Saturday, February 09, 2019

Just in Time To Get You Ready for Valentines Day - The Guide to Becoming the Sensuous Black Woman

click HERE to buy your copy now!

Ever wonder why some women seem to get all the men? Even the ones who are no where near as good looking as you? Wondering what it is they've got that you don't? They're tuned into their SENSUALITY, meaning they're in tune with their senses, their body, and they know how to receive and give pleasure. Men can intuitively spot these women, and they're drawn to them like flies to honey. And boy do these women know how to dish out the honey! These are The Sensuous Black Women, and you can join their number by reading "The Guide To Becoming The Sensuous Black Woman (And Drive Men Wild In And Out Of Bed!)"
There have been other books written about sensuality, but none that have been so all encompassing, and absolutely NONE written specifically for the Black Woman. In writing "The Guide To Becoming The Sensuous Black Woman (And Drive Your Man Wild In And Out Of Bed!)" the spectacular "Miss T." has done a service for Black Women everywhere!

Tips Include:

-How To Attract A Man From Across The Room!
-Been Bad While He's Been Away? Tighten It Up So He'll Never Know!
-Want Your Man To Taste You Down There? Make It Tasty!
- Put His Condom On Him For Him Using Your Mouth!
- Exercise Your Way To A Bigger And Better Orgasm

Media Reviews
""This is a book that shows women how to attain sensuality in an encouraging, detailed, constructive, and sisterly fashion. It provides women with tools on how we can be sensuous beings whether we are in the bedroom with our lovers or just walking down the street with our friends." -- Cynthia Robinson - Reporter - "The Philadelphia Tribune"
"Sexy, sensous, and naughty. A must have book!" -- Jenice Armstrong - Columnist "The Philadelphia Daily News"

Click HERE to buy your copy now

Friday, February 08, 2019

A Learning Moment || Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing


It was on this day, December 12th, in 1899, that "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," was written as a poem by the great author civil right activist, and Harlem Renaissance birth-coach James Weldon Johnson (I might be persuaded to do A LEARNING MOMENT on him if y'all feel -- and let me know -- one is needed).

Now considered The Black National Anthem (once The Negro National Anthem), the poem was first performed by 500 school children at Staton Elementary School in Jacksonville, FL (Weldon was the school's principal) on February 12, 1900, in honor of Abraham Lincoln's birthday.
In 1905, James Weldon Johnson had his brother J. Rosamond Johnson set the beautiful stirring poetic words to music. 

The song immediately caught that emotional spirit of African-Americans around the country. It was soon being sung in schools throughout the South. (Though, interestingly, not recorded. We had underground even then, yo!)
In 1919, the always modest and unassuming James Weldon Johnson was the NAACP's chief executive officer, but bowing to public pressure he agreed to make his song the NAACP's official song. 

It should be noted, though, that he dubbed the song The Negro National Hymn, not The Negro National Anthem. His reasoning was that he didn't think one country should have two anthems. 

Obviously the public just never agreed.

Two personal things I'd like to share:

One -- I can't sing the last stanza without crying. Not even now.

Two -- I LOVE that he makes no mention of us having to learn to be patriotic or something to America, but in the very last line he urges us to stay "TRUE TO OUR GOD, TRUE TO OUR NATIVE LAND."
(THIS back in 1900. Yeah, James, boy, is my man!)

Here are the lyrics:

Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing

Lift every voice and sing   
Till earth and heaven ring, 
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty; 
Let our rejoicing rise 
High as the listening skies, 
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea. 
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, 
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us.   
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun, 
Let us march on till victory is won. 

Stony the road we trod, 
Bitter the chastening rod, 
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;   
Yet with a steady beat, 
Have not our weary feet 
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed? 
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered, 
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered, 
Out from the gloomy past,   
Till now we stand at last 
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast. 

