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History Exhibition!

AAHM&CC PROUDLY PRESENTS… Laminated Display Exhibit: BLACK GRASSROOTS NEWSPAPER “Northwest Passage”, Volume 26 No. 5, JANUARY 1986!

FROM THE ARCHIVES!

HISTORIC GRASSROOTS NEWSPAPER “NORTHWEST PASSAGE”, JANUARY 1986!

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History Exhibition!

HERE IS THE BEST (AND BLACKEST) DOCUMENTARY ABOUT PAUL ROBESON THAT HAS EVER YET BEEN MADE

April 9th is the Birthday of Paul Robeson (1898-1976), the world-renowned and still controversial African American athlete-singer-actor-activist.

Paul Robeson remains controversial today for primarily two reasons: He never apologized for being Black, and he never apologized for disliking both capitalism and fascism. (Farmers and gardeners in the Soviet Union honored Paul Robeson by naming a variety of tomato after him.)

As a laborer in the entertainment industry, however, Paul Robeson–partially in spite of and partially because of his fame–was constantly used and abused in unscrupulous ways by his employers, directors, supervisors, more privileged coworkers and even many of his allegedly progressive Caucasian professed “allies” in struggle.

Very rarely, throughout his long and prolific career, did this great man get to wield any editorial influence over the portrayal of his own image, whether on stage, on screen, on the athletic field, or in still photography.

The handful of moments, when he WAS able to do so, were the works of which he was most proud.

From 1950 until 1958, Paul Robeson was Whitelisted by employers throughout the US, had his name temporarily erased from the records of All-American football, and was denied a US passport to prevent him from traveling or working abroad. The reasons given by the State Department for denying Robeson a passport included both his “extreme advocacy on behalf of the independence of the colonial peoples of Africa“, and “his frequent criticism of the treatment of blacks in the United States“.

The best and Blackest documentary every yet made about Paul Robeson is the 1999 film HERE I STAND, directed by the accomplished Harlem documentarian St. Clair Bourne, (1943-2007), narrated by Ossie Davis and starring Harry Belafonte, Uta Hagen, Martin Duberman, Howard Fast, Paul Robeson Junior and (via stunning archival footage) Paul Robeson Senior himself.

The film is also named after the book, written by Paul Robeson himself in 1958.

HERE IS THE YOUTUBE LINK TO THAT ENTIRE FILM! WATCH AND ENJOY!

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We are under attack!

Urban League Sues us in Settler Court to send the Storm Troopers at us once again! WE CALL FOR A SALISH INDIGENOUS COURT!

UPDATE: (05/08/2021) On the Early morning of May 8th, 2021, the forces of the settler state did indeed arrive and physically attack the AAHM&CC, once again destroying its physical infrastructure, along the lines of their precursory threats to do so, which are described in the article below.

FURTHER UPDATE: (07/22/2021) On the morning of July 22, 2021, the City of Seattle, acting through both its Parks Department and Police Department, violently and completely demolished the African American community garden at Jimi Hendrix Park.

FURTHER UPDATE: (03/07/2022) On the morning of March 7th, 2022, the settler state forces, assisted by the Urban League and NAAM, indeed attacked and destroyed the AAHM&CC’s physical infrastructure once again.

WE ARE ASKING ALL AAHM&CC SUPPORTERS TO BE ON HIGH ALERT BECAUSE THE COPS ARE GOING TO RAID US AGAIN VERY SOON (as you can see by this image).

On March 24th, 2021, a King County Sheriff, hired by the racketeer shell game entity known as “URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC”, decided to deface our current traveling art exhibit by pasting this unsightly object over its front display case with sticky tape.

The object is a laminated letter from “URBAN LEAGUE OF METROPOLITAN SEATTLE” Board Member John F. Williams Esquire, signed by him in the name of “URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC”, printed on the letterhead of his high corporate DNC lawfirm Perkins Coie, dated March 10th and demanding that we abandon our own property by March 14th–10 days before the ugly object was sticky-taped upon us. (The ugly object also alleges itself to have been mailed to somebody, but it’s unclear to whom.)

Naturally, we corrected the unsightly object’s inaccurate content by posting–alongside of our duly signed and notarized purchase and sale agreement–this notice of our own. As you can see here, not only is ours accurate, but its logo is also far less ugly and much more historically meaningful.

