REMEMBERING OUR SISTERS: BLACK WOMEN LYNCHED


REMEMBERING OUR SISTERS: BLACK WOMEN LYNCHED

Second Annual Sacred Libation Ceremony in Remembrance on March 29

By Iya Marilyn Kai Jewett

laura_nelson_high_res

Laura Nelson is the only one of the Black Women who were lynched in America of whom we have a known photograph.

Last year while reading articles on a Black news website, I noticed a link to an article about Black women who were lynched. Being a student of history, I followed the link which led to another Black website and read the story which detailed the history of 150 documented cases of Black women in the U.S. who had been lynched between 1870 and 1957. These “women,” many of whom were mere girls were not just lynched — they were raped and tortured before being hung, shot or burned by mobs of white men. The first three women on the list – Mrs. John Simes lynched in 1870 in Henry County, Kentucky and Mrs. Hawkins and her daughter, lynched in 1872 in Fayette County, Kentucky, were all murdered for being republicans!

I have been a student of history (American, Black/African and ancient history) since I was a child. I knew that thousands of African people in America have been lynched. I read “The Lynching Calendar” that lists 2,400 of the 5,000 documented lynchings of African people in the U.S., but I didn’t realize there were this many women lynched! The website with The Lynching Calendar” has since mysteriously disappeared.

A post on another Black website provided documented information on these women – their names, the dates, places, the reason they were lynched and with whom they were lynched. Reading this made me angry and brought tears to my eyes. I sent it to my email list and told the brothers and sisters to send it to every person of African descent they know. This is part of our history — Amerikkkan history that we must pass to our children and grandchildren. They will not learn this in school. It’s up to us to teach them.

After reading the accounts of the lynchings, the Egun (ancestors) spoke to me and directed me to do something so they will be remembered. I broke down and cried like a baby because I could feel the horror and pain that these women endured. Olódùmarè help me! Egun directed me to conduct a sacred libation ceremony to remember them and bring some peace to their souls. They also directed me to do this annually on the designated day. I will conduct this annual ritual as long as I have breath in my body.

I’m sure most people don’t know about these women, but we must never forget women like pregnant Mary Turner who was lynched May 17, 1918 in Brooks County, Georgia to teach her a lesson. After her husband was lynched, Mary threatened to have those who lynched her husband arrested. She fled, but the mob pursued her and found her the next morning. She was eight months pregnant when the mob of several hundred took her to a stream, tied her ankles together and hung her from a tree with her head down. She was doused with gasoline and set on fire. One of the mob took a knife and split her stomach open so that her unborn baby fell to the ground. The baby’s head was crushed under the heels of the mob. But, that wasn’t enough for the demonic mob. They finished Mary off by riddling her body with bullets.

Sisters Alma (16) and Maggie Howze (20) were both pregnant by Dr. E. L. Johnston, a dentist who used them both as his sex slaves, when lynched in 1918 in Mississippi for allegedly killing him. Eyewitnesses at Alma’s burial said that that the movements of her unborn baby could be detected.

Laura Nelson was accused of murdering a sheriff who had discovered stolen goods in her house. She was lynched together with her son (15), in 1911 in Okemah, Oklahoma. Laura and her son were taken from jail, dragged six miles to the Canadian River, where she was raped by the mob before she and her son were hung from a bridge.

2015 SACRED LIBATION CEREMONY FLYER

2015 Sacred Libation Ceremony Flyer

These lynchings are a part of the “African Holocaust – the Maafa” that some folks, including some Negroes, want us to forget. The Maafa included the Middle Passage, 300+ years of chattel slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation and continues to this day. For more information on these lynchings, go to https://henriettavintondavis.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/recorded/.

Last year 25-30 of you came in the pouring rain to witness this important ritual. Thank you for standing up for our sisters! Once again, I am asking all spiritually-conscious women and men of African descent to join me 3:00PM, Sunday, March 29 at Congo (Washington) Square, 7th & Walnut Streets for the second annual sacred libation ceremony in remembrance of our sisters. Please wear white – no black or dark colors. Bring your children because they must know and learn about this forgotten history so it will never be repeated. We must never forget these women – our sisters — who were brutally tortured and lynched.

