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Messages - vrblackburn
« on: February 14, 2015, 06:21:33 AM »
As a network news reporter, Malvin Russell Goode (1908–1995) was the first African American to hold a regular on-air job in the journalism field. He started out in radio news in Pittsburgh before he was hired by ABC television to cover the United Nations in New York City. The move made his career. He stayed in this post for 20 years, inspiring other journalists to follow in his footsteps. He covered civil rights marches and brought civil rights issues to the public eye. He was praised by other journalists as an honest reporter, and he showed a professionalism that impressed everyone he met.
Humble Beginnings in Pennsylvania
Goode was born on February 13, 1908, in White Plains, Virginia, but his family moved to Homestead, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh when he was very young. He was the third of four boys and two girls: James, William, Mary, Allan, and Ruth. His grandparents had once been slaves, and their history informed Goode's entire family life, giving them ambition and determination.
His mother went to West Virginia State University. A great proponent of education, she stressed its importance to her children.
Goode would remember these lessons for the rest of his life as can be seen by his determination and his interest in events that affected the world.
His father had very little education, but was a hard worker and stressed to his children the importance of finding
work and being as good as possible at it. Goode's father worked at the Carnegie Steel Company and eventually moved up to the highest position a black man could have at that time in the company—that of first helper in the open hearth. When World War I ended, he opened a fish and poultry business. Along with the lessons Goode learned from his mother, he added to that the lessons his father taught him, those of hard work and industriousness. Goode often credited this beginning with his success throughout his life.
Started Out in a Steel Mill
Goode grew up and attended school in Homestead, Pennsylvania. During high school he got a job working nights at the steel mill where his father worked, and he continued working there throughout his college years at the University of Pittsburgh. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1931, but he continued his steel mill job after graduation, staying there until 1936 because jobs were hard to find during the Great Depression. He felt his luck at having such a good job, and spent time putting aside money for the future.
In 1936 Goode managed to get a different job, this time as a probation officer for Pittsburgh's juvenile court. He also worked as a director of boys' works at the Pittsburgh Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). At that time the YMCA offered many inspirational and popular programs for urban children and for the community at large. Goode worked hard to rid the YMCA of some of its discrimination, which was rampant at the time, and he had some success in his endeavors. Sometime in the 1940s Goode took on the position of manager at the Pittsburgh Housing Authority, where he stayed for six years.
Entered Field of Journalism
It was not until 1948, when Goode was 40 years old, that he began a career in journalism, although it was something he had long considered. He was offered a job at the Pittsburgh Courier , Pittsburgh's premiere African-American newspaper. At that time the Courier was the most popular and bestselling paper of its type in the United States. Goode then decided to try his hand at some another form of broadcasting, moving over to include radio broadcasts in his working life. He began with a 15-minute news show for the station KQV.
It seemed he had found his calling, for he not only enjoyed the work, he was also good at it. From this one small radio job Goode moved to the station WHOD to do a daily five-minute broadcast, a consistent job that allowed Goode to gain much experience in the world of broadcasting. This was expanded into a full-blown news show that Goode took on with his sister Mary. He became the news director of WHOD radio station in 1952. He had not, however, lost his love of print journalism, and he kept his job at the Courier , later becoming the first African-American member of the National Association of Radio and Television News Directors.
First Black Reporter for ABC News
In 1962 ABC News was looking for an African-American reporter. They realized that their base of reporters was all white, and they set out to rectify this problem. Goode was recommended to ABC by one of his friends, baseball player Jackie Robinson, and was chosen from among nearly 40 candidates. He won the position because of his skill and professionalism, and in a history-making event, he was assigned to cover the United Nations in New York City, a job coveted by many reporters. He was the first black reporter hired by ABC.
