107 Jamz Celebrates Black History Month – Today In Black History February 18th [VIDEO]
It was on this in 1688, that the first formal protest against slavery took place. Organized by white Germantown, Pa. Quakers a petition was started the end slavery at monthly meeting. The historic “Germantown Protest” denounced slavery and the slave trade. The authors of the Germantown Petition Against Slavery called upon the golden ruleof “do unto others, as you’d have them do unto you” as the bases of their protest. Germantown was populated by carpenters, weavers, tailors and shoemakers and was comprised of Mennonite and Quaker families who knew all to well the pain of religious persecution. So, it was difficult for them to understand how some of their fellow English settlers could support the slave trade.
Five years after founding Germantown, Francis Daniel Pastorius and three others drafted and signed the following petition, which stated:
This is to ye monthly meeting held at Richard Worrell’s.
These are the reasons why we are against the traffik of men-body, as followeth. Is there any that would be done or handled at this manner? viz., to be sold or made a slave for all the time of his life? How fearful and faint-hearted are many on sea when they see a strange vessel — being afraid it should be a Turk, and they should be taken, and sold for slaves into Turkey. Now what is this better done, as Turks doe? Yea, rather is it worse for them which say they are Christians, for we hear that ye most part of such negers are brought hitherto against their will and consent and that many of them are stolen. Now tho they are black we cannot conceive there is more liberty to have them slaves, as it is to have other white ones. There is a saying that we shall doe to all men like as we will be done ourselves; making no difference of what generation, descent or colour they are. And those who steal or rob men, and those who buy or purchase them, are they not alike? Here is liberty of conscience wch is right and reasonable; here ought to be likewise liberty of ye body, except of evil-doers, wch is an other case. But to bring men hither, or to rob and sell them against their will, we stand against. In Europe there are many oppressed for conscience sake; and here there are those oppossd who are of a black colour. And we who know that men must not commit adultery — some do commit adultery, in others, separating wives from their husbands and giving them to others; and some sell the children of these poor creatures to other men. Ah! doe consider well this thing, you who doe it, if you would be done at this manner? and if it is done according to Christianity? You surpass Holland and Germany in this thing. This makes an ill report in all those countries of Europe, where they hear off, that ye Quakers doe here handel men as they handle there ye cattle. And for that reason some have no mind or inclination to come hither. And who shall maintain this your cause, or pleid for it? Truly we can not do so, except you shall inform us better hereof, viz., that Christians have liberty to practise these things. Pray, what thing in the world can be done worse towards us, than if men should rob or steal us away, and sell us for slaves to strange countries; separating housbands from their wives and children. Being now this is not done in the manner we would be done at therefore we contradict and are against this traffic of men-body. And we who profess that it is not lawful to steal, must, likewise, avoid to purchase such things as are stolen, but rather help to stop this robbing and stealing if possible. And such men ought to be delivered out of ye hands of ye robbers, and set free as well as in Europe. Then is Pennsylvania to have a good report, instead it hath now a bad one for this sake in other countries. Especially whereas ye Europeans are desirous to know in what manner ye Quakers doe rule in their province — and most of them doe look upon us with an envious eye. But if this is done well, what shall we say is done evil?
If once these slaves (wch they say are so wicked and stubborn men) should joint themselves — fight for their freedom, — and handel their masters and mastrisses as they did handel them before; will these masters and mastrisses take the sword at hand and warr against these poor slaves, licke, we are able to believe, some will not refuse to doe; or have these negers not as much right to fight for their freedom, as you have to keep them slaves?
Now consider well this thing, if it is good or bad? And in case you find it to be good to handel these blacks at that manner, we desire and require you hereby lovingly that you may inform us herein, which at this time never was done, viz., that Christians have such a liberty to do so. To the end we shall be satisfied in this point, and satisfie likewise our good friends and acquaintances in our natif country, to whose it is a terror, or fairful thing that men should be handeld so in Pennsylvania.
This is from our meeting at Germantown, held ye 18 of the 2 month, 1688, to be delivered to the Monthly Meeting at Richard Worrell’s.
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Unfortunately, the petition did little to stop the practice of slavery in Germantown at the time. However, members of the community continued to speak out and eventually Quaker abolitionists and Philadelphia society members penned an official proclamation banning slavery in 1776.
On this day in black history, renowned architect Paul Revere Williams was born in 1894.
African Americans have made major contributions to America’s greatest inventions. Speaking of which, H. Grenon patents the razor stropping device on this day in 1896.
Toni Morrison born was born on this day in Lorain, Ohio , February 18, 1931. Mrs. Morrison won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel Beloved. Here she is was out 44th and 45th President Barack Obama receiving the Presidential Medal Of Freedom.
Harlem Renaissance artist, the legendary Palmer Hayden died on this day at the age of 83 in 1973. Ironically Palmer Hayden wasn’t his real name, rather it was Peyton Cole Hedgeman. He was given the name Palmer Hayden by his commanding sergeant during World War I and I guess it kinda stuck with him. One of his most famous pieces was made in 1931–32, a still life called Fetiche et Fleurs.
Much of Hayden’s work after Paris focused on the African American experience. He tried to capture rural life as well as urban backgrounds in New York City. Many of these urban paintings were centered in Harlem.