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
Tag Archives: Black History
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?
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
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*
By TONY SEED
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 Portugal.
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.
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
On the night of 14 August 1791, a man named Boukman organised a meeting with enslaved Africans in Bois Caiman, in the northern mountains of the island of Santo Domingo (depicted). This meeting preceded the uprising that began on 22 August 1791 and which would pave the way towards Haiti’s independence. The French quickly captured Boukman, who was leading the uprising, beheaded him and brought the rebellion under control. They exhibited Boukman’s head on Cap’s square to show the slaves that their invincible leader was dead. By 1804 the enslaved Africans led by Toussant L’Overture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines had established the first independent Black state in the Americas – sounding the death knell of French imperial ambitions in the Americas, becoming a beacon for enslaved Africans, and leading to the eventual demise of plantation slavery.
Organized rebellion to slavery in Haiti predates the outbreak of the Haitian Revolution. For example, from 1751 until his capture and execution by immolation in 1758, Francois Makandal, a vodoun priest, led a sustained guerilla campaign. The strength of his organization rested on the unity of various maroon (escaped slaves) communities: a unity forged by Makandal on the ideological and philosophical basis of African religions, traditions, values and motifs. Poignantly, the catalyst for the Haitian Revolution 33-years later was the actions of another vodoun priest Dutty Boukman. The Haitian Revolution was the seminal event in the struggle against slavery.
George Lester Jackson was an African-American activist, author and member of the Black Panther Party. When Jackson was 18 years old, he was sentenced from one year to life for stealing US$70 from a gas station. He spent the next 11 years in prison, eight and a half of them in solitary confinement. Continue reading