Then, on March 30th, this “URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC” entity allegedly filed a lawsuit (delivered March 31st by the same Sheriff) against our elder and co-founder Omari Tahir-Garrett and an unspecified but clearly very large number of additional as-yet unnamed defendants, whom their document insultingly, dishonestly and pejoratively refers to as “Other Trespassers”.

We can only presume this false accusation (of being “tresspassers” on our own land) includes all volunteers, guests and event-attendees of our African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center over the past ten months, which places the number of this lawsuit’s “Defendants” well into the thousands.

We can only presume this false accusation (of being “tresspassers” on our own land) includes all volunteers, guests and event-attendees of our African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center over the past ten months, which places the number of this lawsuit’s “Defendants” well into the thousands.

The LLC’s lawsuit demands that the settler government of King County once again force the AAHM&CC out of our own legally purchased infrastructure and land, as it did before on June 4th, 1998. The lawsuit’s argument relies entirely upon the willingness of King County to violate Article 17 of the Univeral Declaration of Human Rights (the right to own property, either alone or in association with one’s peers) by failing to recognize the right of a predominantly and authentically African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center to purchase and own real property here, and by instead recording only the subsequent alleged and fraudulent transfer of our property to others (more favored by the Euro-settler power structure) by a “seller” whose property it no longer was to sellbecause it had already been sold to us!

The lawsuit, like the preceding ugly object, is signed and filed by the same corporate attorney, John F. Williams Esquire, who sits on the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle’s Board Of Directors alongside John Bridge of Ben Bridge Jewelers, merchants in the infamous De Beers diamond trade.

On the very next day, April 1st, 2021, the URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC’s Chief Financial Officer filed THIS REPORT to the Washington Secretary of State, declaring, under penalty of perjury, that URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC does not “own any real property such as land or buildings” in Washington.

Of course, we knew it was possible that none of these facts would matter to the settler court of King County, and that its Sheriffs would again illegally and violently shut down our AAHM&CC, as they did 23 years ago. We now know this is EXACTLY what is happening.

On the Friday of April 16th, our co-founder Omari Tahir formally responded to URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC’s lawsuit on behalf of himself and all accused “Other Tresspassers”, and also filed a proper and very reasonable motion for the court to appoint him a trained assistant to help him read the legal papers of the case, because his vision is extremely impaired by cataracts (a fact which Omari verified by attaching medical evidence). On that same day, he also filed a federal lawsuit against these racketeers, naming and charging them in extensive detail.

On the Monday of April 19th, Omari duly filed the proper and legally binding notice of removal, removing the pending eviction matter from King County to the federal court, which must, according to the letter of the settlers’ own law, deal with the matter before the County Court can legally act on it.

On April 20th, a kangaroo pageant pretense of “a court hearing” was staged via the online auspices of a private corporation known as “Zoom”. The Urban League, the “NAAM” and their respective lawyers were all allowed both visual and audio access to this hearing, while Omari was denied visual access and only allowed to hear. The County court’s judge pretended to be unaware that Omari had removed the case to federal court, allowed the FBI-founded “NAAM” to willfully misrepresent itself as the AAHM&CC (which it is not), and cut Omari off by telling him to stop talking as he was attempting to explain the marked difference between those two organizations.

The judge also claimed that he did not have the authority to deal with Omari’s motion for the appointment of an assistant due to his documented vision problems; but then, instead of observing due process by having the motion dealt with by someone WITH the authority to handle it, the judge proceeded to bulldoze onward as if the motion in question had not been before the court at all (which it was).

King County’s “judge” gave the imperialist neocolonial puppets and their high power lawfirm everything they asked for and more, without even pretending to review the full facts or laws at stake, or pretending to actually hear and consider Omari’s argument beyond ignoring Omari’s voice for a a few minutes before telling Omari to stop speaking, and then issuing the ruling he had clearly already decided he would issue from the first second he saw PERKINS COIE’s letterhead on the case number.

On April 21st, of course, Omari appealed the kangaroo ruling to the settler court which claims to have appellate jurisdiction over King County.

Unlike the Urban League and “NAAM”, Omari Tahir and the AAHM&CC have nothing to hide in this matter. Like Omari himself, we are proud of our co-founding registered agent’s record to date in this court matter, and believe that an authentic sovereign indigenous court would rule in Omari’s favor instead of continuing to violate his human rights.

Therefore, at the request of our registered agent himself, we are posting these court documents (which are already public documents that anyone could find on their own via both paper and online government archives) here on this webpage so that you, gentle reader, can easily access and view them. We will accordingly update this webpage to continue documenting Omari’s legal activities and the racketeers’ extra-legal actions.