Only a few months after he took the job with ABC, Goode had to cover the Cuban missile crisis, when it looked like the United States and the Soviet Union might go to war because of the presence of Russian nuclear weapons in Cuba. Goode covered the debates on the topic at the United Nations, taking the difficult and contentious subject and making it accessible to Americans everywhere. He was said to have distinguished himself in the reporting, leading the way for more equality in news coverage across the country. Whereas previously the news had centered around white concerns and issues, there began to be more news about under-represented minorities. This became especially obvious in the 1960s when race riots occurred in Detroit, Los Angeles, and elsewhere. News teams had a hard time covering both sides of the story, and there were few reporters who could do so. Goode was one of the few who was sent in to cover the riots, and he did so with respect and sympathy.
Goode Refused to Be Pigeon-Holed
Goode went on to cover such important issues as the assassination of Malcolm X and the shooting of Martin Luther King, Jr. But he refused to be pigeonholed into writing only about the subject of race. He covered everything and anything newsworthy that he found to be of interest to him and of importance in the world. He was a huge proponent of journalists helping young people become good future journalists. With that idea in mind, in 1963 Goode took a trip overseas with other black colleagues to help teach journalism in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
Goode remained working at the United Nations until the 1980s. He then left that post to become a consultant for ABC, although he kept an office at the United Nations Building until he was almost 80 years old and retired from journalism. He also sometimes reported on international affairs for the National Black Network, and was often asked to speak in public about his years as a journalist and about current affairs, as well as civil rights and important events going on at the United Nations.
Goode married Mary Lavelle, with whom he would eventually have six children: Robert, Malvin Jr., Richard, Ronald, Roberta, and Rosalia. He died of a stroke in 1995, at the age of 87, at Margret's Memorial Hospital in Pittsburgh. Those attending his funeral at Pittsburgh's Lincoln Avenue Church of God recalled all the wonderful things he had done as a journalist. Jet magazine quoted Peter Jennings, a fellow journalist, as having said that "Mal could have very sharp elbows. If he was on a civil rights story and anyone even appeared to give him any grief because he was black he made it more than clear that this was now a free country…. He taught us a lot."
Throughout his lifetime Goode was sought after for public appearances, and he was a member of numerous organizations, including the Association of Radio-TV Analysts, the National Association of Radio and TV News Directors, and the United Nations Correspondents Association, for which he served as president in 1972. Also in 1972 Goode took his place in the President's Plan for Progress Committee alongside other corporate representatives. He was a member of 100 Black Men in New York. He consulted with the National Black Network and was a trustee for the First Baptist Church of Teaneck, New Jersey.
Goode acquired many awards during his career, including the Mary McLeod Bethune Award from Bethune-Cookman College and the Michelle Clark Award from Columbia University School of Journalism. In 1972 he received the Polish Government Award from the United Nations. In 1964 he was named Man of the Year by the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and was given their Award of Merit.
The PittsburghPost-Gazette wrote, "Goode always remembered friends and family in his hometown of Homestead. He often returned there for homecoming at his boyhood church of Clark Memorial. Goode's creeds of life came from his parents: 'It does not cost you anything to treat people right' and 'You're no better than anyone else, and no one else is any better than you … now go out and prove it!'" And it would seem that that was exactly what he did.
« on: February 10, 2015, 08:45:55 AM »
Ruth Carol Taylor
[img width= height=]http://www.theroot.com/content/dam/theroot/articles/history/2015/02/carol_taylor_s_1st_flight_made_history_for_african_americans/screen_shot_20150206_at_11.42.02_am.png.CROP.rtstoryvar-medium.42.02_am.png[/img]
The skies weren’t always so friendly to black people. In the mid-1950s, the handful of black employees working for the major U.S. carriers were in service positions, and all the pilots (male only) and flight attendants (stewardesses or hostesses, in the vernacular of the day, and female only) were white, until Feb. 11, 1958, when Carol Taylor, born in 1931, made her inaugural flight for Mohawk Airlines as its “first Negro airline hostess.”
« on: February 08, 2015, 11:01:00 AM »
Enslaved Pregnant Women Were Often Beaten in the Stomach
Cuban slave masters were particularly cruel when it came to pregnant women. While the owners of enslaved people in the Americas tended to punish women without any regards to their pregnancies, in Cuba their pregnancies were used as part of their punishment. According to “Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans,” when enslaved women were being punished, some Cuban masters would beat them in the stomach, which often caused miscarriages.
Dan Davis, 1912
On May 25, 1912, Dan Davis, an Afro-American man charged with the attempted rape of a Euro-American woman was lynched by burning alive. There was some disappointment in the crowd and criticism of those who had bossed the arrangements, because the fire was so slow in reaching the Negro. It was really only ten minutes after the fire started that the smoking shoe soles and twitching of the Negro's feet indicated that his lower extremities were burning, but the time seemed much longer. The spectators had waited so long to see him tortured that they begrudged the ten minutes before his suffering really began.
The Negro had uttered but few words. When he was led to where he was to be burned he said quite calmly, "I wish some of you gentlemen would be Christian enough to cut my throat," but nobody responded. When the fire started, he screamed, "Lord, have mercy on my soul," and that was the last word he spoke, though he was conscious for fully twenty minutes after that. His exhibition of nerve aroused the admiration even of his torturers.
A slight hitch in the proceedings occurred when the Negro was about half burned. His clothing had been stripped off and burned to ashes by the flames and his black body hung nude in the gray dawn light. The flesh had been burned from his legs as high as the knees when it was seen that the wood supply was running short. None of the men or boys wanted to miss an incident of the torture. All feared something of more than usual interest might happen, and it would be embarrassing to admit later on of not having seen it on account of being absent after more wood.
Something had to be done, however, and a few men by the edge of the crowd, ran after more dry-goods boxes, and by reason of this "public-service" gained standing room in the inner circle after having delivered the fuel. Meanwhile the crowd jeered the dying man and uttered shocking comments suggestive of a cannibalistic spirit. Some danced and sang to testify to their enjoyment of the occasion.
Jesse Washington, 1916
On May 15, 1916, seventeen-year-old Jesse Washington was mutilated and burned to death on the city hall grounds in Waco, Texas.
Washington was arrested one week earlier for raping and beating to death the wife of a white farmer in Robinson, Texas. Washington confessed to both crimes. Ironically, in an effort to prevent locals from taking the law into their own hands, Samuel S. Fleming, the sheriff for Washington's home county of McLennan, transferred the suspect to the "safety" of the Dallas County Jail to await trial.
The trial began and concluded on May 15. It took the all-white jury a total of four minutes to find Washington guilty and to sentence him to death. Before the death penalty could be administered by the state, however, a band of the courtroom spectators grabbed Washington, put a chain around his neck, and dragged him to a elevated arboreal setting "natural" amphitheatre near the city hall where another group from the mob had begun to build a bonfire. They poured coal oil over Washington. Then, throwing the other end of the chain around his neck over a nearby tree branch, the mob hoisted him into the air, only to lower his body onto the pile of wood and lighting both man and tinder on fire.
After a couple of hours, men from the crowd shoved the charred remains of Washington into a bag and pulled it behind a car all the way home to Robinson, Texas. Back in Waco, the mob hung the sack in front of a blacksmith's shop for viewing before the constable cut it down and sent Washington's remains to a Waco undertaker. A huge crowd of approximately 15,000 people witnessed the "spectacle" lynching of Jesse Washington; entrepreneurs hawked a variety of beverages and snacks while the African-American youth was being tortured to death. A series of infamous photographs documenting the lynching were converted into taken by an enterprising photographer and converted into postcards. An estimated 50,000 of these grisly souvenirs were later sold or traded.
