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Black History Month 2024

Sep October Nov

Elaine Arkansas Massacre

Elaine, Arkansas - 500-1000 white males murdered dozens of Black Americans. It all started because Black American farmers wanted to work together for a better life.

On September 30, 1919, sharecroppers met to create a union. They met at a church to get better prices for their crops. To keep white plantation owners from the meeting, armed Black American guards waited outside. In Elaine, there were ten (10) Black Americans to every 1 white.

It is unclear what began the trouble at the church. There was gunfire and a white security guard was dead. The guard worked for the Missouri-Pacific Railroad. A white deputy sheriff was injured.

On October 1st, the Phillips County Sheriff formed a posse. He told Governor Brough there was an insurrection in Elaine. The Governor sent word to the Secretary of War. Soldiers were on their way to Elaine.

As troops made their way to Elaine, hundreds of whites came to the town. They were from other counties and the next State. Whites killed Black Americans with no restraint, and injured hundreds more.

On October 2nd, 500 soldiers arrived in the morning and the massacre ended.


Elaine Arkansas Massacre

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O. J. Simpson Found Not Guilty

Los Angeles, California - Orenthal James (O. J.) Simpson was found not guilty in the murder of a white male and a white female. It was an extremely rare case. Normally, a Black American man was convicted when a victim was white. In those cases, evidence rarely mattered, in the United States.

Unfortunately, the white press, white politicians, and white media have complained about this outcome until this very day.

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Chicago Cop Jason Van Dyke Found Guilty of Murder

Chicago, Illinois - A jury convicted Chicago police worker, Jason Van Dyke. He was on trial for the shooting death of Laquan McDonald.

White police worker, Van Dyke was found guilty of second (2nd) degree murder. The jury found him guilty of 16 counts of aggravated battery. Each count was for a bullet he shot at Laquan McDonald.

McDonald was a Black American male. He was 17 years of age when Van Dyke killed him.


Van Dyke Convicted of Murder

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Anita Hill Accused Clarence Thomas in Congress

Washington, D. C. - Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings for the United States Supreme Court. Hill worked for Thomas, at one time, and said he sexually harrassed her.

Thoams was chosen by President George H. W. Bush to replace Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court. Marshall had died. He was part of the Civil Rights movement, as an attorney. In contrast, Thomas had no Civil Rights background.

The primary reason Bush had chosen Thomas, was to keep a token Black American on the Supreme Court. Further, Thomas had a record of loyalty to whites, to the harm of Black Americans. This was opposite to Marshall, who most whites despised due to his Civil Rights history.

Before he got the job, Thomas had to be approved by Congress. Future President Joe Biden led the confirmation hearings. Biden got Hill to testify in public that Thomas was a sexual threat.

While Thomas was no ally to Black Americans, Biden used this to publicly show a Black American man, as a sexual predator. Biden used this racist stereotype to push his Mass Incarceration bill, just 2 years later.

Despite the statements by Hill, Thomas was given the job on the Supreme Court, by Congress. In the decades Thomas was a Supreme Court justice, at best, he had an unfriendly effect on the rights of Black Americans.


Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill

Thomas Hill Hearings

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Mass Incarceration Began

Washington, D. C. - The Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984 was signed into law. It took immediate effect. This was the first Federal law that began the era of Mass Incarceration. It targeted Black American men and boys, for jail and prison.

This act enabled the notorious mandatory minimum sentences. It eliminated Federal parole. Civil forfeiture powers were expanded.

The second act was the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. It created the 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine. Black Americans were charged with crack. Whites were charged with powder cocaine. Black Americans suffered 100 times longer time in jail and prison compared to whites, for the same act.

The third act was the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. It restored the death penalty to Federal sentences, which focused on Black American men.

The final act of Federal law, was the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994). It expanded the Federal Death Penalty. Higher education for inmates was eliminated. The three-strikes provision was added to court sentences.

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The 'Welfare Queen' Was Invented

Chicago, Illinois - The phrase 'Welfare Queen' was used for the first time, in print. The story was by George Bliss, in the Chicago Tribune. It was about Linda Taylor.

Taylor was a career criminal and con-artist. She was charged with many crimes and welfare fraud. Despite welfare being one of many crimes she was alleged to have committed, Bliss used the term 'Welfare Queen' to describe her.

