Tag Archives: Black History

Juneteenth and the end of slavery

All Out for People’s Empowerment! End the Injustice NOW! | Dougal MacDonald

107th Coloured Troops, Ft. Woodbury, Arlington County, Virginia, November 1, 1865.

June 19, 1865 or Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day) is celebrated across the United States in appreciation of the vital contributions made by African Americans in emancipating the four million people enslaved by the system of slave labour and in carrying forward the fight for justice and equality before and since the U.S. Civil War. Recent actions across the U.S. salute the determined and undaunted resistance to police violence, government impunity, and demands for accountability and for change that favours the people.

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Demands for reparations increase in the US. International jurists find US guilty of genocide against Black, Brown and Indigenous Peoples

A distinguished panel of nine international jurists has released its detailed and documented final verdict finding the United States guilty of genocide against Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples. The jurists examined five counts, including police killings, racist mass incarceration, treatment of political prisoners, and environmental and health care racism.

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Juneteenth Festivals in the United States

Celebrate Resistance to Advance the Fight for the Rights of All!

March in Seattle, Washington, June 19, 2020 in the midst of the protests movement against the killing of George Floyd.

On June 19 across the United States Juneteenth celebrations bring out the spirit of the broad and persistent resistance of African Americans to slavery. The celebrations bring together many different organizations, artists, activists and people from many walks of life to celebrate the victory over slavery and the ongoing fight for rights. It is with pride in resistance against great odds that African Americans justly stand and celebrate and organize to consolidate their best traditions. Juneteenth squarely puts forward that it is the people that are decisive and it’s their struggle for rights that moves society forward, making it a day of celebration for all.

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Sculpture dedicated to freedom fighter

On May 12, a beautiful statue of Mary Ann Shadd Cary by local sculptor Donna Mayne was unveiled at the University of Windsor’s downtown campus at the corner of Ferry and Chatham Streets.

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Barbados declares itself a republic. Yes! It can be done!

Ceremony swearing in Dame Sandra Mason as Barbados’ first President, November 29, 2021.

For the information of readers, we are reposting two articles on the declaration of Barbados, November 30, 2021 that it will become a republic.

Renewal Update

Today, November 30, Barbados became a Republic. The Republic of Barbados was declared at a ceremony late in the evening on November 29 at the National Heroes Square in the capital, Bridgetown, to coincide with the anniversary of Barbados’ formal independence from Britain, 55 years ago.

With this action, Barbados has become the fourth of Britain’s previous colonies in the Caribbean to become a republic, following Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Dominica which have had already taken this path forward.

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Peoples of the Caribbean give ‘working royals’ a fitting reception

The visits in March and April of the so-called working members of the British royal family to Commonwealth “realms” were shocking for their display of racist condescension, extravagant living and wasteful expenditures. | Margaret Villamizar

Protest in Jamaica against the Royal Visit, March 23, 2022.

Organized to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 70 years on the English throne, these “Platinum Jubilee” tours to the 14 former British colonies that retain the British monarch as their official head of state have taken different members of the “House of Windsor” to six Caribbean countries, Australia and Papua New Guinea. The latest such tour brought “heir to the throne” Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles to Canada from May 17 to 19.

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Reflections on Malcolm X’s legacy

By ISAAC SANEY

February 21st marks the 57th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X, who later took the name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz after his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964. As a revolutionary internationalist and a leader of the Black liberation struggle, Malcolm X shaped and influenced a generation of Black activists, artists, revolutionaries and intellectuals. His impact has been profound and lasting. The assassination’s anniversary is, therefore, a time for serious contemplation of his legacy.

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Slavery and Reparations: African Nova Scotia, Canada and Beyond

Updated October 27

Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, together and in partnership with the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia are pleased to announce an online event focused on the theme of Slavery and Reparations: African Nova Scotia, Canada and Beyond. This event is being held in preparation for the 2023 Universities Studying Slavery Conference, which will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia (see below).

Monday, November 1 – 2-4pm EST & 5-7pm EST

Featuring panelists (2-4pm EST): Cikiah Thomas (Co-ChairInternational Working Committee, Global African Congress); Delvina Bernard (PhD-candidate, International Development Studies, Saint Mary’s University); Dr. Andrea Douglas (Director, Jefferson School African American Heritage Centre)

Keynote lecture (5-7pm EST) by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and the leading international scholar on reparations.

Register at http://register.bccns.com

For more information: https://ukings.ca/events/pre-conference-event-for-2023-universities-studying-slavery-conference/

Dalhousie University and the University of King’s College, together and in partnership with the Black Cultural Centre for Nova Scotia are pleased to announce an online event focused on the theme of Slavery and Reparations: African Nova Scotia, Canada and Beyond. This event is being held in preparation for the 2023 Universities Studying Slavery Conference, which will take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia (see below).

