On this day April 16th, 1869 Enenezer Don Carlos Bassett, a Free Black man from an independent free Black community was elected Ambassador to Haiti (Minister Resident to Haiti) by 18th President of the United States Ulysses S. Grant. He was recommend by Frederick Douglass.
His mission was to ease relations between Haiti and the United States. Although Haiti had gained it’s independence from France in 1804 the U.S.,white southers in particular didn’t recognized it until 1862. After the Civil War the Union was trying to mend with bordering countries like Haiti for its shipping lanes.
Upon arrival Haiti was in the mist of its own civil war. None the less Bassett helped out with victims of hurricanes, civil suits, and even used his diplomatic immunity to protect political refugee Pierre Boisrond Canel.
Bassett beefed with the US Government a lot while he tried to maintain the interest of both. He retired at the end of Grants presidency and was succeeded by non other than John Mercer Langston. You can learn more about his story here….
“BE GREAT” I named this edition that in response to a conversation I had about “Dying for our People” There’s no mystery in the fact that America in some form or another destroys powerful righteous men. The Great Marcus Garvey and Paul Robeson suffered the same fate. But this is the cost for your people. It’s no different than providing for your family by any means. The Big fight affects everyone around your family. Simply put you’re either “Mak8ng” a change or in the way! People talk of “No Change as usual” in the death of Nipsey Hussle. But what he did in his personal life affected the ones around him and because of that a rapper you probably never heard of is considered a God and with his music in Congress and funeral at the staples center will be the most respected deceased rapper ever! This is being GREAT! This is what Robeson was. Sure he died broke and some of y’all may have never heard of him either but guess what, Sidney Poitier, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, Michael B Jordan, and Chadwick Bozeman have all idolized and studied this son of a slave. I gotta go! Be Great!!!
Special happy birthday shout out to the late Great Activist, Lawyer, Actor, Singer and NFL player, Paul Leroy Robeson.
Here’s another clip of the era America wants us to forget, the “Black Power Movement of 1865-1985” following the deaths of King and X, when the term “Black Power” was a symbol of pride. The revolution did come and we fought hard defeating even the mafia. We we’re close to victory until the crack epidemic of 80s.