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BASN Classic BlackBox: Barack Obama Remember
Originally Published: February 25,2005 BARACK OBAMA REMEMBER U.S. SENATOR HIRAM REVELS AND ALL THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CONGRESSIONAL PIONEERS FEBRUARY 25, 1870
U.S. SENATOR REVELS SEATED ON FAR LEFT WITH OTHER AFRICAN AMERICAN CONGRESSIONAL PIONEERS
On rare Occasions once or twice a year
( more now with Barack Obama running )
and always on February 25th each year
in the Box we take the Liberty
of a story which is not specifically related to Sports but since Sports is an integral part of our lives it does.
The story of February 25th is much like the progress and the lack of Progress we chronicle day after day in the Box. Much as Jackie Robinson breaking the Color Barrier in 1947 is among the greatest if not the greatest moment in sports history for its Reality and its Symbolism.
Yet as well Jackie Robinson’s great success is a mark of our Failure as well. There is no doubt if Jackie Robinson were alive today he would be extremely disappointed that in 2005 African Americans are disappearing from Baseball. Likewise there is no doubt Robinson would be outraged that over 50 years later there has still not been even one African American owner in Major League Baseball.
Likewise alive today as the seminal defining figure Jackie Robinson was in Life and is in Death, his grief and disappointment would extend to all the other sports in which Black America had been allowed so little progress in so many areas of management and ownership.
but were he alive now
might even judge
that so little Progress
has taken place.
From these perspectives, and highlighting the interconnectedness of all history we bring you U.S. Senator Hiram Revels and February 25, 1870, in Washington, DC, a pivotal milestone in all of American history, and arguably more so than Jackie Robinson and his Achievement.
Without a doubt
each would have appreciated
each others Ordeal
On February 25, 1870 an Event took place that many Americans thought was Impossible, would never happen. Slavery or no Slavery. Freeing African Americans from total life long Bondage was one thing allowing African Americans to participate in the life of the nation …
something very Different
the idea of a
in the U.S. Senate
most of all
to even imagine.
Until it happened on February 25, 1870 in Washington, DC, in the very same Senate Chambers in use today. And the power the majesty of the Moment extended far beyond Senator Revels Himself.
Following Revels into the U.S Congress in the following 2 decades would be other Southern African Americans most former Slaves, others free men all their lives …
…. another Black U.S. Senator and 22 African American Members of the House of Representatives led by Joseph Rainy of South Carolina who was elected by popular vote and entered Congress later the very same year December 12, 1870.
These African American Congressional Pioneers started to become so successful and developing into a powerful voting block in Congress, whites throughout the South as well as many in the North, began to fear this Movement, as much if not very much more than the end of Slavery.
The result were the then Democrat Carpetbaggers, and waves of White Southern Terror against Southern African Americans that resulted in the elimination of every last Black Congressman by the 1890s.
Even more the virtual rewriting of history
to wipe the memory of these
from the very consciousness
of the Nation
So that today rather than being Celebrated as one of the most remarkable and inspiring chapters in American history, the Magnificent African American Congressional Pioneers led by ….
U.S. Senator Hiram Revels
elected in January 1870
to fill the unexpired Senate term of
president of the now defunct Confederacy.
But who the Senate
refused to accept his Credentials
U.S. Senator Hiram Revels
until finally taking the Oath
late in the winter afternoon of
Friday, February 25, 1870.
The greatest single Moment
in the history of Congress
the Senate galleries
filled to overflowing
to witness History made.
Only to be Forgotten
by us and History.
Until now let us Resolve.
FROM HIRAM REVELS TO JACKIE ROBINSON DIFFERENT “FIELDS” BUT SAME COURAGE