April 28 – May 11, 2016
On The Dock This Issue:
272 Slaves Were Sold to Save Georgetown. What Does It Owe Their Descendants?
The human cargo was loaded on ships at a bustling wharf in the nation’s capital, destined for the plantations of the Deep South. Some slaves pleaded for rosaries as they were rounded up, praying for deliverance.
But on this day, in the fall of 1838, no one was spared: not the 2-month-old baby and her mother, not the field hands, not the shoemaker and not Cornelius Hawkins, who was about 13 years old when he was forced onboard.
Their panic and desperation would be mostly forgotten for more than a century. But this was no ordinary slave sale. The enslaved African-Americans had belonged to the nation’s most prominent Jesuit priests. And they were sold, along with scores of others, to help secure the future of the premier Catholic institution of higher learning at the time, known today as Georgetown University.
Now, with racial protests roiling college campuses, an unusual collection of Georgetown professors, students, alumni and genealogists is trying to find out what happened to those 272 men, women and children. And they are confronting a particularly wrenching question: What, if anything, is owed to the descendants of slaves who were sold to help ensure the college’s survival?
Baltimore-based BBH Tours is holding two trips to Harlem, this magazine’s namesake: Sat/Sun, July 30-31, 2016 for the Great Day event and Sat/Sun, August 20-21 for the Harlem Day Street Festival. Click here for a full list of Harlem Week
events which now last a month.
The fees include round-trip transportation, overnight accommodations, admissions to Great Day or Harlem Day, guided tours of Harlem and Apollo Theater, and a complimentary full breakfast. Each tour is $239 and leaves from and returns to Baltimore. For additional information, contact Lou Fields at 443.983.7974 or by email
A mother of five, Jodie noticed from an early age that her third child Penelope would study and imitate the actions of his father and brothers. Penelope – or Penel for short – was assigned female at birth, but was certain of his true identity as early as he was able to express it.
After Penelope seemed withdrawn and angry for a period of time, Jodie realized something was wrong. When she pulled Penelope aside and questioned his behavior, Penelope responded matter-of-factly, “Because everyone thinks I’m a girl.”
“’Transgender’ was something I did not know anything about. There was a whole process of just getting a lot of information,” Jodie explained. “And then after you research for days and months, you realize you have to decide to lead from the heart.”
Read and See More
Afro Mexicans fighting for constitutional recognition now have a reason to celebrate. For the first time, Mexico's national census included an "Afro" category.
The country's 2015 population survey was released on Tuesday (December 8) and officially counted about 1.38 million people of African descent (about 1.2% of the country's population).
The decision to include an "Afro" category is a major step toward recognizing the country's Black population, many of whom are descendants of enslaved people forcibly removed from Africa during the height of the Atlantic slave trade. Mexico was one of only two Latin American countries (the other being Chile) that did not recognize its Black citizens on the national census. This stemmed in part from the ideological leaders of post-independence Mexico who created the concept of "mestizaje," a national identity that did not incorporate Afro Mexicans. The result was the long-term marginalization and neglect of the nation's Black population.
This new inclusion comes after much work from Afro-Mexican community activists who petitioned national leaders and organized for recognition. In addition, the country's Human Rights Commission organized a forum earlier this year to address anti-Black discrimination and policies to fight it.
Who Pays Our Online Bills?
Back in the day, when Port Of Harlem was in print, most of our revenue came from advertisers; a smaller amount from subscribers. Like many traditional paper publications that have gone green, we now share advertisers with many more outlets and profit and revenue is smaller. However, unlike traditional advertisers, online advertisers have tools that can more clearly tell them if readers are responding to their messages.
We thank our advertisers for making Port Of Harlem viable and our readers for clicking on their banners, learning about their goods and services, patronizing them, and finally, letting them know you are responding to them after seeing there ad in Port Of Harlem.
Click here for a listing of our advertisers
(we hope that you will support them)
Click her for information on advertising in Port of Harlem
, or call Wayne at 202-583-3438.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe restored voting rights to an estimated 200,000 people who have completed their felony sentences through an executive order. Virginia previously had the fourth highest rate of felony disenfranchisement in the nation and the third highest for African Americans.
Virginia is one of only four states in the nation – along with Florida, Iowa, and Kentucky – to disenfranchise all individuals with felony convictions for life. The only means of regaining voting rights in these states is through action by a governor or pardons board.
The Washington-DC based Sentencing Project estimates that nearly 6 million Americans are barred from voting because of laws impacting former felons. Maine and Vermont are the only states that don’t restrict the voting rights of convicted felons.
Such policies disproportionately impact African Americans, the Sentencing Project says. Virginia is among three states where more than one in five Black adults have lost their voting rights, according to a recent Sentencing Project report.
Earlier this year the Maryland legislature overrode a Republican gubernatorial veto, extending voting rights to individuals currently on probation or parole supervision.
One More Chance – Edwards Down
Though Maryland’s electorate was nearly half African American, according to exit polls and a significant increase from 2008, Chris Van Hollen successfully peeled off about a third of Black voters, while Edwards won only about a fifth of White voters. The result: Donna Edwards will not become the only Black woman and the third Black to currently sit in the US Senate. In California, Kamila Harris
, who is of both African and Indian heritage, is hoping to become the Democratic nominee for US Senate.
Military Veterans' Art & Photography Reception
includes work by POH contributors George Tolbert and Cedric Baker
Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex
8001 Sheriff Road
Sat, Apr 30, 2p-4p, free
5th Annual International Jazz Day
Harlem School of the Arts
645 St. Nicholas Avenue
Thu, May 12, 6:30p, $150
African Immigrant Senior Citizens and Kids Integration Party
7601 Lindbergh Blvd
Sat, May 7, 12p-6p
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