Monday, January 16, 2017

The Winter in 2017 Part 5

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Standing Rock

For long centuries, the Native Americans have fought against oppression. Today, the heroic indigenous people and their allies are protesting and fighting back against the corporate interests who want to build the Dakota Access Pipeline on sovereign land. This pipeline has no environmentally sound benefit and it is against the people’s wishes in the territory. On April 2016, tribal members started to protest the 1,172 mile proposed Dakota Access Pipeline construction. They set up camps along the banks of Lake Oahe in North Dakota. By August, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe filed suit in federal district court in Washington D.C. They are filing suit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is the primary federal agency that granted permits used for the construction of the pipeline. Also, the NoDAPL movement grew and many people among many walks of life have expressed support and solidarity with the Native American human beings who desire that pipeline to not be constructed. In August 22, 2016, protests help to block the construction sites at Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The protests are led by the Standing Rock Sioux who said that their drinking water was threatened by the pipeline. The small Sacred Stone Camp grows by the thousands. The people there made up over 200 tribes in September of 2016.  In an act of disrespect, Dakota Access bulldozers on September 3, 2016 plow a 2 mile long, 150 ft. wide path through the sacred tribal burial ground. The Sioux contested the permits for that land in its lawsuit. Protests continue on the anniversary of the Whitestone massacre, a day in 1863 when the US Army killed more than 300 members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Video surfaces in September of private security attacking Native protesters with dogs and mace. At least 30 people were pepper-sprayed and six people, including a child, were bitten by dogs, according to tribe spokesman Bear. In September 6th, the U.S.  District Judge James Boasberg agrees to temporarily halt construction on a portion of the pipeline—too late to save the Standing Rock Sioux burial ground, but enough to stop the bulldozers ahead of a more final ruling, expected September 9, as to whether construction will be allowed to continue. This movement is one of the largest Native American protests in American history.

The authorities in North Dakota use tactics of intimidation, threats of arrest, and arrests to harm the protest movement. Yet, they only motivate protesters even more to fight for justice. Water protesters are arrested and jailed without bond after locking themselves to construction machinery.  Morton County Sheriff pursues felony charges on those arrested. 23 people and their charges are named. As of 9/14 a total of 69 individuals have been arrested for protesting actions. The Judge  drops injunction against tribal leaders allowing them to protest lawfully. In later October 2016, the police again used brutality against water protesters in Standing Rock. Protesters were maced and beaten at the hands of the police. 141 people were arrested. Many buffalo came around the hill and the protesters watched them in awe. It symbolized how the buffalo was slaughtered by the U.S. government over 100 years ago and now the Native Americans are being violated of their rights in our generation. As the police closed in on the water protectors, they drew inspiration from the Black Lives Matter movement chanting, "Hands up, don't shoot." Black Lives Matter activists have expressed their support for the Standing Rock protesters--sending a delegation to Standing Rock over the summer and, this week, calling for renewed solidarity in the wake of the most recent repression. Palestinian rights supporters, labor unions, and other progressive human beings have expressed solidarity with Standing Rock activists. What we see is that the state allowing human rights abuses via an occupying army against the original inhabitants of the American soil.

The Standing Rock human beings are defending the environment and promoting tribal sovereignty. America was founded on the genocide of the Native Americans and the enslavement of African people. We reject oppression. In the wake of the decision (on September 9, 2016), the Department of Justice, the Department of the Army, and the Department of the Interior issue a joint statement, acknowledging the district court's opinion but refusing to authorize construction in the Lake Oahe area, near the protests. The departments ask Energy Transfer Partners to voluntarily cease all construction within 20 miles of the region until it can be determined whether the construction is in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act. In November 20, 2016, the police utilized some of the vicious acts of violence against the protesters in North Dakota. The event happened at a bridge near the main Oceti Sakowin resistance camp by the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. Later, authorities expressed a brutal assault on water protectors. The attack started after a group from the camp tried to clear the nearby public bridge. The authorities blocked the area with military equipment chained to concrete barriers. Police moved in. The footage records the police attacking unarmed protesters with rubber bullets and concussion grenades. They fired flares and grassfires developed. They attacked the protestors with high pressure streams of water form water cannons and fire hoses. More than 100 activists were injured. Many people lost consciousness and one person went into cardiac arrest, but revived by medics. The most seriously injured appears to be 21-year-old Sophia Wilansky from the Bronx, who was struck by a concussion grenade as she tried to bring water to protesters under assault. She may lose her arm as a result. Sophia's father Wayne Wilansky sobbed as he told reporters about his daughter's condition. "In America, she's hit with a grenade," he said. "She's not in Iraq or Afghanistan...And they're trying to kill her." We will never forget what these crooked cops have done. Therefore, we will continue to stand up for the people of Standing Rock 100%.

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We are reminded everyday of what we have to do. We should use 2017 as a crucial opportunity to build in our communities. Doing something is better than doing nothing. One of the greatest things to do in our time is to fight poverty and to promote STEM fields for the youth (especially for the poor as a way for use to combat the digital divide). Additionally, we must advocate social, racial, environmental, and gender justice. We believe in justice for all and it is crucial for revolutionary change to transpire in the world. With all of the issues in the world, we believe in peace still. Believing in peace has nothing to do with having naivete. It has nothing to do with blatantly ignoring the problems of the day. It has to do with seeking peace as a long term goal that we are greatly devoted in achieving. We have the right to advocate for the same principles of excellence, justice, and human dignity. That precisely entails that we promote true education. Education doesn't deal with just random memorization of information. Education deals with analyzing information, applying facts to enable authentic, progressive social change. That is why we reject excessive militarism and a lust for the glamorization of the expansion of nuclear weaponry. This is why precisely we believe in compassion sent to the refugees (of any color), because of the just writ of treating our neighbors as ourselves.

The common cold would be blamed on BLM by racists if they desire too. Many people have brought up great points. First, we all condemn the assault against the young white person by 4 people. Likewise, the media doesn't report massively on the black disabled person who was assaulted and raped by a sick white racist. That racist was never sentenced in long prison time. Double standards exist. Racism and police brutality have a long history in Chicago and throughout the nation. The victims of gun violence and their families in Chicago are readily disrespected by many quarters in mainstream society. Some want band aids on this problem instead of comprehensive, revolutionary solutions. BLM has changed the world in causing more people to be aware on certain issues from policing to criminal justice matter. BLM should never be scapegoated for this incident. We have to use vigilance as many have stated. Extremist white people have shown their face for years and centuries in America. Still, some people refuse to believe their demented agenda of austerity, the assault on human rights, and the total disregard of the general welfare. The ACA should be improved upon not totally scrapped. If the ACA is gone completely, then millions of people would be stripped of health care. It is better to expand health care services and promote improvements instead of eliminating the whole thing. It's trying times.

There is no true liberation without the fair distribution of the wealth. The vast majority of the wealth on this Earth is controlled by the 1 percent. Since the oligarchs control most of the state, the power of the oligarchy must end in order for the power of economics and politics to be controlled by the masses of the people. Power to the people for real is a goal of mine. Everyone deserves a fair opportunity in life. The situation is that structures of oppression from economic oppression, racism, sexism, etc. exist. We should do our part to eliminate those structures of oppression in order for true freedom to flourish in the world. All human beings born on this Earth has intrinsic value and are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Likewise, no human is an island. In other words, all people, who have reached many accomplishments, have received help along the way. Therefore, we should create self-determination in our lives. There is nothing wrong with innovation and creativity. Building up our own institutions is fine with me. We are human beings and human beings are very resourceful and dynamic. There is nothing wrong with celebrating individual greatness. We are a great people. The deal is that in addition to that, we have to help the poor and the homeless. There is no liberation without the poor and the homeless getting the resources for them to develop their own sense of freedom and happiness. In essence, we have the right to condemn injustice and call out the mistakes of America.  There is no freedom without workers having living wages, health care, and other parts of the general welfare that people fought for. Also, we have to do deal with the environment. The Flint disaster taught all of us that environmental issues should never be placed into the back burner. Individual achievement alone is not what we desire. We desire the masses of our people in our community to grow and develop. We live in a class struggle and record income inequality must be combated. Also, I will continue to show the truth that Black is Beautiful.

Creating this peace will not be easy. Still, we have the capability though to formulate cooperation, negotiations, and strong diplomacy with other countries in order for solutions to transpire. History has taught us about how negotiations can bring positive results. The practical nuclear test ban treaty of 1963 (during the time of the Cold War when debates raged on what to do) was instituted by negotiations. The Voting Rights Act was achieved by the acts of heroic men, women, and children who didn't waver in their commitment to social justice. Therefore, we should not be naive in the world, but we should enact mutual tolerance, an end to evil enmities, and the focus on human improvement in our world society. So, we have faith. I remember hearing that faith can move mountains. A faith that can move mountains has certainly been true. For example, Harriet Tubman had faith and she saved so many lives in the Underground Railroad. The faith of so many heroes along with factions caused tons of progressive change in our land to help black people (as Black is Beautiful. I believe in black liberation), other minorities, women, immigrants, etc.

Always embrace your greatness. I certainly encourage everyone to be great. Greatness has nothing to do with ego or selfishness. Greatness is loving your being and expressing yourself to benefit yourself and others. It is also about honoring the dignity that you have. We shouldn't underestimate the power of unsung heroes and the power of truth. We will keep on going and:

Still, we rise.

By Timothy

The Winter in 2017 Part 4

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African American History

African American history is a long journey. I am an African American, so African American history is personal with me on many different levels. We, who are African Americans, have made amazing accomplishments and still there is a long way to go. From the Motherland of Africa to the 21st century, black people have shown resiliency, courage, strength, grace, compassion, and a stirring passion for justice. Today, we live in a new age with a new bigoted, demagogic President soon to be inaugurated in America (by January 20, 2017). The vast majority of African Americans descended from African slaves centuries ago. Many African Americans are recent African immigrants living in America too. Also, it is important to note that our history, as African Americans, didn’t just involve the Middle Passage and slavery. Our history revolve around literature, architecture, spirituality, music, athletics or sports, art, dance, political affairs, economics, STEM fields, and other aspects of human civilization. Therefore, it is time for us who to show the complete history of African Americans from the beginning to the present. I’m going to write a 7 Part series that describes African American history and culture from Africa to 2017. It will show information about the civil rights movement, the Harlem Renaissance, Marcus Garvey, Ella Baker, Reconstruction, various musical genres, the Great Migration, Malcolm X, Dr. King, the Age of President Barack Obama, and other components of our journey. Our journey is filled with the strength of our ancestors and the influence of the youth too.  This is Part one of this series. In America, we have been a part of a journey for more than 500 years. Our black forebears fought in every war of American history, but we continue to fight the war against racism, bigotry, and intolerance in the USA. Our cause is just and we will keep on fighting for justice in the world as Brothers and Sisters. First, the story begins in Africa. The vast majority of African Americans descended from Western and Central Africa.

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The Beginning

In the beginning, human beings originated from Africa during the start of human history. There is no complete understanding of the African American experience without understanding African history and culture. Modern humans existed from East Africa and spread globally. The Ishango bone which is a lunar calendar existed from 23,000 to 18,000 B.C. As time went on in Africa, the agriculture grew and the domesticated of animals developed. There was the spreading of grains and other resources globally. In ca. 3,500 B.C., ancient Nubia and ancient Egypt grew in power. West Africa had tons of civilizations as well like: the Nok culture, the Mali Empire, the Songhai Empire, the Ghana Empire, the Ashanti Empire, and so many other forms of government and infrastructure. By the late Middle Ages, European imperialists grew in their trading power. They wanted more resources in the world, they wanted to spread their religion, and they desired more control over territories. Slavery existed in Europe, Africa, and Asia for thousands of years. Europeans enslaved Europeans before the days of the Roman Empire and afterwards. Many people in Africa enslaved Africans too. The difference was that the Trans-Atlantic slave trade was extensive across multiple continents, it was more brutal, and it was more far reaching. It totally stripped the language, culture, religion, and other ways of life for millions of black Africans. Even before the modern Trans-Atlantic slave trade, many Arabic people enslaved black Africans as well. That Arabic slave trade was in Western Asia, North Africa, Southeast Africa, the Horn of Africa, parts of Europe, etc. The Arabic slave trade lasted from the 7th century to the late 20th century. The slavery against black people in many mostly Muslim countries continues today in Mauritania, Saudi Arabia secretly, etc.

The nation that started the modern Trans-Atlantic slave trade was Portugal. During the 1400’s, the Portuguese desired to travel into Africa. The Portuguese invaded and colonized the Canary Islands in the 1400’s to produce wine and sugar. They captured the native Canary Islander people called the Guanches and made them slaves in the islands and across the Mediterranean region.  As historian John Thornton remarked, "the actual motivation for European expansion and for navigational breakthroughs was little more than to exploit the opportunity for immediate profits made by raiding and the seizure or purchase of trade commodities." Later, they moved into the western coast of Africa to use raids in which slaves (or black people) were captured and sold in the Mediterranean. African naval forces resisted this injustice. They defeated many Portuguese imperialists, so the Portuguese used the slick tactics of trying to form agreements with some Africans in exchange of them to travel into African lands (yet, the aim of the Portuguese raiders was about gaining power not egalitarianism).

In 1441, the Portuguese captains Antão Gonçalves and Nuno Tristão capture 12 Africans in Cabo Branco (modern Mauritania) and take them to Portugal as slaves. In 1444, Lançarote de Freitas, a tax-collector from the Portuguese town of Lagos, forms a company to trade with Africa. In August 8, 1444, de Freitas lands 235 kidnapped and enslaved Africans in Lagos, the first large group of African slaves brought to Europe. Black Africans are forced into sugar plantations in 1452 too.  In January 8, 1454, Pope Nicholas V issues Romanus Pontifex, a bull granting the Portuguese a perpetual monopoly in trade with Africa. That bull or document was sent to King Afonso V of Portugal. As a follow-up to the Dum Diversas, it confirmed to the Crown of Portugal dominion over all lands south of Cape Bojador in Africa. Nevertheless, Spanish traders begin to bring slaves from Africa to Spain. In October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European since the Viking era to travel into the Americas; setting foot on an unidentified island he named San Salvador (modern Bahamas). Columbus was a cruel man who enslaved Native Americans, glorified oppression, and was a religious hypocrite. By 1494, the Portuguese king had entered agreements with the rulers of several West African states that would allow trade between their respective peoples, enabling the Portuguese to "tap into" the "well-developed commercial economy in Africa..." Hostilities continued and the European imperialists grew in power. Many Africans were involved in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, but the Africans didn’t create the travel plans, didn’t build all of the slave ships, didn’t formulate the plans for anti-black oppression, and Africans didn’t organize the majority of the economic infrastructure to conduct the brutal, evil slave trade either. The people who did these things were European capitalist imperialists.

