Updated: Feb 25
Rhianna was truly saying something at the NAACP Image Awards last night when she told the audience to tell their friends to "Pull Up." For if it were not for the humanitarian spirit of others, African-Americans in particular would not have gotten their freedom. The Quakers "pulled up" and helped slaves escape and opened schools to educate African-Americans. In the late 1700s, the Quakers petitioned the United States Congress to abolish slavery. The American Colonization Society, founded in 1816, proposed the idea of freeing slaves and sending them back to Africa. This solution was thought to be a compromise between antislavery activists and slavery supporters. Those who "pulled up" were not only individuals and organizations but by the time of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, many Northern states including Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut had abolished slavery.
To this day, there is still debate about why the Civil War started. It was about slavery and country was divided on the issue. The North "pulled up" but the South wanted it to continue for economic reasons. To this date, it is the bloodiest war that took place on American soil. As we examine our current status in the United States, do we not see a pattern? Division leads to demise. Here's a very small list of those who "Pulled-Up" that come to mind:
William Lloyd Garrison: A very influential early abolitionist, Garrison started a publication called The Liberator, which supported the immediate freeing of all enslaved men and women. Frederick Douglass: Douglass escaped slavery himself and published a memoir titled Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave. An instrumental figure in the abolitionist movement, he also supported women’s suffrage. Harriet Beecher Stowe: Stowe was an author and abolitionist who was best known for her novel Uncle Tom's Cabin. Susan B. Anthony: Anthony was an author, speaker and women’s rights activist who also supported the abolitionist movement. She is revered for her diligent efforts in fighting for women’s rights to vote.John Brown: Brown was a radical abolitionist who organized various raids and uprisings, including an infamous raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia.Harriet Tubman: Tubman was a fugitive slave and abolitionist who was known for helping escaped slaves reach the North via the Underground Railroad network. Sojourner Truth: Best known for her speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?,” Truth was both an abolitionist and a women’s rights advocate.
So here we are in 2020, staring systematic racism, police brutality, and forced poverty in the face and we our friends to "pull-up." Because at the end of the day, the demise of minorities in America, be them Black, Latino, Elderly, Autistic, Arab, Gay......is the demise of our entire society.