Black History Year

Is This The Blueprint for Black Liberation?

Episode Summary

American history is a mess. We’re taught our ancestors were docile, child-like beings who were too incompetent to find a way out of slavery - but we’re expected to study and admire the slaveholding leaders of the American Revolution! We are taught that non-violent protest and forgiveness are the only ways we can achieve our goal of liberation, which can only be granted by benevolent white people. But that’s not the whole story: our true history is LOADED with examples of Black resistance. Dr. Brandon Byrd shows how history reveals the truth about how our ancestors and contemporaries have risen up against oppression, and he takes us inside the most successful Black rebellion - an event that shook the world and challenges the status quo even today.

Episode Notes

American history is a mess. We’re taught our ancestors were docile, child-like beings who were too incompetent to find a way out of slavery - but we’re expected to study and admire the slaveholding leaders of the American Revolution! We are taught that non-violent protest and forgiveness are the only ways we can achieve our goal of liberation, which can only be granted by benevolent white people. But that’s not the whole story: our true history is LOADED with examples of Black resistance. Dr. Brandon Byrd shows how history reveals the truth about how our ancestors and contemporaries have risen up against oppression, and he takes us inside the most successful Black rebellion - an event that shook the world and challenges the status quo even today.

 

Black History Year is produced by PushBlack, the nation’s largest non-profit Black media company. Obviously, the power that comes from knowing our history is important to you. PushBlack exists because we saw we had to take this into our own hands. You make PushBlack happen with your contributions at BlackHistoryYear.com. Most people do 5 of 10 bucks a month, but everything makes a difference. Thanks for supporting the work. Production support from Mikel Ellcessor and Jessica Rugh Frantz from Limina House and Sasha Kai Parker as editor/sound designer, with the PushBlack team: Tareq Alani, Brooke Brown, Eskedar Getahun, Abeni Jones, Patrick Sanders, and Cydney Smith.

 

Useful links:

Brandon Byrd

The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti

Toussaint Louverture

Jean-Jacques Dessalines

Episode Transcription

TEASER: We learn in school that George Washington led a ragtag army against the greatest army in the world, the British Army. So he led this ragtag army. He overcame the oppression of the vicious throne. He became President of the United States. Then he went home to Mount Vernon and lived out the rest of his life as a peaceful country farmer gentlemen. That was the Mount Vernon that they teach in school, especially to white children, that you might resist tyranny and you might still survive. But for us, we had no Mount Vernon, they wanted to show us if you resist white tyranny, white oppression, you will die.

HOST: That’s civil rights leader Robert F. Williams speaking the truth. History is written by the victors, the survivors, the oppressors, the people who own the printing presses and decide what's taught in school. Black Americans are taught that our ancestors were docile, childlike beings who were too incompetent to find a way out of slavery. We're taught that nonviolent protest and forgiveness are the only ways we can achieve our goal of liberation, a liberation that can only be granted by benevolent white people. On one hand, we're supposed to celebrate the white so-called heroes of the American Revolution, who use force and violence to stand up against British oppression and fight for their independence. But on the other hand, we're supposed to feel no love for freedom fighters such as Malcolm X and the Black Panthers. And what about Fred Hampton, the chairman of the Black Panther Party and legendary Chicago organizer, founder of one of the first multicultural political organizations, the Rainbow Coalition. A man of tremendous vision and deep love for his community. A man who was so effective FBI in the Chicago PD assassinated him in his bed as his children slept in December 1969. Fred Hampton has been dropped down the memory hole of American culture.

Today on PushBlack’s Black History Year we reveal the truth about how Black folks have risen up against oppression and why that matters to our lives today. There are hundreds of documented revolts by enslaved people in America. However, only a handful of them can be classified as successful. We're going to take a quick look at some of those and then we'll dive deep into the most successful rebellion of all the one that gave hope to every Black person in the world at the time. The one that they didn't want to us to know about back then, and they damn sure don't want to snow about now. I'm Jay from PushBlack. Around here. It's always Black History Year.

