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African Spirituality

“African spirituality” emerging as a new pseudo denomination ultimately an extension of Eurocentric exoticifcation of Africa. We see the loose generalization...

Africa’s History did not start with Slavery

It takes more than a horrifying transatlantic voyage chained in the filthy hold of a slave ship to erase someone’s culture–Maya Angelou


Revolution of Consciousness

Spiritual Connection: Know Thyself!


The process of healing pt.4

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  • The process of healing pt.4

    {New York}

    From 1701 to 1726, officially, some 1,570 slaves were imported from the
    West Indies and another 802 from Africa. As it had under the Dutch, the
    colony continued to import relatively few slaves from Africa directly,
    except occasional cargoes of children under 13. The actual numbers were
    much higher, because smugglers made liberal use of the long, convoluted
    coast of Long Island. In some years illegal shipment of slaves on a single
    vessel outnumbered the official imports to the whole colony.

    As a result, New York soon had had the largest colonial slave population
    north of Maryland. From about 2,000 in 1698, the number of the colony's
    black slaves swelled to more than 9,000 adults by 1746 and 13,000 by 1756.
    Between 1732 and 1754, black slaves accounted for more than 35 percent of
    the total immigration through the port of New York. And that doesn't
    count the many illegal cargoes of Africans unloaded all along the
    convoluted coast of Long Island to avoid the tariff duties on slaves. In
    1756, slaves made up about 25 percent of the populations of Kings, Queens,
    Richmond, New York, and Westchester counties.

    {New England}
    The effects of the New England slave trade were momentous. It was one of
    the foundations of New England's economic structure; it created a wealthy
    class of slave-trading merchants, while the profits derived from this
    commerce stimulated cultural development and philanthropy. --Lorenzo
    Johnston Greene, “The Negro in Colonial New England, 1620-1776,” p.319.

    Whether it was officially encouraged, as in New York and New Jersey, or
    not, as in Pennsylvania, the slave trade flourished in colonial Northern
    ports. But New England was by far the leading slave merchant of the
    American colonies.

    The first systematic venture from New England to Africa was undertaken in
    1644 by an association of Boston traders, who sent three ships in quest of
    gold dust and black slaves. One vessel returned the following year with a
    cargo of wine, salt, sugar, and tobacco, which it had picked up in Barbados
    in exchange for slaves. But the other two ran into European warships off
    the African coast and barely escaped in one piece. Their fate was a good
    example of why Americans stayed out of the slave trade in the 17th century.

    Slave voyages were profitable, but Puritan merchants lacked the resources,
    financial and physical, to compete with the vast, armed, quasi-independent
    European chartered corporations that were battling to monopolize the
    trade in black slaves on the west coast of Africa. The superpowers in this
    struggle were the Dutch West India Company and the English Royal
    African Company. The Boston slavers avoided this by making the longer
    trip to the east coast of Africa, and by 1676 the Massachusetts ships were
    going to Madagascar for slaves. Boston merchants were selling these slaves
    in Virginia by 1678. But on the whole, in the 17th century New Englanders
    merely dabbled in the slave trade.

    Then, around 1700, the picture changed. First the British got the upper
    hand on the Dutch and drove them from many of their New World
    colonies, weakening their demand for slaves and their power to control the
    trade in Africa. Then the Royal African Company's monopoly on African
    coastal slave trade was revoked by Parliament in 1696. Finally, the Assiento
    and the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) gave the British a contract to supply
    Spanish America with 4,800 slaves a year. This combination of events
    dangled slave gold in front of the New England slave traders, and they
    pounced. Within a few years, the famous “Triangle Trade” and its
    notorious “Middle Passage” were in place.

    Rhode Islanders had begun including slaves among their cargo in a small
    way as far back as 1709. But the trade began in earnest there in the 1730s.
    Despite a late start, Rhode Island soon surpassed Massachusetts as the
    chief colonial carrier. After the Revolution, Rhode Island merchants had
    no serious American competitors. They controlled between 60 and 90
    percent of the U.S. trade in African slaves. Rhode Island had excellent
    harbors, poor soil, and it lacked easy access to the Newfoundland fisheries.
    In slave trading, it found its natural calling. William Ellery, prominent
    Newport merchant, wrote in 1791, “An Ethiopian could as soon change his
    skin as a Newport merchant could be induced to change so lucrative a trade
    as that in slaves for the slow profits of any manufactory.”[1]

    Boston and Newport were the chief slave ports, but nearly all the New
    England towns -- Salem, Providence, Middletown, New London – had a
    hand in it. In 1740, slaving interests in Newport owned or managed 150
    vessels engaged in all manner of trading. In Rhode Island colony, as much
    as two-thirds of the merchant fleet and a similar fraction of sailors were
    engaged in slave traffic. The colonial governments of Massachusetts, Rhode
    Island, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania all, at various times,
    derived money from the slave trade by levying duties on black imports.
    Tariffs on slave import in Rhode Island in 1717 and 1729 were used to
    repair roads and bridges.

  • #2
    The process of healing part. 5

    Keeping The North White

    "[R]ace prejudice seems stronger in those states that have abolished slavery
    than in those where it still exists, and nowhere is it more intolerant than in
    those states where slavery was never known." --Alexis De Tocqueville,
    “Democracy in America”

    In some Northern states, after emancipation, blacks were legally allowed to
    vote, marry whites, file lawsuits, or sit on juries. In most, they were not.
    But even where the right was extended by law, often the white majority did
    not allow it to happen. In Massachusetts in 1795, despite the absence of
    any law prohibiting on black voting, Judge James Winthrop and Thomas
    Pemberton wrote “that Negroes could neither elect nor be elected to office
    in that state.”[1] De Tocqueville, in Philadelphia in 1831, asked why, since
    black men had the right to vote there, none ever dared do so. The answer
    came back: “The law with us is nothing if it is not supported by public
    opinion.” When Ohio’s prohibition against blacks testifying in legal cases
    involving white people was lifted in 1849, observers acknowledged that, at
    least in the southern part of the state, where most of the blacks lived, social
    prejudice would keep the ban in practical effect.


