martin luther king jr
Are African Americans part of the “Lost Tribes” mentioned in the Bible? Discover the true 10,000 year history of Black people — and why others tried to erase it! What happened to the doctors, writers, scientists, builders, educators and spiritual leaders from Africa’s Golden Age? And who did they really capture and sell into slavery? Are all African Americans suffering from mental illness because of this conspiracy to hide the truth? Read Psychic Trauma, and take the test on page 22 of this book and find out!
I speak today for the dignity of man and the destiny of Democracy. I urge every member of both parties, Americans of all religions and of all colors, from every section of this country, to join me in this cause.
At times, history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was on the night of February 26, 2012, in Sanford, Florida, United States. There, long suffering men and women peacefully protested the denial of their rights as Americans. Many of them were verbally assaulted. Many blacks have fallen in this part of the country without reprisals.
There is no cause for pride in what has happened in Sanford, Florida. There is no cause for self-satisfaction in the long denial of equal rights of millions of Americans. But there is cause for hope and for faith in our Democracy in what is happening here and now. For the cries of pain and the hymns and protests of oppressed people have summoned into convocation all the majesty of this great government–the government of the greatest nation on earth. Our mission is at once the oldest and the most basic of this country–to right wrong, to do justice, to serve man. In our time we have come to live with the moments of great crises. Our lives have been marked with debate about great issues, issues of war and peace, issues of prosperity and depression.
But rarely in any time does an issue lay bare the secret heart of America itself. Rarely are we met with a challenge, not to our growth or abundance, or our welfare or our security, but rather to the values and the purposes and the meaning of our beloved nation. The issue of equal rights for African Americans is such an issue. And should we defeat every enemy, and should we double our wealth and conquer the stars, and still be unequal to this issue, then we will have failed as a people and as a nation. For, with a country as with a person, “what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
There is no Black problem. There is no Southern problem. There is no Northern problem. There is only an American problem.
And we are met here today as Americans–not as Democrats or Republicans; we’re met here as Americans to solve that problem. This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose.
The great phrases of that purpose still sound in every American heart, North and South: “All men are created equal.” “Government by consent of the governed.” “Give me liberty or give me death.” And those are not just clever words, and those are not just empty theories. In their name Americans have fought and died for two centuries and tonight around the world they stand there as guardians of our liberty risking their lives. Those words are promised to every citizen that he shall share in the dignity of man. This dignity cannot be found in a man’s possessions. It cannot be found in his power or in his position. It really rests on his right to be treated as a man equal in opportunity to all others. It says that he shall share in freedom. He shall choose his leaders, educate his children, provide for his family according to his ability and his merits as a human being.
To apply any other test, to deny a man his hopes because of his color or race or his religion or the place of his birth is not only to do injustice, it is to deny Americans and to dishonor the dead who gave their lives for American freedom. Our fathers believed that if this noble view of the rights of man was to flourish it must be rooted in democracy. This most basic right of all was the right to choose your own leaders. The history of this country in large measure is the history of expansion of the right to all of our people.
Many of the issues of civil rights are very complex and most difficult. But about this there can and should be no argument: every American citizen must have an equal right to vote, the equal right to life and liberty and prosperity. There is no reason which can excuse the denial of those rights. There is no duty which weighs more heavily on us than the duty we have to insure those rights. Yet the harsh fact is that in many places in this country men and women are kept from voting and simply walking the streets and working simply because they are Black.
Every device of which human ingenuity is capable, has been used to deny these rights. The Black citizen may go to register only to be told that the day is wrong, or the hour is late, or the official in charge is absent. And if he persists and, if he manages to present himself to the registrar, he may be disqualified because he did not spell out his middle name, or because he abbreviated a word on the application. And if he manages to fill out an application, he is given a test. The registrar is the sole judge of whether he passes this test. He may be asked to recite the entire Constitution, or explain the most complex provisions of state law. He may even be asked for Identification and the most ingenious new question, “Are you a felon”? All of which have been devised to oppress a tribe of people that only want equality.
