Following the Civil War, a group of constitutional amendments worked together to establish the beginning of civil rights in America – the abolishment of slavery (13 Amendment), the citizenship of former slaves (14th Amendment), giving all men the right to vote regardless of race (15th Amendment), and giving women the right to vote (19th amendment).
Nonetheless, many states [particularly in the South] used poll taxes, literacy tests and other measures to keep African-Americans disenfranchised from exercising their right to vote and prospectively deny them citizenship. The enforcement of strict segregation was enacted through Jim Crow laws and condoned violence from white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.
The U.S. Congress did not take the initiative to make improvements for African-Americans for equality or fair treatment under the law. Finally, in 1957, a Civil Rights Division was established in the Justice Department, along with a Commission on Civil Rights to investigate discriminatory conditions. In 1960, Congress provided for court-appointed referees to help African-Americans register to vote. However, these bills were heavily watered down to overcome southern resistance and gain some momentum in the civil rights movement.
Continue reading “Civil Rights Act & Voting Rights Act”
This blog is dedicated to my nephew, Kaden and my best friend’s daughter, Malia. I don’t have any children of my own yet but you both have inspired me to create a history of first for African-Americans in America. I gave you the book, “ABC’s for Boys/Girls Like Me,” because even though you know your ABC’s it is important to learn and know what the black men and women before you have accomplished so that in times like this you won’t be afraid of your blackness, you won’t disown yourself or your family because the world has, and instead you will believe in yourself, protect your loved ones, and be the best you can be every single day. I know you won’t be children forever and you’ll have to face society one day, I just want you to be prepared, be resilient, and be compassionate.
I love you both, my black prince and black princess. XXX – Titi B, Brittany.
Continue reading “Black Excellence Matters – A History of Firsts”
Juneteenth is currently an unofficial American holiday celebrated on June 19th to commemorate Union General Gordon Granger’s reading of federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas, on 19 June 1865, proclaiming that all enslaved persons in the U.S. state of Texas were now free. This came two years late of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation dated January 1, 1863.
After recent rising racial tensions, protests and riots throughout the U.S., there is a decision on the table to be discussed and to be made: Will Juneteenth become an official National Holiday? We are still seeking justice for those African-Americans killed at the hands of police brutality and racial inequality, such as, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, but is a national holiday enough to repair the damage that has been caused? The answer is no. The work is not done and if you ask me, a national holiday to recognize our freedom in a system that has kept us oppressed for over 157 years, WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH! (but it’s a start, recognition is step 1 in the right direction).
Continue reading “Juneteenth Celebration”
On May 25, 2020, an African-American man named George Floyd died at the unjustified use of excessive physical force by 4 police officers: Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, and J.A. Kueng (seen kneeling on George for nearly nine minutes) and Tou Thao (officer on the scene). On Thursday, May 28, 2020, the news went viral and the Minneapolis Third Precinct was set ablaze by protesters. The next day, Derek Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The other 3 officers have been fired but have not received charges yet, despite the family’s wishes and protesters’ demands. To review where the officers went wrong, please review the Minneapolis PD Policy & Procedure Manual; I recommend starting with Volume Five: Code of Conduct and Use of Force.
In the last seven days, I’ve been presented with an overwhelming amount of information regarding the riots/events related to George Floyd’s death and it’s breaking my heart every day to see my people being violated on so many levels… [TRIGGER WARNING] From a grandmother who was shot in the face with rubber bullets in San Diego, a man tear gassed in his car with his pregnant wife in Denver, and right here in Brooklyn where Assembly Woman, Diana Richardson was pepper sprayed in the face – she had this to say: “This is uncalled for. I would never come out here to be in a position like this. I’m actually out here to assure the peace is [kept]”… I don’t know how much more I can take of this violence against my people. To everyone reading this, I want to remind you to stay strong. It’s going to get worse before it can get better “And even though you’re fed up, you got to keep your head up”
In this blog, I want to share a brief history of race riots in America. Most of these riots were started by White Americans against African Americans, in an effort to remove black people from their neighborhoods, destroy their land and property, and violate their rights to freedom. I will also be addressing some of our historically worthy protests and riots where we fight back for the unjust crimes committed against us by fellow civilians and government entities. Here is the list:
Continue reading “A Brief History of Race Riots in America”