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 Posted: Sun Feb 25th, 2007 12:08 am
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Doc C
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Was wandering if anyone had seen this recent news posting and what their comments are.

Va. lawmakers pass slavery apology
By LARRY O'DELL, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 43 minutes ago
RICHMOND, Va. - Meeting on the grounds of the former Confederate Capitol, the Virginia General Assembly voted unanimously Saturday to express "profound regret" for the state's role in slavery.

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Sponsors of the resolution say they know of no other state that has apologized for slavery, although Missouri lawmakers are considering such a measure. The resolution does not carry the weight of law but sends an important symbolic message, supporters said.

"This session will be remembered for a lot of things, but 20 years hence I suspect one of those things will be the fact that we came together and passed this resolution," said Delegate A. Donald McEachin, a Democrat who sponsored it in the House of Delegates.

The resolution passed the House 96-0 and cleared the 40-member Senate on a unanimous voice vote. It does not require Gov. Timothy M. Kaine's approval.

The measure also expressed regret for "the exploitation of Native Americans."

The resolution was introduced as Virginia begins its celebration of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, where the first Africans arrived in 1619. Richmond, home to a popular boulevard lined with statues of Confederate heroes, later became another point of arrival for Africans and a slave-trade hub.

The resolution says government-sanctioned slavery "ranks as the most horrendous of all depredations of human rights and violations of our founding ideals in our nation's history, and the abolition of slavery was followed by systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and other insidious institutions and practices toward Americans of African descent that were rooted in racism, racial bias, and racial misunderstanding."

In Virginia, black voter turnout was suppressed with a poll tax and literacy tests before those practices were struck down by federal courts, and state leaders responded to federally ordered school desegregation with a "Massive Resistance" movement in the 1950s and early '60s. Some communities created exclusive whites-only schools.

The apology is the latest in a series of strides Virginia has made in overcoming its segregationist past. Virginia was the first state to elect a black governor — L. Douglas Wilder in 1989 — and the Legislature took a step toward atoning for Massive Resistance in 2004 by creating a scholarship fund for blacks whose schools were shut down between 1954 and 1964.

Among those voting for the measure was Delegate Frank D. Hargrove, an 80-year-old Republican who infuriated black leaders last month by saying "black citizens should get over" slavery.

After enduring a barrage of criticism, Hargrove successfully co-sponsored a resolution calling on Virginia to celebrate "Juneteenth," a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.



To go on record, I believe slavery was horrible and should never have taken place. I also understand the great hardships afro-americans had to over come just to achieve civil rights. However, to go on record years after the fact with an apology is abhorent to me. Typical of politicians seeking to gain attention and votes. My mother was pistol whipped and kidnapped some years ago, but am I seeking an apology for the perpetrators act, was this any more of a crime than slavery. What next 40 acres and a mule.

Doc C
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 Posted: Sun Feb 25th, 2007 12:43 am
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javal1
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Doc,

Gotta be honest here. First, yes, slavery was worse than your mother being pistol-whipped. You can't compare something that happened to millions to something that happened to one. You can't compare something that was promoted by government to something that was initiated by a rogue criminal.

Having said that - I don't think Virginia, as a state, should formally apologize. I think the United States Congress, as a whole, should do so so. And really, I don't care if it only consoles one African-American in the entiere country. It's something our government owes to 20 - 30% of our population. And we've owed it to them for a long time. Just my opinion...



 Posted: Sun Feb 25th, 2007 12:53 am
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Doc C
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Opinion accepted. I quess my main issue with this news story is in its timing. The apology, no argument with the need for it, is in the timing of it. Should of been given, along with renumerations, to the millions of slaves after the war not generations later. However, I can certainly understand the logic of "better late than never".

Doc C



 Posted: Sun Feb 25th, 2007 01:36 am
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Steven Cone
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Should we Apologize? I dont think we should . Today  we look at Slavery as being wrong. 200 yrs ago the nation as a whole thought diffrently. Blame it on ignorance of the times.

Javal not sure if you saw this article in the Tennessean - Thursday, 02/22/07.  But was quite interesting. a peice of history nt often  seen .

Steven

=============================================

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007702220382

Black slave owner an 'untold part' of history
Descendant traces wealthy Midstate landowner

By COLBY SLEDGE - Staff Writer - Tennessean

Like many wealthy landowners of the pre-Civil War South, Sherrod Bryant owned slaves. They probably worked much of Bryant's 700 acres in Middle Tennessee, an area larger than that of Andrew Jackson's Hermitage plantation.

