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Story 1 o?f 11-part Series on ?Race in America – Pa?st and Present?


Douglas A. Blackmon is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Slavery by Another Name: The Re-enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.” He teaches at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center and is a contributing editor at the Washington Post. This article, the first of an 11-part series on race, is sponsored by the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and was originally published by the Washington Monthly Magazine

In the first years after the Civil War, even as former slaves optimistically swarmed into new schools and lined up at courthouses at every whisper of a hope of economic independence, the Southern states began enacting an array of interlocking laws that would make all African-Americans criminals, regardless of their conduct, and thereby making it legal to force them into chain gangs, labor camps, and other forms of involuntarily servitude. By the end of 1865, every Southern state except Arkansas and Tennessee had passed laws outlawing vagrancy and defining it so vaguely that virtually any freed slave not under the protection of a White man could be arrested for the crime. An 1865 Mississippi statute required Black workers to enter into labor contracts with White farmers by January 1 of every year or risk arrest. Four other states legislated that African Americans could not legally be hired for work without a discharge paper from their previous employer-effectively preventing them from leaving the plantation of the White man they worked for.

After the return of nearly complete White political control in 1877, the passage of those laws accelerated. Some, particularly those that explicitly said they applied only to African-Americans, were struck down in court appeals or through federal interventions, but new statutes embracing the same strictures on Black life quickly replaced them. Most of the new laws were written as if they applied to everyone, but in reality they were overwhelmingly enforced only against African- Americans.

In the 1880s, Alabama, North Carolina, and Florida passed laws making it a crime for a Black man to change employers without permission. It was a crime for a Black man to speak loudly in the company of a White woman, a crime to have a gun in his pocket, and a crime to sell the proceeds of his farm to anyone other than the man he rented land from. It was a crime to walk beside a railroad line, a crime to fail to yield a sidewalk to White people, a crime to sit among Whites on a train, and it was most certainly a crime to engage in sexual relations with-or, God forbid, to show true love and affection for-a White girl.

Artist of the Week: Sity Counsil

Lue Dowdy

Lue Dowdy

By LuCretia Dowdy

This week artist review is of Sity Council, an independent record label founded and ran by Executive Producer Mike Anthony also known as Mike Diesel or Dieselio. This independent record label is making some serious noise in the streets. Upon completing his MBA, Anthony’s dream was to establish a label in order to help promote independent artists. Gathering all his resources, Anthony created SITY COUNCIL. The labels production team consist of Claibonics as the certified sound engineer and producer JRock.

Currently, Sity Counsil is focusing on building their brand by mobilizing a street team to expand their fan base. Their future goals consist of a production deal with a major label and establishing a charity to give back to the community.

Sity Counsil

Sity Counsil

Artists that are signed to the label consists of hip-hop artist MI$FIT THE BORN HUSTLA”  who’s  single, “Where Dey Do Dat At” drops on August 27, 2013.  The other artist is “IRA LEE” who currently has an album out called Fishtanks and Flatscreens with songs available on iTunes.

Upcoming events for Sity Counsil include an album release party and WDDDA video shoot on August 3 at Rack’s in Corona.

For more information on Sity Council visit SITYCOUNSIL.COM or email Mike Anthony at contact@sitycounsil.com.

Black Rose Awards Calls For Nominations

Black Culture Foundation Committee

Black Culture Foundation Committee

SAN BERNARDINO, CA-  Now is the time to nominate unsung heroes in your community for the 24th Annual Black Culture Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year, Community Service and Black Rose Awards, which take place Friday, September 13 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the National Orange Show Renaissance Room, 689 South E Street.

To nominate someone for this award, go to www.sbbcfoundation.org to download a nomination form, or email the incoming chair Troy Ingram at firstvice@sbbcfoundation.org.  Nominations are due by July 31. The Foundation is now selling tickets to the award ceremony at the price of $60 per person, until August 17.  Tickets purchased after that date will be $75. To order tickets or reserve a table, contact Troy Ingram at firstvice@sbbcfoundation.org.