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Amazing Facts About the Negro No. 21: Did black people own slaves? If so, why?

Henry Louis Gates Jr

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University. He is also the editor-in-chief of The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

Submitted by Adrienne Thomas

One of the most vexing questions in African-American history is whether free African Americans themselves owned slaves. The short answer to this question, as you might suspect, is yes, of course; some free black people in this country bought and sold other black people, and did so at least since 1654, continuing to do so right through the Civil War. For me, the really fascinating questions about black slave-owning are how many black “masters” were involved, how many slaves did they own and why did they own slaves?

The answers to these questions are complex, and historians have been arguing for some time over whether free blacks purchased family members as slaves in order to protect them — motivated, on the one hand, by benevolence and philanthropy, as historian Carter G. Woodson put it, or whether, on the other hand, they purchased other black people “as an act of exploitation,” primarily to exploit their free labor for profit, just as white slave owners did. The evidence shows that, unfortunately, both things are true. The great African-American historian, John Hope Franklin, states this clearly: “The majority of Negro owners of slaves had some personal interest in their property.” But, he admits, “There were instances, however, in which free Negroes had a real economic interest in the institution of slavery and held slaves in order to improve their economic status.”

In a fascinating essay reviewing this controversy, R. Halliburton shows that free black people have owned slaves “in each of the thirteen original states and later in every state that countenanced slavery,” at least since Anthony Johnson and his wife Mary went to court in Virginia in 1654 to obtain the services of their indentured servant, a black man, John Castor, for life.

And for a time, free black people could even “own” the services of white indentured servants in Virginia as well. Free blacks owned slaves in Boston by 1724 and in Connecticut by 1783; by 1790, 48 black people in Maryland owned 143 slaves. One particularly notorious black Maryland farmer named Nat Butler “regularly purchased and sold Negroes for the Southern trade,” Halliburton wrote.

Perhaps the most insidious or desperate attempt to defend the right of black people to own slaves was the statement made on the eve of the Civil War by a group of free people of color in New Orleans, offering their services to the Confederacy, in part because they were fearful for their own enslavement: “The free colored population [native] of Louisiana … own slaves, and they are dearly attached to their native land … and they are ready to shed their blood for her defense. They have no sympathy for abolitionism; no love for the North, but they have plenty for Louisiana … They will fight for her in 1861 as they fought [to defend New Orleans from the British] in 1814-1815.”

These guys were, to put it bluntly, opportunists par excellence: As Noah Andre Trudeau and James G. Hollandsworth Jr. explain, once the war broke out, some of these same black men formed 14 companies of a militia composed of 440 men and were organized by the governor in May 1861 into “the Native Guards, Louisiana,” swearing to fight to defend the Confederacy. Although given no combat role, the Guards — reaching a peak of 1,000 volunteers — became the first Civil War unit to appoint black officers.

When New Orleans fell in late April 1862 to the Union, about 10 percent of these men, not missing a beat, now formed the Native Guard/Corps d’Afrique to defend the Union. Joel A. Rogers noted this phenomenon in his 100 Amazing Facts: “The Negro slave-holders, like the white ones, fought to keep their chattels in the Civil War.” Rogers also notes that some black men, including those in New Orleans at the outbreak of the War, “fought to perpetuate slavery.”

How Many Slaves Did Blacks Own?

So what do the actual numbers of black slave owners and their slaves tell us? In 1830, the year most carefully studied by Carter G. Woodson, about 13.7 percent (319,599) of the black population was free. Of these, 3,776 free Negroes owned 12,907 slaves, out of a total of 2,009,043 slaves owned in the entire United States, so the numbers of slaves owned by black people over all was quite small by comparison with the number owned by white people. In his essay, ” ‘The Known World’ of Free Black Slaveholders,” Thomas J. Pressly, using Woodson’s statistics, calculated that 54 (or about 1 percent) of these black slave owners in 1830 owned between 20 and 84 slaves; 172 (about 4 percent) owned between 10 to 19 slaves; and 3,550 (about 94 percent) each owned between 1 and 9 slaves. Crucially, 42 percent owned just one slave.

Pressly also shows that the percentage of free black slave owners as the total number of free black heads of families was quite high in several states, namely 43 percent in South Carolina, 40 percent in Louisiana, 26 percent in Mississippi, 25 percent in Alabama and 20 percent in Georgia. So why did these free black people own these slaves?

