A Far Cry From Freedom: Gradual wholesale Abolition (1799-1827): New York State's outlet sale Crime Against Humanity outlet online sale

A Far Cry From Freedom: Gradual wholesale Abolition (1799-1827): New York State's outlet sale Crime Against Humanity outlet online sale

A Far Cry From Freedom: Gradual wholesale Abolition (1799-1827): New York State's outlet sale Crime Against Humanity outlet online sale
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The comparison of degrees of enslavement, that is whether the institutional subjugation of one race of people by another is more or less severe in one country or another or one region of a country or another, is not the designed purpose of this book. For the life-style of the Africans and their descendants enslaved in New York State prior to the mid-nineteenth century can best be described as analogous in its character and intensity to that of their counterparts in the southern states. In truth, the impact of enslavement on these Africans - who were ripped from their traditional homelands and brutally enslaved for centuries in the "New World"- their families and descendants was and is virtually the same regardless of disposition - North or South. Enslavement in the northern extremes of the United States and, in particular New York State, cannot and should not be excluded from the present day debate on restitution, apologies and reparations. The only truth to be discussed is that the enslavement of human beings, against their will and with the ultimate goal of profit for their enslavers, is a "crime against all humanity".--- L. Lloyd Stewart This is a work that deserves to be read, not only because of the quality and amount of research and thought that went into it, but also because of what it reveals about the history of the state of New York and this country. It also points to their need to come to terms with the immoral, evil and unjust acts committed in the name of race, religion and the "right" to conquest. Brother Lloyd Stewart draws a clear line between his work and many recent works on enslavement which attempt to tone down and sanitize the horror, criminality and human tragedy of African enslavement. Indeed, he is especially concerned with stripping away New York''s unofficial masking of the horror of its policies and its pretension of a benevolence impossible in such a violent, degrading and dehumanizing process. As the title suggests, Brother Lloyd is very

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Deborah Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars
Review of A Far Cry From Freedom
Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2006
A FAR CRY FROM FREEDOM: GRADUAL ABOLITION (1799-1827) NEW YORK STATE''S CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY ________________________________________ Review by Deborah Williams-Muhammad Local Historian, World Scholar and Author, L. Lloyd... See more
A FAR CRY FROM FREEDOM: GRADUAL ABOLITION (1799-1827)

NEW YORK STATE''S CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY

________________________________________

Review by Deborah Williams-Muhammad

Local Historian, World Scholar and Author, L. Lloyd Stewart''s book, A Far Cry From Freedom: Gradual Abolition (1799-1827) New York State''s Crime Against Humanity is a well researched, well written, compelling book for anyone who places a value on truth. Using his family''s history as the catalyst for the research that would become this book, it is clear that Mr. Stewart saw his family''s history as the story of thousands of people of African descent in New York State. I noted that this book was unique in its content and focus; but also, that as it clearly illustrates a story. Complete with rare documents, actual records, maps, illustrations and pictures, one is reminded that this is not merely a thorough presentation of facts, but indeed the stories of people-families. Families whose lives were impacted in ways that permeated generations of existence.

In A Far Cry From Freedom, Mr. Stewart dispels the myth of a more humane enslavement in New York State as he compares New York State and its various localities to the South-Maryland, North Carolina and South Carolina. Reading the book reminded me that I have often referred the New York State as "Up South". Just as Cheikh Anta Diop and J.A. Rogers insisted through their writings on an uncompromising honesty, L. Lloyd Stewart demands the same accurate and critical look at history. In a world where so many play fast and loose with the facts and present revisionist history as fact, it is imperative that we have such honest accounts of history to inform, and when possible, ignite action.

