logo

THEBRIDGE-CROSSTHATRIVER-ABOLITION-1851-1921

 

[ Blue ]

Was Angry.

“Cross That River”
Allan Harris
Cross That River
1850 From a slave on a Northwest Louisiana cotton plantation, across the Red River to live a Free life in Texas. 
((( cry for freedom )))

— xyz!

1851 The Great Escape
BLUE WAS ANGRY / CROSS THAT RIVER
FREDERICK DOUGLASS / FIRST TO BE FREE
W.E.B. DU BOIS
HARRIET TUBMAN / UNDERGROUND RAILROAD
HARRIET TUBMAN / UNDERGROUND RAILROAD (Alt.)
JOHN BROWN / HARPER’S FERRY
BACK TO THE BRIDGE
1852
1853
1854
1855
1856
1857
1858
Abolitionists
1859
1860Decades of political controversy over slavery were brought to a head by the victory in the 1860 U.S. presidential election of Abraham Lincoln
Civil War (Timeline)
1861
1862
1863
1864
1865 — Civil War Ends, Lincoln Assassinated, KKK is born.
JUNE 19, 1865 GALVESTON, TEXAS
Independence Day
Emancipation Day
Freedom Day 
Jubilee Day 
Liberation Day
Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the emancipation of those who had been enslaved in the United States. Originating in Galveston, Texas, it is now celebrated annually, June 19 throughout the United States, with varying official recognition. It is commemorated on the anniversary date of the June 19, 1865 Announcement by Union Army General Gordon Granger, proclaiming freedom from slavery in Texas.

 

((( video)))

Allan Harris and his band playing “Blue Was Angry” (Cross That River) at the South Miami Performing Arts Center (2015).

Allan Harris Cross That River 

2003 — With Cross That River Allan Harris tells the seldom told African American story of the escaped slaves who crossed the Red River from Louisiana to Texas, and found free and equal justice west of The Mississippi River.

THE AFRICAN AMERICANS: MANY RIVERS TO CROSS (PBS)

Proud Mary
Ike & Tina Turner
Rollin’ On The River
1970  Workin’ Together 
1971Black Man’s Soul
((( soul )))

Ani DiFranco (1999) Travel Channel

The “Mighty” Mississippi
River of Song (PBS) Ani DiFranco, explores the music still being played in the small clubs and jukes along the Mississippi River … those joints that have been preserved in a more honest time.
Rufus Thomas, Little Milton, Levon Helm, Ann Peebles, Memphis Horns, “Nutbush City Limits,” Stax Records, Sun Studio, James “Blood” Ulmer, Vernon Reid, Skip “Little Axe” McDonald, On-U Sound …

Cross That River
1850 Allan Harris tells the seldom told, African American story. Blue was a cotton-picking slave on a Louisiana plantation, who makes a death-defying escape across the Red River, into Texas, where he is a free man. Working on Chisholm Trail cattle drives, with equal rights and equal pay, valued for his ability, not his belief in God, or the Color of his skin.  Blue was part of a community that came to be known as “The Black Cowboys,” a group of Free Black Men that grew into America’s Gilded Age, their wealth concentrated in cities along the Chisholm Trail, most notably in Texas, the site of the reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, after the end of The Civil War. Independence Day (June 19, 1865) Juneteenth, and at the important terminus, Tulsa, the site of The Tulsa Race Massacre (June 1, 1921).  Independence Day Tulsa important community in Midwest America, many settling, marrying, and starting businesses and families.

“Buffalo Soldiers,”

 

Fort Sumter

Blue Was Free
Blue was an important character in the often overlooked African American story. The Black Cowboy Story.  

A significant number of runaway slaves, rather than taking the Underground Railroad up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago, or east to New York City, chose to GO WEST, to the midwestern plains, where they were “free” to join any of the many cattle drives, earning equal pay, and a better life, regardless of the color of their skin. That is, as long as it wasn’t “red.”

 Many of the “Black” Cowboys earned fortune and fame, both as Banking and Business Tycoons, and heroic, Indian-killing Buffalo Soldiers — the United States Calvary, riding with General George Custer and all the other historic figures mentioned in America’s public schools.

Collectively, these pioneering African-Americans, built a thriving community that became known as The “Black” West.

In the decades to follow, Blue made himself a home, bought himself a wife, and killed more than his share of Indians as a Buffalo Soldier.

Buffalo Soldiers”
Allan Harris

Cross That River
2003 —
((( song )))

dave.

