Law School Discussion

Everyday is Black History Month

Everyday is Black History Month
« on: February 01, 2005, 07:10:31 AM »

1829-1897 John Mercer Langston

John Mercer Langston was the first Black person known to have applied to an American law school (1850) located in Ballston Spa, New York. A graduate of Oberlin College and Oberlin resident for 15 years, he was a black leader of conviction and influence, a visionary reformer, and an accomplished statesman and lawyer.

Langston was born free in 1829 in Louisa County Virginia, the youngest of four children. His father, Ralph Quarles, was a wealthy white planter and slaveholder. Langston's mother, Lucy Langston, was an emancipated slave of Indian and Black ancestry. Both parents died in 1834 after brief, unrelated illnesses. Langston was left a sizable inheritance which ensured his financial independence.

William Gooch, a friend of Quarles who lived in Chillicothe, Ohio, cared for Langston and his brothers Charles and Gideon. In 1838, Gooch moved his family to Missouri, a slave state. A court ruled that Langston's inheritance would be threatened if he accompanied them. Langston moved to Cincinnati, where he became enamored with the tight-knit community of freedmen which persisted in the face of relentless bigotry.

At the age of 14, Langston enrolled in the Preparatory Department at Oberlin College. While a student at Oberlin he excelled in debate. He graduated from the Collegiate Department in 1849, the fifth black man to do so. Inspired by his experiences in Cincinnati, he involved himself in the black rights movement. In 1848, at the invitation of Frederick Douglas, Langston delivered an impromptu speech to the National Black Convention in Cleveland, condemning those who refused to help fugitive slaves.

Langston enrolled in the graduate program in Theology at Oberlin in preparation for later legal study. He obtained a Master's degree, but was denied entry to law school because he refused to "pass" as a race other than Black and be separated from his White classmates. Embittered but undeterred, he read law under Philemon Bliss of Elyria. Langston became the first black lawyer in Ohio, passing the Bar in 1854

Langston's interest and commitment to black freedom continued to flourish. With the aid of his brothers Gideon and Charles, Langston organized antislavery societies at both the state and local level. He also helped runaway slaves to escape along the Ohio section of the Underground Railroad. Langston's public addresses about social reform were broad and included appeals for women's rights and temperance.

Langston moved to Oberlin in 1856 where he again involved himself in town government. From 1865 - 1867 he served as a city councilman and from 1867-1868 he served on the Board of Education. His law practice established and respected, Langston handled legal matters for the town. Langston vigilantly supported Republican candidates for local and national office. He is credited with helping to steer the Ohio Republican party towards radicalism and a strong antislavery position.

Langston grew increasingly frustrated with resistance to his ideas. In 1852 he advocated black resettlement. Two years later he reversed his position. Further radicalized, he advocated armed resistance. He conspired with John Brown to raid Harpers Ferry, but declined to participate.

With the coming of the Civil War, Langston organized black volunteers for the Union cause. As chief recruiter in the West, he assembled the Massachusetts 54th, the nation's first black regiment, and the Massachusetts 55th and the 5th Ohio. Later in the war, Langston sought military commission, that he might lead a group of black soldiers in battle. His request found support in upper ranks of the Army, but the war ended before the order could be executed

Selected by the Black National Convention to lead the National Equal Rights League in 1864, Langston carried out extensive suffrage campaigns in Ohio, Kansas and Missouri. Langston's vision was realized in 1867, with Congressional approval of suffrage for black males.

Langston saw that the rights of newly freed slaves were protected as Educational Inspector for the Freedman's Bureau, He traveled throughout the South advocating educational opportunity, political equality and economic justice coupled with individual responsibility. His addresses were well received by blacks and whites alike and propelled him to national prominence.

In 1868, Langston organized the Law department at Howard University in Washington, and, in the tradition of Oberlin, made its hallmark race and gender diversity. Later he served as Acting President. His 1875 bid to attain the presidency of the school failed, as the trustees dismissed his candidacy on racial grounds.

