Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: March 2014

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Gospel

You know how in life, you just like what you like?
And sometimes you don’t care if it’s wrong or its right.
You figure ‘I aint hurtin nobody’, so where is the harm?
Everybody’s out for self, so what’s the cause for alarm?
Well you’re right, it’s your choice but let me tell you what’s real.
All those “likes” you can choose, none can ever fulfill.
And if that’s really true, then why are we here at all?
Yes, we DO have a purpose past “having a ball!”
You see, we all were created with a purpose in mind:
To glorify Our Creator and enjoy Him for all time.
So why’s that purpose seem foreign and hard to attain?
Selfish desires deceive us to seek worldly gain.
Now what is God to do with a creation gone bad?
The outlook isn’t pretty, in fact it’s quite sad.
That’s the gist of the bad news; our lack of strength and desire.
Our very best, is filthiness to a God Whose ways are “higher”.
But the story doesn’t end there: God reigns on The Throne.
And because of His great Love, He sent us His Own.
The Word made flesh, TheTruth and The Life.
Came down, became a man, and became our sacrifice.
His life was sinless, yet He died on our behalf.
To restore the breech between God and Man; satisfying The Father’s wrath.
Now Jesus up and rose again, He's ascended and seated in Glory.
The sin dilemma eternally solved, now comes our part of the story.
We may not see ourselves as evil, but as sure as today is today,
We must realize and cease from sin in “seeking our own way”.
Believing, confessing and embracing the Son, we start life anew.
Born from above, maturing in Love, seeking to share Him too.
We still fall short, our flesh is that sort to tug at the old life’s ways.
Our position is sure but we must endure and strive for better days.
Let The Spirit lead, as the method and means to the life that God intended.
May He grant favor and honor your labor as He is represented.
The Gospel is good news, so you don’t have to lose.
God has made a way to accept you.
You become hidden in Christ with a purpose in life
To glorify Him while becomming the best you.

Here's The Word:

John 3:16-19 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

In Him,

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Truth in Advertising

It’s estimated that American companies will spend 178 billion dollars this year on advertising. I don’t know how “true” that number is but I suspect that the people who work for ‘’ (where I found this info) did at least a mediocre job in trying to reveal somewhat accurate information.

178 billion dollars is a lot of money. A WHOLE lot of money. And if these companies have an effective marketing strategy, we'll see, hear and hopefully be influenced by the fruits of their labor and attach a disreable value to their product; cars whizzing by - all while suggesting that we not try to attempt, guilt-free this and fat-free that, trips, trinkets and double your order, full money back guarantee if you call right now! So what will you do? You may want a pretty new car but you decline if you can’t afford the pretty new payments and insurance. Besides, the 'old clunker' is clunking along just fine. You’d love to follow the paid actor’s pleas and order 2 weeks of ready-made meals to maximize your weight loss, but you figure, “I can prepare smarter meals on my own for less.” Hmmm…..Vacation…a week away (or just a week off from work) would be great! Although you may not be able to “Come to Jamaica Mon”, a few tiki lamps, your favorite take-out and an iPod on a lounge chair on the deck will do just fine.
Thing is, these companies are spending BIG BUCKS in the hopes that much of our day is inundated with their latest great idea from the guys in marketing all in an effort to convince you that “You need this today!”
There’s a song that I love and it makes me wonder about how we ‘market’ our faith, the chorus goes like this:

People need the Lord, people need the Lord. At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord. When will we realize, people need the Lord?

Now let me make this clear; we don’t “SELL” Jesus. We preach Christ but it’s only HE who moves on the human heart to draw men to Himself – As eveidenced by His command to GO and make disciples, we can’t deny that we have been given a part in how He reaches people.

Here’s The Word;

Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

1 Corintians 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

1 Thessalonians 2:4-6 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.

Fact if the matter is this; considering all the money spent on advertising this year (and all other years combined for that matter), Christ paid a price infinitely more valuable, His life. Notwithstanding, the “world” and its ideas of what’s attractive and valuable, we are to present Christ’s free gift of salvation. And as partakers of this Gift, there's a life that should be seen and heard that proves its authenticity. There’s no ‘knock-off’ that will do in place as substitution of complete surrender to Him.