God of our weary years,   
God of our silent tears, 
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way; 
Thou who hast by Thy might   
Led us into the light, 
Keep us forever in the path, we pray. 
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee, 
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee; 
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,   
May we forever stand.   
True to our God, 
True to our native land.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Nat Turner . . . A Hero Who Should Remembed This Day and Every Day


Nat Turner . . . 

'And about this time I had a vision — and I saw white spirits and black spirits engaged in battle, and the sun was darkened – the thunder rolled in the Heavens, and blood flowed in streams – and I heard a voice saying, "Such is your luck, such you are called to see, and let it come rough or smooth, you must surely bear it."'
                             Nat Turner, leader of 
                             1831 Slave Rebellion in
                             his Confession 

It was on this day -- August 21 --  in 1831, that Nat Turner led slaves and free Blacks in an insurrection in Southampton, Virginia. 

Turner was noted as intelligent as a child, and his grandmother told him he was destined for greatness. He was extremely religious regularly reading The Bible, praying and fasting from a very young age. Additionally he had visions, causing him to be called "Prophet" by fellow slaves.

At 22 he successfully ran away, but returned on his own a month later… saying that he was spiritually induced to do so. 

In 1828, he said that he saw a vision that he interpreted as indication that he was to lead his fellow slaves in an insurrection, a bloody one. 

Three years later, in 1831, he saw a celestial event that he interpreted as a signal that the time had come, and in February that year he began to lay plans for the now legendary Slave Rebellion.

More than 60 White men, women, and children were killed by the slaves and free Blacks following Turner. But Turner acted more leader than soldier, only killing one person -- Martha Whitehead. 
"It was agreed that we should commence at home, on that night, and, until we had armed and equipped ourselves and gained sufficient force, neither age nor sex was to be spared: which was invariably adhered to," Turner explained in his confession. Once they had gathered enough guns and ammunition, he said, the only Whites they would kill would be men. 

And let's be clear -- Nat and his men didn't only prey on the weak. They faced the White militia and fought valiantly!

Turner's men were coming out of a house on a plantation when they came face-to-face with a group of about 80 armed Whites. Turner's men numbered 60. 

Neither side did anything at first, but then one of the Whites fired a volley. When it was answered by a return volley by Turner's men, the Whites turned their horses and ran. 

After encountering the armed and organized White militia, the once-fleeing group of White men led the way back to Turner's location. And a battle ensued. 

The insurrection lasted two days, but was eventually put down by experienced and organized White militia.

Turner, however, managed to escape. 

But two months later he was discovered by two slaves who alerted Whites to his location. 
Turner went on the run to avoid capture, but was unable to elude the men and dogs on his trail. On October 30, he was captured. 

And, so, on November 11, 1831, Nat Turner was hanged. His body was flayed and beheaded. He was then buried in an unmarked grave in an unknown location. 

After his death, Turner's young wife was viciously tortured and whipped in an attempt to make her reveal where he kept his papers. She likely died under the lash. No papers were ever found. 

All together, thirty slaves and one free Black man were condemned to death, but 12 of the slaves were pardoned by the governor -- at the request of owners who wanted their slaves back to work on plantations. So only 19 of the condemned were hanged.

There were also hundreds of non-involved slaves and free Blacks murdered by the still angry White militia. Their vengeful rampage went on for months. 

Turner and his followers did not succeed in ending slavery, or even ending their own captivity . . . but they are still heroes. 

Please, on this day if no other, honor them as such.

Ibaiye, Baba Nat Turner. Your bravery and your demonstrated love for our people shall never be forgotten. 

Ibaiye all who followed Baba Nat Turner and were killed for doing so. Your sacrifice shall always propel me on.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

|| A LEARNING MOMENT || The Chicago Defender


On this day, May 5, in 1905, Georgia born Robert Sengstacke Abbott printed the first edition of what would become the most widely read African-American newspaper in the country — The Chicago Defender.

It wasn’t the first African-American newspaper, but it was definitely the most influential.
In fact, it is credited with starting The Great Migration; the migration of about 5 million African-Americans from the South to the North and West between 1915 and 1960.

