#Racism Explained for Teens

Edwin Pratt – Did You Know?

On a snowy night in 1969, Edwin was shot in his home, while Miriam and her mother, Bettye, were inside.

“I remember, I heard my mother cry ‘Edwin!’ and I sat up in the bed, and I was immediately engulfed in fear,” Miriam, now 55, tells Jean.

Jean and her mother were Pratts’ neighbors. They rushed over after receiving a phone call from Bettye.

“When I saw that front door was open, I knew. I knew,” says Jean, who was 21 at the time. “I’ll never forget walking into that family room and I could see your dad laying there and, of course, he was totally still. He died instantly.”

Jean Soliz and Miriam Pratt raise fists a few months after Edwin Pratt’s assassination in 1969. Inspired by Edwin and his wife Bettye, who had been a social worker, Jean went on to have a career in social services.

Jean ran and got Miriam from her room. For Miriam, that’s when “I knew everything was going to be alright,” she says.

Edwin had spent his last day playing with his daughter. “He played snowballs with you and took you on your little sled and spent that whole day with you,” Jean tells Miriam. “Which I think is a marvelous thing.”

After his death, Miriam’s mom didn’t talk much about Edwin, because it made her sad. Miriam was able to learn about him through a photo album that Bettye had put together. It was filled with newspaper clippings, obituaries, and personal pictures of Edwin.

What’s different about this story is what this little girl did all because she walked past a plaque for Edwin Pratt

NPR

#WebsterGrove

At the end of the Civil War, many black families, formerly enslaved, found their way to Webster Groves. They began to settle on Vinegar Hill and along Shady Creek. One of these persons was Ken Lankford, who was a preacher. He began preaching, just after the war in 1865, in a brush arbor, alongside Shady Creek. The trees there also provided shade for those who attended his services.

A year later, in 1866, William Porter helped to formally organize the church and it became the First Baptist Church of Webster Groves. Allen Brown contributed the first $25 for the church building, which had 18 other original members. Those members built the first church in their community, making sure it had a tall foundation because of its location near Shady Creek. Churches have long been a part of creating a community, and the First Baptist Church of Webster Groves did the same in North Webster.

The year that the First Baptist Church of Webster Groves was created, an English woman came through Webster Groves on a mission to establish schools for black children throughout Missouri. She was working for the assistant state superintendent of public schools, James Milton Turner, who was in charge of postwar black schools. Mrs. Dotwell, as she is only recorded, began the first school for black children in Webster Groves at the First Baptist Church in 1866 and taught black children there until the Webster Groves School District undertook its responsibility in 1868. At that time, there were 30 children in North Webster eligible to attend between the ages of 5 and 21. The school later became known as Douglass and the church still stands, albeit, in a new building.

What Can Stop #PoliceBrutality & End #Racism?

The Temple

There are 5 temples mentioned in the bible – 1. The Garden 2. The Tabernacle 3. Solomon’s Temple, The “First” Temple 4. Herod’s Temple, The “Second” Temple 5. The Church. It is written – Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple. It is worth mentioning that in the New Testament, no synagogue, temple, chapel, tabernacle, building, or any other meeting place was ever called a “church.” The term always referred to the Christian assembly and, in the New Testament, it was used for both the local community of believers and the overall collection of Christians.

The Origin in America

The first Africans in the New World arrived with Spanish and Portuguese explorers and settlers. By 1600 an estimated 275,000 Africans, both free and slave, were in Central and South America and the Caribbean area. Africans first arrived in the area that became the United States in 1619, when a handful of captives were sold by the captain of a Dutch man-of-war to settlers at Jamestown. Others were brought in increasing numbers to fill the desire for labor in a country where land was plentiful and labor scarce. By the end of the 17th century, approximately 1,300,000 Africans had landed in the New World. From 1701 to 1810 the number reached 6,000,000, with another 1,800,000 arriving after 1810. Some Africans were brought directly to the English colonies in North America. Others landed as slaves in the West Indies and were later resold and shipped to the mainland.


Slavery in America

The earliest African arrivals were viewed in the same way as indentured servants from Europe. This similarity did not long continue. By the latter half of the 17th century, clear differences existed in the treatment of black and white servants. A 1662 Virginia law assumed Africans would remain servants for life, and a 1667 act declared that “Baptisme doth not alter the condition of the person as to his bondage or freedom.” By 1740 the slavery system in colonial America was fully developed. A Virginia law in that year declared slaves to be “chattel personal in the hands of their owners and possessors for all intents, construction, and purpose whatsoever.”

Slaves Revolt

The first recorded slave revolt in the United States happened in Gloucester, Virginia, in 1663, an event involving white indentured servants as well as black slaves.

In 1672, there were reports of fugitive slaves forming groups to harass plantation owners. The first recorded all-black slave revolt occurred in Virginia in 1687.

Virginia was the host of several thwarted uprisings, including one in Richmond in 1800 and Spotsylvania County in 1815, but the state was also the scene of the most notorious slave rebellion in American history: Nat Turner’s Revolt.