Jay: 1526. Only 34 years after Columbus lands in the Americas. A group of white explorers formed a colony in the area where Georgetown South Carolina now sits. They arrived with about 100 enslaved Africans who came straight from Africa and recalled vividly what it meant to be free. Things started going left for the colony almost immediately. Starvation, disease, isolation, perfect conditions to create the gap that Africans could exploit. They set the settlement ablaze and teamed up with neighboring Native Americans who were already fed up with the terrorism of white invaders. This collaboration led to the burning down of much of the town. The Blacks left the ruins of the settlement behind to live the rest of their lives as free people with their first nation collaborators.

Middle 1500s. Mexico. A prince from Gabon is enslaved and with thousands of other Africans pressed into labor in the brutal Mexican sugarcane fields. His response to his enslavement was swift and determined. Here's author and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates Jr. telling the story on his documentary series “Black in Latin America.”

Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (TAPE): In 1570, fifty years before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock, Gasper Yanga and several other men and women not only ran away from slavery, but spent 30 years hiding out in the mountains around Veracruz, attacking the Spanish and guerrilla raids and defending their community. The Spanish never could subdue them. Finally, in 1609, the Spanish admitted defeat and offered Yanga his own independent town in exchange for peace. Yanga’s settlement became what some scholars believe to be the very first town founded by free Black people in all of the Americas. 

Jay: Gasper Yanga starts a resistance, keeps a European colonial power at bay, and then negotiates an independent region. I don't know about you, but I didn't learn about Gaspar Yanga in school. All of these revolts struck fear in the whites who wanted to maintain the status quo. But none can compare to the mother of all Black revolts. The revolt that changed the game forever. The one that led to ramifications that are still felt to this day. The one that made the most feared military leader of the time, Napoleon, tremble in his boots: the Haitian Revolution. 

During the 1700s, France prospered off the labor of enslaved Black people. Haiti, known then as St. Domingue, was the wealthiest European colony in the world because it's resource rich land produced sugar, coffee and indigo. Some estimate that 20% of France's wealth came from this colony. There were nearly half a million slaves on St. Domingue, massively outnumbering the white slaveholders. To keep the Blacks at bay, the whites created a buffer class of mixed race people who are the offspring of sexual exploitation of Black women by white men. And this constant arrival of new Africans to St. Domingue preserved the connections to West African languages and traditions. Enslaved Africans in St. Domingue were constantly reminded about who they were, where they came from, and what freedom meant. This was also the period of the European enlightenment, so there's a bunch of ideas of liberty in the air. France had adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man which ensured that men are born and remained free and equal in rights. This idea of enlightenment paired with a group of Black folks who are fed up with oppression and knew exactly what freedom meant set the stage for what would be the largest slave revolt in the hemisphere. The Haitian Blacks had a long history of small rebellions against white slaveholders and they were about to take it to a whole ‘nother level. 

To fill this in, we're going to turn to a guy I've known for years, Dr. Brandon Byrd. Dr. Byrd is a historian and the author of “The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti.” We'll link to it in the show notes. This book offers a fascinating view into the very complicated place that Haiti held in the minds of Black folks from independence to W.E.B. Du Bois and through today. Dr. Byrd, great to have you with us. So could you describe the conditions that set the stage for the Haitian Revolution?

Dr. Brandon Byrd: Yes, absolutely. So generally speaking, the conditions that set the stage for the Haitian Revolution are similar to the conditions that confronts Black and enslaved people throughout the rest of the Americas. They are similar, but they're also, in many ways, amplified in St. Domingue which is the French colony that post-independence becomes Haiti. So St. Domingue on the eve of the Haitian Revolution is  a majority enslaved population, that there's approximately 500,000 or so enslaved people, approximately 50,000 or so Europeans and European Americans and about 50,000 or so gens de couleur, free people of color. So I mean, you see the stark disparities right there. This is a slave society through and through, it’s one in which the majority of the world's sugar will come from, the world's coffee comes from Haiti, it's the most profitable stretch of land on Earth, really, right? And it's all built on the brutalization of those enslaved people. Planters in St. Domingue had essentially done the calculus, they had essentially done the math, and they concluded that it was more profitable to basically work enslaved people to death than it was to keep them alive. And so that enslaved population is a majority African population. Because enslaved people are- it's basically this cycle of death. They are brought in to work, to die, and more enslaved Africans are brought in. So these are the conditions, right? It is a is a brutal slave society is one in which we see the excesses of how slavery and capitalism work together that all of these profits of sugar and coffee are built quite literally on the backs of enslaved people. And again, those enslaved peoples, a majority African population,

Jay: With this constant influx of folks from Africa, that creates a different dynamic than the system of slavery that existed in America, didn't it?

