100 years ago, Mississippi’s Senate voted to send all the state’s Black people to Africa

One hundred years ago, the Mississippi state Senate voted to evict the state’s Black residents — the majority of its total population — not just out of Mississippi, but out of the country.

The Senate voted 25 to 9 on Feb. 20, 1922, to ask the federal government to trade some of the World War I debts owed by European countries for a piece of colonial Africa — any part would do — where the government would then ship Mississippi’s Black residents, creating “a final home for the American negro.”

The act is a reminder of just how long after the end of slavery some White Southerners were pushing not just to strip African Americans of their political rights but also to remove them from the land of their birth

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 21 was written by Sen. Torrey George McCallum, a former mayor of Laurel in Jones County. The county has achieved some measure of Hollywood fame as the “Free State of Jones,” a pocket of Unionist sentiment during the Civil War, but the McCallums were deeply engaged in the institution of slavery. Torrey’s grandfather Archibald enslaved 51 people on his plantation in 1860 and had a net worth of $80,000, about $2.5 million today…

His resolution argued in flowery language that “the spirit of race consciousness” had grown with a postwar increase in nationalistic feelings worldwide and that it was “our most earnest desire to reach a just, fair, amicable, and final settlement” to what some White people then called “the Negro question.”

I can’t know exactly how such a vote would total out, nowadays. Been a few decades since I’ve been in Mississippi; but, this crap still would have passed, then. I think it would pass, now. And this kind of racism isn’t limited to one state, just one piece of our nation’s history.

2 thoughts on “100 years ago, Mississippi’s Senate voted to send all the state’s Black people to Africa

  1. Güero says:

    “Welcome to Blackdom: The Ghost Town That Was New Mexico’s First Black Settlement” (Smithsonian) https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/welcome-to-blackdom-the-ghost-town-that-was-new-mexicos-first-black-settlement-10750177/
    “Blackdom New Mexico” (U.S. National Park Service) https://www.nps.gov/places/blackdom-new-mexico.htm [see links]
    See also “Buffalo Soldiers in New Mexico” (N.M. Department of Cultural Affairs) https://www.newmexicoculture.org/guide/2018-winter-guide/buffalo-soldiers-in-new-mexico

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.