Black History Culture : Get moving...

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by dustyelbow, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Driving out blacks left scars across America
    Violent expulsions over six decades all but vanished from history, yet created a checkerboard of danger, intolerance that remains today
    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    It is America's family secret.

    Beginning in 1864 and continuing for approximately 60 years, whites across the United States conducted a series of racial expulsions. They drove thousands of blacks from their homes to make communities lily-white.

    In at least a dozen of the most extreme cases, blacks were purged from entire counties that remain almost exclusively white, according to the most recent census.

    The expulsions were violent and swift, and they stretched beyond the South. But they remain largely unacknowledged in standard histories of America.

    While it is impossible to say exactly how many expulsions took place, computer analysis and years of research conducted by the Washington Bureau of Cox Newspapers, which owns the American-Statesman, reveal that they occurred on a scale that has never been fully documented or understood.

    The analysis points to scores of racial expulsions that are rarely, if ever, mentioned in the numerous books, articles and movies about America's contentious racial past.

    And even less has been written on the legacy of these expulsions.

    "I am actually less surprised by the number of instances of this that you've uncovered than I am by the extent of the historical failure," said David Garrow, a former Emory University law professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

    "Think about what a huge literature has been produced in the last 25 years on lynching," while the expulsions have been virtually ignored, said Garrow, now a senior fellow at Homerton College at the University of Cambridge.

    Today, one of the physical legacies of these attacks is an archipelago of white or virtually all-white counties along the Mason-Dixon Line and into the Midwest. Although most purges took place nearly a century ago, the 2000 census showed thatblacks remain all but absent from these counties, even when neighboring counties have sizable black populations.

    The social legacy of the upheaval and horrific violence is less clear.

    Descendants of those driven out describe a sense of shame about what befell their families. Whites frequently decline to talk about what happened, typically saying, "It will only cause trouble."

    Silence about the sweep of these incidents continues despite several recent, highly visible steps by the nation to come to grips with its past. In 2005, the U.S. Senate apologized for not passing anti-lynching legislation; one of the men accused of murdering three civil rights workers in Mississippi in 1964 was tried and convicted; the government exhumed the body of Emmett Till in its new investigation of that 1955 Mississippi killing; and the Congressional Black Caucus held a hearing on the Tulsa, Okla., riots of 1921.

    But even amid renewed interest in specific incidents, the extent of racial expulsions remains unnoticed.

    The computer analysis of thousands of U.S. census records dating back to the Civil War identified about 200 counties, most in states along the Mason-Dixon Line, where black populations of 75 people or more seemed to vanish from one decade to the next.

    Several years were spent gathering old news accounts, government records and family histories to understand the reasons for these apparent collapses in black population. Benign events, such as blacks migrating in pursuit of better jobs elsewhere, explained some.

    But in 103 cases, the data indicated that there might have been a conscious effort by whites to drive blacks out. These cases included counties, for instance, where blacks disappeared while the white population held steady or continued to grow, or places where the black population remained small for decades after collapsing.

    The investigation was narrowed to identify racial expulsions that were countywide and documented through contemporaneous accounts and where few, if any, blacks ever returned. In other words, whites succeeded in running blacks out.

    Within those narrow parameters, Cox Newspapers documented 14 countywide expulsions in eight states between 1864 and 1923, in which more than 4,000 blacks were driven out. These are only the most extreme examples of a widespread pattern.

    Racial purges were not investigated further in places where blacks were driven from a town but not an entire county, such as Garrett, Ky., or Dothan, Ala.

    And places where blacks returned within months of an expulsion, such as Lincoln County, Neb., and Marion, Ohio, also were not counted as successful.

    In Humphreys County, Tenn., whites who wanted valuable farmland owned by blacks drove them off the land but still allowed blacks to live in the area.

    In some places, such as Scott County, Tenn., signs of a possible expulsion remain, but old newspapers or courthouse records that could explain what happened have long since disappeared.

    In nearly all cases where a racial expulsion was successful, the black population driven out was relatively small and economically insignificant, suggesting whites saw it as expendable.

    There is no evidence the attacks were coordinated nationally by governments or racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. But when they occurred, most police and government officials did little or nothing to prevent whites from attacking their black neighbors.

    Despite a long trail of murders, torture and theft, the investigation found only three instances in the 14 countywide expulsions in which any of the white vigilantes were arrested or convicted of a crime. In at least one of the 14 counties — Forsyth County, Ga. — an examination of county tax records and land deeds suggests that some black-owned land was appropriated by whites after the expulsion and was never returned.

    Some purges were triggered when whites, angry about a particular crime, lynched someone and then ordered the black population to leave. But in at least three counties, whites simply decided they did not want to live near blacks.