BB: So yeah, as you point out, right, there are differences among slave societies in a large section of colonial mainland British North America, and then what becomes the United States and slave populations all reproducing themselves, right? A lot of that has to do with very violent processes of you know, as we put it, you know, very crassly in the terms that enslavers talked about it: breeding. Right. These are things that scholars like Daina Ramey Berry have shown that that reproduction is intentional. And again, it's a very violent process. Part of the structure in mainland British North America, what becomes the United States, of a reproducing population is in part due to tobacco is less taxing of a crop to produce than sugar, that the disease environments are more conducive to sustaining human life than they are in the Caribbean plantation societies. So those sorts of things, right. But to your question about what effect that sort of cycle of death and importation has on St. Domingue in the slave society there, we're talking about a slave revolution, the Haitian Revolution, a slave revolution, we have to talk about it as a decidedly African revolution, right, like we can locate at times is very difficult to locate enslaved people in a specific locale. But generally speaking, we know that many of them are Congolese. So in thinking about how the Haitian Revolution is conducted from a military standpoint, we have to look at the conduct of war in the Congo during the era of the transatlantic slave trade. That is how many of these enslave rebels are informed about how to go about conducting warfare. We talked about the spiritual and cultural beliefs, right, that influence just even that, that drive towards insurrection, we have to talk about those as African and specifically Congolese influences, right. The Haitian Revolution begins in August 1791. With a Vodun ceremony, begins with an invocation of African deities with this idea, this claim that enslaved people had to forget the god of Europeans and had to strike a blow against slavery based upon our their affiliation with these African deities. So it is really all about, the Haitian Revolution demands that we reorient our understanding of the political, right? The history of the modern West, at least politically, is a history of a European and euro-American politics and political ideas. The Haitian Revolution requires us to pivot towards the question of, well, how did African spiritualities, African epistemologies, ways of knowing, how did those influence the politics of the West? It requires a whole reframing.

Jay: What should we look to then as the catalyst for the start of the Haitian Revolution?

BB: Yeah, it's a great question. So in many ways, like the standard explanation of the catalysts for much of the 20th century was really that the Haitian Revolution is a part of the French Revolution, an extension of the French Revolution. That the catalyst was really 1789 you have the beginning of a French Revolution, founded on these ideas of liberty, fraternity and equality, first free people of color, demand rights based upon the happenings in the French Revolution based upon the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen, that they claim equal rights for themselves, they say that they deserve it just as much as Europeans, and euro-Americans. It's out of that context between people of color and white Frenchmen, that then enslaved people use that opportunity to assert their own claims to freedom. So that's the sort of typical explanation for the catalyst. But more recently, scholars have really unearthed a more bottom up and more grassroots history on the Haitian Revolution, especially the catalyst for it, right? So it's much more attune to what you point at now, what are the histories of slave insurrection proceeding the Haitian Revolution? What are these histories of Maroon communities and what did they tell us about the Haitian Revolution? Because there is this longer trajectory of Maroonage, right? There is this longer trajectory, certainly of enslaved people, again, emphasizing the point many of them African, of resisting slavery in ways that do not appropriate European ideas of liberty and equality, but instead assert their own African understandings of what freedom looks like. You know, it's certainly based upon this understanding of rights and a right to have rights and as a fundamental part of that a right to not be enslaved. And it's also based though, on what that freedom will look like so that history of Maroonage clues into for many of these enslaved folks, and particularly these African enslaved folks, for them has to look like some communitarianism, for example, right, like freedom is not tied into, you know, this individualism as it is with those European understandings, that it's based upon belonging to a community. Right? And that takes very tangible forms and the maintenance of small collective plots of land, it takes the form in ideas of popular democracy, right. So, you know, to your question about the catalysts, right? Again, it's back to this point about African ways of knowing, African understandings of what freedom looks like and how those ideas are rooted in the idea of the collective.

Jay: So if communitarianism and African-rooted ideals of freedom are showing up as revolutionary sparks this gives us a decidedly non-Eurocentric set of catalysts. It’s less an expression of acquired European ideals and more continuation of African culture. But back to the story, what should we know to have a good grounding in what actually happened in the Haitian Revolution?

