The Gist of Freedom Newsletter   Summer 2012

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Constitutional Law Professor Gloria Browne-Marshall
Reporting Live from 
The National Conventions!
  Constitutional Law Professor Gloria Browne-Marshall made history becoming the first African American woman to earn credentials to cover the United States Supreme Court. Join The Gist of Freedom Podcast and Prof. Gloria as she continues to make history while reporting from The Democratic National Convention  Sept. 3-6 and the Republican National Convention, August 27-30. 


But before we take you on this historic journey through the halls of the convention, in Tampa and Charlotte, Prof. Gloria and The Gist of Freedom Podcast would like to review the History, and the Struggle for Voting Rights via National Conventions. In addition, Prof. Gloria will examine the roles African Americans have played in the formation and evolution of these powerful political platforms. 
Therefore On August 27th Prof. Gloria will give The Gist of Freedom a Voting Rights lecture starting with America's first Convention, The Declaration of Independence, July2-4, 1776 through 2004's Democratic National Convention, whereby Senator, future President Barak Obama gave his transformational Keynote address,
"The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God.. " Barak Obama, July 27th 2004
Martin Luther King


Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King and The Civil Rights Movement

The passage of the Twenty-Fourth Amendment in 1964 that prohibited a poll tax which was incorporated to deprive blacks of the right to vote in opposition to the Fifteenth Amendment; along with The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 were won in part,  because of Martin Luther King's Historic "I Have A Dream Speech" at The March on Washington which was led by delegates from six Civil Rights Organizations, Philip A. Randolph and the so-called "Big Six"-Randolph and the heads of the five major civil rights organizations: Roy Wilkins of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); Whitney Young, Jr., of the National Urban League; Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC); James Farmer of the Conference of Racial Equality (CORE); and John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).

African American Reconstruction Senators
The Black Senators, passed The Reconstruction amendments, the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments to the Constitution. The 1st abolished slavery, 1st due process and equal protection and the 1st Voting Rights.
"The slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery"
From Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B DuBois.
Reconstruction Era 
~ The First Colored Senators 
frederick douglass and gerrit smith
The Fugitive Slave Law Convention of 
Prominent abolitionists attended the meeting, including Gerrit Smith, who is shown with arms extended, and Frederick Douglass, seated in front of Smith.  Douglass called it "one of the most important and remarkable demonstrations ever made in this country." Abolitionist gathered in protest of the debate around the new revised Fugitive Slave Law of 1792 which gave fugitives due process, requiring accusers to attain a warrant. The New Fugitive Law made that requirement null and void, allowing anyone to be arrested solely based on suspicion. Ezra Greenleaf captured this image owned by the Madison County Historical Society in Oneida, NY.

The Louisiana Constitutional Convention Massacre, 1866 
~The riot took place outside the Mechanics Institute in New Orleans as black and white delegates attended the Louisiana Constitutional Convention.  The Convention had reconvened The suffrage issue arose on December 8, 1863 when President Abraham Lincoln extended the vote to white males only  Also on May 12, 1866, four years of Union Army imposed martial law ended and Mayor John T. Monroe, who had headed city government before the Civil War, was reinstated as acting mayor.  Monroe had been an active supporter of the Confederacy. 

As a delegation of 130 black New Orleans residents marched behind the U.S. flag toward the Mechanics Institute,  Mayor Monroe organized and led a mob of ex-Confederates, white supremacists, and members of the New Orleans Police Force to the Institute to block their way.  The mayor claimed their intent was to put down any unrest that may come from the Convention but the real reason was to prevent the delegates from meeting.

As the delegation came to within a couple of blocks of the Institute, shots were fired but the group was allowed to proceed to the meeting hall.  Once they reached the Institute the police and white mob members attacked them, beating some of the marchers while others rushed inside the building for safety.