Mary Turner and the Lynchings of 1918
In May of 1918, a white plantation owner in Brooks County was killed by one of his African-American workers. In retaliation, white mobs hunted down and murdered at least eleven African-Americans, including twenty year old and eight months pregnant Mary Turner and her husband. After her husband was murdered by the white lynch mob, Mary Turner, on May 19, 1918, publicly condemned the murder of her husband and threatened to identify the perpetrators to law enforcement authorities. For this she was abducted by enraged whites, who hanged her by her ankles from a tree near Folsom's Bridge, burned the clothes from her body, cut her fetus from her womb, killed the fetus, and then riddled Ms. Turner's body with bullets. Following the murder of Mary Turner and her unborn baby, several other bodies were found in the area, and the perpetrator of the plantation owner's murder was killed in an exchange of gunfire with police. A white mob mutilated the corpse and dragged it through the streets by a rope around the neck for several miles, and finally burned it. Subsequently, as many as 500 African-Americans fled Lowndes and Brooks counties in fear for their lives. Mary Turner's lynching drew widespread condemnation nationally, and formed the impetus for the Anti-Lynching Crusaders campaign for the 1922 Dyer Bill, which sought to make lynching a federal crime. In 2010, a historical marker encaptioned "Mary Turner and the Lynching Rampage" was installed at Folsom's Bridge to remind the public of these atrocities.
Kirven, Texas 1922
On May 4th, 1922, after the last full day of school in Kirven, Texas, 17-year-old Eula Ausley was taken from her horse, carried into the thick brush, sexually mutilated and then beaten to death. Her disappearance was noticed immediately and family members organized a search party to investigate. Her nearly decapitated, naked body was found soon after and the search became a manhunt. The members of the hunt, which one estimate put at 1,000 men, combed through the woods, armed with whatever weapons they could find, looking for something which might lead to the killer or killers. Early into the search, the disgruntled wife of a black search party member alerted neighbors that her husband, McKinley "Snap" Curry, had come home on the afternoon of the murder bloodied from what he claimed was a rabbit hunt. Curry now became the hunted. Despite the fact that Sheriff Horace Mayo already had two white suspects who were enemies of Eula's family in custody, Mayo changed the focus of the investigation. He arrested Curry and apparently forced a statement which implicated two other men, 19-year-old Johnny Cornish and 46-year-old Mose Jones, that had been arrested on the suspicion that they were friends with Curry. A mob consisting of most of the search party assembled outside the jail to sate its hunger for vengeance. After midnight on May 6th, the mob forced its way into the prison and dragged the three black suspects out of their cells. They were driven to a lot between the old Baptist Church and the Methodist Church in Kirven. The gruesome ritual began. Approximately fifty men started gathering wood and a heavy plow was dragged into the lot to act as an anchor for the burning Negroes. But, as these preparations were being made, the crowd became anxious for a quicker punishment. Curry, Jones and Cornish were taken from the cars and thrown to the ground in front of the crowd. A knife appeared as the three men on the ground probably had the dreadful realization that some of these farmworkers had gained experience in the gelding of calves. Accounts vary as to what happened next. All agree that Curry was castrated. In an interview with filmmaker Gode Davis during June of 2000, 104-year-old Hobart Carter, Cornish's best friend in 1922, revealed that Cornish might also have been castrated. When enough wood was available, the bloodied Curry was bound to the plow's seat and doused in gasoline. The wood was stacked up all around him and a match was applied. The flames consumed him and within ten minutes he was dead and his flesh was nearly all burnt to a crisp. Next, Jones was brought forward. As the metal of the plow was too hot to touch, a water soaked rope was used to tie up Jones hands and drag him back and forth through the fire. Witnesses say that when he would come out on one side of the fire, members of the lynch mob would beat him back in. Supposedly, Jones made one attempt to break free from the ropes and ran directly into Eula's uncle, Otis King. King then hit him with a radius rod from a Model T Ford, dislodging an eye from its socket. Jones was then pulled back into the fire and died. Cornish, having seen the slow, painful deaths of his friends, cursed the sadistic lynchers. After being pulled through the flames only a few times, Cornish grabbed the plow and stuck his head deep into the fire, inhaled, and died. The three dead bodies were then piled up, doused again with kerosene and oil and lit afire. Whatever ashes the wind did not sweep up that morning were taken home as souvenirs. The hardened livers of the men were also recovered from the fire and then sliced up so they could be divided among the spectators.