BB: So, in the summer of 1791 you have the real beginnings or emergence of a new stage in slave insurrection, maybe a better way to put it, in St. Domingue. You have the beginnings of what becomes known as the Haitian Revolution. This begins in the north of Haiti around present day Cap-Haitien and it very quickly becomes a colony-wide phenomenon. Enslaved people burning plantations, striking a literal direct blow to this plantation economy that as the heart of the plantation economy of the Americas, in the world, right. This revolution very quickly is seen, this uprising is seen as certainly a destabilizing force for the French, it's seen as an opportunity for other imperial powers. So it was from the outset, from the summer 1791. The British see this as an opportunity, they invade St. Domingue, right? The Spanish see this as an opportunity, they ally with enslaved folks, most famously Toussaint Louverture begins first as an ally of the Spanish. That allegiance ends basically 1793, 1794 when the French can see to emancipation, when they can see to the demands of the enslaved people who, you know, we're striking a blow against slavery. At that point, Toussaint Louverture allies with the French. He becomes the Governor General of the colony of St. Domingue, and effectively governs it as an independent a sovereign entity. That's a problem, you see, for some of the, some of these imperial powers, it doesn't sit well. Certainly with the French, it doesn't sit well with European and American sovereign powers for who a formerly enslaved man, independently enslaved people, who had destabilize the plantation economy and destabilized the racial hierarchies upon which these plantation economies had been built, that was not something that was going to necessarily sit well, you know. And so that's what really leads in 1802 when Napoleon has consolidated his power in France, he makes a, essentially moves Toussaint Louverture from power by some subterfuge, by basically acting as if this was an instance where these two leaders were going to parlay, he ends up extraditing Toussaint Louverture from the colony of St. Domingue to France where Toussaint Louverture will die at Fort-de-Joux. At that point the Haitian Revolution really becomes a war for independence and enters a new stage where Toussaint Louverture former generals, including Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and they then move from their allegiance with France and there's some complexities there, right. So they had, they had sided with France basically when they had an opportunity to shift the power dynamics, right. So for the time being before that opportunity arose, they had sided France. After the extradition and death of Toussaint Louverture these former generals, including Jean-Jacques Dessalines, lead what then again becomes a war for independence. That independence is achieved on January 1 1804. Jean-Jacques Dessalines declares the end of slavery, the end of French colonialism, declares the literal death of St. Domingue, says this is now Haiti, a return to the name of pre-colonial St. Domingue, the name that indigenous people knew it by. So that's generally speaking, how the Haitian Revolution unfold. The end of it is just monumental. It's hard to overstate what that meant to have a Black state declared, a Black state in the middle, you just looked, you know, visualize a map of the Americas at that time, right? It is colonies that are part of slaveholding empires, inside the independent United States used the Constitution and allowed not just for a maintenance of slavery, but actually an expansion of slavery, right? And then you have a Black state whose existence is founded upon anti-slavery, on anti-racism, on anti-colonialism, right? Again, it's hard to overstate the importance of that.

Jay: And this had to send shockwaves into America and around the world.

BB: Yeah. Even as the revolution is ongoing, rumors, gossip, information about it are spreading like wildfire throughout the Black Americas. Black sailors who are moving about port cities, including Port-au-Prince, Charleston, Baltimore, you know, other ports throughout the Caribbean, etcetera, that they're spreading information about it. As you can imagine, it's inspirational. This idea that enslaved people that is striking a blow for freedom, it catches on like that. And so when when Haiti declares its independence in 1804, it's not necessarily that we can't identify that as the moment when you know, Haiti takes on international meaning, it's more so that it cements this meaning, right, because again, in many ways, the significance of the insurrection is identified even before the Declaration of Independence. So when the revolution succeeds and leads the independence, right, that just amplifies its meaning. Just to take the African American example, that Declaration of Independence, it makes Haiti synonymous with a range of things, it makes Haiti synonymous with abolition and emancipation, and makes Haiti synonymous with racial equality. We have an independent Black state. It is the second independent state in the Americas. Its declaration is the second formally written declaration in the Americas, right? That it is on par with the United States, a republic that is almost from its initial founding, self-identifying as white. Right. So Haiti stands not only for abolition and emancipation, but also racial equality. For many African Americans it is not only an abstract idea of freedom, but it's quite literally a site of freedom. From basically the first six decades or so of the 19th century, thousands of African Americans, at least 12,000, almost certainly more, African Americans go to Haiti. They pick up, they leave, I say that socioeconomically, politically, Black life in the United States is unsustainable. In Haiti, we'll have access to land, to political rights, to civil rights, to more freedom of expression to dignity. And so they go there. This is a meaning ascribed to Haiti, and to a previous point is difficult to overestimate. It is a literal site of freedom for thousands of African Americans, right? It is a place that African Americans identified both symbolically and in reality, as a place where Black people can achieve things impossible. throughout the rest of the world.