Here are the main events which have happened in the settler courts so far:

In spite of the above timely appeal, by Omari, of the kangaroo court’s eviction order, King County has so far ignored the existence of his appeal. Its Sheriffs promptly posted their intent to raid Omari with force and violence without further warning “any time after 11:59 PM on April” 30th.

“ANY TIME AFTER 11:59 PM 04/30/2021”

They then proceeded, eight days later, on May 8th, to conduct a raid just as they had threatened to do, stealing all of Omari’s personal possessions onsite, and completely destroying our AAHM&CC’s outdoor museum operation, which we must now rebuild from scratch yet again.

Our proud outdoor museum operation, shortly before the attack which destroyed it

“King” County is living up to its original name in this matter.

King County, after all, was originally named for the obscure US Vice President William Rufus King, an Alabama slave owner. Even the chief proponent of the 2006 re-marketing effort (to associate the county’s name with a better King) chose to carefully go on record against “dissing” or “denigrating” that still popular slaveholder. Everyone today knows the resulting score of that. Now some (not all) of the County`s transit fare enforcement uses uniforms and vehicles decorated with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s image, , while continuing to disproportionately target Black people. And King County’s African Americans still don’t have any cultural institution on par with Nordic Heritage Museum, Wing Luke, Daybreak Star or El Centro.

We would wonder why not, if we didn’t know.

But we do know. The full story is right here, still unfolding.

Therefore, the AAHM&CC joins our co-founder Omari Tahir in calling for this “URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC eviction” to be removed from the venue of William Rufus King County’s settler court, and for the matter to instead be resolved in a sovereign tribal court of the Great Salish Sea.

“King” County is living up to its original settler name in this matter.
Therefore, the AAHM&CC joins our co-founder Omari Tahir in calling for this “URBAN LEAGUE VILLAGE LLC eviction” to be removed from the venue of William Rufus King County’s settler court, and for the matter to instead be resolved in a sovereign tribal court of the Great Salish Sea.

As for you, gentle reader, we call upon you to come the Museum as often as possible and to stay as long as you can. Only the mass mobilization of the people can stop this settler tyranny and reestablish indigenous sovereignty.

Free The Land

-AAHM&CC

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News You Can Use!

A LIE’S FALSEHOOD IS THE TRUTH’S OPPORTUNITY!

FREEDOM IS TRUTH!

On March 19, 2021 the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle publicly published this “Official Statement” about our African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center and its building, which they inaccurately claim to own.

They allege in this statement that they want to have an open and transparent conversation.

However, they then immediately claim to profess what they call “some important historical context”, in which they—once again—brazenly attempt to erase the history of the AAHM&CC. The most obvious and glaring problem with their narrative is that it pretends no history took place at the AAHM&CC building between 1993 and 2002!

The Urban League simply will not discuss the major events which occurred there in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 or 2001, because the history of those years reinforces the case of the AAHM&CC, not of the Urban League.

Anyone who studies those years of this recorded struggle (available right here on this website) will see that the Urban League is lying when it claims our organization abandoned the building in 1993, or that the building then became, in their words, an “unoccupied and closed altogether” land without a people (for their financiers who wanted more land).

While some corporate newspapers did inaccurately claim that the 1985 public building sit-in ended in 1993 (thereby alleging that it lasted only 8 years instead of the actual 13), and while some of the AAHM&CC’s activists did temporarily withdraw in late 1993 (because the City told them their demands were being met), the true facts of the matter are that the Coleman School building was at all times continuously occupied by AAHM&CC volunteers and equipment from November 23, 1985 through June 4, 1998. The Urban League knows this is a fact, and is choosing to willfully lie about it.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then this official public City document, the 1994 Final Report of Mayor Norm Rice’s African American Heritage Museum And Cultural Center Committee, could not exist. Clearly the Urban League wishes it didn’t exist. Fortunately for humanity, though, it does.

Our AAHM&CC plan for a world class museum and cultural center, filling all floors and rooms with recording studios, performance halls, radio stations, design labs, educational exhibitions and much more, is all in direct continuity with that 1994 Final Report!

It is what we have been working towards since 1981, and is what we will fight for as long as necessary, by any means necessary.