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Juneteenth and the end of slavery

Juneteenth is being celebrated by demanding that all the continuing remnants of slavery, in the form of broad inequality faced by African Americans on all fronts and police violence and mass incarceration be eliminated. People of all nationalities and backgrounds together continue to affirm their convictions for new arrangements and their own empowerment, through protests as well as other forms of resistance.

By Dougal MacDonald

June 19, 1865 or Juneteenth (also known as Freedom Day) is celebrated across the United States in appreciation of the vital contributions made by African Americans in emancipating the four million people enslaved by the system of slave labour and in carrying forward the fight for justice and equality before and since the U.S. Civil War. Recent actions across the U.S. salute the determined and undaunted resistance to police violence, government impunity, and demands for accountability and for change that favours the people.

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This day. 45th anniversary of the Soweto uprising

Signal contribution of the courageous South African students | ISAAC SANEY

The famous Soweto uprising of youth and students which began on June 16, 1976, led to a renewed wave of resistance amongst black South Africans.

The famous Soweto uprising of youth and students which began on June 16, 1976, led to a renewed wave of resistance amongst black South Africans.

Originally published on June 16, 2016

On June 16th, 1976 in the African township of Soweto, on the outskirts of Johannesburg, apartheid South African police massacred 176 Black students, wounding more than 700. The Soweto uprising remains to this day the signal contribution of the infinitely courageous South African students’ movement for justice and social transformation everywhere. Continue reading

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What was Africa like before European imperialism?

Bamum architecture (present-day Cameroon)

Henry Ritmo, who lived in Africa, Quora

Since there are so many ways this question could be answered I decided to use pictures. Many of these would be shortly before or shortly after colonization began seeing as the camera was not invented until the late 19th century and colonization in most of Africa started within that period but they come the closest to capturing what pre-colonial Africa looked like.

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Significant archives are under threat in Cape Town’s fire. Here’s why they matter so much.

The African Studies collection consists of an astonishing collection of works related to Africa. These range from works published from as long ago as the 1500s through to the present day.

Significant Archives Are Under Threat in Cape Town's Fire. Here's Why They Matter So Much.

Firemen walk through the burnt out remains of Jagger Library at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa, April 20, 2021 | REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

A wildfire on the slopes of South Africa’s Table Mountain has wreaked havoc at the University of Cape Town (UCT) campus. Among the sites of historical significance that have been damaged is the Jagger Library. The library houses rare and specialist collections, such as the important African Studies collections. The Conversation Africa’s Nontobeko Mtshali asked UCT academic Shannon Morreira to share her insights on what the loss means for the historical records held by the university. Continue reading

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The House, Senator Cruz and References to the U.S. Civil War

Even though the U.S. Civil War was launched from states seceding from the United States, as an insurrection against the U.S. state, a rebellion by the slave-masters, it was not a war between states and was never deemed an “insurrection.”

January 7, 2021. New York City protest calls for Trump to be impeached | Liat_RO

– Hardial Bains Resource Centre –

The House Judiciary Committee arguing for charging Trump with “incitement to insurrection,” and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and the Senators who joined him in challenging certification of the vote, all use Civil War references to make their arguments. Continue reading

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This Day. A reflection on Amílcar Cabral, Portugal and NATO

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Amílcar Cabral (1924-1973)

By TONY SEED

Originally published on January 20, 2019 on this blog and Stop Foreign Intervention in Africa , a website organized by activists opposed to foreign intervention in Africa on a military, economic, political and cultural level. 

On January 20, 1973, Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral, leader of the national liberation movement in Guinea Bissau and Cape Verde in West Africa, was assassinated, just months before Guinea Bissau won its long independence struggle against Portuguese colonialism.

Guinea-Bissau was once part of the kingdom of Gabu, part of the ancient Mali Empire; parts of this kingdom persisted until the 18th century. Other parts of the territory in the current country were considered by the Portuguese as part of their empire. Portuguese Guinea was known as the Slave Coast, as it was a major area for the exportation of African slaves by Europeans to the western hemisphere.

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Flashback: Belgium’s ‘apology’ for assassinating Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Lumumba (July 2, 1925–January 17, 1961)

Patrice Lumumba (July 2, 1925–January 17, 1961)

I only gave voice to words of freedom and brotherhood, words they couldn’t accept. Just words. – Patrice Lumumba

Updated from an article published on this blog on March 22, 2016

Sixty years have passed since the assassination on January 17, 1961 of the first democratically-elected President of the Republic of Congo, Patrice Lumumba. His government sought to give citizens political rights and build a national economy independent of the imperialist system of states. The country’s rich resources were supposed to serve its residents instead of being exploited by foreign concerns. His assassination was carried out by Belgian troops for the CIA. Continue reading

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Martin Luther King’s Revolutionary Legacy

Martin Luther King Day was observed this year on January 18. Many TV and radio stations played his speech from 1967, condemning the war against Viet Nam and his last speech delivered a day before his assassination in April 1968. Reflecting the strength of the anti-war movement of that time, the speeches called for a radical rupture with the U.S. socio, economic and political system, including calling for an end to militarism, racism and poverty. His life and work, like that of Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Fannie Lou Hammer and many others, continue to inspire millions of people in the United States and abroad We  are posting an article by historian Isaac Saney from his Facebook page.