For the eight years that followed, Langston served as consul-general in Haiti. He returned to the States after a contract dispute and assumed the presidency of Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute in 1885.

Langston again bolstered his national reputation in 1888, running as an independent for a seat in the US House of Representatives. His victory was contested for 18 months and he served for 6 months before being unseated in the next election. Langston was the first African American elected to Congress from Virginia.

Langston retired in 1894, after which he wrote From the Virginia Plantation to the National Capital, his autobiography. He died in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 15, 1897. The town of Langston, Okla., home of Langston University, is named after him.



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Re: Everyday is Black History Month
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2005, 09:26:57 AM »

Re: Everyday is Black History Month
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2005, 09:34:52 AM »
Eulogy delivered by Ossie Davis at the funeral of Malcolm X
Faith Temple Church Of God
February 27,1965

"Here - at this final hour, in this quiet place - Harlem has come to bid farewell to one of its brightest hopes -extinguished now, and gone from us forever. For Harlem is where he worked and where he struggled and fought - his home of homes, where his heart was, and where his people are - and it is, therefore, most fitting that we meet once again - in Harlem - to share these last moments with him. For Harlem has ever been gracious to those who have loved her, have fought her, and have defended her honor even to the death.

It is not in the memory of man that this beleaguered, unfortunate, but nonetheless proud community has found a braver, more gallant young champion than this Afro-American who lies before us - unconquered still. I say the word again, as he would want me to : Afro-American - Afro-American Malcolm, who was a master, was most meticulous in his use of words. Nobody knew better than he the power words have over minds of men. Malcolm had stopped being a 'Negro' years ago. It had become too small, too puny, too weak a word for him. Malcolm was bigger than that. Malcolm had become an Afro-American and he wanted - so desperately - that we, that all his people, would become Afro-Americans too.

There are those who will consider it their duty, as friends of the Negro people, to tell us to revile him, to flee, even from the presence of his memory, to save ourselves by writing him out of the history of our turbulent times. Many will ask what Harlem finds to honor in this stormy, controversial and bold young captain - and we will smile. Many will say turn away - away from this man, for he is not a man but a demon, a monster, a subverter and an enemy of the black man - and we will smile. They will say that he is of hate - a fanatic, a racist - who can only bring evil to the cause for which you struggle! And we will answer and say to them : Did you ever talk to Brother Malcolm? Did you ever touch him, or have him smile at you? Did you ever really listen to him? Did he ever do a mean thing? Was he ever himself associated with violence or any public disturbance? For if you did you would know him. And if you knew him you would know why we must honor him.

Malcolm was our manhood, our living, black manhood! This was his meaning to his people. And, in honoring him, we honor the best in ourselves. Last year, from Africa, he wrote these words to a friend: 'My journey', he says, 'is almost ended, and I have a much broader scope than when I started out, which I believe will add new life and dimension to our struggle for freedom and honor and dignity in the States. I am writing these things so that you will know for a fact the tremendous sympathy and support we have among the African States for our Human Rights struggle. The main thing is that we keep a United Front wherein our most valuable time and energy will not be wasted fighting each other.' However we may have differed with him - or with each other about him and his value as a man - let his going from us serve only to bring us together, now.

Consigning these mortal remains to earth, the common mother of all, secure in the knowledge that what we place in the ground is no more now a man - but a seed - which, after the winter of our discontent, will come forth again to meet us. And we will know him then for what he was and is - a Prince - our own black shining Prince! - who didn't hesitate to die, because he loved us so."


Re: Everyday is Black History Month
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2005, 09:50:22 AM »

Re: Everyday is Black History Month
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2005, 02:00:49 PM »
good stuff mivida 8)


Re: Everyday is Black History Month
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2005, 02:37:53 PM »
News Alert!

2Pac's father Dr. Mutulu Shakur will be going for his parole hearing on Febuary 7th 2005! Send letters of support now! Let support his freedom now! Send prayers on February 7th for his freedom!

