▶ Three Correction Officers Charged in Beating Death of [Black Male] Inmate at Rikers Island – YouTube


Published on Jul 13, 2015

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of criminal charges against three New York City Correction Officers in the death of Ronald Spear, a pre-trial detainee at Rikers Island. BRIAN COLL, then a correction officer on Rikers Island, was charged with repeatedly kicking Mr. Spear in the head while he was fully restrained and lying prone on the floor, in violation of his rights under the United States Constitution. The two other officers involved in the incident, BYRON TAYLOR and ANTHONY TORRES, are, together with COLL, charged with obstruction of justice related offenses for covering up COLL’s assault, which resulted in the death of Mr. Spear. COLL and TAYLOR were arrested this morning on charges contained in a Criminal Complaint and are expected to be presented in federal court later today. TORRES ultimately disclosed the attempted cover-up to federal investigators and pled guilty to a Criminal Information earlier this week to obstruction of justice offenses, pursuant to a cooperation agreement with the Government.

Views – 327

HARPER’S WEEKLY JUNE 2, 1860: African Slave Ship

HARPER’S WEEKLY. JUNE 2, 1860. 344



KEY WEST, FLORIDA, May 20, 1860.

ON the morning of the 30th of April last, the United States steamer Mohawk, Lieutenant Craven commanding, came to anchor in the harbor of this place, having in tow a bark of the burden of about three hundred and thirty tons, supposed to be the bark Wildfire, lately owned in the city of New York. The bark had on board five hundred and ten native Africans, taken on board in the River Congo, on the west side of the continent of Africa. She had been captured a few days previously by Lieutenant Craven within sight of the northern coast of Cuba, as an American vessel employed in violating our laws against the slave-trade. She had left the Congo River thirty-six days before her capture.

Soon after the bark was anchored we repaired on board, and on passing over the side saw, on the deck of the vessel, about four hundred and fifty native Africans, in a state of entire nudity, in a sitting or squatting posture, the most of them having their knees elevated so as to form a resting,

place for their heads and arms. They sat very close together, mostly on either side of the vessel, forward and aft, leaving a narrow open space along the line of the centre for the crew of the vessel to pass to and fro. About fifty of them were full-grown young men, and about four hundred were boys aged from ten to sixteen years. It is said by persons acquainted with the slave-trade and who saw them, that they were generally in a very good condition of health and flesh, as compared with other similar cargoes, owing to the fact that they had not been so much crowded together on board as is common in slave voyages, and had been better fed than usual. It is said that the bark is capable of carrying, and was prepared to carry, one thousand, but not being able without inconvenient delay to procure so many, she sailed with six hundred. Ninety and upward had died on the voyage. But this is considered as comparatively a small loss, showing that they had been better cared for than usual. Ten more have died since their arrival, and there are about forty more sick in the hospital. We saw

on board about six or seven boys and men greatly emaciated, and diseased past recovery, and about a hundred that showed decided evidences of suffering from inanition, exhaustion, and disease. Dysentery was the principal disease. But notwithstanding their sufferings, we could not be otherwise than interested and amused at their strange looks, motions, and actions. The well ones looked happy and contented, and were ready at any moment to join in a song or a dance whenever they were directed to do so by “Jack”—a little fellow as black as ebony, about twelve years old, having a handsome and expressive face, an intelligent look, and a sparkling eye. The sailors on the voyage had dressed “Jack” in sailor costume, and had made him a great pet. When we were on board “Jack” carried about in his hand a short cord, not only as the emblem but also as the instrument of his brief delegated authority. He would make the men and boys stand up, sit down, sing, or dance just as he directed. When they sang ” Jack” moved around among them as light as a cat, and beat the time by

slapping his hands together, and if any refused to sing, or sang out of time, Jack’s cord descended on their backs. Their singing was monotonous. The words we did not understand. We have rarely seen a more happy and merry-looking fellow than ” Jack.”

From the deck we descended into the cabin, where we saw sixty or seventy women and young girls, in Nature’s dress, some silting on the floor and others on the lockers, and some sick ones lying in the berths. Four or five of them were a good deal tattooed on the back and arms, and we noticed that three had an arm branded with the figure ” 7,” which, we suppose, is the merchant’s mark.

