Two days before Lincoln’s inauguration as the 16th President, Congress, consisting only of the Northern states, passed overwhelmingly on March 2, 1861, the Corwin Amendment that gave constitutional protection to slavery. Lincoln endorsed the amendment in his inaugural address, saying “I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.”
Quite clearly, the North was not prepared to go to war in order to end slavery when on the very eve of war the US Congress and incoming president were in the process of making it unconstitutional to abolish slavery.
Here we have absolute total proof that the North wanted the South kept in the Union far more than the North wanted to abolish slavery.
If the South’s real concern was maintaining slavery, the South would not have turned down the constitutional protection of slavery offered them on a silver platter by Congress and the President. Clearly, for the South also the issue was not slavery.
Some 49.6 million people are trapped in modern slavery on any given day. They are either forced to work against their will or are in a marriage that they have been forced into, according to the 2021 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery released September 12, 2022.
Forced labour accounted for 27.6 million of those in modern slavery and forced marriage for 22 million. The new estimates showed that forced labour and forced marriage had increased significantly in the last five years.
The report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), Walk Free and the International Organization for Migration found that 10 million more people were trapped in modern slavery in 2021, compared to 2016 global estimates. Women and children were especially vulnerable.
The Asia-Pacific region had the highest number of people in modern slavery and the Arab states the highest prevalence. But no region, developed or developing, was free from the practice.
As King Charles III addresses the British Parliament for the first time as monarch, we begin today’s show looking at the legacy of British colonialism in the Caribbean, where there are growing calls for reparations. The Caribbean at one point formed the heart of England’s first colonial empire in North America. Many of the more than two-and-a-half million enslaved Africans taken to the British Caribbean were worked to death. The string of island nations includes Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad and Tobago, among many others now in the British Commonwealth.
In terms of my response, I will be — I will be very measured here. I will recognize that we are talking about death. We are talking about the loss of human life and that the queen would have had family, etc. But I’m under no obligation, I think, to be mourning her death. And that is simply because of, I think, my understanding of history, my understanding of the relationships of the British monarchy to African people and Asian people, but to African people certainly, on the continent and here in the Caribbean. And so that my response is perhaps to recognize the role that the queen, Queen Elizabeth II, has played, how she has managed to cloak the historical brutality of empire in this veneer of grandeur and pomp and pageantry, I guess, and graciousness. But I think that at this point in time we need to examine that history a lot more closely.
I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save Slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy Slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about Slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save this Union, and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty, and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men, everywhere, could be free. Yours,
As a student, I enjoyed singing revolutionary songs and shouting slogans in meetings and demonstrations. But I do not remember being moved by any song as I have been by “Strange Fruit”. The lyrics of this song have haunted me ever since I heard it a few months back. Each word is written with deep pain and sung with anguish rooted in suffering and anger.
I came across the song while idly surfing the net. Immediately, it struck a deep chord in my heart. It would be appropriate to remember the song’s history on 19 June or Juneteenth, the national Independence Day commemorating the end of slavery in the United States of America. It was only last year that America recognised the day as a federal holiday.
Written in the context of the lynching of African Americans, “Strange Fruit” has an iconic status for it is considered the first protest song of the civil liberties movement in the United States. The song was made famous by Billie Holiday, who sang it in 1939. Getting the song on record was difficult because Columbia Records would not touch it.
June 19, 1865, the day that General Order No. 3 “informed all Texans that, in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves were free,” is the day that we know as Juneteenth today.
We can imagine asking:
What kind of jubilee floated into the air that day?
Do you think the exaltations shook fear out of the ground?
What songs gave sound to words with no language?
Juneteenth (“Emancipation Day” or “Jubilee Day,” as it was called in most early accounts) is a celebration of the news that informed Black people throughout Texas that the institution of slavery had been abolished—despite the Emancipation Proclamation marking the legislative end of slavery nearly two and a half years earlier. The day is celebrated
— source yesmagazine.org | Venneikia Williams & Diamond K. Hardiman | Jun 16, 2022
It is my deepest honor to speak before you today on this day of international remembrance of the
victims of the transatlantic slave trade. I have dedicated my life’s work to excavating the modern legacy
of transatlantic slavery, and so my thoughts are never far from what has become the defining subject of
my journalism, and what I believe continues to be the defining undercurrent of life in the Americas – the
legacy of slavery.
I stand before you the great-great-grandchild of enslaved men and women born here in the United
States of America, part of the millions who lived and died under the brutal, immoral and inhumane
system of chattel slavery that existed for the first 250 years of the land that would come to think of itself
as the freest nation in the history of the world.
On Thursday, President Biden signed legislation to create a new federal holiday to commemorate Juneteenth, which marks the end of slavery in the United States. The Juneteenth celebration dates back to the last days of the Civil War, when Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, on June 19th, 1865, with news that the war had ended, and enslaved people learned they were freed two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth is the first new federal holiday since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created nearly 40 years ago.
I went to Galveston, Texas. I’ve been writing this book for four years, and I went two years ago. And it was marking the 40th anniversary of when Texas had made Juneteenth a state holiday. And it was the Al Edwards Prayer Breakfast. The late Al Edwards Sr. is the state legislator, Black state legislator, who made possible and advocated for the legislation that turned Juneteenth into a holiday, a state holiday in Texas.