For those who aren't aware of Dr Mutulu Shakur, he is a political prsioner who has been locked down for 22 years. Over the years he has been a mentor and comrade to many within the Hip Hop Community. He is the father to Mopreme of Thug Life and step father to the late 2Pac Shakur. He has been an influence to everyone from dead prez to the Outlaws to the Havnotz to Nas. in addition to that Dr Shakur was the first to use accupuncture as a way to heal people of drug addiction and substance abuse.

We encourage everyone to check out his website and keep a close watch on his upcoming parole hearing.

You can find out more about Dr Shakur by going here:

We recently caught up with 2Pac's older brother Mopreme of the group Thug Life and he gave us a better understanding about their father and the type of influence he's had on him and Pac and numerous other rappers.

Listen to these excerpts

Mopreme Speaks About His Dad

Mopreme Speaks About the use of the word 'Thug' and role Dr Mutulu Shakur had in the orgins and formation of the group Thug Life..

We will be playing the entire 1 hour interview w/ Mopreme in the next few days on Hard Knock Radio

For those who wish to write letters of support for Dr Mutulu Shakur.. please peep the following information below...

January 26, 2005

Dear friends and supporters of Dr. Mutulu Shakur,

We come to you in peace and harmony. The time has come once again for us to lift our spirits and let our voices be heard. On Monday, February 7, 2005, Dr. Shakur will go for his parole hearing. We are asking that you please send letters of support so that this day does not pass in vain. It is our duty as Afrikan people to support those in our community that have laid their life on the lines for us and served to decrease injustice and oppression against our people.

Dr. Shakur was sentenced in 1986 on charges of Conspiracy to aid bank expropriation as well as under the U. S. conspiracy laws known as "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization" or 'RICO' laws (8 counts). The U.S. government alleged that Mutulu's political associates constituted a racketeering enterprise. He was also charged with aiding in the escape of Assata Shakur (Joanne Chesimard). Prosecutors failed to provide key evidence such as electronic telephone interceptions, fingerprint of appellant Shakur at any crime scene, hair of appellant Shakur at any crime scene, eyewitness identification of appellant Shakur at any crime scene by any third party, etc.

His efforts in the black community have been essential and liberating. Dr. Mutulu Shakur’s contributions include but are not limited to:

·Employment at the Lincoln Detoxification Community (addiction treatment) Program as a political education instructor. His role evolved to include counseling and treatment of withdrawal symptoms with acupuncture.

·Managing a detoxification program recognized as the largest and most effective of its kind by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, National Acupuncture Research Society and the World Academic Society of Acupuncture.

·Treating thousands of poor and elderly patients who would otherwise have no access to acupunctural treatment.

·Developing the anti-drug program for the Charles Cobb Commission for Racial Justice for the National Council of Churches.

· Dedicating his life and struggle against the political imprisonment of Black Political Activists.

Please take the time to recognize a black leader in the community and help fight for his freedom. Address the letters to:

Edward F. Reilly Jr.
Chairman,U.S. Parole Commission
5550 Friendship Blvd, Suite 420
Chevy Chase, MD 20815-7201

Please send your letters of support for Dr. Shakur to us via:
e-mail to

fax to 770-981-6397

mail to MXGM, PO Box 361270, Decatur, GA 30026

We are asking that all letters of support be sent to us by February 3, 2005 keeping in mind that the parole hearing is February 7, 2005.


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Re: Everyday is Black History Month
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2005, 07:12:06 PM »
The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment
The U.S. government's 40-year experiment on black men with syphilis

by Borgna Brunner  

"The United States government did something that was wrong—deeply, profoundly, morally wrong. It was an outrage to our commitment to integrity and equality for all our citizens... clearly racist."

—President Clinton's apology for the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment to the eight remaining survivors, May 16, 1997

For forty years between 1932 and 1972, the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) conducted an experiment on 399 black men in the late stages of syphilis. These men, for the most part illiterate sharecroppers from one of the poorest counties in Alabama, were never told what disease they were suffering from or of its seriousness. Informed that they were being treated for “bad blood,” their doctors had no intention of curing them of syphilis at all.

