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Black Facts for July 4th

1854 - Garrison, William Lloyd

Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805–79, American abolitionist, b. Newburyport, Mass. He supplemented his limited schooling with newspaper work and in 1829 went to Baltimore to aid Benjamin Lundy in publishing the Genius of Universal Emancipation. This led (1830) to his imprisonment for seven weeks for libel. On Jan. 1, 1831, he published the first number of the Liberator, a paper that he continued for 35 years (to Dec. 29, 1865), until after the Thirteenth Amendment had been adopted. In the Liberator, Garrison took an uncompromising stand for immediate and complete abolition of slavery. Though its circulation was never over 3,000, the paper became famous for its startling and quotable language. Garrison relied wholly upon moral persuasion, believing in the use of neither force nor the ballot to gain his end. His language antagonized many. In 1835 he was physically attacked in Boston by a mob composed of seemingly respectable people, and thereby won a valuable convert to his cause in Wendell Phillips . Garrison opposed the work of the American Colonization Society in his Thoughts on African Colonization (1832). He was active in organizing (1831) the New England Anti-Slavery Society and (1833) the American Anti-Slavery Society, of which he was president (1843–65). Garrison also crusaded for other reforms that he united with abolitionism, notably woman suffrage and prohibition. He went so far as to advocate Northern secession from the Union because the Constitution, which Garrison characterized as a covenant with death and an agreement with Hell, permitted slavery. He burned the Constitution publicly at an abolitionist meeting in Framingham, Mass., on July 4, 1854, and opposed the Civil War until Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation . Garrison"s preeminence in the antislavery cause has been characterized as a New England myth, some arguing that while Garrison attracted attention, the effective fight against slavery was carried on by lesser known, more realistic men (see abolitionists ).

2009 - Steve McNair

Steve McNair , in full Steve LaTreal McNair, byname Air McNair (born Feb. 14, 1973, Mount Olive, Miss., U.S.—died July 4, 2009, Nashville, Tenn.), American gridiron football player who threw 174 touchdown passes during his 13 National Football League (NFL) seasons (1995–2008), primarily while playing for the Tennessee Titans.

McNair grew up in Mississippi and chose to attend the rural Alcorn State University, a historically black Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision [FCS]) school where he could play quarterback, rather than serve as defensive back at a major university. He was the starting quarterback for Alcorn State for all but one game in his four-year college football career. Over that time, McNair threw 119 touchdown passes and set an FCS record by throwing and running for a combined 16,823 yards. In his senior year alone, he set a single-season FCS mark by totaling 5,799 yards and finished third in the balloting for the 1994 Heisman Trophy.

McNair was selected with the third pick in the 1995 NFL draft by the Houston Oilers—who became the Tennessee Titans in 1999. He led the Titans to the franchise’s first Super Bowl berth in 2000. There he guided his team to a comeback from a 16-point deficit, and the Titans came within a yard of the tying touchdown, only to ultimately lose to the St. Louis Rams. McNair played with the Titans franchise for 11 seasons before finishing his career with the Baltimore Ravens (2006–08)

Over the course of his NFL career, McNair passed for 31,304 yards, rushed for 3,590 yards, played in three Pro Bowls, and was named joint Most Valuable Player in 2003, along with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. McNair was known for his tenacity in playing through injuries and his dexterity as a scrambler or passer. His early death became fodder for tabloids: the married McNair was found dead in a condominium alongside a woman he had been dating whom police believed killed him and then herself.

1826 - Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster , in full Stephen Collins Foster (born July 4, 1826, Lawrenceville [now part of Pittsburgh], Pa., U.S.—died Jan. 13, 1864, New York, N.Y.), American composer whose popular minstrel songs and sentimental ballads achieved for him an honoured place in the music of the United States.

Foster grew up on the urban edge of the Western frontier. Although formally untutored in music, he had a natural musical bent and began to write songs as a young boy. He absorbed musical influences from the popular, sentimental songs sung by his sisters; from black church services he attended with the family’s servant Olivia Pise; from popular minstrel show songs; and from songs sung by black labourers at the Pittsburgh warehouse where he worked for a time.

In 1842 he published his song “Open Thy Lattice, Love.” In 1846 he went to Cincinnati as a bookkeeper, returning to Pittsburgh in 1850 to marry Jane McDowell, a physician’s daughter. In 1848 he sold his song “Oh! Susanna” for $100; together with his “Old Uncle Ned” it brought the publisher about $10,000. In 1849 Foster entered into a contract with Firth, Pond & Co., the New York publishers to whom he had previously given the rights for “Nelly Was a Lady.” He was commissioned to write songs for Edwin P. Christy’s minstrel show. The most famous, “Old Folks at Home” (1851), also called “Swanee River,” appeared originally under Christy’s name; Foster’s name appeared on the song after 1879. In 1852 he made his only visit to the South.

Although he stated that his ambition was to become “the best Ethiopian [i.e., Negro minstrel] song writer,” he vacillated between composing minstrel songs (for which he is largely remembered) and songs in the sentimental “respectable” style then popular. He was never a sharp entrepreneur for his talents, and in 1857, in financial difficulties, he sold all rights to his future songs to his publishers for about $1,900. The profits from his songs went largely to performers and publishers.

