Tag Archive | "War"

Tawergha, Libya, Black City, reported depopulated

Black Libyans are now suffering at the hands of the Rebels

Black Libyans are now suffering at the hands of the Rebels

Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., reacting to reports in The Wall Street Journal has called for an investigation by the International Criminal Court into the reported killings of Black Libyans in the city of Tawergha.

Rep. Jackson also tells The Black Star News he will ask that U.S. assistance for reconstruction and transition to democracy in Libya be conditional. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that rebels from Misurata had torched the homes that belonged to the predominantly dark-skinned residents of the city of Tawergha, which is now abandoned.

Journal reporter witnessed some of the torching and wrote that the words “slaves” and “negroes” were scribbled on the walls of the now emptied homes.

In an earlier news report The Wall Street Journal reported that rebels from the city of Misurata had declared that Tawergha would be “no more” and that the units were named “The Brigade for Purging Slaves, black Skin.”

Misurata rebels blame residents of Tawergha, which was used by the Libyan army under the government of Muammar al-Quathafi, as staging ground for the siege on Misurata. The Journal has also reported on long-historical feuds, that predate the Libyan civil war, between the “white” residents of Misurata and the predominantly Black ones of Tawergha.

The Wall Street Journal Tuesday also reported that the Transitional National Council’s (TNC) “prime minister” Mahmoud Jibril, referring to the reported atrocities in Tawergha by rebels, said: “Regarding Tawergha my own viewpoint is that nobody has the right to interfere in this matter except the people of Misurata.”

Rep. Jackson took exception to Jibril’s remarks.

“Racism in the form of ethnic cleansing, killing and genocide is wrong anytime, anyplace and against anybody in the world,” Rep. Jackson said, today. “And it appears as though the Rebel leader, Mahmoud Jibril, is using the American idea that the South used to protect the institution of slavery – the 10th Amendment in our Constitution – to say, in essence, ‘it’s a states’ right and local control issue.'” 

He added, “Well it’s not a local issue and it’s a moral outrage. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ As a senior member of the Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, I intend to raise this issue with my colleagues and condition any financial support for the reconstruction of Libya and its transition to a democratic society.”

“I think it is absolutely necessary that the United Nations and the International Criminal Court in the Hague investigate what I consider to be crimes against humanity,” Rep. Jackson said.

A spokesperson for Rep. John Lewis, told The Black Star News that he opposes wars as a matter of
principle and had also objected to the U.S. involvement in Libya: “He does not agree with war because of its ramifications, because it leads to these moral compromises,” she said. “It puts you in a difficult position, where you have to commit the same crimes that you are intending to stop.”

A spokesman for the United Nations, Eduardo del Buey, declined to comment on Rep. Jackson’s call for an investigation and his characterization of the accounts reported by The Wall Street Journal as amounting to crimes against humanity.

A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said the U.S. couldn’t comment by The Black Star News’ publication deadline. The U.S. hasn’t yet condemned the reported targeted attacks on Black Libyans.

The Journal reported that the road sign pointing to the city of Tawergha had been defaced and replaced with “New Misurata.” Some Tawerghans who had managed to flee to Tripoli were captured and taken to Misurata, the Journal reports.


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Walter Tull – Dramatisation

Walter Daniel John Tull (28 April 1888 – 25 March 1918) was the first black officer in the British Army, and the second black player in the top division of the Football League. Also played football for spurs and Northampton town if wasnt for war he may signed for Glasgow rangers, walter tull was played by actor OT fagbenie

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Tuskeegee Airman

Tuskeegee Airman, originally uploaded by RickRaven.

Fantastic photo of one of the Tuskeegee Airmen

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The Negro Soldier



This clip from a War Department film shows African-American soldiers being trained for combat during World War 2. The Tuskegee Airmen are seen flying fighter planes in the U.S., while other soldiers train in arctic conditions. There’s no year given, but it’s probably 1942 or 1943.

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Black Soldiers photo gallery

Black Soldiers

Black Soldiers

Throughout History the role of the black soldier has been underplayed in Western Armies. Black people have fought in all the Major European Armies including those of Poland and Germany.

African American troops fought in Both world Wars and subsequent conflicts. African colonial troops fought in the First World War in Europe.

Look through the images I have gathered, add links to ones you know of.

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A wounded Senegalese prisoner of war is carried to a bandaging station, November 1914

A wounded Senegalese prisoner of war is carried to a bandaging station, November 1914

Note on reverse (see below) dated 28.11.1914. One of a series of pictures taken by a German orderly at a first-aid station located in Etterbeek (one of the nineteen municipalities located in the Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium).

In WW1 many of the Senagalese and other colonial troops fought with incredible valour and great sacrifice. Here is an account I discovered a while back whilst looking for some material to caption this picture:


In the morning of 16th April 1917, more than 15,000 Senegalese Infantrymen launched an assault on the ridges above the Chemin des Dames. Paralysed by the biting cold, they were mown down by the German machine guns which should have been destroyed during the days of shelling that had preceded the attack. In one day 16th April more than 1,400 ‘Senegalese’ died in the conquest of the Mont des Singes, to save the farms of Moisy and Hurtebise and on the hillsides of Ailles.