Riding Free on The Chisholm Trail

1880s Nearly half the working cowboys in Oklahoma and Texas were free black men, many who had joined the U.S. Army’s Buffalo Soldiers (Negro Cavalry), and fought alongside the (White-Anglo) Army in its war against the “Indians” (Native Americans)from the upper plains to the southwestern desert United States of America.

After surviving a 19th Century filled with pain and suffering, Blue quietly retired, as so many do today, to Florida.

 

Take Me (Back) To The River

1853 Texas Longhorns, driven to Missouri, were found to be carrying disease-ridden ticks, and entire herds had to be turned away.

Cattle Rustling, vigilantism, and violence were also problems, and by 1859, driving cattle was outlawed in much of Missouri.

By the end of the Civil War, most cattle were being moved up the western branch of The Trail at Red River Station in Montague County, Texas.

 

1860 The (Wild) American West of 1860 provided a new beginning for Blue, and the other escaped slaves who chose to live the rest of their lives west of the Mississippi, instead of continuing north to New York and Chicago.

1861 Civil War
1862
1863
1864
1865 —     
“Cross That River” is Allan Harris and Love Productions Theatrical presentation of Blue’s adventurous (African American) story.
Through voice and song, Allan integrates historical fact and colorful lore to tell an often overlooked story, an important chapter in the fight for Civil Rights and Equal Justice in The United States Of America.
The Wild Wild (Black) West
After his successful escape, and crossing of the Red River, Blue quickly found work (as a cowboy) on a cattle drive between San Antonio and Abilene, Texas … and later, Blue planted the roots of his new life in Kansas City, Kansas, where a community of Black Cowboys thrived.

Texas ranchers driving their cattle on The Chisholm Trail started from either the Rio Grande or San Antonio, and joined the Chisholm Trail at the border between Texas and Oklahoma, the Red River of the South.
From there, they continued to the railhead of the Kansas Pacific Railway in Abilene, Kansas, where the cattle were sold and shipped eastward.
The Trail is named for Jesse Chisholm, a half-Cherokee trader from Tennessee, who originally created the trail to transport his goods from one trading post to another.

BUFFALO SOLDIERS: A BRIEF HISTORY

BuffaloSoldierVintagePhotographCollage

 

— yZ.

Buffalo Soldiers — Originally members of the 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army, the Buffalo Soldiers formed (September 21, 1866) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This nickname was given to the Black Cavalry by Native American tribes who fought in the Indian Wars. The name eventually came to represent all the African American regiments formed in 1866:

1866 Because The Civil War restricted access to The Trail, their was a tremendous overstock of cattle in Texas, where the cattle were worth $4 per head, compared to more than $40 per head in the hard-to-reach North and East of America.

1867 Joseph G. McCoy encouraged Texans to drive their cattle to his new stockyards in  Abilene, Kansas. They responded, and in that first year, McCoy shipped 35,000 head, and became the largest stockyards west of Kansas City, Kansas.

O. W. Wheeler was one of those Texas ranchers who answered McCoy’s call. He and his partners drove 2,400 steers on The Chisholm Trail, from Texas to Abilene.

Wheeler’s herd was the first of an estimated 5,000,000 head of Texas cattle to reach Kansas over The Chisholm Trail.

The construction of the Union Pacific Railway through Nebraska eventually offered a cattle drive destination which was an attractive alternative to the Kansas Pacific Railroad, and the Texas Trail emerged as an alternative to the Chisholm Trail. Between 1876 and 1884 some drives went along the Texas Trail instead of the Chisholm Trail.

1866
1867
1868
1869
1870
1871
1872
1873
1874
1875
1876
1877
1878
1879
1880
1881
1882
1883 — Brooklyn Bridge
1884 — Washington Monument
1885
1886
1887
1888
1889 — Total Solar Eclipse (Jan.1)
1890
1891
1892
1893
1894
1895
1896
1897
1898
1899 — Indian Maiden Wild West Burlesque Show
1900
1901
1902
1903
1904
1905
1906
1907
1908
1909
1910
1911
1912
1913
1914
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920Red Scare, Prohibition
1921 —  Tulsa Race Massacre
OKLAHOMA
also known asThe Greenwood Massacre
The Black Wall Street Massacre
The Tulsa Pogrom

JUNE 1, 1921The Tulsa Massacre. When mobs of white residents, many of them deputized and given weapons by city officials, attacked Black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It has been called “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history.” The attack, carried out on the ground and from private aircraft, destroyed more than 35 square blocks of the district—at that time the wealthiest Black community in the United States, known as “Black Wall Street.”

 

dave.