REMEMBER THE MAAFA! NEVER AGAIN!

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The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth on them.


 

The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth on them.

The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth on them. This is an advertisement taken from the Washington Bee newspaper dated Saturday October 22, 1892. It is an advertisement for Ida B. Wells’ lecture held at Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C. Her subject that night was “Southern Mob Rule.” She was introduced by Timothy Thomas Fortune, editor of the New York Age and later an editor of the Negro World Newspaper. Presiding at the event was Mary Church Terrell.

Ida B. Wells gives us our marching orders. We know 148 women of African ancestry were lynched in the United States of America. We will right those wrongs by turning the light of truth on them.

IN REMEMBRANCE OF OUR SISTERS: 150 BLACK WOMEN WHO WERE LYNCHED IN THE U.S. BETWEEN 1870-1957


IN REMEMBRANCE OF OUR SISTERS:

150 BLACK WOMEN WHO WERE LYNCHED IN THE U.S. BETWEEN 1870-1957
They must not be forgotten

NEVER AGAIN!
A SACRED LIBATION CEREMONY will be held to honor their memory and humanity. It will take
place at 3:00PM Sharp on Sunday, March 30, 2014 at Congo (Washington) Square
6th & Walnut Streets Philadelphia, PA.

NEVER AGAIN!

Livication Marker Unveiling 2013


PRESS RELEASE

07/10/2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information:
Vaunita Goodman (202) 291-1663
email: shero1860@facebook.com
blog
: https://henriettavintondavis.wordpress.com
#Livication

JULY 20, 2013 is HENRIETTA VINTON DAVIS GRAVE MARKER UNVEILING

-Events to recognize cultural icon-

Washington, DC –Today the Henrietta Vinton Davis Memorial Foundation (HVDMF) announced plans to unveil a marker at the grave of its namesake in National Harmony Memorial Park. The Foundation has as its mission to raise awareness of the life and legacy of Shakespearean actor, elocutionist, dramatic reader and activist Henrietta Vinton Davis.

Miss Davis remained relatively unrecognized until July 1983 when an article entitled “Henrietta Vinton Davis and the Garvey Movement” by Professor William Seraile was published in the journal ‘Afro-Americans in New York Life and History’. Nearly a year later, acknowledgment of her contributions increased with the publication of the book ‘Shakespeare in Sable’ written by Professor Errol Hill of Dartmouth University. Her home in Northeast Washington, DC has been listed on Cultural Tourism DC’s African American Heritage Trail since 1999.

On Saturday July 20, 2013 the HVDMF starts the day off with an award presentation and celebration at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, culminating with the unveiling of a marker at Miss Davis’ grave site at National Harmony Memorial Park. Guest speakers and celebrants include:

Dr. William Seraile (Bruce Grit), Barbara Eklof (For Every Season), Kevin Grace (Friends of Joe Gans), Nnamdi Azikiwe (Vinton Davis Weblog) and Mwariama Kamau (UNIA). Producing partners for the occasion are Vaunita Goodman (MTPC) and Michon Boston (Iola’s Letter). Clayton LeBouef (Something The Lord Made, The Wire, Homicide) will serve as Master of Ceremonies.

In 2008, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty issued a proclamation designating August 25 ‘Henrietta Vinton Davis Day.’ The decree acknowledged Davis as the first African American to work at the DC Recorder of Deeds office beginning in 1878, before Frederick Douglass was appointed Recorder. She made her career debut as a Shakespearean actor, elocutionist and dramatic reader in Washington, DC on April 25, 1883 where she was introduced by Douglass, a family friend. The proclamation acknowledges the success of Miss Davis as a public speaker and cultural icon.

Celebration / Award Presentation recognizing Vera J. Katz, (Professor Emerita Howard University Theatre Arts) and others will be conducted in the A-5 Auditorium 11am-1:30-pm at the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial Library 901 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C. (202)  727-0321

Livication / Henrietta Vinton Davis Marker Unveiling will be conducted 3pm-5pm at her grave site in National Harmony Memorial Park 7101 Sheriff Road Largo, MD (301) 772-0900

Events are free and open to the public.

About Henrietta Vinton Davis
For thirty-five years after her debut performing “Shakespearean delineations”, original plays and dramatic readings with her own performing company, and local troupes throughout the United States, South America and the Caribbean, Henrietta Vinton Davis broke new ground as a successful theatrical artisan. Her commitment to her craft gained her recognition as the first African American “woman of the stage.”

During 1919, a year notable for its “Red Summer,” she joined the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League headed by Marcus Garvey.

As a leader of the African Redemption Movement, Davis made use of her acting skills to promote the aims and objectives of the UNIA. Her ability to “transport her listeners” to another place with her oratorical skills played a key role in both attracting members to the organization and promoting the Black Star Line Shipping Company. As such, she was elected to numerous positions including International Organizer, and Third Assistant President General of the UNIA. Additionally, as Vice President and a Director of the Black Star Line, Davis was the de facto authority aboard the Black Star Line’s flagship vessel, the S.S. Yarmouth, on its maiden voyage. The ship was laden with a cargo worth upwards of $5.000.000 destined for the Caribbean. On the ship’s return Marcus Garvey proclaimed Miss Davis “the greatest woman of the [African] race today” in a meeting at the UNIA’s Liberty Hall.

About The Henrietta Vinton Davis Memorial Foundation
Initially organized to raise funds for a marker at the grave of Lady Henrietta Vinton Davis

in 2005, the mission of The Henrietta Vinton Davis Memorial Foundation has evolved to include publishing books, producing plays, films/videos and conducting symposiums educating the general public about her life and the times in which she lived.

* *

A scene from the play Christophe by William Edgar Easton

Proclamation for Henrietta Vinton Davis Day

At Cemetery, a John Brown Raider Is Remembered


At Cemetery, a John Brown Raider Is Remembered; [FINAL Edition]
Eugene L. Meyer. The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Nov 16, 2000. pg. J.08

Copyright The Washington Post Company Nov 16, 2000

Organized by the cemetery, descendants and Temple Hills genealogist Paul E. Sluby Sr., it was billed as a Veterans Day event. Yet, while [Osborne Perry Anderson] did serve in the Union Army during the Civil War, it was his participation in the pre-war raid on the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry that made an indelible mark on history.

The Columbian Harmony Society section comprises about 40 of the 125 acres of burial ground located within sight of FedEx Field. The plaque to Anderson says, “This dedicated and brave Christian traveled from Chatham, Canada to Harpers Ferry, W. Va. to fight beside John Brown in his quest to abolish slavery.”

For Robert Berry, 54, of Brunswick, Anderson was also his great- great grandfather, a shadowy figure he’d heard about over the years but only now is beginning to know. “One day, my mother and I went up to Harpers Ferry and introduced ourselves to the National Park Service people,” he said. “They were surprised he had descendants.”

In a cemetery off Sheriff Road in Landover are buried many forgotten figures in African American history, among them John Brown raider Osborne Perry Anderson.

Last weekend, nearly 100 people came on a clear, breezy day to National Harmony Memorial Park to memorialize this forgotten abolitionist and to dedicate a bronze plaque to his memory at the site of his final resting place.

They included a color guard from Fairmont Heights High School, black Civil War reenactors, Prince George’s County Council Chairman Dorothy F. Bailey (D-Temple Hills), former D.C. Council member Frank Smith and a score of Anderson’s descendants.

That Anderson’s remains were there is no secret, though the exact grave site is unknown. However, Saturday’s ceremony was intended not to close the book on his life but to open a new chapter of remembrance.

“What it means for me is closure,” said Dennis Howard, 50, a District social worker and a great-great grandson. “At the same time, it’s a starting point.”

Organized by the cemetery, descendants and Temple Hills genealogist Paul E. Sluby Sr., it was billed as a Veterans Day event. Yet, while Anderson did serve in the Union Army during the Civil War, it was his participation in the pre-war raid on the federal arsenal in Harpers Ferry that made an indelible mark on history.

That 1859 attack, under the leadership of fiery abolitionist John Brown, is often cited by historians as a prime catalyst to the war that claimed 600,000 lives and ended slavery.

Born in Pennsylvania on July 17, 1830, Anderson was educated at Oberlin College in Ohio, then immigrated to Canada, where he learned the printing trade and met Brown in 1858.