Civil Rights

The civil rights movement was an organized effort by black Americans to end racial discrimination and gain equal rights under the law. It began in the late 1940s and ended in the late 1960s. Although tumultuous at times, the movement was mostly nonviolent and resulted in laws to protect every American’s constitutional rights, regardless of color, race, sex or national origin.

In general, the federal government stayed out of the civil rights struggle until 1964, when President Johnson pushed a Civil Rights Act through Congress that prohibited discrimination in public places, gave the Justice Department permission to sue states that discriminated against women and minorities and promised equal opportunities in the workplace to all. The next year, the Voting Rights Act eliminated poll taxes, literacy requirements and other tools that southern whites had traditionally used to keep blacks from voting.

But these laws did not solve the problems facing African Americans: They did not eliminate racism or poverty and they did not improve the conditions in many black urban neighborhoods. Many black leaders began to rethink their goals, and some embraced a more militant ideology of separatism and self-defense.

Civil Rights History Time Line

July 26, 1948: President Harry Truman issues Executive Order 9981 to end segregation in the Armed Services.

May 17, 1954: Brown v. Board of Education, a consolidation of five cases into one, is decided by the Supreme Court, effectively ending racial segregation in public schools. Many schools, however, remained segregated.

August 28, 1955: Emmett Till, a 14-year-old from Chicago is brutally murdered in Mississippi for allegedly flirting with a white woman. His murderers are acquitted, and the case bring international attention to the civil rights movement after Jet magazine publishes a photo of Till’s beaten body at his open-casket funeral.

December 1, 1955: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Her defiant stance prompts a year-long Montgomery bus boycott.

January 10-11, 1957: Sixty black pastors and civil rights leaders from several southern states—including Martin Luther King, Jr.—meet in Atlanta, Georgia to coordinate nonviolent protests against racial discrimination and segregation.

September 4, 1957: Nine black students known as the “Little Rock Nine” are blocked from integrating into Little Rock Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. President Dwight D. Eisenhower eventually sends federal troops to escort the students, however, they continue to be harassed.

September 9, 1957: Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1957 into law to help protect voter rights. The law allows federal prosecution of those who suppress another’s right to vote.

February 1, 1960: Four African American college students in Greensboro, North Carolina refuse to leave a Woolworth’s “whites only” lunch counter without being served. The Greensboro Four—Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil—were inspired by the nonviolent protest of Gandhi. The Greensboro Sit-In, as it came to be called, sparks similar “sit-ins” throughout the city and in other states.

November 14, 1960: Six-year-old Ruby Bridges is escorted by four armed federal marshals as she becomes the first student to integrate William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. Her actions inspired Norman Rockwell’s painting The Problem We All Live With (1964).

1961: Throughout 1961, black and white activists, known as freedom riders, took bus trips through the American South to protest segregated bus terminals and attempted to use “whites-only” restrooms and lunch counters. The Freedom Rides were marked by horrific violence from white protestors, they drew international attention to their cause.

June 11, 1963: Governor George C. Wallace stands in a doorway at the University of Alabama to block two black students from registering. The standoff continues until President John F. Kennedy sends the National Guard to the campus.

August 28, 1963: Approximately 250,000 people take part in The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Martin Luther King gives his “I Have A Dream” speech as the closing address in front of the Lincoln Memorial, stating, “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’”

September 15, 1963: A bomb at 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama kills four young girls and injures several other people prior to Sunday services. The bombing fuels angry protests.

July 2, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, preventing employment discrimination due to race, color, sex, religion or national origin. Title VII of the Act establishes the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to help prevent workplace discrimination.

February 21, 1965: Black religious leader Malcolm X is assassinated during a rally by members of the Nation of Islam.

March 7, 1965: Bloody Sunday. In the Selma to Montgomery March, around 600 civil rights marchers walk to Selma, Alabama to Montgomery—the state’s capital—in protest of black voter suppression. Local police block and brutally attack them. After successfully fighting in court for their right to march, Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders lead two more marches and finally reach Montgomery on March 25.

August 6, 1965: President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to prevent the use of literacy tests as a voting requirement. It also allowed federal examiners to review voter qualifications and federal observers to monitor polling places.

April 4, 1968:Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray is convicted of the murder in 1969.

April 11, 1968: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968, also known as the Fair Housing Act, providing equal housing opportunity regardless of race, religion or national origin.

June 2020: The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 is a civil rights and police reform bill drafted by Democrats in the United States Congress, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus. The legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on June 8, 2020. The legislation aims to combat police misconduct, excessive force, and racial bias in policing.

So we started as slaves, we were freed, we couldn’t vote so we marched, and we marched and we boycotted and we marched. Black men women and children have been brutally murdered in the streets of the US since forever and it wasn’t until #GeorgeFloyd that we began marching and protesting again. So if at first you don’t succeed try, try again… When will marching and protested end racism – it won’t! So what is the answer – this writer tends to think that it will take everyone learning how the Hand of God works.