And even a college degree cannot be used to prove that he can read and write. For the fact is that the only way to pass these barriers is to show a white skin. Experience has clearly shown that the existing process of law cannot overcome systematic and ingenious discrimination. The “Stand Your Ground Laws” Disenfranchisement laws for equality to work for felons and let us not forget the NRA’s secretive believes such as “WWB’ and BWWH.(walking while black or Black wearing hoody) laws that allows all blacks to be open season for those who care to get a stab at the American dream of book deal after the senseless murder of black humans. No law that we now have on the books, can insure the right to vote, work or live or co-exist with a white supremacy agenda when local officials are determined to deny it. In such a case, our duty must be clear to all of us. The Constitution says that no person shall be kept from voting or equality because of his race or his color.
And we shall overcome.
A century has passed–more than 100 years–since equality was promised, and yet the Black is not equal. A century has passed since the day of promise, and the promise is unkept. The time of justice has now come, and I tell you that I believe sincerely that no force can hold it back. It is right in the eyes of man and God that it should come, and when it does, I think that day will brighten the lives of every American. For Blacks are not the only victims. How many white children have gone uneducated? How many white families have lived in stark poverty? How many white lives have been scarred by fear, because we wasted energy and our substance to maintain the barriers of hatred and terror?
And so I say to all of you here and to all in the nation tonight that those who appeal to you to hold on to the past do so at the cost of denying you your future. This great rich, restless country can offer opportunity and education and hope to all–all, black and white, North and South, sharecropper and city dweller. These are the enemies: poverty, ignorance, disease. They are our enemies, not our fellow man, not our neighbor.
And these enemies too–poverty, disease and ignorance–we shall overcome.
Now let none of us in any section look with prideful righteousness on the troubles in another section or the problems of our neighbors. There is really no part of America where the promise of equality has been fully kept. In Chicago as well as in Los Angeles, in Sanford Florida as well as Washington, D.C., Americans are struggling for the fruits of freedom.
This is one nation. What happens in Sanford and Chicago is a matter of legitimate concern to every American. But let each of us look within our own hearts and our own communities and let each of us put our shoulder to the wheel to root out injustice wherever it exists.
“Right-wing conservatives and left-wing radicals here in the U.S. must be willing and able to sit down at the same table, look across the table at each other and see not an enemy, a target or a statistic, but a brother, a sister, a fellow American, another child of God. We must expand our hearts and enlarge our identity beyond ‘my people’ to include and embrace all of Creation.”
You don’t have to teach people how to be human. You have to teach them how to stop being inhuman.
I feel that I am a citizen of the American dream and that the revolutionary struggle of which I am a part is a struggle against the American nightmare.
What America demands in her black champions is a brilliant, powerful body and a dull, bestial mind.
The “paper tiger” hero, James Bond, offering the whites a triumphant image of themselves, is saying what many whites want desperately to hear reaffirmed: I am still the White Man, lord of the land, licensed to kill, and the world is still an empire at my feet.
I have always said that the basic problem in America is confusion. I know I am an American; I am an Afro-American, which means that I’m Afro and I’m American. I know the American people, and I know the ideals that are instilled in one. I know how they are imbedded in the heart, you see. You have to look at the process of the formation of the American character structure, look at the children in American grammar schools, the high schools and look at the ideals that are implanted in them there. The children of America are the ones I consider to be the citizens of the American dream. First this foundation, all these ideals–the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and the Rights of Man, the Lord’s Prayer, all of these things that no one can really attack, these things that have inspired people everywhere–are implanted in the hearts and minds of the children of America. (Conversations With Eldridge Cleaver, 1970)
Eldridge Cleaver, convict and black activist, wrote Soul on Ice, his memoir to illustrate his view of America’s black population prior to and during the 1960s. America, the staunch supporter of liberty, yet the vehement condoner of slavery, had its paradox hurled at its face. The nation awoke to grim reality—America’s innards, the basis of 200 years of political action, were being ripped to shreds. Realizing that the nation was on the highroad to political equality, Cleaver plunged into a reverie of self-discovery. At first, he loathed the white man, showing his hatred by raping white women because he felt compelled to avenge his black sisters raped by white slaveholders. Then, he joined the Black Muslims, who followed Elijah Muhammad and his racist gospels. However, the revolutionary zeal of the white youth snared at him, and he was soon arm in arm with Malcolm X and his acceptance of white civil rights supporters. Revealing America’s racist innards inside its façade of equality and fraternity, Cleaver’s Soul on Ice communicates the militant and disgusted mindset of black power supporters.
