If we are true to our Declaration that “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness….” then we must restore to our prople whose “Inalienable Rights” to Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness” we took or allowed to be taken from them without their consent or just cause. To restore these “Inalienable Rights” which we took or allowed to be taken from our people without their consent or just cause, we must pay the reparations debt we owe to them by giving their descendants their inheritances that would have inured to their Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness.
REPARATIONS DEBT PAYMENT SOLUTION:
African survivals in black American culture. The once widely held view that traces of the African heritage had been virtually extinguished in the Southern colonies and states has now been generally discarded. John Blassingame devotes the first third of his study The Slave Community to two long chapters. Blassingame and other historians have also pointed to the African influence on various artifacts, and the skills associated with them, in the South–for example, basket weaving, wood carving, pottery, the making of musical instruments, some architectural features, and many agricultural practices. “Cultural creolization” through which American ways were necessarily absorbed, but adapted, articulated, and understood with the aid of “African cultural grammars.” Joyner was writing of an area of great plantations, with perhaps the highest density of slave population on the North American mainland, where African influence was at its strongest. These special circumstances bred a distinct creole language, Gullah, the result of the convergence of a number of African languages with English. Clearly, many of the conditions of cultural creolization on the South Carolina sea islands were not replicated elsewhere.
John Mercer Langston was the first black man to become a lawyer when he passed the bar in Ohio in 1854. When he was elected to the post of Town Clerk for Brownhelm, Ohio, in 1855 Langston became one of the first African Americans ever elected to public office in America. John Mercer Langston was also the great-uncle of Langston Hughes, famed poet of the Harlem Renaissance.
Blassingame has described the “hands-off” policy pursued by one Florida slave owner, and according to Theodore Rosengarten, one South Carolina planter, Thomas B Chaplin, took little interest in his slaves as individuals or in their family Arrangements. In his journal, he registered the births of slave children and also of his words. The only difference was that he named the horses’ sires but not the slaves’ fathers. More than half of the slaves in 1860 lived on plantations containing 20 or more slaves, it is obvious that only a small minority of Planter’s could personally supervise every detail of the work – let alone, one might add, the rest of the Slaves Life. As long as their work was not unsatisfactory and they refrained from serious misdemeanors, many slaves have little personal contact with whites and only occasionally have to act out the rituals of deference. Once again, must be emphasized that the situation on smaller farms and the relationship between small owners and their slaves were rather different.
“He was a light skinned black man who was the product of his white owner and an enslaved black female.
William Ellison Jr. ( born April 1790 – died December 5, 1861), born April Ellison, was a U.S. cotton gin maker and blacksmith in South Carolina, and former African- American slave who achieved considerable success as a slaveowner before the American Civil War.
He eventually became a major planter and one of the medium property owners, and one of the wealthiest property owners in the state. According to the 1860 census (in which his surname was listed as “Ellerson”), he owned 63 – 68 black slaves, making him the largest of the 171 black slaveholders in South Carolina.
In 1802, he began an exceptional fourteen-year apprenticeship with a local cotton-gin maker. While slaves sometimes acquired skills, they typically remained unskilled all their lives. April’s apprenticeship allowed him to learn the craft of gin making, which also required mastering the skills of the blacksmith, machinist, and carpenter along with reading, writing, and arithmetic. As he gained more experience, April visited outlying plantations and did repair work there. During his free time he worked for wages, and by 1816 he had acquired the funds to purchase his freedom. Once free, April relocated to the town of Stateburg in Sumter District. By 1817 he purchased and freed his Loved Ones.
He held 40 slaves at his death and more than 1,000 acres of land.From 1830-1865, he and his sons were the only free blacks in Sumter County, South Carolina to own slaves. The county was largely devoted to cotton plantations, and the majority population were slaves.
Ellison and his sons were among a number of successful free people of color in the antebellum years, but Ellison was particularly successful.
His master had passed on social capital by apprenticing him to learn a valuable artisan trade as a cotton-gin maker, at which Ellison made a success.”
– Contribution by Joseph Paterson, our founding contributor