The data for the experiment was to be collected from autopsies of the men, and they were thus deliberately left to degenerate under the ravages of tertiary syphilis—which can include tumors, heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, and death. “As I see it,” one of the doctors involved explained, “we have no further interest in these patients until they die.”

The true nature of the experiment had to be kept from the subjects to ensure their cooperation. The sharecroppers' grossly disadvantaged lot in life made them easy to manipulate. Pleased at the prospect of free medical care—almost none of them had ever seen a doctor before—these unsophisticated and trusting men became the pawns in what James Jones, author of the excellent history on the subject, Bad Blood, identified as “the longest nontherapeutic experiment on human beings in medical history.”

The study was meant to discover how syphilis affected blacks as opposed to whites—the theory being that whites experienced more neurological complications from syphilis, whereas blacks were more susceptible to cardiovascular damage. How this knowledge would have changed clinical treatment of syphilis is uncertain.

Although the PHS touted the study as one of great scientific merit, from the outset its actual benefits were hazy. It took almost forty years before someone involved in the study took a hard and honest look at the end results, reporting that “nothing learned will prevent, find, or cure a single case of infectious syphilis or bring us closer to our basic mission of controlling venereal disease in the United States.”

When the experiment was brought to the attention of the media in 1972, news anchor Harry Reasoner described it as an experiment that “used human beings as laboratory animals in a long and inefficient study of how long it takes syphilis to kill someone.”

A Heavy Price in the Name of Bad Science

  To ensure that the men would show up for a painful and potentially dangerous spinal tap, the PHS doctors misled them with a letter full of promotional hype: “Last Chance for Special Free Treatment.”
The fact that autopsies would eventually be required was also concealed.
By the end of the experiment, 28 of the men had died directly of syphilis, 100 were dead of related complications, 40 of their wives had been infected, and 19 of their children had been born with congenital syphilis. How had these men been induced to endure a fatal disease in the name of science?

To persuade the community to support the experiment, one of the original doctors admitted it “was necessary to carry on this study under the guise of a demonstration and provide treatment.” At first, the men were prescribed the syphilis remedies of the day—bismuth, neoarsphenamine, and mercury— but in such small amounts that only 3 percent showed any improvement.

These token doses of medicine were good public relations and did not interfere with the true aims of the study. Eventually, all syphilis treatment was replaced with “pink medicine”—aspirin.

To ensure that the men would show up for a painful and potentially dangerous spinal tap, the PHS doctors misled them with a letter full of promotional hype: “Last Chance for Special Free Treatment.” The fact that autopsies would eventually be required was also concealed.

As a doctor explained, “If the colored population becomes aware that accepting free hospital care means a post-mortem, every darky will leave Macon County...” Even the Surgeon General of the United States participated in enticing the men to remain in the experiment, sending them certificates of appreciation after 25 years in the study.

Following Doctors' Orders

It takes little imagination to ascribe racist attitudes to the white government officials who ran the experiment, but what can one make of the numerous African Americans who collaborated with them? The experiment's name comes from the Tuskegee Institute, the black university founded by Booker T. Washington. Its affiliated hospital lent the PHS its medical facilities for the study, and other predominantly black institutions as well as local black doctors also participated. A black nurse, Eunice Rivers, was a central figure in the experiment for most of its forty years.

The Veterans' Administration Hospital in Tuskegee, Alabama. Some of the study's post-mortem exams were conducted here.
The promise of recognition by a prestigious government agency may have obscured the troubling aspects of the study for some. A Tuskegee doctor, for example, praised “the educational advantages offered our interns and nurses as well as the added standing it will give the hospital.” Nurse Rivers explained her role as one of passive obedience: “we were taught that we never diagnosed, we never prescribed; we followed the doctor's instructions!”

It is clear that the men in the experiment trusted her and that she sincerely cared about their well-being, but her unquestioning submission to authority eclipsed her moral judgment. Even after the experiment was exposed to public scrutiny, she genuinely felt nothing ethical had been amiss.