It is reasonable to assume that the 42 percent of the free black slave owners who owned just one slave probably owned a family member to protect that person, as did many of the other black slave owners who owned only slightly larger numbers of slaves. As Woodson put it in 1924’s Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830, “The census records show that the majority of the Negro owners of slaves were such from the point of view of philanthropy. In many instances the husband purchased the wife or vice versa … Slaves of Negroes were in some cases the children of a free father who had purchased his wife. If he did not thereafter emancipate the mother, as so many such husbands failed to do, his own children were born his slaves and were thus reported to the numerators.”

Moreover, Woodson explains, “Benevolent Negroes often purchased slaves to make their lot easier by granting them their freedom for a nominal sum, or by permitting them to work it out on liberal terms.” In other words, these black slave-owners, the clear majority, cleverly used the system of slavery to protect their loved ones. That’s the good news.

But not all did, and that is the bad news. Halliburton concludes, after examining the evidence, that “it would be a serious mistake to automatically assume that free blacks owned their spouse or children only for benevolent purposes.” Woodson himself notes that a “small number of slaves, however, does not always signify benevolence on the part of the owner.” And John Hope Franklin notes that in North Carolina, “Without doubt, there were those who possessed slaves for the purpose of advancing their [own] well-being … these Negro slaveholders were more interested in making their farms or carpenter-shops ‘pay’ than they were in treating their slaves humanely.” For these black slaveholders, he concludes, “there was some effort to conform to the pattern established by the dominant slaveholding group within the State in the effort to elevate themselves to a position of respect and privilege.” In other words, most black slave owners probably owned family members to protect them, but far too many turned to slavery to exploit the labor of other black people for profit.

Who Were These Black Slave Owners?

If we were compiling a “Rogues Gallery of Black History,” the following free black slaveholders would be in it:

John Carruthers Stanly — born a slave in Craven County, N.C., the son of an Igbo mother and her master, John Wright Stanly — became an extraordinarily successful barber and speculator in real estate in New Bern. As Loren Schweninger points out in Black Property Owners in the South, 1790-1915, by the early 1820s, Stanly owned three plantations and 163 slaves, and even hired three white overseers to manage his property! He fathered six children with a slave woman named Kitty, and he eventually freed them. Stanly lost his estate when a loan for $14,962 he had co-signed with his white half brother, John, came due. After his brother’s stroke, the loan was Stanly’s sole responsibility, and he was unable to pay it.

William Ellison’s fascinating story is told by Michael Johnson and James L. Roark in their book, Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South. At his death on the eve of the Civil War, Ellison was wealthier than nine out of 10 white people in South Carolina. He was born in 1790 as a slave on a plantation in the Fairfield District of the state, far up country from Charleston. In 1816, at the age of 26, he bought his own freedom, and soon bought his wife and their child. In 1822, he opened his own cotton gin, and soon became quite wealthy. By his death in 1860, he owned 900 acres of land and 63 slaves. Not one of his slaves was allowed to purchase his or her own freedom.


Nicolas Augustin Metoyer of Louisiana owned 13 slaves in 1830. He and his 12 family members collectively owned 215 slaves

Louisiana, as we have seen, was its own bizarre world of color, class, caste and slavery. By 1830, in Louisiana, several black people there owned a large number of slaves, including the following: In Pointe Coupee Parish alone, Sophie Delhonde owned 38 slaves; Lefroix Decuire owned 59 slaves; Antoine Decuire owned 70 slaves; Leandre Severin owned 60 slaves; and Victor Duperon owned 10. In St. John the Baptist Parish, Victoire Deslondes owned 52 slaves; in Plaquemine Brule, Martin Donatto owned 75 slaves; in Bayou Teche, Jean B. Muillion owned 52 slaves; Martin Lenormand in St. Martin Parish owned 44 slaves; Verret Polen in West Baton Rouge Parish owned 69 slaves; Francis Jerod in Washita Parish owned 33 slaves; and Cecee McCarty in the Upper Suburbs of New Orleans owned 32 slaves. Incredibly, the 13 members of the Metoyer family in Natchitoches Parish — including Nicolas Augustin Metoyer, pictured — collectively owned 215 slaves

Antoine Dubuclet and his wife Claire Pollard owned more than 70 slaves in Iberville Parish when they married. According to Thomas Clarkin, by 1864, in the midst of the Civil War, they owned 100 slaves, worth $94,700. During Reconstruction, he became the state’s first black treasurer, serving between 1868 and 1878.

