“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” ~ George Orwell
The open rebellion of ANTI-BLACK MISANDRY voices is growing daily but – it’s the rebellion of the common Black man foes never saw coming.
The Social Media Age has propelled the voices of common Black men into the digital marketplace of ideas in a manner unseen since the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power era of the 1960s. This diverse collection of Black men thinking, speaking and writing for themselves in social media spaces is long overdue. Using the power of technology as a weapon and shield against the ever-growing propaganda of Black misandry is transformative in many ways. Proponents of Black misandry are hell-bent on muting these increasingly outspoken Black men. Historically these censors have been empowered in setting the tone and narrative for working class and lower-middle class Black men.
I make the case that policing of Native Black American male voices has its roots in ante-bellum America. Often ignored by mainstream social scientists and pundits; The Stono Rebellion of 1739 and The Negro Act of 1740 for the Province of South Carolina helped create the methods by which policing of Black male speech, assembly and movement could be replicated by today’s Black misandrists.
The Stono Rebellion was a Black slave rebellion that occurred on September 9, 1739 in the colony of South Carolina. At the time, the population of the colony of South Carolina included 40,000 Blacks (nearly all enslaved) toiling alongside a White population of 20,000 (dominated by a slave-holding planter class) producing primarily the cash crop of rice. For some, it is a revelation to learn that enslaved Blacks were the super-majority population in 1739 South Carolina; but completely stripped of any meaningful social, civil or political rights. Enslaved Black South Carolinians of the day were keenly aware of the injustice of their status and used the means of communications available in that day to organize themselves to escape when the rare opportunity arose.
In the 1730s, many enslaved Blacks escaping the plantations of South Carolina fled to Spanish Florida. Between 1738-40, a set of proclamations were issued by the government of Spanish Florida. These proclamations encouraged enslaved Blacks in South Carolina and other Slave states to flee their enslavers. At the time, there were numerous Black settlements in Spanish Florida, especially around the St. Augustine area; specifically, a famous free Black stronghold known as Fort Mose was established. Charted in 1738 by the Governor of Spanish Florida, Fort Mose was known to many enslaved Blacks in South Carolina because it was an area populated by former enslaved Blacks from South Carolina and other surrounding states since at least 1687.
In the late 1730s, the White minority in South Carolina had developed a growing sense of angst, as their Spanish competitors in Florida had aggressively influenced their Black captives to flee. From the British American slavers perspective these actions by the Spanish government meant a loss of revenues, human assets, and increased the threat of rebellion. In this paranoid state of mind, the Commons House of Assembly for the Province of South Carolina passed what was known as The Security Act. The Security Act of South Carolina required that all White men carry firearms to church on Sundays. Back then, most Whites did not usually carry weapons and enslaved Blacks prior to the passage of said legislation were allowed to work for themselves part-time outside of their obligations to the slaveholders.
As grapevine knowledge of free Blacks living in settlements under the protection of the Spanish Florida government spread; further Draconian restrictions on the movement of enslaved Blacks were enacted. As a consequent, more Blacks were willing to risk life and limb, to escape chattel bondage. A revolutionary spirit had taken hold of the enslaved in the areas surrounding Charleston, SC in the year 1739. On that revolutionary day of September 9, 1739 near the Stono River outside of Charleston; fed up with the undemocratic and inhumane conditions of chattel slavery – an enslaved Angolan Black known by Jemmy took lead of a slave rebellion demanding liberty and abolishment of slavery in the Province of South Carolina.
These Black rebels- over-whelmed by a patriotic spirit of freedom- had acquired arms, ammunition and went about killing White slavers whom they considered to be guiltiest of brutality and cruelty. At least 25 colonists and 50 Black Rebels were killed over the course of the short-lived rebellion. Most of these Black Patriots, disregarded by mainstream historians, were eventually captured by the white militia over the course of six months. Unfortunately, the Black rebels of Stono Rebellion were promptly prosecuted and quickly executed never making it to the freehold of Spanish Florida.
Immediately following the Stono Rebellion uprising, the White slave-holding class led by the 29th South Carolina Governor William Bull and the Speaker of the House of Assembly Charles Pinckney; went to work passing legislation to place iron-clad restrictions on the enslaved Black majority. One of the more infamous anti-Black laws passed by the Commons House of Assembly for the Province of South Carolina was The Negro Act of 1740.
Prior to the Stono Rebellion, South Carolina had established its first slave code in 1695. This liberty extinguishing slave code served as the model for other colonies in 18th century North America. Specifically, laws like The Negro Act of 1740 aka “An Act for the better ordering and governing of Negroes and other Slaves in the Province of South Carolina” were passed as a direct and swift response to the Stono Rebellion of 1739.
The Negro Act of 1740 included 58 sections, but I’ll only point out two sections from the Draconian act to better draw a connection between the Act and the ante-bellum roots of policing and censoring free thinking Black men across modern cyberspace. Sections 36 & 45 are worth noting:
Section 36. And for that as it is absolutely necessary to the safety of this Province, that all due care be taken to restrain the wanderings and meetings of Negroes and other slaves, at all times, and more especially on Saturday nights, Sundays, and other holidays.
Section 45. And whereas, the having of slaves taught to WRITE, or suffering them to be employed in writing, may be attended with great inconveniences; Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every person and persons whatsoever, who shall hereinafter teach or cause any slave or slaves to be taught, to write, or shall use or employ any slave as a scribe in any manner of writing whatsoever, hereafter taught to write, every such person and persons, shall, for every such offense, forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds current money.
The historical importance of The Negro Act of 1740 cannot be over-stated. Eventually, this law became the legal model and precedent for controlling the mind, bodies, and movement of American enslaved Negroes until the 13th Amendment was ratified by U.S. Congress January 31, 1865 – especially Black American men. The acts stated goals in the words of Charles Pinckney were to “make it illegal for enslaved Africans to move abroad, assemble in groups, raise food of their own, earn money of their own and TOTAL PROHIBITION of teaching slaves to read or write.”
Under The Negro Act of 1740, the state government gave explicit license to slavers to kill rebellious slaves if necessary, to stop future Stono Rebellion type uprisings. Mainstream historians often overlook the role the Stono Rebellion played in motivating the White slaveholding class to create war on other European nations holding jurisdiction on the North American continent during the 18th century. The freedom and land proclamations the Spanish in Florida offered to enslaved Blacks had always been a point of conflict for the British American slavers, and as soon as they had the power and leverage to rid Florida of Spanish rulership – they did so by treaty in 1819. With removal of the Spanish from Florida, the U.S. government led by slave-holders wasted no time making the territory of Florida slave-friendly and officially one of the last three slaves states to enter the Union on March 3, 1845 (Texas – 1845, West Virginia – 1863).
Part 2 Coming This Friday, stay tuned.
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1. Africans in America/Part 1/The Stono Rebellion. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/1p284.html
2. The U.S. acquires Spanish Florida. (2010, February 9). Retrieved from https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-u-s-acquires-spanish-florida#:~:text=
3. Johann Gutenberg. (2020, March 5). Retrieved from https://www.encyclopedia.com/people/literature-and-arts/libraries-books-and-printing-biographies/johann-gutenberg#:~:text=
4. R.A.V. v. St. Paul, 505 U.S. (1992)
5. Lindin, Emily. (2017, November 21). Here’s an unpopular opinion: I’m actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/emilylindin/status/933073784822579200?lang=en