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marble falls

marble falls's Journal
marble falls's Journal
February 11, 2019

Gov. Ralph Northam Calls Slaves 'Indentured Servants' In Interview, Gets Corrected

Gov. Ralph Northam Calls Slaves ‘Indentured Servants’ In Interview, Gets Corrected
Northam was swiftly corrected by “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King.

By Amy Russo and Hayley Miller


Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam was corrected mid-interview for calling slaves “indentured servants.”

While speaking with “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King, the scandal-plagued Democrat was prompted to discuss his experience in dealing with his own public admission to having worn blackface in 1984.

“We are now at the 400-year anniversary — just 90 miles from here in 1619, the first indentured servants from Africa landed on our shores in Old Point Comfort, what we call now Fort Monroe ― ” Northam began before he was swiftly corrected by King.

“Also known as slavery,” she interrupted.

Northam, nodding in agreement, responded, “Yes.”


Indentured servants were men and women who signed a contract that stipulated they would come to America and work for a certain number of years in exchange for passage, room, board and freedom dues. Slaves were brought here ― against their will ― and forced to work without any hope of gaining freedom. Those slaves who chose to flee their “masters” were beaten, starved or killed.

Northam responded to his “indentured servants” remark with a statement saying he was “still learning and committed to getting it right.”


“Virginia needs someone that can heal,” he told King. “There’s no better person to do that than a doctor. Virginia also needs someone who is strong, who has empathy, who has courage and who has a moral compass. And that’s why I’m not going anywhere.”

Northam said he’s learned several things since the controversy began unfolding, including that he was “born into white privilege” and that the use of blackface is offensive.

“Yes, I knew it in the past,” he said. “But reality has really set in.”

King pressed him on his apparent revelation about blackface. “You didn’t know the history, know that it was offensive before?” she asked.

?We’re all on a learning curve,” Northam responded. “Certainly, Ms. King, I’m not the same person now at age 59 that I was back in my early 20s.”

He added: “I don’t have any excuses for what I did in my early life.” But I can just tell you that I have learned. I have a lot more to learn. I’m a better person.”


Northam’s tenure took a turn at the beginning of February, when an image surfaced from his medical school yearbook showing two men side by side ― one in blackface and the other in a Ku Klux Klan uniform. The governor initially admitted to being one of the individuals pictured, then changed his story, claiming he wasn’t in that particular photo but wore blackface as part of a Michael Jackson costume in a dance competition that same year.


It just gets deeper and he's doing all the digging.

February 11, 2019

Back History: day 11 - We can do it!

Every share makes Black Voice louder!


The 3rd Sunday in May is a special day in Black history when we celebrate the founder of the Detroit Housewives League, Fannie Peck.

“It was an attempt by African-American women to essentially try to expand the job market for all African Americans in Detroit by boosting the businesses, Black-owned businesses, and pressuring white-owned businesses to hire African American workers,” Victoria Wolcott, the author of Remaking Respectability: African-American Women in Interwar Detroit said.

Hear @VWidgeon discuss the Detroit Housewives League, 1930s community-based response to unemployment, discriminationhttps://t.co/JaHpKmw5Ye

— Todd Michney (@ToddMichney) May 27, 2017

In the beginning of the twentieth century, African-Americans arrived at Detroit’s Michigan Central Station in huge numbers. It was a part of the Great Migration of Blacks who escaped the South in search of improved economic and political conditions in the urban North. The most significant of these migrants have been the male industrial workers who found jobs in city car production. African-American women have largely been absent from usual stories concerning the Great Migration because they didn’t work at the plants and thus go unnoticed. telling the stories of these women, Victoria Wolcott reveals their vital role in shaping life in interwar Detroit.

