06-28-2017  8:49 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Multnomah County Library Hosts ‘We Refuse to Be Enemies’

Library will hold a series of social justice workshops this summer ...

The Skanner Wins NNPA Award for Best Layout and Design

Our graphic designer Patricia Irvin wins for July 2016 issues ...

Cooling Centers to open in Multnomah County Saturday, Sunday

Temperatures expected to climb into the upper 90s this weekend ...

Multnomah County Leaders Release Statement on Safety at Summer Events

Officials advise public to check in, have a plan and be aware at public events ...

Portland Musician, Educator Thara Memory Dies

Grammy-winning Trumpeter, composer, teacher died Saturday at the age of 68 ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Ask Ernie the Attorney

Ernest Warren's primary practice is personal injury, real property, corporate and criminal practice in Ore. and Wash. ...

Our Children Deserve High Quality Teachers

It’s critical that parents engage with educational leaders and demand equal access to high quality teachers ...

Civil Rights Groups Ask for Broad Access to Affordable Lending

Charlene Crowell writes that today’s public policy housing debate is also an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and...

Criminal Justice Disparities Present Barriers to Re-entry

Congressional Black Caucus Member Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) writes about the fight to reduce disparities in our criminal justice...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

"This is the story of Abraham H. Galloway (1837-70), a fiery young slave rebel, radical abolitionist, and Union spy who rose out of bondage to become one of the most significant and stirring black leaders in the United States during the American Civil War. A freedom fighter in what the New Orleans Tribune, the first African-American newspaper published below the Mason-Dixon Line, called "a Second American Revolution," Galloway burned with an incandescent passion against tyranny and injustice.

"His war was not the one that we are accustomed to seeing in history books, however, Galloway's war had little to do with that of Grant or Lee, Vicksburg or Cold Harbor. It had nothing to do with states' rights or preserving the Union.

"Galloway's Civil War was a slave insurgency, a war of liberation that was the culmination of generations of perseverance and faith. It was, ultimately, the slaves' Civil War." 

-- Excerpted from the Foreword (pg. xi)

Anybody who's seen Quentin Tarantino's movie, "Django Unchained," knows that the incendiary adventure represents a refreshing first step in terms of questioning the enduring stereotype of African-Americans as having been docile during slavery. Though carefully cultivated by both Hollywood and the history books, nothing could be further from the truth than that very demeaning image of black folks generally accepting their lowly lot.

Case in point, Abraham H. Galloway, a runaway who joined the Union during the Civil War before serving as a spy and leading thousands of his brethren out of human bondage. The product of the mating of a slave with an itinerant white sailor who didn't own her, their biracial baby as an infant became the property of a master only seven years older than himself.

Abraham's childhood was typical for an African-American boy in the antebellum South, as he "commonly witnessed slave women beaten, abused, and sexually humiliated in public." So, it should come as no surprise that, as a young man, he and a friend, Richard Eden, would stowaway on a ship headed for Philly.

What is amazing, however, is that after successful finding their freedom, they would secure pistols and venture back below the Mason-Dixon Line to emancipate brothers and sisters they had left behind. And during the Civil War, when the North was in dire need of troops, Galloway personally delivered 4,000 recently-freed ex-slaves across enemy lines to form an all-black regiment eager to fight for the Union soldiers against the racist Confederacy.

In the spring of 1864, this unsung hero was welcomed to the White House by President Abraham Lincoln who readily acknowledged the debt of gratitude he was owed by the nation. A riveting portrait of a real-life African-American icon belatedly being given his proper due in the annals of history.

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