One of the most chilling aspects of the experiment was how zealously the PHS kept these men from receiving treatment. When several nationwide campaigns to eradicate venereal disease came to Macon County, the men were prevented from participating. Even when penicillin—the first real cure for syphilis—was discovered in the 1940s, the Tuskegee men were deliberately denied the medication.

During World War II, 250 of the men registered for the draft and were consequently ordered to get treatment for syphilis, only to have the PHS exempt them. Pleased at their success, the PHS representative announced: “So far, we are keeping the known positive patients from getting treatment.” The experiment continued in spite of the Henderson Act (1943), a public health law requiring testing and treatment for venereal disease, and in spite of the World Health Organization's Declaration of Helsinki (1964), which specified that “informed consent” was needed for experiments involving human beings.

Blowing the Whistle

  The PHS did not accept the media's comparison of Tuskegee with the experiments performed by Nazi doctors on Jewish victims during World War II. Yet the PHS offered the same defense offered at the Nuremberg trials — they were just carrying out orders.
The story finally broke in the Washington Star on July 25, 1972, in an article by Jean Heller of the Associated Press. Her source was Peter Buxtun, a former PHS venereal disease interviewer and one of the few whistle blowers over the years. The PHS, however, remained unrepentant, claiming the men had been “volunteers” and “were always happy to see the doctors,” and an Alabama state health officer who had been involved claimed “somebody is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill.”

Under the glare of publicity, the government ended their experiment, and for the first time provided the men with effective medical treatment for syphilis. Fred Gray, a lawyer who had previously defended Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, filed a class action suit that provided a $10 million out-of-court settlement for the men and their families. Gray, however, named only whites and white organizations as defendants in the suit, portraying Tuskegee as a black and white case when it was in fact more complex than that—black doctors and institutions had been involved from beginning to end.

The PHS did not accept the media's comparison of Tuskegee with the appalling experiments performed by Nazi doctors on their Jewish victims during World War II. Yet in addition to the medical and racist parallels, the PHS offered the same morally bankrupt defense offered at the Nuremberg trials: they claimed they were just carrying out orders, mere cogs in the wheel of the PHS bureaucracy, exempt from personal responsibility.

The study's other justification—for the greater good of science—is equally spurious. Scientific protocol had been shoddy from the start. Since the men had in fact received some medication for syphilis in the beginning of the study, however inadequate, it thereby corrupted the outcome of a study of “untreated syphilis.”

Clinton's Apology for the Experiment
In 1990, a survey found that 10 percent of African Americans believed that the U.S. government created AIDS as a plot to exterminate blacks, and another 20 percent could not rule out the possibility that this might be true. As preposterous and paranoid as this may sound, at one time the Tuskegee experiment must have seemed equally farfetched.

Who could imagine the government, all the way up to the Surgeon General of the United States, deliberately allowing a group of its citizens to die from a terrible disease for the sake of an ill-conceived experiment? In light of this and many other shameful episodes in our history, African Americans' widespread mistrust of the government and white society in general should not be a surprise to anyone.


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Re: Everyday is Black History Month
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2005, 09:44:52 AM »

Re: Everyday is Black History Month
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2005, 10:35:43 AM »
Mar. 5, 1845, Macon Bolling Allen became the first licensed black lawyer in the United States, admitted in Massachusetts.

Feb. 1, 1865, the same day Congress approved the 13th Amendment ending slavery, Charles Summer introduced a motion that made John Swett Rock the first black attorney to be admitted to argue in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Nov. 24, 1890, Everett J. Waring and Joseph S. Davis became the first black lawyers to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Feb. 27, 1872, Charlotte E. Ray received her law degree from Howard University and became the first black woman certified as a lawyer in the United States. Ray opened her own practice in Washington D.C., but racial prejudices proved too strong and she could not maintain an active practice.

Jan. 29, 1926, Violette Neatly Anderson of Chicago became the first black female lawyer admitted before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Everyday is Black History Month
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2005, 09:38:12 PM »
that's good stuff