On April 28, 1967, Ali refused to be drafted into the Vietnam War. He cited his religious beliefs as his reason. He believed, as a Black man, that he could not fight for a racist country.
For three years, Ali was banned from boxing. The federal government took away his Heavyweight title and he suffered his first loss to Joe Frazier in the “Fight of the Century” on March 8, 1971. Later that year, the Supreme Court overturned his conviction for evading the draft. It would take another three years to fight Frazier again.
Ali risked his livelihood, his reputation and legacy to stand up for what he believed. He realized fighting America’s war while Black people died in the streets due to police violence and racism was something he couldn’t stomach. Today, former 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick protested racism in America and, like Ali, lost valuable years as a professional athlete because of it. But, if you ask him, he’ll tell you it was worth it.
A former slave who bought his own freedom, Richard Allen was the founder of the first AME Church. After moving to Philadelphia, he became a licensed minister at St. George’s Methodist Church in 1786. With anti-slavery being a core value in Methodism, Allen quickly drew a large Black congregation to the white church, but this angered white members.
White preachers, who also were Allen’s supervisors, treated its Black members as second-rate, forcing them to segregate from white patrons. As Allen witnessed this racial discrimination, he worked to leave St. George’s. He wanted to start a church for Black people by Black people. But the white ministers wouldn’t let him go so easily.
To combat their control, he and colleague Absalom Jones founded the Free African Society (FAS), a nondenominational mutual aid group that helped newly freed Blacks become self-sustaining leaders within the larger Black community. As the number of Black members increased, the less control the white ministry held over Allen and his following.
From FAS, Allen formed the first AME Church in 1794, rooted in Black activism and progression. This church would go on to produce Bishop Henry McNeal Turner, the first Black church leader to publicly state that “God is a Negro.” As the first Black denomination, today the church has exponentially grown to an estimated 2.5 million members around the world, forming a united, global community.
Sometimes God puts us in pressurized situations to produce stronger faith. God is not working on the prayer, God is working on your strength — your blessing is outside of your comfort zone, it required more patience than you had, it required more trust than you had and it will only manifest when you’re at peace even though you’re in pieces.
I’m standing in agreement with you for this season of stretching, growing and refining. Praying for an abundance of grace to overtake you and keep you while you and God walk through this valley to victory. Amen. Patrick Weaver
Diddy says he was one of the final bidders, but lost interest once the league announced its new policy that requires players to stand for the national anthem or face fines.
“I don’t want to be associated with oppressing black men. I don’t want to be associated with telling grown ass men what they can do and cannot do.” – Diddy
Diddy also expressed support for players who choose the protest the rule, likening them to athletes who protested before them.
Remember that Black athletes like Muhammed Ali and Jim Brown used their power to protest for civil and human rights.
If Diddy can walk away from the business opportunity of owning a team, then we should be able to stop supporting the NFL. We shouldn’t support an organization that is willing to oppress the the rights of its employees in order to detract from the real issues – racial inequality and police brutality.
During the slave trade, Africans were kidnapped from Africa to be shipped as cargo where they were sold into slavery and forced to toil the rest of their lives in the Americas.
This is different from immigrants who decided to come to the United States to seek safety, resettlement, and freedom.
Many immigrants and their descendants can travel back to their homeland if they have the means to do so. But the Middle Passage that Africans endured was a one way trip with no chance of return.
The descendants of immigrants are no longer immigrants, but full citizens. Meanwhile, the legal status as slaves was hereditary, meaning it was passed down to children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and generations beyond.
The vast majority of immigrants arrive in ethnic enclaves, people who share the same language, culture, and religion, and establish those communities in America. However, slavers ripped Africans from their respective lands and purposefully mixed them up by culture to keep them from communing.
The majority of the descendants from immigrants can identify their ancestral lands.But those of us who descend from enslaved Africans call ourselves Black American – not Ghanaian, Nigerian, or Sierra Leonean Americans – specifically because of this rupture and exile.
The royal family’s wealth is due in large part to slavery – because they fought strong against its abolition! Estimates suggest they supported about 10,000 voyages from Great Britain to Africa for slaves through 1807.
The British Empire entrapped nearly 30% of Africans in racist colonial systems through occupying or annexing countries like Egypt, the Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Reinforcing the racist notion that the British were superior over those they ruled, the British Empire governed a fifth of the world’s population at its height in 1922.
The British Empire committed genocide to establish and maintain power, including detaining Kenyans in concentration camps. People there were systematically tortured and suffered extreme sexual assault.
During the 1950s, Kenyans fought back against British Rule, in a revolt called “the Mau Mau uprisings”, and British forces committed two massacres – the Hola and Chuka massacres – in which resisting Kenyans were killed.
It looks impossible, you don’t think you’re qualified, you’re questioning whether you’re good enough and God is saying, “I didn’t open this door because you were ready, I opened this door because you are able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think, according to the power that works in you.” (Eph. 3:20).
By Patrick Weaver
The case against the Central Park Five began in 1989. Then a real-estate mogul, Trump used his wealth to influence the masses, wielding racism as a weapon. In the American tradition of white mobs lynching Black men for rapes they didn’t commit, Trump spent $85,000 to buy full-page advertisements that implied these Black boys were guilty.
Trump called for these Black and Latino boys’ heads on a platter despite lack of evidence. Their DNA didn’t match any DNA found on the crime scene, but still Trump and the criminal justice system found them guilty the next year. In 2002 the Central Park Five’s conviction was overturned when the real serial rapist came forward. His DNA, and his alone, was a match. The boys–now men–were finally free.
But Trump refused to acknowledge facts. Years later, he wrote an opinion piece calling their $41 million settlement a ruse and disgrace. Scattered throughout Trump’s criminal justice, education, and housing policy, we see the same anti-Blackness that motivated those ads calling for the death of the Central Park Five.
In the late 1800s, tipping was actually frowned upon by many Americans who believed that employers were responsible for paying their workers, not the customers. But that shifted when restaurant owners and railroad companies objected. They argued that tipping was a fair alternative to paying their workers a regular wage. Why? Because these workers were Black.
White employers resented the freedom of their formerly enslaved Black employees. In wanting to keep Black people poor, and thus “inferior” in their eyes, they employed the tipping system. Tipping was a power move. A writer of the day even said, “I could never feel comfortable tipping a white person. Tipping is reserved for Negroes.”
The corrupt tipping system allowed white employers to get free labor, keep Black people impoverished, and maintain the myth of white supremacy. And it’s a sneaky practice that continues today, disproportionately keeping Black folks in impoverished conditions.
With so few roles for Black actors, many of Fredi Washington’s early characters were the “tragic mulatto,” a mixed-race person torn between the “white” and “Black” world who desired to be whiter and reject their Black identity. Her most notable tragic portrayal was in the film “Imitation of Life.” The movie’s success presented opportunities for her to push this stereotype of self-loathing Black woman yearning to be white. But she said no..
Instead, Washington became a co-founding member of the Negro Actor’s Guild in 1937, which created more complex Black roles in films for Black people. Fredi Washington refused to play the role of tragic mulatto in her real life, fully embracing and identifying herself as a Black woman. By doing so, she helped the world see the diversity of Blackness on the big screen.