The thought I want to leave you with is this: Does your life serve as genuine advertisement for the value of Jesus? Of course, we all have problems, but do you show evidence of His peace that passes understanding? An undeniable hope that this depraved world will one day give way to Glory? Again, some people may see your love for Christ and desire to hate Him all the more. But at the end of the day, people really do need The Lord and we just want it to be said of us that when people hear the Gospel we preach compared to the lives we live – that they would say it’s “Truth in Advertising”.

In Him,

Saturday, March 08, 2014

African American History - Building on a Legacy

I've really been touched by all the things I've seen & read during this "Black History Month" journey. I have a greater appreciation for those who lived and died in the struggle for freedom. Black and white - I didn't get to post the info on lynchings but many may not know 'According to the Tuskegee Institute figures, between the years 1882 and 1951, 4,730 people were lynched in the United States: 3,437 Negro and 1,293 white.' Most of these people were simply dealing with the evils of their day and didn't realize that they would become the soil from which future triumphs would emerge.

With the extraordinary amount of technology available to this generation, there are vast amounts of information on the life and times of people in American History - my favorite was the PBS site. There's also a substantial effort to allow African Americans to trace back their heritage using census records and other historical archives. Here's a few of the websites.

to quote Maya Angelou

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Contained in the collage:
Garrett Augustus Morgan Sr., Sojourner Truth, Jesse Owens, Archie Alphonse Alexander, Marie Van Brittan Brown, Marcus Garvey, Serena Williams, Muhammad Ali, Booker T. Washington, Marvin Gaye, Dr. Daniel Hale Williams, Dr Bejamin Carson, Frederick Douglas, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Bill Cosby, Lewis Howard Latimer, Shirley Jackson, Madame CJ Walker, Al Green, Hattie McDaniel, Jackie Robinson, Percy L. Julian, The Tuskegee Airmen, Alexa Irene Canady, Juanita Hall, Michael Jordan, Mae Jemison, Stevie Wonder, Harriet Tubman, U.S. Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels, Denzel Washington, Dr. Patricia Bath, Wilma Rudolph, Michael Jackson, Henry O. Flipper, Guion S. Bluford, Don Cornielius, Dr. Anderson Abbott, Maurice Ashley, Martin Luther King Jr, Josephine Baker, Don Cheadle, Joseph Winters, Brig. Gen. Nadja West, Pastor Tony Evans, Aretha Franklin, Elizabeth 'Bessie' Coleman and Maya Angelou.

African American History - Literature

Like Author and Poet Phillis Wheatley, many African-American slaves were drawn to the Bible. But literacy brought with it knowledge, inspiration and sometimes the means to escape from slavery. In the early part of the 19th century, Southern society fought the spread of literacy among slaves, often with severe punishment. Oral histories from aging slaves compiled by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930s show how the slaves sought out the life-skill of literacy.

"None of us was ‘lowed to see a book or try to learn. They say we git smarter than they was if we learn anything, but we slips around and gits hold of that webster’s blue-back speller and we hides it till’ way in the night and then we lights a little pine torch, and studies that spelling book. We learn it too."

-Jenny Proctor, a former slave

The real-life experience of slavery is also preserved in autobiographies, or slave narratives. "These books added momentum to the abolitionist movement, and the build-up to the Civil War," according to noted University of Minnesota historian John Wright. "Literature, and the writings of fugitive slaves and ex-slaves become an important part of the rising sectional battle over slavery and its place in American life. And that context brought a flood of African-American writing to the attention of the American public. And slave narratives, literally by the hundreds, were produced between the early 1830s and the Civil War in the 1860s."

African American History - Self Worth

"My father was a carpenter and old massa let him have lumber and he made he own furniture out of dressed lumber and make a box to put clothes in. And he used to make spinning wheels and parts of looms. He was a very valuable man."