Abbott attended Hampton Institute where he studied printing, and then law at Kent College of Law, but couldn’t make a decent living as an attorney.

In 1905 he printed the first editions of The Chicago Defender in his room in a boarding house and, encouraged by his landlady, he sold copies door-to-door.

Slowly he started gaining both readers and advertisers for the weekly paper, but it wasn’t until 1910 that he was able to hire his first full time employee, J. Hockley Smiley.

Abbott‘s big break came soon after when he convinced Pullman Porters to take papers with them on their trips to the South.
Soon African-Americans around the country were reading The Chicago Defender.

Only in The Defender they weren’t called African-Americans. Nor were they called Negroes or Colored.

In The Chicago Defender we were called The Race — our men were called ‘Race men’ and our women ‘Race women.’

And The Race was certainly gobbling up his papers nationwide. Even people who couldn’t read were buying the paper, because to have an issue in the home was considered a symbol of good breeding.
By 1916, only eleven years after its inception, The Chicago Defender had a circulation of 50,000.

And it also had a defined mission or goals that Abbott said he considered the paper’s Bible:

1.  American race prejudice must be destroyed; States;
6.  Government schools giving preference to American citizens before foreigners;
2.  Opening up all trade unions to blacks as well as whites;
3.  Representation in the President's Cabinet'
4.  Hiring black engineers, firemen, and conductors on all American railroads, and to all jobs in government;
5.  Gaining representation in all departments of the police forces over the entire United
7.  Hiring black motormen and conductors on surface, elevated, and motor bus lines throughout America;
8.  Federal legislation to abolish lynching; and
9.  Full enfranchisement of all American citizens

Abbott began encouraging Blacks to move from the Jim Crow South to the more liberal North. Jobs, he wrote, were abundant, housing was plentiful, and you didn’t have to move off the sidewalk if a white woman was walking along it. He railed against lynching and unlawful imprisonments which were nothing but a return to slavery.
He even began publishing a poem that included the stanzas:

No Cracker to seduce your sister
Nor hang you to a limb
And you’re not obliged to call to ‘mister’
Or show your teeth to them

(For those interested, I will type out entire poem, but I’m on a time-crunch now to get this finished by 10 PM. I didn’t get started until 8:30 PM.)

Then he even started publishing train schedules so The Race could find it easier to make the move from The South to the North.

And they did. So much so that some southern cities banned the sale of The Chicago Defender.

Inevitably, Abbott soon became a millionaire, and to thank the landlady who back in 1905 allowed him to use a room in her boardinghouse to print his papers he bought her an 8-room home.

Abbott died in 1940, and his heir and nephew, John Sengstacke, took the helm of the paper. (Abbott had noted his interest in printing early on, and paid for his nephew’s education.) Sengstacke was just as fervent about racial issues as his uncle and when Emmett Till was murdered in 1955 it was The Defender that first published the story, and the horrific picture that brought the hideous crime to national attention.

In 1956 Sengstacke changed the paper from a weekly to a daily, and the name to The Chicago Daily Defender, but it resumed weekly publication in 2003. Sengstacke remained publisher of the paper until his death in 1997.

Though no longer family-owned, The Chicago Defender is still published every Wednesday.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

||A LEARNING MOMENT|| — Runaways Slaves Suffered From Mental Disease

 Did you know that the desire to escape from slavery was once considered in mental illness?
In 1851 American physician, Samuel A. Cartwright submitted his paper, “Drapetomania, or the disease causing Negroes to flee” to the Medical Association of Louisiana, and thus the disease, drapetomania was born.
Let’s make sure we have the pronunciation right…dray-ptoh-may-nee-uh.