Andrew Durnford was a sugar planter and a physician who owned the St. Rosalie plantation, 33 miles south of New Orleans. In the late 1820s, David O. Whitten tells us, he paid $7,000 for seven male slaves, five females and two children. He traveled all the way to Virginia in the 1830s and purchased 24 more. Eventually, he would own 77 slaves. When a fellow Creole slave owner liberated 85 of his slaves and shipped them off to Liberia, Durnford commented that he couldn’t do that, because “self interest is too strongly rooted in the bosom of all that breathes the American atmosphere.”

It would be a mistake to think that large black slaveholders were only men. In 1830, in Louisiana, the aforementioned Madame Antoine Dublucet owned 44 slaves, and Madame Ciprien Ricard owned 35 slaves, Louise Divivier owned 17 slaves, Genevieve Rigobert owned 16 slaves and Rose Lanoix and Caroline Miller both owned 13 slaves, while over in Georgia, Betsey Perry owned 25 slaves. According to Johnson and Roark, the wealthiest black person in Charleston, S.C., in 1860 was Maria Weston, who owned 14 slaves and property valued at more than $40,000, at a time when the average white man earned about $100 a year. (The city’s largest black slaveholders, though, were Justus Angel and Mistress L. Horry, both of whom owned 84 slaves.)m

In Savannah, Ga., between 1823 and 1828, according to Betty Wood’s Gender, Race, and Rank in a Revolutionary Age, Hannah Leion owned nine slaves, while the largest slaveholder in 1860 was Ciprien Ricard, who had a sugarcane plantation in Louisiana and owned 152 slaves with her son, Pierre — many more that the 35 she owned in 1830. According to economic historian Stanley Engerman, “In Charleston, South Carolina about 42 percent of free blacks owned slaves in 1850, and about 64 percent of these slaveholders were women.” Greed, in other words, was gender-blind.

Why They Owned Slaves

These men and women, from William Stanly to Madame Ciprien Ricard, were among the largest free Negro slaveholders, and their motivations were neither benevolent nor philanthropic. One would be hard-pressed to account for their ownership of such large numbers of slaves except as avaricious, rapacious, acquisitive and predatory.

But lest we romanticize all of those small black slave owners who ostensibly purchased family members only for humanitarian reasons, even in these cases the evidence can be problematic. Halliburton, citing examples from an essay in the North American Review by Calvin Wilson in 1905, presents some hair-raising challenges to the idea that black people who owned their own family members always treated them well:

A free black in Trimble County, Kentucky, ” … sold his own son and daughter South, one for $1,000, the other for $1,200.” … A Maryland father sold his slave children in order to purchase his wife. A Columbus, Georgia, black woman — Dilsey Pope — owned her husband. “He offended her in some way and she sold him … ” Fanny Canady of Louisville, Kentucky, owned her husband Jim — a drunken cobbler — whom she threatened to “sell down the river.” At New Bern, North Carolina, a free black wife and son purchased their slave husband-father. When the newly bought father criticized his son, the son sold him to a slave trader. The son boasted afterward that “the old man had gone to the corn fields about New Orleans where they might learn him some manners.”

Carter Woodson, too, tells us that some of the husbands who purchased their spouses “were not anxious to liberate their wives immediately. They considered it advisable to put them on probation for a few years, and if they did not find them satisfactory they would sell their wives as other slave holders disposed of Negroes.” He then relates the example of a black man, a shoemaker in Charleston, S.C., who purchased his wife for $700. But “on finding her hard to please, he sold her a few months thereafter for $750, gaining $50 by the transaction.”

Most of us will find the news that some black people bought and sold other black people for profit quite distressing, as well we should. But given the long history of class divisions in the black community, which Martin R. Delany as early as the 1850s described as “a nation within a nation,” and given the role of African elites in the long history of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, perhaps we should not be surprised that we can find examples throughout black history of just about every sort of human behavior, from the most noble to the most heinous, that we find in any other people’s history.

The good news, scholars agree, is that by 1860 the number of free blacks owning slaves had markedly decreased from 1830. In fact, Loren Schweninger concludes that by the eve of the Civil War, “the phenomenon of free blacks owning slaves had nearly disappeared” in the Upper South, even if it had not in places such as Louisiana in the Lower South. Nevertheless, it is a very sad aspect of African-American history that slavery sometimes could be a colorblind affair, and that the evil business of owning another human being could manifest itself in both males and females, and in black as well as white.