The slaves under Bryant helped raise hogs for their owner, who had a large family and was always looking to buy more property. Unlike many slave owners, however, Sherrod Bryant was black.

Today, the notion of a black man owning black slaves seems contradictory — Bryant himself was a free black — and perhaps even hypocritical. According to Bryant's descendants, however, their ancestor, who was never a slave, was simply following the normal pattern of life for a rich landowner in the Upper South.

"I think at some point some of the members (of the family) might not have looked upon it very favorably, but the more we discuss it, the more we suddenly realize that to gain wealth during that time, if you had a lot of property, you had to have slaves to help you cultivate it," said Carl Bryant, a fourth-generation descendant of Sherrod.

Ancestor's life studied

For the past six years, Carl, a retired Air Force veteran, has studied the life of Sherrod Bryant, who probably was among the wealthiest blacks in Tennessee in the 1800s. Upon his arrival to the state in 1806 from North Carolina, the then 25-year-old Sherrod Bryant set to purchasing land, acquiring seven different parcels in the still-fledgling Midstate between 1811 and 1852.

That land included 300 acres known as Bryant Grove on the Rutherford County side of Long Hunter State Park, as well as the area of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in downtown Nashville.

Along the way, he picked up slaves to help him work the land, Carl Bryant said. He used a genealogy Web site along with an inventory list from county archives that listed 22 slaves under Sherrod's possession, including some who appeared to be children of older slaves.

"That was just a fact, that if you had a lot of property and you were a big farmer plus you had to feed your family, you had slaves because where would you find help?" Carl Bryant said.

There have been several cases of free blacks owning slaves in the pre-Civil War South, according to Dr. George Smith, a Murfreesboro physician and Civil War re-enactor who said he began studying the issue of blacks owning slaves after hearing of Sherrod Bryant.

Smith said free blacks would often purchase slaves to free them, but Carl Bryant said he had no evidence that Sherrod freed his slaves after his death in 1854.

"Most of our impressions of slavery has been influenced by TV and movies," Smith said. "But slavery was a peculiar institution, and Sherrod Bryant was part of that."

Dr. David Carlton, a professor at Vanderbilt University who specializes in the history of the South, said that while it was possible for a free black to own a large amount of slaves, it certainly wasn't common.

"Generally speaking, 20 slaves is treated by historians as the lower limit of farming a plantation," Carlton said.

He was 'one of a kind'

Carl Bryant went through county archives in Nashville, Murfreesboro and Lebanon as well as federal census records and genealogy records from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to discover more about Sherrod.

He hasn't been able to find much about Sherrod's parents, however, information crucial to understanding the source of Sherrod's wealth.

The Bryant family contains mixed-race lineage, Carl said, and he wonders whether Sherrod's father was white.

"He knew all the right people," Carl said of Sherrod, who had a letter issued by influential members of Davidson County that asked that Sherrod be treated "in every respect as if he were a white man" when purchasing land.

"It's a very, very important untold part of Tennessee history," said Dan Whittle, president of Friends of Long Hunter State Park.

Whittle said he became interested in Sherrod Bryant's story after driving through the park one day and noticing a sign signifying Bryant's status as one of the wealthiest free blacks in Tennessee.

"He was a successful free black entrepreneur with papers and was really unique in Tennessee history — kind of a one-of-a-kind person up until that era," he said.

Sherrod Bryant is buried in Bryanttown Cemetery on Elm Hill Pike, where the inscription on his marker reads, "Here rests from his labors Sherod (sic) Bryant, whose honesty, piety and industry were examples."

Those virtues, and not simply his slave holdings, are what Carl Bryant wants his notable ancestor to be remembered for.

"Many pioneers that came have died and have been forgotten," he said. "I don't want him to be forgotten."



 Posted: Sun Feb 25th, 2007 02:04 am
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javal1
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Steve,

Yes, I did see that article. I've got to say, this is really a no-brainer for me. Holding another human being in bondage is wrong, it's that simple. It's not a matter of whether it was "considered" right or wrong when it happened. If we realize NOW that it was wrong, then an apology is the very least we can do. It's not a north and South thing - it's a national thing. And frankly I don't care if the "master" was white, black, Asian, or purple. The question is whether we, as a people, have the ability to admit that our fore-fathers were wrong. I have no problem with that, but it seems many still do....