Those men we call the ‘Senegalese Infantrymen’ who fought in the 14-18 war were in fact from all of the countries that were former French occidental colonies, i.e. Senegal, The Ivory Coast, Benin, Guinea, Mali, Burkina-Faso, Niger and Mauritania. Most of these territories had been under French colonial rule for less than 30 years. The conquest of Dahomey (now Benin) goes back to 1892-1893 for example. With a few rare exceptions, these men from the African continent who came to defend the Republic of France had no civil rights and most could hardly speak any French.

1917 was the year which saw a massive influx of Senegalese Infantrymen. The enormous losses since 1914 made the intervention of the colonials from Occidental French Africa indispensable. More than 50,000 were recruited in 1915-1916, often unceremoniously, and at a price of thousands of deaths and hundreds of villages raised to the ground, in particular in what is now known as Burkina Faso. This provoked what historian Marc Michel has called the ‘greatest colonial revolution in French Black Africa.

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The War in Kaffirland – Article from 1851

London Illustrated News – June 21, 1851

We have been favoured with the following intelligence, and the accompanying sketch, by an Officer serving in Kaffirland: -

Camp, Fort White, April 20th, 1851.

” As I have an opportunity of writing, which may not soon occur again, and as you no doubt wish to know how we are getting on, I shall?endeavour to give you a brief summary of the events of the past weeks. The Commander -in-Chief having been joined by the newly-raised Burgher levies, determined to no longer stand on the defensive, but set to work in downright earnest to spoil the Philistines, and for this purpose a general muster of all arms was organised on the 18th of March. we took the field in high spirits , and although we were exposed to the burning sun, and constantly on the move, and engaged with the enemy until the 20th, our loss but was trifling. The action of the 19th was a regular stand up fight, the Kaffirs exhibiting discipline and pluck of no common order; and , although they outnumbered us 4 to 1, and were well armed we drove them into the fastness of the Amatola with great loss. they were about 5000 or 6000 strong, and in some cases actually rode close up to our column; but the well directed fire which?received them, given with right-goodwill and effect, by both Burgher,regular and our Fingoe allies, has, I hope, taught them a useful lesson. They contested every foot of ground with us, but we fully accomplished the object of our advance, viz. the destruction of the Kraals and crops and the capture of several head of cattle and a few horses.

We have since had constant patrols; but one, in considerable force, consisting of the 6th and 73rd regiments, a party of burgher levies, a few of the Cape Mounted Rifles, and part of Armstrongs’s horse, started at two A.M., on the 16th inst., to scour Stocks county, in the vicinity of the Keiskamma and Iqqiibiga.
After a?fatiguing?march of four hours we came in sight of the Kraals, right in our front, when a party of Armstrong’s horse, under Captain Robertson, was sent forward to destroy them and capture the cattle. This duty was gallantly and rapidly performed; and though the Kaffirs fought like devils and tried to recover them, the captured cattle were brought into the main column by Captain Davies of the Burgher levies, not withstanding the?enormous?difficulties which the nature of the ground presented.

After a short halt at the junction Keiskamma and Iqqiibiga to refresh both men and horses, all of whom were well blown we moved down the valley to join colonels Mackinnons camp at the Iqqiibiga, and we were sharply attacked en route on our flanks and rear, the ground being much broken and favourable to the enemy.

Letter from Captain

Destruction of Stocks Kraal on the Keisamma River


ILN News Article regarding the War in South Africa 1851

Colonel Eyre, who commanded, frequently halted the column, and we dispersed the Kaffirs at the Pas de charge. they made a vigorous defence of the Kraals, but we burned them under their noses and captured about 260 head of cattle. Our loss, I regret to say includes three killed, and eleven horses missing. Poor fletcher, adjutant of the 73rd, in his ardour was led to follow a retreating body, when he was pounced uponin a kloof by an overwhelming force, and fell pierced by 20 Assagais. Captain Morris, of the Levies was severely wounded and Robertson and the rest of the party had a narrow escape; the in-closed sketch will give you a very good idea of the scene of the conflict.

The Levies behaved gallantly, and, indeed, but for them we could not occupy our positions in this country. We want at least four more regiments here; if we had our old friends the Rifle Brigade and some cavalry armed with double barrelled rifles, then we should stand some chance of terminating the campaign soon, but since Krelli has thrown off the mask, and has joined his forces with those of the common enemy, thus putting 7000 or 8000 additional combatants into the field, it is clear we can do little but standing on the defensive until the arrival of the 74th and the other troops that were sent out from England. ?We also want a rocket troot-they would clear the bush in a short time.

My own opinion is , the campaign will be a severe one: the Tambookies, and the other tribes are driving their cattle into the fastnesses of the Amatola ; and if we follow them, there will be, I fear, a few vacant places in some of our messes.

Related Links


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Afro Caribbean Contributions in WW1 & WW2

The first world war 1914-1918 saw a significant number of Africans arrive in Britain to fight. The second and larger wave of Afro-Caribbean’s arrived in Britain during the course of the Second World war 1939-1945. In all, Several thousand workers migrated as volunteers fight in the RAF and other branches of the armed forces, and to serve as military technicians. Many others were also recruited by Britain to work in its Mersyside munitions plants.

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Black Footballers in Britain-Walter Tull

Walter Tull was born in Folkestone on 28th April 1888. His father was a carpenter from Barbados who had moved to Folkestone and married a local woman. By the age of nine, Walter had lost both his parents, and when he was 10 he and his brother Edward were sent to a Methodist orphanage in Bethnal Green. His brother left the orphanage two years later, was adopted by a Scottish family and became a dentist. Meanwhile, Walter played for the orphanage football team, and in 1908, began playing for Clapton FC. Within a few months he had won winners’ medals in the FA Amateur Cup, London County Amateur Cup and London Senior Cup. In March 1909 the Football Star called him ‘the catch of the season’.

In 1909 he signed as a professional for Tottenham Hotspur, and experienced for the first time spectator racism when Spurs travelled to play Bristol City. According to one observer, ‘a section of the spectators made a cowardly attack on him in language lower than Billingsgate.’ The correspondent continued:

“Let me tell those Bristol hooligans that Tull is so clean in mind and method as to be a model for all white men who play football whether they be amateur or professional. In point of ability, if not actual achievement, Tull was the best forward on the field”

In October 1911 Tull moved to Northampton Town where he played half-back and scored nine goals in 110 senior appearances. When the First World War broke out, be became the first Northampton player to sign up to join the 17th (1st Football) Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment, and in November 1915 his battalion arrived in France.

The Army soon recognised Tull’s leadership qualities and he was quickly promoted to the rank of sergeant. In July 1916, Tull took part in the major Somme offensive. Tull survived this experience but in December 1916 he developed trench fever and was sent home to England to recover.

Tull and other officers

Tull had impressed his senior officers and recommended that he should be considered for further promotion. When he recovered from his illness, instead of being sent back to France, he went to the officer training school at Gailes in Scotland. Despite military regulations forbidding “any negro or person of colour” being an officer, Tull received his commission in May, 1917.

Lieutenant Walter Tull was sent to the Italian front. This was an historic occasion because Tull was the first ever black officer in the British Army. He led his men at the Battle of Piave and was mentioned in dispatches for his “gallantry and coolness” under fire.

Tull stayed in Italy until 1918 when he was transferred to France to take part in the attempt to break through the German lines on the Western Front. On 25th March, 1918, 2nd Lieutenant Tull was ordered to lead his men on an attack on the German trenches at Favreuil. Soon after entering No Mans Land, Tull was hit by a German bullet. Tull was such a popular officer that several of his men made valiant efforts under heavy fire from German machine-guns to bring him back to the British trenches. These efforts were in vain as Tull had died soon after being hit. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medal and recommended for a Military Cross.

He was the first British-born black army officer and the first black officer to lead white British troops into battle.

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Black heroes played key roles in the Texas Revolution


April, 19, 2009

A free African-American in 1836 rendered “valuable assistance” to the Texas Army during the Texas Revolution, according to a historical marker on his grave near Nacogdoches.

Records show that William E. Goyens and many others -slaves and freemen and indentured servants – all were involved in the revolution 173 years ago.

But in the past, many history textbooks lacked this information.

On San Jacinto Day this year, former Texas Rep. Al Price plans to do his part to rectify this lapse in the Lone Star State’s record.

Price will speak at Theodore Johns Library at 7 p.m. Tuesday regarding the contributions of African-Americans to the cause of Texas independence from Mexico.

“The participation of African-Americans is something that has been subdued,” Price said. “I graduated from high school not knowing that blacks had fought for independence. It was not in the books we were given in the classroom.”

In fact, a soldier said to be the first to shed blood for Texas’ independence was a free mulatto born to a slave mother and her white master, according to “Bricks without Straw,” a history of African-Americans in Texas by David A. Williams.

Samuel McCullough Jr., part of a volunteer company under Capt. James Collinsworth, was wounded by gunfire at Goliad on Oct. 9, 1835. The wound left McCullough handicapped for the rest of his life, but he was rewarded with a land grant in 1838 as well as being exempted from an 1840 legislative order compelling free blacks to leave Texas.

Black soldiers from Southeast Texas also served.

Luke and Tapler Ashworth fought with Capt. Hargrove’s’ Company out of Beaumont, and Abner and William Ashworth contributed money and supplies.

The Ashworth family was a prominent one in Southeast Texas, Price said.

Joseph Tate, a free African-American, was listed on the army rolls as a member of Capt. James Shessire’s company of volunteers out of Jasper.

He, along with others, also were exempt when free blacks were ordered out of Texas, although whether or not Tate and the Ashworths received land grants is not known.

Hendrick Arnold, a hunter, guide and scout of good reputation, acted as a guide during the siege and capture of Bexar.

“During the Texas Revolution, Hendrick Arnold, described as one of the oldest and boldest pioneers of the west, joined the army and fought valiantly for his adopted country,” Williams wrote in “Bricks Without Straw.”

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