On the day of their arrival the sickest, about forty in all, were landed and carried to a building-on the public grounds belonging to Fort Taylor, and Doctors Whitehurst and Shrine employed as medical attendants. We visited them in the afternoon. The United States Marshal had procured for all of them shirts, and pants for the men, and some benevolent ladies of the city had sent the (Next Page)


A number of these negroes—perhaps twelve or fifteen in all—have been more or less at and about Loando, a Portuguese town on the coast, and have learned to speak a little Portuguese. Through an interpreter we learned from them that some four or five—perhaps more, but probably not many—had been baptized at the Roman Catholic missionary station at Loando. Francisco, a young man, says he was baptized by a Franciscan friar in Loando; that he was a slave in Africa, and does not wish to return there. He says he had rather be a slave to the white man in this country. Salvador, a bright-looking, smart lad, has been baptized. Constantia says she was baptized in Loando. She does not remember her father ; she was stolen away when she was young, and was sold by her brother. Antonia and Amelia are both fine-looking young women, aged about twenty, and were both baptized at Loando. Madia, a pagan, unbaptized, aged about twenty, has obtained among the white people here who have visited the quarters the name of ” The Princess,” on account of her fine personal appearance and the deference that seemed to be paid to her by some of her companions. The persons we have here mentioned, including some eight or ten others, evidently do not belong to the same tribe that the rest do. Indeed the whole number is evidently taken from different tribes living in the interior of Africa, but the greater number are ” Congos.” The women we have named have cut or shaved the hair off the back part of their head, from a point on the crown to the back part of either ear. It is the fashion of their tribe. None of the other women are thus shorn. Many of the men, women, boys, and girls have filed their front teeth—some by sharpening them to a point, and others by cutting down the two upper front teeth. The persons above named have their teeth in a natural state. Perhaps fifty in all are tattooed more or less.

JUNE 2, 1860


(Previous Page) girls and women gowns. Six or eight were very sick ; the others did not appear to be in any immediate danger of dying. We were very much amused by a young lad about fifteen years old, not much sick, who had got on, probably for the first time in his life, a whole shirt, and who seemed to be delighted with every body and every thing he saw. He evidently thought the speech of the white man was very funny. When a few words were spoken to him he immediately repeated them with great glee. Pointing to Dr. Skrine, we said “Doctor.” He said ” Doctor.” And then pointing to Dr. Whitehurst, we said “Doctor too.” He said ” Doctor too.” The doctors had selected from the bark a woman about twenty-four years of age to assist the nurse in taking care of the sick. She had been dressed in a clean calico frock, and looked very respectably. About sundown they all lay down for the night upon a camp-bed, and were covered over with blankets. And now a scene took place which interested us very much, but which we did not understand and can not explain. The woman standing up slapped her hands together once or twice, and as soon as all were silent she commenced a sort of recitation, song, or prayer, in tone and manner much like a chanting of the Litany in Catholic churches, and every few moments the voices of ten or fifteen others were heard in the same tone, as if responding. This exercise continued about a minute. Now what could this be? It looked and sounded to us very much like Christians chanting together an evening prayer on retiring to rest. And yet we feel quite assured that none of these persons had ever heard of Christ, or had learned Christian practices, or possessed much, if any, knowledge of God as a Creator or Preserver of the world. We suspect that it was not understood by them as a religious exercise at all, but as something which they had been trained to go through at the barracoons in Africa or on board the ship.

In two days after the arrival of the bark the Marshal had completed a large, airy building at Whitehead’s Point, a little out of the town, for the reception and accommodation of these people ; and after getting them clad as well as he could in so short a time, they were all landed on the fort wharf, and carried in carts to their quarters. On arriving there they all arranged themselves along the sides of the building, as they had been accustomed to do on the decks of the vessel, and squatted down in the same manner. It took the Marshal and his assistants some little time, and no small efforts, to give the Africans to understand that they were free to move about, to go out and come in at will. They learned this in the course of a few hours, however, and general merriment and hilarity prevailed. We visited them in the afternoon, and have done so several times since ; and we confess that we have been struck, as many others have been, with the expression of intelligence displayed in their faces, the beauty of their physical conformation, and the beauty of their teeth. We have been accustomed to think that the civilized negroes of our own country were superior, in point of intelligence and physical development, to the native Africans; but judging only by the eye, we think it would be difficult to find, any where in our own country, four hundred finer and handsomer-looking boys and girls than these are. To be sure you often saw the elongated occiput, the protruded jaws, and the receding forehead; but you also often saw a head as round, with features as regular as any European’s, except the universal flat noses. Little ” Jack” has a head as round as an apple.



Travelers describe the natives of Congo as being small of stature, cheerful, good-humored, unreflecting, and possessed of little energy either of mind or body. Negro indolence is carried with them to the utmost excess. The little cultivation that exists, entirely carried on by the females, is nearly limited to the manioc root, which they are not very skillful in preparing. Their houses are put together of mats made from the fibre of the palm tree, and their clothes and bedding consist merely of matted grass.