Cartwright — who was born in North Carolina and studied medicine in Philadelphia — declared that sane slaves did not want, nor would ever consider,fleeing slavery. 
Accordingly, those who did were mentally insane — suffering from drapetomania. The cause was masters who foolishly treated their slaves humanely. 
However, all was not lost! Because, Cartwright declared the disease curable if caught in time! 
If a master noticed his slave becoming sulky and dissatisfied without cause, the master should quickly whip the devil out of him in order to make the thought of fleeing dissipate before it was acted on. Another remedy that Cartwright suggested was the severing of both of the slave’s big toes. 
Cartwright also said white slave masters should also be aware of another mental illness, which he termed “drapetomania aethiopica,” and which resulted in a slave’s willingness to work hard. 
He opined that drapetomania aethiopica  was quite often found among “free negroes” than among slaves working large plantations, but all masters should be aware of this newly invented disease. 
His recommended cure?
“ . . . have the patient well washed with warm water and soap; then, to anoint [the slave’s skin] all over in oil, and to slap the oil in with a broad leather strap; then to put the patient to some hard kind of work in the sunshine.”
The Medical Association of Louisiana commended Cartwright on his findings, and his paper was published in DeBow’s Review — a widely circulated magazine in the American South. 
It was also published in “The New Orleans Medical and Surgery Journal.”
Dr. Cartwright gave numerous lectures on “niggerology” during the 1840s and 1850s.

As late as 1914, the third edition of Thomas Lathrop Stedman’s Practical Medical Dictionary included an entry for drapetomania, defined as “Vagabondage, dromomania; an uncontrollable or insane impulsion to wander.” 

Friday, July 28, 2017

|| A LEARNING MOMENT || The 1917 Silent March

THE 1917 Silent Parade 

 “ . . . the streets of New York have witnessed many strange sights, but I judge, never one stranger than this; among the watchers were those with tears in their eyes.” James Weldon Johnson

July 28, 1917 -- 100 years ago today -- The Silent March made history as the very first organized civil rights march.
It was held in response to more than 200 African-Americans being killed in what would later be called the East St. Louis riots.

White mobs burn down homes of African-Americans, turned off fire hoses, and snipers picked off the residents  -- men, women and children -- who fled those burning homes.

The cause of the white mobs ire? Fear that blacks migrating from Louisiana to East St. Louis MIGHT begin to take labor jobs away from white union laborers.

Little was written in the media about the riots, and many in the North had no idea what had occurred.

James Weldon Johnson, who was president of the NAACP, suggested the soon-to-be legendary march to bring attention to the violence against African-Americans, including the victims of the St. Louis riots, and the many lynchings that was taking place in post-Reconstruction America.

One of the fliers that were distributed announcing the March read in part:
“We march because we are thoroughly opposed to Jim Crow cars, segregation, disenfranchisement and the host of evils that are forced upon us. We march in memory of our butchered dead, theu massacre of honest toilers who were removing the reproach of laziness and thriftlessness hurled at the entire race. They died to prove our worthiness to live. We live in spite of death shadowing us and ours.” 

It was estimated that more than 8000 participants silently marched down fifth Avenue, from 57th St. to 24th St., silent the entire time, except for muffled drumbeats from a procession of drummers who march just ahead of the March organizers who were followed by a large grouping of children dressed in white, followed by an even larger grouping of women dressed in white… And ending with a group of men in black business suits. Including James Weldon Johnson and W.E.B. Du Bois.

African-American Boy Scouts flanked the paraders, handing out flyers to onlookers explaining the purpose of the March:

"We march because the growing consciousness and solidarity of race coupled with sorrow and discrimination have made us one: a union that may never be dissolved in spite of shallow-brained agitators, scheming pundits and political tricksters who secure a fleeting popularity and uncertain financial support by promoting the disunion of a people who ought to consider themselves as one."

Though no songs were played, and no words were mouthed, the signs and banners carried by the marchers expressed their sentiments.

"Mother, do lynchers go to heaven?" 

"Mr. President, why not make America safe for democracy?" 

"Thou shalt not kill." 

"Pray for the Lady Macbeths of East St. Louis." 

"Give us a chance to live."

