Isaac Myers was born in Maryland, 1835 a free black man. When he was only 16 years old, he started his career working on a ship as a caulker. A ship caulker was a skilled craftsman and crucial shipyard workers, finishing the process of making new hulls and decks tight and leak-free for extended voyages.
In time he wanted to try a different profession, so he went in the grocery business, but that didn't pan out, so he went back to caulking ships in the year 1865.
When the Civil war was finally over, there was much competition for jobs, and we all know who would be at the bottom of the totem pole. White workers took up striking and protesting with the result being in 1,000 black workers losing their jobs as caulkers. This was when Meyers proposed to fellow black workers of forming a co-operative shipyard and railway, which would benefit the Negro as a group.
Myers and others also established the Colored Caulkers Trade Union Society in 1868, to which he was elected President. The white led
National Labor Union began to take notice of Isaac and invited him and delegates to one of their conventions to speak.
Sometimes when money is involved, it just doesn't seem to matter the color of a person skin and
we're sure the National Labor Union was interested in increasing it's revenue with the extra union dues that the blacks would provide, but the white membership wasn't buying it and wanted no association whatsoever with blacks. Ouch!
These were hardworking, talented black men and women that consisted of African-American mechanics, engineers, artisans, tradesmen and tradeswomen. Isaac had no choice but to continue and form The Colored National Labor Union (CNLU) which he perfected in 1869.
This is how Meyers felt about starting a union separate from white workers...
"…for real success separate organization is not the real answers. The white and colored … must come together and work together… The day has passed for the establishment of organizations based upon color…"
The CNLU welcomed all workers no matter what race, gender, or occupation. Man has a short memory, these privileged white people forgot the reason their ancestors came to America, and that was to escape injustice, and now they have become the keepers of injustice with racial hate.
Sounds anti-American to me, and the ones who kept quiet are just as guilty for not speaking up and upholding the principles of our great country. But we have a particular person in this year of 1869 named Isaac Meyers who did his best to exercise American principals not only for his race of people but everyone.
For this and other nobles act committed by this man, we must award him the 1869 Hamite Award for his extraordinary vision of what a true America could be.
Isaac Myers, pioneer of the African-American trade union movement. photo#102
Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Museum
How were blacks feeling in 1869?
This is the year that Ulysses S. Grant succeeds Andrew Johnson as the 18th President of the United States of America. Many black are jubilant about this because "Andy" just didn't give a dang hoot about us colored folks. That man vetoed every bill that came to his desk that would benefit the Negro race.
It's hard to figure out how the North can be so forgiving of the Confederates, especially when over 600,000 lives were lost. But they went right ahead and pardoned that racist treasonist and murderer Jefferson Davis and allowed him to live right here among the people he victimized.
We could understand how important it was for the Union to remain intact, but we have firmly believed that America should PERSIST in firmly putting its official stamp against hate and racism at this point in history or will face racial problems in the years to come. What better platform to accomplish these lofty goals than the victory in the Civil War? It would be a sound investment in a super strong America.
The Radical Republicans are our only friends at this point and we wish them much political success in the future because without their help we would be inevitably doomed.
In other events of the year, we were proud of John Menard who was the first black to make a speech in Congress, even though he was denied the seat by an election challenge by the clear loser. Menard once worked under Abraham Lincoln who had dispatched him to the British Honduras to investigate a proposed colony for newly freed slaves. Yes, Lincoln tried his best to sends newly freed blacks to other countries before caving into pressure from home.
We are hopeful and time will tell what will happen in our country.
Authentic newspaper article for the year 1869 Get a feel for what was really happening in 1869
This article in 1869 demonstrates how whites believed they were a superior people. They were smarter for sure but did that give them a right to dominate and hate as much as they did. Just think of all the good they could have done with their advanced knowledge for all humanity but instead they chose to claim white superiority.
White people's beliefs were entrenched with superstition and false religion which aided them in their superiority beliefs. Before arriving in America as immigrants, white people believed profoundly in witchcraft. This caused many innocent people either being hung, drowned or burned at stake. Many were executed during organized witch-hunts, particularly from the 15th–18th centuries. Scores of people were prosecuted for witchcraft in Europe between 1560 and 1630.
King James was one of the leaders in these superstitious beliefs and believed he was doing God's will in killing these so-called witches. These false teachings had spread all across Europe. James even wrote a book about witchcraft entitled Daemonologie which aided in the foolishness. Most people felt if it's OK for the King to believe in witchcraft it must be true and followed right along.
Early immigrants also believed in another fanatical belief which was called Preadamism. The Bible mentions beast existing in the Garden of Eden before Adam was even created. Preadamism teaches that these wild beast were half human/beast animals who just so happened to be negroes, and God's only purpose for them was to serve whites. They also taught that these blacks/beast did not possess a soul.
During this period whites also believed they were made in the image of God which meant being pure, white and holy and being black was savage and a sin. This is why in many of the slave movies we hear of Negroes being referred to as beast. It's ironic that their radical views about religion would mirror the world we live in today as being God's chosen people harming others in His name.
Now if you also add the study of false scientific beliefs of black people, it's easier to appreciate why blacks had an uphill fight for equality in America and most whites in an uproar. Negro suffrage was in the news a lot during this period because whites didn't want it.
These wild and fanatical beliefs are why whites fought so vigorously to keep the races separated during the Jim Crow period. They felt blacks and whites were so different that it would be a sin against God for the two races to mingle and cohabitate.
February 27, 1869 - John Menard is the first African-American to make a speech in Congress.
Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett who was minister to Haiti was the first African-American U.S. diplomat.
Fanny Jackson Coppin of the Institute for Colored Youth was the first African-American woman school principal.
George Lewis Ruffin is the first African American to receive a law degree from any institution when he graduates from Harvard Law School.