With the three alleged murderers lynched before a crowd of between 500 and 1,000, the bloodlust should have ended. It did not. Terror reigned for days afterwards as aftershocks of the three burnings claimed more lives. On the morning of May 8th, Shadrick Green, a friend of Cornish and Jones who was said to have been fishing with the two on the fourth, was found hanging from a tree. He was naked with his neck broken and his body was riddled with bullets. It seems as if after this lynching, open season was declared on all Negroes and yet, ironically, whites were just as terrified as blacks. White paranoia suspected that legions of armed blacks were approaching Kirven to retaliate for the lynchings. Whites began to leave all their lights on in their houses so no imagined black murderer could sneak in during the night. Blacks, on the other hand, left all their lights off attempting to avoid the notice of the actual roaming bands of armed whites. The mobs roamed the streets killing any blacks they could find. Survivors claimed that hanged blacks were found daily and that other bullet-ridden bodies were discovered in outhouses, fields and shallow graves. By June 9th, 1922, the rash of murder and lynching had ended but the effects on Kirven were grim and lasting. Many of the town's workers disappeared as nearly the whole black population left the area. The oil economy dried up. Now, Kirven is a vestigial place almost a ghost town.
A recent investigation and book, Flames After Midnight: Murder, Vengeance and the Desolation of a Texas Community, by Monte Akers, concluded that Mose Jones and Johnny Cornish were innocent. McKinley "Snap" Curry is now believed to have accepted $15 to assist two men in murdering Eula Ausley. The two men, Claude and Audey Prowell, were the same two men in custody when Curry was arrested. Their bloody tracks led from the murder site to their house but they were released after four black men, Curry, Jones, Cornish and Green, had already paid the price.
Henry Argo, 1930
In the wee hours of the morning on May 31st, 1930, a dubious accusation of rape gave lynch law yet another victim-a 19 year old Negro, Henry Argo. The murder took place inside the Chickasha, Oklahoma courthouse after Argo was accused of rape by a white sharecropper's wife. People of both races in the town questioned her claim. Argo was thought of as a half-wit by the black community. As night fell, a mob gathered outside demanding that Argo be turned over to them. The National Guard was called to Chickasha to disperse the near-frenzied crowd, but the lynching was guaranteed once people realized that the Guardsmen were armed only with blanks. The mob began to use violence against the Guardsmen for interfering in the punishment of this black rapist. They threw sticks and stones, fracturing the skull of one Guardsman, and burned a National Guard truck after forcing the collected Guardsmen into a retreat. Around 3 am, one of the members of the mob climbed up the courthouse wall, leaned through a second-story window and shot Argo in the top of the head. As the accused rapist lay there bloodied, the sheriff arrived and dismissed the Guardsmen. At 6 am, the sheriff permitted a group to come in and see Argo's body. George Skinner, husband of the woman who had accused Argo, soon stabbed the dying boy in the chest. Seven hours later, Argo died-after being refused at the local hospital. A witness later remarked, "Stickin' that boy was just like stickin' a hog. He only had to stick him once." No one-including Skinner who committed murder right before the eyes of the local sheriff-was ever convicted on any charges.
Unknown Native American, 1642
Under the regime of Director Kieft, a friendly village of harmless, unsuspecting "Indians" (an estimated 120 men, women, and children) near the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam (later to become New York City's borough of Manhattan) -- were butchered with bayonets while they slept. But according to an eyewitness named DeVries, a most revolting atrocity involved a male straggler, about twenty-five years of age, who'd had his left hand and legs hacked off, and was found alive in daylight the next morning "supporting his protruding entrails with his other hand."
