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"The Most Dangerous Negro in America" - MLK/FBI (2020)

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Press  "Sam Pollard’s sobering and essential documentary recounts the government’s efforts to blackmail, discredit, and otherwise disempower Martin Luther King, Jr. during the height of the Civil Rights movement..." —INDIEWIRE  "This film seems like one of the most urgent titles on the festival beat this year." —VANITY FAIR "Sam Pollard is back with a new documentary, and it may be the best of this year’s very impressive slate." —ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY  "Pollard's 'MLK/FBI' is more than an eye-opening look at an icon...it’s a critical chapter that should be imprinted inside every white American’s heart." —THE PLAYLIST "Director Sam Pollard's illuminating and infuriating documentary focuses on how dirty tricks were used to undermine the work and influence of civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr." —USA TODAY

In The News #BigIsms

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In the News


Central Park Birder Turns Clash Into Graphic Novel About Racism
Sarah Maslin Nir, September 9, 2020, The New York Times



Christian Cooper became one of the nation’s most famous bird watchers when a video he filmed of his confrontation with a white woman in Central Park went viral. After Mr. Cooper asked her to leash her dog, she had warned him that she would falsely tell a 911 operator that “an African-American man is threatening my life.”

But before that Memorial Day encounter, Mr. Cooper was well-known in a different realm: as a pioneering comic book writer. Now, Mr. Cooper is using his experience in Central Park as the inspiration for a graphic novel, “It’s a Bird,” published by DC Comics.

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Black scuba divers document slave shipwrecks forgotten for generations
Allie Yang, September 9, 2020, ABC News



It was in the middle of December 1827 when the Guerrero, a ship crewed by Cuban pirates, sped through the waters south of Florida to Havana, where they aimed to t…

What Women’s Suffrage Owes to Indigenous Culture - Yes! Magazine

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It’s an under-known fact that the “revolutionary” concept of a democratic union of discrete states did not spring fully formed from the Enlightenment pens of the Founding Fathers, like sage Athena from the head of Zeus. No, the idea of “united states” sprang from the Haudenosaunee, collective name for six tribes that comprise the so-called (mostly by non-Natives) Iroquois Confederacy: the Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tuscarora nations. Should you doubt this, check out Congressional Resolution 331, adopted in 1988 by the 100th Congress of the United States, which says as much. It’s worth noting that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy still thrives today, likely the world’s oldest participatory democracy.



GOOD READ: What Women’s Suffrage Owes to Indigenous Culture - Yes! Magazine

In The News #BigIsms

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Fabrication and Fraud in the Lost Cause: Historian Adam Domby Interviewed
Robin Lindley, September 5, 2020, History News Network



Members of the Minneapolis Police Department killed George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, on May 25, 2020. The shockingly brutal 8 minute and 46 second televised asphyxiation of Mr. Floyd sparked nationwide outrage and protests against police brutality and the many forms of systemic racism.

Mr. Floyd’s death also led to renewed efforts to remove Confederate monuments that celebrate slavery, treason, white supremacy, and racism. In several cities, public officials or protesters removed these memorials. The Southern Poverty Law Center reported in 2018 that more than 1,700 monuments to the Confederacy stood in public places. Many remain.

As the president shares racist talking points and vows to protect all memorials, including the Confederate tributes, many Americans are learning more about their history, particularly about the cruelty of s…

Did you know Bill Moyers has a podcast??

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Bill Moyers talks with Bill T. Jones, the artistic giant who revolutionized modern dance. The son of migrant farm workers in the South — Jones grew up to win two Tony Awards, receive the National Medal of Art and a MacArthur Genius Fellowship and to be honored by the Kennedy Center.

Boston- It’s a statue of Lincoln standing over a shackled Black man who is, some people say, “Oh, he’s kneeling,” and other people say, “No, he’s about to stand up.” And other people say, “We should not even have the image of this white man standing over the Black man, chains or no.” That image itself, there’s too much that the audience has to do to understand what’s the caption underneath it. There is no caption.[/caption]
The earliest stories that we heard was my mother talking about her mother trying to go from the plantation they worked on– they were sharecroppers. Her daughter was pregnant on another plantation and the farmer, the white farmer told my grandmother, “Anna, you can’t go.” My grandma trie…

English colonists in New England enslaved thousands of Indians

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In Brethren by Nature, Margaret Ellen Newell reveals a little-known aspect of American history: English colonists in New England enslaved thousands of Indians. Massachusetts became the first English colony to legalize slavery in 1641, and the colonists' desire for slaves shaped the major New England Indian wars, including the Pequot War of 1637, King Philip's War of 1675–76, and the northeastern Wabanaki conflicts of 1676–1749. When the wartime conquest of Indians ceased, New Englanders turned to the courts to get control of their labor, or imported Indians from Florida and the Carolinas, or simply claimed free Indians as slaves.