Ronald Reagan used the story in his 1976 Presidential campaign. He argued that poor women used welfare to get over on the system. He used the story of Linda Taylor, as his example.

There were many doubts that the story was true, as told by Reagan. Yet, Reagan used the con-artist as a basis to push his welfare reform policy of the 1980s. Those reforms limited access to welfare to Black American women and children. Black men were already blocked from welfare, except in special cases.


Welfare Queen

Linda Taylor

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President Reagan Declared 'War on Drugs'

Washington, D. C. - President Ronald Reagan declared the 'War on Drugs' at the Justice Department. This was the second time the United States government made drugs a policy focus. The first time was by President Richard Nixon, in 1971.

Reagan made his 'drugs' speech years before the crack cocaine hysteria of the 1980s. It came before the mass incarceration law that Reagan signed, in 1984. By the time crack cocaine appeared, all the pieces were in place to wage a legal, civil war against Black Americans. Over the next 20 years, prison rates of young, Black American men exploded.


Reagan's Drug War

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Planned Parenthood Started

Brooklyn, New York - Planned Parenthood was founded. Margaret Sanger, her sister Ethel Byrne, and Fania Mindell were its founders. The goal was to reduce births and family sizes of those they deemed unfit. It began as the Negro Project.

Sanger was a eugenicist. The Eugenics Society was founded in 1907. Eugenics was an attempt at a formal, scientific racism. It promoted the birth of superior races over the inferior. Black Americans were legally decided to be an inferior race, at that time.

From its start, Planned Parenthood made Black American women its focus. It has worked for many decades to reduce the number of Black Americans. Abortion of Black American babies has always been its number one goal. It has never made healthy Black American babies or mothers a serious goal.

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Black Fists Raised at Mexico Olympics

Mexico City, Mexico - Tommie Smith (center) and John Carlos (right) each raised a fist at the award podium for the 200m race, at the 1968 Olympic Games.

Smith and Carlos were shoeless on the platform to show their black socks, which represented Black American poverty. Carlos wore a bead necklace to represent lynchings in the United States.

Carlos and Smith raised their gloved hand, when the Star Spangled Banner played, at the awards ceremony and bowed their heads.

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Million Man March Held

Washington, D. C. - A gathering of a million Black American men took place at the National Mall, for one day. Men from across the United States came to attend the event. It was conducted peacefully, and without major incident.

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John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry

Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) - On Sunday night, John Brown, and his party, seized the Federal armory, in Harper's Ferry. It had a substantial arms supply. At least 20 men took part in the raid. Most were white men.

Sundary, October 16th, 11 p.m., Brown began his raid. It started well. They freed a number of slaves and cut the telegraph lines into the town. The group ran into Heyward Shepherd, a 'free' Black American man. He was a baggage handler for the railroad.

Heyward was told to stop. Instead, he headed back to the station. Brown's men shot him in the back. Pro-slavers regarded Heyward as a hero.

A white doctor heard the gunshot. He came to see what happened. Brown saw the doctor and let him leave. After the doctor left, he raised an alarm. Church bells were rung in the town. Later, he went to another town to tell of the raid.

Brown sent men to get help from nearby plantations. He wanted Black American men. Only a handful joined. With his group, Brown took at least 60 hostages, in town. The 10 most important were kept in the engine house, of the railroad.

Monday, October 17th, 1:15 a.m., the evening train was stopped. It was held for five (5) hours. Brown went on the train. He talked with passengers for an hour. The passengers were allowed into town to stay at a hotel.

At 7 a.m., the train got to the first telegraph. At 10:30 a.m., the military was sent word of Brown's raid.

Between 11 a.m. and evening, local militia units formed. Several companies of men arrived in Harper's Ferry. Most were drunk and disorderly. There was enough control to surround Brown's men.

The militia killed Dangerfield Newby. He was an ex-slave in Brown's group. Newby's corpse was mutilated, by the militia. His testicles and ears were cut off. The militia kept them as souvenirs.

By the time the military arrived, most of the hostages were freed. Brown only held about 10. They were held in the engine house, of the railroad.

On Tuesday, October 18th, the raid ended. Colonel Robert E. Lee and the military captured Brown.

On December 2nd, 1859, John Brown was hanged. Shields Green, who escaped slavery, and the 'free' man, John Copeland, were hanged. John Brown's wife was allowed to take his body back to New York. The bodies of the two Black American men were sold to white medical students.

