Robert Smalls was the first black man elected to U.S. Congress during Reconstruction. He was born into slavery in 1839 in Beaufort, S.C., and started his remarkable, implausible journey to national prominence by daring to escape slavery during the Civil War with his family.
Smalls, like many other enslaved peoples, was made to work for the Confederate forces during the Civil War. Menial labor such as grave digging, cooking, digging trenches, etc. were the most common jobs, but some enslaved peoples were used in skilled labor positions, such as Smalls, who could navigate the waters in and around Charleston, so was used to guide transport ships for the Confederate Navy.
On May 13, 1862, Smalls convinced several other enslaved people to help him commandeer a Confederate transport ship, the CSS Planter, in Charleston harbor. Smalls sailed from Confederate-controlled waters to the U.S. blockade.
By doing so, not only did he gain freedom for himself, several enslaved peoples and members of his family, his example of cunning and bravery helped convince President Abraham Lincoln to accept black soldiers into the U.S. Army and Navy. Check out PBS video and read the entire article HERE.
Former Hartford Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry, the first African American woman to lead a Northeast city, dies
Former Hartford Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry, a social worker, civil rights leader and community organizer who rose to become the first African American woman elected to lead a major Northeastern city, died last year at the age of 87.
Her death went unreported and largely unnoticed for reasons that remain unclear. According to a death certificate on file at Waterbury City Hall, she suffered a heart attack and died at Waterbury Hospital on Nov. 22, 2018.
Over three terms as mayor of Hartford — when the job carried significant influence but before the city adopted a strong mayor form of government — Perry built on the civil rights bedrock of her predecessor, Mayor Thirman Milner. She advocated for national measures that would spur investment and ease the ache of deeply impoverished cities like Hartford, and ushered in a new era for LGBT issues. After serving as mayor, she later became president of the Greater Hartford Branch of the NAACP.
Perry made a first failed bid for the General Assembly in 1976, and then ran again in 1980 on a platform of tax and welfare reform, improving public education, and protecting of social programs for the poor. The longtime social worker bristled at the idea that disadvantaged young people should “pull themselves up by their bootstraps.”
“I’m not for giving anybody anything, but I am for equalization and for giving people some kind of compensation so that they can compete,” she reasoned. “Let’s face it, racism is still rampant.”
Group Creates Religion Based on Beyonce-National Church of Bey
The National Church of Bey, an organization that formed the new religion Beyism, is a real organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. Based on pop star Beyoncé , she is not believed to be a part of it. Although this sounds like a joke and very similar to the church of Yeezianity, the Church founder known as “Minister Diva,” Pauline John Andrews stated it is not. On the website created to promote this “church,” Andrews said they are “very disappointed in the failure of the public to recognize the existence of a divine deity walking among them.”
The organizers reportedly gather every Sunday to sing her songs like they are reading passages out of a Bible. They have their own version of the holy book called “the Beyble,” and as stated on the site, it is currently being manufactured. Read more HERE.
With interfaith exhibit, Boston’s Abrahamic faith groups revisit their shared roots
November 11, 2019 Aysha Kahn
BOSTON (RNS) — Just over a year ago, the day after the deadly mass shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, more than a thousand locals gathered together on the Boston Common to mourn and pray.
As the Rev. Amy McCreath, dean of the historic St. Paul Cathedral that overlooks America’s oldest park, watched people of various faiths unite once again to mourn another national tragedy, she was hit with an emotional realization.
That’s part of the reason the Episcopal cathedral agreed to host a new interfaith art exhibit that explores the faith and life of Abraham, the shared spiritual forefather of the world’s three largest monotheistic religions — and launched an accompanying interfaith book study to spotlight Abraham’s wives, Sarah and Hagar.