All About SEO on WordPress.com

A good no nonsense explanation of SEO myths.

WordPress.com News

We get a lot of questions about SEO here on WordPress.com, and no wonder — you work hard on your site and want to get the word out! SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO recommendations are intended to help your site rank higher and more accurately in search engines, like Google. Say you write a blog about sailboats. When someone Googles “sailboats,” how many pages of results do they have to scroll through before they see a link to your blog? The goal behind having good SEO is to increase your website’s SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking.

many sailboats On the busy internet, it can be tough to make your “sailboat” stand out from all the others.

Ideally, you want your link to be on the first page of results. The best ways to accomplish this are:

  • consistently publish useful, original posts about sailboats; and
  • promote your blog in intelligent ways to people…

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What’s Wrong With Our National Media?

I was struck by the abrupt statement from Morgan Freeman while commenting on the Baltimore disturbances. The headline read F_ _ K the Media. This from such a level headed gentlemen who like many of us are disgusted with the coverage of news regarding black folk’s issues.

Never confuse education with intelligence You don’t have to be in your senior years, or even middle age to have finally had enough of the obvious distortion of incidents by local and national news people. Reporters, news editors, and station owners are no different than the rest of society; they bring their bag of opinions and prejudices to the party too. How they view, an incident depends largely on their interpretation of the facts leading up to, during, and at the concluding summation.

They will have their cameraman point to certain incidents, like burning and looting as an expert picturesque commentary on a lawless band of people. They begin their narrative of explaining what the viewer is seeing by simply stated something like “And there were people taking Flat Screen TV’s, whatever they could get their thieving hands on while causing destruction of private property.” Often what is not said is these people are wearing mask and hoodies to protect their identities. What is not said is that there are people who patiently wait for a national incident to break out. They purchase plane tickets to fly to these hot spots and contribute more to the unrest than solving the problem. Their mission is simple, cause unrest, creating such an environment as to allow for breaking into a storefront business to help themselves before they disappear into the night. They have taken the merchandise of their choice, sold it for cash or taken it back to their home, wherever that is. They are professional looters. You never hear about those people unless there is a need.

Don’t get me wrong, some local black folk are involved in the looting and disturbance too. Most of time, they are living on adrenaline and do not bother with putting on a disguise. Why, because they have a personal interest in the outcome of such incidents. They simply do not care who sees them being disrupting. “Black Lives Matter” they chat. They are angry and lashing out. Of course, we believe rioting, burning or destroying community property is not the way to deal with an incident such as the death of Freddy Gray.

Our complaint is the reporting of the news, incidents, and occurrences are so narrow-minded.  At times, it’s as if they are deliberately trying to muddy the waters to prevent anyone from understanding what really happened. You are almost positive the media has gone out of their way to find the most inarticulate bystanders to comment on the incident. That alone feeds into the stereotype of an uneducated race of people. At least, in the case of longer incidents they are finding more credible people to interview. Its just I am reminded of a cartoon I saw the other day. On the one hand, a black man was reading a newspaper headline which read, “Black man killed by Police Officer(s)” so he says…”Again?”  The drawing includes a white man reading the headline in a paper, “Black folk rioting in the city” The white man also says “Again” in disgust. The drawing points out the irony and perception of how race is viewed by a black and a white man.

In the Morgan Freeman article, he says MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN are just commentators. Each station shows you a picture followed by what seems like an endless commentary on the subject at hand. What did the perpetrator know, when did he know it, and who did he share it with? What are the laws? Will the president or Congress get involved?  Followed by the endless innuendos, action interpretations, and so-called experts in various fields giving you their idea of how it should go. Remember, there are stations like Fox News that subscribe to the tea and Republican doctrine of “hate everything that Obama stands for.”

By the way, why should we not be surprised that the Baltimore Policemen Union has turned on their State Attorney, Marilyn Mosby? She brought the charges against the 5 policemen and 1 policewoman involved in the Freddy Gray case. Monday morning, the Sherriff of Milwaukee County speaking on CNN had a gripe against this young woman. He called it a “Rush to Judgment.” I guess the unwarranted, unnecessary arrest of Mr. Gray was a “Rush to Arrest?” He said he had never seen a case where charges were brought against someone within 24 hours as had Attorney Mosby. Besides having the nerve to issue such a ridiculous statement he was reminded of a fact by the CNN reporter. Attorney Mosby had been conducting her own investigation for two weeks before she got the official package from the police department. As an aside, considering what is going on in the streets of Milwaukee, I would think the Sheriff would too busy trying to clean up his city streets instead of trying to be the voice of fellow officers from another state. Hey, Sheriff, I am Milwaukee raised and still have plenty of friends and relatives there. Please stick to your day job.

And one other thing (is it just me), has the policemen unions in this country become blind to facts and simply out of touch with their average community when they are defending one of their own?  Do they remind you of the National Rifle Association? What should we call their tactics, “A Rush to protect their own?” I have no problem with any group or organization in this country looking out for their members except when it comes at the expense of real law and order for all.

What is wrong with the national media, you say? I am glad you asked. I think that they have been on this “Enquire” or “Star” (found at your grocery store rack) reporting cycle for almost two decades. You know; the premise that says the headline is everything. The more spectacular or shocking the better the headlines chance of gaining the interest of a reader. Television Newscasters are no different. They are competing with cable stations that sometimes have a little more leeway than network stations. And most cable stations are directing their rhetoric to specific audiences either liberal leaning (MSNBC) or conservative (almost all other stations) in nature. And the number one station (Fox News) has a tendency to slant every news story while appealing to right-wing Republicans and almost any fringe group that sees the world as black and white. By the way, read the following headline regarding Fox News, http://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/news/fox-news-apologizes-for-misreported-baltimore-police-shooting-%e2%80%98we-screwed-up%e2%80%99/ar-BBjbhSB, and you get a great picture of what I am talking about here.

Add that to the current 15 to 30-second attention span of most people on the left side of fifty-years-old and…well you get the picture. This may surprise you. All this happens before the race issues are added to the equation. Think about that for a minute. Then you will begin to understand why most national media has a credibility problem. Fact checking has given way to who got the scoop out first?  Is it tantalizing enough to grab a large audience?

And finally, a lot of the general public is simply burned out from all the negative political ads, mailing, and billboards. As evidenced by the last mid-term elections. They are trying to turn it off which leaves the diehard conservatives and fringe loonies as the majority of people responding to surveys or commenting on internet columns. Every time someone with common sense contributes to the discussion, they are shouted down by some lunatic right winger. Who wants to try and reason with a fool?

One of my favorite quotes attributed to Abraham Lincoln simply says, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”  That is what is wrong with the national media; they have a problem providing the public with “the real facts.”

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

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Get my latest book, a collection of my blogs from 1999 through 2014. It’s entitled The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. Go to the following Authors page link for details. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Whose Time’s More Valuable, Yours or Mine?

Man Running with BriefcaseHere is a question for you…whose time is more important, yours or mine? I ask because the answer is obvious. Most people who answer truthfully will, of course, say their time. We all think our time is a premium possession in which, often we don’t have a spare minute.

