Showing posts from November, 2018

99.9 percent alike

VIA As law and sociology professor Dorothy Roberts puts it , “No sooner had the Human Genome Project determined that human beings are 99.9 percent alike than many scientists shifted their focus from human genetic commonality to the 0.1 percent of human genetic difference. This difference is increasingly seen as encompassing race .” (Big Isms Ed. Note: There is no such thing as race but here is racism) As science journalist Carl Zimmer explains , “DNA is not a liquid that can be broken down into microscopic drops.… We inherit about a quarter of our DNA from each grandparent—but only on average.… If you pick one of your ancestors from 10 generations back, the odds are around 50 percent that you carry any DNA from him or her. The odds get even worse beyond that.”   DNA Tests Make Native Americans Strangers in Their Own Land

Artist Betye Saar on a Sordid History

Betye Saar’s success relies on her exceptional ability to reconsider master narratives through revised visualizations of history. She is an artist whose work is political but not overwrought, small but not insignificant, gentle but not pliant. She’s also someone who, despite international recognition, lacks the acclaim she deserves. Although her work is present in virtually every museum collection from LACMA to MoMA, Saar’s last major institutional survey show in the US occurred almost 40 years ago in 1980 at the Studio Museum Harlem. Fortunately, LACMA has announced that it will mount another big exhibition in 2019, called  Betye Saar: Call and Response.  Hopefully that show will expand upon the foundations of  Keepin’ It Clean , championing Saar as a clear-eyed historian of one of America’s cruelest chapters. Via Betye Saar: Keepin’ It Clean   continues through May 27, 2019 at the New York Historical Society (170 Central Park West, Upper West Side, Manhattan).

An Interview with Natasha Trethewey

Building a Monument: An Interview with Natasha Trethewey Lauren LeBlanc, November 15, 2018, The Paris Review Two-term national Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize–winner Natasha Trethewey was born in her mother’s hometown, Gulfport, Mississippi, on April 26, 1966. The daughter of Eric Trethewey and Gwendolyn Ann Turnbough, an interracial couple who traveled from Kentucky to Ohio in order to be legally married, Trethewey shares her birthday with Confederate Memorial Day. I was previously unaware of the holiday, which is still celebrated across the South to commemorate the deaths of Confederate soldiers. Upon the inauguration of Barack Obama, pundits announced we had entered a postracial era.  Roughly a decade later, it is easy to say that white supremacy is stronger than it’s been since the civil rights movement.  Talking with Trethewey on the phone, we noted the different ways that signals and symbols of white supremacy—beyond the obvious statues and memorials—cont

Last Slave Ships to Land in U.S.

New Wanderer Memory Trail Honors Survivors of One of Last Slave Ships to Land in U.S. Jekyll Island Authority, November 19, 2018, PRNewswire JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga., Nov. 19, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- It was a stirring afternoon of remembrance here last Saturday as representatives from the Jekyll Island Authority officially opened the Wanderer Memory Trail, which tells the moving story of the survivors of the Wanderer , the last known slave ship to land in Georgia and also one of the last known slave ships to arrive in the United States. Located on the southern end of this Georgia barrier island, the Wanderer Memory Trail is nestled along the banks of the Jekyll River, near the point where the Wanderer illegally came ashore on Nov. 28, 1858, with more than 400 enslaved Africans on board. The new trail walks visitors through the true story of Umwalla, a young African boy brought to America on that ship 160 years ago this month.  Through a series of interactive exhibits along t

20th Annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize

Rutgers and Harvard Professors Share the 20th Annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize November 19, 2018 The 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Prize will be shared by two scholars: Erica Armstrong Dunbar for “ Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge ” (37Ink/Atria Books); and Tiya Miles for “ The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits ” (The New Press). Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Miles is professor of history and the Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. The Douglass Prize was created jointly by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University’s MacMillan Center and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York City. It is awarded annually by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the best book writte

The (very)(real) Green Book

The Green Book Redux — 99 Percent Invisible (@99piorg) November 21, 2018 Listen here