The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first professional baseball team
Octavius Valentine Catto
Sports in 1869
Blacks were not accepted into the league baseball games, so they started their teams, becoming professional by the the 1870s. The first known baseball game between two black teams was held on November 15, 1859, in New York City. The Henson Base Ball Club of Jamaica, Queens, defeated the Unknowns of Weeksville, Brooklyn, 54 to 43.
By the end of the 1860s, the black baseball mecca was Philadelphia, which had an African-American population of 22,000. Two former cricket players, James H. Francis and Francis Wood, formed the Pythian Base Ball Club. They played in Camden, New Jersey, at the landing of the Federal Street Ferry, because it is hard to get permits for black baseball games in the city. Octavius Catto, the promoter of the Pythians, decided to apply for membership in the National Association of Base Ball Players, generally a matter of sending delegates to the annual convention; beyond that, a formality.
At the end of the 1867 season "the National Association of Baseball Players voted to exclude any club with a black player." In some ways Blackball thrived under segregation, with the few black teams of the day playing not only each other but white teams as well. "Black teams earned the bulk of their income playing white independent 'semipro' clubs."
The mistreatment and segregation of Blacks didn't only happen in the South, but also the Northern cities like Philadelphia.
March 15, 1869 - Of course at this time in history, blacks wouldn't be allowed to play but it's still interesting to note that the whiteCincinnati Red Stockings become the first pro baseball team in America.
Octavius Valentine Catto was a black educator, intellectual, and civil rights activist in Philadelphia. As a man, he also became known as a top cricket and black baseball pioneer in 19th-century Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Misses Cooke's school room, Freedman's Bureau, Richmond, VA. photo #109-yr-1866
Freedmen's school?, South Carolina. African-American children, mainly girls, with adult women, possibly teachers. photo #100-yr-1865
Reconstruction in 1869
The Freedmen's Bureau began in 1865. Its purpose was to assist former black slaves from a life of slavery to the free labor system. The Bureau provided assistance in medical needs, housing, food, school and also legal aid. The Bureau helped people find lost family and taught them to read and write so they could better themselves. Oliver Otis Howard who was a Union general, was appointed the commissioner of the bureau in May 1865.
You have to remember during slavery days it was illegal in many states to teach blacks to read and write, so the Freedmen's Bureau had their hands full in assisting these illiterate former slaves into the American mainstream. They're many corrupt and insincere Bureau agents who along with white Southerners fought against Bureau successes every step of the way, but they are also honest Bureau officials who wanted to help and assist blacks in bettering themselves.
Congress realized the Bureau was needed for a longer period of time and sought to extend it with opposition from white Southerners and a powerful new ally, President, Andrew Johnson who vetoed the bill because he felt the Bureau showed preference to one race over another and wouldn't help in making blacks independent.
Andrew Johnson didn't care for blacks. He gave former Confederates back their land lost in the war and fired Bureau agents he felt were too partial to the black cause. It was like Johnson was saying to the South, "OK we fought a war and it's over, but we are not going to let a Negro tear us apart, it's time to heal. Screw the Negro! We whites have to stick together! He also was against every bill that came to his desk that would help blacks. His veto was later overridden by Congress, and the Bureau was extended a while longer, but not for long because it was dismantled by Congress in 1872.
After the Bureau shut down, and with some political setbacks for Republicans who were sympathetic to the black cause, Negroes were left to fend for themselves. But in an extraordinary display of unity and devotion to a common thread, the North and South put aside their differences to protect their shared interest, which was the union of the United States which meant for them wealth and prosperity in their pursuit of happiness, clothed in white skin under the banner of distorted American principles with the exclusion of the Negro from both North and South. WHEW! That's a Negro mouthful, but true. This display of unity and exclusion would hopefully serve future blacks well to learn from.
Why had American principles become distorted?
Even before slavery formally began, American principle stated "all men are created equal" and had a right to the pursuit of personal happiness. Slavery goes against American principles and the two can't co-exist. Abraham Lincoln himself was quoted as saying, "If slavery isn't wrong, then nothing is wrong" and to his credit and vision for a United and Strong America, the Reconstruction Amendments were introduced.
But laws have microscopic power over the motivations of a person's heart. White unprincipled Southerners didn't even attempt to join the new American spirit of things, aligning themselves as proud anti-American just as they had done by trying to secede in the Civil War. They fought tooth and nail against equality for the Negro.
During slavery, the dependence on free black labor had transformed these money-hungry, greedy white Southerners into a hateful white SLAVE POWER who had to be stopped at all cost. This Slave Power wanted to expand slavery to new territories, but the North took a stand, and this is what started the Civil War, not because Lincoln had a burning desire to free the slaves.
President Lincoln understood the motives of the Slave Power were against American principles and fought the war because of it.
OH MIGHTY, MIGHTY SLAVE POWER you have indeed caused alot of pain and misery! Crazy terrorist maniac, didn't your mama teach you better?
Has A True and Principled America Simply Become An Idea
That's Too Lofty For Human Beings To Follow?
The Repulsive Slave Power That Was Intertwined With Slavery,
Along With it's Peoples and Racist Beliefs Were Wounded in The Civil War,
But Not Completely Destroyed, And Were Allowed To Thrive.
Would This Come Back To Haunt America With Bad Race Relations,
Between It's Black and White American Citizens?
only time will tell my friends
Oliver Otis Howard, commissioner of The Freedmen's Bureau photo#111-yr-1866
Trivia: Howard University was named for General Oliver Otis Howard, who was both the founder of the University and, at the time, Commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau. Howard later served as President of the university from 1869–74.
Abolitionists Harriet Tubman photo #112- yr-1866
Susie Taylor photo #104- yr-1864
Carpetbagger photo #100-yr-1865
Hiram Rhodes Revels photo#110-yr-1870
Now with the re-building of America at hand and much money to be made, who would profit? Previously the North had noble motives in helping these millions of former slaves transition into the mainstream but after political losses and resistance from white Southerners they eventually aligned themselves with these unprincipled anti-Americans because of skin color and shared money interest and ignored the continued assistance needed in helping their black skin brothers.