-- Carey Davenport, former slave from Walker County, Texas

Slaves had many noteworthy skills and talents which made plantations economically self-sufficient. The services of slave blacksmiths, carpenters, coopers, shoemakers, tanners, spinners, weavers and other artisans were all used to keep plantations running smoothly, efficiently, and with little added expense to the owners.
These same abilities were also used to improve conditions in the quarters so that slaves developed not only a spirit of self-reliance but experienced a measure of autonomy. These skills, when added to other talents for cooking, quilting, weaving, medicine, music, song, dance, and storytelling, instilled in slaves the sense that, as a group, they were not only competent but gifted. Slaves used their talents to deflect some of the daily assaults of bondage.

They saw themselves then as strong, valuable people who were unjustly held against their will rather than as the perpetually dependent children or immoral scoundrels described by so many of their owners. Indeed, they found through their artistry some moments of happiness, particularly by telling tales which portrayed work in humorous terms or when singing satirical songs which lampooned their owners.

African American History - Higher Education

There are 106 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in the United States, including public and private, two-year and four-year institutions, medical schools and community colleges. Most are located in the former slave states and territories of the U.S. Notable exceptions include Central State University (Ohio), Wilberforce University (Ohio), Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, Lewis College of Business (Detroit, Michigan), Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), and the former Western University (Kansas).

Most HBCUs were established after the American Civil War. However, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, established in 1837, Lincoln University (Pennsylvania), established in 1854, and Wilberforce University, established in 1856, were established for blacks prior to the American Civil War. Established in 1865, Shaw University was the first HBCU in the South to be established after the American Civil War. In 1862, the Morrill Act provided for land grant colleges in each state.

Some educational institutions in the North or West were open to blacks since before the Civil War. However, 17 states, mostly in the South, generally excluded blacks from their land grant colleges. In response, the second Morrill Act of 1890 was passed to require states to establish a separate land grant college for blacks if blacks were being excluded from the then existing land grant college. Many of the HBCUs were founded in response to the Second Morrill Act. These land grant schools continue to receive annual federal funding for their research, extension and outreach activities.

African American History - Theatrical Arts

For early black actors, performing Shakespeare was a way of tapping into a proven popular market with recognizable characters and stories; it was a way, too, of gaining cultural power—of being taken seriously. Perhaps most significantly, Shakespeare provided a text and a tradition against which an African-American aesthetic style—a "difference"—could be forged.

As early as 1820, African-American William Brown created the African Grove Theater, housed first in a tea garden and then in an old hospital in Manhattan. Said to be America's first black theater company, the African Grove Theater—sometimes also known as the African Company—performed Richard III and Othello, as well as ballets, pantomimes, and plays written by its own company. This company became the launching pad for some of America's first black Shakespeare actors, including James Hewlett, Charles Taft, and Ira Aldridge.

James Hewlett, a West Indian immigrant to New York, recognized as the first black actor to perform professionally on a U.S. stage, was the African Grove Theater's first celebrity, and he starred in many of its central productions, drawing praise from the theater's black and white patrons. A portrait of Hewlett as Richard III in the African Grove production is the first graphic depiction of a black performer in a dramatic production in the United States.

Other examples of early African-American theater companies that performed Shakespeare include the Astor Place Company of Colored Tragedians, founded in New York in 1878 by Benjamin Ford and J.A. Arneux; Our Boys Dramatic Club of Baltimore, an amateur theatrical troupe, active by 1888; and Chicago's Colored Professional Stock Company, founded in 1896 by stage actor, director, and educator Charles Winter Wood.

African American History - Healthcare

While both white and black communities in the South faced illness, some of the diseases experienced within the slave community resulted from the racially oppressive system of slavery. Because southern society considered slaves to be cattle, slaves often lived and labored in unhealthy environments. While conditions varied from one plantation to another, in many cases overwork, lack of proper nutrition, and unsanitary living conditions directly contributed to their susceptibility to disease and the spread of disease.

