conditions by which people are enslaved or free, the General Assembly declares that "all children borne in this country shalbe held bond or free only according to the condition of the mother." By 1677, John Johnson Jr., whose grandfather Anthony was a Virginia slave who bought his freedom, buys a forty-four-acre farm in Maryland and names it Angola, suggesting the origin of his family. By the late 1600's, things changed in Virginia. Virginia authorities by that time made it more difficult for black people to own land. Slavery became more race- based and part of the legal fabric of early Virginia. Also, General Assembly in 1691 restricting rights, continuing slavery, outlawing interracial marriage (as interracial marriage did exist back in the 1600's), and making newly freed slaves to leave the colony. Black people, biracial people, and Native Americans couldn't vote back then either.

During the 1730’s, the Three Notch’d Road extended from the vicinity of the fall line of the James River at Richmond to the Shenandoah Valley (it crossed the Blue Ridge Mountains at Jarmans Gap). During this time, Governor William Gooch promoted settlement of the Virginia backcountry as a means to insulate the Virginia colony from the Native American and New France settlements in the Ohio County. In response, a wide variety of settlers traveled southward on the Native Americana Trails called the Great Wagon Road along the Shenandoah Valley from Pennsylvania. More colonists moved into the Piedmont area from the Tidewater/Chesapeake area. There was some uncertainty as to the exact tax boundaries of Virginia land versus the Land patent quit-rentrights held by Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron in the Northern Neck Proprietary. When Robert "King" Carter died in 1732, Lord Fairfax read about his vast wealth in Magazine and decided to settle the matter himself by coming to Virginia. Lord Fairfax travelled to Virginia for the first time between 1735 and 1737 to inspect and protect his lands.  He employed a young George Washington (Washington's first employment) to survey his lands lying west of the Blue Ridge. Once this legal battle was ironed out, Frederick County, Virginia was founded in 1743 and the "Frederick Town" settlements there became a fourth city charter in Virginia, now known as Winchester, Virginia in February 1752.

In the late 1740's and the second half of the 18th century, the British angled for control of the Ohio Country. Virginians Thomas Lee and brothers Lawrence and Augustine Washington organized the Ohio Company to represent the prospecting and trading interests of Virginian investors.  In 1749, the British Crown, via the colonial government of Virginia, granted the Ohio Company a great deal of this territory on the condition that it must be settled by British colonists. Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia was an investor in the Ohio Company, which stood to lose money if the French held their claim. To counter the French military presence in Ohio, in October 1753 Dinwiddie ordered the 21-year-old Major George Washington (whose brother was another Ohio Company investor) of the Virginia Regiment to warn the French to leave Virginia territory. Ultimately, many Virginians were caught up in the resulting French and Indian War that occurred 1754–1763.

At the completion of the war, the Royal Proclamation of 1763 forbade all British settlement past a line drawn along the Appalachian Mountains, with the land west of the Proclamation Line known as the Indian Reserve. British colonists and land speculators objected to the proclamation boundary since the British government had already assigned land grants to them. Many settlements already existed beyond the proclamation line, some of which had been temporarily evacuated during Pontiac's War, and there were many already granted land claims yet to be settled. For example, George Washington and his Virginia soldiers had been granted lands past the boundary. Prominent American colonials joined with the land speculators in Britain to lobby the government to move the line further west. Their efforts were successful, and the boundary line was adjusted in a series of treaties with the Native Americans. In 1768, the Treaty of Fort Stanwix and the Treaty of Hard Labour, followed in 1770 by the Treaty of Lochaber, opened much of what is now Kentucky and West Virginia to British settlement within the Virginia Colony. However, the Northwest Territories north of the Ohio continued to be occupied by native tribes until US forces drove them out in the early decades of the 1800's.