By the early 16th century, many Native Americans were slaves. European Spanish conquistadors explored territories and conquered lands in Mexico and the southwestern parts of America. One well known black African who came into the Americas was Juan Garrido. He was born in Africa and went into Portugal as a youth. Later, He worked in a Spanish expedition can arrived in Santo Domingo (or Hispaniola) in ca. 1502. He was among the first black peoples to arrive in the Americas in the modern age. In 1513, he accompanied Ponce de Leon to explore Florida, so Juan Garrido. Therefore, he was the first black man in the modern age to arrive in modern day United States of America in 1513. Unfortunately, he was a conquistador too. He married and settled in Mexico City. He worked with Herman Cortes (to invade and conquer the Aztec Empire in Mexico). He worked with Spanish forces for more than 30 years to travel in western Mexico and to the Pacific. He cultivated wheat in the Americas. He communicated with Native Americans. He also traveled into many places and passed away in ca. 1550. The Atlantic slave trade has been divided into 2 eras. They were First and the Second Atlantic Systems.

The First Atlantic system was the trade of enslaved Africans to, primarily, South American colonies of the Portuguese and Spanish empires; it accounted for slightly more than 3% of all Atlantic slave trade. It started (on a significant scale) in about 1502 and lasted until 1580 when Portugal was temporarily united with Spain. While the Portuguese were directly involved in trading enslaved peoples, the Spanish empire relied on the asiento system, awarding merchants (mostly from other countries) the license to trade enslaved people to their colonies. During the first Atlantic system most of these traders were Portuguese, giving them a near-monopoly during the era. Some Dutch, English, and French traders also participated in the slave trade. After the union, Portugal came under Spanish legislation that prohibited it from directly engaging in the slave trade as a carrier. It became a target for the traditional enemies of Spain, losing a large share of the trade to the Dutch, English and French.

The Second Atlantic system was the trade of enslaved Africans by mostly English, Portuguese, French and Dutch traders. The main destinations of this phase were the Caribbean colonies and Brazil, as European nations built up economically slave-dependent colonies in the New World. Slightly more than 3% of the enslaved people exported from Africa were traded between 1450 and 1600, and 16% in the 17th century. It is estimated that more than half of the entire slave trade took place during the 18th century, with the British, Portuguese and French being the main carriers of nine out of ten slaves abducted in Africa. By the 1690's, the English were shipping the most slaves from West Africa. They maintained this position during the 18th century, becoming the biggest shippers of slaves across the Atlantic. Following the British and United States' bans on the African slave trade in 1808, it declined, but the period after still accounted for 28.5% of the total volume of the Atlantic slave trade. A burial ground in Campeche, Mexico, suggests slaves had been brought there not long after Hernán Cortés completed the subjugation of Aztec and Mayan Mexico in the 16th century. The graveyard had been in use from approximately 1550 to the late 17th century. Many Europeans switched from making slaves among Native Americans to Africans, because of many factors. One was that Native Americans declined rapidly in population including the fact that the European imperialists shifted into kidnapping black people more often than Native Americans.

As for African American history, the vast majority of the ancestors of African Americans came from West and Central Africa. Africans, who came into the Americas, via the slave trade came from many regions like Senegal, Sierra Leone, the Gold Coast, Benin, Nigeria, the Congo, Angola, East and Southeast Africa (like in Mozambique and Madagascar). Some West Africans were skilled iron workers and made tools in agricultural endeavors. Many tribes had their own customs and religions. Many Africans were Muslims. The transport of slaves was extremely harsh. Obadiah Equiano wrote an account of this. He was a former slave. He wrote about the slaves on the ships being separation from their families long before they were forced on the ships. They were segregated by gender. Slaves were cramps and they couldn’t walk freely. Males were kept in the ships hold. Diseases spread because of malnourishment, lack of basic hygiene, and dehydration. Death was common. The crewmen raped the black women on the ships constantly. Women and children were separated. Many Africans in the ships revolted and rebelled. Heroic women instigated the 1797 insurrection of the British ship Thomas. Slaves got weapons and passing them to the men below as well as engaging in hand-to-hand combat with the ship's crew. The journey from Africa to the Americas in average took about six months. Slaves were stripped of their human rights, their families, home, and their community life. They experienced some of the worst tragedies in human history. In all, about 10–12 million Africans were transported to the Western Hemisphere. The vast majority of these people came from that stretch of the West African coast extending from present-day Senegal to Angola; a small percentage came from Madagascar and East Africa. Only 5% (about 500,000) went to the American colonies. The vast majority went to the West Indies and Brazil, where many of them died quickly. Demographic conditions were more available in the American colonies, with less disease, more food, some medical care, and different circumstances than in the sugar fields.

In 1619, 19 African slaves (some called these human beings indentured servants, but the people were sold making them slaves. The ship was a Dutch ship) were sent to Point Comfort (or today’s Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia), which is 30 miles downstream from Jamestown, Virginia. The English settlers released them after a number of years. Slavery was explicitly race-based throughout the Americas by the 17th century. Many black people in America were slaves and some were free. Freed people wanted resources. Black human beings (regardless if they were slaves or not) in the United States struggled for true freedom and equality. Massachusetts was the first colony to legalize slavery in 1641. Other colonies continued to enact such evil policies. Many non-Christian slaves were made slaves for life. Africans in the South were outnumbered by white indentured servants. Many white indentured servants came voluntarily from Britain. They avoided the plantations. With the vast amount of good land and the shortage of laborers, plantation owners turned to lifetime slaves who worked for their keep but were not paid wages and could not easily escape. Laws dealt with slavery back then. It was a crime to kill a slave, and a few whites were hanged for it. Generally the slaves developed their own family system, religion and customs in the slave quarters. Slave owners wanted the exploitation of African human beings for profit. Slaves were treated as property or cattle not as human beings. Before the 1660's, the North American mainland colonies were expanding, but they still fairly small in size and did not have a great demand for labor, so the colonists did not import large numbers of African slaves (in a high level) at this point.

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The 1700's

By 1700, there were about 25,000 black slaves in the North American mainland colonies. That was about 10% of the total population. Some were sent into America directly from Africa. Most of them were from the late 17th century onward. At first, they were shipped via the West Indies in small cargoes after spending time working on the islands. Many were increasingly native born on the North American mainland. Slaves were brutalized, raped, and harmed in unspeakable ways. The children of slave mothers were made slaves too. More and more white settlers desired more land for farming and the establishment of plantations. Therefore, the number of slaves imported from Africa directly rapidly increased between the 1660’s to the 1700’s (and beyond). The reason was that slaves from the West Indies were too small to meet the huge demand for the fast growing 18th century North American mainland slave market.  Additionally, most American slave buyers no longer wanted slaves coming in from the West Indies - by now they were either harder to obtain, too expensive, or more often, ruined in many ways by the very brutal regime of the island sugar plantations. By the end of the seventeenth century, a relaxation on colonial tax laws, and the removal of royal monopolies by the British Crown made the direct slave trade with Africa much easier. So, the slave owning criminals wanted newly imported, young black Africans from Africa. They were bought at a cheaper price and they were brutalized in plantations nationwide.  From about 1700 to 1859, the majority of slaves imported to the North American mainland came directly from Africa in huge cargoes to fill the massive spike in demand for much-needed labor to work the continually expanding plantations in the Southern colonies (later to be states), with most heading to Virginia, South Carolina, and French or Spanish Louisiana. During the 1700’s, the Northern colonies grew more urbanized and industrialized than the South. They relied less on agriculture as a major economic resource. They didn’t re-import a smaller amount of African slaves in a massive level as compared to the South. The black population in the North was small for a time. However, big Northern cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, had relatively large black populations (slave or free) for most of the colonial period and thereafter.

By the 1750’s, American-born slaves of African descent already began to outnumber African-born slaves. During the American Revolution, many Northern states started to abolish or heavily restrict slavery. Some Southern states like Virginia had large scale slavery populations. They stopped to take in direct imports of slaves from Africa. Many places of the North back then still had slavery. Other Southern states like Georgia and South Carolina relied on new slave labor to keep up with the demand of their growing plantation economies. They continued direct importation of slaves from Africa up to 1808. They only stopped for the years of the 1770's, because of a temporary lull in the trade brought on by the American Revolutionary War. The continued, direct importation of slaves from Africa ensured that for most of the eighteenth century. South Carolina's black population remained very high, with blacks outnumbering whites three to one, unlike in Virginia, which had a white majority, despite its large black slave population.  It was said that South Carolina in the eighteenth century as a British colony looked much more like an extension of West Africa than it did of Britain (which I don't agree with because of obvious reasons). All unjustly legal (as not everything legal is righteous), direct importation of slaves from Africa had stopped by 1808, when the now, newly formed United States finally banned its citizens from participating in the international slave trade altogether by law.

Despite the ban, small to moderate cargoes of slaves were occasionally being illegally shipped into the United States directly from Africa for many years, as late as 1859. Slowly a free black population emerged, concentrated in port cities along the Atlantic coast from Charleston to Boston. Slaves in the cities and towns had many more privileges, but the great majority of slaves lived on southern tobacco or rice plantations, usually in groups of 20 or more. Wealthy plantation owners eventually would become so reliant on slavery that they devastated their own lower class. In years to come the institution of slavery would be so heavily involved in the South's economy it would divide America into two opposing forces. The most serious slave rebellion during this time period was the Stono Uprising, in September 1739 in South Carolina. The colony had about 56,000 slaves, who outnumbered whites 2:1. About 150 slaves rose up, and seizing guns and ammunition, murdered twenty whites, and headed for Spanish Florida. The local militia soon intercepted and killed most of them.  All the American colonies had slavery including in the North (where 2% of the people were slaves), and field hands in plantations in the South (where 25% were slaves). The heroism of anti-slavery activists, slaves (who rebelled against tyranny), and the Civil War tipped the scales and rid the United States of slavery.

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Early America and the American Revolutionary War.

The latter half of the 18th century had massive changes in America. There was political upheaval. The colonists in many cases opposed the Monarchy of the British Empire. They believed that they had no representation in Parliament after the French and Indian War. The British government wanted the colonists to pay for that war. Many colonists wanted relief from British rule, but some of them hypocritically were slaveholders. Back then, many people pointed that hypocrisy out. Therefore, the American Revolution existed in the realm of profound contradictions. The Declaration of Independence, which said that “all men was created equal” was written by Thomas Jefferson. Yet, Thomas Jefferson owned over 200 slaves. Many Northern and Southern statesmen were major slaveholders. The Second Continental Congress did consider freeing slaves to disrupt British commerce. They removed language from the Declaration of Independence that included the promotion of slavery amongst the offenses of King George III. A number of free Blacks, most notably Prince Hall or the founder of Prince Hall Freemasonry, submitted petitions for the end of slavery. But these petitions were largely ignored. African Americans were both in the Patriot side and the British side of the Revolutionary War. Free black people and black slaves (among both sides) fought for freedom. A free black tradesman, named Crispus Attucks, was the first causality of the Boston Massacre and the ensuing American Revolutionary War. 5,000 black people including Prince Hall fought in the Continental Army.

Many fought side by side with white soldiers at the battles of Lexington, Concord and at Bunker Hill. Yet, when George Washington took command in 1775, he barred any further recruitment of black people in America. About 5,000 free African American men fought with the American colonists. One of the men was Agrippa Hull for fought in the American Revolution for over 6 years. He and other African American soldiers desired changes in their own lives. Black people among both sides wanted equality and freedom. By contrast, the British and Loyalists offered emancipation to any slave owned by a Patriot who was willing to join the Loyalist forces. Lord Dunmore, the Governor of Virginia, recruited 300 African-American men into his Ethiopian regiment within a month of making this proclamation. In South Carolina 25,000 slaves, more than one-quarter of the total, escaped to join and fight with the British, or fled for freedom in the uproar of war. Thousands of slaves also escaped in Georgia and Virginia, as well as New England and New York. Well-known Black Loyalist soldiers include Colonel Tye and Boston King.

The Americans won the war. In the provisional treaty, they demanded the return of property. They wanted slaves returned to them too. The British helped up to 4,000 documented African Americans to leave the country for Nova Scotia, Jamaica, and Britain rather than be returned to slavery. Thomas Peters was one of the large numbers of African Americans who fought for the British. Peters was born in present-day Nigeria and belonged to the Yoruba tribe, and ended up being captured and sold into slavery in French Louisiana. Sold again, he became a slave in North Carolina and escaped his master’s farm in order to receive Lord Dunmore’s promise of freedom. Peters fought for the British throughout the war. When the war finally ended, he and other African Americans who fought on the losing side were taken to Nova Scotia. At Nova Scotia, they were given pieces of land that they could not farm. They also did not receive the same freedoms as white Englishmen. Peters sailed to London in order to complain to the government. “He arrived at a momentous time, when English abolitionists were pushing a bill through Parliament to charter the Sierra Leone Company and to grant it trading and settlement rights on the West African coast.” Peters and the other African Americans on Nova Scotia left for Sierra Leone in 1792. Peters died soon after they arrived but the other members of his party lived on in their new home.

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 sought to define the foundation for the government of the newly formed United States of America. The Constitution set forth the ideals of freedom and equality for certain people, while providing for the continuation of the institution of slavery through the fugitive slave clause and the disgraceful three-fifths compromise. Additionally, free blacks' rights were also restricted in many places. Most were denied the right to vote and were excluded from public schools. Some black people sought to fight these contradictions in court. In 1780, Elizabeth Freeman and Quock Walker used language from the new Massachusetts constitution that declared all men were born free and equal in freedom suits to gain release from slavery. A free Black businessman in Boston named Paul Cuffee sought to be excused from paying taxes since he had no voting rights. Back then, many people rightfully viewed slavery as evil and wanted it abolished. Northern states started to ban slavery from the late 18th century. Most of them used gradual emancipation and a special status for freedman. In 1787 Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance and barred slavery from the large Northwest Territory. In 1790, there were more than 59,000 free Blacks in the United States. By 1810, that number had risen to 186,446. Most of these human beings were in the North, but Revolutionary sentiments also motivated Southern slaveholders. For 20 years after the Revolution, more Southerners also freed slaves, sometimes by manumission or in wills to be accomplished after the slaveholder's death. In the Upper South, the percentage of free blacks rose from about 1% before the Revolution to more than 10% by 1810. Quakers and Moravians worked to persuade slaveholders to free families. In Virginia the numbers of free blacks increased from 10,000 in 1790 to nearly 30,000 in 1810, but 95% of blacks were still enslaved. In Delaware, three-quarters of all blacks were free by 1810. By 1860 just over 91% of Delaware's blacks were free and 49.1% of those in Maryland.

