[Dixielandjazz] Lil Armstrong (remark about passport listing divorce of Lil)

Charlie Hooks charliehooks@earthlink.net
Mon, 30 Sep 2002 10:54:45 -0500

on 9/28/02 2:41 AM, Artwoo@aol.com at Artwoo@aol.com wrote:

> A further stretch could be a holdover from the "Runaway Slave" laws
> that were prevalent in both the North and South. These laws were repealed in
> the North by Congress in 1864 (note the Civil War started in 1861) but
> obviously remained in the South until General Lee surrendered.

    This entire business of North/South freeing the slaves and keeping the
slaves--is all much misunderstood even by some American "historians" and
completely misunderstood by foreign writers.  Let me explain just a bit:

    It is said that "Lincoln freed the slaves."  He did free them, but only
in the South where he had (at the time) no jurisdiction.  HE DID NOT FREE
THE SLAVES IN THE NORTH, where he did have jurisdiction, and said, when
asked, that he would not do such a thing to his friends.

    `In other words, freeing the Southern slaves was a Northern war measure:
it was hoped that they would rise up against their masters and aid the
Northern cause (which they did not do).  This "Emancipation Proclamation"
ran only in the South, not in the North.  It had absolutely nothing to do
(except in the febrile minds of anti-slavery advocates) with "seeing the
evil of slavery" or with thinking slaves equal to their masters or with any
other of the feel-good warm motives attributed by modern liberals.

    "I am told that the Northern states were not as progressive as was
advertised. Some speculate that the War between the States was more about
competitive trade issues and less about human rights."

    Whoever told you that was smarter than the politically correct
historians!  The "human rights" issue existed only in the minds of
anti-slavery propagandists.

    No one, and I mean NO ONE!, at the time regarded black slaves as in any
way the equal of their masters!  Lincoln sat down in his office with the
great "black" (mixed race) Douglass and told him straight out: "Your race
and mine will never be able" to mix and be neighbors.   Lincoln thought the
best solution for "the Negro Problem" was a return to Africa, and he
supported the Liberian movement--a return to Africa of those who chose to
go--and where they named the place "Liberia", insituted slavery with
themselves as the masters, and enslaved other Africans!

    "[Armstrong's band] would travel all night because the town
where he played would provide a place for him to perform, but not allow him
to sleep there...sounds like the Baby Jesus being refused a place to sleep."

    Yes, his band and many others.  And it was this kind of unfairness that
brought many of us kids in the South to turn against apartheid during the
50s.  But "like the Baby Jesus"?  Umm.  Going a bit far, I'd say.  Even
Louis would say...!  They were just ordinary black folks undergoing the
transition from down to up, like Jews contended with out of Egypt, etc.

    Realize, please!:  Many black gentlemen survived this transition period:
Duke Groner, Andy Johnson, Jimmy Johnson, Joe Johnson--the list is
interminable!  Out my front window now the light sears green leaves all
a-trimble, but all these men, as boys, must have looked out their front
windows back in the twenties and seen the same: the light doesn't care and
neither do the leaves about color or race or anything to do with men. It
just IS.  And we just ARE.