Saturday, September 09, 2006

Stono Rebellion

The state of TIAH

September 9th, 2006

in 1739, Stono, South Carolina, is rocked by a revolt of nearly a hundred slaves led by a young man from Angola named simply Jemmy. With cries of “Liberty”, they gathered other slaves to their cause, armed themselves, and killed a couple of dozen slave holders on their way to Florida; the Spanish territory was offering freedom to any slave who managed the trek from the English colonies. Jemmy and his band were confronted by a smaller number of whites at the Edisto River, where an exchange of gunfire left almost 30 of the Africans and a like number of whites dead. The scene was described by survivors as being highly chaotic, and the remaining whites, feeling outnumbered by the slaves, fled from the river, while the slaves rushed away from carnage as well, hoping to preserve their lives as well as their freedom. Jemmy reorganized them that night and they continued their long walk to Florida, picking up over three hundred other souls along the way. When the massive band of Africans reached the border, Spanish settlers at first thought that they were being invaded, but word was passed along and the now-former slaves were granted their own patch of land in the Spanish colony. Jemmyville became a favored destination for runaway slaves over the decades, and when Florida joined the United States, a special dispensation was granted allowing it to remain free, even though the rest of the state became a slave state.

in 1956, The Ed Sullivan Show hosts a young singer from Mississippi who had hit the top of the pop charts three times and was becoming very popular among the bobby-socks crowd. Even before airing, the show seemed cursed – Ed Sullivan was unable to host, since he was recovering from a car-crash, and Presley had to film his appearance in Hollywood, since he was doing a movie on the day he was scheduled to appear. His performances were lackluster at best – lack of a studio audience, an insistence by CBS, threw him off. Although he sang beautifully with the song Love Me Tender, the camera operator kept shifting away from him, disrupting the song. After this uncomfortable appearance, he vowed never to do television again, which didn't prove to be a problem – after this appearance, his star fell dramatically, and after releasing a couple more underperforming singles, faded away from the music scene and returned to his previous career of truck driving.

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