As always, you can find more “Amazing Facts About the Negro” on The Root, and check back each week as we count to 100.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University. He is also the editor-in-chief of The Root. Follow him on Twitter.

Tune In to Listen to Lucia McBath

Saturday, March 9, 2013
6:00 PM Chicago Time
On WVON -1690 AM 

Mother of Jordan Davis

Jordan Davis mother

Killed in November 2012, by Michael Dunn, a man who wanted Jordan to turn down his music.  Mr. Dunn shot 8 times into an SUV, killing Jordan and then he claimed “Stand Your Ground” justification for the killing!  Is your child next?

Jordan Davis Russell

The Black Star Project thanks the Board of Directors of The Field Foundation of Illinois, Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins and Illinois State Senator Kimberly A. Lightford for their generous support for our parenting programs.

Please call 773.285.9600 for more information about The Black Star Project.

Black students most likely 
to have their school on 
Chicago Public School’s closure list
117 of 129 schools eyed for closing 
are majority African-American (88%)

March 7, 2013   

Nine out of ten of the Chicago Public School students potentially affected by school closings this year are black, a Chicago Sun-Times analysis has found, a discovery one community activist called a “lawsuit waiting to happen.”

Of those 129 schools located mostly on the South and West sides, 117 are majority black. And 119 of them have a percentage of black students higher than the district average. At the 129 schools on CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s list of schools that could be closed this year, 88 percent of the students are black.


Schools with at least 90 percent black students account for 103 of the 129. Just nine are majority Hispanic.

The racial breakdown of the schools that could be closed is not in line with the overall demographics of the district. Across the city, 41.7 percent of CPS students are African American, 8.8 percent are white and 44.1 percent are Hispanic. The rest are Asian, Native American or members of other racial groups.

With the brunt of closings likely falling on black children, community members fighting to save schools are disgusted.

 “Every child in every neighborhood in Chicago deserves to have a high-quality education that will prepare them to succeed in life,” Byrd-Bennett said in an emailed statement. “These numbers show that right now, that is not happening, and a disproportionately high rate of our African-American children are in schools that lack the resources necessary to give them an education we can all be proud of.”

Take A Young Black Man To Worship Day on Fathers Day

With 75% of young Black males 16 to 24 years old in New York City not working, with the leading cause of death for young Black men in American being homicide and with nearly 50% of the 2.3 million prisoners in prisons in America being mostly young Black men, the questions arises, “What would Jesus have done in these times?” And the answer is, He would have taken a young Black man to worship! Easter Sunday is a great time for you and your church to make a commitment to help and support young Black men. Call Nathan at 773.285.9600 receive an organizing guide and to join the list of faith organization across America that have participated in this program.

Be The Man Conference 2009

Please see places of worship that have participated in recent “Take A Young Black Man To Worship” Days:

St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church – Beachwood, Ohio – Rev. Carmen D. Cox Harwell

Faith Community Assembly – Boilingbrook, Illinois – Rev. Kenneth L. Gogins

Columbus Avenue A.M.E Zion Church – Boston, Massachusetts – Rev. Jina Casey

Heaven on Earth (COGIC) – Brooklyn, New York – Pastor Douglas Howard

By Faith M.B. Church – Chicago, Illinois – Pastor Bennie Mc Clain

1st Corinthian Baptist Church – Chicago, Illinois – Pastor James Thomas

ABBA Church of Renewed Faith – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Sharyon Cosey

Anointed Heirs Outreach – Chicago, Illinois – Apostle Edward Anderson

Apostle House of Prayer – Chicago, Illinois – Elder Raynard Kelly

Bethlehem Star Church – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Roosvelt Walker Jr.,

Bright Star Church – Chicago, Illinois – Pastor Christopher Harris

Buren Chapel AME Church – Chicago, Illinois – Project Manger David Jones

Cathedral MB Church – Chicago, Illinois – Doris Hollins

Christ Temple Cathedral Church of Holiness – Chicago, Illinois – Gregory Wilkerson

Church of the Good Shepard, UCC – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Jesse Knox

Divine Church, (Youth Peace Center of Roseland) – Chicago, Illinois – Pastor C.E. Watkins

Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church – Chicago, Illinois –

Rev. Vesta Dixon

Faith Lutheran Church – Chicago, Illinois – Pastor Howard Lindsey

Fathers Who Cares – Chicago, Illinois – Min. Walter Jones

Grace and Truth Apostolic Tabernacle – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Robert Smith

Greater Morning View Church – Chicago, Illinois – Pastor Harrington

Harzell Memorial Church, UMC – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Michelle Taylor Sanders

Liberation for Christ Ministries – Chicago, Illinois – Pastor. Wilcoxon

New Birth Christian Center – Chicago, Illinois – Apostle Robbie Wilkerson

New Day Ministries International – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Gregory C. Austin

New Deliverance Church – Chicago, Illinois – Dr. Larry Gaston

New Hope Alliance INC./S.O.S. Prayer Group – Chicago, Illinois – Elder Katie Pierce

New Memorial M.B Church – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Roosvelt Walker Jr., Rev. Bernard Clark

New Mt. Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Walter Jones

Omega Baptist Church – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Ira Wheaton

Peoples Church of the Harvest – Chicago, Illinois – Superintendent Dr. Michael Eaddy

Sinai Christian Center – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. A. Claude Wesley

South Lawn United Methodist Church – Chicago, Illinois – Pastor Pickens, Deacon David Jones

St. Elizabeth Catholic School – Chicago, Illinois – Princpal Nakia Garcia

St. Elizabeth Catholic Church – Chicago, Illinois – Father Richard Andrus

St. John Missionary Baptist Church – Chicago, ILLINOIS – Rev. Dr. Edward Davis, Jr.

St. Jude Apostle Church – Chicago, Illinois – Linda Csea

St. Mary of Perpetual Help – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Rick Moreno

St. Sabina Catholic Church – Chicago, Illinois – Father Michael Pfleger

Triedstone Full Gospel Baptist Church – Chicago, Illinois – Bishop Simon Gordon

Trinity United Church of Christ Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Otis Moses

Vernon Park Church of God – Chicago, Illinois – Rev. Johthan Hall

Youth Peace Center – Chicago,Illinois – Roger Jones

Columbus Avenue A.M.E Zion Church – Chicago,Illinois – Pastor Jina Casey

Divine Temple GOGIC – Delray Beach, Florida – C. Ron

Liberty Temple Baptist Church – Detroit, Michigan – Rev. Steve Bland,Jr.

Shrines of the Black Madonna of the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church – Detroit, Michigan – Pastor Mbiyu Chui

Breeding Saints Global Church – Elgin, Illinois – Bishop Kendrick Scales

Bridge Street AME Church – Indianapolis, Indiana – Pastor J.P. Smith

Second Baptist Church – May’s Lick, Kentucky – Rev. L. Rodney Bennett

Greater St. Paul COGIC – Minneapolis, Minnesota – Elder William Green

St. Martha Catholic Church – Morton Grove, Illinois – Father Dennis O’Neil

Bethel World Prayer Fellowship Inc – New Bern, North Carolina – Rev. James Heath

Heath Memorial Baptist Church – New York, New York – Rev Dr. Renee F. Washington Gardner

St. Paul Baptist Church – Pennsylvania – Deacon William Gresham

Total Faith Community Church – Rockford, Illinois – Rev. Steve Cossey

Star of Bethlehem COGIC – Washington, D.C. – Bishop Harvey Lewis

Written by Sentinel News Service, Favoured

Los Angeles Sentinel News

America Is Asked to Embrace Black Boys on Fathers Day 2012


Recently, the Chicago Police department announced the formation of a 400 member Gang Enforcement Unit working to stem the tide of violence and murders in Chicago. It noted that 75% of the murders in Chicago are gang-related. “No one seems to have a solution to the issues of Black boys and young Black men in the United States’, says Phillip Jackson, executive director of The Black Star Project. “Schools have failed, the police have failed, government has failed and their families have failed Black boys and young Black men.”

This army of more and better-armed policemen, by themselves, cannot solve the problems of Black boys. In an effort to lift many Black boys and young Black men from self-destructive behaviors to self-driven and positive self-directed behaviors, The Black Star Project’s Million Father Movement is partnering with the most dynamic force in the Black community–the Black church. Black churches, mosques and synagogues from across the country are working together on “Take A Black Boy To Church” Sunday, Fathers Day, on June 17, 2012 for any and all services that day.