Neither our Founders’ Vision nor the 1994 Report are in any way compatible with the shell game apartment scheme managed by a notorious slumlord enforcement agency with only 1.5 Yelp stars.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then this Autumn 1996 PI Article about the public hearing on the School District’s sale of Coleman School to us (the AAHM&CC) could never have been written. Clearly the Urban League wishes it hadn’t been written. Fortunately for humanity, it was.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the Seattle School Board could never have formally approved this sale of the building to us (the AAHM&CC) in July of 1997. Clearly this happened, or the Seattle Times could not have covered it. But, “fast forward (from 1993) to 2002” cries the Urban League.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the January 16th, 1998, mutually signed and notarized purchase and sale contract itself (still never terminated by any foreclosure proceeding whatsoever) could never have been created. Clearly the Urban League wishes it had never been signed. Fortunately for humanity, it was.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the corporate power structure would never have found it necessary to send a SWAT Team to attack us (The AAHM&CC) and force us out of our own building on June 4th, 1998. The Urban League wants this act of state violence erased from history because they are its primary beneficiary.

If Urban League’s narrative were true, then the 1999 peoples’ democratic uprising against the World Trade Organization in Seattle would/could never have included this multiracial and international working class effort to help the AAHM&CC retake our building from the previous year’s police raid. The Urban League clearly wants history to forget this ever happened. Fortunately for humanity, we won’t.

If the Urban League’s narrative were true, then the Seattle Public School District could never have publicly received their down-payment on our building from us (the AAHM&CC) at their meeting in March of 2000, which we delivered to them in spite of the fact that we had–by that time–been illegally locked out of our own building through state violence for over 17 consecutive months. Clearly the Urban League wishes we’d never succeeded in delivering that check. Fortunately for humanity, we did.

If the Urban League were truly a champion on behalf of low-income tenants, as it claims to be, then it would never have been necessary, in 2001, for our community to pressure it to answer the simple question of whether its housing-unit plans for the building consisted of affordable apartments or high-end condominiums. The Urban League was initially alarmingly ambiguous about this, and wished we’d not even pressured them to specify. Fortunately, we did. But the housing in question still turned out substandard and wrongly located.

If Gunslinger James Kelly were really the hero Urban League still says he is, he would not have been flashing a firearm at unarmed high school students on an allegedly weapons-free campus in 2002, the same year in which Urban League’s March 19, 2021 statement claims he was saving the day.

Were James Kelly that hero, he also would not have so closely involved the Urban League with those particular Seattle Public Schools Superintendents (such as Maria Goodloe-Johnson and Joseph Olchefske*) who consistently either get fired, resign or claim to be resigning in disgrace over financial scandals. Nor would he have associated it so closely with Kelly’s other crony—School District Attorney Ron English Esquire, who quietly “retired” from the School District in 2015 after being placed on administrative leave pending an investigation which was politely declared “closed upon his retirement, with no findings”. *(Joseph Olchefske took over from Superintendent John Stanford, who signed our January 16, 1998 Purchase & Sale Agreement as the seller, only to die of leukemia later the same year. The illegal double-sale alleged transfer of our building to the Urban League was then engineered on Olchefske’s watch, by Ron English Esquire. Ron English, like the Urban League, liked to deny that Stanford had ever signed our Purchase & Sale Agreement. English publicly repeated this lie from the time of Stanford’s death until March of 2003, when Mary Bass—the School Board’s only African American member at the time—compelled him to begrudgingly confess that Stanford had not only signed the Agreement, but had done so in the presence of a notary! Even after this confession, English kept advocating the illegal transfer of our building to James Kelly’s Urban League.)

The Urban League’s March 19th statement also repeats a familiar litany of false accusations against us, which we have already rebutted and debunked in detail six times (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) since June 2020. So, we won’t take up a lot of space here responding to them again, other than to link our previous extensive rebuttals above.

In very brief, needless to say, the AAHM&CC of course does not foul our own building with feces. That is a sensational slander which white supremacists have been spreading about us since 1993, to which the Urban League is now apparently adding its name.

Also, of course, the AAHM&CC volunteers do not brandish weapons, harass people or issue death threats. That is the frequent behavior of the Urban League’s loyalists, including its contracted (and City-approved) muscle firm Coast Property Management,  which grants physical roof access to people who hurl dangerous projectiles downward at the AAHM&CC, calls towing companies against our volunteers for parking in our own parking spots (which are clearly marked “MUSEUM”), and whose mentally unstable long-time armed employee—after a lengthy documented history of brandishing weapons and issuing death threats—shot two innocent young women in that same parking lot last month, one of them fatally.