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The Church of England was legally established in the colony in 1619. The Bishop of London sent 22 Anglican clergymen by 1624. Local taxes were sent through the local parish to handle the needs of the local government like roads and poor relief. Salaries were paid to ministers. No bishop existed in colonial Virginia. In practice the local vestry, consisting of gentry laymen controlled the parish. By the 1740's, the Anglicans had about 70 parish priests around the colony. Missionaries didn’t readily convert Native Americans except  for the Nansemond tribe, which had converted in 1638. The other Powhatan tribes converted to Christianity around 1791. The stress on personal piety opened the way for the First Great Awakening in the mid-18th century, which pulled people away from the formal rituals of the established church. Especially in the back country, most families had no religious affiliation whatsoever and their low moral standards were shocking to proper Englishmen. The Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and other evangelicals directly challenged these lax moral standards and refused to tolerate them in their ranks.

Baptists, German Lutherans and Presbyterians, funded their own ministers, and favored disestablishment of the Anglican church. The spellbinding preacher Samuel Davies led the Presbyterians, and converted hundreds of slaves.  By the 1760's Baptists were drawing Virginians, especially poor white farmers, into a new, much more democratic religion. Slaves were welcome at the services, and many became Baptists at this time. Methodist missionaries were also active in the late colonial period. Also, many Baptists were complicit in slavery which shows the imperfections of many religious leaders. Methodists encouraged an end to slavery, and welcomed free black people and slaves into active roles in the congregations.

The Baptists and Presbyterians were subject to many legal constraints and faced growing persecution; between 1768 and 1774, about half of the Baptists ministers in Virginia were jailed for preaching, in defiance of England's Act of Toleration of 1689 that guaranteed freedom of worship for Protestants. At the start of the Revolution, the Anglican Patriots realized that they needed dissenter support for effective wartime mobilization, so they met most of the dissenters' demands in return for their support of the war effort. Historians have debated the implications of the religious rivalries for the American Revolution. The struggle for religious toleration was played out during the American Revolution, as the Baptists, in alliance with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, worked successfully to disestablish the Anglican church. After the American victory in the war, the Anglican establishment sought to reintroduce state support for religion. This effort failed when non-Anglicans gave their support to Jefferson's "Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom", which eventually became law in 1786 as the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. With freedom of religion the new watchword, the Church of England was dis-established in Virginia. It was rebuilt as the Episcopal Church in the United States, with no connection to Britain.

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The American Revolution

There were independence sentiments in Virginia long before the Revolutionary War. After the French and Indian War, there was a tension among the British government and the colonists. That war ended in 1763. The Virginian legislature had passed the Two-Penny Act. This was used to stop clerical salaries from inflating. King George III vetoed the measured. The clergy sued for back salaries. Patrick Henry first came into prominence by arguing in the case of Parson’s Clause against the veto. Henry considered the veto tyrannical. The British government had a large debt via spending on its war. The Parliament wanted to pay off this debt by passing the 1764 Stamp Act and the 1765 Stamp Act. The General Assembly opposed the passage of the Sugar Act on the grounds of no taxation without representation, and in turn passing the "Virginia Resolves" opposing the tax. Governor Francis Fauquier responded by dismissing the Assembly. The Northampton County court overturned the Stamp Act February 8, 1766. Various political groups, including the Sons of Liberty met and issued protests against the act. Most notably, Bland published a pamphlet entitled An Enquiry into the Rights of The British Colonies, setting forth the principle that Virginia was a part of the British Empire, not the Kingdom of Great Britain, so it only owed allegiance to the Crown, not Parliament. The Stamp Act was repealed.

Additional taxation came about via the Revenue Act. There was the 1769 attempt to transport Bostonian rioters to London for trial incited more protest from Virginia. The Assembly met to consider resolutions condemning on the transport of the rioters, but Governor Botetourt, while sympathetic, dissolved the legislature. The Burgesses reconvened in Raleigh Tavern and made an agreement to ban British imports. Britain gave up the attempt to extradite the prisoners and lifted all taxes except the tax on tea in 1770. In 1773, because of a renewed attempt to extradite Americans to Britain, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, George Mason, and others in the legislature created a committee of correspondence to deal with problems with Britain. This committee would serve as the foundation for Virginia's role in the American Revolution.
After the House of Burgesses expressed solidarity with the actions in Massachusetts, the Governor, Lord Dunmore, again dissolved the legislature. The first Virginia Convention was held August 1–6 to respond to the growing crisis. The convention approved a boycott of British goods and elected delegates to the Continental Congress.