In 1860, already struggling with sinking morale and

28 Unknown Facts: Black History

1845 - Jan Hofmeyr

Jan Hofmeyr , in full Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr (born July 4, 1845, Cape Town, Cape Colony [now in South Africa]—died Oct. 16, 1909, London, Eng.), statesman and leader of the Afrikaner Bond, a political party supporting the agrarian interests of Dutch South Africans in the Cape Colony. Hofmeyr, the son of a viticulturist, was educated at the South African College, Cape Town, and rose to prominence as a journalist. In 1878 he formed the Boeren Beschermings Vereeniging (“Farmers’ Protection Association”), whose aims were basically agricultural, and entered the Cape Colony Parliament as member for Stellenbosch. For the next 16 years, he served in Parliament as the recognized leader and spokesman for the Cape’s Dutch population.

Much of Hofmeyr’s political strength derived from his paramount position in the Afrikaner Bond, which he adroitly united with his Farmers’ Protection Association in 1883. Though only briefly a member of a ministry (1884), he wielded considerable influence as a representative of the colony on various occasions. Gradually recognizing the value of closer ties with the British, Hofmeyr played a significant role in the imperial conferences of 1887 and 1894. By the time Cecil Rhodes became prime minister (1890–95), Hofmeyr was his close friend and supported his expansionist schemes. The Jameson Raid (Dec. 29, 1895) against the Boers in the Transvaal, however, ended their collaboration. After strongly condemning the raid, Hofmeyr turned his energies to the prevention of war between the British and the Boers. He persuaded Pres. Paul Kruger of the Transvaal to make concessions, but the Cape governor, Lord Milner, refused to yield.

During the South African War (1899–1902), a sick and dispirited Hofmeyr retired to Europe. He returned after the conflict to effect a reconciliation between the British and the Boers. As South Africa moved toward union, he supported a federal rather than a unitary system and championed the use of the Dutch language. Because of his great influence with the Dutch population,

Politics Facts

1776 - (1964) George C. Wallace, “The Civil Rights Movement: Fraud, Sham, and Hoax”

By 1964 George C. Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, had become the national symbol of opposition to the civil rights movement and to federal governmental intervention to protect the rights of African Americans.  In the address below he denounces President Lyndon B. Johnson for signing into law the 1964 Civil Rights Act and uses it as a rallying cry in his campaign to become President of the United States.

We come here today in deference to the memory of those stalwart patriots who on July 4, 1776, pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor to establish and defend the proposition that governments are created by the people, empowered by the people, derive their just powers from the consent of the people, and must forever remain subservient to the will of the people.

Today, 188 years later, we celebrate that occasion and find inspiration and determination and courage to preserve and protect the great principles of freedom enunciated in the Declaration of Independence.

It is therefore a cruel irony that the President of the United States has only yesterday signed into law the most monstrous piece of legislation ever enacted by the United States Congress.

It is a fraud, a sham, and a hoax.

This bill will live in infamy. To sign it into law at any time is tragic. To do so upon the eve of the celebration of our independence insults the intelligence of the American people.

It dishonors the memory of countless thousands of our dead who offered up their very lives in defense of principles which this bill destroys.

Never before in the history of this nation have so many human and property rights been destroyed by a single enactment of the Congress. It is an act of tyranny. It is the assassin"s knife stuck in the back of liberty.

With this assassin"s knife and a blackjack in the hand of the Federal force-cult, the left-wing liberals will try to force us back into bondage. Bondage to a tyranny more brutal than that imposed by the British monarchy which claimed power to rule over the lives of our

1963 - Barr, Epsy Campbell (1963- )

Epsy Campbell Barr is a black Costa Rican politician and trained economist.  In 2000 she became one of the founders of the Citizen’s Action Party (CAP), a group of leftist politicians who challenged the then ruling political party.  She later ran for President of Costa Rica in 2010 and 2014 under the CAP banner. Campbell Barr is currently a member of the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly.

Epsy Campbell Barr, the granddaughter of Jamaican emigrants to Costa Rica, was born on July 4, 1963 to Shirley Barr Aird and Luis Campbell in the capital city of San Jose.  She comes from a family of five daughters and two sons. As a young university student, Campbell Barr married and had her two daughters, Narda and Tanisha. She lived in the Caribbean for ten years but returned to Costa Rica, graduating as an economist from the Latin University of Costa Rica (1998). She also has an M.A. in Development Cooperation from the Foundation for Cultural and Social Science in Spain (2008).

Campbell Barr has a long and distinguished record of political service, publication, and social activism for the rights of women and people of African descent in Costa Rica.  She was the head of the Center for Women of African Descent, the Alliance of Leaders of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Black Parliament of the Americas. She was also the Coordinator of the Women’s Forum for Central American Integration of the Network of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Women, and she organized the Second Meeting of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Women which was held in San Jose, Costa Rica. She has published books and articles (in Spanish and English) on democracy, inclusion, political and economic participation of women, people of African descent, empowerment of black women, and other topics.

Campbell Barr, one of the founders of the Citizen’s Action Party (PAC) in Costa Rica, served as its president from 2005 through 2009. She became the party’s vice presidential candidate in 2006, and ran for the Costa Rican