With the dismantlement of the Freedmen's Bureau, America officially had over four million black nomads attempting to find their way in a hostile and prejudice land. Well at least the North could say they tried if this would soothe the conscience. This time in history was the foundation for future race relations, and a good solid foundation was not laid. The North gave up the fight too quickly and passed a terrible situation to future generations.
By now we're sure the Negro has to wonder to himself if America is being undermined and distorted at this point in history? Is something shady going on? Abraham Lincoln understood how this could happen and lost his life attempting to protect real justice, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans.
How Were Former Slaves Feeling At This Time In History?
Please consider a quote from a person who was there. Susie Taylor, our 1864 Hamite Award winner.
"For two hundred years we had toiled for them; the war of 1861 came and was ended, and we thought our race was forever freed from bondage, and that the two races could live in unity with each other, but when we read almost every day of what is being done to my race by some whites in the South, I sometimes ask, "Was the war in vain? Has it brought freedom, in the full sense of the word, or has it not made our condition more hopeless?"
Carpetbaggers were mostly well-educated, middle-class white Northerners who were called Carpetbaggers because of the fancy luggage most carried. Carpetbaggers would travel to areas of the south to assist in the rebuilding during and after the civil war. (1865-1877)
They assisted the abolitionists in teaching former black slaves to read and write among other things. White Southerners didn't like carpetbaggers because they felt they were money hungry and greedy opportunist, which in many cases were true.
Many carpet baggers would buy former plantations at low prices and hire black workers to turn a profit, and was also involved in the politics of rebuilding the south.
Hiram Rhodes Revels was elected as the first African American to serve in the United States Senate. Revels denounced the carpetbaggers for manipulating the black vote for personal benefit, and for keeping alive wartime hatreds...
"Since reconstruction, the masses of my people have been, as it were, enslaved in mind by unprincipled adventurers, who, caring nothing for the country, were willing to stoop to anything no matter how infamous, to secure power to themselves, and perpetuate it."
Abolitionists were no nonsense type of people who recognized injustice and wanted swift action taken to remedy the wrong. They had been around during the American Revolution but became stronger in voice and influence during 1830 - 1870, becoming involved with the Northern churches and politics.
Abolitionists were whites and blacks who hated slavery and wanted it immediately outlawed. Other anti-slavery movements sought a gradual change from slavery to freedom, or to restrict slavery in parts of the United States and prevent it from spreading further.
Free African-Americans (before the Emancipation Proclamation) also played a role in the movement, but enslaved blacks such as Harriet Tubman had a more dangerous mission for fear of getting caught and punished and very possibly killed.
Political Scene in 1869
March 4, 1869 - Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States (1869–77). As Commanding General, Grant worked closely with President Abraham Lincoln to lead the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy in the American Civil War. He implemented Congressional Reconstruction, often at odds with Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson. Analysis: Ulysses S. Grant was a President that understood and enforced the U.S. Constitution. He lobbied for the 15th Amendment, giving blacks the right to vote. He was also a strong believer in Reconstruction aid and Civil Rights to the Negro, completely opposite of his predecessor, Andrew Johnson.
March 4, 1869 - Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson became president as he was vice president at the time of President Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Trivia: Johnson is generally considered among the worst American presidents for his opposition to federally guaranteed rights for African Americans. He fought the Negro at every turn. Every bill that came to his desk that he felt was in favor of the blacks were denied.
February 15, 1869 - Charges of Treason against confederate president Jefferson Davis are dropped. Davis felt that the only role a negro had in America was as a slave. He felt that blacks were inferior to whites. He personally owned 113 slaves. Many whites felt the same as Davis. Davis believed in a Southern social order that included a democratic white society that excluded blacks. After his defeat, he urged his followers in a reconciliation with the North.
If he had a chance to witness the many accomplishments of African Americans since the 1800s, do you think he would still hold on to those racist views? Well, is Barack black?
April 6, 1869 - Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett is appointed minister to Haiti. He is the first African American diplomat and presidential appointee.
July, 6, 1869 - Dr J H Harris who was a black candidate for Govenor of Virginia was defeated.
What is The Declaration of Independence?
It is a statement that the colonist wrote that officially declared their independence from Great Britain. They would now be called, The United States of America. This very special occasion is celebrated every July 4th in America.
The Declaration in part states: 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.
After becoming official, many of the political leaders set their slaves free because they felt it was hypocritical denying a race of people life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These men had a moral conscience, and strived to be true Americans.
But on the other hand, many leaders chose to hold on to their slaves because it would mean a significant loss monetarily. These men didn't have a moral conscience. They let money and greed reign supreme.
The world was watching and ridiculed the men who held on to their slaves. This is America's very first test in morality and would set the tone for many years to come and up unto this day. Most Americans would put money first, with the lesser group clinging to true American principles. There were 12 American Presidents who were slaveholders, 8 of them while in office.
You ugly detestable greedy creep.
Is this what America will become?
Looking through the eyes of a young person, imagine what you would see. Many may not understand how America came to be so polarized. Since the 60s, blacks have made enormous strides, but generally speaking today a youngster might see a white class of people who seem to have it all together, professionally, socially, educationally, economically, and the blacks are always demanding.
Can you imagine how overwhelming and intimidating this could be to some? But when a young black person understands their rich history, it will without a doubt give them courage and strength to believe in themselves, and when that happens, color of skin becomes less of an issue.
Young people deserve to be told the truth about how America became this way, and not in hate or a way that puts down another race. The truth, pure and simple that can be backed up with any library or Google search. America did not just happen yesterday, it took many years for this situation to become this way, and you might be surprised to learn that it was orchestrated by some not too friendly people who didn't sincerely believe in the meaning of the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.
During slavery, the Negro depended on their masters for every single necessity of life. Even the smallest want of a slave had to be approved by his master. It also was a severe crime for anyone caught teaching the slaves to read or write. Books were hidden from the Negro, which meant that slaves were illiterate.
