Volume 8, Number 17 November 8, 2005
-----------------------------------------------------------------------150th Anniversary Celebration of the California Colored Convention Movement
By Michael Harris, Coordinator, California Colored Convention Movement
Sacramento, CA - Our committed planning team embraced ancestral responsibility by hosting remembrance of the historic California Colored Convention Movement. We continue the circle that must identify, analyze and act upon specific objectives, to improve the standard of living of Black Californians.
Standing on the steps of our Nation’s Capitol facing west, towards California, a vast sea of people gathered to embrace a renewed vision of operational unity. A sense of calm historic observation captured my soul as I stood in solidarity with Mr. Gray R. Grant, President of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association. The massive crowd responded to a thunderous chant of "Free the Land, Free the Land, Free the Land" at the Millions More Movement, called for by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Central to our ‘ancient future’ movement is an acknowledgment of spiritual blessings recognizing the long difficult road to gather at this historic moment of universal order. We celebrate a certain victory, as foretold by our ancestors. The notion of "Free the Land" is key to understand a historical people yearning to embrace an elusive freedom, in America. In 1830, a National Colored Convention movement began while 80+% of the U.S. black population was physically enslaved.
America’s ‘manifest destiny’ was facilitated in 1846 California, by conquering and colonizing U.S. soldiers. Our "stolen legacy" remains buried deep in "mental slavery" because of spiritual, political and cultural disenfranchisement. Our "California Born" committed, organized and structured methodology to "Free the Land" provides primary source documentation to begin to calculate the vast loss facilitated by legal racial discrimination specific to Black California.
California is named after a Black Women, Queen Califia. ‘Dark skinned people’ fought Spanish conquistadors long and hard for the land in 1535. Archaeological records document genocide against ‘dark skinned’ indigenous people throughout the vast region of modern day California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Mexico by military massacre.
European colonization was geographically strategic and largely limited to lucrative gold and silver mining regions utilizing ‘dark skinned’ indigenous people and imported enslaved African free labor. Spanish census records show more people of African ancestry than European ancestry in Hispanic America.
From 1535 to 1821, California was under Spanish authority from La Paz, Baja California to Sonoma, Alta California. A string of Missions and Presidios embraced Catholic authority under Jesuit and Franciscan Orders, under the authority of the Spanish government in Europe.
In 1822, Spanish governmental authority in California ended with Mexican Independence. ‘Free the Land’ was the cry and "dark skinned" and African Mexican soldiers occupied the front lines in a North American battlefield for sovereignty. Mexican General Vicente Guerrero, who later became the second president of Mexico, proudly wore his "Afro." His first act as President of Mexico was to legally end slavery, "Free the Land" was the call of his ancient ancestors.
U.S., Russian, British, Spanish and French governments officially declared legal interest in the vast 17Th century region of California. Mexico was not recognized by most European powers of that day and in 1846 our United States government went to war against Mexico to fulfill a vision of "manifest destiny, from sea to shining sea." Sparked by the prior independence of Haiti from France, strict U.S. maritime restrictions called, Negro Seamen Acts, facilitated mass migration of free Blacks to California. The wealthiest of all men, in 1848 California, Captain William Alexander Lewdest Jr. served our nation as the first Black U.S. Diplomat, Vice Consul of Mexican California. Historical recordsindicate he was murdered and showcased his mother’s inability to retain his vast estate because of racial discriminatory laws in California.
The California Colored Convention Movement, beginning November 20, 1855, facilitated a 10 year committed, organized and structured methodology to "Free the Land." Our 150Th Anniversary of the California Colored Convention Movement provides detailed primary source documentation of our ancestors scientific methodology towards analyzing our unique path to ‘form a more perfect union’ as we demonstrate continuity contributing toward the forward flow of humanity.