The Georgia Infirmary was the first hospital for African Americans built in the United States. Chartered on December 24, 1832 “for the relief and protection of aged and afflicted Africans,” it was established by the Georgia General Assembly and funded by a $10,000 grant from the estate of Thomas F. Williams, a local merchant and minister.

Mistreatment and poor living and working conditions often left slaves in prematurely bad health, and many were cast out by their owners when they were no longer able to work. Williams’ grant, as well as proposals for the state of Georgia to take on the care of old and unwell slaves while recouping the cost from slave holders, contributed to the impetus for the creation of the hospital. The Infirmary was built 10 miles south of Savannah, Georgia, on a 50-acre parcel of land donated by Richard F. Williams, the brother and executor of Thomas F. Williams’ estate. Richard F. Williams was elected as the first president of the hospital’s board of trustees. Upon the infirmary’s opening, the state government provided $20 per patient a year.

African American History - Resistance and Escape

Throughout the history of American slavery, Africans and African Americans resisted or escaped whenever possible. The most common form of resistance was known as “day-to-day” resistance, or small acts of rebellion which included sabotage, such as breaking tools or setting fire to buildings. Slaves could also fake being ill to gain relief from their harsh working conditions. All forms of resistance carried the very real probability of severe punishment if found out.

Women may have resisted against their special burden under slavery—having to provide slaveholders with more slaves by bearing children. Birth control, abortion and infanticide were methods used by slave women to keep their children out of slavery.

As far as escape, although there were many other (mostly individual) efforts; the most famous was the "Underground Railroad" which got its name because its activities had to be carried out in secret, using darkness or disguise, and because railway terms were used by those involved with system to describe how it worked. Various routes were lines, stopping places were called stations, those who aided along the way were conductors (Harriet Tubman) and their charges were known as packages or freight. The network of routes extended through 14 Northern states and “the promised land” of Canada–beyond the reach of fugitive-slave hunters.

Historians are unsure of how many slaves permanently escaped throughout the existence of slavery in the American colonies, and later, the United States. An estimated 100,000 escaped to freedom over the course of the 19th century, according to James A. Banks in March Toward Freedom: A History of Black Americans (1970).

African American History - Henry Box Brown

On March 29, 1849, Louisa County native, Henry Brown, a Richmond slave squeezed his 5-foot-8-inch, 200-pound frame into a wooden crate 3 feet long, 2 feet wide and 2.6 feet deep. He and his co-conspirators sealed Brown into a wooden crate and placed it on a train bound for Philadelphia. After twenty-six hours, Brown arrived at the office of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, where he was unboxed, alive and free.

After his wife and children were sold to a different slave owner, Henry Brown claimed to have received a "heavenly vision" to "mail [himself] to a place where there are no slaves." With the help of James C. A. Smith and a sympathetic white storekeeper named Samuel Smith (no relation), Brown devised a plan to have himself shipped to a free state by Adams Express Co. Brown paid $86 (out of his savings of $166). Despite the instruction "handle with care" and "this side up," several times during the 27-hour journey, carriers placed the box upside-down or handled it roughly. Brown was able to remain still enough to avoid detection

When Brown was released, one of those present remembered his first words as "How do you do, gentlemen?" He then sang a psalm from the Bible he had previously selected for his moment of freedom.

African American History - Voting Rights

Blacks voted long before the 1965 Voting Rights Act, as was evident in the infamous 1856 Dred Scott decision in which a Democratic-controlled US Supreme Court observed that blacks “had no rights which a white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.”

State constitutions protecting voting rights for blacks included those of Delaware (1776), Maryland (1776), New Hampshire (1784), and New York (1777). (Constitution signer Rufus King declared that in New York, “a citizen of color was entitled to all the privileges of a citizen. . . . [and] entitled to vote.”) [9] Pennsylvania also extended such rights in her 1776 constitution, as did Massachusetts in her 1780 constitution. In fact, nearly a century later in 1874, US Rep. Robert Brown Elliott (a black Republican from SC) queried: “When did Massachusetts sully her proud record by placing on her statute-book any law which admitted to the ballot the white man and shut out the black man? She has never done it; she will not do it.”

