The Dawn of Detroit


READ: ‘The Dawn of Detroit’: An Interview with Historian Tiya Miles – AAIHS

Miles: I realized several years ago that although my histories of Cherokee slavery unfolded on farms and plantations, I was missing the opportunity to think more seriously about land and other features of the material (or natural) world in a way that might enrich my attempt at understanding. The Detroit study seemed to demand a greater awareness of environmental history for reasons that your question highlights, so I applied for a Mellon New Directions Fellowship to seek an orientation to the field of environmental history. I spent a year talking and studying with colleagues at Montana State University where there is a strong faculty cluster in this field, and I learned to ask new questions. My study of Detroit is not an environmental history per se, but it does bring in a consciousness not only of the critical import of the material environment to histories of race and power, but also of the notion that non-humans, such as rivers and beaver, have and deserve their own histories.

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Yesterday we obeyed kings and bent our necks before emperors. But today we kneel only to truth, follow only beauty, and obey only love.
~Kahlil Gibran (1883 –1931), Lebanese American artist, poet, and writer.

sexism is the primal, or first, form of oppression in humanity

Sexism is a form of oppression and domination. As author Octavia Butler put it, "Simple peck-order bullying is only the beginning of the kind of hierarchical behavior that can lead to racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, classism, and all the other 'isms' that cause so much suffering in the world."

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