Saxe Joiner, 1865
In the closing days of the Civil War, with the Union Army steadily advancing south, a slave named Saxe Joiner was lynched. Joiner was owned by and living in the home of Dr. James E. Hix, a South Carolina physician. Also living in the large house on Mountain Street in Unionville were the physician's wife Martha, their three children, and an unmarried young white woman, eighteen-year-old Susan Baldwin. Baldwin was probably a boarder or employed by the family. Joiner was an unmarried mulatto, aged about twenty-six, a skilled carpenter, and although it was illegal in the state of South Carolina to teach a slave to read and write, he was also literate. What got him in trouble was writing letters. A house slave who may have believed in the paternalistic ethos of slavery, Joiner might have felt it was his duty to protect the white women of the household in a desperate hour. On Sunday morning, February 19, 1865, Joiner wrote a note to Martha Hix. He told Mrs. Hix not to "grieve" about the approaching federal troops because he had a "safe place" for her -- perhaps a hideaway in the house, in town, or in the countryside. A neighbor referred to this act as "impertinent" but well meaning -- by writing it Joiner was behaving as a devoted slave should behave. Because Mr. Hix was his wife's protector, and didn't object, no other white man was likely to trespass upon his role and take action either. But that evening, Joiner wrote a second note to Miss Baldwin, telling her not to worry because he would "protect" her too from the Northern troops. After Dr. Hix discovered the note to Susan Baldwin, Saxe Joiner was immediately arrested and spent that Sunday night in the town jail on Main Street. After a trial that produced what was considered in the community to be a too lenient verdict, instead of being freed, Joiner was kept in jail by a series of legal maneuvers. But community outrage against Joiner was high: He had insulted a white woman! Many townsmen figured the mulatto to be engaged in a carnal affair or were incensed that Joiner might in actuality be able to protect the Baldwin woman better than THEY could, given the Confederacy's impending demise. At approximately 9:00 P.M. on the night of March 15, 1865, an armed mob of white men wearing disguises and dressed in Confederate uniforms broke into the Unionville jail. The mob surged into Joiner's cell after getting the keys, tied the prisoner up, and hauled him outside. Within moments Joiner was dead -- hanged from a convenient tree
Sam Hose, 1899
The lynching of Sam Hose (sometimes erroneously called Sam Holt) in Newnan, Georgia involved a murder prompted by a quarrel over wages. White folks believed that Hose, a laborer on Alfred Cranford's farm, had split open the skull of the respected white farmer with an ax and then injured his children and raped his wife near where the bleeding corpse lay. The alleged crimes, the chase, and the lynching occurred in and around places like Palmetto, Newnan, and Griffin -- small southern towns like any other within forty miles of Atlanta. Easy access to train and telegraph lines ensured that the lynching of Hose would be an "event" not just in the rural Georgia Piedmont but in the self-proclaimed capital of the New South as well. Local and regional newspapers took over the publicity, promotion, and sale of the event with the kind of sensationalized narrative pattern that would come to dominate the reporting of spectacle lynchings up until the 1940s. DETERMINED MOB AFTER HOSE, HE WILL BE LYNCHED IF CAUGHT began the story in the Atlanta Constitution on April 14, 1899. Information about Cranford's demise had been supplied to the media by Mrs. Cranford, the wife of the murdered man and the alleged rape victim. She demanded an active role in planning the lynching, expressing a desire to witness Hose's torture and death and a preference for a slow burning. As expressed, her story was contradictory -- she claimed to have tricked the "stupid" Negro with a Confederate bill when he tried to "rob her" after arguing about wages due him from her husband. When Hose was caught, and after the lynching had taken place, another local newspaper printed the details: "In the presence of nearly 2000 people, who sent aloft yells of defiance and shouts of joy, Sam Hose was burned at the stake in a public road. Before the torch was applied to the pyre, the Negro was deprived of his ears, fingers, and other portions of his body with surprising fortitude. Before the body was cool, it was cut to pieces, the bones were crushed into small bits and even the tree upon which the wretch met his fate was torn up and disposed of as souvenirs. The Negro's heart was cut into small pieces, as was also his liver. Those unable to obtain the ghastly relics directly, paid more fortunate possessors extravagant sums for them. Small pieces of bone went for 25 cents and a bit of liver, crisply cooked, for 10 cents."
