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On the evening of 8 December 1811 thirty one year old Charles Deslondes led a group of slaves along the Louisiana coast in what would become the largest protracted slave uprising in American history Also known as the German Coast Uprising the rebel force burned plantations and freed other slaves as it marched toward New Orleans In January 1812 Deslondes s soldiers battled a militia led by General Wade Hampton 1752 1835 at Francois Bernard Bernoudi s plantation which is briefly summarized in the newspaper article below After two days of fighting which included cavalry and pikes the militia defeated the slaves and captured Deslondes A tribunal held soon thereafter sentenced Deslondes and over a dozen other leaders of the revolt to death The bodies were dismembered and Deslondes s head was placed on a pike as a warning against future uprisings In the context of the Haitian Revolution and ...

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The day-to-day trade of human beings involved the brutal practice of separating mothers from their children. Though there were some laws to protect the rights of slave women, the usual practice was to sell mothers with their infants together. However, as the advertisement below indicates, a child who had reached the age of six was already regarded as old enough to be bought separately. This post, it should be noted, is found in the Pennsylvania Gazette, a Philadelphia-based newspaper cofounded by Benjamin Franklin.


Jeffrey Green

Black‐rights group active in 1918–27, formed in London under the leadership of Liverpool‐born John Archer. From 1921 to 1924 the Trinidadian Dr John Alcindor led it, then the Ghanaian Kwamina Tandoh. Its activities were broader than the reports in West Africa (London) and the Sierra Leone Weekly News (Freetown) suggest. It requested the government to include a black delegate at the post‐war peace discussions in Versailles; it subsidized the lawyer Edward Nelson, who defended Blacks on trial after the Liverpool riots of 1919; and it participated in the American‐led Paris Pan‐African Congress (1919) and the London congresses of 1921 and 1923. The Union sought justice when a Kenyan settler murdered a farmhand, alerted by an African‐British Guianan barrister residing in that colony, and also provided practical help for students. Alcindor's committee included the merchant Robert Broadhurst, the American composer Edmund Jenkins ...


Hassoum Ceesay

lawyer, politician, and Deputy Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, was born Fatou Bom Nyang in Banjul, Gambia. Her father, Omar Gaye Nyang, was a government driver and Banjul’s most renowned wrestling promoter; a sports arena in the city was named after him. She attended the Gambia High School, and then studied law at the University of Ife, Nigeria, from 1982 to 1986, and the Nigeria Law School in 1986 and 1987. She was called to the bar in Nigeria and the Gambia in 1987. She obtained an MA in Maritime Law from the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) Institute.

Bensouda is an experienced prosecutor, having served as a public prosecutor, state counsel, and senior state counsel before her appointment as Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions of the Gambia. She was also Solicitor General and Legal Secretary of the Gambia from 1996 ...

Primary Source

Even in defeat, the states of the former Confederacy were not so willing to go gently into the new, post-slavery world. Between 1865 and 1908 so-called Black Codes began to appear in the law books of southern states—these were statutes designed to regulate the freedom, employment, and voting rights of recently freed slaves. Some codes forced blacks to seek the dispensation of a judge in the event they wanted to find work outside the realm of what whites considered proper and fitting (mostly the agricultural and domestic duties that whites commonly associated with black labor); others prevented blacks from entering certain towns without a permission slip from a white employer; still others prevented blacks from sitting on juries or from offering testimony in court against whites.

Besides infantilizing black men and women black codes also subjected them to legal punishment fines imprisonment and even flogging in the case of unemployment ...


James Graham

Formed in California in 1966, the Black Panther Party was a black revolutionary group whose original purpose was to patrol black ghettoes to protect residents from acts of police brutality. The Party was influential in shaping black radicalism in Britain.

Following the separatist black nationalist agenda pioneered by Malcolm X, the Panthers developed into an international Marxist revolutionary group. Among the demands contained within its ten‐point plan was the armed mobilization of Blacks; a radical redistribution of social and economic institutions within black communities; and reparations to Blacks for centuries of exploitation. Membership peaked around 2,000 in the late 1960s, when the Party's activities and influence were such that in 1968 it was declared by the FBI the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States Several shoot outs in the late 1960s and early 1970s led to severe repression from the police and the ...


Jesse J. Esparza

The Black Panther Party (BPP) was one of the most prominent and notorious organizations of black power to emerge during the 1960s. It successfully organized thousands of militant blacks committed to improving the social conditions of their communities. The Panthers’ founders, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale, were initially inspired by the work of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in conjunction with activists from rural Alabama who formed the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO). But Newton and Seale, attracted also to the revolutionary rhetoric and black nationalistic ideals of Malcolm X, adopted the black panther as a symbol and formed the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in October 1966 in Oakland, California, after they were unsuccessful in their efforts to influence the politics of existing campus organizations. Newton was a former street criminal who had gone on to study at Oakland's Merritt College, and Seale was a ...