Cleaver first grew aware of his status as a Black American at San Quentin prison. He instantly hated the white oppressors and America’s elevated slavery. Resenting “how the white man…used the black woman” in the days of slavery, Cleaver rapes a white girl, spitting on the white man’s laws, and reaping pleasure from “defiling his women.”1 He repudiates the notion that black men find white women attractive; rather, the white supremacy drills its idea of beauty into the black man simply by its omnipresence. From their youth, blacks were forced “to see the white woman as more beautiful and desirable than his own black woman.”2 Thus, the rape was a rebellion—a way to get back at the overlords. Cleaver’s fellow black convicts feel the same way about white women and would do the same thing. This vehement anger and resentment turns slowly to Cleaver’s loneliness. With passionate rhetoric, Cleaver longs for a woman’s company to feel warm and radiant once more, and Beverly Axelrod, his lawyer, fills that need. They fall in love, and correspond. Cleaver believes this is unusual: the convict does not “hold on [to] the ideals and sentiments of civilization,” because all society “shows the convict its ass” and expects him to “kiss it.”3 Although it was strange for a convict to fall in love with such a mindset, the fact that he feels this love towards his lawyer makes the situation astonishing. No matter how bizarre the relationship, Cleaver claims that she was the beacon that pulled him out of dark, slow death.
Cleaver dives into a passionate recalling of “the Christ”, the man who taught him to be tolerant of other races. “The Christ,” whose actual name was Lovdjieff, refused to grade Eldridge Cleaver’s paper because it was racist, and forced him to entertain the thought of unity with the white race. The next few pages follow Eldridge Cleaver through his day at Folsom prison, where the librarian refuses to give him books about sex or controversial issues. Eldridge Cleaver comments on the Watts revolution, and expresses the pride of several of the black prisoners: “Watts was a place of shame,” but blacks soon exclaimed, “I’m from Watts, Baby!”4 The uprising at Watts had made the blacks proud because they saw a usurpation of the American social order.
The black people were an ignorant bunch. Cleaver claims that in the 1960s, most of them were afraid of General Motor, and in the dark as to how to get their share of money. Most blacks “have no bank accounts, only bills to pay.”5 The poverty of the black people limit them from rising to any kind of economic power level that might influence politics. The police also subdue blacks as well. As the armed “guardians of the social order,” they are the only serious threat to the black population’s march for freedom. Cleaver states that there is a great sense of property amongst Americans as seen through the soldier in Vietnam is only following orders like a mindless toy, like he belongs to someone else. It’s this property mindset that keeps the black people in constant humiliation—they have nothing.
Cleaver sums up the rest of his memoir with passionate letters to Miss Beverly Axelrod, his lawyer, and an analysis of sexuality in society’s classes. The “Omnipotent Administrators” prefer mind over body: “he is markedly effeminate and delicate by reason of his explicit repudiation …of his body.”6 These men are of the elite, and their women, the “Ultrafeminine,” abdicate their domestic functions to become, in contrast to weak elite men, more delicate. Ultrafemininity bathes in the envy of the women of the lower classes. The Ultrafeminine reject the domestic apparatus of the female hemisphere, and thrust it onto the women of the lower classes: the Amazons. The Amazons envy the Ultrafeminines. They are attracted to the power embodied in the elite man because he is the mind, while the “Supermasculine” Menial, men of the lower classes, are the body. Power, the primeval envy of the Amazon, attracts her to elite men, but “she is also attracted to the body of the Supermasculine Menial,” for physical strength.7 Thus she is lost between two worlds. Cleaver explains that men and women of the elite and lower classes are opposing sides of a Primeval sphere, which for the reasons of strength and power—physical and mental—pull one toward the other.
