Tag Archives: america

The Middle Passage & Black Latin America | Documentary Short

The Middle Passage and Black Latin America is a documentary short on the history of the Transatlantic Slave trade, how it was started, developed, and the importance of the Spanish Empire to the trade. In this video, we cover the role of the Catholic Church and the importance of certain Papal Bulls, the Asiento Charter, the Encomienda System of forced slavery upon Indigenous peoples, the role of Charles V as King of Spain, and the opening of the Atlantic Slave trade on a massive scale. This is followed by the Middle Passage journey of enslaved Africans, its survivors, and their dispersion throughout the viceroyalties of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. Also, it includes the amalgamation, miscegenation, and the influence of enslaved Africans on the societies in which they were enslaved and how they were able to survive. This video is strictly for educational purposes. ##### Posted for historical purposes. I do not own the rights. Reelblack’s mission is to entertain, educate, enlighten, and empower through Black film.

If there is content shared on this platform that you feel infringes on your intellectual property, please email me at Reelblack@mail.com and info@reelblack.com with details and it will be promptly removed.

Originally posted on the Ethhno Filmmaker’s Youtube channel. Shared with permission. https://www.youtube.com/c/EthnoFilmmakers

Israeli Gov’t to Expel Dozens of African Hebrews, Prompting Community to Appeal Decision

The African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem (also known as the Black Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, the Black Hebrew Israelites, or simply the Black Hebrews or Black Israelites) is a spiritual group now mainly based in Dimona, Israel, whose members believe they are descended from the Twelve Tribes of Israel. The community now numbers around 5,000. Their immigrant ancestors were African Americans, many from Chicago, Illinois, who migrated to Israel in the late 1960s.

They believe they are Jewish but when they began emigrating to Israel, the religious officials and the state did not consider them Jewish and as a result, they were asked to convert. In 2003, the remainder of the existing community (those who had not received residency permits earlier) were granted official Israeli permanent residency and later were entitled to acquire Israeli citizenship by naturalization, which does not imply any Jewish status. Since 2004, some members of the community (both men and women) have enlisted to the Israel Defense Forces.

The group was founded in Chicago by a former steel worker named Ben Carter (1939–2014, also known as Ben Ammi Ben-Israel). In his early twenties Carter was given the name Ben Ammi by Rabbi Reuben of the Chicago Congregation of Ethiopian Hebrews. Ben Ammi was working in an airline factory when he first discovered the Black Hebrew movement and its philosophy. According to Ben Ammi, in 1966, at the age of 27, he had a vision in which the Archangel Gabriel called him to take his people, African Americans, back to the Holy Land of Israel.

Ammi and his followers draw on a long tradition in black American culture which holds that black Americans are the descendants of the Ancient Israelites (Ammi cites Charles Harrison Mason of Mississippi, William Saunders Crowdy of Virginia, Bishop William Boome of Tennessee, Charles Price Jones of Mississippi, and Elder Saint Samuel of Tennessee as early exponents of black descent from Israelites).

They are also influenced by the teachings of the Jamaican proponent of Black nationalism, Marcus Garvey (1887–1940), and the black civil rights milieu in 1960s America, including figures such as the Black Panthers and Malcolm X. From these they have incorporated elements of black separatism as well as the doctrine which advocates the repatriation of the African Diaspora to its ancestral lands in a “return to Africa”, of which they consider Israel to be a part. To them, Israel is located in Northeast Africa instead of West Asia.

The inspiration to move to Israel was born from several components. One was the hardship black community members faced in America and within American culture, especially in Chicago in the 1960s, at the height of the Civil rights movement. Another component was the community’s will to form a confident and positive African identity, as opposed to the damaging identity the group felt they carried in America. The last component was this spout of religious and spiritual connection to a long-standing culture and history and promised land.

The strength and struggle of black artists in America

Soul of a nation

Gallerist Linda Goode Bryant broke convention by injecting race, politics and identity into the New York art scene, pushing the boundaries of creative expression into new and uncharted waters. 

The black arts movement swept through the United States in the ’60s and ’70s, bringing together artists who had been systematically excluded from the art world. Fueled by the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements of the era, black artists confronted issues of race, politics and identity while pushing the boundaries of creative expression into new and uncharted waters. 

The work of pioneer African American gallerist Linda Goode Bryant was included in the landmark exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, currently on view at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. The exhibition showcased definitive works by artists of this era including Jack Whitten, Romare Bearden, Roy DeCarava, Ming Smith and Charles White, all of whom elevated the formal and conceptual possibilities of their respective mediums.

Bryant did the same for the gallery world, transforming the sterile white cube into a collective space for creativity, community, and conversation. In 1974, Bryant left her job at Education Director at the Studio Museum of Harlem to open Just Above Midtown (JAM) on 57 Street simply because she decided David Hammons absolutely had to show in New York, and he refused to exhibit at white galleries.

What she lacked in money, Brant made up for in knowledge and daring. “Art made me feel that I had the power to do anything despite what was happening around me, both in the community and the larger society,” she says.

Bryant set forth to find a location to show the work of black artists when few else would. “I showed up [at Judson Realty office] with a huge Angela Davis afro, two babies, and I was in army fatigues,” she remembers, with a laugh. “[Peter Marks, the broker] was in a state of shock.”

“I asked how much the rent was and he said, ‘$1,000 a month.’ I just looked at him incredulously and I said, ‘I can’t pay that.’ He said, ‘How much can you pay? I said, ‘$300 a month’ – and mind you I didn’t have a dime.”

Needless to say, Bryant got herself a deal and began showing groundbreaking black artists at the start of their career, including Adrian Piper, Howardina Pindell, Maren Hassinger, Ming Smith and Elizabeth Catlett. For Bryant, JAM was more than a commercial space – it was a work of art itself. 

Bryant designed the 725-square foot space to provide artists with innovative opportunities, finding new ways to support and help take them to the next level of their work. At the same time, she understood the realities of the industry, and worked to create a community of collectors who played a significant role in helping new artists establish their careers.

“We did this series, Brunch with JAM, which was for the community of 57,” she says. “For $5 you could come to JAM, get lunch that a friend prepared, and a lecture from a curator, critic, artist or collector, and we’d sell out each brunch. The art world was boggled by it.”

“I would be grilled by my colleague: ‘How can you call barbecue bones and grease art? Hours of having to talk to people and talk them through the elements of a piece because it rankled what they knew.”

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