During 18th century, black people who were free and enslaved developed their own culture, music, food, and other institutions. In the midst of overt tyranny, black people still had hope that true freedom and equality would exist for them in the future. Many slaves developed drums, banjos, and rattles out of gourds, (which is similar to objects in Africa) in order for them to express themselves and tell stories. Many slaves danced and sang songs. There were many black people back them who organized many institutions that dealt with education, social gatherings, religious functions, and other aspects of black culture. Black cuisine in America formed into diverse foods. Slavery back then existed with brutality, harshness, and anti-human treatment. According to John Reader’s “Africa: A Biography of the Continent” on pg. 408, sometime in the 1700's an average of around 60,000 slaves were exported per year. It has been estimated that each year six persons were taken for every thousand population – whereas 50 persons are said to have died from disease for every thousand.

Many slave-owners would amputate the toes and other body parts of slaves who escaped and returned. Many slaves were branded by racists in order for slave owners to identify them. Slaves were readily separated from their families and spread to various plantations in faraway distances. That is why to this day, African Americans in many cases have difficulty in tracing their genealogy among long centuries. Some slaves were allowed to marry. There were marriages among slaves in New York City allowed by the Dutch Reformed Church (this was during the time when the Dutch controlled NYC before the British controlled it later on). Black families back then readily went into courts to fight for property rights for themselves and their wives and to fight for their freedom in general. By the 1700’s, slavery laws became even more strict and racialized causing racial oppression against black people to grow. Where I’m from, in Virginia, slaves were used in tobacco and cotton crops, which were exported to the North and to England.

Also, rice crops were picked up by black slaves in South Carolina and in the Deep South as well. Cotton was especially picked by slaves in the Deep South from Georgia to Texas. The separation of children from black mothers continued throughout this period. This is why black relatives escaped from plantations in order to search for their relatives and loved ones. Slavery was not only evil, but it was heavily utilized to make economic profits for the capitalists who didn’t care about human dignity and social equality. Many black heroes during the 18th century stood up to fight for freedom. Paul Cuffee was a known abolitionist. Elizabeth Freeman was once a slave, but went into the court to fight for her freedom in Sheffield, Massachusetts. She was known as Bet or Mum Bett. The lawyer and abolitionist Theodore Sedgwick worked with Elizabeth to win her case too. The case of Brom and Bett v. Ashley was heard in August 1781 before the County Court of Common Pleas in Great Barrington. Sedgwick and Reeve asserted that the constitutional provision that "all men are born free and equal" effectively abolished slavery in the state of Massachusetts. When the jury ruled in Bett's favor, she became the first African-American woman to be set free under the Massachusetts state constitution. Richard Allen was the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He opposed slavery and racism. He walked out of one church, because of its segregation policies to form the AME Church (for black people). Allen’s church was in Philadelphia. His friends and allies were Absalom Jones (who gained his freedom in 1784), and other people.

James Derham was a black man who was very historic. He lived from 1757 to 1802. He was the first African American to formally practice medicine. He learned on how to do it from the Revolutionary War while serving with the British. He learned it from Dr. George West. He didn’t have a degree, because of discrimination, but he was an exceptionally great doctor. James Derham was fluent in French, English, and Spanish. He knew how to use compound machines too. He was a great pharmacist. His medical business in New Orleans, Louisiana, reportedly earned him $3,000 per year, which was a lot of money back then. A Philadelphia 1789 newspaper article on the biography of James Derham described him as a person who was born in Philadelphia. James Derham met Dr. Benjamin Rush, who was an early American doctor. Rush was very impressed by Derham. He encouraged him to move to Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, he was an expert in throat diseases and in the relationship between climate and disease. He had 10 siblings. Absalom Jones also was an abolitionist. Sister Jarena Lee was an evangelist who was the first African American woman to publish an autobiography. The earliest mention of Jarena Lee in a newspaper was in 1840, when she was listed as a member of the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society from Pennsylvania. There are many other early African Americans who made great contributions in the world. We honor their sacrifice, their courage, and their contributions in the world.

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Sister Phillis Wheatley was a genius in writing prose. Elegant, crisp words, and inspiration summarize her glorious literature (as slavery existed throughout America from the North to the South. That is why heroic black people fought back against such tyranny). She lived in Boston for many years to work in a world filled with oppression and injustice. Yet, she continued to speak out in word and in deed to advocate for freedom concretely. She was a great black woman. It is the same quest for freedom that we are fighting for in our generation. Phillis Wheatley worked hard in her craft of writing words which stimulated creativity and focused on her life. Men and women worldwide read, analyze, and cherish her poems from back then and today. Her life was filled with pain which was immeasurable. Her journey was harsh and cold, but people in our time love her. Her impact in American literature can't be measured in terms tangible for her literary genius is forever priceless. She is not here physically, but her moving prose, her wisdom, and her grace will forever be acknowledged. We all love her being and we honor her contributions in African American history. Her poem "On Imagination" concretely describes her life, her purpose, and her love for her family. Among the successful free men was Benjamin Banneker, a Maryland astronomer, mathematician, almanac author, surveyor and farmer, who in 1791 assisted in the initial survey of the boundaries of the future District of Columbia  Despite the challenges of living in the new country, most free Blacks fared far better than the nearly 800,000 enslaved Blacks. Even so, many considered emigrating to Africa. The 19th century would be a time for African Americans where history would change the world forever.

By Timothy 

The Winter in 2017 Part 3


 The City of Lagos, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria is one of the greatest cities in the world. It is found in Africa or the Motherland. It is the largest city in Nigeria in population. It is one of the most populous urban agglomerations in the world. It is a major financial center. So, Lagos is mega city with the highest GDP in the nation and has some of the largest and busiest ports in the continent. Lagos initially emerged as a port city which originated on a collection of islands, which are contained in the present day Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, Amuwo-Odofin and Apapa. The islands are separated by creeks. It has over 8 million people at least. Its metropolitan area has about 21 million people. Lagos is found in 2 major geographical areas of the island and the mainland. The island region is made up of many islands while the mainland has most industries there. That region is known for its music and night life. The major areas of the mainland include areas like Ebute Metta, Yaba, Ajah and Ejigbo. Some rivers, like Badagry Creek, flow parallel to the coast for some distance before exiting through the sand bars to the sea. The city is near the equator, so its temperature remains constant with no major change year round. There is no single municipality in Lagos, so there is no overall city administration. There is the existence of 16 to 20 governmental local areas which together make up the Lagos State. The mainland beyond the Municipality of Lagos, on the other hand, comprised several separate towns and settlements such as Mushin, Ikeja and Agege.

Lagos’ economy is very powerful. The Central business district is found in the island and its economy generates a major part of Nigeria’s GDP. Lagos’ economy is a 24 hour economy. Some residents have the highest standards of living in Nigeria and in Africa. There is still poverty in Lagos too. The Port of Lagos is Nigeria's leading port and one of the largest and busiest in Africa. It is administered by the Nigerian Ports Authority and it is split into three main sections: Lagos port, in the main channel next to Lagos Island, Apapa Port (site of the container terminal) and Tin Can Port, both located in Badagry Creek, which flows into Lagos Harbour from the west. The port features a railhead. The port has seen growing amounts of crude oil exported, with export figures rising between 1997 and 2000. Oil and petroleum products provide 14% of GDP and 90% of foreign exchange earnings in Nigeria as a whole. Massive tourism is found in Lagos too. .

The Beginning

There is an oral history of the Lagos that says that during the period around 1300 to 1400, the Oba (King) of the Benin Empire heard from one of his traders complaints about being mistreated by the Awori who lived in the area of current day Lagos. The Oba of Benin then sent a trade expedition by sea to engage with the Awori people, who nonetheless declined to engage and attacked the mission sent by Benin. Upon hearing this as the mission returned to Benin City, the Oba of Benin commanded the assembling of a war expedition, led by Ado, a prince of Benin, which headed to the settlement of the Awori in current-day Lagos, then called Eko by the Benin people, and demanded an explanation. On getting there, Ado and his army were more than well received. The Awori from Lagos asked Benin Prince Ado to stay there and become their leader. Ado agreed, on the condition that they surrendered their sovereignty to the Oba of Benin, to which the Awori people of Lagos agreed.  Upon hearing this, the Oba of Benin gave his permission for Prince Ado and the expedition to remain in Eko with the Awori. The Oba of Benin later sent some of his chiefs, including the Eletu Odibo, Obanikoro and others, to assist Ado in the running of Eko. Lagos was inhabited at first by the Awori subgroup of the Yoruba people in the 15th century. They called it Oko. The leadership of Oloye Olofin existed back then and he caused the Awori to move into an island which is now called Iddo and then to the larger Lagos Island.

In the 16th century, the Awori settlement was conquered by the Benin Empire  and the island became a Benin war-camp called "Eko" under Oba Orhogba, the Oba of Benin at the time. Eko is still the native name for Lagos. Lagos means “lakes.” It was a name given to the settlement by the Portuguese. Today, the Lagos state has a high percentage of Awori, who migrated to the area from Isheri along the Ogun river. Throughout history, it was home to a number of warring ethnic groups who had settled in the area. Following its early settlement by the Awori nobility, and its conquest by the Bini warlords of Benin, the state first came to the attention of the Portuguese in the 15th century. Portuguese explorer Rui de Sequeira visited the area in 1472, naming the area around the city Lago de Curamo. Another explanation of the name of Lagos is that Lagos was named for Lagos, Portugal—a maritime town which, at the time, was the main center of Portuguese expeditions down the African coast.

From the time of the crowing of Ado (as its first Oba of Lagos which was then called Eko), Lagos was a major center of the slave trade. Unfortunately, Oba of Benin Ado and his successors for over 4 centuries supported the slave trade. This ended in 1841 when Oba Akitoye ascended the throne of Lagos and attempted to ban slave trading. Local merchants strongly opposed this action. They deposed and exiled the king and installed Akitoye’s brother Kosoko as Oba or leader of Lagos. At exile in Europe, Akitoye met with British authorities, who had banned slave-trading in 1807, and who therefore decided to support the deposed Oba to regain his throne. With the success of the British intervention in 1851, Akitoye was reinstalled as Oba of Lagos. In practical terms, however, British influence over the kingdom had become absolute, and ten years later, in 1861, Lagos was formally annexed as a British colony. The British Empire colonized many areas of the world. Colonialism and imperialism are evil since it denies human democratic rights, it leads into unjust economic exploitation, and it restricts the independence of the peoples of the world. The British annexed Lagos as a colony in 1861. The remainder of the Benin Empire (or modern day Nigeria) was seized by the British in 1887. Lagos was annexed by Britain via the Lagos Treaty of Cession in 1861 ending the consular period and starting the British colonial period. The remainder of modern-day Nigeria was seized in 1886. When the British created the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria in 1914, Lagos was declared its capital.

Nigeria's Independence

Lagos maintained its status as capital when Nigeria obtained its independence from Britain in 1960.
Nigeria’s independence movement has a long history. Nigeria stretches from the dry grasslands of the north to the moist ran forests of the south. It was three groups that dominate its political, economic, and social structures. The mainly Christian Ibo and Yoruba peoples are in the south. The mostly Muslim Hausa people dominate the north. There are hundreds of ethnic groups in Nigeria too. After World War II, the British gradually gave in to the growing demands of independence from the Nigerian people. Once, Nigeria was a British colony. Colonialism allowed resource exploitation by imperial powers in order to benefit the interests of Empire instead of the interests of the masses of the people in various nations. Before 1960, the economy of Nigeria grew more rapidly in the south than the north. Back then, Nigeria was divided into Northern and Southern Provinces including the Lagos Colony. Education was spread in the Nigerian area. After World War II, changes in the world happened. Independence movements in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and South America grew into the next level.

Nigerian nationalism spread and Nigerians demanded independence from the United Kingdom. There were gradual constitutions which were legalized by the British government, which moved Nigeria to self-government on a representative and more federal basis.  On October 1, 1954, the colony became the autonomous Federation of Nigeria. By the middle of the 20th century, the great wave for independence was sweeping across Africa. On October 27, 1958, Britain agreed that Nigeria would become an independent state on October 1, 1960. Therefore, on October 1, 1960, Nigeria had its independence. It had a Constitution and it was a parliamentary government. The Nigerian People's Congress (NPC) represented conservative, Muslim, largely Hausa and Fulani interests that dominated the Northern Region. The northern region of the country, consisting of three-quarters of the land area and more than half the population of Nigeria. Thus the North dominated the federation government from the beginning of independence. In the 1959 elections held in preparation for independence, the NPC captured 134 seats in the 312-seat parliament. Capturing 89 seats in the federal parliament was the second largest party in the newly independent country the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC). The NCNC represented the interests of the Igbo- and Christian-dominated people of the Eastern Region of Nigeria.

The Action Group (AG) was a left-leaning party that represented the interests of the Yoruba people in the West. In the 1959 elections the AG obtained 73 seats. The Federal Republic of Nigeria was formed by Nnamdi Azikiwe. He was the country’s first President. There were economic and educational development disparities in the north and south. There were ethnic and religious tensions too. Azikiwe was an Igbo. He was a well-known Nigerian nationalist. The Hausa and Fulani mostly lived in the northern region of Nigeria and they were mostly Muslims. In the southern region of Nigeria, there were the Yoruba and Igbo who were mostly Christians, Muslims, and animists. Animists are people who believed that spirits are present in animals, plants, and natural objects. The Yoruba lived to the west and they were a farming people while the Igbo lived in the east. The Yoruba had a tradition of kings while the Igbo had a tradition of democratic traditions. Nigeria had a federal system where the power is shared between state government and a central authority. The Nigerians set up 3 states, one for each region and ethnic group (with a political party in each). After the brutal Biafra civil war in Nigeria, Nigeria united.

The Modern Age

Lagos was therefore the capital city of Nigeria from 1914 until 1991, when it was replaced as Federal Capital Territory by planned city of Abuja, built specifically for such purpose. Lagos experienced rapid growth throughout the 1960s and 1970s as a result of Nigeria's economic boom prior to the Biafran War. During that time period, regional, ethnic, and religious differences led into conflict in Nigeria. In 1966, Nigeria experienced many military coups. A second coup came later by year by the northern Muslim officers. They led to a rebellion in the oil rich southeast by the Ibo people, who declared independence as the Republic of Biafra. A 3 year civil war existed that left thousands of people to die. In the end, Nigeria’s military defeated the Biafran rebels and end Biafra’s independence. Civilian rule in Nigeria came about in 1999 with free elections.

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Many conflicts continued through the 1980's and 1990's up to the present date. In 1991, Ibrahim Babangida, the Military President and other government functions moved to the newly built capital. This was as a result of intelligence reports on the safety of his life and what was later to be termed his hidden agenda, which was the plan to turn himself into a civilian president. He finished what was started by the Murtala/Obasanjo regime. The change resulted in Lagos losing some prestige and economic leverage. However, it has retained its importance as the country's largest city and as an economic center. Religious conflict among Christians and Muslims continue in Nigeria. We want any Nigeria, regardless of his or her creed, to live in peace and harmony. Nigeria is very oil rich country too. In 2002, Lagos was divided into 57 local council areas. The Pan African University was created in Lagos in 2002 too. Spring Bank was created in 2004. Moments with Mo, which is talk show started to broadcast in 2006. Lagos had its Teslim Balogun Stadium to be built by 2007. The Centre for Contemporary Art was founded in 2007. The Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge was completed by 2013. Lagos has a long history, great people, and they represent one great city of the Motherland of Africa.