“Don’t Buy Where You Can’t Work: 1932 Housewives’ League of Detroithttps://t.co/vXQh2Z4eEp@NAACP @Essence

— Jerome Reide (@JeromeReide) March 29, 2017

In 1930s Black women couldn’t afford to stay at home and wait for their husbands. Too many businesses would sell goods and services to Black people but wouldn’t hire them. So in 1930 Detroit women led by Fannie Peck formed a group called the “Detroit Housewives’ League.” It educated women on their buying power and encouraged them to only shop at African-American owned businesses. The group was also initiating big protests and boycotts.

In 1935 they set a huge packing warehouse on fire protesting against high prices, and later joined thousands of Chicago housewives in a march that shut down the city’s entire meat industry.

Black Meatpackers: The Detroit Housewives’ League took on the meat packing industry itself. In 1935, they burned a huge packinghouse. pic.twitter.com/83c8pWaS1M

— The Gist Of Freedom (@Gistoffreedom) December 17, 2016

The initiative became popular and similar groups started to appear all across the country as local chapters a National Housewives’ League of America.

Over the years the Detroit group helped to create over 70,000 jobs for Blacks, both men and women and started to patronize the White businesses that employed African-Americans.

“Real Detroit Housewives League" 9,000+ members: Shut The Meat Industry Down in 1935! | Created 70,000 jobs for Blacks. pic.twitter.com/NisNlr3Yxf

— The Gist Of Freedom (@Gistoffreedom) July 9, 2016

However, the 3rd Sunday in May was a special day in Black history, it was set aside to celebrate the founder of the organization Fannie Peck.
February 10, 2019

Ivanka Trump: Father 'Had No Involvement' In Security Clearances

Source: Huffpo

Ivanka Trump: Father ‘Had No Involvement’ In Security Clearances For Her, Kushner
Trump said the president had nothing to do with the matter.

By Amy Russo


In an ABC News interview released Friday, Trump told the network’s Abby Huntsman there were “absolutely not” any special considerations granted to her.

“There were anonymous leaks about there being issues, but the president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband’s clearance, zero,” she said.

Trump and Kushner previously held temporary clearances for more than a year and a half while waiting for background checks to wrap up. In May, top clearance was approved for Trump and Kushner’s was restored.


Meanwhile the clearances have been the target of criticism from Democrats, including House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) who has launched an investigation into the handling of classified information by President Donald Trump’s transition team and the White House.

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ivanka-trump-kushner-security-clearances_us_5c5fe99de4b0f9e1b17dff28

Lies as well a cheetolini.
February 10, 2019

Black History: Day 10 - On Staten Island, one of NYC's oldest African American enclaves is preserved

On Staten Island, one of NYC's oldest African American enclaves is preserved
Remnants of Sandy Ground, a community for free blacks on the island’s south shore, can be found to this day

By Lisa M. Santoro Feb 22, 2017, 3:00pm EST

The cemetery of Rossville’s AME Zion Church is a New York City landmark Nathan Kensinger

New York City has always been a collection of diverse communities—and while many have since been paved over or transformed into new neighborhoods, in some places, visible remnants of the past remain. One such place is Staten Island’s Sandy Ground, which—along with Seneca Village, established in 1825 and located in Manhattan, and Weeksville, established in 1838 and located in present-day Crown Heights—was one of three prominent communities that free blacks called home in New York in the pre-Civil War era.

Located on the Staten Island’s south shore, Sandy Ground first appeared on records dating back to 1799, its name referring to the rich soil found throughout the area. Land ownership records show that the first African American residents purchased land in the area as early as 1828. The first documented owner, John Jackson, purchased 2.5 acres; he would later go ont to operate the Lewis Columbia, a ferry that provided service between Rossville and Manhattan—the only direct mode of transportation at that time.

Beginning in the 1840s, several African American families migrated to Sandy Ground from Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay area. Although a slave state, Maryland’s population did include free blacks, many of whom were involved in the area’s oyster trade. But laws passed in the 1830s imposed harsh restrictions that limited—and in some cases prohibited—their activities. As a result, they relocated to oyster-rich Staten Island.