In harsh, unforgiving tones, using key events of the Sixties as examples, Cleaver hurls accusations at the white race and reveals the mindset of many Black Power activists of the Sixties. Muhammad Ali vs. Floyd Patterson, the confrontation between the rebels and the “Uncle Toms,” rocked America’s foundations. Ali “was the first ‘free’ black champion ever to confront” the “Uncle Toms,” black suppressors of the Negroes. Consisting of movie and sports celebrities, Uncle Toms cooled the revolutionary masses down in the name of the white overlords, promising extensive reforms and quoting any minute civil rights bill. The Uncle Toms were the white man’s slave: Floyd Patterson “reflected a desire to force the Negro …back in his ‘place.’”8 When Muhammad Ali knocked Patterson out, the older generation received a concussion to its head. America was a land of paradoxes with no common ground in between. The differences therefore had to be kept separate and the ugly sides to the land of freedom had to be buried. This odd paradox existed because of the notion of white superiority. In order to justify slavery and segregation, the white man “elaborated a complex and pervasive myth which at one time classified the black man as subhuman beasts of burden.”9 With the guiding star of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, both forged by white men, he believed justice was bestowed upon all; the white received the privileges since they possessed the intellect clearly seen on the plantations, and the black received what the pea-brained, good-for-nothing slave justly deserved in white eyes. On the plantation, it was easy to differentiate the black and the white; the white did the thinking and gave the orders, the black did the work. This practice created the myth of white man’s superior intelligence.
Attorney General Eric Holder blasted “stand-your-ground laws” in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin—saying such laws cause more violence than they prevent.
Mr. Holder, speaking to the NAACP Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., not far from where Mr. Zimmerman was acquitted last week, took direct aim at stand-your-ground laws, which say a person can use force in self-defense without first attempting to retreat from the situation.
“Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods,” Mr. Holder said, according to his prepared remarks.
In speaking out publicly against such laws for the first time, Mr. Holder is taking aim at the gun-rights groups that promote such laws and linking them to the death of Trayvon Martin.
Twenty-five states, including Florida, have adopted some version of stand-your-ground laws. While the law was a factor in the initial investigation of the Martin shooting, lawyers for Mr. Zimmerman didn’t base their defense on the law, arguing instead that their client had no option of retreat, and therefore the stand-your-ground principle didn’t apply.
The speech marked the second day in a row that Mr. Holder spoke publicly about the Martin killing. Mr. Zimmerman over the weekend was found not guilty of all charges in the case, a decision that sparked protests across the country, and some rioting in Los Angeles Monday night.
Mr. Martin, a black teenager, was walking to his father’s house in Sanford, Fla., from a nearby convenience store in the early evening when he was spotted by Mr. Zimmerman, a neighborhood-watch volunteer who thought Mr. Martin was suspicious. Mr. Zimmerman, who is Hispanic, called 911 and began following Mr. Martin, leading to a confrontation in which the 29-year-old Mr. Zimmerman shot the teenager.
Mr. Holder’s Justice Department is investigating Mr. Zimmerman to see if he should be charged with federal hate crimes or civil-rights violations, but legal experts say the chances of such charges being filed—or won in court—are small.
Mr. Holder’s remarks echo comments made by gun-control advocates following the Zimmerman verdict, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has said “stand your ground” promotes a “shoot first” approach to public confrontations.
“These laws try to fix something that was never broken,” Mr. Holder argued, saying pre-existing self-defense law allowed the use of deadly force if no safe retreat is possible. If a person is attacked in their own home, there is no duty to retreat.
“By allowing—and perhaps encouraging—violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety,” Mr. Holder said. “We must stand our ground to ensure that our laws reduce violence, and take a hard look at laws that contribute to more violence than they prevent.”
In his turn of the century treatise, The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote,
“Between me and the other world there is ever an unasked question: unasked by some through feelings of delicacy; by others through the difficulty of rightly framing it. All, nevertheless, flutter round it. How does it feel to be a problem?”
