Saturday, July 7, 2012

Breaking the monotony by tuning you into Brooklyn, NY talent "The False Alarms".

Brooklyn, NY a place that gives birth to many great talents.  Not an easy place to earn anything.  Out of the callus, corruption, and the striving, comes this awesome sound from a band that I promise you, that you'll be glad to know and remember.  
This band is known as "The False Alarms".  They accept the categorization of Blues/Punk, but when you analyze those two genres of music, you can just imagine the devilish funk that will come about when you combine the two elements.  
Keep up with the fellas while they perform and you'll find yourself visiting some of the most unique spots in the city and supporting a band that is earning their keep. They've performed at places from Brooklyn's rock & roll spot "The Trash Bar" to "South paw".
As I was telling lead vocalist/ guitarist Mr. Donway, when he was speaking to me about the band, "You do know that I already am listening to you fellas, right?" "I keep up with the best."  To keep up with the False Alarms is to keep up with the best.
If you'd like to keep up with "The False Alarms", here's how you can get started. Know the members: Ethan Donway: Guitar/Vocals, Jay Sharp: Guitar, Alex Sochinsky: Drums, "New York" Nick Curran: Bass.
Also check out their music @ or @ Reverb Nation @ or on facebook @ .
guarantee a sound worth checking out, a band worth watching, listening to and interacting with. Breaking the monotony by tuning you into Brooklyn, NY's own "The False Alarms".

Sunday, July 1, 2012

History of Enslavery in New York City

     Ever since I've moved out side of New York City, I've realized that their are things that I've taken for granted.  One of those things is the cultural knowledge that you obtain from being from within this ethnically diverse city.  There are certain stories that I've been asked to tell over and over, as others listened in awe.  This was weird to me since it came as second nature, living in NYC.  I also took for granted the lessons of being a first generation American, where you learn to have an element of the brain more accepting of another point of view. 
 There are two good sources of the following account of this "Interesting unknown history" that you may want to check out.  One is "African Burial Ground", located in lower Manhattan.  Their links are or or or or on Twitter 


The other source is a book by the very businessman who began the enslavery trading of Africans as a vice to build a new world for the Netherlands that was stolen form the wealthy Anglo Saxon Protestant by the Spainish.  The author and businessman was Willem Usselincx.  The book can be found in three translations.  In Dutch/Portuguese it is, "Vertoogh: hoe nootwendich, nut ende profijtelick het sy voor de Vereenighde Nederlanden te behouden de vryheyt van te handelen op West-Indien, inden vrede metten Coninck van Spaignen. (Dutch Edition) by Willem Usselincx.
  In English it is, "More excellent obseruations of the estate and affaires of Holland In a discourse, shewing how necessarie and conuenient it is for their neighbouring ... to trade into the West Indies. (1622) by Willem Usselincx".  
In Swedish it is, "Uthförligh förklaring öfwer handels contractet angåendes thet Södre compagniet uthi konungarijket i Swerighe. (Swedish Edition) by Willem Usselincx".     
 Check it out, no matter how biased you may be at this point in time,   you may learn something that refines your thinking.
 Ed Einstein Wanabe Einsteinwanabe Blog Interesting Unknown History
The History of Enslavery in New York City

Slavery in New York City is said to be the work of a Kingdom of Belgian businessman “Willem Usselincx”.  Usselincx was born in the time of the Eighty Years War (1568-1648) in which the Dutch revolted from Spain and formed the Dutch Republic.  Usselincx was born in Antwerp and during the recapture of this Antwerp area which was renamed the Spanish Netherlands, Protestant citizens were forced to flee into exile.  Ironically Usselincx ends up in Spain and later Portugal.  He went on to write a book “Naerder Bedenckingen”, or in English translation “More Excellent Obseruations of the Estate and Affaires of Holland in a Discourse, Shewing How Necessarie and Conuenient It Is for Their Neighbouring Countries, as Well as the Netherland Prouinces, to Trade Into the West Indies.” (1622)  Amazingly as it might seem, this book is very business oriented and callus.  Usselincx sees this as nothing more than a business and enslaved captured Africans as subhuman.

