Hundreds of People to Reenact One of the Largest Slave Rebellions in U.S. History

Chantal da Silva, October 28, 2019, Newsweek

It was just over two centuries ago that as many as 500 enslaved people in Louisiana started to march nearly 26 miles to New Orleans, chanting the battle cry: "Freedom or Death."

For many, the effort would end in the latter, with dozens of people believed to have been brutally killed. Surviving organizers were forced to face a tribunal, which saw some sentenced to death by firing squad.

The "German Coast Uprising of 1811" would go on to be known as one of the largest slave rebellions in history–yet, as The Smithsonian noted, it is "oft-overlooked."

One artist, Dread Scott, is looking to change that, however, organizing a reenactment of the uprising that will see hundreds of people march 26 miles over the span of two days on November 8 and 9 to ensure that an important moment in U.S. history is never forgotten.

"The position of black people in American society is a big question, including the agency…

The Electoral College must be eliminated

The Electoral College: How the Founders Cheated You of Your Voteby Harlow Giles UngerWeeks of debate by America’s Founders failed to set any rules at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia—a failure that led to “cheating” at the Electoral College ever since. The aging Benjamin Franklin agreed that failure to permit the people to choose the chief magistrate was “contrary to republican principles. In free governments, the rulers are the servants, and the people their superiors and sovereigns.” read 

$27 Million for Reparations Over Slave Ties Pledged by Seminary

$27 Million for Reparations Over Slave Ties Pledged by Seminary
Ed Shanahan,  October 21, 2019, The New York Times

A New Jersey seminary has pledged to spend $27 million on scholarships and other initiatives to address its historical ties to slavery, in what appears to be the biggest effort of its kind.

The announcement, by the Princeton Theological Seminary on Friday, came about a year after an internal report detailed the findings of a two-year investigation that showed slavery’s deep roots in the school’s past.

The move put the seminary at the heart of a national discussion about what those who reaped the benefits of slavery — and the United States as a whole — owe to the descendants of slaves.

In a sign of that discussion’s complicated nature, Nicholas Young, the leader of a black student group at the seminary, said that the steps outlined by officials amounted to “a good start” but that they fell short of what the group had sought. About 10 percent of the seminary’s 36…

Mormons in Mexico: A brief history of polygamy, cartel violence and faith

Mormons in Mexico: A brief history of polygamy, cartel violence and faithby Rebecca JanzenAlong with the Romneys – relatives of Sen. Mitt Romney, whose father was born in Mexico – the LeBarons are among the most storied families in Mormon history. Members of Utah’s Latter-Day Saints community emigrated to Mexico in the 1880s to follow their religious beliefs by living in polygamous families, which was illegal in the United States. +Members of this community report enduring beatings, underage marriage and other abuse, as the escapee Anna LeBaron recounts in her 2017 memoir “The Polygamist’s Daughter.” 
Legal definition of polygamy: Theoffense of willfullyandknowinglyhavingmorethanonewife or husband at thesametime.Theoffense of willfullyandknowinglyenteringinto asecondmarriagewhilevalidlymarried to anotherindividual is bigamy.

Anti-polygamylaws in theUnitedStatesalsosprangfromreligiousconflict. In themid-1800s,widespreadpublichostilityarosetowardthepractice of polygamy by members of theCh…

Stories From Slavery, Shared Over Generations #1619Project

Nicole Phillip, October 29, 2019, The New York Times Magazine

Americans descended from enslaved ancestors often struggle to trace their family histories. Vivid, well-documented stories are precious and rare.

But when we asked readers of The 1619 Project to share stories about their enslaved ancestors, dozens of readers replied — and many shared documents and photographs.

The images and stories below help paint a picture of a too-often-erased American history. The responses have been condensed and edited for clarity.

The Civil War Veteran
The Rev. Moses Berry, 69, of Ashgrove, Mo., shared this photograph and the story behind it.

The Photograph This was always in the family picture book. Every 10 years, the Missouri Sixth Cavalry had a reunion and a group photo was taken. This one was from November 1908. My great-grandfather Wallace White sits at the bottom, third from the right.

The Story Wallace was freed before the end of the Civil War by Union soldiers, from the field where …

23 years a slave

Restaurant Owner Enslaved Intellectually Disabled Black Man — Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated) November 7, 2019

The 1526 Project

The 1526 Project: Horrors in Florida's Black History You Didn't Learn in School
Jess Nelson, October 22, 2019, Miami New Times

The horrors of slavery in United States history and its continued impact today are undeniable. Though Florida's pristine beaches and palm trees aren't typically regarded as part of America's Deep South, the facts say otherwise.

The New York Times' groundbreaking "1619 Project" examined the legacy of slavery on the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to America's 13 original colonies. But slavery existed in the Spanish colony of La Florida nearly a century earlier. On the eve of the American Civil War, half of Florida's population were slaves, and Florida was the third state to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy in order to preserve slavery and white supremacy. Jim Crow laws were introduced during Reconstruction to enforce racial segregation in the apartheid state while the Ku K…

Honoring the Lyons family

Their Land Became Part of Central Park. They’re Coming Back in a Monument.
Julia Jacobs, October 20, 2019, The New York Times

In Central Park, about a mile from land that was once home to Seneca Village, a mostly black community forced out by the park’s creation in the 1850s, the city is planning a privately funded monument to a revered black family from that time.