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Intergration Isn’t Supposed to be a One-Way Street

Will you consider me a racist if I say I support segregation?
Well, consider away.
I understand that many of my ancestors fought against segregation and I appreciate it. But I wonder what they would think if they saw the end result of integration.
No longer do we have our own banks. No longer do we have our own theaters. No longer do we have our own insurance companies. And we can’t blame it on the white man!
So many black people were so happy to be able to patronize white businesses — from which that they had been barred for so long — that they abandoned their black establishments. We rushed to patronize white establishments, but whites did not rush to patronize ours.
Integration, as far as I can see it, only goes one way.
With few exceptions, when I ask my white friends to name the last book they’ve read that was written by black authors and deals with the black experience, they can only name books they read in school. When I ask them to name the last movie they’ve seen that deals with the black experience and stars black actors, they usually struggle to name one, unless it was a movie that won Oscars — and seldom can even then.
Since whites outnumber blacks in this country, if we support their endeavors but they don’t support ours, the end result is that their endeavors are more successful than ours.
Why? Because they outnumber us. And while we cross over to help the group that outnumbers us, that group doesn’t cross back over to support our endeavors.
And guess what?
White banks are less likely to give our businesses loans than black banks. And if black people are not supporting black banks, black banks go out of business. And if black businesses go out of business, black employment goes down — because black businesses are more likely to hire black people then white businesses.
Of course, if white people patronized our black banks and our black businesses, none of this would happen. But they don’t. We patronize theirs, but they don’t patronize ours.
God bless our ancestors for the fight they fought, but integration has only gone one way.
Remember Lawnside, New Jersey?
About 10 miles outside of Philadelphia and some 25 miles from Atlantic City, it used to be the jumping place for black folks to go on summer weekends during the ’40s and ’50s. All of the top black stars stopped there: Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, Redd Foxx, Billie Holiday. If they were going to be in Atlantic City to play in the white night clubs, they drove the 25 miles down the highway to also make it to Lawnside to entertain their black fans.
Because there was no integration, that was the only way the black fans were able to see them. And black fans flocked to do so. Back in those days, because of segregation, the black dollar stayed in the black community because there was really no other place blacks were allowed to spend it. The end result was that Lawnside was a thriving black community with black banks, black nightclubs, black insurance companies … and the coldest beer that God made!
But then the ’60s came, and all of a sudden blacks were allowed to go into the white hotels and clubs to see the black stars — and also great white entertainers like Frank Sinatra. So they went. And they were so excited about being able to go, they kept going. And soon they stopped going to Lawnside.
While the white folks who had always been going to Atlantic City could care less about traveling to Lawnside.
I won’t bother to tell you what happened to that once-thriving black community.
You can guess.
So, yes, I do support segregation of our economic power. But I really don’t think you can call me a racist.
After all, I do have white friends.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

July 4th? Sorry . . . My Independence Day isn’t until December!

Today, a friend of more than 40 years texted me "Wishing you a safe and happy 4th of July!" followed by six American flag emojis and six celebratory horn-blowing emojis.
I texted back, "Same to you (although I don't know when you got so damn patriotic.)"
His response? "I just learned about emojis. Yay, me!"
His answer satisfied my curiosity. He used the 4th of July like many African-Americans (and quite a few non-African-Americans)  use it  . . . as an excuse to do something else they want to do -- get off work, barbecue in the backyard, have a family reunion (because it's a three-day holiday and it allows out-of-town relatives travel time), or simply to practice sending out emojis.
I do know a few African-Americans who actually celebrate Independence Day with flag waving and parade watching, but very few. When asked (because, you know, I have to ask) why they're celebrating they usually answer that America's a great country, and they're proud to be an American.
I'm never quite sure how to respond without launching into a lecture that I'm quite sure they don't want to hear.
But here it is.
If you're Black, and grateful and proud to be an American that's all cool and dandy, but why are you celebrating the independence of a country that kept you enslaved while declaring their own right to be free?
I mean, let's be clear . . . if there is any date that Black folks should be celebrating as Independence Day, it should be December 18th. That's the day, in 1865, that the Thirteenth Amendment was issued, outlawing slavery.
Oh . . . you thought Lincoln freed the slaves with his Emancipation Proclamation . .!
No. He only freed the slaves in the rebelling Southern states, just to further piss them off.
It was simply a war measure, not a measure of the Nation's compassion or conscience.
Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware, parts of Virginia and even parts of Louisiana were allowed to keep right on doing what they were doing - practicing slavery.
So, yeah, while I understand some African-Americans are proud to be an American, and/or want to serve it in some manner (I fall into the latter category, having served in the U. S. Navy for five years. Yay, me!), I just don't understand celebrating an Independence Day that not only is NOT mine, but also celebrating the document that is at the heart of the holiday -- The Declaration of Independence. A document that opens with the words "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. 