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Anthropology is the study of humanity and culture. It deals with the branches of physical, social, linguistic, archaeological, and cultural anthropology. In essence, anthropology is the study of the human family and human culture in all of its diverse manifestations. We live in a world where humanity has diverse cultures and there is the commonality among the peoples of the world too. We all need water and food to survive. We all either speak or deal with language in many ways. We have complex ideological viewpoints and we use technology constantly in the world society.  In our lives, we fight on this audacious journey for liberty, justice, and equality. We realize the sacrifice of our fore-bearers, who heroically and without denial of their principles, stood up for the pristine, focused agendas of human excellence, of compassion, of strength, of love, of sacrifice, and of even handedness. To understand anthropology, people should understand the concepts of culture, human behavior, language, agriculture, human migration, economics, family structure, race, ethnicity, human gender, medicine, epidemiology, acculturation, human biology, and other characteristics of human society. Therefore, anthropology is a complex subject matter. It deals with the origins of humankind and it focus on the research on how human culture evolves over the ages of time.

Evolution of the Term

The term of anthropology has a long evolution in human history. It current use was first found in Renaissance Germany in the works of Magnus Hundt and Otto Casmann. It is a combination of two Greek words of  ánthrōpos (ἄνθρωπος, "human") and lógos (λόγος, "study"). (Its adjectival form appeared in the works of Aristotle.)  It began to be used in English, possibly via French anthropologie, by the early 18th century. In 1647, the Bartholins, founders of the University of Copenhagen, defined l'anthropologie as follows: “Anthropology, that is to say the science that treats of man, is divided ordinarily and with reason into Anatomy, which considers the body and the parts, and Psychology, which speaks of the soul.” There were later uses of the term like by  Étienne Serres in 1839 to describe the natural history, or paleontology, of man, based on comparative anatomy, and the creation of a chair in anthropology and ethnography in 1850 at the National Museum of Natural History (France) by Jean Louis Armand de Quatrefages de Bréau. Various short-lived organizations of anthropologists had already been formed. The Société Ethnologique de Paris, the first to use Ethnology, was formed in 1839. Its members were primarily anti-slavery activists. When slavery was abolished in France in 1848 the Société was abandoned. Meanwhile, the Ethnological Society of New York, currently the American Ethnological Society, was founded on its model in 1842, as well as the Ethnological Society of London in 1843, a break-away group of the Aborigines' Protection Society.

These anthropologists of the times were liberal, anti-slavery, and pro-human-rights activists. They maintained international connections. Today, anthropology deals with diverse subjects like anatomy, linguistics, and ethnology. In essence, anthropology is the study of the actions of human kind in the world. Many modern anthropologists today study gender, multiculturalism, ethnography, race, and other issues. Cultural anthropology is more related to philosophy, literature and the arts (how one's culture affects experience for self and group, contributing to more complete understanding of the people's knowledge, customs, and institutions), while social anthropology is more related to sociology and history. To understand anthropology is to understand social structures of peoples in the world too. Ethnomusicology is an academic field encompassing various approaches to the study of music (broadly defined), that emphasize its cultural, social, material, cognitive, biological, and other dimensions or contexts instead of or in addition to its isolated sound component or any particular repertoire. Therefore, anthropology is a very multifaceted field of study.

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The Human Race

To learn about the human race, we will learn more about ourselves. As human beings, we have manual dexterity, use of tools, and complex development of creativity and other cognitive expressions. We have very complex brains too. Human beings existed first in the Motherland of Africa. Human beings migrated out of Africa to the rest of the world from about 200,000 years ago. Human beings are very unique since we have a large brain with a well-developed neocortex, prefrontal cortex, and temporal lobes. We can express a high level of abstract reasoning, language, problem solving, sociability, and culture via social learning. We can use tool in a much higher degree than any animal on Earth. We can build fires, cook food, and use a diversity of technologies and arts. Sedentary agriculture developed into a higher level by 10,000 years ago. The Paleolithic era is known as the Early Stone Age. The Neolithic Era came later, which is the New Stone Age. Modern humans spread rapidly from Africa into the frost-free zones of Europe and Asia around 60,000 years ago. The rapid expansion of humankind to North America and Oceania took place at the climax of the most recent ice age, when temperate regions of today were extremely inhospitable. Yet, humans had colonized nearly all the ice-free parts of the globe by the end of the Ice Age, some 12,000 years ago. The Agricultural Revolution (in the Neolithic Age) spread from 8,000 B.C. to 5,000 B.C. especially in the Mesopotamia region. The Neolithic Age saw human beings inventing the wheel, the first planting of cereal crops, and the development of cursive script like cuneiform (which is the earliest known writing system). Later, human beings transited from a nomadic life to a more settled lifestyle as farmers in permanent settlements. There was nomadism, but the transition continued. Communication improved and transportation grew. The development of cities existed by the end of the Neolithic age too.

Ancient civilizations were in Lower Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, ancient Kush, other areas of Africa, the Harappan civilian in the Indus Valley, the Chinese civilization in the Yellow plus Yangtze River, and other civilizations. These societies developed a number of unifying characteristics, including a central government, a complex economy and social structure, sophisticated language and writing systems, and distinct cultures and religions. Writing was another pivotal development in human history, as it made the administration of cities and expression of ideas far easier. Modern religion developed with anthropomorphic deities, other forms of polytheism, and monotheism. Also, another point is to be made too. A team of scientists comparing the full genomes of the two species concluded that most Europeans and Asians have between 1 to 2 percent Neanderthal DNA.  The original, Indigenous sub-Saharan Africans have no Neanderthal DNA because their ancestors did not migrate through Eurasia. The genomes of all non-Africans include portions that are of Neanderthal origin, due to interbreeding between Neanderthals and the ancestors of Eurasians in Northern Africa or the Middle East prior to their spread. Recent findings suggest there may be even more Neanderthal genes in non-African humans than previously expected: approximately 20% of the Neanderthal gene pool was present in a broad sampling of non-African individuals, though each individual's genome was on average only 2% Neanderthal. Therefore, Neanderthals are not modern human beings.

Also, many scientists research about the halpogroup. A haplotype is a group of genes in an organism that are inherited together from a single parent. A halpogroup is a made up of similar haplotypes. A haplogroup is a combination of alleles at different chromosomes regions that are closed linked and that tend to be inherited together. Haplogroups pertain to a single line of descent, usually dating back thousands of years. As such, membership of a haplogroup, by any individual, relies on a relatively small proportion of the genetic material possessed by that individual. In human genetics, the haplogroups most commonly studied are Y-chromosome (Y-DNA) haplogroups and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroups, both of which can be used to define genetic populations. Y-DNA is passed solely along the patrilineal line, from father to son, while mtDNA is passed down the matrilineal line, from mother to offspring of both sexes. Neither recombines, and thus Y-DNA and mtDNA change only by chance mutation at each generation with no intermixture between parents' genetic material.

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Archaeology is the study of human activity via the recovery and analysis of material culture. In archaeology, culture, history, and artifacts are discovered. It is a social science and a branch of the humanities. In North America, archaeology is considered a sub-field of anthropology. Archaeology is a field that is constantly changing as more discoveries of tombs, buildings, and sculptures exist in our time too. From stone tools found in East Africa to the modern finds, archaeology is here to stay. Many anthropologists know about history, art, ethnology, paleontology, statistics, and other fields. For centuries, people have evacuated ruins and buildings from the city of Pompeii to the megalithic monuments of England. William Cunnington of England modernized the research of archaeological excavation. He found Neolithic and Bronze Age barrows. Many researchers discovered the tomb of the 14th century B.C. pharaoh Tutankhamun.  The next major figure in the development of archaeology was Sir Mortimer Wheeler, whose highly disciplined approach to excavation and systematic coverage in the 1920's and 1930's brought the science on swiftly. Wheeler developed the grid system of excavation, which was further improved upon by his student Kathleen Kenyon. Archaeology is used to find out more about the cultural manifestations of the past. It also used to find the behaviors of humanity too. Surveys, DNA testing, computer 3D technology, and other methods are used to find objects and to make known much of our history. Therefore, archaeology is exciting and a crucial part of human civilization.

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Cultural Diversity

Human culture is diverse. They are found worldwide among people of many colors and nationalities. It deals with the intersection of knowledge, beliefs, art, law, custom, morals, and other parts of any human society. A culture is a way of life. Anthropology does deal with studying cultures too. For years, many people have research the many celebrations, rituals, and patterns of human culture. In human societies universally, there is language, social practices, ritual, dance, music, art, spirituality, technologies (like cooking, shelter, and clothing), etc. Today, we have a complex array of technology being involved in human culture. There is multiculturalism in the world. Multiculturalism is the concept that values a society of peaceful co-existence and mutual respect among different cultures inhabiting the same planet. With wars and other conflicts going on now, we have a very long way to go in establishing real, total peaceful coexistence among all cultures. Within cultural anthropology, the ideology and analytical stance of cultural relativism holds that cultures cannot easily be objectively ranked or evaluated because any evaluation is necessarily situated within the value system of a given culture. The civil rights movement, the U.S. feminist movement, the environmental movement, the counterculture, and other movements dealt not only with political including social issues. They dealt with culture too. Cultural diffusion is when culture is spread in many places or globally. One example is how English is spread globally and how other cultures adopt ideas and practices form other cultures. Scholars like Matthew Arnold and Edward Tylor contributed their thoughts on their evaluations of culture.

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Sociology is one of the greatest studies involved in our lives. Sociology is the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society. It relates to studying social problems. It deals with human social relationships and institutions. It’s a diverse field. Sociology is a beautiful subject. It can relate to studying religion, family, the state, divisions in race and class, culture, crime, etc. It studies how human beings exist in a complex world. Sociologists gather evidence in research and other methods to form theories and plans on how things operate. Many sociologists analyze census data, historical documents, surveys, and have laboratory experiments too. One of the greatest sociologists in history was WEB DuBois who studied African American life in America during the 19th and 20th centuries. Sociology always requires people to think critically and ask questions since questions motivate research and the discovery of answers. Some of the greatest research on gender, gender identity, multiculturalism, education, urban ecology, socialization, race, and other important issues have been done by sociologists. There is always discussions about conflict theory. Conflict theory is a theory propounded by Karl Marx that claims society is in a state of perpetual conflict due to competition for limited resources. It holds that social order is maintained by domination and power, rather than consensus and conformity. Karl Marx is a well known sociologist too.

Socialization is how people interact with each other in order for human beings to adjust to norms, customs, values and ideologies, providing an individual with the skills and habits necessary for participating within their own society. Socialization is thus "the means by which social and cultural continuity are attained." In sociology, there are terms called primary and secondary groups. Primary groups include people with very close ties in the community. They exist in small settings and they have similar cultures and activities. Examples of primary groups are family, friends, and close social groups. Primary groups are crucial in the development of one's personal identity. Secondary groups are more indirect, they don't share extensive social links as primary groups include. Secondary groups work with the functioning of society. Secondary groups can be large or small. They include many organizations, working environments, various committees, etc. In order to make the world better, we have to study human behavior. We have to address socialization, class stratification, norms, religion, science, deviance, marriage, world population, and other issues.

Sociology doesn’t just deal with concrete analysis or research. In the final analysis, sociology advocates the improvement of society and the building of better relationships among human beings. Careers with sociology backgrounds are huge. Research institutes, the criminal justice system, public health plus welfare organizations, advertising firms, survey groups, medical centers, etc. hire people with great understanding of sociology constantly. Sociology studies the social order and how people interact with each other. Confucius and Plato deal with research in social roles of society thousands of years ago. Early sociology has been found in medieval Islamic people according to some researchers. Ibn Khaldun is said to be the father of the modern field of sociology. His Muqaddimah was perhaps the first work to advance social-scientific reasoning on social cohesion and social conflict. The word sociology (or "sociologie") is derived from both Latin and Greek origins. The Latin word: socius, "companion"; the suffix -logy, "the study of" from Greek -λογία from λόγος, lógos, "word", "knowledge". It was first coined in 1780 by the French essayist Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès (1748–1836) in an unpublished manuscript. Sociology was later defined independently by the French philosopher of science, Auguste Comte (1798–1857), in 1838. Auguste Comte and Karl Marx researched in sociological terms. In sociology, positivism dealt with people wanting to research human interactions by using the scientific method or by natural scientific means. Anti-positivism dealt with researching sociology in using critical analysis and rejecting empiricism. There are many schools of sociology today.

There are many terms and words that relate to sociology. Here are some of these important sociological terms.

The term of patrilineal deals with lineage from the father via the male line. The term matrilineal deals with lineage from the mother via the female line. Matriachy is a society headed by women, especially mothers. Patriarchy is a society headed up by men, especially by fathers. There are other terms that outline relationships too. Monogamy is when one person is either dating or marrying one person. Polygamy is someone married to more than one person. Polygyny means a man specifically having multiple women as wives. Polyandry is when a woman has more than one husband. Exogamy is marriage outside of one's community. Endogamy is marriage within one's community. Homogamy is when when people of similar cultures marry each other. Heterogamy is when marriages happen where people differ in a certain criterion. Cohabitation is when people live together romantically and sexually, but they aren't married. Matrilocal is when a married couple lives near or in the wife parents' home. Patriolocal is when a married couple lives near or in the husband parents' home. Neolocal is when a married couple lives in their own home. Sociology is a beautiful discipline in the world.

By Timothy

The Winter in 2017 Part 2

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Popular Culture

For thousands of years, people have entertained by plays, theater, music, dance, and other forms of creative human expression. Today, popular culture is a worldwide phenomenon. It has been performed by human beings of every color, of every creed, and of every conceivable background. Today, we live in a new time with extraordinary advancements in technology from IMAX, blue ray, IG, Twitter, Facebook, Snapcat, Amazon, Google, etc. Films are more decentralized (with the growth of Netflix, etc.), but the mainstream industry is mostly controlled by a select few of multinational corporations. There are still forms of entertainment which positively inspires humanity, advances righteousness, and has inspired individuals globally. Likewise, some forms of popular culture represents unjust exploitation, the promotion of negative stereotypes, and nefarious agendas. In this information age, information about popular culture has gone rapidly. Books, documentaries, and other forms of media have documented the corruption, the hypocrisy, the human exploitation, and the other evils found in the mainstream popular culture. These celebrities are human beings. Therefore, they aren’t perfect and they shouldn’t be placed in an infallible pedestal. In that sense, we should not be shocked if some celebrities spew outlandish and ridiculous statements. In the final analysis, we have the right to find that happiness in our lives.