The Black Star Project is asking everyone in America, from elected officials to street organization leaders, from parents to social workers, from priests and pastors to policemen and corrections officers, to take a Black boy (or young Black man) to a church, mosque or synagogue. Jackson says, “The three most powerful institutions in the Black community are the church, popular media and street organizations. These institutions must come together to address the most pressing problem for Blacks in America: The destruction and self-destruction of Black boys and young Black men.”

The Black church is truly the heart of the Black community. Throughout all struggles for progress for Black people in America, the Black church has been a constant voice and leader in the improvement of the Black community. With the issues of Black boys and Black young Black men quickly becoming almost a matter of national security, the Black church is needed now more than ever. Churches are being encouraged to reach out to Black boys and young Black men, wherever they are, and Black boys and young Black men are being encouraged to reach back to these churches.

We are especially asking fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, mentors, deacons, trustees, male choir members, significant male caregivers and friends of the family to join us in this movement. Women and men of all races are also encouraged to “Take A Black Boy to Church.” Please email or call Bruce Walker at 773.285.9600 to bring the “Take A Black Boy To Church” Sunday to your city, to receive a complete organizing kit or for more information about this event. Participating faith-based institutions will be listed in our national directory.

Churches will be given guidance on finding and working with Black boys from The Black Star Project. Churches will also be encouraged to work with and adopt local schools and men participating in this program will be encouraged to continue their participation throughout the year working with Black boys and young Black men.

Please ask your faith leader to ensure that your faith-based institution participates in this event. If you wish to participate in or lead the effort in your city or in your congregation on Sunday, February 26, 2012, (or your day of worship near this date), please call Bruce Walker at 773.285.9600 for an organizing kit and to register or email Those who want to educate their children rather than wait for others to educate their children should join The Black Star Project in this effort at 773.285.9600 or visit our educational programs at

“Oh Hell Naw!!!”

 82-Year-Old Black Woman Dragged from Miami Train and Thrown to Ground by Security for Singing Spirituals!

Miami Transit Agency says she needed permit to sing and she was breaking the rules!


By Ashely Jennings

Mar 7, 2013

82 year old black woman

The family of an elderly Florida woman is furious that she was hauled off a commuter train because she was singing spirituals and are considering legal action.

The family of Emma Anderson, 82, claim she was injured by a Metro-Dade Transit security guard who they said roughly yanked her from a train seat and escorted her off the train on Feb. 20.

Anderson of Miami-Dade, was singing spiritual hymns from her train seat when a security guard asked her to stop. The security guard told Anderson that she was being disruptive.

“I was beating my little beads with the bottle and I was singing a song, and he came up to me and said, ‘Ma’am, you’re making too much noise,'” Anderson told ABC News affiliate WPLG.

A passenger started recording Anderson and the guard’s interaction on his cell phone. The video shows Anderson being forcibly removed from the train.

“By what we saw on the footage, she was dragged off the train. She wasn’t escorted,” Anderson’s son, Kenny Anderson, 42, told ABC News. “She was just singing to the Lord, preaching to the Lord, and he grabbed her bag and drug her off the train.”

Kenny says the security guard pulled the bag his mother was holding so hard that she fell backwards and hurt herself.

“We took her to the hospital and they took X-rays. Doctors say she has a bruised hip and shoulder,” Anderson said.

One of the witnesses is heard on tape demanding the name of the security guard.

A spokesperson for Miami-Dade Transit told WPLG in a statement, “The elderly passenger, Ms. Anderson, who was escorted from a Metrorail train, was initially asked by a security guard to refrain from singing loudly and playing an instrument while on the train. She refused to comply.”

The spokesperson said singing, dancing or playing an instrument are prohibited without permit.

“Ms. Anderson’s singing was causing a disturbance to other passengers and impeding important train announcements from being heard. We regret that Ms. Anderson had to eventually be escorted out, but regardless of age, all passengers need to abide by the rules associated with using transit,” the statement said.

The Anderson family said they have hired an attorney and plan to pursue legal action for their mother’s injuries.

Please email Miami Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez at or call him at 305-375-5071. Please email Miami-Dade County Board Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa at or call her at 305-375-5696.

Please tell them to fire Transit Director Ysela Llort, Chief of Safety and Security Eric Murtan, Miami Transit Spokesperson Karla Damian and the security contractor 50 State.