Some people, who have shortcomings in a particular area of entrepreneurial expertise, have no problem in asking for your help on their project. This is especially true for those who may not possess good business person skills. They often ask you to give your time and effort for free, without any type of compensation. They appeal to your sense of pride in your race, community or country. They want to reap the benefits of monetary reward or prestige for their pet project. But as far as your contribution to the same, they want something for nothing.

I have found the perfect solution to those types of situations. It is no secret, for I learned this lesson in my thirty’s. There is nothing like putting words in a contractual or agreement format to ensure that all involve understand what is required and expected from any type of collaboration. Presenting this type of document to others has a way of weeding out those who want something for nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, the document is not asking for some outrageous fee. You are just putting together stipulations of a working agreement between business persons. Both of you are going to agree on whatever is included in the document. Most Entrepreneurs will understand, except those who wanted something for nothing. They suddenly have second thoughts. For me, I just laugh to myself and thank God I saved a lot of time by weeding these type folks out of my life. Because…in the end, time is of the essence with me.

There is that word…time. Let’s go a little deeper into that thought. Young folks…say eighteen to thirty don’t have any time for anyone. At least that is the way it seems. We rush from thought process to the thought process, relationship to relationship, maybe even one career to a completely different type. How we make, our living is of the utmost importance at this stage of life. Indeed, how much we are paid for our services is the primary reason we choose a particular profession.

By the time we reach the thirty to the forty-year-old range, there is a gradual or sometimes sharp turn in one’s priorities.   Here we began to seriously look at where we are in life. We look at our current social and intimate contacts as well as our financial status. If we have children, or maybe grandchildren, we begin thinking of their well-being for the future. Bottom line, at this age bracket, most have gotten real serious about life. Time is becoming a premium that is not to be wasted as we did at a younger age.

Fifty to sixty is another age range where people look at time differently. It’s like you began to hear Rod Sterling’s “Twilight Zone” theme music. You know that you are about to enter a time zone of no return. It’s not too late to prepare yourself for old age. Make no mistake about it, some may figure that fifty is the new forty. That really makes no difference to how young you feel, the fact is you are still dealing with irreplaceable time.

For those of us over sixty, time for all practical purpose, indeed for any purpose is what we are now trying to measure. The primary being how much more time do we have on this earth. By the time one reaches this age bracket, you began to look back and see what you have or have not accomplished. We believe it’s too late for some things and not too late for others, depending upon your perspective and previous ambitious. Some of us find other careers later on in life.

From a social perspective, you no longer have the patience you once had with trivial matters. You have no time for rude people. You have reached a heightened understanding of people’s motivation that causes them to act in a certain manner.

From that special relationship with a spouse you value the time you have spent together. If the person is still around, you laugh and reminisce at the crazy times you two had or marvel at the things you accomplished. You wonder what might have been had you went in this or that direction in your life. Overall, you are thankful you can sit back and think about how it was at that time. Most of all, you appreciate the now.

And finally from a business perspective you might have things you want to accomplish, or to be more exact, unfinished business. We are trying to make a difference by leaving something of ourselves behind for others to know that we were here on earth at a specific time. No matter what age group you fall in, think about that a minute.

Maslows NeedsThat is the primary reason for me to refer to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Without going into Maslow’s entire theory, all one need to understand is to look at his pyramid of needs pictured in this article. For those who are not familiar study it a minute. And then think about the fact that any age bracket in your life you may had reached a certain level in this pyramid. Maybe it was just one of the sub-titles at a particular level. Then, for whatever reason, you fell back down to the “Basic Need” level. The point being and the primary idea of Maslow’s need is that it is rare for one to have reached the pinnacle level of “Self-fulfillment Needs.” Why? Because most of us spend a lifetime of running up and down this entire pyramid.

There is no doubt that each rung on the ladder of this design takes time to get, solidify, and maintain throughout a lifetime. Most believe the time is really controlled by God. For that atheist out there, let me put it another way. You do not control the length of time you will be on this earth. And that is why each and everybody’s time is most valuable to them.

So the next time you ask someone in the over sixty age bracket if they have a minute, an hour, or anytime, realize you are asking for their most precious commodity. If you are coming at them from a real place of need or help, they most likely will find the time to give you. If not, don’t be surprised if they look at you like you are crazy, shake their head and just walk away without a word. You feel me?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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Get my latest book, a collection of my blogs from 1999 through 2014. It’s entitled The Episodic Thoughts of Hamp. Go to the following Authors page link for details. http://www.outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478746232

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Black Legends of the Wild, Wild West, Part 4, #BHM

This is the fourth and final article of a Four-Part Series on Black Folks, who helped to tame the West. First, we looked at US Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves, followed by Mary Fields, aka Stagecoach Mary. Then James Pierson Beckwourth, American Mountain Man, and our final legend from the old West is Nat (pronounced Nate) Love, aka Deadwood Dick and a few others.

Nat Love and 3 little cowpokesIf I told you that it was reasonable to assume that one out of every three cowboys, or even three out of every five in the old West were men of color, would you believe me? Keep in mind the duties of cowboys, especially drover’s included driving herds of cows over a long distance, often forging new trails, facing rustlers of all colors and creed, land barons looking to make a fast buck for allowing passage, and the always possibility of losing a small number of the cows along the way if not the entire herd. They had to manage the heat, wind, or rainstorms and lighting that may spook the cattle into a stampede.
Ever seen movies where the herd is restless on a night with the sound of accidental gunfire, thunder, or lightning, maybe even the rattling of chuckwagons metal plates and cups sets them off. All trail hands mount up to stop them from running off a cliff or running themselves to deaths. Every seen the width of the horns on a Texas longhorn cow or steer? Imagine riding a galloping horse in the dark, trying to avoid gopher holes and other obstacles on the ground. Cowboys turned the stampeding herd running at speeds up to twenty-five, thirty-five, or even forty-miles-per hour depending on their size and what frightened them.
Once the remainder of the herd’s delivered to the loading pens, the trail hands jobs finished. They were off to celebrate a long hard journey by whatever amused them at the time. As depicted in the movies, since these were underpaid and overworked young men, they looked for quick thrills. There was then, as is now for that matter, nothing like wine, women, and song to provide a day and night to remember for a young man. I remembered one night in South Korea in 1962…me and…whoops, sorry I almost forgot this story is about the old West.

Those cowhands that worked in the loading pens were considered less than the trail hands. You had to walk among the cattle prodding them along to different parts of the stockyard. Sometimes those cattle had been in those pens for days, eating, drinking water, and releasing waste of all kinds’ right where they stood. So walking around in those pens could be difficult, made even worse if you are trying to cut out the group of cows from a large corral. Or steer, by prodding a bunch of cows with long poles, one at a time up a ramp to load them onto a train’s cattle car. Thus the name “cowpuncher” was awarded to these men. That could be dirty and nasty work for even less pay than a trail hand. Recorders of History via books and writers of movie, TV scripts have all grouped these individuals that handle cows on ranches, trail drives, and pens at the end of the trail as “Cowboys.” Now I ask again if I told you on an average, one out of every three Cowboys were men of color, would you believe me?

Before, and even more, freed and former slaves after the Civil War filled these low paying jobs. History occurred during a time (the late 1860s to mid-1890s) when the big herds were driven from the West to eastern shipping points and beyond. Most still earned less than their white counterparts. Emancipated Blacks contributed to filling a workforce void of white men because of the huge number of the workforce lost by the Confederacy and the Union States alike. Add that to losses in the West, such as the Indian Wars, rampant diseases, land rights skirmishes, and Saturday night shoot-outs or just overall drunken gunfights. One can see why the life expectancy for those type individuals (cowboys, gunslingers & outlaws) was around thirty-five.

Over 186 000 black people were serving in the Union Armies. A very small number served in the Confederacy, most until the first chance they had to run away from the masters who had them there to fill the dirtiest jobs that Southerners did not want to do. At war’s end, the Union Army established colored units from those men who fought during the Civil War. There were four infantry units and two Cavalry regiments. All units accepted recruits who were fit for duty. It was also a way for emancipated blacks to earn a living and get an education while gaining respect from most in the nation as part of the Armed Services of the United States. All units, 24th, 25th, 38th, 40th, and 41st Infantry regiments, along with the 9th and 10th Cavalry stationed in the south-western Plains.
It was right in the heart of the Indian Wars fought on behalf of the residents and new settlers to the area. By now, you have heard of the term “Buffalo Soldiers.” A term of respect for their bravery bestowed upon the 9th and 10th Cavalry by the Cheyenne and Comanche Indians. The Buffalo Soldiers fought Indians, cattle rustlers, Mexican revolutionaries, outlaw gangs, all while patrolling small ranches and railway construction lines. They contributed to building military outposts and erected telegraph lines.
Some call him the most famous black cowboy of them all. Nat (pronounced Nate) Love was born a slave in Davidson County, Tennessee, in 1854. Reading was against the law for slaves; nevertheless, as a child, he was taught how to read and write by his father, Sampson. After slavery had ended, his father, once a slave foreman in the fields, and his wife (Nat’s mother, a former manager of the plantation’s kitchen) settled on a small farm. Sampson Love died after the second year planting of tobacco and corn crops. Nat had to take a job on a neighboring farm to help out with the dwindling family finances.
After a few more years of odd jobs in the area, he left for the West. He was in search of a better life and earning a living while yearning for a free young man’s adventurous lifestyle. He met Bronco Jim, one of the black cowboys who were part of a Texas bunch preparing to return home after delivering their herd to Dodge City, Kansas. Asking for a job, the trail boss agreed to hire him if he rode and broke one of the orneriest horses in the outfit. Bronco Jim, his name given his profession, gave his newfound friend a few quick pointers. Albeit the toughest ride of his life, he survived the ride and hired on the spot.
Indoctrination didn’t take long for the hard life of a cowboy. After being involved in hostile Indian attacks and fighting off rustlers, he took every chance he could to practice shooting his forty-five pistol. He became a marksman with the weapon. He left his Texas Panhandle job and landed in Arizona, working with Mexican vaqueros. Nat picked up the Spanish language and learned to identify cattle brands. The spring of 1876 saw his outfit head out for Deadwood City in the Dakota Territory to deliver three thousand head of cattle. They rode into town on the day before the Fourth of July celebrations.
The betting members in the town had put together a sporting event in honor of the holiday. It was a contested ideal to show off the expertise of a cowboy. $200 (equal to $5000 today) would be awarded to the best man who could rope, throw, tie bridles, saddle, and ride some of the wildest mustangs, chosen for the contest. Note the winner had to perform the feat quicker than any other in the contest. There were a dozen men, six of them black, who entered the event. Nat completed the task in nine minutes, three minutes, and twelve seconds better than his closest competitor, another black cowboy. Next was the rifle and Colt shooting event. Each contestant was to fire rifle twelve shots and the same amount of pistol rounds at a black bull’s eye target placed at 100 and 250 yards. Nat hit the bull’ s-eye on all his rifle shots with ten of the twelve pistol shots hitting the target almost dead center. Nat Love’s display of his cowboy skills and marksmanship earned him the $200 in prize money so much so that Deadwood City town folk gave him the name of “Deadwood Dick.”
The words of Nat “Deadwood Dick” Love, which appears in his self-authored 1907 autobiography, entitled “Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country ad ‘Deadwood Dick’ by Himself.” are descriptive of a specific era in our history. He wrote, “It has now been many years since I quit the range, and as my mind wanders back over those years as it often does, memories both pleasant and sad pass in review and it is but fitting that I record a few of them as a final to the history of my life which has been so full of action, which is but natural as the men of those days were men of action. They had to be, and probably their actions were not all good, that I freely admit, but while that is so, it is equally so that their actions were not all bad, far from it. And in the history of the frontier there is recorded countless heroic deeds performed, deeds and actions that required an iron nerve, self denial in all that these words imply, the sacrificing of one life to save the life of a stranger or a friend. Deeds that stamped the men of the western plains as men worthy to be called men, and while not many of them would shine particularly in the polite society of today or among the 400 of Gotham, yet they did shine big and bright in the positions and at a time when men lived and died for a principle, and in the line of duty. A man who went to the far West or who claimed it as his home in the early days found there a life far different from that led by the dude of Fifth Avenue. There a man’s work was to be done, a man’s life to lived, and when death was to be met, he met it like a man.”

Nat Love worked as a Pullman porter on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad in the latter part of his life. He died (1921) in Los Angeles, California, at the ripe old age of sixty-seven, some thirty-two years beyond the life expectancy of his peers from that era. Men like “One Horse Charlie,” a black cowboy who reportedly rode with the Shoshone Indian tribe.
There are numerous black cowboys from that era. Men like Bronco Sam, who once rode a longhorn steer on a dare. This, after his crew, roped and saddled the animal for the black bronco-buster. He rode the bucking and frightened steer down the main street of Cheyenne, Wyoming, followed by his crew yelling in encouragement. After seeing its reflection in the glass window of a clothing storefront, the animal charged through the window directly at his reflection. Store shoppers and clerks went diving to get out of the way of this bucking animal. People on the outside watched as the animal turned back toward the hole he had made with is the entrance. He ran, still bucking and trying to toss off Bronco Sam, who was still in the saddle. His horns had a few store items, underwear, pants, coats, and other assorted pieces of or whole garments. It’s reported that Bronco Sam shouted after dismounting the steer now once again roped to be led back to the herd, “I brought out a suit of clothes for everybody in the crew.” Bronco Sam rode back into town and paid the shopkeeper $350 he said was owed him for the damages.
Then there is Jesse Stahl, who competed in an early 1900 Rodeo in Oregon. He felt he was cheated out of an outstanding first place ride by a racist judge who awarded his second place. In protest, Jesse rode his next bronco facing backward with a suitcase in his hand, to show off his abilities for all to see.
Other men like Addison Jones, Range Boss, (1845-1926) aka “Nigger Add” or “Old Add.”
He was a range boss for the LFD outfit, where he led a crew of south Texas black cowboys. A man whose recognized cowboy skills in western Texas- eastern Mexico labeled him as “the most noted Negro cowboy that ever ‘topped off’ a horse.”