The Emancipation Proclamation freed over four million slaves, most of whom had lived and worked on plantations. America wanted to help these former slaves with Reconstruction aid such as education, medical, housing, etc., attempting to place these illiterate and uneducated Negroes on the road to complete American success.
What was the general attitude of the Negro with this Reconstruction help?
YEAH, THAT"S WHAT I"M TALKING ABOUT, THANKS SO MUCH AMERICA, WE WILL PROVE WE CAN BECOME SELF-RELIANT
PRODUCTIVE CITIZENS! WE CAN"T WAIT TO FIND OUT WHAT"S IN THOSE BOOKS YOU HAVE BEEN HIDING FROM US. LET"S GET THIS THING STARTED!
Enthusiasm and motivation were very high to excel. The schools that had been built for the Negro were packed to capacity with students from 7-70 years of age. Educated blacks were getting elected to office as politicians. Fruitful black communities sprang up, and for the first time in American history, the Negro felt like he was a part of America, and was super happy looking toward a prosperous future.
But sadly, there were some who were not as happy, and these were the former Confederates who lived in the same cities. They didn't want any part of Negro success and to be governed by the people they just lost as slaves. So there was a great white resistance.
What was the result?
After only a few short years, the U.S. Government bowed down to these white supremacist and canceled Reconstruction aid to the former slaves. This was called the 1877 Compromise,(please click on 1877 for details) and blacks calling it the 1877 Grand Betrayal. Terrorist had attacked countless black American citizens. Negroes were hanged, tortured, raped, murdered by the whites with total impunity. The U.S. government knew and did nothing, ignoring the enforcement duties set out in the Constitution.
The little gains the Negro was able to achieve were snatched away, and in the meantime, there were still millions of illiterate, defeated, restricted and uneducated black nomads wandering around in a racist society trying to make it the best way they could, and this situation would remain this way until the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, and yes this is how the black ghetto's got their start.
There's not enough room on this web page to describe the hate and exclusion by government and white Americans against blacks during this period. Jim Crow laws touched every part of life, all across America. Blacks and whites were kept apart as much as possible. Good jobs went to whites; blacks were given the worst with less pay. Many industries wouldn’t hire blacks. Many unions passed special rules to exclude them. All juries and judges were white; blacks were illegally denied voting rights. No blacks allowed in public pools. Many restaurants would not serve blacks, and those that did had a dirty colored section. Blacks and whites went to county fairs on different days. Blacks couldn't use public libraries. Simple common courtesy was rarely shown the blacks. Whites beat, tortured, raped and killed blacks with no fear of punishment. Blacks were denied credit for businesses, housing, cars by the banks. Blacks were kept out of white neighborhoods with housing covenants. Oklahoma had black and white phone booths. Texas had cities where blacks were totally restricted from living. Blacks could not leave their homes after 10:00 pm in Mobile Alabama. Blacks could not marry whites. Georgia had separate white and black parks. Prisons, hospitals, and orphanages were segregated as were schools and colleges. Blacks and whites had to use separate sets of books in school, in Florida, they couldn't be stored together. When a person was sworn in at a trial, the whites used one Bible, and the blacks had a separate Bible. For those who did complete college, a very important question had to be answered. Who was going to be their clients? Whites didn't engage blacks in business, and the battered Negro couldn't afford their services. These laws became so entrenched in American life; even unwritten laws affected black citizenship, blacks understood to stay out of white stores and establishments. Segregation was so complete that whites did not see blacks except when being served by them. After the Civil Rights movement of the 60s, blacks have made enormous gains. This is how the United States of America became a polarized country. Each and every President knew what was going on and allowed this illegal activity for 87 years. Were they guilty of not upholding the United States Constitution in the Negroes behalf? Is this the reason why many other nations laugh at America with its constant claims of being on the side of good and high morality?
We are rating each and every President up unto the Civil Rights movement of the 60s in regards to the Constitutional laws he took an oath to uphold for all American citizens. The ratings can be located at the end of each President's term in office. Please keep in mind there are millions of poor and uneducated blacks in America seeking assistance into assimilating into American culture after 200 years of brutal slavery. Our focus is to find a courageous President, like Abe Lincoln that will solve this problem, and not pass it on to the next administration. Do you think the decisions of these Presidents to act or not to act could have an impact on the lives of many of these blacks today, especially the weaker ones?
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated before the Amendments to the Constitution became official, but without a doubt he understood and enforced the high standards and morality the Constitution stood for.
Andrew Johnson opposed the Fourteenth Amendment, which gave citizenship to former slaves. He fought the Negro every step of the way. Johnson was also a former slaveholder. He didn't believe all were created equal. He didn't uphold the Constitution.
The two platforms" From a series of racist posters attacking Radical Republican exponents of black suffrage, issued during the 1866 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. photo #109 - in year 1863
Race in 1869
February 20, 1869 - Tennessee Governor W C Brownlow final term was near its end, he placed nine counties under martial law, arguing it was necessary to quell rising Klan violence. He also dispatched five state guard companies to occupy Pulaski, where the Klan had been founded.
How did religion begin for the American Negro?
Well, it was an exciting journey for sure, but as usual, we have to go back into history for the likely answer. Before arriving in America as slaves, generally speaking, our ancestors practiced a religion which included fetishism.
What is fetishism you may ask?
Traditional Benin Voodoo Dance
Fetishism is a man-made object (such as the doll aound the lady's neck in the picture) that is thought to have power over others. Africans were extremely superstitious in their native land.
But once exposed to religious teachers in America, quickly left their superstitious past behind them, and would frown upon new arrivals of Africans who practiced fetishism in religion.
In Europe, the Roman Catholic Church had lost their grip on people with their questionable religious practices. There were many who thought the Church was wrong and formed a protest or a Protestant Reformation that resulted in the creation of tons of different religions with their doctrines and teachings claiming to be Christian.
A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views
that relate humanity to an order of existence.
Episcopal, Jesuits, Methodists, Protestant, Anglican, Lutheranism, Calvinism, Presbyterianism, Wesleyanism were all against Roman Catholic teachings.
