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100 For The 400 Education Wealth

John Mercer Langston

John Mercer Langston (1829-1897)
John Mercer Langston (1829-1897)

Renowned lawyer, diplomat, educator, and politician.

Langston was born December 14, 1829, free in Louisa County, Virginia, where his father was a white planter and slaveholder and his mother was an emancipated slave. When both parents died in 1834, Langston received a large inheritance and became financially independent. He was raised by family friends in Ohio. In 1849 he received a B.A. in English, and in 1852, an M.A. in theology, from Oberlin College. He soon became involved in abolition and black rights activities. Unable to enroll in law school because of his race, Langston studied independently and passed the Ohio Bar in 1854. He assisted freedom seekers on their journeys North and organized antislavery societies. He became involved in local government in Oberlin, Ohio, where he practiced law. During the Civil War (1861-1865) Langston recruited for three African American regiments especially the Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Massachusetts and Fifth Ohio Regiments; member of the council of Oberlin 1865-1867; member of the city board of education in 1867 and 1868.

Langston campaigned for black suffrage, which was granted by Congress in 1867. He was appointed inspector general of the Bureau of Freedmen, Refugees, and Abandoned Lands in 1868-1869; traveling throughout the South to ensure that the rights of new freedmen were respected, moved to Washington, D.C., and practiced law.

Langston came to Howard University to organize its Law School, emphasizing racial and gender diversity. He was Law School dean from 1869 through 1876, elected vice president and then acting president of the university in 1872, until 1875. While at Howard,  Langston also assisted Republican Senator Charles Sumner from Massachusetts with drafting the civil rights bill that was enacted as the Civil Rights Act of 1875. The 43rd Congress of the United States passed the bill in February 1875 and it was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1875. He was appointed and commissioned by President Grant a member of the Board of Health of the District of Columbia in 1871; delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1876 and in 1877 appointed by President Hayes, Minister Resident and consul general to Haiti and as chargé d’affaires  to the Dominican Republic.

Langston in 1885, returned to Virginia, to became president of Virginia Normal and Collegiate Institute. In 1888, Langston was urged to run for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives by fellow Republicans, both black and white. Leaders of the biracial Readjuster Party, which had held political power in Virginia from 1879 to 1883, did not support his candidacy. He ran for the U.S. House of Representatives and won, but his victory was contested for 18 months, leaving him a term of only six months to serve (1890-1891) as the first African American elected to Congress from Virginia. In the next election he was defeated.

In 1890 Langston was named as a member of the board of trustees of St. Paul Normal and Industrial School, a historically black college, when it was incorporated by the Virginia General Assembly. In this period, he also wrote his autobiography, which he published in 1894.

From 1891- 1897, Langston practiced law in Washington, D.C., until his death on November 15, 1897, he is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Washington, DC. In his honor the Langston University and the town where it is located in Oklahoma carry his name.

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Education Racism Wealth

Virginia Secession Convention of 1861

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Education Racism Wealth

Henry Wilson

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Wealth

We Built America for Free

Before the Declaration of Independence

1776 – 1876

Journey to Freedom & Justice Emancipation – April 16, 1862

Reparation – Separation: Our Slice of the Pie

After black uprisings took to the street of American and swept the nation from coast-to-coast in the mid-1960s, Johnson created the Kerner Commission to examine their causes, and the report it issued in 1968 recommended a national effort to dismantle segregation and structural racism across American institutions. After much debate and endless rhetoric the report was put on a shelf and ignored. Does the 2020 Black Lives Matter protest have a different future? It is different this time!

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Wealth

Capitalist Greed 1808

After an 1808 act of Congress abolished the international slave trade, a domestic trade flourished. Richmond became the largest slave-trading center in the Upper South, and the slave trade was Virginia’s largest industry. It accounted for the sale of as many as two million people from Richmond to the Deep South, where the cotton industry provided a market for enslaved labor.

Prices of slaves varied widely over time. They rose to a high of about $1,250 during the cotton boom of the late 1830s, fell to below half that level in the 1840s, and rose to about $1,450 in the late 1850s. Males were valued 10 to 20 percent more than females; at age ten, children’s prices were about half that of a prime male field hand.

Virginia’s 550,000 slaves constituted one third of the state’s population in 1860.