 

Isom DartBose Ikard (1843-1929), born a slave in Mississippi, arrive in Texas as a child with his owner Dr. Milton L. Ikard. After the Emancipation Proclamation, he stayed on with the Doctor as an employee until 1866. At which time he joined a trail drive to Colorado in the employ of Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving. Eventually, he worked for Oliver Loving, who was killed in a skirmish against the Comanche’s and then as a tracker, cowboy, and de facto banker for Charles Goodnight. The “Goodnight Loving Cattle Trail” was named after his bosses. Upon his death, Goodnight, paid for a grave marker for Bose Ikard. On it, he inscribed “with me four years on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, never shirked a duty or disobeyed an order, rode with me in many stampedes, participated in three engagements with Comanche’s, splendid behavior. C. Goodnight.”
Goodnight was quoted by the Weatherford Daily Herald in June of 1929, saying, “I have trusted him farther than any living man. He was my detective, banker, and everything else in Colorado, New Mexico, and the other wild country I was in.”
Authors Note: I was proud to learn that the character of Joshua Deets (portrayed by actor Danny Glover) in one of my favorite cowboy movies, the TV mini-series, Lonesome Dove, was based on Bose Ikard. By the way, Lonesome Dove’s four episodes in 1989 were Co-Executive Produced by Motown’s Suzanne De Passe. It has an outstanding all-star cast and storyline. A storyline I also learned while researching this article is based on the lives of Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight. It’s why I love American history.
Not so final, but finally, for this article is Ned Huddleston (aka Isom Dart) (1849-1900). He was born as a slave in Arkansas he later earned such nicknames as the “Black Fox” and the “Calico Cowboy.” He ended up in Texas as a twelve-year-old in the company of his owner in 1861, a Confederate officer during the Civil War. After the war, he left for the southern Texas-Mexico border region. He found work as a stunt rider, which enhanced his horse skills. He was labeled as an Outlaw while working with Terresa, a young Mexican , a young Mexican bandit as they rustled horses in Mexico. They brought the stolen mounts back across the Texas border, selling them for cash.

By 1875, he’d join up with the Tip Gault cattle and horse rustling Gang working out of southeastern Wyoming. The gang was eventually ambushed by an angry rancher and his men.  Everyone but Ned Huddleston was killed in the gunfight. Changing his name to Isom Dart, he began a new life of hard work as a bronco buster.

By 1875, he’d join up with the Tip Gault cattle and horse rustling Gang working out of southeastern Wyoming. An angry rancher and his men eventually ambushed the gang. Everyone but Ned Huddleston was killed in the gunfight. Changing his name to Isom Dart, he began a new life of hard work as a bronco buster.
Around 1890, he became a rancher, even though some of the Brown’s Hole locals felt he built up his herd with stolen cattle from their ranches. They hired the infamous Tom Horn, a range detective, to handle the matter. Horn, as was his style to take no chances, ambushed, killing Isom Dart on October 3, 1900. Some in the area were convinced of his guilt by the ranchers who hired Tom Horn. Others were not so sure as they saw a changed man in Isom Dart. They felt that cattlemen wanting his land were the real reason for the charge and killing.
Final Authors Note: For western yore and cowboy movie buffs like me, this has been a pleasure researching and writing this series. Doubling so because the stars are black like me. For all minorities, it is never too late to learn about your history and how America was built by people of all races, colors, and creed. That is the beauty of the computer and the internet; no one can tell you differently. There are too many to credit here, but a heartfelt thank you to all that have documented the information I found in research, including some that have died but left books. I do have my sources on file.
One more request if you will. I know that we are in an instantaneous cycle for delivering and interpreting information and news. Let me caution people of color. We are individually responsible for ensuring we get information that is not only credible but inclusively thorough. Too many reporters in the majority of media outlets are settling for the headline grabber without completing the authentication process. As a kid, I never heard of the individuals noted in this article. Yet they lived and made history that was not being reported during my childhood. Let’s not fall for the Okie-Doke again.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo
Join us for the live broadcast of our bi-monthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica
We present the republication of the Authors’ tour of South Korea as a 17-year-old GI with Unchon-ni. Check out the details at https://outskirtspress.com/Unchonni
We are in a continuing effort to publicize, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953. Based on the life of the Authors Grandmother. The Novel examines an era of Jim Crow that many in our society may have forgotten occurred against people of color. Meanwhile, we celebrate the publication of his fifth book, Misguided Intentions. A book where family relationships questioned to the core. Read MI’s review at https://redheadedbooklover.com/gracie-hall-hampton-codis-hampton-ii/ Click on the publisher-Authors page at https://outskirtspress.com/MisguidedIntentions
Get any of his books by visiting my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070
Look for new books, updates of current titles, and submission of short articles to major magazines upcoming in 2020. We love to pass on our written word. – Hamp
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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Black Legends of The Wild, Wild West, Part 3 #BHM

This is the third article of a Four Part Series on Black Folks, who helped to tame the west. First we looked at US Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves, followed by Mary Fields aka Stagecoach Mary. Today we examine the life of James Pierson Beckwourth, American Mountain Man.

beckwourth

 

 

 

There is some discrepancy as to when James Pierson Beckwourth was born. Was it 1798 or 1800? There is no disputed of the facts about the impact he had on discovering what came to be known as the Beckwourth Pass and subsequent Trail. A trail that went through the Sierra Nevada Mountains between Reno, Nevada, and Portola, California, and in which thousands of settlers found their way into central California.
He was a mulatto, son of a black slave mother (third or thirteen children), whose father was Sir Jennings Beckwith, an English white man. As prescribed by the law at the time, his father raised him as his son. Yet legally, young James was considered a slave. His biography states that his father appeared in court, once in 1824, 1825, and 1826. All to “acknowledged the execution of a Deed of Emancipation from him to James, a mulatto boy.”
James, or Jim as sometimes called, was the only black person who recorded his exploits during the discovery and subsequent settlement of the old western frontier. While dictating his autobiography to Thomas D. Bonner (Traveling Justice of the Peace with corrupt reputation) in 1854-55 California goldfields, it was thought he stretched the truth. Later, some historians accused him of lying, although they may have had reasons for not wanting, who they called “a mongrel of mixed blood” to get credit for any discovery or good deed. Although many of the exploits detailed in the autobiography passed the truth test by others who substantiated his accounts of what happened, James’ role in events almost always made him the eventual hero. Many of his acquaintances who took part in forging trails and exploring the West didn’t see themselves as heroes but more of doing what they had to do to survive. That is probably why they viewed his 1856 book (The Life and Adventures of James P. Beckwourth, Mountaineer, Scout, and Pioneer, and Chief of the Crow Nation of Indians, published by Harper and Brothers) as something of a joke. See Note 1.
Excluding those events that were substantiated by others as being accurate and true, James did have a way of exaggerating the numbers of Indians that attacked a particular exploration outpost or trading post. Historians found that some of the dates were also wrong or off by a couple of years. Some did consider the fact that the James dictation of events happened more than a few years and, in some instances, decades earlier. They also found that correcting the misspelling of names in the book helped to authenticate the events. Most of the misspelling of names were attributed to Judge Thomas D. Bonners transcribing what he thought he heard from James Beckwourth. In the end, the books considered by an excellent account of life with the Crow for instance, or life and hardships during a very historical era in our American History.
Captured by Crow Warriors (James account to his biographer) or assigned to the Rock Mountain Fur Company to the tribe to facilitate trade, according to a guess by independent sources (whoever they were and how independent were they is the question). James stays with the Crow Indian Tribe began sometime around 1828. He spent the next eight to nine years with them. Documents confirmed his eventual leadership role as a War Chief. James told his biographer he was appointed as the Chief of the Crow Nation immediately after the death of Chief Arapooish (Rotten Belly)