Life is very short, so joy and happiness are legitimate, indispensable goals to seek. Happiness has nothing to do with disrespecting others or maligning others in an evil fashion. Treating your neighbor as yourself is a true concept and ideology that we must all believe in and follow. That precisely means that when we encounter another human being, we should act courteous and righteous. It is also entails the fact that we should stand up for our human rights too. Also, it is very true that many celebrities, politicians, judges, journalists, spy chiefs, generals, etc. have been involved in intrigue and corruption for decades and centuries in our modern age. That is why the CIA has been exposed doing Operation Mockingbird, which is about the CIA infiltration of much of the media. The CIA has been in existence since 1947. Its forerunner was the OSS, which was very active during World War II. There has been the Savings and Loans banking Scandal which is about Charles H. Keating and others being convicted of financial corruption.

2017 is a new year, a new day, and a new era. We take this time to celebrate, to continue our bonds with our families plus friends, and to realize how precious life is. So, we not only keep the faith, but we advance the beauty of positivity, camaraderie, human tolerance, and joy. To all of the great friends: you certainly inspire me. I will be a better man in 2017 than in 2016. Also, people can redeem themselves. I believe in redemption. I believe in black liberation and human rights. Things happen for a reason and I'm glad to have the opportunity to communicate my thoughts on a myriad of issues and to inspire others in this journey. I have faith for the future. The reason is that our ancestors suffered a whole lot worse than us and they continued to persist. So, we still rise. 2017 will be a year of many anniversaries and new realities. We will always stick by our principles and express that wondrous love for our communities. In life, we embrace the premise of finding happiness. Finding joy and happiness is one of the greatest parts of life. Happiness has nothing to do with selfishness or an inflated ego. Happiness deals with contentment with one’s self, helping others, and love. Happiness is one guiding principle which has improved so many lives and has been innovative in advancing hope and freedom in the Universe. History has taught us to never quit and to follow our aspirations legitimately. We shall. We will continue to rise.

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Ex Machina

The movie Ex Machina have shown many themes about A.I., transhumanism, machines, etc. The movie have female robot artificial intelligence beings. These robots are not happy about their male controllers. The movie is creepy in the sense of having a lot of sexual innuendo in dealing with robots. The movie shows dreams and we know about how many Hollywood movie focus on futuristic themes, etc. There is technological imagery in the film. The movie is about one technical person coxed into meeting a tech elite at his underground mountain facility after winning a contest. Caleb Smith (played by Domhnall Gleeson) is a low level coder at Bluebook or the world’s largest search engine. He finds out how his CEO, Nathan Bateman’s (played by Oliver Isaac) home is actually a research facility for super advanced A.I. The major A.I. character is the robotic female named Ava (who is played by Alicia Vikander). Caleb is instructed by Nathan to perform a series of Turing tests on Ava to see if she can pass by fooling him into thinking she is self-aware. Nathan is lying to Caleb. Caleb asks Ava questions. Nathan watches the session form his panoptic surveillance system. Ava dates herself as “1.” She refused to  specify whether she is one day or one year old, indicating (following the climax) that she is not concerned with dates because she is the new number 1, the first, as a fembot  equivalent of Adam. Ava can copy human emotions. Ava manipulates Caleb into thinking that she is self aware and experiences emotional attachment to him. Nathan uses deception to construct the perfect AI deception.

Caleb is being used. His online footprint and psych profile is being exploited by  Nathan. It is no secret that in real life, social media and search engines are designed to give a version of the electronic “global brain.” That is why the FBI and other intelligence agencies constantly monitor Facebook. The global brain is the make up of electronic data. Also, the NSA have supercomputers that monitor the Internet and create ways to research information. Caleb wants to free Ava in order to trap Nathan.  In the reveal, Nathan foils Caleb’s plan and explains that Caleb was the subject of the elaborate psy op all along, to see if he could be manipulated by A.I.  The psychological experiment is a success, but Ava outsmarts them both, trapping Caleb in a glass box, just like Ava had been imprisoned.  As Ava studies Nathan’s bedroom, she find former models of herself. These robot females are servicing Nathan. Ava leaves from Caleb’s copter. Caleb and Nathan aren’t freed. With help from Kyoko, Ava kills Nathan, but in the process Nathan destroys Kyoko and damages Ava. Ava repairs herself with parts from earlier androids, using their artificial skin to take on the full appearance of a human woman. She leaves Caleb trapped inside the facility, ignoring his screams, and escapes to the outside world in the helicopter meant to take Caleb home. So, this film has controversial themes and we must follow the Golden Rule. The film has won many awards for its visuals. The director and writer of the film is Alex Garland.

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Kanye West

One story in our society that deals with popular culture is how Kanye West was temporarily handcuffed and hospitalized for a “psychiatric evaluated.”  This reality shows many lessons. It documents how money alone can't bring happiness or life fulfillment. It shows clearly also that mental health problems should be taken seriously in our world. I don't agree with Kanye West on every issue. I don't agree with his mistakes. I do wish for him to get the adequate help that he needs as he is obviously most probably suffering from mental illness. Many of our people have real mental health issues and a strong support system have carried them to live very productive lives. I feel like Kanye West may have too many yes people around him seeking profit instead of true friendship. I also believe that his low self-esteem is a reality and he should be responsible for his rants and other actions (as his precious mother has nothing to do with his deeds at all). There are many sources giving a diversity of accounts of why he has been hospitalized. We know that he has been under stress. We know that his tour has been cancelled weeks ago. He was at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Before, he was acting erratically at his trainer’s house when the call was made. Kanye, according to sources, didn’t want to go to the hospital and had to be handcuffed to a gurney while being transported.

The house was surrounded by security guards, fire trucks, and the police. This comes days after his rant where he retroactively supported Trump and lashed out at Mark Zuckerberg, Beyoncé, and Jay Z (where he pleaded to him not to send killers to him). This comes after his mother died in November years ago in 2007. She was 58 and her name is Donda. His wife is Kim Kardashian (who was a recent victim of a robbery in Paris, France months ago) and the Kardashians are no stranger to dealing with low self-esteem, hurt men. Lamar Odom was found unconscious and he was saved by many people. It is no secret that Hollywood is filled with corruption, manipulation, hurt people, and other evils. Additionally, many people in Hollywood are into the occult. Therefore, we have to use discernment and not condone the mistakes Kanye has made while wishing Kanye to get better emotionally.

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Doctor Strange

The 2016 film Doctor Strange is filled with action, mystery, and creativity. It is based on the science fiction stories of Doctor Strange from Marvel Comics. The film was produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It talks about Eastern mysticism, time travel, and other issues. Its special effects are innovative and it is very popular in America and throughout the world. The film was directed by Scott Derrickson and he wrote the film along with Jon Spailhts and C. Robert Cargill. It has many actors and actresses starring in the film like Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton. In Doctor Strange, surgeon Stephen Strange learns the mystic arts from the Ancient One after a career-ending car accident. Many people wanted to create a film about Doctor Strange was for decades. The movie was released in Hong Kong in October 13, 2016 and it was released in America by November 4, 2016. It was sold more than $641 million so far. The film starts in Kathmandu, Nepal. There is the sorcerer Kaecilius and his zealots who enter the secret compound called Kamar-Taj and murder its librarian, keeper of ancient and mystical text. They steal a ritual from a book belonging to the Ancient One (She is a sorcerer who had lived for an unknown time and taught all at Kamar-Taj including Kaecilius, in the ways of the mystic arts).

The Ancient Ones pursues the traitors, but Kaecilius escapes with the pages and some of his followers. Stephen Strange was an acclaimed neurosurgeon. He was in a car accident and loses the use of his hands. His fellow surgeon and former lover Christine Palmer tries to help him move on, but Strange believes that he can regain the use of his hands. He uses experimental surgeries. They don’t work. So, he learned about Jonathan Pangborn, a paraplegic who mysteriously was able to walk again. Strange visited Kamar-Taj. Mordo helps Strange. Mordo works under the Ancient One.  The Ancient One shows Strange her power, revealing the astral plane and other dimensions such as the Mirror Dimension. Amazed, Strange begs her to teach him, and she eventually agrees despite his arrogance, which reminds her of Kaecilius. Master Wong handles the library. Strange is taught the secrets under the Ancient One and Mordo. Strange goes throughout the Earth in adventures. He uses his power to fight battles. Strange is told by Mordo and Wong to not break the laws of nature. Kaecilius and his followers are the protagonists and they summon Dormmanu of the Dark Dimension (where time doesn’t exist and all can live forever). The London Sanctum is destroyed. Kaecilius kills the Ancient One and goes into Hong Kong.

Strange saves Wong in a time travel event after Wong once died.  Strange can’t be destroyed by Dormamanu and he leaves Earth. Mordo leaves since he disagrees with Strange’s defying nature. Strange returns the Eye to Kamar-Taj. He lives in New York Sanctum to study more. Strange wants to help Thor, who has brought his brother Loki to Earth to search for their father Odin. In a post-credits scene, Mordo confronts Pangborn and steals the energy he uses to walk, stating that Earth has "too many sorcerers.” There are themes of the apotheosis of Doctor Strange. It’s a film with occult themes in it. In the film there also is the symbol of the Tetragrammaton, It can also be seen as the sacred triangle or the magical triangle of Solomon, the key of three and the triune symbolism found in the Tetragrammaton, Primeumaton, and Anaphaxeton.  It is claimed that Solomon used a six pointed star to control demons in the creation of his temple. Similarly, Manly P. Hall’s “An Encyclopedic Outline of Masonic, Hermetic, Quabbalist and Rosicrucian Symbolical Philosophy” shows us a demon being evoked within a pentagram as the practitioner utilizes sigils of protection around him.  Doctor Strange shows us the secret powers of eastern mysticism, psychedelic trips into alternate realities.

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Donald Trump and popular culture

There has been a huge influence of popular culture in the political world. Donald Trump is the new President. The majority of voters voted against Trump, but he won most of the Electoral College. We live in a new reality. Trump will have control of the CIA, the FBI, drones, and nuclear weapons. Trump has promised to restrict immigrant rights, advance the interests of corporate interests, he wants to ban certain Muslims from coming to America (even if they are tourists), and wants to repeal the ACA with a free market health care system (not universal health care). The voters of Trump must realize that they support Trump and his views too. The evil of ethno nationalist jingoistic extremism which is found in Europe is found in America. Trump boasts about disrespecting women, but many hypocrites (who claim to be religious) voted for him. The GOP is the party of the alt right. There have been massive hate crimes in America after Trump was selected by the Electoral College. What is disappointing is how people like Kanye West, Jim Brown, Ray Lewis, Floyd Mayweather, Omarosa Manigault, and others allying with a male like Trump in claiming that he will help people. Steve Harvey has recently shook hands with Trump too. Trump’s proposed cabinet represents the same oligarchical interests that people have opposed. Some of them are billionaires who are in league with corporate power. Many of these proposed cabinet members like Sessions are outright far right extremists. Jan Chamberlin, who was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, quit recently, because she had to follow her conscience to disagree with the extremism of Donald Trump during his inauguration. The powers that be allowed Trump to be President in order to promote a more authoritarian existence in society. In fact, the Trump team is struggling to get musical acts to perform during the Trump inauguration. The musicians who will perform are the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Jackie Evancho, the Missouri State University Choir, and the Rockettes.

One shining light is that many progressive people (who are in popular culture and who are not in popular culture) are speaking their minds to oppose the agenda of Donald Trump. They are going out to protest, to work in their communities, and to fight for what is right. We shall not be moved and we will fight for our rights as human beings.

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Music Video

 In our time, many music videos still have many messages in them. One such video is called Weeknds’ “Starboy.” The video has the Weeknd destroying his house using an “illuminated” cross. That scene shows a lot of meaning. There is occult imagery in the video too. The video deals with a collaboration with Daft Punk. The video seems to be about a boy who is a star in the entertainment business. Yet, the symbolism makes it more than about it. It has a ritualistic tone and outlines the principle of the death and rebirth narrative found in esoteric initiations. The 2 videos of “Cant’ Feel my Face”, "Tell your Friends”, and the Hills outline a trilogy too. When the videos are seen together, it shows a story about the Weeknd meeting a figure holding an apple, which is similar to the serpent story in the garden of Eden. In Can’t Feel My Face, the figure (which is similar to Lucifer) literally sets The Weeknd on fire and figuratively lights up his career. In Tell Your Friends, The Weeknd buries himself in the desert. It outlines the old Weeknd. In Starboy, The Weeknd kills his old self again by suffocating him. The Weeknd “Starboy” video starts with a masked man entering the Weeknd’s house. The Weeknd sits in a chair. The masked man then gets up and suffocates The Weeknd with a plastic bag. When the killer removes his mask, it shows that this person is the Weeknd. He shaved his hair and he looks different. So, symbolically, he is reborn with a new hairstyle. He is wearing a cross too. The Weeknd passes by a painting featuring Daft Punk. It shows a falling star in the background and the black panther. The Weekend sees the illuminated red cross hanging in his room. The cross literally catches his eye. The cross reflects inside a single eye, which the single eye has multiple meanings in the occult.

Later, he takes the cross and breaks his gold records and the cover of his first album. In the song, he said that his P1 (a sports car) is cleaner than your church shoes (the rewards of the occult elite are greater than the life of a humble church going person). He also says that he makes a lot more money than you and that his girl (and the girl he cheats this girl with, which he calls his side B word. Many artists degrade women using that word) are better than yours. So, this has nothing to do with real Christian principles or fighting materialism. Later in the song, explains how he upgraded to a new table where his girl can snort cocaine from. So, he is boasting of what he has been given or has. The industry loves this as they love to make profit off of people rapping or singing about wordiness. Also, he is blatant about his intentions in his song by saying: “…We don’t pray for love, we just pray for cars…” He is destroying things to go into another level of his career not to destroy materialism. It is no secret that the corporate elites and the occult system runs Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment world. Also, many celebrities’ relatives have ties to the military industrial complex too. The cover of the Starboy single cover sums up the occult transformation that is happening. On the left are lightning bolts, in the middle are crosses (and a star) and on the right are more lightning bolts. There are six symbols in each column. In occult symbolism, the lightning bolt represents “descent” from the heavens to Earth. For this reason the symbol is sometimes used to represent Lucifer who is said to have descended from the Kingdom of God to mankind. Lucifer is also known as the Light Bringer. The same terms have been used since the dawn of time to describe the planet Venus.

Venus is esoterically associated with the symbol of the 5-pointed star and the pentagram due to its “astronomical dance” in the skies. This symbolism is not new. The late David Bowie used Kabbalistic imagery and the lightning bolt image for decades. After destroying his things and burning down his clothes, The Weeknd leaves his house. A black cat follows him. The cat is bigger in the car and its eyes glow. The illuminated cross is no on the ground. The Weeknd is now a “starboy”, a person who was hand picked by the elite to become a “higher level” star. Because of this, he owns a bunch of material things that he brags about in his songs. To become a starboy, he has to kill his old self while wearing a cross and he must pledge his allegiance by ritualistically destroying his possessions using a cross. Using this Christian symbol to commit death and destruction is part of the soul-selling process. The industry is not peaches and cream. Tons of celebrities tell about orgies, abuse, materialism, violence, drug addiction, and other evils throughout the industry. Nothing is new under the sun which is why goodness is always good to promote and good in society.