But there would be a new religion on the horizon for humanity that went by the name of science. The introduction of science was in many ways entirely different than Christianity because it taught man to believe and rely on himself and his creations, rather than on a Supreme Being he couldn't see.
Faith is something foreign and unbelievable to a scientist. Also, this new form of religion would give these believers complete moral authority to do as they wished without a guilty conscience or retribution from a Surpreme Being.
This is what made slavery right or moral in the eyes of so many whites because new science taught that whites were superior and blacks inferior. The theory of evolution is another example in clear teaching that the world exists because of a big bang instead of being created, and also man evolved from apes rather than being created.
Do you believe in Evolution? If so, evolution is your religion because mainstream religion and evolution just don't jive, it's either one or the other.
During slavery, most of the first black congregations and churches were founded by free blacks, but slaves learned about Christianity by attending services led by a white preacher or supervised by a white person. Slaveholders often held prayer meetings at their plantations. Methodist and Baptist were the preferred choices of slaves because of its message.
But after slavery blacks were still restricted in the white churches so what they did next is not a surprise. They began to form their churches free from white rulership and exclusion, but kept the doctrine and teachings, but of course with a more lively twist (singing and dancing). It's clear they still had African culture in their hearts. This would mark the beginning of a new American creation, the black church.
The following is a very brief history of religion in Black America:
William J. Seymour - photo#111-yr-2015
Charles Fox Parham an independent holiness evangelist who believed strongly in divine healing, was an important figure in the emergence of Pentecostalism as a distinct Christian movement. But it wasn't until one of his black students named William J. Seymour learned these teaching and took it back to California with him that the Pentecostal movement took off like wildfire.
Seymour's preaching sparked the famous three-year-long Azusa Street Revival in 1906. Worship at the racially integrated Azusa Mission featured an absence of any order of service. (whites would later dislike this) People preached and testified as moved by the Spirit, spoke and sung in tongues, and fell in the Spirit. Blacks whites and other races would attend these services. But there was a matter of Jim Crow to be kept in mind that made it illegal for blacks and whites to mix.
So whites broke away from Seymour and began their Pentecostal churches. It's a fact that the beginning of the widespread Pentecostal movement in the United States is considered to have started with one-eyed black preacher William J. Seymour's Azusa Street Revival.
The Church Of God in Christ (COGIC) -
Church Of God in Christ Baptism photo#112-yr-2015
The Church Of God in Christ was formed in 1897 by a group of disfellowshiped Baptists, most notably Charles Price Jones (1865–1949) and Charles Harrison Mason (1866–1961) and is a Pentecostal Christian denomination with a predominantly African-American membership. It ranks as the largest Pentecostal denomination and the fifth largest Christian denomination in the U.S. Evangelical Baptist, and Methodist preachers traveled throughout the South in the Great Awakening of the late 18th century and appealed directly to slaves, and a few thousand slaves converted. Early COGIC leaders were very much attracted by the Pentecostal message and would break from the Baptist for this reason.
A.M.E. Church -
The African Methodist Episcopal Church, usually called the A.M.E. Church, is a predominantly African-American Methodist denomination based in the US. It is the oldest independent Protestant denomination founded by blacks in the world. It was founded by the Rt. Rev. Richard Allen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1816 from several black Methodist congregations in the mid-Atlantic area that wanted independence from white Methodists.
Baptists are individuals who comprise a group of denominations and churches that subscribe to a doctrine that baptism should be performed only for professing believers (believer's baptism, as opposed to infant baptism) and that it must be done by complete immersion (as opposed to affusion or sprinkling). Other tenets of Baptist churches include soul competency (liberty), salvation through faith alone, Scripture alone as the rule of faith and practice, and the autonomy of the local congregation. Baptists recognize two ministerial offices, pastors, and deacons. Baptist churches are widely considered to be Protestant churches, though some Baptists disavow this identity.
An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. Jews felt like they were chosen people who were promised a land filled with milk and honey, a holy land. This promise was made to Abraham and his seed. Abraham's wife Sarah had trouble conceiving children so to keep the promise alive and in the family she chose Hagar who was an Egyptian handmaid to have sexual relations with Abraham to bear a son, which is what they did. This son's name was Ishmael.
But something happened later that would throw things into a tizzy. At a very old age Sarah was now able to have kids and bore a son named Isaac.
Now here's the problem. Does the promise belong to Sarah's son or Hagar's son? Sarah felt it belonged to her bloodline, so she sent Hagar and Ishmael into the wilderness for them to die. But guess what? They didn't die. Muhammad who was the final prophet sent by God as identified in the Quran was born within Ishmael's seed line.
So even to this day these two groups don't care for each other.
This religion by far has proven to be the most destructive for humankind. Its users have created a world of me, me, me, by magnifying themselves, sincerely believing they are all of that and a bag of chips. Also the belief that spirited competition is healthy and useful. Win at all cost! The survival of the fittest theory. Many genocides were accomplished in the name of science. It teaches us that man originates from apes, (many blacks lost their life because of this false teaching) the earth was created from nothing and in essence humans are their gods. The bad far outweighs the good with the practice of science. Just look around.
Matilda Sissieretta Joyner Jones
Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone
Famous Birthdays in 1869
January 7, 1869 - Pat Chappelle was an African American theatre owner and entrepreneur, who established and ran The Rabbit's Foot Company, a leading traveling vaudeville show in the first part of the twentieth century.
January 27, 1869 - Will Marion Cook was an African-American composer and violinist.
August 9, 1869 - Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone was an American businesswoman, inventor and philanthropist. In the first three decades of the 20th century, she founded and developed a large and prominent commercial and educational enterprise centered on cosmetics for African-American women.
1869 - John Leubrie Hill songwriter.
1868 or 1869 - Sissieretta Jones was an African-American soprano. She sometimes was called "The Black Patti" in reference to Italian opera singer Adelina Patti.
