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Showing posts from 2019

Missing Chapter: A new series about hidden histories

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HBCUs pay higher fees to borrow money. Research links that premium to racism.

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HBCUs pay higher fees to borrow money. Research links that premium to racism. Historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) looking to raise money for major projects face higher fees than their non-HBCU counterparts, according to research recently published in the Journal of Financial Economics. The financial premium is especially high for HBCUs in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi, the researchers find. Historically black colleges and universities looking to raise money for major projects face higher fees than their non-HBCU counterparts, even when agencies that rate credit risk give HBCU-issued bonds their highest scores, according to research recently published in the Journal of Financial Economics.
There’s one big reason for the additional cost, according to the authors: racial discrimination.

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In the News

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Five black men raided Harpers Ferry with John Brown. They’ve been forgotten.
Eugene L. Meyer, October 13, 2019, The Washington Post


Five African American men joined John Brown (bottom center) on the 1859 Harpers Ferry raid. Clockwise from bottom left:
John Anthony Copeland Jr., Lewis Sheridan Leary, Dangerfield Newby, Shields Green and Osborne Perry Anderson.


It was chilly and damp on Sunday evening on Oct. 16, 1859, when abolitionist John Brown climbed onto a horse-drawn wagon for the five-mile ride down a dark country road to Harpers Ferry. There he and his small band of men would seize the town and its federal arsenal in a futile attempt to foment a slave rebellion and bring down the South’s “peculiar institution” of slavery.

In front were two men shouldering arms. Behind were 16 more, marching two abreast in silence, “as solemnly as a funeral procession,” and that’s exactly what it was. None would survive, except for the author of those words, Osborne Perry Anderson, who w…

The People in this Room give me hope

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Ginsburg predicts historians will call this political era an 'aberration' Historians in the News
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg offered her thoughts Thursday on how historians will view this period of American history.
"An aberration," the 86-year-old justice said when the question was posed to her at an event hosted by Amherst College, the Boston Globe reported.
The event's moderator, Amherst College President Carolyn Martin, asked several other political questions of Ginsburg, who sidestepped controversial topics like the impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
Instead, she spoke about broader aspects of political life in America today.
“The people in this room gives me hope," Ginsburg replied when Martin asked her what she thinks will fix the divisions in the U.S.
Ginsburg also said she believes that the protection of freedom of expression is going well.

THINKERS:
best comment:
The USA has never been anything…

COINTELPRO

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The news reminded some of the FBI's Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) of the 1960's and 70's that targeted Black activism. It is important to understand how government agencies, in particular law enforcement, work to obstruct Black people from organizing. The history of COINTELPRO illuminates why so many Black radical and grassroots organizations were previously destroyed and why it remains so difficult to organize today.

READ: Incognegro: How Law Enforcement Spies on Black Radical Groups | History News Network

John Brown, catalyst

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Facial Hair Friday: John Brown
Vincent Bartholomew, October 4, 2019, Pieces of History (National Archives)

Abolitionist John Brown, who was previously clean shaven, grew a robust beard during his preparations for the raid on Harpers Ferry as a way to disguise himself to keep it secret. The two years before the raid is the only time Brown had a beard.

After the raid and his arrest, Brown delivered his final address in a courtroom in Charleston, Virginia (now West Virginia), on November 2, 1859. His words echo through time: “I believe, that to have interfered as I have done in behalf of His despised poor, is no wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I say ‘let it be done.’”

While antislavery advocates saw him as a…

The Real Texas

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The Real Texas
Annette Gordon-Reed, October 24, The New York Review



Andrew J. Torget begins his 2015 book Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800–1850 with the story of five people whose journey into what was then “northern New Spain” effectively captures the origins of what would become the largest of the contiguous states of the American Union. In 1819 “Marian, Richard, and Tivi” escaped from slavery on a plantation in Louisiana, hoping to find freedom in Spanish territory. The following year, James Kirkham, the man who claimed ownership of them, went looking for the escapees, and on his way encountered another Anglo-American, Moses Austin. Austin, a Connecticut-born Missouri transplant, would gain a place in history for getting the first land grant “from Spanish authorities to begin settling American families in Texas”—the name the Spanish had given the region that they had fought to take from the Comanches for over a cen…

One hundred years ago: The Elaine massacre

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The Forgotten History of America’s Worst Racial Massacre
Nan Elizabeth Woodruff, September 30, 2019, The New York Times



One hundred years ago this week, one of the worst episodes of racial violence in American history unfolded in Elaine, Ark., a small town on the Mississippi. Details remain difficult to verify. The perpetrators suppressed coverage of the events, and the victims, terrified black families, had no one to turn for help. In fact, local police were complicit in the killing of untold numbers of African-Americans.

The Elaine massacre was among the worst instances of racial violence in American history, and it took place in a region, the Delta, that defined itself by its violence and oppression. One African-American, William Pickens, described the region as “the American Congo.” Elaine, though an isolated plantation region, was part of the broader social upheaval following World War I that came in the form of massive strikes and racial confrontations, both at home …

Classism: the big invisible ism

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Richard Ford suggests we’re missing the point of the recent ruling that Harvard University did not discriminate against Asian American applicants. He points out that the US university system is built on classism: One of the university’s aims—if increasingly crowded out by others—is the discovery and dissemination of knowledge. If this alone were the goal, admissions might be based solely on academic promise, which grades and test scores reflect in a limited and imperfect way. But this is not the only mission. To many, universities today are “supposed to be the engines of social mobility and the gateways to dreams,” as New York Times columnist Frank Bruni colorfully puts it. This suggests universities should consider who would benefit most from admission. More prosaically, many universities manage several semiprofessional sports teams, for which they must recruit, necessitating a preference for athletes. And prestigious universities, in particular, have historically been …

Slavery as a way of life

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400 years later, America still has so much to learn about its racial historyby Lonnie Bunch
Slavery was central to the country’s formation: its economy, its government, its identity, its entire way of life.
If America aspires to live up to the democratic ideals written into its founding documents, hoping to build a more perfect union in which everyone is granted full access, we must let go of the myths that obscure the whole truth about who we are as a nation.

Forgotten History

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Why Donald Trump is much more dangerous than Andrew Johnsonby Sidney M. