The Sun At Midnight

From London, Sugar & Slavery Gallery

THE PRICE OF SUGAR Trailer 

Historic drama about two young women in 18th century Suriname. The white Sarith and her slave Mini-Mini live on the prospering sugar plantation of Sarith’s family. The constant danger of attacks by runaway slaves threatens the protected plantation life. While Sarith becomes embittered by the changing colonial life and the search for a husband, Mini-Mini gets her own chance of happiness. Is she able and courageous enough to seize it, at her mistress’ expense? Based on Cynthia McLeod’s book.

East St Louis riots

East St Louis riots

In Parliament Sir William Fox had told the gruesome story of a slave, who had been unable to work because of illness, being plunged into a cauldron of sugar cane being boiled up with water, and being held there for 45 minutes by the barbaric sugar trader. In the course of this ghastly ordeal the slave suffered terrible injuries from which he took six months to recover. 

In Parliament Sir William Fox had told the gruesome story of a slave, who had been unable to work because of illness, being plunged into a cauldron of sugar cane being boiled up with water, and being held there for 45 minutes by the barbaric sugar trader. In the course of this ghastly ordeal the slave suffered terrible injuries from which he took six months to recover. 

Press clip from Elaine Riot

Press clip from Elaine Riot

 The Elaine Twelve were found guilty of murder and were scheduled to be executed shortly after the massacre.
On the evening of September 30, 1919, a group of sharecroppers (men, women and children) met at a black church at Hoop Spur, Arkansas to discuss problems they had trying to get a fair price for their cotton crops which they were in the midst of harvesting.  Merchants and planters, who “furnished” sharecroppers and tenant farmers with seed, fertilizer, equipment, etc. in exchange for portions of the farmers’ crops, insisted on buying the cotton of black farmers at a price far below market value. To combat this problem, black farmers (men and women) joined the Progressive Farmers’ and Household Union and began organizing to buy land, through a cooperative venture, and to hire legal representation to fight the efforts of merchants and planters to secure the farmers’ crops without fair compensation.  At the meeting, leaders of the organization explained the purpose of the union and signed up new recruits. Fearing possible trouble, the farmers posted armed guards outside the church.  After night fell, an automobile stopped outside the church and shots were fired through the windows and into the congregation.  A fire fight between the white men (in at least one automobile) and the black farmers ensued.  A white railroad detective was killed in the exchange and an unknown number of people in the church were killed and wounded.  News of the battle spread throughout Phillips County and a general alarm was sounded among whites that blacks in the region were seeking to kill white people.  The slaughter of African Americans in Phillips County that followed the battle at Hoop Spur, or the “Elaine Riot,” was cast by the press as a defensive act against an “uprising” of blacks against whites in the region. The story of what happened to the black cotton farmers took on a life of its own.

 The Elaine Twelve were found guilty of murder and were scheduled to be executed shortly after the massacre.

On the evening of September 30, 1919, a group of sharecroppers (men, women and children) met at a black church at Hoop Spur, Arkansas to discuss problems they had trying to get a fair price for their cotton crops which they were in the midst of harvesting.  Merchants and planters, who “furnished” sharecroppers and tenant farmers with seed, fertilizer, equipment, etc. in exchange for portions of the farmers’ crops, insisted on buying the cotton of black farmers at a price far below market value. To combat this problem, black farmers (men and women) joined the Progressive Farmers’ and Household Union and began organizing to buy land, through a cooperative venture, and to hire legal representation to fight the efforts of merchants and planters to secure the farmers’ crops without fair compensation.  At the meeting, leaders of the organization explained the purpose of the union and signed up new recruits. Fearing possible trouble, the farmers posted armed guards outside the church.  After night fell, an automobile stopped outside the church and shots were fired through the windows and into the congregation.  A fire fight between the white men (in at least one automobile) and the black farmers ensued.  A white railroad detective was killed in the exchange and an unknown number of people in the church were killed and wounded.  News of the battle spread throughout Phillips County and a general alarm was sounded among whites that blacks in the region were seeking to kill white people.  The slaughter of African Americans in Phillips County that followed the battle at Hoop Spur, or the “Elaine Riot,” was cast by the press as a defensive act against an “uprising” of blacks against whites in the region. The story of what happened to the black cotton farmers took on a life of its own.

Before the Friday and all other Fridays and Are We There Yets etc etc etc
This was the Ice Cube I knew. …I wonder what caused the Cube to melt….

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