The President, on receiving news of the capture of the Wildfire, sent a special message to Congress on the subject, from which we give an extract below. The subsequent capture of another slave ship with more Africans will probably lead to some enactment on the subject. The President says :

” The expenditure for the Africans captured on board the Wildfire will not be less than one hundred thousand dollars, and may considerably exceed that sum. But it will not be sufficient for Congress to limit the amount appropriated to the case of the Wildfire. It is probable, judging from the increased activity of the slave-trade and the vigilance of our cruisers, that several similar captures may be made before the end of the year. An appropriation ought, therefore, to be granted large enough to cover such contingencies. The period has arrived when it is indispensable to provide some specific legislation for the guidance of the Executive on this subject. With this view, I would suggest that Congress might authorize the President to enter into a general agreement with the Colonization Society, binding them to receive, on the coast of Africa from our agent there, all the captured Africans which may be delivered to him, and to maintain them for a limited period, upon such terms and conditions as may combine humanity toward these unfortunates with a just economy. This would obviate the necessity of making a new bargain with every new capture, and would prevent delay and avoid expense in the disposition of the captured. The law might then provide that, in all cases where this may be practicable, the captor should carry the negroes directly to Africa, and deliver them to the American agent there, afterward bringing the captured vessel to the United States for adjudication.

“The capturing officer, in case he should bring his prize directly to the United States, ought to be required to land the negroes in some one or more ports to be designated by Congress, where the prevailing health throughout the year is good. At these ports cheap but permanent accommodations might be provided for the negroes until they could be sent away, without incurring the expense of erecting such accommodations at every port where the capturing officer may think proper to enter. On the present occasion these negroes have been brought to Key West; and, according to the estimate presented by the Marshal of the Southern District of Florida to the Secretary of the Interior, the cost of providing temporary quarters for them will be $2500, and the aggregate expenses for the single month of May will amount to $12,000. But this is far from being the worst evil. Within a few weeks the yellow fever will most probably prevail at Key West ; and hence the Marshal urges their removal from their present quarters at an early day, which must be done in any event as soon as practicable. For these reasons I earnestly commend this subject to the immediate attention of Congress.”



African Slave Ship.


Views – 321

Network of All-Boys NYC Public Schools Growing | Black America Web

All Boys Academy

NEW YORK (AP) — Once seen as sexist and outdated, the all-male educational model had been resurrected to serve New York City’s poorest boys, a group feared to be more likely to go to prison than college.

The Eagle Academy for Young Men was the city’s first all-boys public school in more than 30 years when it opened in the Bronx nine years ago.

“It’s a movement to try and save our sons,” said David C. Banks, the founding principal of the first Eagle Academy who is now president of the Eagle Academy Foundation, the network’s fundraising arm.

Banks just opened his fifth Eagle Academy, in Harlem, and hopes to open two more New York City schools for a total of seven serving 4,000 students, all in high-poverty neighborhoods.

Aimed at the most vulnerable student population — low-income boys — the Eagle Academies have shown above-average results. The four-year graduation rate for the Bronx Eagle Academy — the only location around long enough to have graduating class — in 2012 was 67.5 percent. The citywide average that year was 64.7 percent but only 59.9 percent for boys.

Graduates have gone on to colleges including Syracuse University, Skidmore College and Fordham University. Banks said as many as 4,000 students apply for every 100 Eagle Academy slots at schools in Brooklyn, Queens, Newark, N.J. and Harlem.

Banks said the school’s performance comes despite a challenging student body: virtually all black or Hispanic, most from low-income families and a higher-than-average special needs population. And, of course, all male.

He says he has been invited to start Eagle Academies in other cities in the U.S. and beyond but would prefer to help others start their own all-boys schools. “The demand is international,” he said.

Single-sex education has long been available to wealthy children in private schools but it remains controversial in American public schools. The American Civil Liberties Union argues in its “Teach Kids, Not Stereotypes” campaign that efforts to separate the sexes in the classroom are often rooted in outdated gender stereotypes.

ACLU representatives did not respond to calls for comment about all-boys schools.

Michael Kimmel, a Stony Brook University sociologist whose work on gender studies has been cited by the ACLU, said research has not proved that single-sex schools exert “an independent positive effect on education outcomes.”

But he said anecdotal evidence supports schools for at-risk boys such as Eagle Academy. “They are obviously doing some real good,” he said.

Like the British boarding schools it was modeled on, each Eagle Academy is divided into four houses — Obama House, Malcolm X House, Roberto Clemente House and Che Guevara House at the Bronx campus.

Students win points for their houses by scoring well on tests or by performing community service — with the points being a matter of pride for the houses.