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Chicago Police Kill Laquan McDonald

Chicago, Illinois - Chicago Police worker, Jason Van Dyke, shot Laquan McDonald, sixteen (16) times. Van Dyke was a white male. McDonald was a Black American male, and 17 years of age.

A report of property damage on cars was the reason the Chicago police came to the area. McDonald was seen and the police used their vehicles to block him. He got around the vehicles.

Van Dyke arrived, exited his car, and opened fire on McDonald. He was re-loading his gun as he was told to stop firing at McDonald. McDonald was walking away when Van Dyke shot him to death.

It took a year before Van Dyke was charged with the death of McDonald. The Chicago Police Department and Chicago prosecutor withheld video evidence that showed the shooting.

On October 5, 2018, for the first time in fifty (50) years, a Chicago police worker was convicted of murder. Van Dyke got six (6) years and nine (9) months in prison.


Jason Van Dyke Killed Laquan McDonald

Van Dyke Charged More than 1 Year later

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Charles Stuart Framed Black Man

Boston, Massachusetts - Charles Stuart killed his wife and blamed a Black American man for it. Stuart, and his wife Carol, were white. After a pregnancy class, he claimed he drove through Roxbury, a Black American area of Boston.

At a stoplight, he said a Black American man forced his way in the car. Stuart said the man told them to drive to Mission Hill. It was nearby. There, Stuart said the man robbed them. Stuart said this man shot him in the stomach and his wife in the head.

Carol died hours after the shooting. The baby was born premature. His name was Christopher. He died seventeen (17) days later. Stuart was in the hospital for weeks after the shooting.

The story made national headlines. Boston police workers used stop-and-frisk on many innocent Black American men, on the word of Stuart. William Bennett, a Black American man, was jailed by the Boston Police, in the search for the killer.

On December 28, 1989, Stuart said Bennett shot him and his wife. On January 3, 1990, Matthew, the brother of Charles, told the police it was all a lie. Matthew said it was an insurance scam. He had met Charles that night. There, he told Matthew he killed his wife.

On January 4, 1990, Charles Stuart jumped off the Tobin Bridge in Chelsea, Massachusetts. His body was found the next day.

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Soul Man Movie Released

The movie, Soul Man, was released in the United States. It was the story of a white man who used affirmative action to attend law school. This was the excuse to appear in blackface, in the movie.

The white man wanted to go to Harvard Law School. His father refused to pay for it. To get law school paid, he chose to use affirmative action. Since he was white, he had to pretend to be Black, to get the benefits.

The movie was criticized for its racist stereotypes of Black Americans, created by whites. It mocked affirmative action as the premise for the movie. The movie was almost forgotten after the 1980s.


Soul Man

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First Penitentiary Inmate Was Black

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - The first penitentiary in the world opened in the United States. Its first inmate was a 'light-skinned Negro in excellent health.' The prison was called Eastern State Penitentiary. It closed in 1971.

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St. Bernard Parish Massacre

St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana - Whites went on a multi-day killing spree of Black Americans. It began due to white fear that Black American voters chose candidates that did not support white supremacy. Whites killed dozens of Black Americans. There were possibly more than 100 killed.


St. Parish Massacre

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Susan Smith Framed Black American Man

Union, South Carolina - Susan Smith killed her two (2) children and accused a Black American man. Smith told local police said this man stole her car, with her two (2) children inside.

The story made national headlines. The national white media showed a sketch of a Black man that local police gave them. It was shown nationwide. The sketch was on television and in newspapers.

This was at a time of the drug war hysteria. Mass incarceration of Black American men increased rapidly during this time. Smith's story made Black American men to be violent criminals. All it took was the word of one white woman to convince the nation that Black American men were violent against white women.

On November 3rd, 1994, after a search returned no good leads, Smith confessed to the murder of her two (2) children. Smith drowned her own children in her car, in a local lake.

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Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986

Washington, D. C. - President Ronald Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. This began the 100:1 sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine.

This was the second of three Mass Incarceration Acts of the 1980s and 1990s. In 1984, the first brought mandatory-minimum sentences. 1994, the third and last brought 3 strikes.

By 2002, it was clear the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was almost entirely meant for Black Americans. 85% of inmates, in prison on the 100:1 sentencing, were Black Americans.


Reagan Spoke on Anti-Drug Abuse Act

Report on Anti-Drug Abuse Act

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