Charon taught a new call-and response song written at a Poor People’s Campaign gathering by Minnesotan Ruth MacKenzie. Here are the first and last verses of “Goin’ On”: There’s a racial justice movement goin’ on, goin’ on Put your ear to the ground, feel the power movin’ around There’s a racial justice movement goin’ on There’s a cultural revolution goin’ on, goin’ on Put your ear to the ground, feel the power movin’ around There’s a cultural revolution goin’ on, goin’ on READ ABOUT CULTURE/SHIFT 02018

Documenting Hate


Elevator - Racism. It Stops With Me


What are you? #Hapa

Artist Kip Fulbeck created The Hapa Project in 2001, traveling the country to photograph over 1,200 volunteers who identified as Hapa.   The Hapa Project’s goal was to promote awareness and recognition of the millions of Hapas in the United States; to give voice to multiracial people and other previously ignored ethnic groups; to dispel myths around exoticism, hybrid superiority, and racial homogeneity; and to foster positive identity formation in multiracial children. In 2006, Fulbeck published the first book and premiered kip fulbeck: part asian, 100% hapa, the first museum exhibition to explicitly explore Hapa identity. That exhibition remains one of the most popular in the history of the Japanese American National Museum, setting attendance records before traveling throughout the US and abroad. Jenn — Japanese / French / Native American (Cherokee) / Irish The exhibition broke new ground in exploring identity through photographic portraits of mixed-race subjects, paired w



First generation graduate hopes to impact marginalized


In the News: Rules of Uber-Rich

Jeff Bezos's personal wealth has grown by $36 billion *just this year* and taxpayers are being forced to build him helipads. It's a brazen display of corporate dominance. There are sound left AND right arguments against this: it's a matter of subservience vs. independence — Michael Tracey (@mtracey) November 14, 2018 It is essential to understand the pathologies of the uber-rich. They have seized total political power. These pathologies inform Donald Trump, his children, the Brett Kavanaughs, and the billionaires who run his administration. The uber-rich cannot see the world from anyone’s perspective but their own. People around them, including the women whom entitled men prey upon, are objects designed to gratify momentary lusts or be manipulated. The uber-rich are almost always amoral. Right. Wrong. Truth. Lies. Justice. Injustice. These concepts are beyond them. Whatever benefits or pleases them is good. What does not must be destroyed. READ MORE 

Racism is behind outlandish theories about Africa’s and America's ancient architecture

 who built Monks Mound, Cahokia via In a piece for the online journal The Conversation rather frankly titled “ Racism is Behind Outlandish Theories about Africa’s Ancient Architecture ,” Julien Benoit , a postdoctoral researcher in vertebrate paleontology at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), addressed the continued harm of these theories: Firstly, these people try to prove their theories by travelling the world and desecrating ancient artefacts. Secondly, they perpetuate and give air to the racist notion that only Europeans – white people – ever were and ever will be capable of such architectural feats. via Monks Mound 1887 illustration - hard to explain "savages" If we look to von Däniken’s work, there can be little doubt that his racial beliefs influenced his extraterrestrial theories. After a short stint in jail for fraud and either writing or appropriating the material for a number of other books that developed his ancient astrona

Louisiana approves unanimous jury requirement, scrapping Jim Crow-era law

Louisiana approves unanimous jury requirement, scrapping Jim Crow-era law Julia O'Donoghue, November 6, 2018, The Times-Picayune Louisiana voted Tuesday (Nov. 6) to require unanimous juries for all felony convictions involving crimes that take place after 2018. The voters approved a state constitutional amendment ending a Jim-Crow era law that has dominated the state’s legal system. “You, now, ladies and gentlemen have ended 138 years of Jim Crow,” said state Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, at a campaign victory party Tuesday night. Morrell sponsored the legislation that resulted in the amendment. “You have fundamentally changed criminal justice in Louisiana.” Louisiana and Oregon are the only two states that allow juries that aren’t unanimous to send people to prison. Louisiana is the only state in the country where a 12-person jury verdict of 11-1 or 10-2 can result in someone spending the rest of their life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Painting people and communities coming undone

Influenced by Picasso’s Blue Period, Malik Roberts explores the repercussions of generational poverty, racism, and violence in Black communities using monochromatic hues. READ: A Portrait of Black Mental Health in Hues of Black and Blue