 Posted: Sun Feb 25th, 2007 03:28 pm
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Johnny Huma
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Where and when will it all stop..Slavery was a way of life then..It is not now...We fought a war over states rights that turned into a war to free the black american. How many white Union soldiers died for just that reason. Is that not enough...Must we pay for our forefathers sins forever. Take a look around you in this new century. We have programs for black Americans and Indian Americans that you as someone of different heritage could not even think about getting. Just the other day I saw on TV an all black girls basketball team that does not accept whites..It is all black. God, think of the static that would bring if you had an all white team where no blacks could join.  In 1972 I joined the USAF and we attended race relations classes. On one occasion we were told to rate the American flag from -10 to a +10. 4 of the 5 blacks in the class rated it a -10. When asked why, the statement they gave was that all it meant to them was that on the way to the chow hall they had to stop and salute it. You cant even imagine the rage I was feeling thinking I was serving with people who I was hoping to never be in a foxhole with. My point here is no matter what you do the slavery issue will never go away and all the apologies in the world will not make it go away. It is still here and alive and will only die out with time. It will take hundreds of years before the people will look back at that time and accept it for what it was. It was wrong, there is no argument there, but it was...I guess we owe all the Indians an apology also so all you state reps better get writing. Oh yea and I guess we owe the English and apology also for rebelling and forming our own country..And you Southerners need to aplogize to us Northerners for starting a Civil War..See where does it stop...Let it go...As long as blacks and whites alike hold harbor for what happened in the past there can be no healing on the issue..State apologies or Federal apologies are not going to heal the country of the Slavery issue..We must as a people heal ourselves and take what happened in the past and learn from it and not to repeat our mistakes as a nation. That is what makes a nation strong...Oh yea I am Italian and I want an apology from the gov. for attaching the WAP name to my kind...So while your all writing............

Huma

 



 Posted: Sun Feb 25th, 2007 09:40 pm
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Johnny -

Just the other day I saw on TV an all black girls basketball team that does not accept whites..It is all black. God, think of the static that would bring if you had an all white team where no blacks could join. 

I put this first, since it's the one thing you said that I totally agree with. Discrimination is discrimination. It works both ways.

On one occasion we were told to rate the American flag from -10 to a +10. 4 of the 5 blacks in the class rated it a -10.

If your mother had been told she wasn't quite human enough to attend schools with white people, how would you feel about the flag? If your grandfather had been delegated to sharecropper status because a physical characteristic, how would you feel about the flag? If your grandfather and all those before him were held in bondage, beaten and abused at the whim of their white master, how would you feel about the flag? And if all of this were done with the approval and encouragement of the very government that flag represents, how would you feel about it? Perhaps some empathy is in order.

It was wrong, there is no argument there...

And the harm in apologizing for something we, as a government, did that was wrong is what? It costs nothing. Perhaps it will convince some African-Americans that we're actually serious in our remorse. At the very least it will show that we actually have the moral characteristics that we always run around claiming we have.

I guess we owe all the Indians an apology ...

Actually - yes.

Oh yea I am Italian and I want an apology from the gov. for attaching the WAP name to my kind...

Darn, I didn't realize that the government did that. Let me know more details about that and, as a fellow Italian, I'll be demanding that apology right with you ;)

We'll have to agree to disagree on this one Johnny, but thanks for expressing your opinion. Gotta admit, it's a great topic for conversation (kudo's to Doc C !)

 



 Posted: Sun Feb 25th, 2007 10:40 pm
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Doc C
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Doc J (Javal), I apologize, excuse the pun, for bringing personal history into this already heated (much to my liking) debate. It has no place in this discussion. I've been at odds with this topic for years having had both , slave holding ancestors and ancestors who helped in the underground railway. However, some years ago I decided it wasn't me or my parents/grandparents, etc. who did those things. I abhor racism, secregationism, in fact most ism's and was taught early in my life to treat others as I would like to be treated. Rather than make an apology why don't we try to prevent prejudice (against all people), injustice, etc. Dr. King said it best with "judge not by the color of their skin but by the content of their minds". Rather than debate apologies which to me accomplishes nothing, we should be attempting to prevent these injustices. To add to the list of apologies, what about our better halves for women suffrage. I know I'm always apolgizing to mine. Javal, does remorse connote quilt?