As a result of these provisions, early American towns such as Baltimore had more blacks than whites voting in elections; and when the proposed US Constitution was placed before citizens in 1787 and 1788, it was ratified by both black and white voters in a number of States.

This is not to imply that all blacks were allowed to vote; free blacks could vote (except in South Carolina) but slaves were not permitted to vote in any State. Yet in many States this was not an issue, for many worked to end slavery during and after the American Revolution. Although Great Britain had prohibited the abolition of slavery in the Colonies before the Revolution, as independent States they were free to end slavery – as occurred in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New York. [16] Additionally, blacks in many early States not only had the right to vote but also the right to hold office.

American History - The American Colonization Society

"The Society for the Colonization of Free People of Color of America", established in 1817 by Robert Finley of New Jersey, was the primary vehicle to support the return of free African Americans to what was considered greater freedom in Africa.

Some blacks supported emigration because they thought that black Americans would never receive justice in the United States. Others believed African-Americans should remain in the United States to fight against slavery and for full legal rights as American citizens. Some whites saw colonization as a way of ridding the nation of blacks, while others believed black Americans would be happier in Africa, where they could live free of racial discrimination. Still others believed black American colonists could play a central role in Christianizing and civilizing Africa.

In 1819, after pressuring the Congress and President Monroe, the ACS received $100,000 from Congress and in January 1820 the first ship, the Elizabeth, sail from New York headed for West Africa with three white ACS agents and 88 emigrants.

The society established settlements at Freetown, Sierra Leone and Liberia . The capital of Liberia is Monrovia, named after James Monroe. The native Africans resisted the expansion of the settlers resulting in many armed conflicts. Nevertheless, in the next decade 2,638 African-Americans migrated to the area. Also, the colony entered an agreement with the U.S. Government to accept freed slaves captured from slave ships.

African American History - After the Revolutionary War

The decline of slavery in the period was most noticeable in the states north of Delaware, all of which passed laws outlawing slavery quite soon after the end of the Revolutionary war. However, these gradual emancipation laws were very slow to take effect — many of them only freed the children of current slaves, and even then, only when the children turned 25 years old. Although laws prohibited slavery in the North, the "PECULIAR INSTITUTION" persisted well into the 19th century.

Even in the South, there was a significant movement toward freeing some slaves. In states where tobacco production no longer demanded large numbers of slaves, the free black population grew rapidly. By 1810 one third of the African American population in Maryland was free, and in Delaware free blacks outnumbered enslaved African Americans by three to one. Even in the powerful slave state of Virginia, the free black population grew more rapidly than ever before in the 1780s and 1790s. This major new free black population created a range of public institutions for themselves that usually used the word "African" to announce their distinctive pride and insistence on equality.

The overall impact of the Revolution on slavery also had negative consequences. In rice-growing regions of South Carolina and Georgia, the Patriot victory confirmed the power of the master class. Doubts about slavery and legal modifications that occurred in the North and Upper South, never took serious hold among whites in the Lower South. Even in Virginia, the move toward freeing some slaves was made more difficult by new legal restrictions in 1792. In the North, where slavery was on its way out, racism still persisted, as in a Massachusetts law of 1786 that prohibited whites from legally marrying African Americans, Indians, or people of mixed race. The Revolution clearly had a mixed impact on slavery and contradictory meanings for African Americans.

African American History - The Revolutionary War

Slaves and free blacks fought for the Continentals and for the British during the Revolutionary War. At Monmouth, African Americans faced each other. That battle did not matter much, nor, at the end of the war, did it much matter for which side blacks bore arms, at least as it concerned their freedom.

Author Vernon Jordan states, “the role of the black (slave) in the Revolution can best be understood by realizing that his major loyalty was not to a place, nor to a people, but to a principle (liberty)."

There is no reliable record of how many blacks fought on either side, it is estimated that 3000 fought on the American side, and Thomas Jefferson placed the number of former slaves fighting for the British at 30,000. Eighty-eight years before Lincoln’s proclamation, an Act of Lord Dunmore, Royal Governor of Virginia in November 1775 emancipated all slaves “able and willing to bear arms, joining His Majesties Troops for more speedily reducing the colony to a proper sense of their duty to His Majesty’s Crown and dignity.”

