America is replete with the racist and oppressive reminders of the institution of slavery. One such hallmark is that on this date in 1793, Congress passed the first law declaring escaped slaves to be brought back to their masters by harsh means with the Fugitive Slave Act. Northern and Southern states were bound to the law, although the North relaxed the strict measures and even allowed slaves seeking freedom a fair trial.
No person held to service of labor in one state, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such labor or service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.
One of the most-insidious pieces of language in the law stated that children born to slaves were bound for life to their owners and that kept them under risk for recapture no matter where they escaped to.
Northerners, angered by the law, were instrumental in passing countering legal actions that barred authorities in their respective states to assist in the capture of an escaped slave.
But even with the protection of judges and authority figures in the North, many slaves continued to be seized as rounding up escapees became a lucrative business.
Southern states bristled at the North’s boldness and defiance of the law, thus sparking a stricter law known as the “Compromise Of 1850.” The law was severe as slaves were barred from representing themselves at trial, but in a counter to the compromise, the “Underground Railroad” was born and thrived thus giving way for escaped slaves to head to the North and further to Canada. Former slaves like Harriet Tubman bonded with abolitionists and Quakers who deemed the practice of slavery inhumane.
Although slavery persisted until the enacting of the Thirteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, racist practices of the ruling elite still occurred.
As evidenced by the dawn of the 19th century and beyond, African Americans withstood the brutal assault on their humanity, but the pain and memory of America’s shameful past has stood the test of time as well.
1. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015: Viola Davis Wins an Emmy for HTGWM
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2. Top Black Pop Culture Moments of 2015: Misty Copeland’s “I Will, What I Want” Commercial
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3. Top Black Pop Culture Moments of 2015: Zendaya and Amandla Read The Girls For Filth
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4. Top Black Pop Culture Moments of 2015: The Year of The Black Cover Girl
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5. Top Black Pop Culture Moments of 2015: Common and John Legend at the Oscars
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6. Top Black Pop Culture Moments of 2015: Cicely Tyson Scratching Viola Davis’ Scalp on ‘HTGAWM’
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7. Top Black Pop Culture Moments of 2015: Tristan Wilds in the Adele Video
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8. Top Black Pop Culture Moments of 2015: Grace Jones’ AfroPunk Performance
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9. Top Black Pop Culture Moments of 2015: Beyonce’s Met Gala Dress
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10. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015: The Throning of Queen Serena
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11. Top Black Pop Culture Moments of 2015: Missy Elliot’s Super Bowl Halftime Performance
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12. Top Black Pop Culture Moments of 2015: That Bill Cosby ‘EBONY’ Cover
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13. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015: Dem Patty Pies
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14. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015: The Rise of ‘Empire’
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15. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015: Drake Demolishes the Internet
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16. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015: “Miley, What’s Good?”
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17. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015: Ava DuVernay’s Barbie Sells Out in 17 Minutes
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18. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015: John Boyega Stays Drinking White Tears
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19. Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015: Everything Black Twitter Did
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20. Worst Moments In Pop Culture Moments Of 2015
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Continue reading Congress Establishes First Fugitive Slave Act On This Date In 1793
Top Black Pop Culture Moments Of 2015
From <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/12/22/sandra-bland-family-non-indictment/" target="_blank"><strong>Sandra Bland</strong></a> to the shootings in <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/06/20/why-is-south-carolina-using-a-judge-in-the-charleston-church-massacre-who-has-used-the-n-word-before/" target="_blank">Charleston, South Carolina</a>, African Americans were sadly reminded that being <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/12/13/police-brutality-2015/" target="_blank">Black in America</a> is much harder than it ought to be. And yet in the same breath, 2015 was a year of Black joy during which our culture dominated not only in our lives, but in the mainstream consciousness. From <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/07/16/lee-daniels-and-taraji-p-henson-emmy-empire/" target="_blank">Cookie Lyons</a> to the <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/10/17/ebony-editor-comments-cosby-cover/" target="_blank">Cosby <em>Ebony </em>cover</a>, our brilliance helped to push the conversation, affirm our greatness, make history and most important, make us laugh.
So to celebrate that greatness, we put together this list of the most defining Black pop culture moments of 2015. And don’t worry: <a href="http://hellobeautiful.com/2015/12/08/rachel-dolezal-interview/" target="_blank">Rachel Dolezal </a>is nowhere to be seen.