Wednesday, August 23, 2006

175th Anniversary of Nat Turner Slave Rebellion

For seven days each year, beginning on August 21, we celebrate the Nat Turner Rebellion, a vicious slave uprising in Virginia in 1831 when a small army of black women and men, most enslaved but some "free", rebelled against American bigotry. Gen. Nat Turner and his rebels hoped to organize the black nation and to crush racist slavery in America. This year, during the 175th anniversary of that rebellion, we hope to celebrate for three weeks.

The Nat Turner Rebellion started on August 21, 1831, in Southampton County, Virginia, not far from the North Carolina border. This rebellion killed at least fifty-five white people who profited from American slavery. However, when the white militia crushed the rebellion, they killed up to 200 black people and hanged Nat Turner and desecrated his body.

In contrast, during the Civil War, Confederate rebels were never hanged or even prosecuted for their treason. Yet, the Confederacy killed about 250,000 soldiers, and another 400,000 soldiers died from disease, starvation, and imprisonment. In other words, Robert E. Lee and other Confederates killed about 650,000 people in the Civil War. Yet, no Confederate leader was punished. Instead, after the war, some were elected to Congress. They got leniency, whereas Nat Turner got hanged.

Today, it’s basically the same! Freedom fighters from the Black Panther Party and other organizations languish in prison after fighting against racism and injustice from about 1970 to about 1985. Like Nat Turner, these freedom fighters don’t get pardoned; they get prison! We need to liberate them from prison. In D.C. and Baltimore, we must do this for Marshall Eddie Conway and Jack Johnson, two Black Panthers imprisoned since 1970 for their political work in Baltimore. Find out how to help Marshall Eddie Conway and Jack Johnson.


At 6:00 pm this evening, 23 August 2006, THE NAT TURNER REBELLION! will hold a panel discussion entitled "Nat Turner & Modern Day Manisfestations" at the Dynamic Wellness Center, located at 402 H Street, NE, Washington DC. Guest speakers include former political prisoner and death row inmate, Sujaa Graham and C. R. Gibbs, an historian on slave rebellions.

A small donation, at the door, will benefit Black Panther Political Prisoners Marshall Eddie Conway and Jack Johnson.

No comments: