Black History Month

OctoberNovember 2021 December


Jonestown Massacre

Barima-Waini (Jonestown), Guyana - (909 dead) Jonestown was a camp for the religious cult-leader, Jim Jones. His cult was formerly known as the Peoples Temple. It began in 1956, in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jones preyed on black Americans. He targeted black women, as his followers. He was a reported womanizer, who would regularly sleep with female followers. Despite a mostly black following, the cult leadership was almost exclusively white.

In 1965, Jones left Indiana for California. The reason was criticism from whites that the cult included black people. In, California, Jones faced criticism that he exploited his followers. It convinced Jones to leave the country.

In 1974, Jones decided on Guyana. He leased land (3,800 acres) from the government, in the middle of the jungle. Eventually, Jones moved hundreds of his followers to the area. He created a compound there, and called it Jonestown.

On Tuesday, November 14th, Congressman Leo Ryan, Jr. arrived at Jonestown. He heard reports of abuse and mistreatment at Jonestown. Ryan arrived with a group that included journalists and aides. They toured the camp and talked to people in Jonestown.

On Saturday, November 18th, at 4:45 p.m. Ryan's group left Jonestown. They arrived at the Kaituma airstrip. As they waited for their flight, Jones followers opened fire.

Ryan, 3 journalists, and one former Jones follower were killed. Ryan's body was shot 20 times, on the runway, as he waited to board a plane, to leave the area. Ryan was the only person, in Congress, to die in the line-of-duty.

Later, that same day, Jones told his followers to drink poisoned (cyanide) Kool-AId. This is where the term 'drinking the Kool-Aid' originated.

Survivors and investigators determined most followers did not drink the poison. Many were shot to death by the bodyguards of Jones. Others, were intentionally injected with poison. Hundreds of men, women, and children were mass-murdered by the word of Jim Jones.

The Jonestown Massacre was the largest peacetime loss of American non-military life in United States history, until 9/11. Jim Jones did not escape Jonestown. He committed suicide, the same night. Jones shot himself in the head.

Some suspect Jones was a CIA asset. It is speculated that he was executed, on orders from the CIA. It was because the Jonestown project failed.

Slave Play Opened

Manhattan, New York - Slave Play started on Broadway, in Manhattan, New York. Slave Play showed sexual partners who used the slavery experience for sex. It included homosexual, lesbian, and mixed-race sex acts.

The show was written as a sexual comedy. The play was very sexually explicit. White audiences were big fans of the show. Whites enjoyed the use of sex and slavery for laughs.

Slave Play got 12 nominations at the 74th Tony Awards, which was record-breaking. It got nominations for the Lucille Lortel Awards and Drama Desk Awards.

The creator and director were both homosexuals. Jeremy O. Harris created the play. Robert O'Hara directed it. The show closed January 19th, 2020.

Tamir Rice Murdered

Cleveland, Ohio - Tamir Rice was killed by Timothy Loehmann (pictured left), a Cleveland police worker. Tamir Rice was a 12 year-old black male child. Loehmann was a 26 year-old, white male.

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014, a 911 call was made about a boy that pointed a pistol at random people. The caller was at a city park at a nearby gazebo. The caller said the gun was probably fake.

The 911 dispatcher asked the caller three times, if Rice was black or white. The caller described what Rice wore. The dispatcher refused to send police until the caller gave Tamir's race.

The caller left the gazebo. Later, Rice sat on a bench, under the gazebo, alone.

Around 3:30 p.m., Rice left the bench and began to leave the gazebo. The Cleveland police, Loehmann and Frank Garmback drove on the grass at Rice.

As the police car stopped, Loehmann got out of the car and shot Rice twice. The entire encounter took less than two (2) seconds. Rice collapsed to the ground immediately.

Two minutes later, the police arrested Rice's 14 year-od sister as she ran toward her fallen brother. As Rice laid on the ground, and suffered from the gunshot wounds, the Cleveland police gave no aid.

Later that day, Cleveland Deputy Chief Tomba said 'the child did not threaten the officer verbally or physically.'

On November 26th, Rice died at MetroHealth Medical Center. The cause of death was a gunshot wound to the chest, with major internal damage.

Loehmann was not charged with the murder of Rice. In 2017, Loehmann was fired from the Cleveland Police Department.