My men, my race, weren't considered equal. Our right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness wasn't recognized. The fact is there were 500,000 Blacks being held as slaves as the document was being signed

So no offense, but while I don't mind using the 4th of July as an excuse for a paid day off from work (much as many whites use the MLK holiday), I will reserve my celebration of Independence Day for another five  months 

Friday, June 30, 2017

|| A LEARNING MOMENT || Old Nick Biddle

"If poor old Nick Biddle calls on you with a document, as he calls it, don't say you are in a hurry and turn him off, but ornament the paper with your signature and plant a good round sum opposite your name. Nick has been a good soldier and now that he is getting old and feeble, he deserves the support of our citizens."
                Excerpt of Weekly Miners' Journal  (Pottsville, PA) article 

Do you know know who was the first to have shed blood in The War for the Union, later called the Civil War? 
It was a Black man, a former slave, a 65-year old Pottsville, PA resident named Nick Biddle.

His original name is unknown, but we do know that he was born a slave in Delaware, escaped to Philadelphia, and later moved to Pottsville. Some say that he worked, for a short time, as a servant for Philadelphia financier Nicholas Biddle and decided to name himself after his employer in admiration. 

When Abraham Lincoln called for 90-day volunteers to serve in order to give soldiers to train, a militia company from Pottsville changed their name from the Pottsville Blues to the Washington Artillerists and answered the call, Biddle included. This militia became one of five Pennsylvania companies that were to be forever hailed as The First Defenders.

However, when traveling through Baltimore to get to Washington D.C., their train was attacked by pro-confederate sympathizers. When the mob  saw Biddle, they started shouting "Nigger in uniform." He was subsequently knocked down and hit in the head with a piece of brick -- a wound so deep bone was exposed. He was not the only man to be attacked that day, and perhaps not even the first, but he was the first to be wounded sufficiently to shed blood.

When they finally reached Washington, and were with being personally greeted and given a handshake from the President, Lincoln stopped at Biddle and suggested he seek medical help. The former slave refused -- saying he didn't want to leave his company. 

After serving their 90-day service the Washington Artillerists returned to Pottsville, but while many of the company then reenlisted for three-year terms, Biddle did not. Understandable. He was 65, and still suffering from the severe head wound.

At first he survived by doing odd jobs around Pottsville, but he lived the latter part of his life destitute, indirectly begging for money by reminding people of his service to the country. 

When he died in 1876, the members of the Washington Artillerists and a couple of other companies that made up The First Defenders not only paid for his funeral, but also led a huge procession from his home to the "colored" burial ground. They also paid for his tombstone, which read:
 "In Memory of Nicholas Biddle, Died August 2, 1876. His was the Proud Distinction of Shedding the First Blood in the Late War for the Union, Being Wounded while Marching through Baltimore with the First Volunteers from Schuylkill County. 18 April 1861. Erected by his Friends in Pottsville."

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Soweto Uprising — “And the children shall lead the way to freedom “


"I saw a child fall down. Under a shower of bullets I rushed forward and went for the picture. It had been a peaceful march, the children were told to disperse, they started singing Nkosi Sikelele. The police were ordered to shoot." – Sam Nzima, South African photographer of one of the most iconic photographs in the world.

Hector Pieterson. How many of you know his name?

