The Story Of Thomas Johnson
There has been and continues to be deliberate attempts by the so-called right wing party to whitewash slavery from the history books of America. The concerted effort by the right winged leaning educators to dismiss the excellent research done by the 1619 Project. These creators of the great white myth would rather block using the 1619 comprehensive research that tells the true story of Black America and allow the same white lie to fill the history books or classroom history lessons American students white, red, brown and black are exposed too in classrooms across this nation. This isn’t an old story its a story that still has it’s relevance today.
In 2015, Texas Social Studies Book Adoption the textbook evaluation committee did in fact attempt to whitewash slavery from United States History textbooks produced for students in Texas’s classrooms. Those historically blind educators changed the condition of my enslaved black ancestors from being held in bondage to being held as indentured servants. Indentured servants had a chance of gaining their freedom after a specific period time which for enslaved blacks was never possible. That effort was no error in judgment it is a concerted plot to whitewash their history, diminish the reality and savageness of slavery try to make it acceptable. Yet, it is the right wing doctrine to whiten history and block the stain of the cruel system of slavery.
We need to be able read between the lines because the goal is to "whitewash" the black experience from the history textbooks that our children are reading. Don't think it's hype because it isn't it is a definite act of exclusionary history and are our enslaved ancestors are the targets. The simple goal is to whitewash American History in the 21st Century and dismiss the many accomplishments of our enslaved ancestors. For without the free labor our ancestors provided, the lives sacrificed for the economic gain of those holding the keys to the steel bonds of slavery, this country would never have reach the power it attained. The stolen Africans and the generations of Americans of African descent that followed cannot be allowed to be wash out and erased from the history of this country.
Well this is one Black Man who won’t allow our/my ancestors to be whitewashed from the Story of America’s More In-Perfect Union. As a matter of fact my cousin Esther Johnson, our family’s historian has recently uncovered this tidbit of Black America’s history. Thomas Johnson is my great-great-great grandfather. He was born in 1775 a year before the writing of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. He was born free and married Rebecca Anton or Aston, Rebecca and Thomas had two sons Henry and John. Henry Johnson is my great-great grandfather and he married Frances, my great-great grandmother. Their daughter Fanny is my great grandmother and her son James William Johnson is my grandfather.
Now we get to the juicy part of America’s history the part that White America would love to keep whitewashed. At the age of 37 or so Thomas Johnson enlisted in this nation’s continental army and served during the War of 1812. This is so mazing considering that the Continental Army at the beginning of the War of 1812 had 7,500 enlisted soldiers and by the end of the War of 1812, 35,000 men had sworn allegiance to the protection of this nation from the British invaders. Cousin Esther has documented evidence that my great-great-great grandfather Thomas Johnson served in the Continental Army during the War of 1812. Wow, my ancestor served to save this nation’s freedom won during the Revolutionary War 31 years earlier in 1781. My family’s history continues to amaze me. This strengthens the case for Black America’s payment of reparations. Why? Because in 1787, the Founding Fathers decided to assign the rank of 3/5 a man to any Black Americans living in this nation. Thomas Johnson was never viewed as more than chattel whether born free or enslaved. Yet Thomas Johnson was willing to spill his blood to save this nation that still oppressed him and those like him. Thomas born a year before the famous Declaration of Independence believed that all men were created equal and it was a principle worth dying for. Even if White Americans didn’t think it applied to persons of color. Take that Texas and run it up your Lone Star Flag Post.
Dr. Esther R. Johnson-Ellis
Great job Shelton.