Recent racially charged incidents including the tragic death of George Floyd have stirred ensuing riots and torn open the rawest of wounds – racism. Judging a person according to skin color is an ancient sin. For that reason, God gave this ancient solution.

In the earliest words of Scripture, God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature so they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, and, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth” (Genesis 1:26). Let us, who is “us” – If you search the Bible you will find that when the Almighty speaks of “us” or “our,” He is addressing His Power not the angles otherwise we would have wings.

How then can we stop police brutality and end racism when each of us understands who we are in relationship to God and the power we have within…

 

References:

History.com Editors. (2009, November 12). Slave rebellions. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery-iv-slave-rebellions

Search results. (n.d.). Scholastic | Books for Kids | Parent & Teacher Resources‎. https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/search-results/?search=1&prefilter=&filters=teachers_ss_dp:articles-and-collections%7C*&text=black%20history#lessons-plans

History.com Editors. (2009, November 9). Martin Luther King, Jr. HISTORY. https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/martin-luther-king-jr

‘Teacher’s Manual’ by American educator Thomas H. Palmer and ‘The Children of the New Forest‘ by English novelist Frederick Maryat (1792-1848).

(“Max Lucado: What is the answer to racism? This profound yet simple promise,” 2020)

#HappyMothersDay

Unlike Josephine Baker, she did not s survive the 1917 riots in East St. Louis, Illinois, and ran away a few years later at age thirteen and began dancing in vaudeville and on Broadway. Alternatively, in 1925, she did not go to Paris where, after the jazz revue La Revue Nègre failed, her comic ability and jazz dancing drew the attention of the director of the Folies Bergère to later became one of the best-known entertainers in both France and much of Europe.

 

via #HappyMothersDay

#HappyMothersDay

smartselectimage_2016-08-08-01-20-11.pngUnlike Josephine Baker, she did not s survive the 1917 riots in East St. Louis, Illinois, and ran away a few years later at age thirteen and began dancing in vaudeville and on Broadway. Alternatively, in 1925, she did not go to Paris where, after the jazz revue La Revue Nègre failed, her comic ability and jazz dancing drew the attention of the director of the Folies Bergère to later became one of the best-known entertainers in both France and much of Europe.

She didn’t grow up in a shotgun home shared by 13 people, and her voice doesn’t captivate audiences and move people to want salvation like Mahalia Jackson.  No at age 12 her voice wasn’t heard all the way to end of the block.

Her passion was not promoting injustice as a radical black activist and philosopher.  She was arrested as a conspirator attempting to free George Jackson.  She never maintained an arsenal of registered guns, she did always have a blue box of Argo starch in the cabinet by the door in the kitchen.  She would not have run for the Communist Party VP seat.  She didn’t use her voice in place people would only speak about in the comfort of their dining rooms.  That was not her story.

Her wall was not filled with books and famous artists.  Intellectuals didn’t meet regularly at her home where Anderson, Nash, and Bennett urged Charles Johnson to organize, that W.E.B. DuBois, Jean Toomer, Countee Cullin, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, and others essentially began the movement called the Harlem Renaissance with readings and speeches. No that was not here story, but she had keen ability to read you your rights if she felt moved to do so.

You won’t find her name among Mrs. D. J. Dupuy, Ms. Georgia M. Johnson, Mrs. H. W. Johnson and others who ran branches of the NAACP during World War II.

She was a mother of 3, a grandmother, someone’s daughter, aunt, sister and a wife to the illustrious Robert Hughes Williamson.  She was always present, she was not the owner of Castle, but her home was her castle filled with everything needed to manage a home worthy of its definition.  Trials and tribulation were not uncommon, and neither was perseverance.  She was not wealthy by most standards, but her children had the best and not one day in 54 years did they ever go hungry, without shelter, without scolding, without love. Punishments varied from the inability to use to phone to the driving the car.  If you looking for “Susie Homemaker” you in the wrong story if you’re looking to have your faults minimized you’re on the wrong LifeTime channel.  If you looking for someone to pick you every time you fell you are so far from the River of Denial.  If you want to have lived a life that echoes “get up and move on”, “find a way to make it work”.  If you’re looking warm and fuzzy – you’ll find it in the Cheeseburger Pie.  Watch her face as she makes it, listen as she talks about it, watch her as she slices it and delivers it to those around her…there you will find all the love you need.  Who’s is this woman she’s my mother Nettie Williamson – Happy Valentines Day.

Sources: Sartain, Lee. Invisible Activists: Women of the Louisiana NAACP and the Struggle for Civil Rights, 1915–1945 (1). Baton Rouge, US: LSU Press, 2007. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 14 February 2017.

Copyright © 2007. LSU Press. All rights reserved.

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Did You Know

The Beatles held the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 and half months longer than any other group with the song, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”.  Guess who broke the record?

 

 

On May 9, 1964, the Great Louis Armstrong, age 63, broke the Beatles’ stranglehold on the U.S. pop charts with the #1 hit “Hello Dolly.”