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On April 20, 1775, Dunmore ordered the gunpowder removed from the Williamsburg Magazine to a British ship. Patrick Henry led a group of Virginia militia from Hanover in response to Dunmore’s order. Carter Braxton negotiated a resolution to the Gunpowder Incident by transferring royal funds as payment for the powder. The incident caused Dunmore to have more of a declining support. Dunmore fled the Governor’s Palace to a British ship at Yorktown. On November 7, Dunmore issued a proclamation declaring Virginia was in a state of rebellion. By this time, George Washington had been appointed head of the American forces by the Continental Congress and Virginia was under the political leadership of a Committee of Safety formed by the Third Virginia Convention in the governor's absence. On December 9, 1775, Virginia militia moved on the governor’s forces at the Battle of Great Bridge. The Virginia militia won the battle. Dunmore responded by bombarding Norfolk, Virginia with his ships on January 1, 1776.

After the Battle of Great Bridge, little military conflict took place in Virginia soil for the first part of the American Revolutionary War. Yet, Virginia sent forces to help in the fighting in the North and the South (plus in the frontier in the northwest). May 6, 1776 was when the Fifth Virginia Convention met and later it declared Virginia a free and independent state on May 15, 1776. The convention instructed its delegates to introduce a resolution for independence at the Continental Congress. Richard Henry Lee introduced the measure on June 7. While the Congress debated, the Virginia Convention adopted George Mason's Bill of Rights (June 12) and a constitution (June 29) which established an independent commonwealth. Congress approved Lee's proposal on July 2, 1776 and approved Jefferson's Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. The constitution of the Fifth Virginia Convention created a system of government for the state that would last for 54 years, and converting House of Burgesses into a bicameral legislature with both a House of Delegates and a Senate. Patrick Henry served as the first Governor of the Commonwealth (1776-1779). The British briefly brought the war back to coastal Virginia in May 1779.

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Governor Thomas Jefferson feared the vulnerability of Williamsburg, so he moved the capital father inland to Richmond in 1780. Yet, in December, Benedict Arnold betrayed the Revolution. He became a general for the British and attacked Richmond. Part of Richmond, Virginia was burned before the Virginia militia drove Arnold’s army out of the city. Arnold moved his base of operations to Portsmouth, Virginia. He was joined by troops under General William Phillips. Phillips led an expedition that destroyed military and economic targets, against ineffectual militia resistance. The state's defenses, led by General Baron von Steuben, put up resistance in the April 1781 Battle of Blandford, but were forced to retreat. The French General Lafayette and his forces arrived to help defend Virginia, and though outnumbered, engaged British forces under General Charles Cornwallis in a series of skirmishes to help reduce their effectiveness. Cornwallis dispatched two smaller missions under Colonel John Graves Simcoe and Colonel Banastre Tarleton to march on Charlottesville and capture Gov. Jefferson and the legislature, though was foiled when Jack Jouett rode to warn Virginia government.

Cornwallis moved down the Virginia Peninsula towards the Chesapeake Bay. This was where Clinton planned to extract part of the army for a siege of New York City. After surprising American forces at the Battle of Green Spring on July 6, 1781, Cornwallis received orders to move his troops to the port town of Yorktown. The started to construct fortifications and a naval yard, though when discovered American forces surrounded the town. General Washington and his French ally Rochambeau moved their forces from New York to Virginia. The defeat of the Royal Navy by Admiral de Grasse at the Battle of the Virginia Capes ensured French dominance of the waters around Yorktown, thereby preventing Cornwallis from receiving troops or supplies and removing the possibility of evacuation. Following the two-week siege to Yorktown, Cornwallis decided to surrender. Papers for surrender were officially signed on October 19. As a result of the defeat, the king lost control of Parliament, and the new British government offered peace in April 1782. The Treaty of Paris of 1783 officially ended the war. America became fully independent and Virginia would be its own state.

Part 2 of this series will involve the antebellum period and the American Civil War involving the state of Virginia. 

By Timothy