Black Votes Matter

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution that enacted the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United… Continue Reading →

A Long Journey Home

For me, my African ancestor’s trials of enslavement is not a distant historical occurrence, but something that shaped my family life then and to this very day. I have studied the subject extensively, lectured in many historic cities and countries,… Continue Reading →

“The Negro in Rhode Island: His Past, Present & Future”

Over one hundred and thirty years ago, my ancestor, Reverend Mahlon Van Horne of Newport, Rhode Island wrote a narrative on the past, present and future of the “Negro” in Rhode Island and the nation. This narrative faithfully reflects today’s… Continue Reading →

When the Human Being Counts

Here are two images I would like to offer for the last day of Black History Month in 2108. My great, great grandmother, Narcissa Forrester and her slave doll (c. 1830) from when she was a little girl in Virginia…. Continue Reading →

Black History: A Pathway for Change

With national debates raging across America on race relations, patriotism and confederate memorials, I often turn back to history to have a better understanding of the present and future. In fact, the understanding of historical events, places and people can… Continue Reading →

The Newport Man Behind the African American Labor Movement

“The Colored, as well as the white laborers of the United States, are not satisfied as to the estimate that is placed on their labor, as to their opportunities, as to the remuneration of their labor, the call for this… Continue Reading →

Freedom Without Meaning

On this day August 1, 1834 the United Kingdom abolished slavery throughout the British Empire, nearly 30 years before the American Emancipation Proclamation. While British plantation owners received substantial financial compensation for the loss of their slave property, former enslaved… Continue Reading →

A FIGHT FOR LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE

July 11th has always been significant to me – after all, it is the day I was born. However, it is also the day, 241 years ago, that my ancestor, Moses Michael Hays stood before the majority government and religious… Continue Reading →

A Memorial Day Address

149th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony, Warren Rhode Island THE WORLD OF WILLIAM BARTON & JACK SISSON Let me begin with; there may be no more noble a cause than the men and women of the Armed Services who routinely place… Continue Reading →

Old Glory: The Symbol of One America

After four long years of blood and war, Union Troops on the morning of April 3, 1865 entered the city of Richmond, Virginia, then capital of the Confederate States of America. Richmond had become the single-minded focus of the Union… Continue Reading →

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