By Isaac Saney

(January 18, 2021) Every day – not only MLK Day – is a time for serious contemplation on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy. The pervasive and dominant narrative freezes in place King’s politics and philosophy, transfixing his thinking to August 28 1963 when he delivered the famous and proudly moving, “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The subsequent development of his views on capitalism and imperialism are ignored. Continue reading

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Dr Clement Ligoure: Hidden hero of the Halifax Explosion

Ground Zero: Richmond Street in the North End of Halifax.

1. The decontextualization of history

The Sixth of December is the 103rd anniversary of the horrific Halifax Explosion of 1917 – the largest explosion in history before the barbaric devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by U.S. atomic bombs in 1945. Some 1,963 innocent men, women and children or more were massacred, another 9,000 injured and 199 blinded, according to understated official figures. Despite scores of books, exhibits, radio and TV programs, and memorial meetings much is unknown, covered up or falsified while those responsible – the Royal Navy, the United States and the Borden government in the first place – were given impunity for a war crime.

We are reposting a recent article by journalist Susanne Rent from the Halifax Examiner to bring to the attention of a wider audience the poignant story of Dr Clement Ligoure and his selfless humanitarianism. Reporting on the research of well-known playwright David Woods, Ms Rent asks, “I’m sure many of us know about the heroics of Vince Coleman, the train dispatcher who sent a message stopping a train that was heading to the city, and then died in the explosion. But how many of us have heard the name Dr. Clement Ligoure and stories of his heroics?” Continue reading

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British parliamentary debate on Black History Month

In Bristol on June 7, the statue of Edward Colston was torn down by protesters and thrown in the harbour. Colston was a notorious human trafficker in the late 17th century who was associated with Bristol, one of the main ports connected with trans-Atlantic trade in enslaved Africans.

(London) – This year witnessed an unprecedented upsurge of opposition to racism and Eurocentrism in all forms, in what was popularly known as the Black Lives Matter movement. Initially horrified by the police killing of George Floyd and other events in the US, throughout the country people of all nationalities demanded an end to state racism and police violence in Britain too, an end to all forms of inequality, as well as an end to the public glorification of slavery and colonialism and those who carried out crimes against humanity. Continue reading

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Frederick Douglass to be remembered in Belfast

A proposal to erect a statue dedicated to US abolitionist and activist Frederick Douglass has been passed by Belfast City Council. Douglass, a former slave, visited Belfast in 1845 as part of his lecturing tour of Ireland. Continue reading

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UK: Black History Month and contested history

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been speaking a lot about history recently. October has become by tradition “Black History Month” in England and it has become customary for the Prime Minister of the day to make some pronouncement. Continue reading

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Barbados sheds imperial monarchy

barbadosmottley.jpg

Countries around the world are re-examining their post-colonial identity after Barbados moved to remove the English queen as the head of state. The island has said that it is planning to become a republic as it moves to withdraw from the Commonwealth and “leave its colonial past behind”.Most of the population of Barbados have ancestors who were victims of colonial slavery. It is estimated that between 1627 to 1807, some 387,000 Africans were shipped to the island against their will by English slave traders. Continue reading

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Caricom demands reparation justice after centuries of slavery

Caricom demands reparation justice after centuries of slavery

Georgetown, Aug 23 (Prensa Latina) – The Caribbean Community (Caricom) is today calling for reparation justice for its nations after centuries of slavery and racism perpetrated by several former colonial metropolis.

In the context of the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition and midway through the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), Caricom’s member and partner states are advocating through its Reparations Commission (CRC) a reward to the indigenous and afro-descendant communities after the legacy of underdevelopment caused by the colonial period – the native genocide, enslavement and crimes against humanity that hold back the progress of their populations. Continue reading

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‘We Charge Genocide’ – Forerunner at UN of Black Lives Matter

https://www.blackpast.org/wp-content/uploads/We_Charge_Genocide-The_Crime_of_Government_Against_the_Negro_People_by_William_L_Patterson_-1970.jpg

By W. T. Whitney, Jr.

The police killing of George Floyd on May 25 provoked demonstrations worldwide. The United Nations Human Rights Council on June 17 debated a draft resolution introduced by the “African Group” of nations that condemned “structural racism endemic to the criminal justice system in the United States.” The African nations were responding to a letter from the families of murder victims George Floyd, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor, and Michael Brown; 600 human rights organizations had endorsed it.