Anderson was one of five blacks among Brown’s 21 raiders, and he was only one of a handful among the entire group who escaped and survived. He went on to write a book, “A Voice from Harper’s Ferry.”

Anderson enlisted in the Union Army in 1864. Mustered from service, he lived in Washington, where he belonged to the 15th Street Presbyterian Church and died of tuberculosis in December 1872 at 42. An obituary in the Washington Star described him as “a man of good character” eulogized by three ministers.

He was buried first in the Columbian Harmony Cemetery, founded by free blacks in 1825, at the current site of the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station parking lot in Northeast Washington.

The cemetery eventually fell into disuse and disrepair, and, in 1959, its 37,000 remains were disinterred and moved to Maryland, to the National Harmony Memorial Park.

Because of inadequate records and lack of contact with families, many of the remains were unidentified and reinterred without markers. Anderson’s exact location is among the many unknowns, and cemetery caretakers could only guess when placing the plaque.

The Columbian Harmony Society section comprises about 40 of the 125 acres of burial ground located within sight of FedEx Field. The plaque to Anderson says, “This dedicated and brave Christian traveled from Chatham, Canada to Harpers Ferry, W. Va. to fight beside John Brown in his quest to abolish slavery.”

Those attending the ceremony included Harpers Ferry Mayor Walton D. Stowell and three uniformed members of Company B of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Group, Civil War reenactors inspired by the film “Glory.”

They were led by Ben Hawley, the great-great grandson of an African American soldier in the Union Army.

“I like to feel I’m reliving history in his name,” said Hawley, who also said of honoree Anderson, “I mean, he was a hero. He was an inspiration.”

For Robert Berry, 54, of Brunswick, Anderson was also his great- great grandfather, a shadowy figure he’d heard about over the years but only now is beginning to know. “One day, my mother and I went up to Harpers Ferry and introduced ourselves to the National Park Service people,” he said. “They were surprised he had descendants.”

Berry is glad he did. “You know, I stop and think, if he had been captured and killed, I wouldn’t be here today.”

Other prominent 19th-century African Americans buried at the cemetery include George Beall, who established the first school for blacks in Washington in 1807; Francis Datcher, first president of the Columbian Harmony Society and for 42 years a messenger for the War Department; and William Slade, who was in charge of the hired help at the White House and was once described as Abraham Lincoln’s “friend and human comforter.”

Also Mary Ann Shadd Cary, a prominent abolitionist; James Wormley, proprietor of the internationally-known Wormley House hotel, at 15th and I Streets NW, and the Rev. John Cook, founder and first pastor of the 15th Street Presbyterian Church in 1841.

Livication honoring two Great Baltimoreans


A Livication Celebration for 2 Great Baltimoreans will be held at the Eubie Blake Center in Baltimore Maryland, Sunday August 8, 2010 from 2pm to 4pm.

Joe Gans was the first African American boxing champion. He won the World Lightweight Boxing Championship in 1902 a full six years ahead of Jack Johnson’s Heavyweight Boxing victory. He is buried in the neglected but historically significant Mount Auburn Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland.

Lady Henrietta Vinton Davis was an elocutionist, dramatic reader, Shakespearean actress and leader of the African Redemption movement headed by Universal Negro Improvement Association founder Marcus Garvey. She is buried in an unmarked grave in National Harmony Cemetery, Largo, Maryland.

Both were born in Baltimore, Maryland the same as Eubie Blake. Blake may possibly have performed with Lady Davis in Jamaica during the early 1900s.

Proceeds of this event will go to the production of a statue of Gans in the Blacks in Wax Museum.

Tickets are $25. The event will be held at:

Eubie Blake Cultural Center
847 N. Howard St
Baltimore, MD

Guest speakers include:

Clayton LeBouef (NBC’s “Homicide:Life On the Streets and HBO’s “The Wire”, Baltimore’s Center Stage, author of The Life & Breath of Henrietta Vinton Davis)

Colleen Aycock (Author of Joe Gans: A Biography of the 1st African-American World Boxing Champion)

Music by internationally renowned blues musican Chaz DePaolo

For more info go to:

WELCOME TO THE GLORY DAYS OF BOXING