The Gradual Abolition Act of 1799 essentially established a pattern of codifying statutory servitude, complete with the potential criminalization for failure to comply. Mr. Stewart outlines the profound and insidious legal provisions that would serve as the foundation for today''s juvenile justice and child welfare systems'' "disproportionate minority contact". A Far Cry From Freedom illustrates the reality of conspired benefit between lawmakers, slaveholders (often one and the same), and government; with total disregard for those enslaved and their families. The atmosphere of devaluation of the lives of people of African descent in New York State legally, socially and intellectually was arguably fundamental in these laws. This devaluation has given birth to a continued marginalization that remains evident now in 2006. Excavating legal history is a slow process, frequently resisted by those who fear its impact. I would hope that as Mr. Stewart''s work is read, examined, quoted and discussed, that people would be compelled to truly understand the impact of New York State''s gradual abolition both in New York State and throughout the nation.

The author presents to readers a section on Albany County that uncovers what at the very least can be characterized as a blatant disregard for the negative impact of slavery. However, such disregard was met with the powerful "attitude and arrogance" of local aristocrats who vehemently fought for continued enslavement and held onto it through gradual abolition in order to reap the economic and social benefits.

The book chronicles the participation of such recognized families as the Ten Eycks, Schuylers, Vandehydens, Van Rensselaers, Lansings and Bleekers, without being overly didactic. Mr. Stewart has what I would consider a strong but generous voice; while he presents this viewpoint unapologetically, he is never preachy or angry. This point of view lends a fresh outlook on an issue that is often mentioned, but rarely thoroughly explored. He encourages the reader to examine abolition from the framework of a longitudinal observer. As a reader I was led logically down a path to analysis development and fueled by the documentation of gradual abolition''s impact as in the following passage.

"Despite the level of skill African descendants possessed, they were increasingly relegated to the most menial jobs and persistently forced to the bottom rung on the economic and social ladder. White immigration to the state made matters worse, but economic downturns were another factor. President Thomas Jefferson''s Embargo of 1804, the depression that followed the War of 1812, and the Panic of 1819 all hit the African descendant community the hardest, as white immigrants flooded into the domestic service industry in the 1810s days. According to Herman Bloch in "The Circle of Discrimination" the number of Irish filing for employment with the New York Society for the Encouragement of Faithful Domestics in the late 1820swas more than three times that of African descendents. Even the number of other "whites" filing for employment surpassed African descendents."

As a social scientist and organizer I was motivated to use the information in the book to inform social change efforts. The danger and challenges posed to freedom and democracy by nullifying this history and by unchecked assumptions about slavery and abolition are the two great themes running through the history of the New York State and the United States.

What will be the impact and what will be done with this information remains to be seen; but this timely book begs a more public dialog about such issues as reparations, systemic racism, Black leadership and representation. In this post-Katrina world, I am reminded that there remains a need for education, analysis and discourse. A Far Cry From Freedom can and should serve as a catalytic tool in this process. The author writes in the Introduction,

"...This work is not meant to be a conversation between historical scholars. Neither is the substance and content of this work meant to be presented as some type historical novel. On the contrary, this work should be accepted and read as a documented representation of historical fact-designed to provide people of African descent with an accurate depiction of the periods of Enslavement and Gradual Abolition in New York State and further, it is designed to allow African descendents to examine how the political, social and economic policies of these periods impacted the growth and survival of families of African descent during New York''s first two centuries of existence."
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Lloyd Hogan
5.0 out of 5 stars
A CRITICAL REIVEW OF A FAR CRY FROM FREEDOM
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2006
A CRITICAL REIVEW OF A FAR CRY FROM FREEDOM By Lloyd Hogan We think that history must be a precise description of a people''s activities within the context of the political economy(economies) in which they subsisted and survived and... See more
A CRITICAL REIVEW OF

A FAR CRY FROM FREEDOM

By Lloyd Hogan

We think that history must be a precise description of a people''s activities within the context of the political economy(economies) in which they subsisted and survived and maintained their defining characteristics as a distinctive population during a specified period of time in the past. The elements of such description cannot be randomly selected facts, nor results of a fishing expedition, nor deliberate choice of data to support a ruling class bias. The selection must be conditioned by a specific descriptive hypothesis which serves as a conceptual framework of the study and which therefore dictates the nature of the facts to be collected by the historian. It is to be emphasized, that the historian, in the spirit of the scientific method, must bend all his efforts towards uncovering critical data to disprove the conceptual hypothesis that frames his work.