One of the community’s greatest assets was the Rossville AME Zion Church, founded in 1850 and later housed in a “plain wooden structure” that erected in 1854 on Crabtree Avenue. It was one of several AME Zion Churches in the city at the time—members of its various congregations included Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth—and the Rossville AME had its share of notable members, including Reverend Thomas James, famed abolitionist and civil rights leader. It also, most famously, served as a stop on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War.
Image via Landmarks Preservation Commission

The church’s most prominent pastor, Reverend Florence Spearing Randolph, was a minister, missionary, suffragist, lecturer, organizer, and temperance worker. In addition Sunday services, the church also hosted myriad fundraising and social events, summer camp meetings, concerts, and dances. It was more than just a church; it was the hub around which the entire community was centered.

As the congregation expanded, a larger church was needed. The new AME Zion Church was built in 1897 by the local Swedish-born builder-developer Andrew Abrams at a total cost of $5,000 (including furnishings). The building was a “simple vernacular gable-roofed frame structure” with a front porch, an angled bay at the rear, and “a no longer extant Gothic Revival bell tower,” per the Landmarks Preservation Commission Designation from 2011.

Today’s building has been re-clad in faux brick siding, but has retained its original form and exterior layout. Although the original church building no longer stands (evidence suggests that it was likely demolished during the 1930s), its cemetery still exists, with more than 30 grave stones dating back to the community’s earliest days.

During its late-19th-century heyday, Sandy Ground contained more than 50 homes, some of which are now New York City landmarks. One of these, the Reverend Isaac Coleman and Rebecca Gray Coleman House, may date back to 1859. The house was purchased by Reverend Isaac Coleman, the sixth pastor of the AME Zion Church, in 1864; yet, he would only live here for one year before relocating to Williamsburg, Brooklyn (but his wife and his descendants stuck around).

Although this house originally resembled the style of an 18th century Dutch-American farmhouse, it is difficult to discern this now—it’s gotten many updates and alterations. The Baymen’s Cottages, built between 1887 and 1898, are another landmark; these nearly identical homes were built to house workers in the oyster trade during Sandy Ground’s heyday.
Reverend Isaac Coleman and Rebecca Gray Coleman House Peter Greenberg/Wikimedia Commons

Yet that commodity, which made many in Sandy Ground prosperous, would eventually lead to its decline. Several factors led to the demise of the oyster trade in Staten Island: depletion due to overfishing, heavy pollution, the effects of localized industrialization, and so on. But an outbreak of typhoid due to consuming polluted oysters led to the closure of the oyster beds in 1916. The area suffered treacherous fires in 1930 and 1963 that destroyed much of the property in the community, leading to a downturn.

And yet, despite these hardships, Sandy Ground still boasts a thriving community—many of whom are descendants from those who inhabited the area a century before. The Rossville church is still an active part of the community, providing Sunday services, community services, classes, and an annual barbecue.

In addition, the Sandy Ground Historical Museum offers a glimpse into the history of the area through guided tours, exhibits, activities, and lectures. On display are artifacts from the early history of the area, including art, quilts, letters, photographs, and rare books. Operated by the Sandy Ground Historical Society, the museum’s most popular event is its annual festival which brings together residents, visitors and descendants of Sandy Ground to celebrate black history and culture.

Given the amount of destruction and construction that has taken place on Staten Island’s south shore, it’s truly lucky that Sandy Ground still exists today. Through concerted preservation efforts and continued involvement from the community, it seems likely that Sandy Ground’s lasting legacy will continue to endure for generations to come.

Joseph Mitchell wrote an amazing piece about this community in 1956 called 'Mr Hunter's Grave" in the New Yorker in 1956. I am reading a book called 'The Bottom of the Harbor' where its included. When I'm done sometime this week, I'd be glad to send it to anyone who would like to read and pass it on to someone else.