William Cooper Nell
Christian Fleetwood photo #110-yr-1914
Famous Weddings in 1869
April 14, 1869 - William Cooper Nell and Frances Ann Ames were married.
November 16, 1869 - Former soldier, editor, musician, and a government official Christian Abraham Fleetwood and Sara Iredell were married.
How did "acting" Cool begin for African Americans?
It seems like it's been around forever and expected of every black kid growing up
For most blacks, cool started on the southern plantations. Opportunists slavemasters devised a way for slaves to work harder and reap the benefits of their labor. During the year at a chosen plantation slave masters would hold a "Corn Shucking Festival." Slaves from nearby plantations would also join this event with their owner's permission, so it was almost like a community gathering of all the local slaves, with greedy slavemasters making all the money.
The slave who shucked the most corn won an award, sometimes cash or a suit of clothes. Anyone who found a red ear of corn also received a reward - perhaps a kiss from a young woman or a jug of whiskey. It was at these events that the term Shuckin' and jivin' came into existence by the slaves while working and telling tall stories, talking smack, and joking around with each other.
These gatherings, even though involving hard work had to be an event looked forward to by the slaves, because it was one of the few times during the year blacks had a chance to interact with one another. Shuckin' and jivin' would become a tool the slaves would use to convince their masters of an untruth, and even among themselves. It was an early form of being cool. http://encyclopedia2.thefreedictionary.com/Corn-Shucking+Festival
After slavery blacks were free (sort of) to do as they pleased. Most blacks wanted to assimilate into American culture very much but were shut out by the white racist. African and European culture met head on in what was supposed to be fair in America guaranteed by our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, but blacks didn't stand a chance.
Why, what happened?
Because most whites banded together by breaking the law and made blacks second class citizens and would go on to murder, lynch, rape, humiliate them all the way until the 1960s Civil Rights movement. After Lincoln, every single United States President was aware of this and did nothing. Whites achieved like crazy and prospered while blacks lagged far behind and got along the best way they knew how.
Blacks disliked whites very much for this terrible treatment and instead of violent disobedience, they protested by living their lives opposite of white culture. I mean let's face it, why would blacks want to imitate or become a part of a race of people that hated them?
This is when being cool became a symbol of white resistance and protest. Being cool would show you were down with the struggle. During slavery, we had already created our language which was AAVE and many blacks communicated this way. Any black that did not use it was looked down as trying to act white, joining the enemy sort of speak.
We developed our own way of walking with a proud gait, (George Jefferson strut) our own style of music, our own style of dance, our own style of food, our own style of worship, that didn't have anything in common with white folks and that suited blacks just fine. We were poor, but we were proud and cool and everyone who practiced these traits was cool and a part of the resistance.
In the process, we were creating a new culture that was admired over the world. Blacks have always had a remarkable ability to create something out of nothing. But sadly there was significant risk with this lifestyle in a great country such as America.
What were the downfalls?
Oscar Micheaux felt it was wrong for blacks to live this way in America. Oscar was an African American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 movies and he is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the twentieth century and the most prominent producer of race films. He produced both silent movies and "talkies" after the industry changed to incorporate speaking actors.
Oscar felt that blacks should become aggressive and use their brainpower in achieving instead of just settling for what the white man doled out. This man lived in some of the most racist times in American history, but he didn't let that stop him from fulfilling his dreams and doing it the legal way.
Evidently, Oscar had a brother who was the very cool type and was content on just putting up a show, or a front as living a successful life. We all know the type. A person that was living beyond his means. Blacks of his day called this way of living “the good life.”
Oscar didn't like it and was very upset with his brother. He later wrote in his book and discussed the culture of doers who want to accomplish, and those who see themselves as victims of injustice and hopelessness, and do not want to step out and try to succeed, but instead like to dress up, act cool and pretend to be successful while living the city lifestyle in poverty.
Oscar understood that education doesn't belong only to white people, it's a gift for all humanity to better ourselves, and honestly the best-proven way. Chinese, Japanese, Middle-Eastern and all other non-white nations understand this and have prospered by education. It's one of humanities treasure to learn.
But many blacks associated education with white and stayed far away from it, to continue with their cool lifestyle. A foolish mistake, and just what racist whites want you to believe.
Early Europeans completely dominated the Africans because they were better educated. They had guns we had spears, you do the math. In Africa our ancestors didn't value education, but traditions and silly ones at that. But that didn't save them. Education would have, though.
So without a doubt, it is entirely wrong to associate teaching and learning to white people. Many of us would look down upon another black who tried to better himself through education by saying they were trying to act white, and it wasn't cool. Racist whites laughed at us for believing this way because they knew we would always be behind.
After the 1960s, when our full Civil Rights were finally restored, many blacks chose to live the more standard American way by attending school to learn. But many also wanted to remain trapped in time with the old AAVE living in what they still perceived as defiance to the white American way of doing things. But were they only hurting themselves?
Later in time, being cool had become so prevalent in the black community it confused many kids, because they didn't quite understand if they were going to hang out with the cool kids or the so-called boring kids who liked to read and learn. At an early age, they are at a critical crossroad. Taking the cool route may seem easier, and a lot of fun, but would be a devastating mistake.
After the Civil Rights era we now have the opportunity to attend school and achieve as much as we can, but being cool has snatched many of the black kids and locked them into a culture hating education and in the process ruining their young lives.
Many entertainment figures reap much money from this cool culture by portraying cool as, well cool. They tell impressionable ones what's cool to hear, talk about, wear, eat, etc. and at the same time padding their cool humongous bank accounts.
These even get on television and flaunt their riches in a youngster's face never explicitly teaching on how they might be as successful, without being dishonest, stealing or selling drugs. Education is not cool for them to preach.
One thing is for sure, being cool can be a lot of fun and there's no denying that. Everybody wants to be liked, and it seems like cool people are respected and admired the most, from the clothes they wear to the type of songs they listen to the way they talk, the effortless way they seem to accomplish every task is amazing.