Doc C



 Posted: Sun Feb 25th, 2007 11:45 pm
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javal1
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Ah hell Doc, this ain't heated. This is just disagreement on a topic. It's what discussion boards are supposed to be...civil, respectful, but full of strong opinions. Think how boring it would be if we all agreed on everything! And now that you mention it, I keep apologizing to Laurie about the woman thing too. Matter of fact I did the same with my last two wives...:shock:



 Posted: Mon Feb 26th, 2007 12:01 am
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Doc C
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Dude, I'm originally from Louisiana, I like things hot. Discussions are like gumbo, you have to stir the pot and add heat to get the flavor. Growing up I thought everyone across the Arkansas border were yankees.

Doc C



 Posted: Mon Feb 26th, 2007 12:22 am
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Doc C
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On a more serious note, what good would an apology be. Definitely not to the younger generations (I realize I'm overgeneralizing, there are probably many who do not belong in this characterization, some even in this discussion group) who have no clue as to history, geography irregardless of their racial origin. I'm currently working with a group of teenagers at our local YMCA discussing civil rights, the civil war, touring Frederick Douglass's home. I'm amazed by the lack of knowledge even with so much local historic places around. To parphrase a quote, unless we remember/understand history we're doomed to repeat it.

Doc C



 Posted: Mon Feb 26th, 2007 12:37 am
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Steven Cone
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Cousin Doc, you hit the nail on the head.  Education is the  Key hence the reason for my newspaper  post. While  not in great numbers there where Free Blacks that owned Slaves.   And there where slaves of other races as well. But we never see that in any of the history books .  :?

 

 



 Posted: Mon Feb 26th, 2007 12:43 am
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javal1
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Doc -

I try never to answer a question with a question, but I'll make an exception here. You ask what good an apology would do. I ask what harm it would do. I guess that personifies the the difference of opinion in this thread.



 Posted: Mon Feb 26th, 2007 02:08 am
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On one occasion we were told to rate the American flag from -10 to a +10. 4 of the 5 blacks in the class rated it a -10.

If your mother had been told she wasn't quite human enough to attend schools with white people, how would you feel about the flag? If your grandfather had been delegated to sharecropper status because a physical characteristic, how would you feel about the flag? If your grandfather and all those before him were held in bondage, beaten and abused at the whim of their white master, how would you feel about the flag? And if all of this were done with the approval and encouragement of the very government that flag represents, how would you feel about it? Perhaps some empathy is in order

 

Well Java

 I would not serve under that flag then. And that is my point..But they did..And took their paychecks every month also. My father came from Sicily..How would you like to be branded as a slimey Italian who must be in the Mafia...Well guess what..He was branded..We were branded..And here is your information as what a WAP is..The meaning of WAP to the US gov. meant "Without Any Papers" meaning an imigrant coming into the country with no papers from the country he was coming from..This term attached itself to Italians coming across because many had no papers. I am an Italian American and it was attached to me. I heard it many times in the Armed Forces. And actually only punched one guy in the mouth for it because he was using it to provoke me and it worked. Should the Government apologize to all us Italians...Simply put I don't think so and I don't expect it ...I live with it...All I am saying here is when and where does it stop? It comes down to  this. I am an Italian American...Bob may be an Afro American and when we drop our ethnic heritage out of the phrase we are all Americans. I guess what I need to hear before I hear an apology to the black community who still harbor ill feelings about Slavery in this country is this..."Thank You for dying to set our forefathers free and right a terrible wrong"..Why dont we ever hear that from our fellow black Americans. In your own words Perhaps some empathy is in order for all the white Union soldiers, and their families, who died to make freedom for them a reality...And I guess we still agree to disagree here..:) Oh yea and this slimey greasy WAP rated the American Flag a +10 because I took an oath to defend it and when I did I meant it. I was not there for a paycheck. It was Vietnam and you were drafted or you enlisted. It was about Honor not about heritage....

100 years after the Civil War blacks were still not being treated as equals and I understand that but neither were other ethnic groups in the US being treated fairly also. Our government has bent over backwords for the Black American to make things right. Programs that are available and free monies to start a business are just some of them. I know of none for any other ethnic groups except for the Indians. So if it makes it all better, which I know it will not, let the US Government apologize for Slavery to all the Black Americans. Then we can drop all these programs and save a lot of tax dollars that support them...Again I say When does it all stop? When is enough, enough?