Everyone has problems. It is the human condition. No amount of wealth. No racial privilege. No righteousness of purpose and action leads to a life without problems. Everyone has them.
But Du Bois was pointing to something different. Not just having problems, but being a problem. How does it feel to be a problem? To have your very body and the bodies of your children to be assume to be criminal, violent, malignant.
How does it feel to be trapped on the roof of your home as the flood waters rise and be called a refugee?
How does it feel to wear the symbol of your faith and be assumed to be a terrorist threat to your own nation?
How does it feel to have the president who looks like you demanded to produce proof of his citizenship?
How does it feel to know that when you speak the language of your parents, you will be assumed to be illegal?
How does it feel to know that if you marry the person you love, some will say you are destroying the very fabric of the nation?
How does it feel to fear sending your son to the 7-Eleven for a bag of Skittles on a rainy night?
Du Bois wrote of black men,
“He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face. This, then, is the end of his striving: to be a co-worker in the kingdom of culture, to escape both death and isolation, to husband and use his best powers and his latent genius.”
This is the dream that will guide us as we continue the struggle.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged Abraham Lincoln, America, American Civil Liberties Union, changed lives, compromise practices, courage, Culture, dignity of man, disenfranchisement, Eldridge Cleaver, God, Healing, humanity, issues of war and peace, lexington and concord, martin luther king jr, Naacp, peace issues, psychic trauma, sanford florida, social issues, social justice, standing power, Struggles, suffering, W E B Dubois.
On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass —once called America’s most famous fugitive slave—delivered a speech to the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, N.Y. His oration is often considered a radical denunciation of America’s political tradition; he characterized the Fourth of July as a hypocritical sham from the point of view of the millions living in the country who were still enslaved.
The speech, which is now widely titled “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?,” has become a staple of high-school and college education. In my class atSyracuse University, students read Douglass’s speech alongside other famous texts on slavery, abolition and free labor. Of these, Lincoln and Douglass are arguably the most readable and popular.
Douglass in particular makes his points in a way that is simultaneously generous, mean, cruel, funny and memorable. Like a good tweet. Perhaps for this reason, social media have recently picked up on Douglass’s writings. And students can now choose from a growing variety of online deliveries by James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman, Danny Glover and stage actors. But as with all great works, popularization has its hazards.
July 4, 2013 is America’s Independence Day — and still the babies are not free.
Acts 17:24, 26, 27 states: “God made the world and everything in it. He is lord of heaven and Earth. And he made of one blood, all nations of people to dwell on all the earth, and determined the places where they would live; that they should seek the lord and find him.”
In the United States, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a national holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the kingdom of Great Britain.
Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, political speeches and ceremonies, and various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States.
Independence Day is the national day of the United States.
During the American Revolution, the legal separation of the American colonies from Great Britain occurred on July 2, 1776, when the Second Continental Congress voted to approve a resolution of independence that had been proposed in June by Richard Henry Lee of Virginia.
After voting for independence, Congress turned its attention to the Declaration of Independence, a statement explaining this decision, which had been prepared by a Committee of Five, with Thomas Jefferson as its principal author.
Congress debated and revised the declaration, finally approving it on July 4.
Nearly a century later, the war for freedom continued on this continent. During this time, President Abraham Lincoln prayed to God to end slavery in America. In his prayer, he asked God that if slavery was wrong, to please allow the North to win the war.
The North won of course.
The battle for freedom still continues today, with the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that Protestants and Catholics, gentiles and Jews will sing “Free at Last” together.
We must remember that all of this started with the prayers of the founding fathers of America.
Along with the founding fathers usually listed in history books, a notable African American, John Hanson, is sometimes listed as one of the founding fathers, along with James Armistead, and Peter Salem. Also, other notable blacks such as Benjamin Banneker and Crispus Atticus are credited with helping to establish our nation’s independence.
This year during the Juneteenth Celebration, members of Congress and former black Congressman J. C. Watts recognized the work of black slaves in building our nation’s Capitol.
So today, we celebrate the ongoing march towards true liberty for all Americans, born and unborn.