The new addition to New York’s landscape, honoring the Lyons family, is part of the de Blasio administration’s push to diversify the city’s public art and recognize overlooked figures from its history. The Lyonses were Seneca Village property owners, educators and dedicated abolitionists, running a boardinghouse for black sailors that doubled as a stop on the Underground Railroad. The monument will include the figures of Albro Lyons, Mary Joseph Lyons and their daughter Maritcha Lyons, who was significant in her own right as a teacher, suffragist and racial justice activist.

“We traverse towns and cities across t…

White nationalism

White Nationalism, anyone? — Schrödinger's adopted jesus (@SnavelyBrent) November 5, 2019 — Sandy Keith Buckles (@SandyBuckles) November 5, 2019

Why the New Emmett Till Memorial Needed to Be Bulletproof

Why the New Emmett Till Memorial Needed to Be Bulletproof
The Editorial Board, October 23, 2019, The New York Times

Mississippi was the epicenter of the racial terror lynchings in which thousands of African-American men, women and children were hanged, shot, drowned, dismembered or burned alive across the South between the end of the Civil War and the mid-20th century.

The case of the state’s best-known victim — 14-year-old Emmett Till, lynched in 1955 — stands out against this blood-drenched backdrop, both for the barbaric violence involved and because the murder helped to galvanize the modern civil rights movement.

Despite its obvious importance, the Till story remained shut out of Mississippi’s civic life until 2005, when signs memorializing the lynching started to appear in public — and were targeted for desecration.

The defilement of the signs reflects the belief that Mississippi’s public square should be reserved for Confederate memorials and other testaments to whit…

Stereotypes and clichés about Native Americans obviously abound today

The Truth Is Out There

Writing truthfully is an act of bravery. It takes courage to put words into the world, knowing they will be judged and you along with them. The more truth there is to a story, the more powerful it is, and the more vulnerable the one who wrote it. I am proud that every piece collected here represents a facet of truth, contributed by a group of writers who each are unique, talented, and courageous.

Some of the stories in this issue of TCJ Student paint pictures of fleeting moments of melancholy or happiness, while others capture the span of years that it takes trees to root. Some turn outward into the world to thrill with whip-crack snaps of violence, and others fold inward to ponder the patterns of thinking that can define a people. These stories are fascinating and touching, and they are more than just words on a page. By virtue of their existence, they are an unrepentant reclamation of a stolen narrative.

Stereotypes and clichés about Native American…

Acknowledging Middletown's Ties To Slavery (audio)

Carmen Baskauf and Lucy Nalpathanchil, October 24, 2019, WNPR

Middletown today is known for its vibrant main street and the scenic grounds of Wesleyan University.

But the city began as a trading port on the Connecticut River, and from its founding, much of the wealth that came into that port was tied to the transatlantic slave trade. This hour, we hear about a new UNESCO memorial that has brought recognition to that city’s role in slavery.

We also learn about members of a historic African American family in that city who were at the forefront of fighting slavery. The Bemans were prominent abolitionists and leaders in the Middletown’s free black community in the 19th century.


Lies My Teacher Told Me

The 10 most misleading American historical sitesby James Loewen
James W Loewen is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Vermont and the bestselling and award-winning author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, Lies Across America, Lies My Teacher Told Me About Christopher Columbus, Sundown Towns, and Lies My Teacher Told Me: Young Readers’ Edition (all from The New Press).

When I was a kid, my dad stopped the car at every historical marker on our family vacations. He thought he was educating us. But too often these markers were telling us things that never happened and leaving out important things that did. Here’s a quick tour of 10 of the worst historic sites in the US.
1 Wrongest In Almo, Idaho, a slab of stone carved into the shape of Idaho memorializes a shocking incident in the history of the west: “Dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives in a horrible Indian massacre, 1861. Three hundred immigrants west bound. Only five escaped.”
The only proble…

Two major forces contribute to hate: racism and inequality

The connecting line between addiction and hate, according to Dr. Gabor Maté, is trauma.
Two major forces contribute to hate: racism and inequality.
"The research is absolutely clear," Maté says. "The more inequality in a society, the more hate, the more dysfunction, the more mental illness, the more physical illness." It should come as no surprise, then, that we see more addiction and more mass shootings since "the inequality is rising all the time." Violence against racial, ethnic, or religious groups "is a manifestation of a society that foments division amongst people and sets people against each other."
We can reduce the harm of hate by not letting it boil over. We can vote for legislators who will enact gun laws to reduce the harm in those moments that it does.  And we can create an environment that allows parents to be there for their children emotionally to prevent trauma — that includes paid family leave and stopping the f…

The Violent Backbone of Slavery

In 'Stolen,' Five Boys Are Caught In A Reverse Underground Railroad Toward Slavery
Ilana Masad, October 16, 2019, National Public Radio

In the second episode of 1619, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones’ New York Times-produced podcast, she interviews sociologist Matthew Desmond about the ways in which the institution of slavery in the United States both drove and was driven by economic concerns.

"[M]any of our depictions of the cotton plantation are bucolic and small," Desmond says at one point. "[Y]ou might see a handful of enslaved workers in the fields, and an overseer on a horse, and then the owner in a big house. That's not how it was. It was incredibly complex... [C]omplex hierarchies with mid-level managers... Complicated workforce supervision techniques were developed... Professional manuals and credentials were developed... But behind all the sophistication, behind all this capitalistic rationality, was violence."

Indeed, slavery wasn&…

White Fragility

Little Man Little Man