#OnThisDay November 16, 1972 Denver A. Smith and Leonard D. Brown were killed by the Baton Rouge, LA police during a demonstration on the campus of Southern University.

Don't know about this murder on the campus of Southern?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
South Carolina State University, in 1970, was the first college campus in which the National Guard was used to quell a demonstration resulted in death. Murdered were Samuel Hammond Jr., 18, Henry Smith, 18 and Delano Middleton, 17.
Before Southern University, a little background on the SCSU Orangeburg massacre. Despite being the first deadly confrontation between university students and law enforcement in United States history, the Orangeburg Massacre is a rarely remembered tragedy.
This happened TWO YEARS before the better-known Kent State University shootings, and two months before the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. When this happened, it didn't get ANY national coverage. It was also called a "riot."
Kent State University got front page, and international coverage. It happened two years later. Students protesting the Vietnam War were murdered by the National Guard.

If you need to ask why murdered students protesting segregation didn't get the same coverage . . .
Even today, events of the evening remain contested, and no formal investigation into the incident has ever been undertaken. This was the result after a long series of clashes with local law enforcement and politicians. SCSU is the civil rights birth place of Majority Whip Clyburn
By the winter of 1968, students at SCSU and Claflin College, HBCUs, set their sights on one particular target: All-Star Bowling Lanes, owned by white proprietor Harry Floyd. Despite the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Black people were still denied service.
On February 5, a group of students went to the bowling alley and defiantly sat at the lunch counter until the police were called and the business closed early. The next day, the students returned and again entered the bowling alley, and 15 of them were arrested.
After the arrests, more students began showing up, angry that protesters were being arrested. Someone broke a window of the bowling alley and all hell broke loose. Police beat Black men and women, sending eight students to the hospital.
Things were tense. Students submitted a list of demands that consisted of integration and the elimination of discrimination within the community. SC's Governor, Robert E. McNair, called in the National Guard after saying students were influenced by Black Power advocates.🙄
Demonstrations continued at the bowling alley and on SCSU's campus, against segregation. On the night of February 8, 1968, students started a bonfire at the front of the campus of South Carolina State University.
As police and firefighters were putting out the fire, a police officer was hit by a wooden banister. SC Highway Patrol officers began firing into the crowd of around 200 protesters. Eight patrol officers fired carbines, shotguns, and revolvers at the protesters.
Twenty-seven people were injured in the shooting, most of whom were shot in the back as they were running away, and three Black men were killed -- Samuel Hammond Jr., Henry Smith (both SCSU students), and Delano Middleton, a student at the local Wilkinson High School.
Middleton was shot while simply sitting on the steps of the freshman dormitory awaiting the end of his MOMMA'S WORK SHIFT. Welp, you know the lies were coming from the police, saying they were under attack. You can't make this isht up.
Similarly, a North Carolina newspaper reported that week that students threw firebombs at buildings and that the sound of apparent sniper fire was heard. Shocker alert. Evidence that police were being fired upon at the time of the incident was inconclusive.
No evidence was presented in court, as a result of investigations, that protesters were armed or had fired on officers. The federal government brought charges against the state patrolmen in the first federal trial of police officers for using excessive force at a campus protest.
The state patrol officers' defense was that they felt they were in danger + protesters had shot at the officers first. All 9 defendants were acquitted although 36 witnesses = they did not hear gunfire coming from protesters on campus bf the shooting + no students HAD GUNS.
In a state trial in 1970, the activist Cleveland Sellers was convicted of a charge of riot related to the events on February 6 at the bowling alley. He served seven months in state prison, getting time off for good behavior.
Why was he arrested? He was the national program director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1973, he wrote The River of No Return: The Autobiography of a Black Militant and the Life and Death of SNCC.
Sellers was officially pardoned by the governor of South Carolina in 1993. The Smith–Hammond–Middleton Memorial Center, South Carolina State's on-campus arena, was renamed in honor of the three victims, opening the same year as the massacre.
I will continue this thread . . . gotta run . . . back soon.
Southern University, in Baton Rouge, LA, is the nation's largest HBCU. In 1970, over 10K mostly Black students went there. Although the school president and most of the administration were Black, the university itself was under the control of the Louisiana State Legislature.
Shocker alert. The State of Louisiana spent only half as much money on the Black students and their facilities as they did on the white students in predominantly white colleges and universities. This isn't unusual; MD JUST settled a lawsuit for its HBCUs.🙄
The students of Southern University had endured low-quality food, inadequate funding, overcrowded and improper housing, that included worn out and torn mattresses in such bad shape, that many opted to sleep on the floor of their dorm rooms instead.
Students also wanted more courses on African American history + culture + a separate, Black-controlled board. In November, the students formed an organization, Students United, led by Rickey Hill and Fred J. Prejean, to present their grievances.
From the "it's a small world" department, Dr. Hill was one of my EXCELLENT political science professors when I was a student at Fisk University! He is now a professor at Jackson State University.
For over a month, the students boycotted classes and held non-violent demonstrations throughout the campus. Southern University had a very large football following, and during one game, student protesters took over the field and stopped a game.
LA Gov. Edwin Edwards ordered the campus closed, citing safety reasons, and sent the National Guard + local police officers. They followed students across campus + used intimidation to stop the protests. 4 students were arrested in the early hours of Nov. 15 + the officers left.
The next morning, the student organization met with the university president, Dr. G. Leon Netterville, + asked him to go to the police and ask for the release of the arrested students. Dr. Netterville agreed and told the students that they could wait for his return in his office.
Allegedly other students set fire to the registration office and other university buildings. Although Dr. Netterville left the campus, an unknown caller alerted the police that the university president was being held hostage by the students in his administration building.
Welp, you know what was gonna happen next. Over 300 police + National Guard officers arrived in full riot gear + a tank. They surrounded the administration building + ordered the students outside. As the students came out, the officers launched tear gas canisters at them.
One student threw the canister back in the direction of the officers, and shots were fired from the tank and from the surrounding officers. When the smoke cleared, two students, Leonard Brown and Denver Smith, were dead.
The coroner, Hypolyte Landry, reported that the students were the victims of either buckshot or shrapnel. OF COURSE no officer was ever charged with the crime.🙄😡President Netterville resigned and in 1975 a separate board of trustees was created to govern the university.
In 2017 Southern University awarded both Brown and Smith posthumous degrees. "Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities," was released in 2017, detailing the movements across the southern colleges and the violence at Southern University.
FIN/May the souls of SCSU students Samuel Hammond Jr., Henry Smith, high school student Delano Middleton and Denver Smith and Leonard Brown of Southern University rest in peace.




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The least common denominator in the trial of alleged murderers Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr., and Kyle Rittenhouse?


Juries are selected from the rolls of people who are REGISTERED TO VOTE.

So if you're not registered to vote?

You don't get selected to serve on grand juries or jury trials.
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Who was Art Dorrington?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
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#OnThisDay November 9, 1922 Legendary actress and civil rights activist Dorothy Dandridge was born in Cleveland, OH. She was the first Black woman nominated for an Oscar for best actress and a Golden Globe award.

Who was Dorothy Dandridge?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
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Who was Nat Turner?

Glad you asked. #GladYouAsked
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Remember, this was the post WWII generation. Meaning there was a lot of "white flight" from cities to suburbs. Black people, who wanted to move there like my grand dad after WWII? Thanks to redlining and discrimination, he couldn't even get a loan. Like most Black people.
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