"The Book of Negroes" Miniseries First Official Trailer.
The series is a film adaption of Canadian author Lawrence Hill’s award-winning novel The Book of Negroes. The book, which won the top 2008 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, follows the story of Aminata Diallo, a young girl in Segou, Mali, kidnapped, enslaved and transported on a ship to the United States.
Like most enslaved Africans in the Americas, Diallo’s experience is marred by the cruelty of the racist white supremacist system of the time. But what stands out about this fictional tale is that Diallo becomes one of the few African-Americans to record her name in the “Book of Negroes" - an actual historic document that was used to record the names of enslaved African-Americans who managed to escape to British territory during the American Revolutionary War. After serving the British, these individuals were eventually evacuated and relocated to Sierra Leone and other British colonies.
These Black Loyalists, as they are now referred to, that settled in Sierra Leone have their descendents in the Creole or Krio population of the country. Once such loyalist was Henry Washington, a former slave of George Washington, who escaped slavery and eventually settled in Freetown, Sierra Leone. There, he led a rebellion against the colonial British government which led to him being banished to another part of the country.
The Book of Negroes, largely filmed in Cape Town, South Africa, is due to make its debut at Cannes in October before eventually being screened on BET in the United States. The miniseries stars Aunjanue Ellis, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Lou Gossett Jr.
CultureSOUL: Frederick Douglass - Independence Day, 1852
"I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn."
"The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro"
As descendants of African American slaves, and in this post-12 YEARS era, we must be compelled to remember our history accurately. This means it is important to acknowledge the historical fact that ‘independence’ in 1776 did not come for black folks. Our freedom came nearly 100 years later.
The historical giant Frederick Douglass, as the most famous ‘free negro’ in America and the voice of the anti-slavery movement, was asked to speak to a white audience on this day in 1852. His speech (full text linked below) remains one of the most damning indictments of slavery and the hypocrisy of the holiday (at that time) that’s ever been recorded.
While he expressed deep respect for the founding fathers and their ideals, he then asked his nation, but why not for all? Douglass went on to deliver a blistering indictment and spoke of his anger at being asked to revere a country that continued to keep his brothers in chains. This powerful speech became one of his most famous and it serves to remind us of the towering legacy of Frederick Douglass and his righteous fight for his people and his country.
Full text of speech
Excerpts read by Morgan Freeman (Video)
- Frederick Douglass c. 1860s
- Slave family in Cotton field near Savannah, GA c. 1860 (courtesy of Corbis images)
i promise to reblog this every time it shows up on my dash
On the morning of September 4, 1957, fifteen-year-old Dorothy Counts set out on a harrowing path toward Harding High, where-as the first African American to attend the all-white school – she was greeted by a jeering swarm of boys who spat, threw trash, and yelled epithets at her as she entered the building.
Charlotte Observer photographer Don Sturkey captured the ugly incident on film, and in the days that followed, the searing image appeared not just in the local paper but in newspapers around the world.
People everywhere were transfixed by the girl in the photograph who stood tall, her five-foot-ten-inch frame towering nobly above the mob that trailed her. There, in black and white, was evidence of the brutality of racism, a sinister force that had led children to torment another child while adults stood by. While the images display a lot of evils: prejudice, ignorance, racism, sexism, inequality, it also captures true strength, determination, courage and inspiration.
Here she is, age 70, still absolutely elegant and poised.
she deserves to be re-blogged.
she’s so goddamned inspirational
this makes me want to cry
Zelda Wynn Valdes was the first black female fashion designer to own her own boutique. Her famous, figure hugging silhouette was worn by stars such as Dorothy Dandridge, Josephine Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Joyce Bryant, Maria Cole, Edna Robinson and later superstars like Gladys Knight and opera diva Jessye Norman. She also designed dresses for legendary figures like Marlene Dietrich and Mae West.
Valdes came up with the costume for the Playboy Bunny which remains the same to this day.
The primary teaching of every religion? Don’t be an asshole.