They possess incredible confidence. But truthfully everything they've accomplished wouldn't have been possible without the sacrifices of our wonderful ancestors. So don't you agree we owe a particular moral responsibility to them?
Kids should remember cool is not the real deal, It's a game we can't get caught up in. Our ancestors endured so much so we could achieve. We should never forget that. That's what this site was created. Browse through its pages, and you're going to read stories of amazing blacks.
They made it possible for us, and we're sure they would advise us to achieve through education first and foremost and save the cool for the weekends, and I ain't Shuckin and Jivin!
Plantation scenarios were common in black minstrelsy, as shown here in this poster for Callender's Colored Minstrels.
Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield
During the Civil War, Thomas Wentworth Higginson served as colonel of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers, the first federally authorized black regiment, from 1862–1864. Following the war, Higginson devoted much of the rest of his life to fighting for the rights of freed slaves, women and other disfranchised peoples.
John Brown Song
Music in 1869
Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield dubbed "The Black Swan", was an African-American singer considered the best-known black concert artist of her time. She was noted by James M. Trotter for her "remarkably sweet tones and wide vocal compass." She toured and conducted a Philadelphia music studio. Among her voice pupils was Thomas Bowers, who became known as "The Colored Mario" and "The American Mario" for the similarity of his voice to Italian opera tenor Giovanni Mario.
Lew Johnson organizes his first permanent black minstrel troupe, in St. Louis, Missouri; he will be the most well-regarded minstrel show manager of the era.
Trivia: Johnson began his career in the late 1860s and stayed in business for over 25 years. His traveling show had between 6-20 members at any given time. None of the members became popular enough to go out on their own but developed a following where ever they played which was mostly rural towns. They endured much racism from town to town, but I guess they figured it was only for a day, that maybe made it a little easier to handle.
One or two African-American troupes dominated the scene for much of the late 1860s and 1870s. The first of these was Brooker and Clayton's Georgia Minstrels, who played the Northeast around 1865. Sam Hague's Slave Troupe of Georgia Minstrels formed shortly after that and toured England with great success beginning in 1866. In the 1870s, white entrepreneurs bought most of the successful black companies. Charles Callender obtained Sam Hague's troupe in 1872 and renamed it Callender's Georgia Minstrels. They became the most famous black troupe in America, and the words Callender and Georgia came to be synonymous with the institution of black minstrelsy.
Thomas Wentworth Higginson:
Thomas Wentworth Higginson leads the First South Carolina Colored Volunteers, the first group of authorized African American soldiers. Higginson is a notable author who helps popularize many aspects of African American music. He contributed to the preservation of Negro spirituals by copying dialect verses and music he heard sung around the regiment's campfires.
John Brown's Song:
is a United States marching song about the abolitionist John Brown. The song was popular in the Union during the American Civil War.
"Juba Juba", a popular song about the Juba:
Juba dis and Juba dat,
and Juba killed da yellow cat,
You sift the meal and ya gimme the husk,
you bake the bread and ya gimme the crust,
you eat the meat and ya gimme the skin,
and that's the way,
my mama's troubles begin
A song about the hambone from Step it Down (v.s.):
Hambone Hambone pat him on the shoulder
If you get a pretty girl, I'll show you how to hold her.
Hambone, Hambone, where have you been?
All 'round the world and back again.
Hambone, Hambone, what did you do?
I got a train and I fairly flew.
Hambone, Hambone where did you go?
I hopped up to Miss Lucy's door.
I asked Miss Lucy would she marry me.
(falsetto)"Well I don't care if Papa don't care!"
First come in was Mister Snake,
He crawled all over that wedding cake.
Next walked in was Mister Tick,
He ate so much it made him sick.
Next walked in was Mister Coon,
We asked him to sing us a wedding tune,
Popular Soul Dances:
The Juba or Hambone dance was originally from West Africa. It became an African-American plantation dance that was performed by slaves during their gatherings when no rhythm instruments were allowed due to fear of secret codes hidden in the drumming.
Men's Fashion in 1864 photo #109-yr-1864
Women's Fashion in 1864 photo #110-yr-1864
Couples attending the Negro Labor Convention Illustration from Harper's Weekly The person who drew this Illustration was kind to black people. Usually during that time period they would portray the Negro with wild hair and humongous noses with exaggerated lips. They made us look normal. Thank you Harper's. photo #101-yr-1869
Couples attending the Negro Labor Convention Illustration from Harper's Weekly photo #101-yr-1869
Couples attending the Negro Labor Convention Illustration from Harper's Weekly photo #101-yr-1869
Fashions in 1869
1860s fashion was European-influenced clothing is characterized by extremely full-skirted women's fashions relying on crinolines and hoops and the emergence of "alternative fashions" under the influence of the Artistic Dress movement.
In men's fashion, the three-piece ditto suit of sack coat, waistcoat, and trousers in the same fabric emerged as a novelty.
Yeow!, Slavery is Finally Over!
It's smooth sailing ahead
We can't wait to get out in the workforce to make our own money
What type of employment awaits us in the 1800s?
90% of Negroes still lived in the South up until the late 1910s. Blacks looking for work in the South mainly worked on the land they lived. Most were tenant farmers that did contract work on a farm by farm basis. Some blacks were hired just for a particular job and once the job was over had to find employment elsewhere. They would work and harvest the field for the season and pay the owner out of their profits for room and board and use of farming tools.
Some but not many blacks also worked in manufacturing, and for the most part were paid comparable wages as their white counterparts. However, blacks were much less likely to hold better-paying skilled jobs, and they were more liable to work for lower-paying companies.
If blacks were not working on farms, they were engaged in unskilled labor and service jobs. They were unable to afford their homes. Because of the crazy events unfolding with voter intimidations and outright murders by the KKK, with total impunity and the total disregard for assistance from American presidents, and the end of Reconstruction help. Most black children had not attended school in the year before the Census was taken, and white children were much more likely to have attended.