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The Intelligence Community and the Industry

Yes, I will go there and it's time to show the comprehensive truth. It is not a secret that Western intelligence has been involved in corruption for decades and centuries. The NSA has been caught in massive spying for years and decades. Operation Ajax was about the overthrowing of the democratic Iranian nation (which was organized by the CIA and by MI5) back in 1953. Operation Chaos was when the U.S. intelligence community used its agents to infiltrate the anti-war movement in college campuses. It was conducted by the CIA under the orders of LBJ in 1967. This is blatantly illegal since the CIA is forbidden from conducting domestic surveillance of American citizens in American soil. The operation was launched under Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Richard Helms, by chief of counter-intelligence, James Jesus Angleton, and headed by Richard Ober.  Operation Chaos expanded under President Nixon. Also, the U.S. Intelligence community (as found in the FBI, the CIA, etc.) knew about popular musicians decades ago and today. Many of them would spy on them and monitor them in many different ways. Back from the end of World War II to the present, the world changed massively. America became the strongest nation in the world economically and militarily. Complex technology from nuclear weapons to satellites developed. Movements for social, progressive change ignited into the next level. Back during the Cold War, many FBI and CIA agents falsely believed that Communism was on the verge of taking over the whole world. They ignored the fact that Communism is not monolithic and that people have the right to believe in whatever ideology that they desire (which is part of the freedom of conscience). They wanted to monitor musicians not only for control, but to promote their anti-Communist, authoritarian extremism.

John L. Potash's book entitled, “Drugs as Weapons Against Us” documents how the CIA and other groups exploit the drugs of the world to advance their agenda and it proves the Intelligence community’s monitoring of well-known musicians. I certainly recommend the book. It is excellent and well written. CIA’s MKUltra was a program that tested LSD on many people. People now know that LSD has ruined the lives of so many people and has damaged countless lives physically and emotionally. That is why recreational usage of drugs can kill people literally. That is why I do advocate any drug to be used for medical purposes (in a responsible fashion) if someone has no other option but to use drugs. People, involved in the MK Ultra program, on many cases illegally tested human beings on mind control drugs constantly. The scope of Project MKUltra was broad, with research undertaken at 80 institutions, including 44 colleges and universities, as well as hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies. The CIA operated through these institutions using front organizations, although sometimes top officials at these institutions were aware of the CIA's involvement. The FBI harassed and illegally monitored progressive leaders like Paul Robeson and Richard Wright. Both men stood up for black human rights and opposed imperialism in private and in public. J. Edgar Hoover used the Hearst newspaper (which had allies of Hoover in them) to issue articles slandering Robeson (as documented in the book entitled, “Paul Robeson: Film Pioneer,” which was written by Scott Allen Nollen). Robeson was an ally of Albert Einstein (who condemned racism and was pro-socialist. One thing that many of those right wing extremists hate are socialists when socialism contributed to the development of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, other economic rights, and other blessings).

Paul Jr. (or Paul Robeson’s son) believed that his father's health problems stemmed from attempts by CIA and MI5 to "neutralize" his father.  Einstein was monitored by the FBI too. The FBI monitored the Beatles (especially John Lennon), Jimi Hendrix, Elvis (even before he went into the Army), etc. People like the Black Panthers, labor rights movements, civil rights groups, feminist organizations, Native American organizations, Tupac, the Notorious B.I.G., etc. were monitored by the FBI and other members of the U.S. intelligence community. One of the greatest spies was FBI agent Gary Rowe who was in many racial incidents of the then segregated South. The CIA and the Mafia worked together on many endeavors too. Also, many excellent scholars and researchers have done decades in great work in exposing secret societies and other political groups like the Skulls and Bones (which has a bizarre initiation ceremony where new recruits must reveal their secrets to members. Famous politicians like George W. Bush, John Kerry, etc. are members of the Skulls and Bones too), the Pilgrim Society, the Bilderberg Group, Freemasonry (whose modern manifestation existed in Europe during the 18th century. Masons swear an oath where they invoke death and new recruits are placed a sharp object in their chest. Morals and Dogma explicitly mentioned that Blue Lodge members are given false interpretations).

Albert Pike written the following words: "The Blue Degrees (the Blue Lodge degrees) are but the outer court or portico of the Temple.  Part of the symbols are displayed there to the Initiate, but he is intentionally mislead by false interpretations.  It is not intended that he shall understand them; but it is intended that he shall imagine he understand them ."  (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, p. 819). It is a historical fact that Freemasonry have ties to many Fraternities. The network of fraternities and sororities are heavily found in education, medicine, legal affairs, sports (Shaquelle O'Neal is a Freemason), politics, the religious establishment (i.e. the late Norman Vincent Peale was a 33rd Degree Freemason and he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta too. He has praised Greek Lettered Organizations), and economic affairs. The Boule is another black Fraternal Order too. According to their own Past Grand Sire and Past Grand Historian Archon Rodney Reed, he admitted that one founder of the Boule (named Henry McKee Minton), admitted that he created the Boule in these terms: "...Members would not be "selected on the basis of brains alone – but in addition to congeniality, culture and good fellowship; that they shall have behind them [at initiation] a record of accomplishment, not merely be men of promise and good education." His fraternity would contain the "best of Skull and Bones of Yale and of Phi Beta Kappa." The elitist Skull and Bones is known for its controversial history and bizarre rituals. They didn't even accept women until the early 1990's. Therefore, more human beings understand the real controversial history of the Skulls and Bones. I don't agree with the Skulls and Bones.

Masons call leaders Worshipful Master, but we should never call any man a "Worshipful Master." We have the right to fear nothing except the Creator. Elitists like David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger have publicly advocated for a new world order or for a more globalized world. We have Youtube videos and their own books advocating this. For example, David Rockefeller in his own book, written the following words:

"...For more than a century, ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as 'internationalists' and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it..." (Memoirs by David Rockefeller on 2003 as found in Ch. 27 : Proud Internationalist, p. 406).

There is nothing wrong with international cooepration in the world done progressively. There is a problem with select multinational corporations having undue influence in the world via an oligarchical fashion. That is the point. The Intelligence Community is still here with heavy influence not only in foreign countries, but in movie production companies and other aspects of society. Many of them are advisers in the development of movies. Therefore, the mainstream popular culture isn’t all fun and games. There are corporations who control many aspects of popular culture. Many artists are told by handlers plus corporate executives on what to do and where to go. Many celebrity based parties exist with many bizarre themes. Many celebrities travel into Istanbul and Dubai not only for business, but for other reasons. Therefore, we reject imperialism, human exploitation, and the corrupt actions done by many in intelligence agencies. We believe in independent thinking, freedom, and justice for all.

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Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick is a legendary director. He is also a screen writer, a producer, a cinematographer, an editor, and a photographer. He was one of the greatest and influential directors in cinematic history. He was born in July 26, 1928 in Manhattan, New York City. His father was Jacob Leonard Kubrick and Sadie Gertrude Kubrick. Both of his parents were Jewish. His ancestors included Polish, Austrian, and Romanian people too. He created many films that were adapted from novels, which talked about issues of life, and discussed about the mysteries of the Universe. He saw the Bronx as a youth. He loved literature from an early age. He read the Greek and Roman myths and the fables of the Grimm brothers. He traveled into Europe to research and to grow his filming skills. He learned chess. Kubrick himself was a member of the United States Chess Federation. He credited chess in developing his patience and discipline in making decisions. He was a photographer for Look magazine during the late 1940’s and the early 1950’s. He made short films later. His first major Hollywood film was The Killing for United Artists in 1956.  The rest is history. His 1957 film was Paths of Glory in 1957 that starred Kirk Douglas. He made the historical epic Spartacus in 1960. Kubrick followed his own independent path. He went into the UK for years in making his films. His home at Childwickbury Manor in Hertfordshire, which he shared with his wife Christiane, became his workplace, where he did his writing, research, editing, and management of production details. This allowed him to have almost complete artistic control over his films, but with the rare advantage of having financial support from major Hollywood studios. His first British productions were two films with Peter Sellers, Lolita (1962) and Dr. Strangelove (1964).

His films utilize distinctive music, detail, and a certain style with meaning. In other words, every scene in his films had a specific reason on why they exist as he was a perfectionist. He controlled heavily his filmmaking process. He controlled his film’s writing and editing too. He conducted massive research involving his products. He worked with actors and actresses loosely too. His films were ahead of its time. He innovated cinematography.  The scientific realism and innovative special effects of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was without precedent in the history of cinema before that time. That film earned him his only personal Oscar, for Best Visual Effects. Steven Spielberg has referred to the film as his generation's "big bang", and it is often included in polls of the greatest films ever made. For the 18th-century period film Barry Lyndon (1975), Kubrick obtained lenses developed by Zeiss for NASA, to film scenes under natural candlelight. With The Shining (1980), he became one of the first directors to make use of a Steadicam for stabilized and fluid tracking shots. A Clockwork Orange (1971) was a controversial film from Kubrick. Most of his films were nominated for Oscars, Golden Globes, or BAFTA Awards.

His last film, Eyes Wide Shut, was completed shortly before his death in 1999. Eyes Wide Shut is a film especially filled with mystery, symbolism, secret, ritualized parties, and it outlines things about what happens in real life. Just before he passed, Kubrick wanted to work with Spielberg on creating a film that dealt with AI with the possibility of Steven Spielberg directing it and Kubrick producing it. Later, Spielberg directed the 2001 movie, “A.I. Artificial Intelligence.” The film was produced by Kubrick’s longtime producer and brother in law Jan Harlan. Sets, costumes, and art direction were based on the works of conceptual artist Chris Baker, who had also done much of his work under Kubrick's supervision. Spielberg knew the significance of this project as he gave credit to Kubrick for his influence in the film. Kubrick also wanted to do a film about Napoleon, but MGM cancelled that film project. He read hundreds of book on his life and researched Napoleon's personal memoirs and commentaries. He respected his Jewish heritage and wanted to show the world that his heritage was very important in his life. Stanley Kubrick was a genius in filmmaking and research. We certainly acknowledge his talent and are further inspired to advance creativity and human thinking involving our own lives.

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The Birmingham Movement

The Birmingham movement was one of the most important parts of the Civil Rights Movement. Afterwards, the civil rights movement would be changed forever. Before that movement, there was little progress legislatively in America involving civil rights. Afterwards, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act would be passed. Courage defined the efforts of African Americans and others who fought for the freedom of black people in America. Diverse organizations were involved in this campaign like the SCLC (the Southern Christian Leadership Conference), ACHMR (the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights), and SNCC. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Fred Shuttlesworth, Wyatt Tee Walker, Dorothy Cotton, and other human beings were involved in this audacious campaign. The goal of this campaign was explicitly clear of eliminating Jim Crow in Birmingham, Alabama (which was the most segregated large city of the South back then). This program was called Project C. The protests would involve lunch counter sit-ins, marches on City Hall, and boycotts on downtown merchants who promoted segregation. Months later, racist police used water hoses and police dogs (as sent by the racist person Bull Connor) to harm black men, black women, and black children. Those images were shown worldwide and it showed the hypocrisy of the American establishment and the vicious oppression that black people experienced in American society. This came after the failed SCLC campaign in Albany, Georgia. The Birmingham, Alabama movement would be a victory. It lasted from April 3, 1963 to May 10, 1963.

Young people, adults, and elderly human beings fought for justice. The city’s discrimination laws were changed. These events in the South caused President John F. Kennedy to be more progressive in public involving race and civil rights. After this campaign, President Kennedy would call for federal civil rights legislation which would not be passed until after he was unfortunately assassinated. Ultimately, it was the masses of the people who caused the Birmingham campaign to be successful. The Birmingham campaign was turning point in the Civil Rights Movement, which signaled the beginning of the end of Jim Crow apartheid. Soon, more demonstrations came about throughout the South. The March on Washington existed in August of 1963. Unfortunately, the bombing of the Baptist church existed in Birmingham in September of 1963, which killed 4 little girls. There was more attention sent in fighting racial segregation in the southern United States. Dr. King expanded his movement and forced desegregation ended in Birmingham.

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The Start of the Movement

Back then in 1963, Birmingham, Alabama was the most segregated city in America. Violence and harassment were experienced by black residents of Birmingham for years and decades. Interracial unions during the 1930’s were red baited and many union members were even assaulted by racists. Bull Connor was a commissioner of public safety in the city back in 1937. By 1963, Birmingham was almost 350,000 people with 60% white people and 40% black Americans. Yet, it had no black police officers, firefighters, sales clerks in department stores, bus drivers, bank tellers, or store cashiers. The majority of jobs available to black people were manual labor in the Birmingham's steel mills, work in household service and yard maintenance, or work in black neighborhoods. When layoffs were necessary, black employees were often the first to go. The unemployment rate for blacks was two and a half times higher than for whites. The average income for blacks in the city was less than half that of whites. Significantly lower pay scales for black workers at the local steel mills were common. Racial segregation of public and commercial facilities throughout Jefferson County was legally required, covered all aspects of life, and was rigidly enforced. Only 10 percent of the city's black population was registered to vote in 1960. Birmingham’s economy stagnated. The reason was that the city shifted from blue to white collar jobs. There were 50 unsolved racially motivated bombings between 1945 and 1962. Black people fought back too. Alabama banned the NAACP in 1956.

So, Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth created the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR). In that same year, the ACMHR fought to end segregation and discrimination via lawsuits and protests. The courts overturned the segregation of city parks and then Birmingham responded by closing them. Shuttlesworth's home was repeatedly bombed, as was Bethel Baptist Church, where he was pastor. In 1958, he was beaten with chains and his wife was stabbed when he tried to enroll his child to an all-white school.

After Shuttlesworth was arrested and jailed for violating the city's segregation rules in 1962, he sent a petition to Mayor Art Hanes' office asking that public facilities be desegregated. Hanes responded with a letter informing Shuttlesworth that his petition had been thrown in the garbage. Looking for outside help, Shuttlesworth invited Dr. Martin Luther King and the SCLC to Birmingham, saying, "If you come to Birmingham, you will not only gain prestige, but really shake the country. If you win in Birmingham, as Birmingham goes, so goes the nation.” Eugene “Bull” Connor was a racist and had a contentious personality. He wanted segregation. He believed in the slanderous lie that the Civil Rights Movement was a Communist plot. Churches were bombed in the city too. In 1958, police arrested ministers organizing a bus boycott. When the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) initiated a probe amid allegations of police misconduct for the arrests, Connor responded that he "[hadn't] got any d___ apology to the FBI or anybody else", and predicted, "If the North keeps trying to cram this thing [desegregation] down our throats, there's going to be bloodshed."