    In Marshall County, Ky., for example, vigilantes led by a local doctor posted notices in 1908 telling blacks to leave. When that failed, more than 100 armed and hooded men raided the town of Birmingham, picked about a dozen people at random and tortured them. Nearly two-thirds of the blacks left, and the most recent census showed only 37 blacks among the 30,125 people living in Marshall County.

    The racial expulsions still tug at our world. Many African Americans interviewed explained how they still view the country as a kind of checkerboard where some squares remain too dangerous to land. While the specifics of a particular expulsion may be lost, the dangerous specter of these places has been passed by word of mouth.

    In more recent history, some blacks venturing into certain counties have risked being threatened, attacked or rousted by police.

    In 1987, a small band of civil rights marchers tried to enter Forsyth County, Ga. — where a violent expulsion had occurred in 1912 — and were chased away by about 400 whites whose screams of "Go home, ******" were captured by television crews and broadcast across the nation.

    But more recent racial incidents elsewhere have not been as dramatic or clear-cut. A carload of blacks — a barbershop quartet invited to perform at a local event — was told to get out of Washington County, Ind., in 2001 after stopping to ask for directions. The threat was denounced by a group of residents that bought an ad in the local paper, which also wrote an editorial condemning the behavior.

    How much residual animosity toward blacks remains in these communities is impossible to tell.

    In Vermillion County, Ind., for example, the then-powerful Ku Klux Klan helped drive blacks out of the mining town of Blanford in 1923. Some current residents regret that the county retains its reputation for hostility toward blacks, but others — such as self-professed skinhead Jesse Jackson — claim they will still run blacks out of the town.

    Even if they no longer try to keep blacks out, these counties retain reputations as fearsome as the expulsions that spawned them.

    Old newspaper accounts often describe the incidents in graphic detail.

    "For nearly fifteen hours, ending about noon to-day, this town of 3,000 people has been in the hand of a mob of armed whites, determined to drive every negro from its precincts," a Pierce City, Mo., newspaper reported in 1901. "In addition to the lynching last night of William Godley, the mob today cremated Peter Hampton, an aged negro, in his home and with the aid of State militia rifles stolen from the local company's arsenal drove dozens of negroes from town."

    Whites often applauded when the expulsions occurred. In Arkansas, the Boone County Chamber of Commerce noted in a 1920s-era marketing brochure that the town did not have "mosquitoes or Negroes." A similar brochure published around the turn of the century touting Comanche County, about 110 miles northwest of Austin, pointed out that its population "is entirely and absolutely ALL WHITE; there is not a negro in the county, and the chances are there will not be any for many years to come." According to the 2000 census, 62 blacks were among the county's population of about 13,500.

    Local histories written in the decades since the expulsions, typically by white historians, often minimize or offer justifications for what occurred. Seventy years after the Pierce City expulsion, a local historian explained a purge that involved three murders of blacks, the burning of several black-owned homes and a military-style assault on the black quarter by more than a thousand men with rifles pilfered from the state armory. Blacks left "after disturbing situations," she wrotein a local history booklet.

    In a retelling of the Comanche County expulsion about 20 years after the event, whites were portrayed as being generous by doing nothing more than forcing all blacks to flee. "It may be supposed that this has grown out of unreasonable prejudice and without just cause, but . . . the forbearance of the people was manifest by a sentence so mild as banishment," read the county's promotional literature.

    The reluctance to acknowledge what happened continues to this day. Linda Ledbetter, a Forsyth County high school history teacher and a county commissioner, says she does not teach anything about the county's 1912 racial expulsion. Although she says she knows the story, if students ask her about it she claims not to know.

    In the black community, the memory of the racial expulsions is kept alive through a series of warnings passed from parents to children.

    Lillie Nash, 65, a school teacher who lives in Atlanta, says she learned about Forsyth County's past when her parents and grandparents talked about the night they fled. Growing up, she was warned never to go near the county, and it wasn't until a few years ago that she dared to venture back.

    When Shawn Livingston, a librarian at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, got his driver's license in 1984, he recalls that his parents warned him about areas of the state too dangerous for blacks.

    "They told me you don't go here and you don't go there," Livingston said. "It really did stick with me. You are never to drive to Corbin or Morehead and, if we find out, you are going to be in more trouble than you can get from the police."

    Livingston said no one in the family knew exactly what happened in Morehead, but it was considered a dangerous place. All but three African Americans were driven out of Corbin in 1919.

    Though a few blacks have trickled back into some of these counties, they endure as symbols of America's divided history. Ignored or discounted by whites, their past is kept alive by word of mouth among blacks. Where one sees nothing, the other senses danger.

