Black Mail Blog

Black History: Special Delivery!!


July 21, 2015

The History Behind “40 Acres & A Mule”

Black History: Special Delivery!!

40 acres

Forty Acres and a Mule” refers to an 1865 promise many formerly enslaved African Americans felt that the United States government had made to them at the close of the Civil War when Union General George T. Sherman ordered that lands confiscated from confederate landowners be redistributed be given to the formerly enslaved. As the Union Army marched through the south, many blacks followed them in order to flee enslavement. Sherman’s decision to re-assign the confiscated lands came after he met with a group of 20 black ministers led by baptist minister Garrison Frazier. Sherman asked the group what they wanted for their people and Fraizer told him that people needed land to farm in orderto make a living. Sherman authorized the redistribution of lands under “Special Field Order No. 15”.

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Before Misty Copeland There Was Janet Collins!

Learn more about Janet Collins who paved the way for dancers like Misty Copeland!



The Deacons of Defense emerged as one of the first visibly armed self-defense forces in the South during the Civil Rights Movement.  This represented a turn from the more traditional and widely embraced position of non-violence.   The Deacons of Defense were instrumental in providing protection in the south to local African Americans and civil rights workers.   Though prominent civil rights figures supporting non-violence publicly disagreed with this approach, The Deacons of Defense did provide some protection to them as well.  As you might imagine, the group came under the scrutiny of the FBI and many of its members were harassed.  At it’s height, it was reported that there were over 50 chapters.  The prominence of the group began to fade with the rise of “The Black Panther Party”.  In 2003 a made for TV movie was made about the group by Showtime.  It starred Forrest Whitaker and James Earl Jones.  Check out this youtube video for more info.

7/21/15 Black Mail: History of Black Hair

This video shares a brief history about the evolution of the “care” and “control” of black hair from Africa to America!  Our issues, with hair and what is considered “acceptable” or “beautiful” dates back to the times of slavery.  Did you know slaves could be subjected to having their heads head shaved when they came to America?  It was another way to de-humanize them and take away their identity.  Slaves that were lighter skinned with what was considered “good” hair could be sold for more money.

If we fast word to today, black hair care is a multi-million dollar industry, of which, only 3% is owned by African Americans. Over time, hair has been used as a symbol both to de-humanize and empower.     I know our BLACK MAIL followers cover the full spectrum from natural, transitioning, weaves, wigs, and everything in-between!    Would love to hear your feedback! Check out the video link for more info.

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