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A restless man who tired of routines quickly, the fall of 1837 found him headed for the Seminole country and the war they carried out against the white man. By October, his travels led him to the Florida Everglades as head of a band of Express Riders and Muleteers, paid $50 per month. His account of the incidents was accurate. It was not the adventure James had hoped for as the initial mission ended with men and horses stranded for days on a reef until rescued by a steamboat. After the small boats carrying riders and horses ran into a killer storm which was too much for the inexperienced mountain men. There were no heroes in this story of men fired for refusing to continue their mission on foot.
It’s written that James Beckwourth also accurately described the Okeechobee Battle the following Christmas Day of the same year. Later, and for the next ten months, he scouted while carrying messages and military dispatches from point to point. His job had become boring to him so he left for St Louis, where he was without a job for five days.
Once again, he was in his element, working again for The American Fur Company in the land of the Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho Indians. By the way, all three were enemies of the Crow tribe. As the agent-in-charge, he’s sent to Fort Vasquez via the Santa Fe Trail. That trade expedition lasted two years after having a very successful first year.
His California connection came during January of 1844. A year later, he was involved in the settler’s revolt against Mexican control of California. After experiencing the highs and lows of a marriage (Luisa Sandoval), independently traded with the Cheyenne angered his former employees. So much so, they tried to kick him, his wife, along with their almost thirty other settler families, out of the newly built Pueblo (now Colorado) trading post. He’s credited with helping found the town of Pueblo, Colorado. After being on the road again, James returned to Pueblo to find that Luisa had married another man. James said her current husband had produced a document that stated James wanted to be free from Luisa. He decided not to pursue the matter, once again becoming single.
Leaving, he wound up in Santa Fe and entering into a partnership with an acquaintance in ownership of a hotel. Outside of being an excellent trader, as evidenced by his trade with the Indians, he more or less left the administration of the hotel matters in the hands of his partner. James continued to do what he did best, scout, and blaze trails while carrying dispatches from the Army. News of the massacre of all the Americans living in Taos angered all settlers in the area including James, whose former boss, friends and acquaintances were among the dead. After the Indians and Mexican rebels defeat, he managed to witness the January 1847 hangings, which many saw as revenge for the Taos massacre. Keeping with his uncanny fortunate or misfortunate in some cases to be at a historic event and in most cases, is involved in many ways.
Such was the same with his trek to the California Gold Fields in the fall of 1848. There is the authenticated report James discovering a grisly murder of the family, servants, and visitors at the San Miguel Mission. While on an assigned route on the Monterey to Nipomo mail route, he almost tripped over a man’s body located in the house. He recalled the notion to look no further and rode to get a posse. He returned to the house to find the entire gross scene of eleven murdered family members (husband William Reed), wife, her infant child, a midwife, along with other children and Indian servants. The perpetrators tried to burn Reed’s house bodies and dwelling, but the fire died out. It turned out they were still in the house when James first entered and was intending to shoot him if he had opened a door behind which they were hiding. The posse caught the murderers near Santa Barbara. Beckwourth bio went on to state there were “two Americans, two Englishmen, and ten Irishmen,” responsible for the hideous killings. Others put the number at four men, one of which drowned in an attempt to escape the posse. The thought was that James Beckwourth biographer, Judge Bonner misunderstood the words an Irishmen to be ten Irishmen as James recounted the incident to him to transcribe. James did dictate the murderer’s fate as tried in his words, “we shot them, including the state’s evidence.” Meaning the one murderer who told them what happened while hoping to be spared immediate death, and sentenced to imprisonment for turning states evidence. At least that is how historians interpreted this account. As to who tried them or where anyone would go to prison, well, that’s another story not told here.
1850 found James (Jim) P. Beckwourth in northern California prospecting for gold. Without going into the descriptive details of his thoughts as written, he correctly surmised that a pass he found would accommodate horse or mule pulled wagons headed into what was called the American Valley (Central California). It would be especially helpful to those people coming from the east. It was the lowest mountain pass and a direct route through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which was no small discovery at the time. It saved travelers approximately 150 miles whereas they avoided having to climb several steep slopes like Donner Summit. Remember the Donner Party (1846-47), having to stay the winter. His discovery is currently called Beckwourth Pass.
After working to develop the trail during that summer, and well into the spring and summer of 1851, he led the first wagon train of settlers over the trail into Marysville, California. He’s supposedly paid for his discovery and efforts by the Marysville business community and other local gold towns. However, (also summer of 1851) when he tried to collect his earnings, Marysville blamed their inability to pay on two major fires that economically hindered the town. Subsequently, he had no other recourse but to accept their reasoning. As a black man, he could not sue for damages (see Note 2) in a California Court. Other wagon trains and travelers used the Beckwourth Trail and Pass up through 1855 and beyond. Even as the railroad became the preferred method of travel to California in 1855. The Western Pacific Railroad (at the time) used the route to cross the Sierra’s running along the Feather River.
Ever the enterprising trader, Beckwourth established his ranch and trading post in the valley just west of the pass. Add his hotel to the area located in the Sierra Valley that is now called Beckwourth, California. It’s the site and timeframe upon which his biography’s dictated to Judge Thomas D. Bonner, who produced the book. According to a contract, James Beckwourth was to receive half the proceeds from the book from Bonner, which never happened. Reportedly James stayed here until 1858. He left for Missouri in 1859, eventually settling in Denver, Colorado, that same year. He was employed as a storekeeper, also appointed as an Indian agent by Denver’s City Council.
In 1864, James forced to act as a scout against the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, which led to the infamous Sand Creek Massacre. The massacre resulted in ending any further contact or interaction between Beckwourth and the Cheyenne or Arapaho tribes.
In 1866, while acting as a scout for Forts Laramie and Kearny, he suffered nosebleeds and headaches, which complicated the carrying out of his mission or assignments. Finally, he returned to his beloved Crow Indians along the Bighorn River, where he died on October 29, 1866—finally placed on an elevated platform (customary of the Crow) in Laramie, Albany County, Wyoming.

Note 1: Bonner edited or “polished up” Beckwourth’ s rough narrative and submitted the book to the eventual publisher, Harper and Brothers in 1856. Despite its flaws in dates and misspelling of the subject’s name, historians have touted the book as an acceptable reference of Frontier Life. It also provides a look at government policies regarding alcohol, diseases, massacres, and war.
Note 2: In 1996, the Promoters of Beckwourth Frontier Days was instrumental in renaming Marysville’s largest park to Beckwourth Riverfront Park. This act was in direct recognition of the unpaid debt owed to James P. Beckwourth, causing the following growth of the city.