The UL’s statement goes on to claim that they have attempted dialogue with us, the AAHM&CC (albeit while attempting to reduce us to the single persona of one of our beloved co-founding elders, Omari Tahir Garrett). This so called “attempted dialogue” is a matter of record. Since June 2020, the Urban League has only ever told Omari one thing, and that is to leave.

The last such formal dialogue occurred in August 2020, and, as of this posting, we are still patiently awaiting the Urban League’s reply to our last letter of the 28th of that month.

As we have said before, it is important to understand on whose behalf the Urban League tells these lies.

The AAHM&CC has been in this fight since 1985, and will continue the fight for as long as it takes to build this urgently needed peoples’ facility.

Free The Land – The AAHM&CC

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News You Can Use!

URBAN LEAGUE FINALLY ADMITS THAT THE BUILDING SHOULD BE A CULTURAL CENTER

The AAHM&CC has become aware that, on the Tuesday of March 16th, an Urban League official sent a cryptic and threatening message to one of our volunteers in the form of a personal cell phone text.

At the request of our registered agent, our website is transcribing and publishing the text of this message here, with the personal name of the recipient deleted.

It reads:

“******, we looking into re-purposing the museum to serve as a cultural center. That will take time. However the many complaints by tenants about the encampment must be addressed. Omari must go or be removed first. There is no interest any longer in working something out while he is present. I tried hard in good faith. What will happen will happen. I hope he will consider coming to the table to work out a solution that honors him, and respects the tenants.”

The most important detail about this latest act of bullying by the Urban League is that it contains those two important confessions: 1), that the building really should be a cultural center, and 2), that the Urban League to date has NOT been operating it as a cultural center.

Of course, by the word “tenants”, the UL is referring, on the one hand, to the individuals in search of residential housing to whom they are falsely representing themselves as the building’s owners, and whom they are illegally charging monetary “rent” to unsafely and uncomfortably inhabit a building that is neither intended for residential use nor owned by the organized criminals collecting this “rent”. They are simultaneously referring, on the other hand, to their subsidiary spinoff organization, known to the people as the “NAAM Scam”, illegally occupying the ground floor of the building.

No matter how often the Urban League repeats the lie that the AAHM&CC an “encampment”, it will still be a lie.

We are the true authentic Musuem, and we continue to stand for the implementation of the publicly documented and officially designated use of the former Coleman School premises, firmly established by the City of Seattle itself since February of 1994, as is clearly demonstrated in the  45-page report of the MAYOR’S AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTER COMMITTEE.

We also continue to stand on our mutually signed and sealed Purchase and Sale Agreement which has made our organization the rightful owner of the building since January of 1998, which you can view here. This agreement has never been terminated by any foreclosure process, and is still as valid as the day it was signed, despite the habitual tendency of white power structures to break their treaties.

We are present in furtherance of these official public documents.

Museums routinely host exhibitions, both indoors and out. Our current emphasis is on outdoor exhibits precisely because the Urban League racketeers are presently illegally squatting inside of our building and have locked the door from the inside, which unfortunately renders the interior of the building inaccessible to its authentic purpose at this time.

Naturally, our outdoor exhibits, and the items necessary for their maintenance, are valuable, and therefore require the presence of round-the-clock human security personnel. Also, naturally, our security personnel must be furnished with the ability to take naps and nourishment to refresh themselves to continue the performance of their duties. Nothing about this constitutes an “encampment”.

In contrast to us, The Urban League, its subsidiary flag-independent ground-floor “tenant” organization, and its corrupt supporters within city and county government have been willfully and illegally obstructing this good public project with force and violence since June 4th, 1998, occupying the building for profiteering objectives contrary to its authentic designated use.

Contrary to the what is alleged in the Urban League’s dishonest threat, the Urban League has never yet “tried hard in good faith” to “work something out while he (AAHM&CC Co-Founder Omari Tahir) is present”. The Urban League’s one and only proposal to Omari Tahir since Juneteenth of 2020 has been its unconditional demand that he once again leave his own building. This is a matter of record. Its last formal exchange of dialogue with us was in August of 2020, and we have been patiently awaiting its reply to our last letter since the 28th day of that month. It has yet to reply, apparently preferring to open personal side channels with our individual volunteers and attempting to bully them.

In spite of all of this, the Urban League’s admission that the building should be a cultural center, and has not been used as one on their watch, is a significant bit of progress.