Please take a moment now to remember the word in the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Were there African-American founding fathers?
Were there African Americans present at the founding of America? We know that most African Americans were slaves when this nation was founded, and we also know that many of the Caucasian founding fathers were slave owners.
However, it is not widely know that some black Americans also owned slaves during that time in history. Slavery is an evil form of oppression, not always demarked by the skin color of the slaves and the slave owners.
We know that African-American slaves were forced to exert manual labor to help build the first White House. The question remains, what were some of the other important roles of African Americans in our country’s independence?
The official name “The United States of America” was determined by the Second Continental Congress in 1977.
It would be nearly 100 years later, in 1863 at the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln, that African Americans would legally be freed from the forced servitude and labor called slavery.
Let us examine the roles of some African Americans at the time of the founding of America.
One of those was Peter Salem, who can be found in a painting of the Battle of Bunker Hill.
In the painting of the Battle of Lexington, the people assembled here are members of Rev. Jonas Clark’s congregation. They were a congregation of both black and white Americans. One of those men was Prince Estabrook, a black American.
Remember the famous painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware? Near the front of the boat you will see Prince Whipple helping row the boat, as well as a woman.
All Americans were involved in winning our independence.
There is another painting of Marquis de Lafayette, the Frenchman who so greatly helped George Washington with our troops, and James Armistead. Armistead was an American double-spy who helped get information from the British and in turn fed the Brits bad information about us.
His service was pivotal to our success at the Battle of Yorktown . . . which effectively won the American Revolution for us.
David Barton is founder of Wall Builders and author of “American History in Black and White.”
Another noted historian of the founding of America is Dr. Lucas Morel, a professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia and author of “Lincoln’s Sacred Effort.”
These historians write in great detail about Armistead’s role in American history, as well as the friendship between Lafayette and Armistead.
They also write about Wentworth Cheswell, who is considered the first black American elected to public office. We all know about Paul Revere’s famous ride warning that the British were coming, but Cheswell rode in another direction to give the same warning.
While we know that most blacks were slaves in America during the time of its founding, many do not know or have forgotten that there are also African-American founders.
Since many of these black founders show up in various paintings of the Revolution, we have evidence about the role of black Americans in our founding. Somewhere along the way, like many historical facts, this has been forgotten.
Many attempt to connect Frederick Douglass, who is a better known African-American leader, to the founding of America.
Yet, since he actually lived years later, it would be more accurate to place him in history as a “re-founder, emerging during the time of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.”
Douglass once believed the “Three-Fifths Compromise ” was a terrible affront to enslaved black Americans and that it rendered the U.S. Constitution totally corrupt. However, when he studied the Constitution along with the notes from the Constitutional Convention, he realized it was an anti-slavery document.
According to Barton, some of the Caucasian Founders were anti-slavery, recognizing that slavery was wrong and was counter to the ideals of freedom upon which the American Revolution was based.
However, there were many in the South who wanted to preserve slavery in the United States, and the impasse threatened the union of our fledgling nation. As a compromise, they came up with the idea of counting slaves as “three-fifths” for the purposes of representation and apportionment.
If a slave was not worthy of freedom like any other American, then he should not really be counted for the purposes of representation and apportionment.
Of course, the Southern states saw how this would hurt them in the federal government, so they compromised by counting slaves at three-fifths of a free person.
It made it harder for pro-slavery states to get as much representation in Congress; thus the anti-slavery states would have greater representation in apportionment . . . and in making laws for the nation in general.
This gave the Southern states an incentive to free their slaves so that their overall population numbers would increase and thus give the Southern states greater representation and apportionment.
Through the years, this flawed effort continues to be interpreted as considering blacks to be three-fifths human. Even now, in the twenty first century, the battle continues to resolve the right of blacks the full and equal right of the vote.
Thomas Jefferson spoke out against slavery while owning slaves. He even had a Caucasian wife and a slave mistress, Sally Hemming.
Most people don’t know that Sally was Martha’s half-sister, they had the same father, a slave owner.