Abolitionist Organizations Abolished Slavery
Robert Purvis, Vigilance Committee~
In this famous photograph of Philadelphia abolitionists, The photograph is notable for what at the time was its radical mixing of men, women, and an African American. now an American Treasure in the Library of Congress, Robert Purvis, a founder of the American Abolition Society, president of the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society (1845-50), chairman of the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee (1852-57), and active supporter of the Underground Railroad, Lucretia and James Mott sit at the right hand side of the front row. Sitting next to Mott is Robert Purvis.  The photograph is notable for what at the time was its radical mixing of men, women, and an African American. 
Credit: Library of Congress 
W.E.B Dubois Niagara Movement
W.E.B. Dubois Niagara Movement~ The Forerunner to The NAACP,  The NAACP leaders, Civil Rights Attorneys Charles Hamilton Houston and Thurgood Marshall Killed Jim Crow in the Supreme Court, during the 1955 Brown vs. Board of Education Topeka


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Call in to the show at 347-324-5552.

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 WilliamStill~The black Abolitionist the New York Times called "The Father of the Underground Railroad."He commissioned Harriet Tubman's rescue missions and literally wrote the book The Underground Railroad.

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Fannie Lou Hamer
Annie Devine, Fannie Lou Hamer and Victoria Gray Adams, were co-founders of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party whose objective was to be recognized as delegates at the 1964 Democratic Convention. Their mission was to unseat congressmen from Mississippi who they claimed were elected illegally because of discriminatory voting practices. They became the first black women to be seated on the Fl
oor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Abolitionist, Min.Richard Allen

 Richard Allen, 1830~ chairs the first national Black convention, held in Philadelphia at the Mother Bethel AME Church.  The historic meeting drew 38 delegates from eight states to discuss the various moral and social issues relevant to African Americans, including emigration to Canada, and boycotting consumer goods made by slave labor.

Ida B. Wells
Ida B. Wells-Barnett, co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People,launches her nation-wide anti-lynching campaign.
I had bought a pistol the first thing after Tom Moss was lynched, because I expected some cowardly retaliation from the lynchers. I felt that one had better die fighting against injustice than to die like a dog or a rat in a trap...I felt if I could take one lyncher with me, this would even up the score a little bit (Duster, 1970, 1972; 62)
Cato philadelphia
 National Equal Rights League leader, Octavius V. Catto, is assassinated by a white man attempting to discourage black voting in a key Philadelphia election. Catto's funeral is the largest public funeral in Philadelphia since Lincoln's and his death is mourned in black communities throughout the country.

Society of Propagation of The Gospel
Society of The Propagation of The Gospel 
founder Thomas Bray 

The Colony of Georgia was founded as a place where there would be no slaves, lawyers, and no accumulation of land (wealth) beyond 150 acres per family. The charter, as originally designed, also tolerated Christians of all churches and in the first year of the life of the colony they were wise to include tolerance of our forebears of the faith, as Jewish settlers arrived founding the second synagogue in the colonies. Christian idealism in the original charter was lost when Georgia became a royal colony.



frederick douglass
Frederick Douglass~
President of The National Convention of Colored Men met in Washington D.C. promoting education through the Equal Rights League.
"The Negro has been a citizen just three times in the history of this government, and it has always been in time of trouble. In time of trouble we are citizens. Shall we be citizens in war, and aliens in peace? Would that be just?

In 1776 he was a citizen. At the time of the formation of the Consitution the Negro had the right to vote in eleven States out of the old thirteen. 
In your trouble you have made us citizens.

It is said in the Scriptures, "What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" What doth it profit a nation if it gain the whole world, but lose its honor? 
Click and Listen to Frederick Douglass' Grandson

gerrit smith
Gerrit Smith, Abolitionist Politician, Purchased Land For Newly Freed Blacks TO GET OUT THE VOTE! 

The "Smith Land" (Timbuktu/Timbuctoo) project was a direct response to the state requirement that "only" those (Black and White) with $250 worth of land could vote. In 1846, abolitionist and wealthy philanthropist Gerrit S
mith resolved to give away 120,000 acres of his land in the Adirondacks. The donation of such a large parcel of land was notable. But what was far more impressive was that the recipients were 3,000 African American men from nearly every county in the state.
This extraordinary contribution has been buried for more than a century, but today its significance is being told and retold.