First four paragraphs:

hen things get too much for me, I put a wild-flower book and a couple of sandwiches in my pockets and go down to the South Shore of Staten Island and wander around awhile in one of the old cemeteries down there. I go to the cemetery of the Woodrow Methodist Church on Woodrow Road in the Woodrow community, or to the cemetery of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on the Arthur Kill Road in the Rossville community, or to one on the Arthur Kill Road on the outskirts of Rossville that isn’t used any longer and is known as the old Rossville burying ground. The South Shore is the most rural part of the island, and all of these cemeteries are bordered on at least two sides by woods. Scrub trees grow on some of the graves, and weeds and wild flowers grow on many of them. Here and there, in order to see the design on a gravestone, it is necessary to pull aside a tangle of vines. The older gravestones are made of slate, brownstone, and marble, and the designs on them—death’s-heads, angels, hourglasses, hands pointing upward, recumbent lambs, anchors, lilies, weeping willows, and roses on broken stems—are beautifully carved. The names on the gravestones are mainly Dutch, such as Winant, Housman, Woglom, Decker, and Van Name, or Huguenot, such as Dissosway, Seguine, De Hart, Manee, and Sharrott, or English, such as Ross, Drake, Bush, Cole, and Clay. All of the old South Shore farming and oyster-planting families are represented, and members of half a dozen generations of some families lie side by side. In St. Luke’s cemetery there is a huge old apple tree that drops a sprinkling of small, wormy, lopsided apples on the graves beneath it every September, and in the Woodrow Methodist cemetery there is a patch of wild strawberries. Invariably, for some reason I don’t know and don’t want to know, after I have spent an hour or so in one of these cemeteries, looking at gravestone designs and reading inscriptions and identifying wild flowers and scaring rabbits out of the weeds and reflecting on the end that awaits me and awaits us all, my spirits lift, I become quite cheerful, and then I go for a long walk. Sometimes I walk along the Arthur Kill, the tidal creek that separates Staten Island from New Jersey; to old-time Staten Islanders, this is “the inside shore.” Sometimes I go over on the ocean side, and walk along Raritan Bay; this is “the outside shore.” The interior of the South Shore is crisscrossed with back roads, and sometimes I walk along one of them, leaving it now and then to explore an old field or a swamp or a stretch of woods or a clay pit or an abandoned farmhouse.

The back road that I know best is Bloomingdale Road. It is an old oyster-shell road that has been thinly paved with asphalt; the asphalt is cracked and pocked and rutted. It starts at the Arthur Kill, just below Rossville, runs inland for two and a half miles, gently uphill most of the way, and ends at Amboy Road in the Pleasant Plains community. In times past, it was lined with small farms that grew vegetables, berries, and fruit for Washington Market. During the depression, some of the farmers got discouraged and quit. Then, during the war, acid fumes from the stacks of smelting plants on the New Jersey side of the kill began to drift across and ruin crops, and others got discouraged and quit. Only three farms are left, and one of these is a goat farm. Many of the old fields have been taken over by sassafras, gray birch, blackjack oak, sumac, and other wasteland trees, and by reed grass, blue-bent grass, and poison ivy. In several fields, in the midst of this growth, are old woodpecker-ringed apple and pear trees, the remnants of orchards. I have great admiration for one of these trees, a pear of some old-fashioned variety whose name none of the remaining farmers can remember, and every time I go up Bloomingdale Road I jump a ditch and pick my way through a thicket of poison ivy and visit it. Its trunk is hollow and its bark is matted with lichens and it has only three live limbs, but in favorable years it still brings forth a few pears