Stewart "fesses" up to the challenge of the historian. He vows in his book to present a more accurate account of the facts that occurred to people of African American descent in New York State during the last two centuries. To accomplish his mission he postulates a two-pronged descriptive hypothesis to give conceptual framework and substance to his study as well as to dictate the facts that need to be uncovered:

The system of slavery as practiced in New York State

was more Humane than the system which prevailed in the

southern states of the United States.

New York State officially abolished its system of

slavery significantly earlier than its abolition in the

Southern United States.

The book is organized around three main topics. First it deals with the origin and promulgation of the enslavement of African Americans in New York State. He shows this to be a significant aspect of the same process of Western European slaving operations in Africa and the transport of the African captives across the Atlantic into slavery in the new world.

Second, he deals with the development of a system of slavery in New York under both the Dutch and the British colonial administrations. In both cases the system of slavery was imposed with all the canonical attributes of this sordid socio-economic mechanism.

Third, he deals with the process of abolition of slavery in New York. This topic takes up the greater part of the book. The upshot is that the process was not just gradual, but a rather prolonged agony for the black slave. Children were initially freed after 1799. However, the freedom was not to be experienced until the end of the greater part of their adult lives. And the resulting fate of the children was in jeopardy in perpetuity.

The book draws a number of implications of gradual emancipation. The fiscal impact on the State treasury was quite significant because of the compensation paid to slave owners for the loss of their private property in the manumission of the slaves. Moreover, "jim crow" status was imposed on the freed slaves. And, finally, the true state of affairs left the former slaves in practically the same condition as before freedom was enacted into law.

Stewart does an extremely scholarly job in documenting his case. He mines the archives for relevant documents to demonstrate with telling effect the disproof of his main hypothesis. Moreover, he does a very extraordinary thing. He puts human faces and in some cases he puts names on the faces of hundreds of blacks who bore the brunt of this vicious system of human degradation. The records, of individual slave owners, private associations, cities, villages, counties, state, and the nation, were all very well scrutinized. Great accolades must be accorded these efforts.

An important conclusion of the study is that the brutality of the system of slavery in New York had such a devastating effect on the black population that the consequences would have a significant impact on the future of that population. Of special concern is the effect on the children who technically remained enslaved throughout the entire period of Gradual Emancipation.

This conclusion is quite telling. The lowly status in which blacks now find themselves in the 21st century United States is a disgraceful commentary on the application of the Constitution. After all, this constitution was consistent with the system of slavery which prevailed in both the south as well as in New York and other northern territories and states. It acquiesced in enforcing the concept of private property rights in human beings so long as they were black Africans or of African descent; while at the same time it accepted the concept of private property in one''s self (civil rights) so long as one is non-black African. It simultaneously codified the activities of reproducing two distinct populations-one black, the other non-black.

Stewart uses the conclusions of his study to call for a program of reparations to compensate for the deleterious effects of original slavery and Gradual Abolition that still plagues the black population of the United States.

In sum, Stewart is to be commended for producing a masterful work of history of black people in New York State. His methodology needs to be emulated by all historians who endeavor to write meaningful history of any people anywhere. Well done!

Edgewood, MD

February, 2006.

L.Lloyd Stewart, A Far Cry From Freedom: Gradual Abolition 1799-1827. New York State''s Crime Against Humanity (Authorhouse, Bloomington, Indiana, 2005).
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A Far Cry From Freedom: Gradual wholesale Abolition (1799-1827): New York State's outlet sale Crime Against Humanity outlet online sale

A Far Cry From Freedom: Gradual wholesale Abolition (1799-1827): New York State's outlet sale Crime Against Humanity outlet online sale