Huma



 Posted: Mon Feb 26th, 2007 05:05 am
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ole
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Johnny: When you learn to spell WOP properly, I'll start to take you seriously. A great many of our forbearers were not here during "that" time. Mine have nothing to apologize for, as I'm sure yours do not. However, if Virginians have elected representatives that feel an apology is necessary, then that is is the business of Virginians.

If you're carrying a grudge for being labelled, then more's the pity. Your Sicilian ancestors got nothing worse than the Deutcsh and Micks. Part of the initiation fee. Mine were squareheads. Then came the Chinks, Polacks, Bohunks and Spics. Each, in turn, paid the fee. Each, in turn, weathered the storm. But there was a difference, wasn't there? None were black.

So. Perhaps, a state's recognition of a "special" class of discrimination isn't out of order. I wouldn't sign onto it, and I would object if my state felt the need, but what Virginia does is certainly not my business.

I will not equate "our" initiation fee for citizenship with that of the oddly colored whose dues are not accepted.

Ole



 Posted: Tue Feb 27th, 2007 01:47 pm
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Johnny Huma
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Ole

Sorry someone told you WAP was Spelled WOP..But however you wish to spell it the meaning stands the same. As far as carrying a grudge you are missing the point here. The point being that we all had labels put on us and I see no need for an apology from anyone. Exactly who are we saying Sorry to. The slaves are all dead unless you know of some still around. So we are apologizing to a group of people who never saw slavery or lived it.  I will agree that my ancestors have nothing to aplogize for since I had none here during that period in our nations history, hence neither do I. Simply I do not believe there is any reason why Blacks in today's world should or would harbor ill feelings on the Slavery issue. It is over and it needs to be put to rest and by Virginia openly apologizing for it only rekindles a fire that should long be burnt out. So wether you take me seriously or not the facts of the matter still remain the same so I will say it again...When is enough, enough ?

Thanks for you post Ole

Huma

 



 Posted: Thu Mar 1st, 2007 02:52 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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I say no one should appologize for slavery.

We can not apply 21st century attitutdes (in order to be "politically correct") to 18th and 19th century thought.

No one alive is responsible for slavery, nor is anyone alive a former slave, so who would we appologize to? Perhaps to the people who get housing and education, yet choose to use or appreciate neither? To people who have been given the right to vote, but don't use it??

I am certainly not racist, but statistics prove that the population that, in this case, cries the loudest, votes the least, etc., etc.....

I've had enough of all this political correctness, so my comment may seem harsh to sensitive ears.....and I won't applogize for that, either!

Has anyone applogized for burning Atlanta??



 Posted: Thu Mar 1st, 2007 04:56 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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Before I get jumped on for my previous post, here's a survey conducted by the United States Election Assistance Commission regarding elections in the year 2000 General Election (http://www.eac.gov/election_resources/00demog.htm). The population I've discussed has 63.6% registered to vote, of that, only 53.5% actually voted (VAP is defined as Voting Age Population)






RACE*



Cit. VAP



% Registered



# Voted



% Voted




White



89,469,000



70



148,035,000



60.4




Black



12,917,000



63.6



24,132,000



53.5




Hispanic



5,934,000



34.9



21,598,000



27.5




Asian & Pacific Islander



2,045,000



30.7



8,041,000



25.4




 Posted: Thu Mar 1st, 2007 05:49 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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Here's some statistics regarding High School graduation per centages from a study done by the Manhatten Institute for Policy Research.(http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_48.htm).

  • "Nationally, the graduation rate for white students was 78 percent, compared with 72 percent for Asian students, 55 percent for African-American students, and 53 percent for Hispanic students. "
  • Since black and white students have equal opportunity at public high school education, I find the graduation rates somewhat low.....Given there is equal opportunity at education, and education is not taken advantage of by 45%, I feel that there is little that needs to be appologized for regarding slavery.



     Posted: Sat Mar 3rd, 2007 02:39 am
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    Doc C
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    Steven

    You're correct about there were instances where former slaves, then freed, owned slaves. Several of the plantations around Natchitoches, La (where Horse Soldiers was filmed) were once owned by freed black individuals. One case in point was a former slave of a french plantation owner who freed his former mistress/slave. She was given land. She subsequently bought slaves and ran the plantation in order to obtain enough money to free her enslaved family members. Many descendents of this family still live in North and Central La. There also instances in New Orleans where freed black individuals owned slaves. A good book (historical fiction) which covers the black population in pre-civil war New Orleans is Fiest of All Saints by Anne Rice (the only one I've ever read by her)

    Doc C



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