We can agree on at least one other thing as well. “What will happen”, will indeed happen. The AAHM&CC has been in this fight since 1985, and will continue the fight for as long as it takes to build this urgently needed peoples’ facility.

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History Exhibition!

HARRIET E. WILSON – 1825-1900: earliest known African American novelist, AND HER WORK STILL PACKS A PUNCH!

Statue of Harriet E. Wilson, Milford, NH

March 15th is the birthday of Harriet E. Wilson (1825-1900) of Milford, New Hampshire, born a nominally “free” laboring class African American woman.

In 1859, Harriet Wilson, in an open and honest attempt to supplement her meager income, completed the now famous novel “Our Nig; or Sketches From the Life of A Free Black In a Two-Story White House, North Showing that Slavery’s Shadow Falls even there”.

She got it copyrighted by the US District Court of Massachusetts in August, and published in print by George C. Rand and Avery in September. It is the oldest known printed novel to have been published by an Afrikan author (of any gender) in North Amerika.

This novel was widely believed to have been written by a white person until 1982, when exhaustive irrefutable evidence was compiled and presented to prove the authenticity of Wilson’s authorship.

The novel is still highly controversial today, especially to northern liberals, because it raises critical questions about how different from slavery the life of a “free” Black laborer in the Amerikan North actually was during the lifetime of its author.

The novel begins with the following words:

PREFACE:

IN offering to the public the following pages, the writer confesses her inability to minister to the refined and cultivated, the pleasure supplied by abler pens. It is not for such these crude narrations appear. Deserted by kindred, disabled by failing health, I am forced to some experiment which shall aid me in maintaining myself and child without extinguishing this feeble life. I would not from these motives even palliate slavery at the South, by disclosures of its appurtenances North. My mistress was wholly imbued with SOUTHERN principles. I do not pretend to divulge every transaction in my own life, which the unprejudiced would declare unfavorable in comparison with treatment of legal bondmen; I have purposely omitted what would most provoke shame in our good anti-slavery friends at home.

My humble position and frank confession of errors will, I hope, shield me from severe criticism. Indeed, defects are so apparent it requires no skilful hand to expose them.

I sincerely appeal to my colored brethren universally for patronage, hoping they will not condemn this attempt of their sister to be erudite, but rally around me a faithful band of supporters and defenders.”

The novel is in the public domain, so the rest of it can be read for free here.

It can also be heard read aloud as a free audiobook here.

The AAHM&CC encourages you to read or listen to it.

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History Exhibition!

AN HONORABLE AND DIGNIFIED HARRIET TUBMAN DAY TO ALL, … But full pensions for aged veterans sure would be nice!

This newspaper clipping from 1908 claims that Harriet Tubman is 93 years old at the time of this photo. If true, that would place her the date of her birth as 1815. Other sources have estimated her birth in the early 1820s. Although she served the US army in the 1860s, the army refused to give her a military pension until 1898.

Today, as the AAHM&CC Celebrates Harriet Tubman Day, we remember not just the sacrifices our elders have made for us, but also the long and ongoing struggle to get them the respect they deserve.

Harriet Tubman is remembered as an icon for abolitionism.

She should also be remembered as an icon in the struggle for African American army veterans to receive their pensions!

It is well known that Harriet Tubman served the Union military during the Civil War, most famously on the Combahee River, where she became the first woman to lead a US army combat operation.

Lesser known is the fact that, after the standing army phase of that war ended, it would be 33 years before Harriet Tubman would receive her army pension.

Tubman had no birth certificate, because she was born into chattel slavery some time in the early 1820s or late 1810s. So, she was at least 43 in 1865 when Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, at least 55 in 1877 when the Union formally abandoned Reconstruction and surrendered the South to Jim Crow rule for the next nine decades. And she was at least 68 in 1890 when the Second Morrill Act established the HBCU colleges.

She did not begin receiving her small pension until 1898, by which time she was at least 76. Even then, the matter of giving her a tiny pension was so controversial that it took a heated debate in the federal Congress to make it happen!

Harriet Tubman died on March 10th, 1913, at somewhere between the ages of 91 and 98.

Seventy-Four-year-old AAHM&CC Co-Founder Omari Tahir Garrett is also a US army veteran who is also to this day receiving neither his army pension nor his full regular social security check, which is a ongoing living example of continued racial inequality within the Social Security program, a overall progressive program which, nevertheless, was founded in such a racist way that, for the first 20 years of its existence, it actually widened the wealth gap between “white” and “non-white” households instead of narrowing it.