African American History - Harry Hosier

Harry Hosier was born a slave in North Carolina in 1750, but toward the end of the American Revolution he obtained his freedom, by purchasing himself. He converted to Methodism, and became a preacher. Early in his ministry, Harry became a close associate of Bishop Francis Asbury (1745- 1816), the “Founding Father of the American Methodist Church.”

Harry was illiterate but had such a gift for memorization that he could quote entire hymns and passages of Scripture from memory. In 1781, he delivered a sermon entitled “The Barren Fig Tree” at Adam's Chapel, Fairfax County, Virginia, – the first recorded Methodist sermon by an African American.
Despite his illiteracy, he became famous as a traveling evangelist and was considered one of the most popular preachers of his era. In fact, after hearing Harry preach in and around Philadelphia, Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813), a signer of the Declaration of Independence and an evangelical Christian, declared that accounting for his illiteracy, Hosier was “the greatest orator in America.”

African American History - Slave Marriage

One area of their lives in which slaves were able to exercise some autonomy from their masters was creating a family. Slave owners felt it was to their advantage to allow slaves to marry, because any children from the marriage would add to their wealth. According to law, a child took on the legal status of its mother; a child born to a slave mother would in turn become a slave, even if the father was free. Slaves usually had to ask permission from their masters to marry, however, and slave marriages had no legal protection. Masters could break up marriages and separate families as they wished.

The slave trade in North Carolina separated countless husbands, wives, parents and children. On the whole, slaveholders cared little about the kindred bonds of slaves, and tore families apart by selling slaves for profit.

Because the large plantations of the Lower South needed more slaves than the smaller farms of North Carolina, it was not uncommon for slaves in the state to be sold to slave traders who took them south to Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Louisiana or Alabama. Once a family member was sold and taken to the Deep South, they became almost impossible to locate or contact.

African American History - Slave Society

"They That Are Born There Talk Good English": Hugh Jones Describes Virginia's Slave Society History Matters annotation: "Slavery and a society based on slave labor were well established in the Chesapeake region by the third decade of the 18th century. Hugh Jones described the beginnings of African-American culture as slavery spread in the Chesapeake. Virginia’s slave population grew from 3,000 in 1680 to 13,000 in 1700. It further expanded to 27,000 by 1720. Despite Jones’s rosy picture, he effectively depicted the enslaved population’s contact with whites, the growth of a smaller group that spoke English, and the emergence of strong kinship bonds facilitated by a naturally increasing population, a first in the New World. Hugh Jones arrived from England and served as a minister in Jamestown and professor of mathematics at William and Mary. He authored The Present State of Virginia (1724) where he described the distinctive form of society emerging in Virginia of large and small landowners, poor white laborers, and enslaved Africans."

African American History - Population Growth

In 1650 the population of the American colonies had been about 52,000; in 1700 it was perhaps 250,000, and by 1760 it was approaching 1,700,000. Virginia had increased from about 54,000 in 1700 to approximately 340,000 in 1760. Pennsylvania had begun with about 500 settlers in 1681 and had attracted at least 250,000 people by 1760. And America's cities were beginning to grow as well. By 1765 Boston had reached 15,000; New York City, 16,000–17,000; and Philadelphia, the largest city in the colonies, 20,000.

Part of that population growth was the result of the involuntary immigration of African slaves. During the 17th century, slaves remained a tiny minority of the population. By the mid-18th century, after Southern colonists discovered that the profits generated by their plantations could support the relatively large initial investments needed for slave labor, the volume of the slave trade increased markedly. In Virginia the slave population leaped from about 2,000 in 1670 to perhaps 23,000 in 1715 and reached 150,000 on the eve of the American Revolution. In South Carolina it was even more dramatic. In 1700 there were probably no more than 2,500 blacks in the population; by 1765 there were 80,000–90,000, with blacks outnumbering whites by about 2 to 1.