    Between these two separate versions of history, it is difficult to talk about what happened.

    ...

    Read the rest here
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  2. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Same issue but focal on Florida Palm Beach...
    --------------------------------------------------------------
    Expulsions of blacks is a skeleton in America's closet

    By Elliot Jaspin

    Palm Beach Post-Cox News Service

    Sunday, July 09, 2006

    ...
    Covering up the past

    Local histories written in the decades since the expulsions, typically by white historians, often minimize or offer justifications for what occurred.

    Seventy years after the Pierce City expulsion, a local historian described in passing a purge that involved three murders of blacks, the burning of several black-owned homes and a military-style assault on the black quarter as "disturbing situations."

    In a retelling of the Comanche County expulsion about 20 years after the event, whites were portrayed as being generous by doing nothing more than forcing all blacks to flee. "It may be supposed that this has grown out of unreasonable prejudice and without just cause, but... the forbearance of the people was manifest by a sentence so mild as banishment," read the county's promotional literature.

    The reluctance to discuss what happened continues to this day. Linda Ledbetter, a Forsyth County high school government teacher and a county commissioner, says she does not teach anything about that county's 1912 racial expulsion. Although she says she knows the story, if students ask her about it she claims not to know.

    In the black community the memory of these racial expulsions is kept alive through a series of warnings passed from parents to children.

    Lillie Nash, 65, a school teacher who lives in Atlanta, says she learned about Forsyth County's past when her parents and grandparents talked about the night they fled. Growing up, she was warned never to go near the county and it wasn't until a few years ago that she dared to venture back.

    When Shawn Livingston, a librarian at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, got his driver's license in 1984, he recalls that his parents warned him about areas of the state too dangerous for blacks.

    "They told me you don't go here and you don't go there," Livingston said. "It really did stick with me. You are never to drive to Corbin or Morehead and, if we find out, you are going to be in more trouble than you can get from the police."

    Livingston said no one in the family knew exactly what happened in Morehead, but it was considered a dangerous place. All but three African Americans were driven out of Corbin in 1919.

    Though a few blacks have trickled back into some of these counties, they endure as symbols of America's divided history. Ignored or discounted by whites, their past is kept alive by word of mouth among blacks. Where one sees nothing, the other senses danger.

    Between these two separate versions of history, it is difficult to talk about what happened.

    That is the nature of family secrets.
    ...

    Read the whole story plus interactive features here
    -------------------------------------------------------------

    I hope this does not change those "diversity" views issue by "ruthless" white.

    Also I posted segregation laws still on the books in Miami and how "lazy" the city council is in removing them.

    Oh well.
     
  3. oldiesman

    oldiesman Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    the skeleton has leaped out of the closet,in washington,d.c.you know the place once called chocolate city,well there's alot of vanilla in it now and soon to be more,with upwardly mobile blacks moving to the suburbs starting in the sixties,whites had to formulate a plan of escape since they knew that we could not be prevented from living where we wanted they decided to take back the city and over the past fifteen yrs that's what's been happening as neighborhoods that for yrs had been neglected suddenly became hotspots with new construction new subway stations going up and a sudden increase in police protection,i see streets that for decades not have so much as a new stop sign all of a sudden get new streetlights,sidewalks,repaved streets,school houses that not long ago looked condemed all of a sudden get rebuild and ultra-modern..and with these wonderful improvement come alot of new faces and out go alot of old ones.
     
  4. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    got the same thing going on here in seattle ... "encouraged" Black folk to move out of the "CD" (historically Black central district) so that "they" could move in and be closer to the central business district. (the cd covers[ed] first hill and capital hill - right on top of the cbd) and now the community is way the frell out south somewhere ... well, it was the last time i looked; it's prolly being/been "moved" again ...

    kinda reminds me of "salem's lot" ... was that the one? moved ya here; whoops! we need that. moved ya over there; oh! we didn't know that was there! moved ya way out there; say! that would make nice vacation/resort space ...

    only gonna work when we stand up and BE that "citizenship", that "power broker", that "partner in the global market place". ain't nobody gonna "give" anything - and it ain't about "taking" "what is our's" with guns/violence!!

    but, i suppose, the "conditioning" has shown us that that is the way "they" "do business" so we'uns gots ta emulate them ... if their methods were the right methods, our biosphere would NOT be in the condition it is in. ("biosphere" does include "people".)
     
  5. dustyelbow

    dustyelbow Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Dont let the media and this print OFF THE HOOK.

    It's easy to APPROACH the VICTIMS in this matter than the PERPETRATORS.

    If anything, the only credit I will give the news media is KEEPING ITS LIPS SHUT for the LONGEST until NOW.

    Were they TOO involved?
     
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