The largest ever demonstration of black people in Britain. Organized by the Black People's Assembly and the New Cross Massacre Action Committee, the mass mobilization of black people on Monday 2 March 1981 was a strategic element in a campaign organized by black community groups to draw attention to what they regarded as the failure of the Metropolitan Police Force to investigate fully the circumstances of the New Cross fire, which had claimed the lives of thirteen young black people at a birthday party in January 1981. Many among the black community believed the fire to have been deliberately started by racists.

In the decade leading up to the New Cross fire black and Asian people had endured a spate of racially motivated attacks against their persons homes businesses and community centres These attacks were believed to have been the work of the neo fascist right wing anti ...


Jamason Pestana

policeman and community leader, was born in Corapeake, Gates County, North Carolina to Emilie P. Benton, a homemaker, and John Zebedee Booker, a farmer. He was the third child in a family of seven and attended the local segregated schools in Gates County.

Booker moved to Connecticut in 1926, where he settled in Waterbury in New Haven County. There, in about 1934, he married Addie (maiden name unknown), a woman from South Carolina, and the couple had three children: Ann, Sally, and Cicero Jr. In 1943 Booker was appointed to the City of Waterbury supernumerary police force, an informal black citizen group. By 1946 a committee was formed in the African American community to recruit one of their own to the Waterbury police force. In January 1946 Booker was appointed to the police force as a patrolman He was the first African American police officer ...


E. J. Alagoa

Nigerian student leader, teacher, policeman, and revolutionary, was born in the Niger Delta Region community of in Oloibiri, on 10 September 1938. He was the son of Jasper Pepple Boro, a schoolmaster at Kaiama in the Kolokuma-Opokuma district of Bayelsa State in present-day Nigeria. He took the name Adaka, meaning “lion,” when he began his revolutionary campaign to create an independent Niger Delta Republic and secede from Nigeria in 1966. The movement was crushed by the Nigerian armed forces in only twelve days.

Born in Oloibiri, the community near which oil was first discovered and exploited in the Niger Delta, Boro became more and more agitated by the neglect that his Ijaw people (also known as Izon or Ijo) suffered from the federal government of Nigeria after the country gained independence from Britain in 1960 The Izon were possibly the most vociferous group expressing fear of ...


Cecily Jones

Notorious riots that took place on a housing estate in Tottenham, north London, in 1985.

1.The catalyst

2.The riots

3.Police and community relations before the riots

4.Broadwater Farm estate: pre‐riot problems

5.Rebuilding the Broadwater community


George White

lawyer, politician, and writer. Born and raised in Woodrow Wilson's Washington, D.C., Edward William Brooke III proved to be a trailblazer who built a legal and political career that exceeded the socially imposed limits on blacks in America. At the height of his career, Brooke represented a social justice wing of the Republican Party that has disappeared. Even in his retirement he continues to be a pioneer as an advocate for cancer detection in men.

Brooke grew up in a middle-class household; his father was a lawyer for the Veterans Administration. Brooke attended the segregated public schools of Washington, graduating from Dunbar High School in 1936 and from Howard University in 1941 Shortly thereafter the U S Army drafted Brooke During his tenure in the military he served with the 366th Combat Infantry Regiment and defended enlisted men in military court cases Following the deployment of ...


Garna L. Christian

An acrimonious civilian-military conflict reached into the halls of Congress and the White House when residents of Brownsville, Texas, accused the all-black First Battalion, Twenty-fifth Infantry, of attacking the town from Fort Brown around midnight on 12 August 1906, claiming the life of one townsman and injuring two others.

The disputed episode took place against the background of deteriorating racial relations in the state and region, an enhanced self-confidence of black soldiers following their heroic achievements in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine insurrection, and the economic decline of Brownsville, a southern Texas town bordering the Rio Grande. Texas, like other southern states, was tightening segregation at the turn of the century. Brownsville, bypassed when rail joined San Antonio to Laredo, Texas, in the late nineteenth century, failed to recover its Civil War–inspired prosperity.

Companies B C and D previously stationed at Fort Niobrara Nebraska drew the wrath of ...


Gordon S. Barker

On 24 May 1854, after leaving the secondhand clothing shop owned by Coffin Pitts on Boston's Brattle Street, Anthony Burns was arrested by the notorious slave catcher Asa Butman and several associates on trumped-up charges of petty theft. They took Burns to the courthouse and held him in a third-floor jury room. Burns's former owner, Colonel Charles Suttle of Virginia, and his agent, William Brent, joined Burns in the room, thus beginning Boston's last and most famous fugitive slave case.

Burns's arrest and trial fueled northern resentment of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, which had been evident in earlier fugitive slave cases. Renowned for their participation in the Underground Railroad, Boston abolitionists spirited many fugitive slaves to freedom, including William and Ellen Craft and Frederick (Shadrach) Minkins. Several Bostonians had also voiced their support of the daring Jerry Rescue in Syracuse in 1851 Although the city ...