According to written historical accounts, she looked like Martha. Sally moved into the White House after Martha died of a broken heart. How strange it must have been for Jefferson to be constantly reminded of his dead wife.
Sally’s children were the only slaves Jefferson freed; he did so upon his death, but by that time a couple of Sally’s children had already escaped. Being so fair-skinned, they passed into white society, keeping their past a secret.
While many of the founding fathers were like Jefferson, some were not. One example is John Quincy Adams.
Adams denounced slavery more strongly than did any other early American presidents, calling slavery “a sin before the sight of God,” an “outrage upon the goodness of God,” and “the great and foul stain upon the North American Union.”
In an especially eloquent statement, Adams wrote: “It is among the evils of slavery that it taints the very sources of moral principle. It establishes false estimates of virtue and vice: for what can be more false and heartless than this doctrine which makes the first and holiest rights of humanity to depend upon the color of the skin?”
The reality of America’s history, both good and bad, should be revised and rewritten, to include the truths that have been hidden.
Black leaders like Lemuel Haynes who was a black American, born to a white woman and a black man became a minister and pastored a church with a white congregation, and also fought in the militia in the American Revolution.
There was also Benjamin Banneker, a black American who was involved in the planning of Washington D.C. and who was said to be very intelligent and involved with building clocks and predicting eclipses.
Of course, Black slaves were forced to provide the manpower for the hard labor of building our nation’s Capitol. And Blacks would be used cruelly as slaves in America until 1863.
Some did not realize they had been freed until even later.
The Bible says that when Jesus Christ sets a person free, that person is free indeed. Understanding this, we know that the real formula for liberty for everyone is in Jesus Christ.
One question is this, why didn’t the Caucasian Founding Fathers follow God’s pattern for freeing slaves? It is found in the book of Leviticus, chapter 25, where slave owners were charged to free slaves after seven years, and send them away with goods and property.
This never happened in America.
Today, while many African Americans thought that having a United States president with brown skin would set them free, we must realize that our liberty comes not from human might, power or ability, but true freedom comes from accepting the salvation and lordship of Jesus Christ.
The first jubilee is in the Bible, and a slave liberator named Moses, a Man of God was used to lead his people to freedom. There are also modern-day leaders who lead people to truth and liberty.
In the 1950s and ’60s a man of God named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was called by God to lead a people to the Promised Land. Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t get there with us, yet he looked over and saw a time of liberty.
Dr. King once said this:
“A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man’s social conditions . . . Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion.”
According to the Bible in Acts 17, there are no separate races of human beings (male and female), there is only one human race.
This is why the age-old battle of racism is so tragic. Truly there can be no independence for a nation or a people group until all people are recognized as human beings. Of course this truth applies to skin color, age, physical conditions, and the whole host of human elements that people experience during their lifetimes.
It is human nature to equate liberty with the opportunity to do everything that feels good to individuals without considering the needs of humanity as a whole. It is also human nature to debate over divine order, while all the while humanity as a whole suffers from a poverty of spirit.
Throughout our history, people have made vast and notable contributions to our history. Yet, we all have not been treated fairly by a system that was formed in hypocrisy.
Today, babies in their mothers’ wombs are treated with inequity. And there are still the issues of racism, sexual perversion, and reproductive genocide to overcome. Humans try to fix problems and eradicate sin with manmade laws. Yet, imperfect manmade laws have caused our nation to operate under a curse.
This curse must be broken in order for America to prosper.
Today, many people in America and the world live in bondage. Too many are enslaved by the sins of fear, violence, racism, reproductive genocide, sexual perversion, economic idolatry, sickness and greed. These issues must now be addressed with agape love and truth.
May July 4, truly become a symbol of freedom, not just for some, but for all.
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36 NLT
Dr. Alveda C. King grew up in the civil rights movement led by her uncle, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She is a pastoral associate and director of African-American outreach for Priests for Life and Gospel of Life Ministries. Her family home in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed, as was her father’s church office in Louisville, Ky. Alveda herself was jailed during the open housing movement. Read more reports from Dr. Alveda C. King
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