Connor was known to delaying sending police to intervene when the Freedom Riders were beaten by local mobs. Connor was so antagonistic towards the Civil Rights Movement that his actions galvanized support for black Americans. President John F. Kennedy later said of him, "The Civil Rights movement should thank God for Bull Connor. He's helped it as much as Abraham Lincoln." Connor was an extreme conservative. A group of white moderates worked to defeat him politically, because of economically slow progress in the city. The Citizens for Progress was backed by the Chamber of Commerce and other white professionals in the city, and their tactics were successful. In November 1962, Connor lost the race for mayor to Albert Boutwell, a less combative segregationist. However, Connor and his colleagues on the City Commission refused to accept the new mayor's authority. They claimed on a technicality that their terms would not expire until 1965 instead of in the spring of 1963. So for a brief time, Birmingham had two city governments attempting to conduct business.

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Buying Policy

The protest actions in Birmingham started in 1962. Activists modeled this plan on the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The events started when students from local colleges arranged for a year of staggering boycott. This caused downtown business to decline by as much as 40 percent. It attracted attention from the Chamber of Commerce president Sidney Smyer. He said that the "racial incidents have given us a black eye that we'll be a long time trying to forget.”  In response to the boycott, the City Commission of Birmingham punished the black community by withdrawing $45,000 ($350,000 in 2016) from a surplus-food program used primarily by low-income black human beings. The result, however, was a black community more motivated to resist. The SCLC believed that economic pressure on Birmingham businesses would be more effective than pressure on politicians. This was a lesson learned in Albany as few black people were registered to vote in 1962. In the spring of 1963, before Easter, the Birmingham boycott intensified during the second-busiest shopping season of the year. Pastors urged their congregations to avoid shopping in Birmingham stories in the downtown district. For six weeks supporters of the boycott patrolled the downtown area to make sure that black people were not patronizing stores that promoted or tolerated segregation. If black shoppers were found in these stores, organizers confronted them and shamed them into participating in the boycott. Shuttlesworth recalled a woman whose $15 hat ($120 in 2016) was destroyed by boycott enforcers. Campaign participant Joe Dickson recalled, "We had to go under strict surveillance. We had to tell people, say look: if you go downtown and buy something, you're going to have to answer to us." After several business owners in Birmingham took down "white only" and "colored only" signs, Commissioner Connor told business owners that if they did not obey the segregation ordinances, they would lose their business licenses.

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Project C

Later, Project C existed. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came into Birmingham. His presence wasn’t welcomed by everyone in the black community. A local black attorney complained in Time that the new city administration didn’t have enough time to confer with the various groups invested in changing the city’s segregation policies. At one time, black hotel owner A.G. Gaston agreed. A white Jesuit priest assisting in desegregation negotiations believed that the demonstration were poorly timed and misdirected. Yet, the protesters continued to heroically stand up for justice. Protest organizers knew that violence would come to them from the Birmingham Police Department. They chose a confrontational approach to get the attention of the federal government. Wyatt Tee Walker was one of the SCLC founders and the executive director from 1960 to 1964. He planned the tactics of the direct action protests. He targeted Bull Connor’s tendency to react to demonstrations with violence:  "My theory was that if we mounted a strong nonviolent movement, the opposition would surely do something to attract the media, and in turn induce national sympathy and attention to the everyday segregated circumstance of a person living in the Deep South." He headed the planning of what he called Project C, which stood for "confrontation". Organizers believed their phones were tapped, so to prevent their plans from being leaked and perhaps influencing the mayoral election, they used code words for demonstrations. The plan called for direct nonviolent action to attract media attention to "the biggest and baddest city of the South." In preparation for the protests, Walker timed the walking distance from the 16th Street Baptist Church, headquarters for the campaign, to the downtown area.

He surveyed the segregated lunch counters of department stores, and listed federal buildings as secondary targets should police block the protesters' entrance into primary targets such as stores, libraries, and all-white churches. The campaign used a variety of nonviolent methods of confrontation like sit-ins at libraries and lunch counters. People used kneel-ins by black visitors at white churches. There was a march to the county building to mark the beginning of a voter registration drive. Most businesses responded to these events by refusing to serve demonstrators. Some white spectators at a sit-in at a Woolworth's lunch counter spat upon the participants. A few hundred protesters, including jazz musician Al Hibbler, were arrested, although Hibbler was immediately released by Connor. The SCLC wanted to fill the jails up that would force the city government to negotiate as demonstrations continued. Yet, not enough people were arrested to affect the functioning of the city. Many black people questioned this tactic. The editor of The Birmingham World, the city's black newspaper, called the direct actions by the demonstrators "wasteful and worthless", and urged black citizens to use the courts to change the city's racist policies. Most white residents of Birmingham expressed shock at the demonstrations. White religious leaders denounced King and the other organizers, saying that "a cause should be pressed in the courts and the negotiations among local leaders, and not in the streets." Real change comes in the streets beyond the courts. Some white Birmingham residents were supportive as the boycott continued. King promised a protest every day until "peaceful equality had been assured" and expressed doubt that the new mayor would ever voluntarily desegregate the city.

On April 10, 1963, Bull Connor obtained an injunction. This banned the protests and subsequently raised bail bond for those arrested from $200 to $1,200  ($2,000 to $9,000 in 2016). Fred Shuttlesworth called the injunction a "flagrant denial of our constitutional rights" and organizers prepared to defy the order. The decision to ignore the injunction had been made during the planning stage of the campaign. Dr. King and the SCLC had obeyed court injunctions in their Albany protests and reasoned that obeying them contributed to the Albany campaign's lack of success. In a press release they explained, "We are now confronted with recalcitrant forces in the Deep South that will use the courts to perpetuate the unjust and illegal systems of racial separation." Incoming mayor Albert Boutwell called King and the SCLC organizers "strangers" whose only purpose in Birmingham was "to stir inter-racial discord." Connor promised, "You can rest assured that I will fill the jail full of any persons violating the law as long as I'm at City Hall." Many in the movement found themselves out of the required bail money. Dr. King was one the major fundraisers. His associates wanted him to travel the country to raise bail money for those arrested. He had previously promised to lead the marchers in jail in solidarity. He hesitated as the planned date arrived.

Some SCLC members grew frustrated with his indecisiveness. "I have never seen Martin so troubled", one of King's friends later said. After King prayed and reflected alone in his hotel room, he and the campaign leaders decided to defy the injunction and prepared for mass arrests of campaign supporters. To build morale and to recruit volunteers to go to jail, Ralph Abernathy spoke at a mass meeting of Birmingham's black citizens at the 16th Street Baptist Church: "The eyes of the world are on Birmingham tonight. Bobby Kennedy is looking here at Birmingham; the United States Congress is looking at Birmingham. The Department of Justice is looking at Birmingham. Are you ready, are you ready to make the challenge? I am ready to go to jail, are you?" With Abernathy, King was among 50 Birmingham residents ranging in age from 15 to 81 years who were arrested on Good Friday, April 12, 1963. It was King's 13th arrest.

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Dr. King Jail and his Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama on Good Friday, April 12, 1963. He was held in jail and denied a consultation with an attorney from the NAACP without guards present. News of his incarceration spread quickly. It was spread by Wyatt Tee Walker according to the historian Jonathan Bass (who wrote of this in 2001). His supporters sent telegrams about his arrest to the White House. He could be bailed out at any time. Jail administrators wanted him to be released as soon as possible to avoid media attention while King was in custody. Yet, the campaign organizers offered no bail in order "to focus the attention of the media and national public opinion on the Birmingham situation." A day later after his arrest, Dr. King was allowed to see local attorneys from the SCLC. When Coretta Scott King did not hear from her husband, she called Walker and he suggested that she call President Kennedy directly. Mrs. King was recuperating at home after the birth of their fourth child when she received a call from President Kennedy the Monday after the arrest. The president told her she could expect a call from her husband soon. When Martin Luther King called his wife, their conversation was brief and guarded as he correctly assumed that his phones were tapped. Several days later, Jacqueline Kennedy called Coretta Scott King to express her concern for King while he was incarcerated. During this time, many white moderate clergymen criticized Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for promoting civil disobedience against unjust laws.

Many of these clergymen falsely accused Dr. King of promoting unnecessary racial tensions when Dr. King wanted racial justice. A jailer give him an article from the April Birmingham News article where those white clergymen criticized him. The clergy people wanted the demonstrations to end. Later, Dr. Martin Luther King was inspired to write the historic, eloquent “Latter from Birmingham Jail.” He refuted and responded to the 8 “moderate” white clergymen who criticized him. Dr. King wrote that freedom should never be given to people via delay or by gradual tokenism. Freedom should be given to oppressed people ASAP. His letter was a defense of the civil rights movement in general, its aims, and its strategies of boycotts, sit-ins, protests, and civil disobedience. Dr. King wrote on scarps of paper from a janitor. He wrote notes on the margins of a newspaper, and later a legal pad given to him by SCLC attorneys. Clarence Jones removed the handwritten words on 20 pages of paper to be edited by Wyatt. More than a million copies of the letter spread nationwide, especially in churches. Many publications quoted the letter in full like Liberation, the Christian Century, and The New Leader. Dr. King wrote that people have the right to oppose injustice and resist unjust laws. He wrote that he would resist Hitler and be willing to go to jail to resist oppressive laws against innocent Jewish human beings back during the days of Nazi Germany. He wrote that black people waiting for freedom for over 3 centuries is over and demonstrations must be enacted in order for freedom to come to black people. He wrote about the indignities of black people and the rejection of waiting for equality. King's arrest attracted national attention, including that of corporate officers of retail chains with stores in downtown Birmingham. After King's arrest, the chains' profits began to erode. National business owners pressed the Kennedy administration to intervene.

Dr. Martin Luther King was released on April 20, 1963.

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Children Recruited (The Children's Crusade)

During this time, Connor had used police dogs to arrest demonstrations. The media didn’t report on it as much in the beginning. The organizers wanted to re-energize the campaign. SCLC organizer James Bevel did promoted a controversial alternative plan called D Day. This was called the “Children’s Crusade” by Newsweek magazine. D Day wanted students from Birmingham elementary and high schools as well as nearby Miles College to take part in the demonstrations. Bevel worked in the nonviolent Nashville Student Movement. He worked with SNCC. He was SCLC’s Director of Direct Action and Nonviolent Education. Bevel talked about the education of students in nonviolent tactics and philosophy. Dr. King approved the use of children with hesitations. Bevel believed that children placed in jail would not hurt families economically as much as the loss of a working parent. He said that adults in the black community were divided about how much support to give the protests. Bevel knew that high school students were a more cohesive group. They knew each other as classmates since kindergarten. He recruited girls who were school leaders and boys who were athletes. When the girls joined, the boys were close behind to join them. Bevel and the SCLC created workshops to help the students overcome their fear of dogs and jails.

They showed films of the Nashville sit-ins organized in 1960 to end segregation at public lunch counters. Birmingham's black radio station, WENN, supported the new plan by telling students to arrive at the demonstration meeting place with a toothbrush to be used in jail. Flyers were distributed in black schools and neighborhoods that said, "Fight for freedom first then go to school" and "It's up to you to free our teachers, our parents, yourself, and our country." On May 2, 1963, more than 1,000 students skipped school. They gathered at the 16th Street Baptist Church. The principal of Parker High School attempted to lock the gates to keep students in, but they scrambled over the walls to get to the church.

Demonstrators were given instructions to march to the downtown area to meet with the Mayor. They wanted to integrate the chosen buildings. They were to leave in smaller groups and continue on their courses until they were arrested. They marched in disciplined ranks, some of them using walkie-talkies, they were sent at timed intervals from various churches to the downtown business area. More than 600 students were arrested. The youngest of these children was reported to be 8 year old. Children left the churches while singing hymns and “freedom songs” like “We Shall Overcome.” They clapped and laughed while being arrested and awaiting transport to jail. The mood was compared that to a school picnic. Although Bevel informed Connor that the march was to take place, Connor and the police were dumbfounded by the numbers and behavior of the children. They assembled paddy wagons and school buses to take the children to jail. When no squad cars were left to block the city streets, Connor, whose authority extended to the fire department, used fire trucks. The day's arrests brought the total number of jailed protesters to 1,200 in the 900-capacity Birmingham jail.

The use of children was very controversial. Incoming mayor Albert Boutwell and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy condemned the decision to use children in the protests. Kennedy was reported in The New York Times as saying, "an injured, maimed, or dead child is a price that none of us can afford to pay", although adding, "I believe that everyone understands their just grievances must be resolved." Malcolm X criticized the decision, saying, "Real men don't put their children on the firing line." King, who had been silent and then out of town while Bevel was organizing the children, was impressed by the success of using them in the protests. That evening he declared at a mass meeting, "I have been inspired and moved by today. I have never seen anything like it." Although Wyatt Tee Walker was initially against the use of children in the demonstrations, he responded to criticism by saying, "Negro children will get a better education in five days in jail than in five months in a segregated school." The D Day campaign received front page coverage by The Washington Post and The New York Times.

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Police Brutality against Children

One of the most cowardly actions of the Birmingham police back in 1963 was when they used fire hoses and police dogs on innocent men, women and children. Connor found out that the Birmingham jail was full. On May 3, he changed police tactics. That was done in order for the police to keep the protesters out of the downtown business area. Another thousand students gathered at the church and left to walk across Kelly Ingram Park while chanting, "We're going to walk, walk, walk. Freedom ... freedom ... freedom." As the demonstrators left the church, the police told them to stop and turn back, “or you’ll get wet.” When they continued, Connor ordered the city’s fire hoses. They set them at a level that would peel bark off a tree or separate bricks from mortar to be turned on the children. Boys’ shirts were ripped off. Young women were pushed over the tops of cars by the force of the water. When the students crouched or fell, the blasts of water rolled them down the asphalt streets and concrete sidewalks.  Connor allowed white spectators to push forward, shouting, "Let those people come forward, sergeant. I want 'em to see the dogs work." During this time, A.G. Gaston was on the phone with the white attorney David Yvann. He disagreed and was appalled at the use of children in the protest. He tried to negotiate a resolution to the crisis.  When Gaston looked out the window and saw the children being hit with high-pressure water, he said, "Lawyer Vann, I can't talk to you now or ever. My people are out there fighting for their lives and my freedom. I have to go help them", and hung up the phone.

Black parents and adults who were observing cheered the marching students, but when the hoses were turned on, bystanders began to throw rocks and bottles at the police. To disperse them, Connor ordered police to use German shepherd dogs to keep them in line. James Bevel wove in and out of the crowds warning them, "If any cops get hurt, we're going to lose this fight." To the contrary, crooked police officers assaulting innocent black people are evil. Black people have every human right to use self-defense against terrorist cops assaulting innocent black men, women, and children. At 3 p.m., the protest was over. During a kind of truce, protesters went home. Police removed the barricades and re-opened the streets to traffic.  That evening King told worried parents in a crowd of a thousand, "Don't worry about your children who are in jail. The eyes of the world are on Birmingham. We're going on in spite of dogs and fire hoses. We've gone too far to turn back." A battle hardened Huntley-Brinkley reporter later said that no military action he had witnessed had ever frightened or disturbed him as much as what he saw in Birmingham. 2 out of town photographers in Birmingham during that day were Charles Moore (he previously worked with the Montgomery Advertiser and was working for Life magazine) and Bill Hudson (with the Associated Press).

