The official site of William Loren Katz and Black Indians
1935 was half a century before Bree Newsome was born and 80 years before she climbed that flagpole to pull down a Confederate flag that stood for slaveholders, racial terror and treason. She and James Tyson her spotter were quickly arrested.
On July 26, 1935 Bill Bailey, a broad-shouldered Irish American seaman and union organizer, decided to pull down the swastika flying from the bow of Nazi Germany’s luxury liner BREMEN anchored in New York harbor. Posing as tourists Bailey and other American seamen came aboard. As his buddies started a fight to distract the ship’s crew, Bailey climbed the flagpole and tore at the flag that represented Nazi persecution of religious, racial and political minorities.
Bailey yanked, his friends battled Nazi sailors, and the swastika would not come loose. “I would have eaten the thing to get it off,” he later told me. Finally the swastika gave way, he threw it into the Hudson and New York police arrested him and his comrades. When Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbles denounced Bailey and demanded protection for his diplomats, Mayor LaGuardia sent along ten Jewish police detectives, further infuriating Goebbles.
The world applauded Bailey’ s brash courage as they did that of Bree Newsome . By the next year Bailey joined The Lincoln Brigade, 2800 other Americans of every race, who rushed to Spain to fight a fascist military take-over orchestrated by Hitler and Mussolini. He fought in an integrated machine gun company. During World War II, he helped liberate the Philippines.
Freedom fighters Bree Newsome and Bill Bailey never met but had a lot in common. Their audacious acts against racial hatred and oppression were four generations apart but remain forever linked by a strong sense some ordinary people have to defend others from injustice and persecution.
African Americans, Native Americans, and the Confederate Flag
I was interviewed by FireWalker on Talking Stick Radio to speak about this issue. Please click on the video below to listen to the broadcast.
This award was issued by Phil Pompey Fixico, President of the Semiroon Historical Society. He is a direct descendant of the Caesar Bruner Band of Florida that battled the United States Army, Navy and Marines for forty two years. He is also a direct descendant of the John Brown Band of Seminoles (who along with other young men from Indigenous Nations) fled the Oklahoma Indian Territory during the Civil War. These brave men of the First Kansas Volunteers then served under John Brown’s former officers!
FIRST, Congratulations to Honorable Ambassador Fidelia Graand-Galon of the Republic of Suriname who, speaking for her country’s “Maroon Women’s Network,” invited my dear friend Phil Pompey Fixico, President of the U.S. Semiroon Historical Society to an important international maroon conference in Suriname. Attending as an honored guest for his many activist networks and international reputation, he will represent North America’s maroon descendants at this “Freedom Fighters National Maroon Day” celebration. It commemorates the 255th anniversary of the historic Suriname Peace Treaty of October 10, 1760. […]
It is not easy to condense the United States narrative from its Indigenous people to the US Gulf Wars in less than 300 pages. It is even harder when the author is determined to be thorough, informative, and engaging. And it is harder still if the author’s compelling story challenges the “American Exceptionalism” mythology that dominates our schools, colleges and corporate media. […]
Black Indians Celebrated in Native American Heritage Month
NPR “explores shared black and Native American heritage with William Katz, author of Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage, and Shonda Buchanan, an English professor, who is of North Carolina and Mississippi Choctaw Indian ancestry.” Please listen to the radio program or read its transcript here.
Black Indians 2014
View an excerpt from Cultural Caravan TV’s interview with William Katz here.
Drawing from his forty books on African American History, William Loren Katz offers such powerpoint lectures as:
Black Indians — Revised, Expanded and Updated
The expanded and updated edition of Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage brings the Native American and African American alliance that for four centuries challenged the European conquest and slavery into the 21st century with additional research and documentary and photographic evidence.
Please click here to view a complete list of books by William L. Katz.