Today, June 16, is the anniversary of his 1976 murder by South African government in what is now called the Soweto Uprising -- a series of protests led by Black students. Most just children.

But it was young Hector's death, and the famous picture of this 12-year old dying child, that brought worldwide attention to the evil and inhumane system of apartheid.

In 1925, Afrikaans -- a language bastardized from Portuguese, Dutch (with Bantu influences) --  was declared the official language of South Africa. Fifty years later the South African government declared that 50 percent of all lessons (math, science , etc.) in Black schools had to be taught in Afrikaans and the other 50 percent in English. 
This forced Black students to lose opportunity for critical analysis, as they had to focus on understanding the language as opposed to the lesson being taught.
Forced to focus on learning Afrikaans, the language of their oppressors.
White schools were not so restricted, students were largely taught in their own native languages.
Just as infuriating to Black South Africans? It was an insult to be forced to learn Afrikaans -- the language of their oppressor. 
In February 1976, two Soweto teachers quit rather than be forced to teach the lessons in Afrikaans. 
In April of that year, Orlando West Junior School refused to attend classes. 
The protest quickly spread, and soon the majority of students in Soweto schools were refusing to attend. 
By mid-June the students had self-organized (they would later be known as the Soweto Students' Representative Council), and Tsiesti Machinini,  a student and head of the debate team of Morris Isaacson High School, suggested a three-day rally. 
So on June 16, thousands of students headed to the Orlando High School stadium shouting slogans and carrying signs, some of which read: "If we must do Afrikaans, Vorster must do Zulu." (John Vorster was prime minister of South Africa at the time.) as they marched to the demonstration site.
When they were stopped by police-erected road barricades, instead of trying to forcibly removing the barricades they simply took a detour. 
It's estimated they were 20,000 in number, these young students, by the time they reached the school. Waiting for them were met by armed police officers.
The students began singing 'Nkosi Sikelele',  a Black liberation song and the official anthem of the African National Congress. 
When a police dog was released on the crowd it was promptly killed by the students.
It was then that police started shooting.
Some say that it was 15-year old Hastings Ndlovu who was shot first, but it's widely believed that Pieterson was actually the first fatality. 
As he lay dying on the ground his body was scooped by another student, Mbuyisa Makhubo. Photographer Sam Nzima's iconic photograph shows Makhubo carrying young Hector Pieterson as he runs for help, and Pieterson's terrified sister, Antoinette Sithole, crying as she runs alongside of them. 
Twelve-year old Hector was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital. 
Nzima's photograph was published in The World, an Black newspaper out of Johannesburg, and later picked up by media outlets around the world. 
At first the South African government said  the police had not fired directly on the students, but on the ground, and the bullet fatal must have ricocheted off of a stone to hit Pieterson. 
An autopsy later proved that to be false -- the boy was killed by a direct shot.
What started out as a demonstration, soon became an uprising, a rebellion, or a riot -- depending upon your sociopolitical outlook -- that lasted three days. Hundreds of students died as they used stones and bottles as weapons against heavily armed police.
Even tanks were brought in by law enforcement to squelch the rebellion, but still the students fought.
And, to the government's astonishment, there were some right in their own country who sided with the young Sowetans .
At one  point, 400 white students from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg attempted to join the Soweto students, but were stopped and disbanded by police.
The government demanded that hospitals report all people with gunshot wounds so that they could be prosecuted. 
Instead, sympathetic doctors listed bullet wounds as abscesses.
What later became known as the Soweto Students Uprising, motivated students around the country; soon student demonstrations, rallies, and protests we're being held nationwide, and now international media was there to document it all.
And the small number of people who decried apartheid worldwide soon numbered in millions. 
Faced with severe criticism and --  more importantly -- financial sanctions, the South African government had no choice but to abolish the evil system.
Today June 16 is a national holiday in South Africa, called National Youth Day to honor the students of Soweto who fought,  against injustice. 
Personally, I don't think you need to be a South  African or in South Africa to honor them.