White Supremacists at work

Image fact, since 9/11 more Americans have been killed on U.S. soil by white supremacists and the far-right than by any other foreign or domestic terrorist group combined. listen:

'Decolonizing Wealth'

In his new book, "Decolonizing Wealth," Native author and philanthropist Edgar Villanueva confronts the colonial dynamics at play in philanthropy and builds a framework centered on communities of color.   How has philanthropy developed over time and how has it been used to uplift colonialism? There have always been generous people, so I’m not undermining some of the good intention that has happened through the years of philanthropy and the role it has played in supporting progress in this country. But our DNA as a [philanthropic] sector is very much similarly connected with the DNA of colonization. And that is the idea of hoarding wealth, using colonization so it has the mantra of dividing, exploiting, and conquering. In a way, [wealthy people asserting that they’re] superior in order to grow wealth.  When you look back at some of the early work, like the Rockefeller Foundation, it sort of started out of a crisis for the corporation in needing to sav

Harlem Uprising 1964

READ September 27, 2016   But, whether or not Don King wants to stand up as the black vocal minority, there is no black silent majority endorsing Trump or this latest iteration of Rockefeller’s drug laws. And before calling for another era of “stop-and-frisk,” Trump might want to listen to Gil Scott-Heron first: No knockin’, head rockin’, inter-shockin’ Shootin’, cussin’, killin’, cryin’, lyin’ And bein’ white But if you’re wise, no knocker You’ll tell your no-knockin’ lackeys Ha! No knock on my brother’s head No knock on my sister’s head No knock on my brother’s head No knock on my sister’s head And double lock your door Because soon someone may be no-knockin’ Ha, ha! For you Garrett Felber is a scholar of 20th-century African American history at the University of Michigan in the American Culture Department. His scholarship has been published in the Journal of African American History , South African Music Studies , and SOULS . He has also contributed t

The Origins of Prison Slavery

The Origins of Prison Slavery Shane Bauer, October 2, 2018, Slate In August, an organization called the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee announced that prisoners in at least 17 states had pledged to stage a strike to protest prison conditions. It is unclear how many inmates actually took part in the 19-day strike, but organizers said “thousands“ refused to work, staged sit-ins, and turned away meals to demand “an immediate end to prison slavery.” Nationwide, inmates’ labor is essential to running prisons. They cook, clean, do laundry, cut hair, and fulfill numerous administrative tasks for cents on the dollar, if anything, in hourly pay. Prisoners have been used to package Starbucks coffee and make lingerie. In California, inmates volunteer to fight the state’s wildfires for just $1 an hour plus $2 per day. The link between prison labor and slavery is not merely rhetorical. At the end of the Civil War, the 13th amendment abolished slavery “except as a punish

Hale County This Morning This Evening Official Trailer

A poetic cinematic portrait of Hale County, Alabama: its people, their dreams, and their day to day lives. It focuses in on two young black men, Daniel and Quincy, and on their paths. This film bends the definition of a documentary and a narrative, using creative visual imagery to give a new way of seeing and experiencing the environment.

Equality isn't a box

“I’ve always had an interest in American racial history,” she continues, “and I think we can see that there are still wounds that haven’t been properly healed. I know that it’s frightening for people to talk about but unless you do, they’re never going to be healed. We’re learning that this isn’t something to be solved; it’s a continuing conversation. Equality isn’t a box we can just tick and be done with.” - Ruth Negga read  “ Loving is tapping into something, and it’s not about politics... People need a couple like Richard and Mildred now; they need to know that change from a grassroots level is possible, that there is hope...”

Indian Slavery

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absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption

Think about this

“Politicians, Priests, and psychiatrists often face the same problem: how to find the most rapid and permanent means of changing a man’s belief…The problem of the doctor and his nervously ill patient, and that of the religious leader who sets out to gain and hold new converts, has now become the problem of whole groups of nations, who wish not only to confirm certain political beliefs within their boundaries, but to proselytize the outside world.” – William Sargant “Battle of the Mind”

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