Beliefs, Depictions and the Actual

For reasons never explained to me February has been proclaimed “Black History” month and it  is rubbed in my face every time I turn on the TV or access the internet.  It seems Black History and pop culture have merged and are no longer viewed as mutually exclusive. History syllabuses contain what court jester historians wish happened and not with what actually occurred. My contribution to Black Pop Cultural History is to point out what are beliefs and portrayals falsely construed as facts.

 

*There were no Black Roman Centurions.

  • Blacks were not indigenous to the European continent.
  • There were no Black Viking.
  • There were no Black Celts.
  • There were no Black Englishmen let alone English Kings. A few African Blacks appear in English society in the 18th These were servants or attendants to wealthy English colonials.
  • African slavery was not a White European conception.
  • African Blacks were not the primary source of servitude in the 17th and 18th centuries in the English North American colonies. Ninety percent of the Indentured servants were White Europeans, most coming from Ireland.
  • Virginia was not the first English colony to legally codify the importation of African Slaves.
  • The first slave owner of record in Virginia was not a White man.
  • There never was an established slave trail in Colonial Virginia, originating from Jamestown.
  • Most Black slaves based on promised emancipation did not enlist in the American Continental army during the 1775-81 Anglo American war. More than two thirds of the slaves enlisted to fight in the conflict joined the British serving in American Loyalist Colonial units.
  • The morality of slavery was not an issue at the 1787 Constitutional Convention and not the root of the Two Thirds Clause.
  • The importation of African slaves to the United States ceased in the early 1800’s. Thomas Jefferson signed the ban into law in 1807. The New England states threatened to secede because of the ban.
  • There is no proof a Black man was among the 250 Alamo defenders killed on March 6, 1836.
  • The 1839 Amistad incident was a minor event and set no precedents. It had nil influence on events to come. The 1997 movie is an excellent example of hokey pop fiction metastasized into false beliefs.
  • The Underground Railroad was largely a post war myth. No more than 2,000 Black slaves found their way to freedom through the network. All coming from the Border States and none from the Deep South Cotton states. The Northern States had stringent “Black Laws” denying basic citizenship rights to non-whites and most of the runaways moved on to Canada.
  • The majority of plantation overseers in the Antebellum South were Black.
  • According to the 1860 census there were approximately a half million free Blacks living in the United States. More than fifty percent resided in the South.
  • The majority of Antebellum Southerners did not own slaves and did not fight the bloodiest war in American history so the other Six percent could retain slaves.
  • The 1863 Emancipation Proclamation did not free any slaves. It was a war time measure in Lincoln’s own words intended to incite Southern slave insurrections. No slave rebellions came to fruition and slaves in U.S. Controlled areas remained so until the 13th amendment passed.  It was not the first such proclamation issued by Lincoln (topic of its own).
  • There were no Blacks serving or aiding the Centralist U.S. army at 1863 Gettysburg. There were no less than 10,000 Blacks, slaves and freemen, accompanying the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the campaign. They served in auxiliary duties as medical orderlies, nurses, cooks, foragers, teamsters and even guarded Centralist U.S. POW’s.
  • Lincoln never met with U.S. colored troops as depicted in Spielberg’s movie.
  • U.S. Colored troops never defeated Confederate regulars.
  • U,S. Colored Calvary “Buffalo Soldiers” participated in the military campaigns eliminating and subjugating the American plains Indians.
  • The Juneteenth recognition is largely a modern creation. Not until the ratification of the  13th Amendment were all slaves emancipated.
  • Kwanza is not an ancient religious movement nor African.
  • The Tuskegee Fighter Squad “The Red Tails” was not the most decorated World War II United States fighter squadron, nor had the most combat air kills, nor flew the most missions.
  • The Allied World War II combat forces were racially segregated with no exceptions. Blacks would not have served with Whites in Allied Commando units as depicted in fictional movies such as the Dirty Dozen and U235.
  • A myth of the Vietnam conflict was a disproportionate number of Blacks were killed in combat. 86.3% of the men killed in the Vietnam War were Caucasians, 12.5% were Black and 1.2% of other races. Black fatalities were proportional to the U.S. Black population and slightly less than their overall military proportion at the end of the war.
  •  Martin Luther King Jr was not his legal name. He did not always preach peaceful change.
  • The Ku Klux Klan at its zenith was not as violent as the 1960-70’s Black Panthers and Weathermen Underground. In the 20th century the state with largest known Klan membership was not in the South. It was Indiana with over 2,000,000 members.

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