Immediately after the emancipation blacks were very eager to learn, school attendance was sky high, but unfolding events that were perpetrated or voted on in approval by white citizens demoralized many blacks at this point in history before the turn of the century, and don't forget the effects of damaging Jim Crows laws which were about to formally get underway.
So a typical look at the African American family at the end of the 1800s Census lived and worked on a farm in the South and did not own their home, and children in these families were unlikely to be in school even at very young ages.
Blacks also found employment in the mining industry, which was very dangerous work. In 1883, thousands of European immigrants and a large number of African Americans migrated to southern West Virginia to work in coal mines. These coal miners worked in company mines with company tools and equipment, which they were required to lease. Along with these expenses, the miners have deducted pay for housing rent and items they purchased from company stores. Furthermore, the coal companies went as far as creating their monetary system so the miners could only shop at company-owned stores. In addition to the poor economic condition, safety in the mines was a great concern with many men either killed or permanently injured.
African-Americans also worked in the shipping business as stevedores or more commonly called, longshoreman which consisted of waterfront manual laborer involved in loading and unloading ships. In the 1800s, the word stevedore was usually applied to black laborers who loaded and unloaded bales of cotton and other freight on and off riverboats.
Work for Negroes in the Northern cties weren't much better. Many blacks probably thought that after the Civil War their streets were going to be paved golden with opportunity, but boy were they in for a surprise!
Blacks were denied at every level on the economic ladder. It has been observed that this was a period the black crime rate rose, with the white crime rate going down. Whites controlled every single aspect of gainful American employment.
Factories were going full steam ahead, but when blacks tried to enter, they were shut out, why? Mainly because the whites didn't want to work side by side with blacks, so as a result they were not hired.
The textiles and garment industries were also booming during this period, but there aren't records of blacks ever being hired.
It was possible for blacks to find work with the railroads as Pullman porters, track workers, or common laborers, but at the same time when their families and friends wanted to travel on the train, they were segregated. How demoralizing that had to be. White railroad unions blocked them out from making better pay which was in the maintenance and train building departments.
In the early 1800s, there were many black craftsmen such as carpenters, machinist, contractors, etc. who enjoyed a good reputation with their skilled art trade, but in the late 1800s that image changed due to the increase of separate but equal doctrine. It's not a dispute blacks couldn't do the work, the issue was the color of skin that kept them out of the workforce.
When a black would apply for employment at a retail store, they wouldn't hire them, saying whites did not want to be served by them. One black was fortunate enough to land a job as the cities only black clerk at a commercial bank. What was the catch? He never received a raise or promotion and dared not complained.
Businesses would hire newly arriving immigrants before hiring their American black brothers. Blacks were better educated, but just the wrong color in their eyes.
If a black person extended himself through higher learning going on to become a doctor or lawyer, one important question has to be answered. Who were going to be his paying clients? This problem persist in today's world and as long as America is around, it always will. It's a deeply entrenched belief in white people whether conscious or unconscious to avoid doing business with blacks. (generally speaking)
Whites rarely would patronize black professionals, even famous black sociologist of those days WEB Dubois made a comment "Education will get you nothing but disappointment and humiliation.'' which Dubois had to be frustrated when making that statement because he was at the forefront in African American achievement through education.
It has been noted that there were only two avenues open for blacks during this period in history which was strike-breaking and vice.
Different businesses such as the coal mines would hire blacks a strike-breakers when the whites would protest for more money. Of course, many blacks lost their lives with the violent outburst by the white workers fearing they were losing their jobs. Blacks had to take the chance along with the danger, what else could they do?
They had to feed their families too. With the women, it was the same thing. When white dressmakers went on strike, the company hired black women to take their place. So basically, blacks were used as pawns in the game.
The other avenue open to blacks was the vice, and this clearly explains how and why this phenomenon has extended down to our day for a segment of our black community. It would seem these blacks are still demoralized and traumatized from these events in history. But we have every hope they will rise and soar like the eagles. There was a lot of gambling, prostitution, lottery, and bootlegging, going on in the cities, and maybe the police kept a blind eye to it because they ignored it for a while. - At this point in history, Philadelphia was estimated to have 10,000 prostitutes and 1,000 brothels in the 1890s. Most of the vise would find it's way into the black neighborhoods with black leaders unable to stop it.
We think it's important to note that old saying that "the more things change the more they stay the same" applies here. America has made some progress in racial relations but the attitude still exist for blacks entering the workplace which is mostly white. Many will keep quiet but may not want you there, but you have your family to feed just like they do and as long as everyone does his work and obey the rules is all that matters. We're not out to win a popularity contest. But if they sincerely want to work with you, that would be wonderful!
February 6, 1869 Illustration from Harper's Weekly of the Colored National Labor Union convention in Washington, D.C. photo #101
The former Freedman's Savings Bank on Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. photo #105-yr-1874
Our Community in 1869
Newsworthy Events in the Black Community:
January 13, 1869 - the Colored National Labor Union (CNLU) was formed by African Americans to organize their labor collectively on a national level. The CNLU, like other labor unions in the United States, had as its goal improving the working conditions and quality of life for its members.
The Freedman's Savings Bank was a private corporation chartered by the U.S. government to encourage and guide the economic development of the newly emancipated African-American communities in the post-Civil War period. The bank's central office was located in Washington D.C., but had many branches throughout America, especially in the South. Although functioning only between 1865 and 1874, the company achieved notable successes as a leading financial institution of African-Americans. Its failure in 1874 was devastating to the newly emancipated black community. Trivia: With over 480,000 names on file, it make for the largest single repository of lineage-linked African-American records. The searchable database is available to amateur as well as professional genealogists.
#100 - Public Domain image - The Black Patti, Mme. M. Sissieretta Jones the greatest singer of her race. New York: Metropolitan Printing Co., 1899. Prints and Photographs Division, reproduction number: LC-USZC4-5164
#101 - Public Domain image - By Template:Sketched by Theo. R Davis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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