African American History - Spanish Florida & the Stono Rebellion

Florida wasn't part of the British colonies until 1763 and was seen as a safe haven for fugitive slaves. The British and their colonies made war repeatedly against the Spanish, especially in 1702, and captured St Augustine in 1740. The British colonists were angry that Spanish Florida was attracting a large number of Africans and African Americans in North America who sought freedom from British slavery. Spain offered the slaves freedom in Florida if they converted to Catholicism. They settled in a buffer community north of St. Augustine, called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, the first settlement made of free blacks in North America.

(The other side of the pictured marker reads) - The Stono Rebellion, the largest slave insurrection in British North America, began nearby on September 9, 1739. About 20 Africans raided a store near Wallace Creek, a branch of the Stono River, South Carolina. Taking guns and other weapons, they killed two shopkeepers. The Rebels marched south toward promised freedom in Spanish Florida, waving flags, beating drums, and shouting "Liberty!"

African American History - The Selling of Joseph, on 24 June 1700

'The Selling of Joseph', a story by Massachusetts judge, businessman, and printer, Samuel Sewall, revealed mounting abhorrence of the slave trade. Citing passages from the Bible, he states his case; in the subsequent section of the tract, judge Sewall raises, and answers, hypothetical objections to his verdict condemning the practice of slavery.

Sewall’s tract was, in part, inspired by a slave, Adam, who was the slave of John Saffin, a prominent Boston merchant and magistrate. Saffin hired out Adam for a term of seven years and promised him freedom upon his good behavior. Saffin denied Adam his freedom, leading to several years of legal proceedings and a public war of words between Saffin and Samuel Sewall. In 1701, Saffin published A Brief and Candid Answer to a late Printed Sheet Entitled the Selling of Joseph, in which he refuted Sewall's objections to slavery and defended his actions in Adam's case. In 1703, after a long legal struggle, Adam finally gained his freedom, but Sewall did not reply directly to Saffin's A Brief and Candid Answer until 1705 when he reprinted an English condemnation of the slave trade that had originally appeared in The Athenian Oracle.

African American History - The Music

Negro Spirituals - clear forerunners of Gospel music - were originally known as "Corn ditties" and they were sung after working hours in or outside the plantation Praise House. The Spirituals fell roughly into two types, those which worshipped God and looked forward to heaven and those which described their working conditions – usually in a religious context.

Many of the slaves tried to escape – they wanted to go to a free country which they described as "my home" or "Sweet Canaan, the Promised Land". And when they sang of crossing the River Jordan, it was actually the River Ohio they meant! They felt that all would be well if they could get to the free land north of the Ohio. The precise origins of many of the great spirituals which form the basis of gospel - here are just a few : "Study War No More", "Deep River", "Go Down, Moses", "Joshua Fit De Battle Of Jehrico", "Nobody Knows The Trouble I See", "Steal Away", "Balm In Gilead", "Farther Along", "Were You There ?" - are lost in obscurity. What is known is that the majority of what used to be called "corn ditties" arose during camp meetings and informal gatherings outside plantation praise houses in the early 18th century, the result of a mixing of European psalms and hymns particularly those of Isaac Watts and the Methodist tradition ) and traditional West African music and dance.

African American History: German Quakers first (documented) to speak out

In 1688 in Germantown, Pennsylvania (now part of Philadelphia), German born Francis Daniel Pastorius drafted the Germantown Quaker Petition Against Slavery. It was the first protest against African-American slavery made by a religious body in the English colonies. The men gathered at Thones Kunders’s house and wrote a petition based upon the Bible’s Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,”

Black History Reflection on Slavery

As I study the information, I would say that the most common thing that comes to mind on the topic of African American slavery is the stories and images of the brutality exacted against slaves. With study, there may surface an apparent progression of circumstances that disclose the origins and emergence of such brutality, but no reason justifies this as an excuse for such injustice.