Drawing on letters, diaries, newspapers, and court records, Newell recovers the slaves' own stories and shows how they influenced New England society in crucial ways. Indians lived in English homes, raised English children, and manned colonial armies, farms, and fleets, exposing their captors to Native religion, foods, and technology. Some achieve…

Peeling Back the Hidden, Colonial Layers of Museum Objects

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Procter does something important in showing us the things many museums hide, the parts of the objects’ histories that aren’t warm and fuzzy (or flattering for the institutions that now hold them), pointing overtly to the fact that museums aren’t neutral.

“If you can’t see the views and agendas coming through” in art and museums, Procter warns, “that doesn’t mean they aren’t there: it might just mean that they are close enough to your own for you to take them for granted.”

First published in the UK in March, Procter’s text, with its focus on the colonial history of art, is even more timely now, given the renewed Black Lives Matter protests. One section of the text is dedicated to statues and monuments commemorating racist and/or colonialist figures. Among those she highlights are statues of English slave trader Edward Colston, since thrown in and recovered from Bristol Harbor, and British imperialist Cecil Rhodes at Oxford, a focus of Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford.

Procter is certainly ri…

In The News #BigIsms

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How a New Wave of Black Activists Changed the Conversation
Jenna Wortham, August 25, 2020, The New York Times

On a windswept early June day in Minneapolis, roughly a thousand people gathered under sprawling trees in Powderhorn Park for a rally called the Path Forward. The park’s concrete stage was decorated with silver streamers that sparkled in the breeze and bold white block letters that spelled out “Defund Police.” After a prayer by Thorne and Wakinyan LaPointe, brothers from the American Indian community, Kandace Montgomery, a director of a local organizing group called Black Visions, took the stage. She reminded the crowd to maintain social distancing and wished Prince — whose former home, Paisley Park, was just a 30-minute drive away — and his “queer, nonbinary, everything and all the things self” a posthumous happy birthday.

The atmosphere was still raw. Just 13 days had passed since George Floyd had died, igniting one of the largest collective demonstrations of civi…

SCIENCE FICTION, RACE, AND RACISM

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The Boston Massacre | Zabin History Summit

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In the News #BigIsms #Vote2020 #19thAmendment

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Barack Obama Delivers a Jeremiad
David W. Blight, Aug. 21, 2020, The New York Times



On Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, standing in front of an exhibition about the Constitution in Philadelphia, Barack Obama fully became an American Jeremiah.

Unlike that Hebrew prophet, Mr. Obama did not shatter the earth, nor predict the destruction of all our temples, nor see our Jerusalem quite yet in its deserved ruin. He did not tell us that collectively our “clothing is stained with the blood of the innocent and the poor,” as Jeremiah did. But he came close, even as he delivered a moving reassertion of American “ideals” and “creeds.”

Such is the purpose of the tradition of the “jeremiad,” in substance and style a rhetorical method born of Puritan sermons in the 17th and 18th centuries, and perfected by America’s greatest writers and some of its politicians in the 19th century.

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Kamala Harris’s dad was from Jamaica, where a fierce woman warrior once fought slavery
DeNeen L. Brown, August 19…

35th Portier Lecture: "White Trash: The 400-Year History of Class in Ame...

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"The World's Most Dangerous Man": Mary Trump on Her Uncle

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In The News #bigisms

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we are sharing headlines and creating an archive... big isms editor


Black Like Kamala
Jamelle Bouie, Aug. 14, 2020, The New York Times



It was probably inevitable that becoming Joe Biden’s running mate would result in controversy over Kamala Harris’s heritage.

Harris, whose mother emigrated from India and whose father emigrated from Jamaica, is a woman of Tamil and African ancestry who identifies as Black. That’s why, after Biden’s announcement, she was described as the first Asian-American and African-American woman on a major-party presidential ticket.

Not everyone thought this was the right description for Harris. Several allies of President Trump, for example, were quick to dispute the idea that Harris was or could be Black. The radio host Mark Levin said Harris’s Jamaican origins placed her outside the category of African-American. “Kamala Harris is not an African-American, she is Indian and Jamaican,” Levin said. “Her ancestry does not go back to American slavery, to the be…

Indian Slavery

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