Bruce Boynton died today.

A lot of people don't know his name but he is evidence of how recent slavery was. It's SUCH a crazy, mindblowing story that's centered on a Black woman who I've argued might be the MOST important person in Civil Rights history

A thread.
To understand how crazy this story is, it starts with an enslaved man and ENDS in 2018... WITH A SLAVE SHIP.

Y'all, it's crazy.

It started when the War for White Supremacy broke out in SC. A lot of those racists believed that their human property were actually happy!
One of the enslaved men had gotten a job on a Confederate transport ship because knew more about SC ports than all those mediocre white men combined, so he started plotting.

He got other enslaved people to work on the ship and the dumb-ass white dudes actually let them!
A year after the war started, there were 3 white officers on this ship and 8 crew members, all Black. Rob started telling them that he had an idea. There was just one problem:

There was a snitch.

So the 7 crewmen who were 'bout that freedom life kept their plans on the low
One night, the white dudes left, and Rob was like:

"Hey white dudes, can our families spend the night on the ship?"

The officers were cool with it because they knew the snitch was on board. So all the families came to visit. They woke up & told the snitch:
"Oh shit, man, you must have slept late! Our folks have already left, you better escort your fam off the ship! I'll cover for you and get the officers uniforms ready. Where'd you put their clothes?"

But the other family members were hiding on the ship!
As soon as the snitch walked his family off the Confederate ship, the other slaves slipped on those white boys uniforms and peeled out.

Rob had watched the white dudes for a year. He knew their signals, all the passwords & how to drive the ship.

(You "drive" ships, right?")
Man, Rob steered the Confederate ship past everybody, wearing those officers' uniforms, right into Union territory! He gave the traitors' ship to the Union and freed his family and all of his homey's family too.

No one knows what happened to the ship.
Rob was a hero! He was in all the papers. Lincoln thanked him personally. He was only 23 years old and he was given his own ship to fight for the Union. Now, he couldn't technically be a captain because you had to graduate from the naval academy (and be white) to get that rank
But he got captain's wages. When the war was over, by law, he was supposed to get a "prize" for the value of the ship he had given to the Union.

But Rob was Black.

Not only did he not get his prize, when he applied for his pension, he found out that he wasn't even in the NAVY!
But Rob knew white people. He had been saving his money and used it to buy a building and opened a school for newly freed slaves and a store for freedmen. He went to the school every day for the first 9 months. It wasn't that he was a micromanager, he did it for another reason.
Rob couldn't read!

This dude taught himself to read, started a BLACK OWNED RAILROAD and in 1874, Robert Smalls got himself elected to Congress.

During Reconstruction, Rob was a thorn in everyone's side. He fought hard against removing troops from the South but no one knew why
Rob told anyone who would listen that if the whites in the SOuth were left to their own devices, they would disenfranchise Black people but everyone thought he was crazy.

I wonder how that turned out?
Anyway, Rob also had a half brother. And Rob's brother had a daughter, Amelia, who was even smarter. She wrote a play about Robert and attended Tuskegee. She hung out with George Washington Carver and joked that she was gonna name a kid after him.

Yeah right.
But Amelia had that blood in her. She married a guy in Alabama and she remembered what her uncles said about disenfranchising Black people.

Back then, it was damn near impossible for Black people to vote. While we call them "literacy tests," they weren't really that.
Sometimes, in Alabama, you might meet Black people who know the Constitution like the back of their hands. That's because these "literacy" tests required Black people to recite whole passages, take handwriting tests, do math etc. Basically most WHITE people couldn't pass the test
But again, Amelia was smart. In 1934, Amelia took the literacy test in spite of everyone telling her it was an impossible feat.

Amelia Boynton passed that shit on her first try.

And guess what she did?

She started traveling around Alabama teaching people how to pass the test!
There was a problem, though.