In the space of less than a quarter of a mile, midway in its length, Bloomingdale Road is joined at right angles by three other back roads—Woodrow Road, Clay Pit Road, and Sharrott’s Road. Around the junctions of these roads, and on lanes leading off them, is a community that was something of a mystery to me until quite recently. It is a Negro community, and it consists of forty or fifty Southern-looking frame dwellings and a frame church. The church is painted white, and it has purple, green, and amber windowpanes. A sign over the door says, “AFRICAN METHODIST EPISCOPAL ZION.” On one side of the church steps is a mock-orange bush, and on the other side is a Southern dooryard plant called Spanish bayonet, a kind of yucca. Five cedar trees grow in the churchyard. The majority of the dwellings appear to be between fifty and a hundred years old. Some are long and narrow, with a chimney at each end and a low porch across the front, and some are big and rambling, with wings and ells and lean-tos and front porches and side porches. Good pine lumber and good plain carpentry went into them, and it is obvious that attempts have been made to keep them up. Nevertheless, all but a few are beginning to look dilapidated. Some of the roofs sag, and banisters are missing on some of the porches, and a good many rotted-out clapboards have been replaced with new boards that don’t match, or with strips of tin. The odd thing about the community is it usually has an empty look, as if everybody had locked up and gone off somewhere. In the summer, I have occasionally seen an old man or an old woman sitting on a porch, and I have occasionally seen children playing in a back yard, but I have seldom seen any young or middle-aged men or women around, and I have often walked through the main part of the community, the part that is on Bloomingdale Road, without seeing a single soul.

For years, I kept intending to find out something about this community, and one afternoon several weeks ago, in St. Luke’s cemetery in Rossville, an opportunity to do so presented itself.

I had been in the cemetery a couple of hours and was getting ready to leave when a weed caught my eye. It was a stringy weed, about a foot high, and it had small, lanceolate leaves and tiny white flowers and tiny seed pods, and it was growing on the grave of Rachel Dissosway, who died on April 7, 1802, “in the 27th Yr of her Age.” I consulted my wild-flower book, and came to the conclusion that it was either peppergrass (Lepidium virginicum) or shepherd’s-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), and squatted down to take a closer look at it. “One of the characteristics of peppergrass,” the wild-flower book said, “is that its seed pods are as hot as pepper when chewed.” I deliberated on this for a minute or two, and then curiosity got the better of me and I stripped off some of the seed pods and started to put them in my mouth, and at just that moment I heard footsteps on the cemetery path and looked up and saw a man approaching, a middle-aged man in a black suit and a clerical collar He came over to the grave and looked down at me.

“What in the world are you doing?” he asked.

I tossed the seed pods on the grave and got to my feet. “I’m studying wild flowers, I guess you might call it,” I said. I introduced myself, and we shook hands, and he said that he was the rector of St. Luke’s and that his name was Raymond E. Brock.


February 9, 2019

Black History: day 9 - Kigeli IV Rwabugiri

Kigeli IV of Rwanda
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Kigeli IV Rwabugiri was the king (mwami) of the Kingdom of Rwanda in late 19th century. He was a Tutsi with the birth name Rwabugiri. He was the first King in Rwanda's history to come into contact with Europeans. He established an army equipped with guns he obtained from Germans and prohibited most foreigners especially Arabs from entering his kingdom.

Rwabugiri held authority in 1853–1895.

By the end of Rwabugiri's rule, Rwanda was divided into a standardized structure of provinces, districts, hills and neighborhoods administered by a hierarchy of chiefs predominantly Tutsi at the higher levels and with a greater degree of mutual participation by Hutus.

He defended the current borders of the Rwanda kingdom against invading neighboring kingdoms, slave traders and Europeans. Rwabugiri was a warrior King and is regarded as one of Rwanda's most powerful kings. Some Rwandans see him as the last true King of Rwanda due to the tragic assassination of his successor son Rutarindwa and coup by his stepmother Kanjogera who installed her son Musinga.[2] By the beginning of the 20th century, Rwanda was a unified state with a centralized military structure.