Usselincx owned and founded the Dutch Company that had a primary motive to steal men and woman out of the land of Africa to the West Indies in Islands like Curacoa, St. Eustatius , under a contract with Spain called “Asiento”.  They also carried slaves to South America or “the Brazils”, Guyana, Surinam in order to flourish an industry of chocolate and sweets.  The company was named “The West India Companies” of Sweden.”  In Historical Society of Pennsylvania books, it is referred to as “The South, Ship, and West India Companies of Sweden.” The debate began in the Dutch Republic Parliament in which the Company broke the power of Spain and won the independence of the Netherlands.  Usselincx explained his business ventures to Sweden.  Usselincx was granted Sweden’s resources for success in the marketplace and received royal privileges from King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden for his trading company.  On June 2nd, 1621, the West India Trade Company was granted a trade monopoly in the West Indies by the Netherlands and given jurisdiction over the African slave trade of Brazil, the Caribbean and North America.  It operated in a area of West Africa, the Americas and the eastern part of New Guinea to eliminate all competition.

Usselincx hoped to create a better society for Protestants who would migrate to this New World.  He named these new territories New Netherlands (now known as New York City) and was supported by the States General of the Netherlands.
The story goes that this very same company used 30 Statian blue beads to purchase New York’s Manhattan Island from the Native tribes.  These Natives were fooled in more ways than one.  Statia beads were from the Island of St. Eustatius in the West Indies.  There lived Caribe, Taino, and Arawak Natives who were direct descendants of American Native tribes.  These beads were taken from the enslaved African Natives that were bought to St. Eustatius that they used to barter with.  The enslaved African natives wore these beads to signify their own value.  So seeing these beads and wanting them was a Native right that was sold to the Native American tribes by the Dutch company as a business tactic.  The story goes that after of all of the disasters and wars over the island of St. Eustatius and hurricanes have hidden the beads, but they can be found in the sand of the island if someone is observant and lucky.  One bead is worth U.S $25.

In 1625 the West India Company introduced slavery to New Netherland bringing eleven African enslaved people and German and French Anglos of servitude.  They were put to work as farmers, fur traders and builders.  The builders built a wall to protect Dutch of this company from the Native tribes in a place today known as “Wall Street”.  Dutch enslaved were allowed to attend Dutch Church, be married by ministers, be baptized along with their children, testify in court, sign legal documents, bring civil actions against Anglos, and work enslavement hours to earn wages equal to Anglo Dutch West India Trade Company Workers.
The West India Trade Company failed and went bankrupt due to bad investments like wars with the English.  English Businesses similar to West India Trade Company took over where they left off.  When the English competition arrived slave laws in their colony were more harsh.  Slaves were considered “chattel or property and enslavement only could be terminated by death or emancipation. 
It’s said by the first ever U.S. Census, the slave population in New York grew to 21,324 by1790, making New York the largest slave owning state north of the Mason Dixon Line.  This held true for two centuries that the state practiced slavery.  In New York City, slave ships made over 150 trips to Africa between 1715 and 1776. Most of the enslaved people brought to Manhattan were transported from New York after a brief time in port to the Caribbean or else to Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia.

In 1799, the state legislature passed emancipation acts that freed all enslaveed born after that date.  Any enslaved born prior to that year were required to serve until girls reached the age of 25 and boys reached the age 28.  In 1817 a new emancipation law was passed freeing all enslaved people born before 1799.  Slavery was finally abolished in New York on July 4,1827.  

After this New York slave owners were said to be selling their enslaved to slave traders, who then transported them to markets in the Deep South, where slaves were still in high demand.  Free blacks lived in New York at risk of enslavement. The colonial courts ruled that if an Anglo person claimed his Negro employee was a slave, the burden was on the Negro person to prove he was not.  Negroes on the street who could give no plausible account of their movements or proof of their freedom often were picked up by the authorities and jailed on suspicion of being runaway slaves.  

These were all reasons that many freedom-seekers followed the Underground Railroad on their way to Canada.  Its prime location, with access to major water routes, made it the destination of choice for many Africans fleeing slavery along the eastern seaboard.  New York City and State seemed like a safe haven for freedom-seekers who knew they would be protected in New York's many Negro, Quaker, mixed race and other progressive white communities as well.  A large and vocal free black population was present after the manumission (freeing) of slaves in New York State in 1827.  Anti-slavery organizations were abundant in New York State - more than any other state.  The reform politics and the progressive nature of the state gave rise to many active anti-slavery organizations.  Many nationally-known and locally influential black and white abolitionists chose to make their homes in New York. Among them were: Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Gerrit Smith, Henry Ward Beecher, Sojourner Truth and John Brown.