The KKK ran the town's only Black notary out of town, who was also the president of the Dallas County Voters League, so Black people STILL couldn't register to vote. So Amelia had an idea.
She convinced her husband to open an insurance agency, which made him a notary. Then she began holding DCVL and NAACP meetings in the insurance office. When Amelia's husband died she took over, fought the Klan and taught her kids not to take NOTHING off no white man.
In fact, her son Bruce Boynton wanted to become a lawyer and went to Howard Law School. One Christmas break, Bruce was on a Trailways bus when they stopped at a place with a "whites only" counter.

Bruce was hungry, so he posted up at the counter and was arrested.
Amelia called some of her NAACP friends and the lawyer promised to represent Bruce, even if they had to go to the Supreme Court.

They had to go to the Supreme Court.

Luckily the NAACP lawyer was pretty good—some guy named Thurgood Marshall.

This story is just beginning.
Now, you may have heard of the Freedom Riders, the group who rode through the South to challenge segregation laws in '61.

Or, maybe you've heard of 1 of the Freedom Riders, a guy named John Lewis.

Well the reason they were able to challenge those laws were because of a ruling
One Supreme Court case overturned segregation on interstate travel:

Bruce George Washington Carver Boynton v. Virginia.

Now after the Freedom Rides, the DCVL exploded but they couldn't get any attention. Amelia had an idea.
In 1964, she gave up leadership at the DCVL and ran for Congress, making her the first Black woman in the state of Alabama to run for office and the first woman of ANY race to run as a Democrat. After she lost, she said she had to bring more attention to these injustices
So she went back to Selma and started organizing a local march. The DCVL wanted to keep it low-key but Amelia & others wanted some big names like MLK and John Lewis.

No one thought there was any way these big names would come but Amelia called them up

They came.
Everyone has seen the pics of John Lewis getting his skull cracked on the Edmund Pettus Bridge but during the time, perhaps the most famous picture was not Lewis' pic.

At the march, an Alabama State Trooper on horseback yelled "run," and a woman replied: "why should I run?"
The trooper beat her unconscious. She suffered throat burns from the tear gas.

THAT was the pic that went around the world. THAT was one of the pics that inspired LBJ to pass the Voting Rights Act.

THAT woman was Amelia Boynton.
I've actually met Amelia Boynton.

She lived until 2015.

But here's a weird story that completes the circle.
One of the reasons Amelia Boynton was able to register so many people to vote was because her day job was working for the USDA educating people about nutrition. She basically knew ALL the rural people.
Well, for years, Amelia had been telling people they had something wrong about Black history. She didn't scream it but she knew they were wrong.

For years, everyone had been saying that the last living person to come to America was a man who lived outside of Mobile named Cudjo
In 1860, some white men made a bet that they could smuggle a ship filled with slaves into the US. This was a crazy bet because the importation of slaves had been outlawed for 50 years.

They did it.

They brought 115 Africans into Mobile Bay and set the ship on fire.
The Africans eventually established a settlement in the US called Africatown that still exists. Cudjoe Lewis was the last living person on that ship. Zora Neale Hurston wrote a book about it. They just found the ship last year.
But Amelia said they were wrong. She told people that she had met one of the descendants during her travels with the FDA that was alive after Cudjoe died.

Which is crazy to think I met someone who met a person who came to America on a slave ship.
According to Amelia, when she met the lady in the middle of nowhere in Alabama, she had long talks about her voyage, what it was like in Africa, etc.

Amelia said she even found someone to speak the woman's language, but of course, there was no proof.
Amelia wrote about it in her book but no one really paid attention to it.

Last year, I read a research paper by a British journalist who claimed to have found evidence that the last living person wasn't Cudjoe but a woman named Redoshi.

I was like: "Wait...Nah, it couldn't be."
It turned out that there was previously inaccessible footage of one of the most joyous moments in the woman's life...

When a USDA Worker named Amelia Boynton introduced her to the only person who could speak her language and interviewed Redoshi on film.