“I feel proud I’m in Obama House, the first black president of the United States,” eighth-grader Elijah Landsman said, who wanted to make it clear his house is outpacing the others. “Right now Obama’s in the lead, I’d just like to say that.”

School days begin with a town hall meeting where students share burdens like a mother’s health scare and then recite “Invictus,” the Victorian-era poem about overcoming adversity that proclaims, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”

Donations from corporate and philanthropic supporters help pay for extras like after-school programs, mentoring and trips to visit colleges.

Juan Rijfkogel, a 2008 Eagle Academy graduate who now works as a derivative analyst at Credit Suisse, said the mentoring helped him succeed — and the all-boys environment helped too.

“At that age hormones are buzzing,” he said.

Elijah, the eighth-grader, said he’d rather go to school with girls “but my mother says there is less distraction.”

Of the city’s 20 single-sex public schools, 19 opened during the administration of outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They include girls’ schools such as the Young Women’s Leadership Schools, a network that’s parallel to Eagle Academy.

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio championed educational programs such as universal pre-kindergarten but did not address single-sex education during the campaign.

Single-sex believers include Melanie Harmon, whose sixth-grade son Aaron just started at the Harlem Eagle Academy after struggling with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder at his previous school.

At an opening ceremony for her son’s school, all the adult men in the room were asked to stand up and show the boys how to tie a tie.

Harmon said Aaron is learning to focus without the added distraction of girls. She added, “They teach them to become responsible. They’re teaching him basically how to grow into a man.”

(Photo: AP)

via Network of All-Boys NYC Public Schools Growing | Black America Web.


Views – 365

NYC Firefighter Luke Schreiner Charged in Hate Crime Against Black Mailman | Black America Web


The New York Daily News is reporting that Luke Schreiner, a white firefighter, attacked a black mailman during a fit of road rage.

49-year-old Schreiner reportedly said “You want to get smacked today?” to the victim before adding “You are a f—–g n—-r” and slapping him in the face.

The 17-year FDNY veteran has been suspended after being charged with criminal mischief, menacing, and attempted assault.

via NYC Firefighter Luke Schreiner Charged in Hate Crime Against Black Mailman | Black America Web.


Views – 67

Applied Research Center Rebrands as Race Forward – PR Newswire – The Sacramento Bee


National Racial Justice Organization Urges Explicit Dialogue on Race

NEW YORK, Nov. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Applied Research Center today rebranded itself as Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation. The new name highlights the centrality of addressing race and the urgency of paving the way forward to racial justice. A conference call will be held at 4pmET today addressing the rebrand and why being explicit about race matters.


A recognized leader in the field, Race Forward is known for its systemic analysis and innovative approach to complex race issues that addresses:

  • The impact of individual acts of racial discrimination within a deeper analysis of systemic racial injustice.
  • How race compounds and intersects with other societal issues
  • The consequences of unconscious racial bias.

Recent attempts to undo civil rights gains of the 20th century are compounded with a “post-racial” colorblind approach to race that popularizes the notion that racial disparities and discrimination will simply go away as demographics change. Race Forward highlights the impact of unconscious bias in perpetuating racial injustice, while moving the conversation beyond anti-racism and diversity, towards racial justice: the systematic fair treatment of people of all races that results in equal opportunities and outcomes for all.

“Now is the time to Race Forward. We advance racial justice every day, taking action for the challenges that lie ahead,” said Race Forward President Rinku Sen. “Racial justice benefits all people.”

Race Forward’s areas of work are in research, media, and practice, with notable recent achievements:

  • Drop the I-Word campaign that led to Associated Press, USA Today, LA Times and others dropping the word “illegal” to describe immigrants
  • Shattered Families report, which provided ground-breaking national data on parental deportations and child welfare.
  • Facing Race: A National Conference trending nationally on Twitter
  • Colorlines: our daily news site reaches a million readers in a month

Registration for Race Forward’s biennial Facing Race conference will open on November 12. For more information about Race Forward, media inquiries, or to RSVP for the conference call scheduled at 4pmET on November 6, contact


Race Forward advances racial justice through research, media and practice. Founded in 1981, Race Forward brings systemic analysis and an innovative approach to complex race issues to help people take effective action toward racial equity. Race Forward publishes the daily news site Colorlines and presents Facing Race, the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice.

Race Forward was formerly known as the Applied Research Center.

Media Contact: Rebekah Spicuglia 646-490-2772

SOURCE Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation

• Read more articles by Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation

Applied Research Center Rebrands as Race Forward – PR Newswire – The Sacramento Bee.


Views – 118