Zachariah Walker, 1911
Zachariah Walker, a black man from Virginia, had traveled to Coatesville, Pennsylvania to work in the Worth Brothers Steel Company. As was common among the factory workers - European-born immigrants and migrant blacks alike - Walker passed the afternoon of Saturday, August 12, 1911 drinking alcoholic beverages in downtown Coatesville with his coworkers. While walking back to his temporary lodgings to get some sleep, Walker was probably somewhat inebriated when he took out his pistol and fired it in the general direction of two Polish steelworkers who were approaching him on the road from the opposite direction. Although his shots failed to strike either man, Edgar Rice, a security guard employed by the Worth Brothers factory -- heard the shots and came out to apprehend Walker. A scuffle ensued. It soon escalated, with both men drawing their weapons. Walker got his shot off first, killing Rice, before heading off drunkenly in a homeward direction. Not making it, he slept in a neighboring barn until the next morning.
Rice's body was soon discovered. After the Polish immigrants helped establish Walker as his probable murderer, search parties began the hunt for him. Two men from the search party found Zachariah Walker early the next morning. Sober again, he'd been walking down a dirt road heading out of town. Climbing into a cherry tree, the terrified Walker eluded capture for several hours as he watched men passing beneath the tree and doggedly searching for him. Giving up all hope of survival, Walker attempted to commit suicide. Shooting himself in the head, he succeeded only in shattering his own jaw, and was carried to the town hospital after falling from the tree and being discovered.
When Walker awoke at the hospital, he confessed to the killing of Edgar Rice in self-defense. A deputy was left to guard him at the hospital. (Contained by a straitjacket and bound by shackles -- Walker's left ankle was chained to the footboard of his hospital bed.) The town sheriff, Charles Umsted, a big man of six foot three and over 250 pounds, was familiarly known as "Jumbo" or "Jummy" and had a reputation for toughness and a well-honed facility for surviving the fiercely contested elections for town police chief. Umsted was up for re-election in September, and on the night of August 13, as the crowd around him grew, he saw a chance to earn a few votes. Taking care to speak loudly enough for bystanders to eavesdrop, he avowed that Walker had boasted about killing Rice, and he made no mention of Walker's claim of self-defense. Before concluding his staged monologue, with an increasingly roused crowd gathered around him, Umsted virtually promised the mob that he would not intervene in the event of a lynching. "I would be the devil if somebody should happen to go after that fellow -- Gentleman, allow me to say that I am not going to get hurt."
Encouraged by such prompting, a mob broke into the hospital and kidnapped Walker. His ankle, still chained to the bed, dragged the footboard behind him. The mob dragged Walker toward a farmhouse near the outskirts of town. When Umsted arrived at the hospital, Walker's agonized screams were still audible in the distance, but he made no effort to follow them. Instead, he walked casually back to town. Writes Robert F. Worth, a descendant of the steel mill owning family, in the Spring 1998 issue of The American Scholar: The mob's leaders dragged Walker half a mile, stopping in a clearing bordered by split-rail fences just beyond the Newlin farmhouse. It made a good theater, and the all-white crowd -- now nearly four thousand strong -- poured up from the road to take their places. As men ran back and forth from the barn with dry straw and firewood, Walker shouted from the fence railing: "For God's sake, give a man a chance! I killed Rice in self-defense. Don't give me no crooked death because I ain't white!" But the fire was soon blazing up, illuminating the faces not only of men but also of women and children, who had been drawn by the commotion on the way home from church.