February 8, 2019

Black History month: Day 8 - Taking on the Luftwaffe

Pilots of the 15th USAF in Italy


Tuskegee airmen




The Tuskegee Airmen

First known as the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps, The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II, African-Americans in many U.S. States still were subject to the Jim Crow laws. The American military was racially segregated, as was much of the Federal Government. The Tuskegee Airmen were subject to racial discrimination, both within and outside the army. Despite these adversities, they trained and flew with distinction. Primarily made up of African-Americans, there were also five Tuskegee Airmen who were of Haitian descent. Although the 477th Bombardment Group "worked up" on North American B-25 Mitchell bombers, they never served in combat; the Tuskegee 332nd Fighter Group was the only operational unit, first sent overseas as part of Operation Torch, then in action in Italy, before being deployed as bomber escorts in Europe, where they were particularly successful in virtually all their missions.

Before the Tuskegee Airmen, no African-American had become a U.S. military pilot. In 1917, African-American men had tried to become aerial observers, but were rejected. However, Eugene Bullard, who was actually the first African-American fighter pilot, served as one of the members of the Franco-American Lafayette Escadrille. Nonetheless, he was denied the opportunity to transfer to American military units as a pilot when the other American pilots in the unit were offered the chance. Instead, Eugene returned to infantry duty with the French.

The racially-motivated rejections of World War I African-American recruits sparked over two decades of advocacy by African-Americans – led by civil rights leaders – who wished to enlist and train as military aviators. Finally, on April 3, 1939, Appropriations Bill Public Law 18 was passed by Congress containing an amendment designating funds for training African-American pilots. Tuskegee Airmen refers to all who were involved in the so-called Tuskegee Experiment, the Army Air Corps program to train African-Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen included pilots, navigators, bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, instructors, and all the personnel who kept the planes in the air. The military selected Tuskegee Institute, in Tuskegee, Alabama, to train pilots because of its commitment to aeronautical training. Tuskegee had the facilities, and engineering and technical instructors, as well as a climate for year round flying. The first Civilian Pilot Training Program students completed their instruction in May 1940.

A further series of legislative moves by the United States Congress, in 1941, forced the Army Air Corps to form an all-black combat unit, despite the War Department's reluctance.

The Tuskegee Program began officially in June 1941 with the 99th Pursuit Squadron at the Tuskegee Institute. The unit consisted of 47 officers and 429 enlisted men, and was backed by an entire service arm. After basic training at Moton Field, they were moved to the nearby Tuskegee Army Air Field.

The budding flight program at Tuskegee received a publicity boost when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt inspected it in March 1941, and subsequently flew with African-American Chief Civilian Instructor, C. Alfred "Chief" Anderson. Anderson, who had been flying since 1929, and was responsible for training thousands of rookie pilots, took his prestigious passenger on a half-hour flight in a Waco Biplane. After landing, she cheerfully announced, "Well, you can fly, all right!"

In May 1943, the 616th Bombardment Squadron was established as the initial subordinate squadron of the 477th Bombardment Group. The squadron was activated in July 1943, only to be deactivated six weeks later. By September of that year, the number of washed-out cadets on base had surged to 286, with few of them working. In January 1944, the 477th Bombardment Group was reactivated.

In all, 996 pilots were trained in Tuskegee from 1941 to 1946, approximately 445 were deployed overseas, and 150 Airmen lost their lives in accidents or combat.The casualty toll included 66 pilots killed in action or accidents, and 32 fallen into captivity, as prisoners of war.

The Tuskegee Airmen were credited by higher commands
with the following accomplishments:

15,533 combat sorties, 311 missions

112 German aircraft destroyed in the air, another 150 on the ground

950 railcars, trucks and other motor vehicles destroyed

One destroyer sunk

A good record of protecting U.S. bombers, losing only 25 on hundreds of missions.

After segregation in the military was ended in 1948, by President Harry S. Truman, with Executive Order 9981, the veteran Tuskegee Airmen found themselves in high demand throughout the newly-formed United States Air Force. Some taught in civilian flight schools, such as the black-owned
Columbia Air Center in Maryland.