Peace & Blessing, stay vigilant for our American rights. Make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II
Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo
Join us for the live broadcast of our bi-monthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica
We present the republication of the Authors’ tour of South Korea as a 17-year-old GI with Unchon-ni. Check out the details at https://outskirtspress.com/Unchonni
We are in a continuing effort to publicize, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953. Based on the life of the Authors Grandmother. The Novel examines an era of Jim Crow that many in our society may have forgotten occurred against people of color. Meanwhile, we celebrate the publication of his fifth book, Misguided Intentions. A book where family relationships questioned to the core. Read MI’s review at https://redheadedbooklover.com/gracie-hall-hampton-codis-hampton-ii/ Click on the publisher-Authors page at https://outskirtspress.com/MisguidedIntentions
Get any of his books by visiting my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070
Look for new books, updates of current titles, and submission of short articles to major magazines upcoming in 2020. We love to pass on our written word. – Hamp
Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at http://hcoa.net/ and http://www.chiia.com/home.html. Our Retail Site is https://frostyltd.com/frosty-ltd-com

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

 

Black Legends of The Wild, Wild West, Part 2 #BHM

Mary Fields was born a slave in Hickman County, Tennessee, sometime in 1832. She lived on the family farm. Judge Edmund Dunn owned both the farm and Mary. The judge’s daughter, Dolly, was about the same age as Mary. They became good friends. It’s not known who taught her, but Mary was able to read and write.

She, like countless others, was also freed by the Emancipation Proclamation Act of 1863. Yet, she stayed with the Dunn family. After the Judge’s death and upon the death of his wife Josephine (1883), Mary took the family’s five children to join Dolly in Toledo, Ohio. It’s where Dolly lived after becoming a nun, followed by being named Mother Superior Mary Amadeus.

A year later, Mother Superior’s sent to the Montana Territory. At the request of the Jesuits, assigned to head a school for Indian girls at St. Peter’s Mission. Accepting the assignment, she left with five Ursuline nuns heading for the mission. Their task, the first to do so, was to create and establish a curriculum to teach Native Americans from the Cheyenne, Crow, Blackfoot, and Gros Ventre-Assiniboine Reservation located in central and eastern Montana. The cold and severe winters along with other frontier elements, made the task even more daunting for the nuns.

For some unknown reason, Mary Fields stayed behind. Later, learning of Mother Amadeus bout with pneumonia, she went to the St Peters Mission aid her friend. Mother Superior Amadeus recovered, and Mary ended up staying at the mission.  She earned her keep by taking a job with the Ursuline nuns. The 6 foot, approximately 200 hundred pounds dark-skinned black woman, was an imposing figure to the locals, no matter their race. Her duties included hauling supplies from around Cascade County, Montana area, Great Falls, or Helena to the St. Peters Mission. By now, she had become hardened by frontier life. She took to smoking harsh cigars and carrying a pistol strapped under her apron. That type of life alone designated certain duties such as required, including patchwork carpentry, chopping wood, cutting down small trees and digging various type holes for the mission.

Her Biography says that Native Americans of the area called her “White Crow” because “she acts like a white woman but has black skin.” One schoolgirl wrote of her in an essay, saying, “she drinks whiskey, and she swears, and she is a republican, which makes her a low, foul creature.”

She became known as a fist fighter that would protect her rights at the drop of a hat. One website reported that the Grate Falls Examiner stated: “She broke more noses than any other person in central Montana.”

There are different reports on the cause of a gunfight between Mary and one of the disgruntled workers at the mission. Mary was in charge, acting as the Forman, which reportedly angered this particular individual. Some say the man didn’t like being told what to do by a black woman. But in our experience, even today, these issues are normally based upon economic reasons. The fact she was earning a reported $2 per month more than he sent him off on a constant complaining campaign to whoever would listen. He even registered a complaint with the managing Bishop in charge of the nuns and mission. The old, why should an “uppity colored woman” make more than a man was his rant.

The man’s nerve-wracking complaints caused an altercation that resulted in a shootout. One version of how it started says the man hit Mary. As she fell, she pulled her six-shooter and fired, missing the guy. He pulled his gun firing but missing, and the shootout was on. Another report says Mary went looking, found the man by a latrine he was cleaning, and fired at the man upon sight.  She missed and the shootout was on.  Without going into further specifics of the differing details of the subsequent shootout, there were several gunshots fired by both parties in the back of the mission. Both emptied their six-shooters ending with the man getting wounded in the buttocks. The altercation caused Mary to get fired by the managing Bishop as soon as he got wind of the gunfight. The Bishop had been asking the nuns to get rid of her a long time before the shootout.

After the firing, her friend Mother Amadeus helped her open a restaurant in Cascade, which was not that far from the St Peters mission. The gruff exterior and frontier mannerisms of Mary hid her compassion for the downtrodden and destitute. It seems that all you needed to eat in Mary’s restaurant was an appetite. She may have been an excellent friend, nanny, worker, but her cooking wasn’t that well received. Nor was she a very good businessperson. Thus, the place went broke within ten months. Before the closure, she fed any (person who would eat what she prepared) and everybody whether they had the money to pay for the meal or not. I would guess everybody, except the man with which she had the shootout.

At 60 years old, in 1895, she won a job as a mail carrier.  She won because she was the fastest of twelve other cowboy applicants, half her age, to hitch a team of six horses to the mail wagon. With this assignment, she became the second American woman employed by the United States Postal Service and the first black woman mail carrier in the US. The nickname “Stagecoach” earned in recognition of her reliability. Is the snow too deep for her horse team? No matter, Mary used snowshoes while carrying the mail sacks on her shoulders. She, and her mule, Moses, would deliver the mail in blizzards, extreme heat to the outlying and miner’s cabins.

That was just nature elements that attempted to stop this determined woman. For six years, she rode a stagecoach carrying the mail, money, and other items for delivery over a frontier postal route. The trails littered with desperate people who did mind taking a chance on stealing whatever this black woman was carrying. In those rare occasions where some desperado had not heard of Stagecoach Mary, they may try to rob her. Their first surprise would be that she was a woman driving a six-horse team coach. Added to their shock of seeing this tall black woman alone and out in the wilderness, was the site of a double-barrel ten-gauge shotgun leveled at them.  The question now became, who has the drop on whom? Since they said she never lost a piece of mail or any other valuables in her care during a stagecoach run, we know how those confrontations ended.

She didn’t have to worry about hostile Indians because most Sioux had not seen a black person before, much less such an imposingly tall and armed black woman like Mary. Rather than deal with someone or something they didn’t fully understand, they would not bother her. Can’t you imagine two young Sioux braves pointing at her coach coming down the trail, turning their pony’s aside to get out of the rolling wagon wheels path? As Stagecoach Mary cracks her whip at the horses, yelling “Git-up-there Moses.” One of the braves turns to his friend and says while pointing in the coach’s direction…” Bad medicine.”

She finally moved on to a job that was less treacherous because of health issues. She opened a laundry (also in Cascade, Montana) at the age of seventy. Spending most of her time drinking, cigar-smoking, and spitting in the local saloon instead of doing laundry, she was reportedly content with life. Stagecoach Mary died of liver failure in 1914. Life expectancy in the old west for those who died violently was 35. For those who live an uneventful life and took care of themselves averaged 70 years old. Mary, an ex-slave, and black woman lived to be around 82 years old. Can you believe it?

The late actress Esther Roll played Mary Fields in a 1976 TV Documentary, entitled South by Northeast, Homesteaders.  Dawnn Lewis played her in a 1996 TV movie, The Cherokee Kid. Kimberly Elise’s cast as Mary in the 2012 TV-movie Hannah’s Law.