So if you think the Civil Rights movement was something in our past or that slavery was SO LONG AGO, remember this

The IMPORTANT son of one of THE MOST incredible women in history, Bruce Boynton...

Who died TODAY...

Was in his mother's belly when she MET A SLAVE.

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More from @michaelharriot

16 Nov
Just say "White people."

The people upset about this proposal don't factor in the racial biases of the student loan industry or how they benefit.

Here's why they should be happy.

A thread:
First of all, we have to recognize that simply being Black means you are more likely to incur student debt.


Well, white workers are paid more than black workers with the same education & experience EVEN AT THE SAME LOCATION
Let's not even get into the fact that whites benefit from GENERATIONS of stolen wealth.

No, I'm not talking about slavery.

How about all those post-slavery years where Blacks paid taxes for K-12 schools and colleges only whites could attend?
Read 16 tweets
10 Nov
You are framing the question so that you can receive the answer you want but I’ll bite.

A thread.
1. Would you agree to a law that required you to get a blood test every time you used the bathroom?

How about a law that required you to slice one millimeter off your penis every time you used ketchup?

I bet you’re thinking “But those laws have no point.”

Every single large-scale peer reviewed study ever conducted says voter fraud does not exist on a meaningful scale.

Dating back to 1982, there have been less than 500 prosecutions. If we multiplied that by the literal billions of votes cast...
Read 22 tweets
9 Nov
To all the people who argue that the "left" should stop using phrases like "defund the police" and words like "socialism" or "reparations"


History has proven it time and time again.

A thread:
When the U.S. told England to kick rocks in 1776, Thomas Jefferson said: "If I'm going to write a declaration of independence, I GOTTA mention that 'slavery' thing. Yeah, I have slaves but we all know it's wrong."

But he was told not to use the "s-word" so he told King George:
But the other dudes were like:

"Maybe we should take that whole part out if we want those dudes down South to support our plan. I'm sure they'll come around in like 5 or six years."

Where do I get this information from?

Some dude name Thomas Jefferson
Read 26 tweets
5 Nov
A lot of the anger about non-white people voting for a white nationalist is because some people don't understand one inarguable historical truth:


A thread:
First of all, let's all agree that whiteness is some shit people made up. It has no basis in science or even logic.

For instance, for MOST of American history, the Irish weren't considered white and they might be the whitest people on the planet!
Now the Irish WERE NOT slaves, but the English and Scottish considered them "the closest thing to the negro" and "human chimpanzees"

Do you know how far England is from Ireland?

21 miles!

It's like when Brooklyn niggas talk shit about people from Queens. Image
Read 34 tweets
23 Oct
Trump: We will have a vaccine by next Thursday

Welker: Who’s making it?

Trump: Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Astrozeneca, Robotussin, Clorox, Vicks Vape-o-rona... Everybody!
Trump: I take full responsibility for coronavirus but it’s not my fault, it’s China’s fault. But it’s my responsibility...What does responsibility mean, again?

Trump talks about closing the border to China like Al Bundy talks about his four-touchdown football game in high school
Trump talks like someone giving a book report but didn’t read the book because it was “massive.” He knows the book “very strongly.” In fact, he gets along very well with author, who’s probably a Democrat, but he’d blow away every book report if he wanted to. Especially Hillary’s
Read 12 tweets
13 Oct
Did y'all see those lines yesterday?

For years, I've been arguing that we shouldn't refer to institutional race-based discrimination as "racism" and yesterday was a perfect example of this.

The correct term is "white supremacy."

A thread.
First, you have to understand how America is set up.

The Constitution isn't racist, it's a manual for setting up a white supremacist state. Even the founders who were against slavery believed Black people were inferior humans.

Tanke Thomas Jefferson, for instance:
Even before he wrote that BS about "all men are created equal," he was purchasing human chattel to rape and enslave. He said Africans were "as incapable as children" and called them "savages."

But he wanted to abolish slavery because he loved America.

Also, he was scared AF. Image
Read 43 tweets

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