On November 6, 1998, President Clinton approved Public Law 105-355, which established the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, to commemorate and interpret the heroic actions of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. The new site contains a museum and interpretive programs at the historic complex at Moton Field, as well as a national center based on a public-private partnership.

Today, Tuskegee Airmen Inc. (TAI), which is a non-profit organization, with 55 chapters in the United States, works to introduce young Americans to the world of aviation and science, through local and national programs such as Young Eagles and TAI youth programs and activities. It also provides educational assistance to students and awards to deserving individuals, groups and corporations whose deeds lend support to TAI's goals. TAI also supports the Tuskegee Airmen Award presented to deserving cadets in the Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Program.

Tuskegee, Alabama is small town, with a population of approx. 12,000. Yet, its fame is great. Some of its famous sons, daughters and institutions are: Rosa Parks, Lionel Ritchie and The Commodores, Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver and the aforementioned, Tuskegee Institute – now Tuskegee University, which was founded by Booker T. Washington.

February 7, 2019

Black Hisory Month: day 7 Pulling the mask off the Lone Ranger

One in four cowboys was Black, despite the stories told in popular books and movies.


In fact, it's believed that the real “Lone Ranger” was inspired by an African American man named Bass Reeves. Reeves had been born a slave but escaped West during the Civil War where he lived in what was then known as Indian Territory. He eventually became a Deputy U.S. Marshal, was a master of disguise, an expert marksman, had a Native American companion, and rode a silver horse. His story was not unique however.

In the 19th century, the Wild West drew enslaved Blacks with the hope of freedom and wages. When the Civil War ended, freedmen came West with the hope of a better life where the demand for skilled labor was high. These African Americans made up at least a quarter of the legendary cowboys who lived dangerous lives facing weather, rattlesnakes, and outlaws while they slept under the stars driving cattle herds to market.

While there was little formal segregation in frontier towns and a great deal of personal freedom, Black cowboys were often expected to do more of the work and the roughest jobs compared to their white counterparts. Loyalty did develop between the cowboys on a drive, but the Black cowboys were typically responsible for breaking the horses and being the first ones to cross flooded streams during cattle drives. In fact, it is believed that the term “cowboy” originated as a derogatory term used to describe Black “cowhands.”

Image: Bass Reeves, The first African-American US Deputy Marshal


Bass Reeves (July 1838 – January 12, 1910) was the first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River. He worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory.[a] During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons. He shot and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense.

Bass Reeves was born into slavery in Crawford County, Arkansas, in 1838.[4][5] He was named after his grandfather, Basse Washington. Reeves and his family were slaves of Arkansas state legislator William Steele Reeves.[4] When Bass was eight (about 1846), William Reeves moved to Grayson County, Texas, near Sherman in the Peters Colony.[4] Bass Reeves may have served William Steele Reeves' son, Colonel George R. Reeves, who was a sheriff and legislator in Texas, and a one-time Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives until his death from rabies in 1882.[6]

During the American Civil War, Bass beat up George Reeves to get out of slavery[5][6][7] Bass fled north into the Indian Territory. There he lived with the Cherokee, Seminole, and Creek Indians, learning their languages, until he was freed by the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, in 1865.[6]

As a freedman, Reeves moved to Arkansas and farmed near Van Buren. He married Nellie Jennie from Texas, with whom he had 11 children.[8]

Reeves and his family farmed until 1875, when Isaac Parker was appointed federal judge for the Indian Territory. Parker appointed James F. Fagan as U.S. marshal, directing him to hire 200 deputy U.S. marshals. Fagan had heard about Reeves, who knew the Indian Territory and could speak several Indian languages.[8] He recruited him as a deputy; Reeves was the first black deputy to serve west of the Mississippi River.[5][8] Reeves was initially assigned as a deputy U.S. marshal for the Western District of Arkansas, which had responsibility also for the Indian Territory.[9] He served there until 1893. That year he transferred to the Eastern District of Texas in Paris, Texas, for a short while. In 1897, he was transferred again, serving at the Muskogee Federal Court in the Indian Territory.[9]