Within minutes, Walker was hurled onto the pyre, his body quickly enveloped in flames. The crowd roared its approval, and those close to the fire hunched forward, according to a newspaper report, "eagerly watching the look of mingled horror and terror that distorted his blood-smeared face." As the flames scorched his skin, Walker let out a series of awful screams that were heard, according to later testimony, almost a mile away. He seemed close to death when he managed, somehow, to crawl out of the fire. Still breathing, he reached the fence, his back -- as one boy later testified -- "all raw with burns. The onlookers paused in shock for a moment; no one had anticipated this. Then several of them beat him or pushed him with fence rails back into the flames. Shrieking with pain, Walker managed to struggle out a second time, still shackled to the burning footboard. According to witnesses, when he was pushed back in again, his flesh was visibly hanging from his body. To the crowd's amazement, Walker struggled out of the fire a third time. This time they allowed him to crawl almost to their feet, astonished and horrified by what one reporter called "the revolting spectacle his maimed and half-burned body presented to them." Finally, several men swung a rope around his neck, holding it taut at both ends, and pulled him back into the coals. His resistance gone, Zachariah Walker gave one last terrible scream and collapsed. His body was soon obscured by a wall of fire, and the smoke carried the smell of roasting human flesh into the night sky.
The following day, the Coatesville Record remarked on the politeness of the crowd: "Five thousand men, women, and children stood by and watched the proceedings as though it were a ball game or another variety of spectator sport." Boys had stopped for cold soda afterward at the Coatesville Candy Company to retell the story. Many returned to the site the next day to gather fragments of bone and charred flesh as souvenirs.
Black History Cinema
TV ONE - Saturday, February 7th 8PM/ET
The film "White Water" will explore racism and segregation during the Civil Rights Movement as a young boy becomes obsessed with wanting to drink from the whites-only drinking fountain. Once he gathers the courage to do it, things get ugly. Starring Larenz Tate and Sharon Leal. Watch trailer below.
BET - Monday, February 16th at 8PM/ET
“The Book of Negroes” is based on the award-winning novel by Lawrence Hill, which tells the story of Aminata Diallo and her powerful journey as she tries to escape to freedom. Get On Up actress Aunjanue Ellis will star as Aminata and she will be joined by Cuba Gooding Jr. and Louis Gossett Jr. Watch trailer below.
« on: February 02, 2015, 06:24:06 PM »
100 Great Black Britons : 2014 Campaign Re-Launch
In 2002, the BBC devised a campaign and television series called 100 Great Britons where the public voted for Winston Churchill as the Greatest Briton of all time. Every Generation developed an alternative campaign and poll to raise the profile of the Black contribution to Britain and to challenge the notion of Britishness that excludes racialised communities.
« on: February 02, 2015, 10:20:00 AM »
The President is going to get the Amb. in a way that will devastate him. Just wait and watch. He can be COLD and CALCULATING, too. LOL! Just kidding.
« on: February 01, 2015, 10:05:26 PM »
A History Of Black People In Europe
It is generally known that black people have been residing in European countries since the early colonial times. But even before the 15th century and during Roman times, a time when colour of skin still wasn’t a racist stigma but just another physical feature, black people lived in Europe. Remains of a man with black African features were found in England recently, dating his life back to the 13th century. Read this article for more info.
Biography - Mary Seacole
Mary Seacole (1805 – 1881) was a Jamaican nurse who became well known in the Victorian period for her nursing efforts during the Crimean War. Though she was much respected by officers whom she treated during the war, after her death, her fame diminished, though in recent years she has become better known.
“I have witnessed her devotion and her courage … and I trust that England will never forget one who has nursed her sick, who sought out her wounded to aid and succour them and who performed the last offices for some of her illustrious dead."
“I must say that I don’t appreciate your friend’s kind wishes with respect to my complexion. If it had been as dark as a n----r’s, I should have been just as happy and useful, and as much respected by those whose respect I value: and as to his offer of bleaching me, I should, even if it were practicable, decline it without any thanks.”
« on: January 31, 2015, 01:46:59 AM »
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — It wasn't until Serena Williams forced herself to relax, and not focus too intently on a milestone Grand Slam title, that she rediscovered the art of winning the biggest events in tennis.
Now she's on the verge of a 19th major championship after beating 19-year-old Madison Keys 7-6 (5), 6-2 on Thursday and setting up an Australian Open final against long-time rival Maria Sharapova.