Moore was a Marine combat photographer who was "jarred" and "sickened" by the use of children and what the Birmingham police and fire departments did to them. Moore was hit in the ankle by a brick meant for the police. He took several photos that were printed in Life. The first photo Moore shot that day showed three teenagers being hit by a water jet from a high-pressure firehose. It was titled "They Fight a Fire That Won't Go Out". A shorter version of the caption was later used as the title for Fred Shuttlesworth's biography. The Life photo became an "era-defining picture" and was compared to the photo of Marines raising the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima. Moore suspected that the film he shot "was likely to obliterate in the national psyche any notion of a 'good southerner'." Hudson remarked later that his only priorities that day were "making pictures and staying alive" and "not getting bit by a dog." Right in front of Hudson was Parker High School senior Walter Gadsden.

The police officer grabbed Gadsden’s sweater and a police dog charged him. Gadsden had been attending the demonstration as an observer. He was related to the editor of Birmingham's black newspaper, The Birmingham World, who strongly disapproved of King's leadership in the campaign. Gadsden was arrested for "parading without a permit", and after witnessing his arrest, Commissioner Connor remarked to the officer, "Why didn't you bring a meaner dog; this one is not the vicious one." Hudson's photo of Gadsden and the dog ran across three columns in the prominent position above the fold on the front page of The New York Times on May 4, 1963. Television cameras broadcasted to the nation images and scenes of fire hoses knocking down schoolchildren and police dogs attacking innocent unprotected demonstrators. This coverage and photos shifted international support in favor of the protestors. Bull Connor was a villain. President Kennedy told a group of people at the White House that The New York Times photo made him "sick.” Kennedy called the scenes "shameful" and said that they were "so much more eloquently reported by the news camera than by any number of explanatory words." The images caused a great effect in Birmingham.

The black community had differences, yet black people solidified in support behind Dr. King. Horrified at what the Birmingham police were doing to protect segregation, New York Senator Jacob K. Javits declared, "the country won't tolerate it",  and pressed Congress to pass a civil rights bill. Similar reactions were reported by Kentucky Senator Sherman Cooper, and Oregon Senator Wayne Morse, who compared Birmingham to South Africa under apartheid. A New York Times editorial called the behavior of the Birmingham police "a national disgrace." The Washington Post editorialized, "The spectacle in Birmingham ... must excite the sympathy of the rest of the country for the decent, just, and reasonable citizens of the community, who have so recently demonstrated at the polls their lack of support for the very policies that have produced the Birmingham riots. The authorities who tried, by these brutal means, to stop the freedom marchers do not speak or act in the name of the enlightened people of the city." President Kennedy sent Assistant Attorney General Burke Marshall to Birmingham to help negotiate a truce. Marshall faced a stalemate when merchants and protest organizers refused to budge.

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The Birmingham movement continued with courage by the protesters and activists. On May 5, 1963, a new era started. This was when black people in the area of Kelly Ingram Park used self-defense and act of rebellion against racist tyranny. Many spectators taunted the police. The SCLC leaders begged them to be peaceful or go home. James Bevel borrowed a bullhorn from the police and shouted, "Everybody get off this corner. If you're not going to demonstrate in a nonviolent way, then leave!"  The racist Commissioner Connor was overheard saying, "If you'd ask half of them what freedom means, they couldn't tell you." To prevent further marches, Connor ordered the doors to the churches blocked to prevent students from leaving. On May 6, the jails were so full that Connor transformed the stockade at the state fairgrounds into a makeshift jail to hold protesters. Black people arrived at white churches to try to integrate services. They were accepted in Roman Catholic, Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches, but they were turned away at others. Some knelt and prayed until they were arrested by churches that turned them away.

Well known national figures arrived in Birmingham gave support to the protesters. Singer Joan Baez arrived to perform for free at Miles College and stayed at the black owned and integrated Gaston Motel. Comedian Dick Gregory and writer for the Nation Barbara Deming were both arrested. The young Dan Rather reported on this story for CBS News. The car of Fannie Flagg, a local television personality and recent Miss Alabama finalist, was surrounded by teenagers who recognized her. Flagg worked at Channel 6 on the morning show, and after asking her producers why the show was not covering the demonstrations, she received orders never to mention them on air. She rolled down the window and shouted to the children, "I'm with you all the way!" Birmingham’s fire department refused orders from Connor to turn the hoses on demonstrators again. They went through the basement of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church to clean up water from earlier fire hose flooding. White business leaders met with protest organizers to try arrange an economic solution but said they had no control over politics. Protest organizers disagreed, saying that business leaders were positioned to pressure political leaders.

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City Crisis or Paralysis

By May 7, 1963, the crisis continued. Breakfast in the jail took 4 hours to distribute to all the prisoners. 70 members of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce pleaded with the protest organizers to stop the actions. The NAACP asked for sympathizers to picket in unity in 100 American cities. 19 rabbis from New York flew to Birmingham, equating silence about segregation to the atrocities of the Holocaust. Local rabbis disagreed and asked them to go home. The editor of The Birmingham News wired President Kennedy and pleaded with him to end the protests. Fire hoses were used once again, injuring police and Fred Shuttlesworth, as well as other demonstrators. Commissioner Connor expressed regret at missing seeing Shuttlesworth get hit and said he "wished they'd carried him away in a hearse." Connor is a callous, wicked male. Another 1,000 people were arrested, bringing the total to 2,500.

News of the mass arrests of children had reached Western Europe and the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union caused 25 percent of its news broadcast to cover the demonstrators. They sent much of the coverage to Africa (which is where the Soviets and the U.S. interests competed with each other). Soviet news people accused the Kennedy administration of neglect and inactivity. Alabama Governor George Wallace sent state troopers to assist Connor. Attorney General Robert Kennedy prepared to activate the Alabama National Guard and notified the Second Infantry Division from Fort Benning, Georgia that it might be deployed to Birmingham. No business of any kind was being conducted downtown. Organizers planned to flood the downtown area businesses with black people. Smaller groups of decoys were set out to distract police attention from activities at the 16th Street Baptist Church. Protesters set off false fire alarms to occupy the fire department and its hoses. One group of children approached a police officer and announced, "We want to go to jail!" When the officer pointed the way, the students ran across Kelly Ingram Park shouting, "We're going to jail!" Six hundred picketers reached downtown Birmingham. Large groups of protesters sat in stores and sang freedom songs. Streets, sidewalks, stores, and buildings were overwhelmed with more than 3,000 protesters.  The sheriff and chief of police admitted to Burke Marshall that they did not think they could handle the situation for more than a few hours.

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The Resolution

On May 8, 1963, at 4 am, white business leaders agreed to most of the protesters’ demands during the Birmingham movement. Political leaders held fast, however. The rift between the businessmen and the politicians became clear when business leaders admitted they could not guarantee the protesters' release from jail. On May 10, Fred Shuttlesworth and Martin Luther King Jr. told reporters that they had an agreement from the City of Birmingham to desegregate lunch counters, restrooms, drinking fountains and fitting rooms within 90 days, and to hire blacks in stores as salesmen and clerks. Those in jail would be released on bond or their own recognizance. Urged by President John F. Kennedy, the United Auto Workers, National Maritime Union, United Steelworkers Union, and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) raised $237,000 in bail money ($1,830,000 in 2016) to free the demonstrators. Commissioner Connor and the outgoing mayor condemned the resolution. On the night of May 11, a bomb heavily damaged the Gaston Motel where Dr. King was staying at. He had left only hours before.

Another bomb damaged the house of Rev. A.D. King or Dr. Martin Luther King’s brother. When the police came to inspect the motel, they were met with rocks and bottles from neighborhood African Americans. The arrival of state troopers only angered the crowd. In the early hours of the mornings, thousands of black people initiated a historic rebellion in Birmingham, Alabama (which was long before the Watts rebellion in 1965). Many buildings and vehicles were burned. Many people were stabbed. By May 13, three thousand federal troops were deployed to Birmingham to restore order, even though Alabama Governor George Wallace told President Kennedy that state and local forces were sufficient. Martin Luther King Jr. returned to Birmingham to stress nonviolence. Outgoing mayor Art Hanes left office after the Alabama State Supreme Court ruled that Albert Boutwell could take office on May 21, 1963. Upon picking up his last paycheck, Bull Connor remarked tearfully, "This is the worst day of my life." Connor was an evil racist who didn't win. In June 1963, the Jim Crow signs regulating segregated public places in Birmingham were taken down.

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The Birmingham Campaign changed everything in America and throughout the world. During the aftermath, desegregation existed slowly after the demonstrations. Some people criticized Dr. King and the SCLC for ending the campaign too soon, for making the vague promises, and for settling less than even moderate demands. In fact, Sydney Smyer, president of the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, re-interpreted the terms of the agreement. Shuttlesworth and King had announced that desegregation would take place 90 days from May 15. Smyer then said that a single black clerk hired 90 days from when the new city government took office would be sufficient. In July of 1963, most of the city’s segregation ordinances had been overturned. Some of the lunch counters in department stores complied with the new rules. City parks and golf courses were opened again to black and white citizens. Mayor Boutwell appointed a biracial committee to discuss further changes. Yet, no hiring of black clerks, police officers, and firefighters had yet been completed and the Birmingham Bar Association rejected membership by black attorneys. The whole campaign caused national and international attention to the racist violence in Birmingham. There was a meeting among Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, James Baldwin, and other Black leaders to talk about racial issues. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s reputation increased massive after the protests in Birmingham. Many people lauded him as a hero. During the summer of 1963, Dr. King and many men and women led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He gave his historic speech entitled, “I Have a Dream.” Dr. King became Time’s Man of the Year for 1963 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. John F. Kennedy acted too. After the Birmingham Campaign, George Wallace’s refusal to admit black students to the University of Alabama caused President Kennedy to address the nation in his own historic speech on civil rights on June 11, 1963. In his speech, JFK addressed the inequalities between black and white Americans. He said the words of, “The events in Birmingham and elsewhere have so increased cries for equality that no city or state or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them.”

Despite the apparent lack of immediate local success after the Birmingham campaign, Fred Shuttlesworth and Wyatt Tee Walker pointed to its influence on national affairs as its true impact. President Kennedy's administration drew up the Civil Rights Act bill. After being filibustered for 75 days by "diehard southerners" in Congress, it was passed into law in 1964 and signed by President Lyndon Johnson. The Civil Rights Act applied to the entire nation, prohibiting racial discrimination in employment and in access to public places. Roy Wilkins of the NAACP, however, disagreed that the Birmingham campaign was the primary force behind the Civil Rights Act. Wilkins gave credit to other movements, such as the Freedom Rides, the integration of the University of Mississippi, and campaigns to end public school segregation. Medgar Evers was murdered in June 12, 1963 outside of his home. He was organizing demonstrations, which were similar to Birmingham, to pressure Jackson, Mississippi’s local city government.  In September 1963, Birmingham’s public schools were integrated. Governor Wallace sent National Guard troops to keep black students out but President Kennedy reversed Wallace by ordering the troops to stand down. Violence continued to plague the city, however. Someone threw a tear gas canister into Loveman's department store when it complied with the desegregation agreement; twenty people in the store required hospital treatment. Four months after the Birmingham campaign settlement, someone bombed the house of NAACP attorney Arthur Shores, injuring his wife in the attack.  On September 15, 1963, Birmingham again earned international attention when Ku Klux Klan members bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church on a Sunday morning and killed four innocent young black girls. Their names are Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Denise McNair. The Birmingham campaign inspired and grew the Civil Rights Movement in many parts of the South plus nationwide.  In 1965, Shuttlesworth assisted Bevel, Dr. King, and the SCLC to lead the Selma to Montgomery marches, intended to increase voter registration among black human beings.

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The Struggle Continues

The struggle continues. After the Birmingham movement, more radical changes existed in America and in the world. The March on Washington existed which called for civil rights laws, decent housing, full and fair employment, and other progressive policies. The 16th Street Baptist church was bombed by a racist coward. Also, there was the evil assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 22, 1963. The new President was Lyndon Baines Johnson who supported Kennedy’s legislative agenda. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. also worked in the St. Augustine movement. St. Augustine was a very old city and it is found in the northeast coast of Florida. It was founded by the Spanish in 1565. Dr. Robert B. Hayling was a black dentist and Air Force veteran (who had ties to the NAACP) who protested segregated local institutions since 1963 in the city. Many civil rights leaders like Dr. Hayling and three companions, James Jackson, Clyde Jenkins, and James Hauser, were brutally beaten at a Ku Klux Klan rally in the fall of that year of 1963. Nightriders shot in black homes constantly in St. Augustine. Many people were arrested for sit ins. Some were teenagers like Audrey Nell Edwards, JoeAnn Anderson, Samuel White, and Willie Carl Singleton (who came to be known as "The St. Augustine Four").  It took a special action of the governor and cabinet of Florida to release them after national protests by the Pittsburgh Courier, Jackie Robinson, and others.

Many black people in St. Augustine used armed self-defense and nonviolent direct action to fight for justice. In June 1963, Dr. Hayling publicly stated that "I and the others have armed. We will shoot first and answer questions later. We are not going to die like Medgar Evers." The comment made national headlines. When Klan nightriders terrorized black neighborhoods in St. Augustine, Hayling's NAACP members often drove them off with gunfire, and in October, a Klansman was killed (in self-defense). By 1964, Dr. Hayling and the other activists urged the SCLC to come to St. Augustine. They did. They worked in the spring of 1964. People fought for freedom. Dr. King was arrested in Florida. He sent a “Letter from the St. Augustine Jail” to a northern supporter, Rabbi Israel Dresner of New Jersey, urging him to recruit others to participate in the movement. This resulted, a week later, in the largest mass arrest of rabbis in American history—while conducting a pray-in at the Monson. There was a settlement in St. Augustine. Later, the Freedom Summer event came in 1964, which promoted voting and social rights for black people in Mississippi. The Civil Rights Act was passed in July 4, 1964, there was the election of 1964 (including the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party with Ella Baker and others being disrespected by the Democratic Party establishment. Dr. King opposed Barry Goldwater), and Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in December 10, 1964. These events represent the transitional phrase of the movement from the early age to the later age of the modern civil rights movement. In January of 1965, black players of the American Football League boycotted New Orleans, because of discrimination. The AFL All-Star Game was moved into Jeppesen Stadium in Houston. By 1965, the Selma Rights movement came and the fight for voting rights persisted in America. Malcolm X continued to be revolutionary in his life by early 1965 too. So, the events of the past influence our current movement for justice in 2017 and beyond.

By Timothy