The nation as a whole never fully embraced slavery and many were vehemently opposed to the brutality. Just as the “black codes” were taking effect in the south, there were those (non-blacks) who risked much by either simply speaking out against slavery or actively trying to eradicate its abhorrent practice. History books list the Abolitionist Movement as beginning in 1830, but its obvious that much earlier, slavery divided the nation and many revolted, spoke out, and aided the escape of slaves way before then.

Black History - Massachusetts Bay Colony

Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first British colony to legalize slavery. That law extended to the Plymouth Colony in 1691, when the two colonies merged.
During the mid-1600's, the colonies began to pass laws called slave codes. This changed idea of the "indentured servant" into what many recognize as the harsh reality of "slavery". In general, these codes prohibited slaves from owning weapons, receiving an education, meeting one another or moving about without the permission of their masters, and testifying against white people in court. Slaves received harsher punishments for some crimes than white people.

A master usually received less punishment for killing a slave than for killing a free person for the same reason. Slaves on small farms probably had more freedom than plantation slaves, and slaves in urban areas had fewer restrictions in many cases than slaves in rural areas.

African History; The Slave trade

According to the estimates of Hugh Thomas, a total of 11,128,000 African slaves were delivered live to the New World, most delivered to Portuguese controlled Salvador in the state of Bahia, Brazil, along with many other slaves from Angola. Only 4.5% (500,000) of the total African slaves delivered to the New World were delivered to British North America.

Also from Hugh Thomas, the major sources of the 13 million slaves departing from Africa (see slave ports map, above) were Congo/Angola (3 million), Gold Coast (1.5 million), Slave Coast (2 million), Benin to Calabar (2 million), and Mozambique/Madagascar on the east coast of Africa (1 million).

A bit of African History: The beginnings of slavery

Historians normally date the start of slavery in the North American colonies to 1619. That year, a Dutch ship carrying African slaves docked at Point Comfort. Most of the slaves were taken first to the Caribbean. Where many became ill because they lacked immunity to diseases such smallpox and other intestinal disorders. They died in large numbers. Most slaves were sold at public auctions or at private wharves. Those not healthy enough to be sold were left to die.

They were seen as an investment to generate profit, like cattle. As they became cheaper, which they did throughout most of the century, the treatment worsened. The price of sugar continued to increase. Between 1700 and 1730, for example, Barbados imported over 80,000 slaves. Only 4,000 were born on the island.

Conditions in North America were better than the West Indies and slaves had a different experience with better opportunities for developing societies of their own. The most challenging aspect of forming a slave society was negotiating a wide range of cultures; such as Angolan, Igboo, Jamaican, and Congo. Some slaves had been “seasoned” in the West Indies before coming to North America, while others came directly from Africa. There were many cultural differences to be negotiated.

African American History - First Recorded Slave Owner

The first recorded slave owner in U.S. History was a black man
Apparently, slavery didn't start out as bad as it eventually became.
There seems to be several historical narratives of a system of "indentured servants"; even Africans working alongside with low class white people for a period of years that ended with these servants being paid in property for their time in servanthood.
Which introduces the story of Antonio "Negro" from Angola ( which may or may not have became) Anthony Johnson who after completing his time as a servant, recieved 250 acres of land in Virginia. He was married, had children and in 1647, is listed as a 'free negro'. A 1654 Northampton court case surrounding the servitude and "ownership" of servant John Casor was decided in Johnson's favor which awarded Casor as his servant "for life" making him the first recorded slave owner. This case seems to have had a great and lasting effect and 'is considered one of the first legal cases to make a racial distinction between black and white indentured servant'.

African History - The Beginnings of the Slave Trade

African History - The Beginnings of the Slave Trade

When the slave ship docked, the slaves would be taken off the ship and placed in a pen.
Slaves were sold, by auction, to the person that bid the most money for them. It was here that family members would find themselves split up, as a bidder may not want to buy the whole family, only the strongest, healthiest member.There they would be washed and their skin covered with grease, or sometimes tar, to make them look more healthy. This was done so that they would fetch as much money as possible. They would also be branded with a hot iron to identify them as slaves.