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Houston County Black  Heritage

"Thei​r DNA is BURIED in your SOUL"   ~  "WE are the HOPE and the DREAM of the SLAVE"

The inscription reads:    

Houston County Courthouse:  Site of Old Slave Market - Built 1856 - Perry, GA.  Photo taken 4 -11-1936.

Samuel H. Belvin 

STATUES and MONUMENTS

     

          While statues of the hate that is memorialized in the confederate statues are being removed, are we going to request the slave markets be torn down as well?

The Confederate statue in downtown Perry was erected in 1902.  The slave market below it is the (old) Perry courthouse that was used as the slave market and where many of our ancestors were sold on the courthouse grounds / steps.

      These confederate statues are what most people call a symbol of hate. This country was born on hate. The hate of anyone who did not look like the so-called “founding fathers”. America thrived and continues to thrive on racism; the country’s fabric is woven with it and the threads will not unravel overnight. Those statues help tell the story of America’s racist and supremacy history, as well as, help tell the story of our Ancestors who endured this history. No matter how depressing the oppressed history of our Ancestors were, we should never forget. When I walk by one of these statues, I am reminded of my Ancestors and what they endured and survived!

          Instead of taking down the confederate statues, place statues beside them of black men that fought in the civil war for the freedom of black folk held in slavery. There is a black man for every confederate statue all over this country, that has a story alongside the men represented by these statues.  Let’s start with downtown Perry, ….. how about adding a statue of Samuel Houston Belvin next to that confederate statue? Samuel H. Belvin, went off to the civil war with his owner, James P. Belvin, as his body servant. That role, Samuel played literally -- by taking a bullet that was meant for his “master”.  

Mr. Ike Tharpe a life-long resident of Perry, was looked upon by many white folk in the area

being loyal to his state and county, because he marched with the soldiers of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

 

     The Emancipation Monument is up next.  The history of that statue is that the funding drive for the monument began with $5 given by former slave Charlotte Scott of Virginia.   According to National Park Service, the monument was paid for solely by former slaves: The campaign for the Freedmen's Memorial Monument to Abraham Lincoln was not the only effort of the time to build a monument to Lincoln; however, as the only one soliciting contributions exclusively from those who had most directly benefited from Lincoln's act of emancipation it had a special appeal.  The funds were collected solely from freed slaves (primarily from African American Union Veterans).  Congress accepted the statue as a gift from the "colored citizens of the United States" . The statue was erected in Lincoln Park, and was turned to face the statue of Mary McLeod Bethune, that was erected in 1974, by the National Council of Negro Women. The model of the slave depicted on the monument is Archer Alexander, the great-great-great grandfather of Muhammed Ali. Archer Alexander, a slave who heroically fought both for his own freedom and against slavery.  Alexander escaped from bondage and secretly fed information to the Union Army during the Civil War.  

        U.S. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) supports removing the memorial of the Emancipation monument stating:  “Although formerly enslaved Americans paid for this statue to be built in 1876, the design and sculpting process was done without their input, and it shows.”  “The statue fails to note in any way how enslaved African Americans pushed for their own emancipation".                   


FREDERICK DOUGLASS Statue In New York Torn From Base

       A statue in Rochester, New York dedicated to famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass was torn from its base on the 4th of July weekend and found 50 feet away near the Genessee River gorge.  Will the statues of Martin Luther King, Jr.  be next?

       168 years ago, Frederick Douglass delivered an iconic speech: "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July" . Read it below and/or hear it read by the late Mr. Ossie Davis.

Did you know?.... Douglas County, Georgia was created during Reconstruction after the US Civil War when many African Americans were serving in the Georgia legislature, and was named Douglass County after the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, but the name was soon changed when Confederate Democrats regained power and expelled the reconstructionists.  They renamed it Douglas County (with one 's') after Stephen A. Douglas, an Illinois senator and the Democratic opponent of Abraham Lincoln in the presidential election of 1860. The existing historical marker makes no mention of the original name.

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July"    Read by the late Mr. Ossie Davis.

On July 5th, 1852 Frederick Douglass spoke at Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York on the significance of America’s Independence Day. Ossie Davis reads this speech, compiled by Phil Foner, which demonstrates Douglass’ incomparable skill in oration and commands respect for the legendary thinker and activist. Admitting to being embarrassed by the great "distance between this platform and the slave plantation, from which [he] escaped," Douglass proceeded to praise the "sublime faith in the great principles of justice and freedom" out of which the United States was born, while mourning the "sad sense of disparity" that even after national independence persists in keeping an "immeasurable distance between us" through the bonds of slavery. (The Emancipation Proclamation was not issued until 1863, and the 13th Amendment did not officially end slavery until 1865.