PBS Special - "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow"

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FYI- For all those interested, PBS will run a series titled 'The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow' beginning tonight.

-- Anonymous, October 01, 2002


You never know where an A.M.E. Bishop will show up. For all of you A.M.E. historians, shown below is an excerpt from the above mentioned PBS Website Page.

" In 1883, The United States Supreme Court ruled that the Civil Rights act of 1875, forbidding discrimination in hotels, trains, and other public spaces, was unconstitutional and not authorized by the 13th or 14th Amendments of the Constitution. The ruling read in part:

"The XIVth Amendment is prohibitory upon the States only, and the legislation authorized to be adopted by Congress for enforcing it is not direct legislation on the matters respecting which the States are prohibited from making or enforcing certain laws, or doing certain acts, but it is corrective legislation, such as may be necessary or proper for counteracting and redressing the effect of such laws or acts.

"The XIIIth Amendment relates to slavery and involuntary servitude (which it abolishes); ... yet such legislative power extends only to the subject of slavery and its incidents; and the denial of equal accommodations in inns, public conveyances and places of public amusement (which is forbidden by the sections in question), imposes no badge of slavery or involuntary servitude upon the party, but at most, infringes rights which are protected from State aggression by the XIVth Amendment."

The decision outraged the black community and many whites as well, for they felt it opened the door to legalized segregation. Bishop Henry McNeil Turner raged at the court for its decision: "The world has never witnessed such barbarous laws entailed upon a free people as have grown out of the decision of the United States Supreme Court, issued October 15, 1883. For that decision alone authorized and now sustains all the unjust discriminations, proscriptions and robberies perpetrated by public carriers upon millions of the nation's most loyal defenders. It fathers all the 'Jim-Crow cars' into which colored people are huddled and compelled to pay as much as the whites, who are given the finest accommodations. It has made the ballot of the black man a parody, his citizenship a nullity and his freedom a burlesque. It has engendered the bitterest feeling between the whites and blacks, and resulted in the deaths of thousands, who would have been living and enjoying life today."

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Mary thank you for the report and God bless Bishop Turner! Our denomination started the civil rights movement with the words of Bishop Turner! We have a lot to be proud of as A.M.E's

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

As I have already shared with many of you, Bishop Henry McNeal Turner- -for whom our Seminary in Georgia is named--is one of my all time favorite heroes.

Also as I have shared, Bishop Turner and my grandfather, Robert T. Matthews I, pastored some of the same churches and my grandfather served as his Presiding Elder when the Atlanta Georgia Conference was formed (Not the Present Atlanta-North).

It was also from the Atlanta Georgia Conference that Bishop Turner sought to establish and was successful in the establishment of AME Churches on the Continent of Africa. Therefore, Bishop Young, a native Atlanta son, hosted the Centennial Celebration of this momentus event. Many years earlier, Reverend Josephus Coan, another member of this Conference, was also distinguished to serve the church in Africa for many years.

Even though Bishop Turner was the first African American Chaplain in the US Armed Forces--to which he was appointed by Abraham Lincoln-- less than a decade later he wrote, "The Negro Should Not Enter The Army". This treatise I shared with some of you. He also served as the first black postmaster in the US, The Postmaster General of Macon GA and as a Customs Officer in Savannah, GA where he pastored the Mother Church of the Sixth District.

Because it was discovered that his grandfather was an African Prince and British Law prohibited the enslavement of royalty, even in the colonies, the Colony of South Carolina was compeled to set his grandfather free. So the Turner family could never be enslaved. Yet they lived and worked among slaves and did whatever they could to protest the evil which slaves had to endure.

As Bill said, Turner often made the statement, "God Is A Negro". As an ousted Georgia Legislator, he sued the state and won. Thus all the ousted legislators who were black were reinstated and many elected again.

Another of Bishop Turner's famous quotes was "I am here to demand my rights and to hurl thunderbolts at the man who would dare to cross the threshold of my manhood." He was never so comfortable with the position he held that he ever failed to speak up and speak out on what he felt was right.

As many of you know I could go on and on but I will end here and submit posts of Turner's documents mentioned above.

The Barbarous Decision of the United States Supreme Court

The Outrage of the Supreme Court of the United States upon the Black Man

-- Anonymous, October 03, 2002

Brother Matthews:

Thank you so much for sharing that information with me. I love reading about the bishops, and most certainly, Bishop Turner was a giant. Thanks again and God bless.

-- Anonymous, October 04, 2002

Bro. Robert...great resource. I love reading about Bishop Turner, a true revoluntionary and fighter for freedom! Thanks for sharing.


-- Anonymous, October 04, 2002

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