    In 1790, the first U.S. census counted 13,059 free blacks in New England,
    with another 13,975 in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Strictly
    speaking, none of them was "free," for their lives were proscribed
    politically, economically, and socially. While white indentured servants
    often became respected members of their communities after their
    indentures ended, free blacks in the North rarely had the opportunity to
    rise above the level of common laborers and washerwomen, and as early as
    1760 they had formed ghettoes in the grimy alleys and waterfront districts
    of Boston and other Northern towns.

    In colonial times, Northern freemen, like slaves, were required to carry
    passes when traveling in some places, and they were forbidden to own
    property in others. Although taxed in New England, they could not vote
    there in early colonial times, though they could in the plantation colonies.
    [2] Free blacks were required to work on roads a certain number of days a
    year in Massachusetts, at the discretion of the local selectmen. They could
    only use ferries under certain conditions in New England. In South
    Kingstown, Rhode Island, they could not own horses or sheep. In Boston,
    they could not carry a cane unless they were unable to walk without one.

    Pennsylvania colony's “Act for the better Regulation of Negroes” set
    penalties for free blacks who harbored runaway slaves or received property
    stolen from masters that were potentially much higher than those applied
    to whites. If the considerable fines could not be paid, the justices had the
    power to order a free black person put into servitude. Under other
    provisions of the act, free negroes who married whites were to be sold into
    slavery for life; for mere fornication or adultery involving blacks and
    whites, the penalty for the black person was to be sold as a servant for
    seven years. Whites in such cases faced different or lighter punishment.

    By a law of 1718, a black man convicted of the rape of a white woman was
    to be castrated. Throughout Pennsylvania colony, the children of free
    blacks, without exception, were bound out by the local justices of the peace
    until age 24 (if male) or 21 (if female). All in all, the "free" blacks of
    colonial Pennsylvania led severely circumscribed lives; they had no control
    even over their own family arrangements, and they could be put back into
    servitude for "laziness" or petty crimes, at the mercy of the local

    Having set controls on their black residents, the Northern states busied
    themselves in passing laws to make sure no more blacks moved within their
    boundaries. These were not elitist actions. The pressure for total exclusion
    came from the working class whites, struggling for a little bargaining power
    with the shopowners and fearful of inexpensive black competition that
    could drive down wages. New Jersey in 1786 had prohibited blacks from
    entering the state to settle, because "sound public policy requires that
    importation be prohibited in order that white labour may be protected."
    Connecticut's legislature, making the same prohibition in 1784, had
    declared that it did so because "the increase of slaves is injurious to the

    As far back as 1717, citizens of New London, Connecticut, in a town
    meeting voted their objection to free blacks living in the town or owning
    land anywhere in the colony. That year, the colonial assembly passed a law
    in accordance with this sentiment, prohibiting free blacks or mulattoes
    from residing in any town in the colony. It also forbid them to buy land or
    go into business without the consent of the town. The provisions were
    retroactive, so that if any black person had managed to buy land, the deed
    was rendered void, and a black resident of a town, however long he had
    been there, was now subject to prosecution at the discretion of the

    Massachusetts in 1788 prescribed flogging for non-resident blacks who
    stayed more than two months. Less than four months after its
    Congressmen voted against the restrictions on black settlement in the
    Missouri Compromise, Massachusetts set up a legislative committee to
    investigate such legislation for its own sake. From 1813 to 1852,
    Pennsylvania was constantly debating exclusion, under pressure of
    petitions from the counties along the Mason-Dixon Line.

    Like the black codes of the South and Midwest in the 19th century,
    enforcement of Northern colonial race laws was selective, and their real
    value lay in harassment and discouragement of further settlement, and in
    being a constant reminder to free blacks that their existence was precarious
    and dependent on white toleration. Across the North, such laws were the
    sword hung above the heads of a whole black population: Step out of line,
    make one false move, and you'll be shipped out, or sold into slavery. And
    you don't even have the right to face your (white) accuser in court (as you
    would in, say, ante-bellum Louisiana).

    Anti-sodomy laws still are on the books in some states; their defenders
    point out that they are rarely invoked, but that does not make their
    potential targets feel safer living under them. It gets to the gist of what
    makes slavery itself, however comfortable, always worse than freedom,
    however miserable. Many Southern slaves, perhaps the mass of them, lived
    better than most northern industrial laborers, when you quantify their
    work requirements, nutrition, and life expectancy. But the slave could be,
    at any moment, and with no recourse, stripped, beaten, whipped, violated,
    and sold. That “could be” embraces all the evil of slavery.

    So the Negro [in the North] is free, but he cannot share the rights,
    pleasures, labors, griefs, or even the tomb of him whose equal he has been
    declared; there is nowhere where he can meet him, neither in life nor in

    In the South, where slavery still exists, less trouble is taken to keep the
    Negro apart: they sometimes share the labors and the pleasures of the white
    men; people are prepared to mix with them to some extent; legislation is
    more harsh against them, but customs are more tolerant and gentle.[3]


    • #3
      Dr. Claud Anderson describes what your essay so thoughtfully and thoroughly confirms. It is called --'Meritorious Manumission'-- it is hidden under many laws and ordinances that remain extant in 2013 none- the-less.

      1Love, Fine1952


      • #4
        Its always good to know that some of us will take the time and read this thread to get some understanding about the condition of our people thank you my sister for this posting to this. respect and peace