Other U.S. appeals for relief from racist violence had arrived at the United Nations. The National Negro Congress and the NAACP delivered petitions in 1946 and 1947, respectively. Three years after the United Nations ratified its Genocide Convention, the New York-based Civil Rights Congress in 1951 submitted a petition to the United Nations. The title was: “We Charge Genocide: The Crime of the Government against the Negro People.”1 Continue reading

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Reality Check: Globe and Mail’s fake news about Biden and Harris

The Globe and Mail declares in its quarter-page lead story today “Historic selection makes California senator the first woman of colour on a U.S. presidential ticket” (“Biden selects Kamala Harris as running mate,” August 12). This is fake news.

Charlene Mitchell, America’s first Black female presidential candidate | Wikimedia Commons

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African Liberation Day: The enduring struggle against colonialism and capitalism

All-Africa Peoples Conference Accra, Ghana 1958.

Pan Africanism Today Secretariat

May 25 is celebrated as African Liberation Day. It is a commemoration of the struggles for liberation from colonialism, and specifically marks a key date in the struggle for Pan-African unity: the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) in 1963. Comprising 21 member states, the primary aim of the organization was to support the liberation movements in Africa’s remaining colonies and to coordinate the construction of a new African society free of exploitation. Continue reading

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Canada’s relations with Caricom: Self-serving definition of what it means to be a ‘vital partner’

Heads of Government reaffirm solidarity with Cuba at the 31st CARICOM Inter-Sessional Summit held from February 18 -19 in St Michael, Barbados.

By TONY SEED (February 23) – The meeting of the regime change Lima Group hosted by Canada on February 20 in Ottawa comes right on the heels of Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s meeting on February 18-19 with leaders of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Bridgetown, Barbados. He was sent as a substitute for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The 15-member organization[1] has served as an effective block to attempts by the U.S. and its allies to use the discredited Organization of American States (OAS) as a political weapon against Venezuela. It has  denied them the number of votes needed to take action against Venezuela in the name of the OAS. This led the U.S. and Canada to set up the illegitimate Lima Group outside the OAS for the purpose of advancing their illegal regime change project. Continue reading

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This Day. 400th Anniversary of US slavery

Four hundred years ago, a Portuguese ship named the São João Bautista traveled across the Atlantic Ocean carrying a load of captive Africans from Angola, in southwestern Africa, to the “New World.” Seized by two English pirate ships, the captive Africans ended up in the British colony of Virginia, founded just 12 years earlier, the first permanent English settlement in North America established by the Virginia Company of London in 1671. Only twenty survived the journey. Jamestown, Virginia soon became one of the main areas for the arrival of enslaved Africans. The sale of the 20 Africans to the owners of tobacco fields began the Atlantic slave trade on which the United States was built. Continue reading

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The Englishman who invented the concentration camp

Demonstrations have broken out on Canada to condemn U.S. racist concentration camps. It was in Canada in 1916 that the city of Berlin, Ontario was renamed Kitchener at the height of racist attacks on residents of German origin and Mennonite faith during the height of the first imperialist world war, a consequence of “top down” “war=driven propaganda.” But who was this Kitchener?

The Irish-born inventor of the concentration camp, Horatio Herbert Kitchener.

By NIALL O’DOWD, Irsihcentral

There has been heated discussion on the term “concentration camp” since allegations by Democrats that such camps are soon going to start operating with migrant children in southern U.S. border areas. Continue reading

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Hispaniola Rising: How the US coup in Venezuela is taking root in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

2018.10.17-HaitiPortauPrince-PetroCaribeCorruptionDemo-01

Editor’s Note: The Haitian opposition is calling for the resignation of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse over wrecking of the economy and corruption centred around embezzlement by Haitian oligarchs and their patrons from Venezuela’s PetroCaribe oil-discount program. This was a program that benefited the poor and provided funds for development of a self-sufficient economy.

Since last year, Haitians have been demanding an accounting of the PetroCaribe money, which was supposed to be invested in social programs for the poor after the country’s 2010 earthquake, as shown in the above photo from October 17, 2018.

The United States threatened various OAS members like Haiti, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic, members of CARICOM, with diplomatic and financial action if they voted in favour of non-interference and respect for Venezuela’s sovereignty. The Haitian government capitulated to the U.S. dictate and voted against Venezuela at an OAS meeting in Jannuary, arousing the fury of Haitians still further.

By ARIEL FORNANI in Haitian Times*

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Raven Wilkinson fought racism

On December 17, at the age of 83, ballet icon Raven Wilkinson, the first black woman to sign a contract with a major company, passed away | PEDRO DE LA HOZ

raven wilkinson in costume at the ballet russe de monte carlo.historicheroines.org

Raven Wilkinson in costume at the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo | historicheroines.org

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