Russell Hopley

jurist, was born in al-Qayrawan in southern Tunisia to a family that originated among the Banu Birzal tribe of Zenata Berbers. His full name was Abu ʾl-Qasim b. Ah.mad b. Muh.ammad al-Balawi al-Qayrawani al-Burzuli.

Burzuli received his early education in al Qayrawan where he pursued a traditional course of study in the Islamic sciences and showed considerable promise in the field of Islamic law Central to his training in jurisprudence was the eminent theologian Ibn ʿArafa d 1401 who played a significant role in the elaboration of the Maliki school of Islamic law in North Africa in the fourteenth century Burzuli likewise received a firm grounding in the various fields of Islamic learning at the hand of several influential scholars from al Qayrawan among them Abu Muh ammad al Shabibi d 1380 an important jurist with whom Burzuli served a lengthy apprenticeship and from whom he learned the skill of ...


Graeme Reid

South African human rights lawyer, Rhodes Scholar, and a Justice of South Africa’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, was born in Pretoria, South Africa, on 15 February 1953, to Kenneth Hughson Cameron, an electrician, and Salome Schoeman Cameron. He completed his schooling at Pretoria Boys’ High School and obtained a BA Law and an Honors degree in Latin, both cum laude, at Stellenbosch University. He lectured in Latin and Classical Studies before studying at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship. At Oxford he obtained a BA in Jurisprudence and the Bachelor of Civil Law, earning first-class honors and the top law prizes. Cameron received his LLB from the University of South Africa, and won the medal for the best law graduate.

Cameron practiced at the Johannesburg Bar from 1983 to 1994. From 1986 he was a human rights lawyer based at the University of the Witwatersrand s Centre ...



Timothy J. McMillan

slave and accused witch, was one of the few blacks in colonial New England to be born in the English colony of Barbados. Candy came to Salem Village, Massachusetts, with her owner Margarett Hawke sometime in the years immediately preceding the notorious witchcraft panic of 1692. As with many of the key players in the Salem witch trials, Candy has left little in the historical record other than the accusations against her, court testimony, and the judgment against her. Still, even this small amount of information is compelling. There were strong economic and political ties between Salem and Barbados, resting on the shipping industry and trade in slave-manufactured goods, particularly sugar and cotton. In fact the Reverend Samuel Parris and his famous Amerindian slave Tituba also were from Barbados and it was in his household that the witch panic of 1692 began.

On 2 July 1692 Candy was ...


Boyd Childress

lawyer, jurist, and ardent civil rights activist who has worked for equal rights since high school. Carter was born in Careyville, Florida, but his family moved to Newark, New Jersey, soon after his birth. When Carter was one year old, his father died, leaving his mother (who worked as a domestic) to raise eight children. As a senior at East Orange High School, Carter successfully ended segregation of the school's swimming pool (a hollow victory as the school closed the pool rather than integrate). Although encounters with racism did not discourage the youthful Carter, he admitted that he was delusional to think that race was irrelevant. Graduating from historically black Lincoln University in 1937 and Howard Law School in 1940, Carter earned a master's degree in law from Columbia (1941). At Howard, Carter met Dean William Hastie who was a mentor to Carter later ...


Trevor Hall

who defended Native American rights and promoted African slavery, only to later condemn it, was born in Seville, Spain. His father, Pedro de Las Casas, had sailed to the Americas as a merchant on Christopher Columbus’s second voyage. He was educated in law at the University of Salamanca. Las Casas is renowned because he recommended that the Spanish king purchase enslaved Africans from Portuguese merchants and ship them from Portuguese colonies in West Africa directly to the Spanish Caribbean. In 1493 Las Casas was living in Seville, where he witnessed the arrival of Columbus following his maiden voyage to the Americas. Columbus brought a number of exotic, colorful tropical birds and a dozen half-naked Native Americans back with him. To fifteenth-century Spaniards, half-naked people were savages. The experience has a profound effect on the young Spaniard.

In 1502 Las Casas boarded an armada that sailed from Spain to Hispaniola ...



Steven J. Niven

the first woman executed by the state of Florida, was born a slave in Georgia, the eldest of six children of Jacob Bryan, a white planter, and Susan (maiden name unknown), who was Bryan's slave and also his common-law wife. Legal documents indicate that in January 1830 Bryan brought Susan and his children to a plantation in Duval County, Florida.

In November 1842Jacob Bryan executed a legal deed of manumission to emancipate Susan and several of his children though the historical record is unclear as to whether Celia was one of those freed Manumission of slaves had been possible in Florida under Spanish law though usually for male slaves who had fought for the Spanish Empire and for the common law slave wives and slave children of white planters As a result a sizeable free black population developed in eastern Florida making it possible for interracial couples ...