Jay: Amazing. Now that was the Black reaction, what was the white reaction?

BB: Generally speaking, much different. So we will, we can give a quick shout out to some white abolitionists and these were folks like, well, certainly not only militant abolitionists, like John Brown, but even John Brown’s son, john Brown Jr, who not only saw Toussaint Louverture as this respectable model of abolitionism, right, but some of them, and this is a small population of white abolitionists, who say, the Haitian Revolution is a sign that violence works, is not only a symbol of racial equality, but it is also a sign for what we in the United States should be willing to do to achieve emancipation for our Black rendering in the United States. So again, that's a small population of abolitionists, of white abolitionists who either celebrated Toussaint Louverture or who went so far as to say that the Haitian Revolution should be emulated. So a small segment. For the most part of the white American population the Haitian Revolution really stands in for a number of evils, right. This idea of “the horrors of St. Domingue” basically becomes a catch-all word for the fear of slave insurrection in the United States. And that fear of slave insurrection in the United States is tied into the horrors of St. Domingue, is tied into the Haitian Revolution. How that manifests itself in the material world is through first the non-recognition of Haiti, basically from 1804 to 1862 the United States government refuses to grant diplomatic recognition to Haiti in large part due to the influence of Southern slaveholders and those governments who say we can't recognize it, because if we recognize Haiti that validates slave insurrection, it will also lead literally to Black diplomats in Washington, DC. And we don't want that. Materially, it also leads to a really significant argument for secession on the eve of the U.S. Civil War. Confederates are trying to drum up support for the Confederacy, they’ve travelled, quite literally traveled themselves or they moved pro-secession documents throughout the south, that are essentially making the argument that if we do not separate from the United States, then we're going to have another Haiti here in the U.S. that if we remain here, that eventually what this is going to lead to is another horror of St. Domingue in our defense. So it's a really significant rhetorical move that does have the effect along with other arguments, it does have the effect of drumming up support for southern succession. So generally speaking, there's certainly a difference between the ways in which Black Americans view the Haitian Revolution as inspiration and the way that many white Americans view it as a a real problem.

Jay: That divergence of view, white and Black America saying the same thing very differently, is kind of the story of our lives. And it seems like the Haitian Revolution is particularly weighed down because its significance crosses so many lines. 

BB: So I think when we approach history writ large, right, there's the fundamental question about whose perspective do we approach history from? Do we approach history from the perspective of the colonizer, the colonized, the enslaver or the enslaved, right? And I think oftentimes, we are given the idea of well, you know, ideally you approach it, quote unquote, “objectively” from the viewpoint of a variety of perspectives, right? The Haitian Revolution, I think probably the most important meaning, if I had to identify one takeaway is the value, the need, the push to assess history, from the perspective of the enslave that colonize the downtrodden, the oppressed. If we do that, from the perspective of Haitian revolutionaries, in particular, the masses that drove the Haitian Revolution, but even even the early leaders of the Haitian state, right, what really left with is one of the most powerful messages in world history, right? We are left with a revolution that is explicitly anti-colonial. That's explicitly anti-slavery. That is also against striking a blow against systems of capitalism that are tied in the systems of slavery. So it's a revolution that gives us really revolutionary messages, right, to state a really obvious point, but point that we really have to appreciate by grappling with the Haitian Revolution on its own terms, and really appreciate the value of understanding history, not from this quote, unquote, “objectivity” but from the perspective of being enslaved in the oppressed themselves. When we do what we're really left with is one of the most profound decorations and messages of human rights and humanity and equality in world history. I can't think of a more profound example.