Next in this series is James P. Beckwourth. , American mountain man.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo

Join us for the live broadcast of our bi-monthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

We present the republication of the Authors’ tour of South Korea as a 17-year-old GI with Unchon-ni. Check out the details at https://outskirtspress.com/Unchonni

We are in a continuing effort to publicize, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953. Based on the life of the Authors Grandmother. The Novel examines an era of Jim Crow that many in our society may have forgotten occurred against people of color. Meanwhile, we celebrate the publication of his fifth book, Misguided Intentions. A book where family relationships questioned to the core. Read MI’s review at https://redheadedbooklover.com/gracie-hall-hampton-codis-hampton-ii/  Click on the publisher-Authors page at https://outskirtspress.com/MisguidedIntentions   

Get any of his books by visiting my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

Look for new books, updates of current titles, and submission of short articles to major magazines upcoming in 2020. We love to pass on our written word. – Hamp

Our Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at http://hcoa.net/ and http://www.chiia.com/home.html. Our Retail Site is https://frostyltd.com/frosty-ltd-com

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Black Legends of The Wild, Wild West, Part I, #BHM

This is the first article of a Four Part Series on Black Folks, who helped to tame the west. Originally publised in April of 2015, republised today in celebration of our Black History Month of 2020. Today we take a look at U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves.

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The subject matter and individual I’m writing about this Black History Month cause me to be reflective of my personal history. I remember when I was a nine, ten, eleven-year-old kid living in Milwaukee. Yes, it was that red brick apartment building located on thirteenth and Juneau that many have heard me lovingly refer too.

It reminds me of Saturday mornings spent watching ‘Tales of the Texas Rangers,’ Lash LaRue, the Lone Ranger, and yes, even Roy Rogers as well as other Cowboy television programs. We would eat breakfast and hurry to the living room to watch my father’s, subsequently, our favorite shows.  I had a makeshift holster and belt. It was just a blue boy scout’s belt with the shiny brass buckle running through a leather holster that held my trusty six-shooter. I would tie that holster down to my right thigh with an old shoestring just like a real gunfighter.

Talk about imagination; I was full of daydreams during those years. Whenever my friends or cousins came over, we would play in my back yard. We’d use the fifty-gallon oil drums sitting on A-frame stands as horses; throw rags and an old blanket over the barrel as saddles. It didn’t help, because after we finished playing and went back inside? My stepmother would smell the coal oil residue on my pants and me. I would get another warning about her having to wash those pants in with other clothes spoiling the pleasant aroma she was creating with detergent fresher of some type. I am not sure, but I think after several warnings, she washed my play pants with daddy’s work pants.

Back then (mid-fifties), all the cowboys seen on television, movies were white. My father always told me not to worry about it because there were black cowboys in the old west.  Just because television program writers didn’t write about them, did not mean they didn’t exist. He’d tell me, I can be anything I want to be, but make sure you’re the best at whatever you choose. So in my mind, it was my blackface riding that horse chasing rustlers, bank robbers and fighting range wars. I would imagine myself, family members, and other people I knew, would be just as comfortable in the old west as anybody.  Of course, later on in the sixties, seventies, and eighties, the public did see black faces appearing in cowboys, gangsters and all kinds of entertainment. It was readily known that Sammy Davis Jr was a fast draw expert in real life, seen as a frequent guest star in several of the cowboy television series. By that time, I’d hung up my gun and holster, turned to chase girls instead of rustlers and the like.

One such real live lawman who roamed the old west while dishing out justice was U.S. Deputy Marshall Bass Reeves.  Born as a child of slaves in Paris, Texas, in 1838, he served as a water boy until old enough to become a field hand. He became his master’s body servant and personal companion at an even older age.

Bass reportedly ran away after beating up his master (George Reeves) after some dispute during a card game. He found a haven by living with the Seminole and Cherokee Indians, where he developed his skills with the pistol and rifle. It’s also where he became fluent in several Native American languages, finally freed in Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation order of 1863.

Moving to and buying farmland in Van Buren Arkansas, while marrying Nellie Jennie a year later. He would go on to father ten children (five girls and five boys) from this union. Although the family lived happily on the farm, Frontier Law answered Bass’s restlessness and yearning for adventure.

He was appointed as part of a 200-deputy crew by U.S. Marshall, James Fagan in 1875, because of his specific knowledge of the Indian Territory and his ability to speak their language. At the time, the area had become inundated with outlaws, thieves, and murderers looking for an area that before had no federal or state jurisdiction. With a patrolling area covering 75,000 square miles, the deputy’s instructions were to bring in the perpetrators dead or alive.

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At 38 years old, he was the first black U.S. Deputy Marshall to serve in that capacity west of the Mississippi River. Known as being courteous and impeccably dressed in his boots polished to a shine, he rode a large reddish stallion with a white-blazed face. While marshaling in the Oklahoman Native American Territory, over his 32 years of service, credited with killing fourteen outlaws and having arrested 3,000 felony lawbreakers of all kind. At 6’2”, approximately 200 pounds, he was ambidextrous with a reputation for being quick, accurate and deadly with his two guns. He was just as skilled with a rifle. Maybe that is why in all those years, he never suffered a gunshot wound, although his hat was shot off more than a few times. A big man with those kinds of skills had to be imposing enough to look at much less take on in a gunfight.

One of his most emotional and personal manhunts involved the apprehension of his son, Benny Reeves. The warrant charged his son with the murder of his young wife. The ultimate fair-minded Bass Reeves demanded the assignment as other deputies were reluctant to take the job because it was his son. In 1902, after a two-week trek into the badlands, he found and arrested his son. Returning him to Muskogee, Oklahoma to face trial, he turned him over to Marshal Bennett. Benny was tried, convicted and served twenty years at Leavenworth for the crime. A citizen’s partition was instrumental in gaining his pardon and early release, after which he spent the rest of his life without further incidents with the law.

By 1907, Oklahoma became a state, and Reeves Deputy US Marshal Commission ended. He was 68 years old. He moved on to join the Muskogee Police Department until his health became a problem while attempting to carry out his duties.  Bass Reeves died of Bright’s disease in 1910. There are several books and articles written and available today. His life and exploits as a US Deputy Marshall was the subject of a movie entitled Bass Reeves, released in 2010. James A. House played the leading character. He confided that when independent filmmaker and owner of the San Ponderous Productions contacted to play the part, he “didn’t even know who Bass Reeves was.”