Reeves worked for 32 years as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, and became one of Judge Parker's most valued deputies. Reeves brought in some of the most dangerous criminals of the time, but was never wounded, despite having his hat and belt shot off on separate occasions.[5]

In addition to being a marksman with a rifle and pistol, Reeves developed superior detective skills during his long career. When he retired in 1907, Reeves claimed to have arrested over 3,000 felons.[5][8] He is said to have shot and killed 14 outlaws to defend his own life.[8]

Once, he had to arrest his own son for murder.[5] One of his sons, Bennie Reeves, was charged with the murder of his wife. Deputy Marshal Reeves was disturbed and shaken by the incident, but allegedly demanded the responsibility of bringing Bennie to justice. Bennie was eventually tracked and captured, tried, and convicted. He served his time in Fort Leavenworth in Kansas before being released, and reportedly lived the rest of his life as a responsible and model citizen.[5]

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, Bass Reeves, then 68, became an officer of the Muskogee Police Department.[5] He served for two years before he became ill and retired.[8]
Personal life and final years

Reeves was himself once charged with murdering a posse cook. At his trial before Judge Parker, Reeves was represented by former United States Attorney W.H.H. Clayton, who was a colleague and friend. Reeves was acquitted.[10]

Reeves' health began to fail further after retiring. He died of Bright's disease (nephritis) in 1910.[8]

He was a great-uncle of Paul L. Brady, who became the first black man appointed as a federal administrative law judge in 1972.[11]

In 2011, the US-62 Bridge, which spans the Arkansas River between Muskogee and Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, was renamed the Bass Reeves Memorial Bridge.[12]

In May 2012, a bronze statue of Reeves by Oklahoma sculptor Harold Holden was erected in Pendergraft Park in Fort Smith, Arkansas.[13]

In 2013, he was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame.[14]

February 6, 2019

Regarding blackface ...

Well, then there'd be no blackface anymore. Blackface is about trivializing the black experience. Its about making people into cartoons images.
February 6, 2019

Black History month day 6: Buxton, Louisiana

Little Known Black History Fact: Buxton, Louisiana

D.L. Chandler


During the tail end of the 19th Century, the nation was deeply divided and economic lines but there were several towns and cities where Black people could thrive. In Buxton, Louisiana., a coal-mining community was built on the promise of collaboration.

In 1895, coal company and rail line magnate Ben Buxton sent workers to the South to recruit coal mine workers after many white workers went on strike at the time. A majority of these miners were Black, and quickly acclimated to the town. Buxton quickly rose in prominence as mining demands grew. The town was progressive in the sense that it treated both Black and white workers of European immigrant descent as equals.

This racial integration and harmony translated across the town as schools featured Black and white students and teachers alike. By 1910, between eight to ten thousand people lived in Buxton with the Black population leading the way.

One of Buxton’s best known early figures was Dr. E.A. Carter, who went on to become the first Black graduate of The University of Iowa, Medical College.

Like most mining towns, Buxton’s profitability began to wane in the early part of the 20th Century as energy demands shifted and coal production reached its limits there. By 1927, a majority of workers and their families vacated the town. Today, it is a designated historic town site and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

February 5, 2019

My worry exactly. We have Senate seats to plan for and House seats to shore up. Plus a lot ...

those tossing their hats in are not even through a full first term - we need them in the Congress, especially the Senate! Some will be negatively affected in states that require candidates for an office resign their current offices.

We don't need just the WH. We need Congress, too. And Governors. State legislatures. City Councils. School boards. Dog catcher.

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About marble falls

Hand dyer mainly to the quilters market, doll maker, oil painter and teacher, anti-fas, cat owner, anti nuke, ex navy, reasonably good cook, father of three happy successful kids and three happy grand kids. Life is good.
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