Jay: Yeah, the Haitian Revolution still messes people up. I have this ridiculous clip of white Christian televangelist Pat Robertson, claiming that the Haitians use of traditional African spiritual systems was actually a deal with the devil. He even went as far as to say that this was the reason they were devastated in 2010 by the earthquake. 

Pat Robertson (TAPE): Christie, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French you know, Napoleon the third or whatever. And they got together and swore a pack to the devil. They said, We will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so the devil said, okay, it's a deal. And they kicked the French out, you know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by by one thing after the other, desperately poor… 

Jay: It's just eerie how the simple statement “throw away the likeness of the white man's God” led Robertson to jump to a conclusion as extreme as making a pact with the devil. It indicates that he believes the white man's god is the only god there is.

BB: The inhumanity of Robertson’s statement is almost, it’s so hard to process, right, that he gives the statement after the 2010 earthquake, you know, where hundreds of thousands of Haitians have either died or lost access to the things needed to sustain life, housing, medical care, food, water. He comes out and says that the earthquake is a consequence of the Haitian Revolution, that it’s because Haitians made a pact with the devil in securing their freedom, that they now suffered this cataclysmic disaster. So again, the inhumanity is, it's almost impossible to fathom, right. You can only say that sort of thing if at some fundamental degree, you do not believe that Haitians, that Black people, occupy the same category of humanity as you. But I think what that statement speaks to is not only Robertson's just deeply, deeply rooted prejudices, but also speaks to the ways in which the Haitian Revolution is so difficult to process for, as far as in the moment it is happening for Europeans and Euro-Americans, but then even afterwards for countless Europeans, Euro-Americans and Americans, right, but they can't process it on its own terms then this event is the Haitian Revolution is, to take the words of the historian Laurent Dubois, is the greatest assertion of human rights in world history, that's assertion of the right to have rights and the most fundamental right being the right to not be enslaved, which is a right that all humans possess, right? So in reality, this should be a revolution that everybody would want to claim. But enslavers and their descendants have a difficulty processing on those terms because it's a revolution that strikes a blow not just against colonialism, but also slavery, also against racism, also against the systems of capitalism and economics that all those systems of racialism, and colonialism are tied up into. Right? That it's a revolution that happens because of African ways of understanding the world, that it's a revolution that happens due to the agency of African people who are supposed to lack agency. So they can't process it. So if you can't process a revolution on its own terms, what do you do? You make up ideas about why this revolution happened, right. So then the rationalizations that come to stand in are that the revolution happens strictly because enslaved people wanted revenge, right? Well, yeah, definitely, there was no laws between them and enslavers, right, but they also want again, as we've talked about, they also want freedom on their own terms. So they have a worldview that goes beyond certainly just striking a blow against the man, right? That they understand what freedom should mean. Other excuses that come to stand in, back to Robertson, are that you know what this revolution is just about, you know, some, that it's barbaric, that it's evidence of savagery, that is evidence of, you know, you know, these superstitious forces, you know, which again it's just evidence of having to come up with some rationalization for this event that you cannot process.

Jay: And this noise can distract us from the key points that are so clear when we look at these revolutions. In every case, they were Black movements, they organized around their group identity. Their goal was extremely clear and unwavering. When they formed coalitions they were intentional about who they allowed to be their allies, their vision of justice was on their own terms, and they took action when the conditions were right. These elements are immediately transferable to our lives today, and how we organize in our communities, at work, for elections, everywhere. Dr. Byrd, thanks for being on Black History Year.

BB: I appreciate PushBlack for having me on this. This was great and I appreciate the work that y'all are doing.

Jay: Again, we'll have this in the show notes but Dr. Byrd's book is titled, “The Black Republic: African Americans and the Fate of Haiti”, recently published by the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Just like that, we're at the end of this episode of Black History Year. Black History Year is produced by PushBlack, the nation's largest nonprofit Black media company. Production support from Mikel Ellcessor and Limina House. Obviously the power that comes from knowing our history is important to you. PushBlack exists because we saw we had to take this into our own hands. You make PushBlack happen with your contributions at BlackHistoryYear.com. Most folks do five or 10 bucks a month, but everything truly makes a difference. Thanks for supporting the work. I’m Jay for PushBlack. Thanks for checking us out. Peace.