This March 10th, in honor of Harriet Tubman, we call for the dignity and human rights of all women, all veterans, and all African Americans.

Ashe.

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History Exhibition!

BENKOS BIOHO’S LIFE MATTERED! AND HERE’S THE PROOF!

Statue of Benkos Biohó in the main square of San Basilio de Palenque, the free town which he founded in 1599. The statue’s right arm is outstretched eastward towards Africa.

This month the AAHM&CC pays a solemn and grateful tribute to our heroic freedom fighter Benkos Biohó, on the 400th anniversary of his brutal execution by hanging and quartering in March of 1621.*

We also take this moment to celebrate the fact that, at long last, an English-language book has  been published (in January 2019), rendering his long suppressed story finally accessible to the anglophone Amerikan public: FREEDOM! THE UNTOLD STORY OF BENKOS BIOHO and THE WORLD’S FIRST MAROONS!, A TRUE STORY, by KOFI LENILES and DR. KMT SHOCKLEY, ILLUSTRATED BY IROUPA KEINKEDE, Published by AuthorHouse.

Benkos had been kidnapped in the late fifteen-hundreds from his native island in the Western Mali/Kaabu region of Guinea-Bissau (a part of the world which, nearly four centuries later, would field another world-renowned freedom fighter, Amílcar Cabral).

In approximately 1599 (two decades BEFORE Virginia unloaded its first slave ship), Benkos Biohó, escaping slavery for at least the second time, led a group of about 30 escapees in founding one of the oldest and longest lasting free Afrikan Maroon cities in the Western Hemisphere! 

This town, San Basilio de Palenque, stands proudly as a beacon of liberty to this day! (Yanga, in Veracruz, Mexico, is even older!)

Benkos led the people of Palenque in a just and courageous war against the Spanish Empire’s slave traders, frequently raiding the nearby Atlantic slave port of Cartagena and setting the captives free.

In 1603, the Governor of Cartagena Gerónimo de Suazo, admitted that he was unable to defeat the free people of Palenque, and offered a peace treaty with King Benkos Biohó, which was extended in 1612 between Biohó and the next Governor, Diego Fernández de Velasco.

Naturally, however, the next Governor, Garcia Girón, broke the treaty by ambushing and kidnapping Biohó in 1619, holding him prisoner until March of 1621, and publicly murdering him because, in Girón’s words “It was dangerous the extent to which Biohó was respected in the population!”

But Biohó became even stronger as a martyr! The brave people of Palenque rose up against his treacherous murderers and resumed the war for freedom. They fought for 70 more years, until 1691, when the King of Spain himself personally signed a peace treaty with Palenque!

The 1691 truce has been cautiously maintained and guarded by Palenque ever since, with Spain and with its Imperial successor, the modern state of Colombia. Like its predecessor, Colombia continually vacillates in its willingness/desire to keep its promises to indigenous peoples of either Afrika or this hemisphere.

And yet, the people of Palenque, trustworthy and dedicated to long memory, still sing their ancestor’s songs about the valor of Benkos Biohó, and teach those songs to their children.

Benkos Biohó is a hero to all Afrikan people worldwide!

To all indigenous people worldwide!

To all coastal seafaring people worldwide!

To all laboring class people worldwide!

And to any human being who is sincerely in favor of freedom!

We are all Benkos Biohó!

Ashe!

As of this month, Biohó’s free town of Palenque has endured continuous struggle to exist for 422 consecutive years!

If necessary, so will the African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center!

*Accounts very as to the exact day of his death, (anywhere from March 3rd through about March 16th, 1621) due to the inability of the Julian/Gregorian white power structure to keep a straight calendar for that length of time, and its propensity for burning the books of other cultures who might otherwise have successfully done so. However, it is a clear that Benkos Bioho was publicly dismembered for a European settler audience in March of 1621.

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IN SOLEMN MOURNING

AAHM&CC STATEMENT ON THE DEATHS OF FEBRUARY 9, 2021

The AAHM&CC asks all readers to pause for a moment of silence here to uplift and acknowledge the two victims shot, one of them fatally, late on the night of Tuesday, February 9th, in the Urban League occupied/controlled parking lot of our Museum by the employee of “Coast Property Management” (hired by the Urban League and approved by the City of Seattle *), as well that employee himself–who was then shot and killed by the SPD later the same night. We send strength, power and love to the families and all affected by this tragedy.