Here was a man who could not read or write. He had to have others read his warrants to him before searching for various outlaws. He would memorize the details from that reading, including which warrant was for whom.  When serving the document, he never failed to pick out the correct warrant belonging to a specific outlaw. It is amazing to me how our people always found a way to adjust and make progress on whatever job they had to do. That is an important legacy they left us, the ability to improvise. To this day, we use those skills in our everyday lives. Deputy Marshall Reeves goes down in US history as one of the greatest frontier heroes this country has ever known. And once again, my father proved to be right. There was black folk roaming the Wild West.  Look for Part II next week.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Subscribe to this blog at http://wp.me/p65rCa C                                                                                                                      Follow Hamp at https://twitter.com/#!/HampTwo   

Join us for the live broadcast of our bi-monthly BTR Shows at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica

We present the republication of the Authors’ tour of South Korea as a 17-year-old GI with Unchon-ni. Check out the details at https://outskirtspress.com/Unchonni

We are in a continuing effort to publicize, Gracie Hall-Hampton, the Arkansas Years 1917-1953. Based on the life of the Authors Grandmother. The Novel examines an era of Jim Crow that many in our society may have forgotten occurred against people of color. Meanwhile, we celebrate the publication of his fifth book, Misguided Intentions. A book where family relationships questioned to the core. Read MI’s review at https://redheadedbooklover.com/gracie-hall-hampton-codis-hampton-ii/  Click on the publisher-Authors page at https://outskirtspress.com/MisguidedIntentions   

Get any of his books by visiting my Amazon.com Authors page at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B017TYFKBI?ref_=pe_1724030_132998070

Look for new books, updates of current titles, and submission of short articles to major magazines upcoming in 2020. We love to pass on our written word. – HampOur Parent Company and sponsor is CHIIA Group, online at http://hcoa.net/ and http://www.chiia.com/home.html. Our Retail Site is https://frostyltd.com/frosty-ltd-com

Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment.

Black Hair Care, Open To All Entrepreneurs

4.1.1Sometime last year, I was surprised to learn that the United States 1965 decision to ban the import of any wig that contained hair from China contributed to the Koreans domination of the US Black Hair Care Industry.  Six months earlier in a successful attempt to aid their own wig manufacturers, the Government of South Korea banned the export of the desirable raw hair by anybody other than their own. The result was a Korean monopolization of the Black Hair Care as depicted in Aron Ranen’s, http://diaryofahairobsession.com/black-hair-the-korean-takeover-part-2/ documentary. In a four-part documentary, Ranen’s film points this out and provides in debt insight into the industry as of 2009.

You should note that the two acts by the governments “almost providing a monopoly.” In order for a monopoly to work, competition must be halted by regulation or lack of availability of the monopolized service or goods for sale. In this case, the consumers hold the key to monopolization.

Later on in the year, I picked what I thought was a fair representative number of local Beauty Shop owners. I called, spoke to the owners and explained my reasoning for asking if they were willing to be on my show. Those that did not want to be a guest, I asked about the Korean takeover of the American Black Hair Industry.  Some were reluctant, others were willing but cautious of the possible blow-back from their Korean or Korean associated suppliers. When it came time to call them back, no one was answering the phone. At least no one was taking my calls.

As luck would have it, I was interviewing Regi Kim (of Black Hair Heritage and Roots film documentary, Nappy Roots) on a show last December. She brought on Sam Ennon as an associate and call-in during the show. Afterward, I called him and he agreed to be a guest in March of 2015.

Membership PicMr. Ennon is the founder of BOBSA, a black-owned organization that offers the same type service as any Korean Beauty Supply Product vendor in this country. The organization was formed and also shown as an alternative to the Korean domination of the industry. Thus, they are still as of today, dispelling the idea that the Koreans have a monopoly on the Black Hair Care Industry.

On the show, Sam provides a clear history of the black hair care industry from the freer open market era through the Korean dominance to the present. We learned that events, and in some cases a change in black consumer hair styles, are successful challenging the Korean semi-monopoly. You have got to hear this because you may never hear anyone describe the events and the playbook used by a couple of Korean Entrepreneurs to dominate the black hair care industry.  If you have not heard the show, check out my interview with Sam Ennon on the HCofA BTR March 18th Show, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/hampscornerofamerica/2015/03/18/bobsa-stands-for-black-own-beauty-supply-association-and-you.

BOBSA acts mainly as a Networking business association that is available to Cosmetologist across this country. Whatever items you need for your beauty shop is available either through them or one of their associates. But that is just a small task associated with BOBSA.

Ask Mr. Ennon and he will tell you he is about the black hair care industry with no apologies for his preference for the industry.  Therefore, the products he is marketing either through BOBSA or associative organizations are black owned products. Given that scenario one should be able to determine from that statement, black dollars are being circulated back into the black communities. And that my friends equate to real black power. To put it another way, black power equals green power and green power translates into real power.

We see some evidence of that in various areas in local neighborhoods and none in others. One of the areas that are helping to level the playing field is our social networks. There is no doubt that currently the internet and email has allowed any and everybody to post items, articles, and opinions. Not to be overlooked is a major change in how large to small retail companies changed their marketing plans, budget and direction to include the advent of the internet.  That is why you hear Mr. Ennon state that social networking on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and other websites are allowing black entrepreneurs to reach individual consumers. Often, it’s more of a one on one with a customer who may be interested in their product or service.

In fact, there is a new product called The Black Box Barber Caddy for barber shops and salons servicing male and female clients. It’s a vending machine that dispenses (you name it) black hair products. As much as forty percent of the products are produced by black entrepreneurs.

You may have seen advertisement ads on social media for a Meet the Faces of B.O.B.S.A. event that Mr. Ennon is hosting in Detroit. They will be at the Greater Grace Temple, 23500 W. 7 Mail, Detroit, MI 48219 on April 25 through the 27th.  They will also provide information and product display at the event. And…entrepreneurs can get the full details on how to become an Investor, Distributor, Salesperson or Wholesaler of the Black Box Caddy trio of machines. Specifically, the Black Box Barber Caddy with men’s hair care products. There is the Black Box Beauty Supply with woman’s hair care products, and the Black Box Natural Products which addresses the natural black hair styles which are becoming more popular today.

Locally, we are going to highlight the Blitz Barbershop at 4156 MacArthur Blvd in Oakland, CA. They have agreed to set up a Black Box Barber Caddy in his shop. The owner, entrepreneur Quincy Scott will be on our May 20th Blog Talk Radio Show to give you his story and expectations for his business.

But that is not the entire story or even the beginning of another story. This story is about human nature and consumer behavior toward what is best for themselves and their community.  The question that stills begs for an answer and immediate action. It is one that is asked time and time again in our community, normally generating non-responses or all kinds of stereotypical answers.  Why can’t we as a people, work together for our overall common good?

As Sam Ennon previously stated, we are finding that attitudes are changing. Maybe one day we will finally put the “crabs in a barrel” syndrome to rest. Meanwhile, here is a warning for Black Americans. If we don’t take control of our communities via economical means, we will go out of style like a short-lived fashion craze. And that includes political influence in our state capitals and Washington DC.

We have got to take ownership of our neighborhood retail and residential property. We need to cooperate with the local police department by setting up Neighborhood Watch groups. I don’t care what some people think about the local police. I am a firm believer in getting our local officials, and that includes the police, their superiors and as far up the chain as necessary, to facilitate change in unsatisfactory behavior in the office and on the ground. Bottom line; enable ways to make those in positions of authority responsible for their actions.

Meanwhile, it is up to us to facilitate the change we are seeking. For the first time in our history, we have the means and abilities to improve our living standard. The computer is the primary means. Another is cooperating with organizations and business that are specifically circulating black consumer dollars back into our communities. You want to know more about current or future plans of B.O.B.S.A., give Sam Ennon a call at 650-863-3491 or go to the website at www.bobsa.org. Get involved in your own economic survival in any way you can.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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