In particular, we ask that readers send good thoughts and donations to the family of our late beloved sister Anais Nin Valencia, killed for no reason at the age of 23.

The murder of Anais Nin Valencia could have been prevented.

Her killer, the 45-year-old violently unstable Coast Property Management employee Greg Taylor, was clearly in desperate need of mental health treatment and counseling, which he should have received. His volatility, mental illness, and propensity to threaten others with a loaded gun were all a matter of public record, of which Coast Property Management, The Urban League and the City—via its police department—were all aware.

In the meantime, while he should have been receiving treatment, he should not have been placed in the de-facto position of wielding armed authority in the name of a property management scheme. Yet, the fact is that he was maintained in a unique and opaque position of employment by at least two successive management companies—both hired by the Urban League and approved by the City of Seattle.

The AAHM&CC continues to stand for the implementation of the publicly documented and officially designated use of the former Coleman School premises, firmly established by the City of Seattle itself since February of 1994, as is clearly demonstrated in the  45-page report of the MAYOR’S AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MUSEUM AND CULTURAL CENTER COMMITTEE, which you can view here!

We also continue to stand on our mutually signed and sealed Purchase and Sale Agreement which has made our organization the rightful owner of the building since January of 1998, which you can view here. This agreement has never been terminated by any foreclosure process, and is still as valid as the day it was signed, despite the habitual tendency of white power structures to break their treaties.

Contrary to what is often said about us, we are not an encampment. We are present in furtherance of these official public documents.

In contrast to us, The Urban League, its subsidiary flag-independent ground-floor “tenant” organization, and its corrupt supporters within city and county government have been willfully and illegally obstructing this good public project with force and violence since June 4th, 1998, occupying the building for profiteering objectives contrary to its authentic designated use.

These obstructionists have set up a racketeering operation inside the building, whereby unauthorized entities are falsely representing themselves as the building’s owners to individuals in search of residential housing, and are illegally charging such individuals monetary “rent” to unsafely and uncomfortably inhabit a building that is neither intended for residential use nor owned by the organized criminals collecting this “rent”. These gangsters further enrich themselves by intercepting as much public taxpayer HUD money as they can in the name of the building, but spending as little of it as possible on either real functional housing or urban development.

Gregory Taylor was one of the individuals whom these racketeers were taking advantage of in this way—both as a “tenant” and an “employee”—which exacerbated his already unstable mental condition instead of treating it.

The AAHM&CC has been trying to work with the City to implement the plan identified by the Mayor’s African American Heritage Museum And Cultural Center Committee since 1994. Even without the City’s help, we would by now have long ago implemented this plan on our own had we not been interrupted by the City’s force and violence in 1998.

The plan we’re being prevented from implementing has abundant flexibility to host mental health treatment programs on the old Coleman School Property (the true name of which is, of course, that African American Heritage Museum & Cultural Center). Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center and El Centro De La Raza have begun to explore such necessary programs at their facilities, while the Asian Counseling and Referral Service, for its part, has established and consolidated such services.

Had Gregory Taylor received proper mental health treatment in an uncorrupt setting, he most likely would not have committed this homicidal act, and therefore also would not have then fired a gun in the direction of the police, who (hopefully) would therefore also not have killed him. Anais Nin Valencia and Gregory Taylor would both still be alive.

For these reasons, as well as many others, the blood of both Anais Nin Valencia and Gregory Taylor is upon the hands of the City of Seattle, Coast Property Management and the Urban League.

It is time for those entities to step aside and finally allow the people of both the Central Area and Seattle/MLKing County’s greater Africatown metropolitan area to construct their African American Heritage Museum and Cultural Center with this critical piece of land and infrastructure.

      -AAHM&CC

*Citation: Part II, Section 15 of King County Records document number 20061211000013, an illegal covenant entered into between the Urban League and the City of Seattle on December 7th, 2006 to run the building as an apartment complex instead of a Museum, page 18 of which purports to give the City decision making authority over the operation while simultaneously denying that the City has any responsibility for the operation.

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History Exhibition!

AAHM&CC CELEBRATES THE BIRTHDAYS OF MARTIN LUTHER KING, PAUL CUFFE & ISAAC MYERS!

January 17, 2021

PAUL CUFFE

ISAAC MYERS

Link to the full proceedings of the December 1869 Black labor convention chaired by Isaac Myers. (These proceedings were published by Frederick Douglas at the printing press of the New Era newspaper on April 4th, 1870.)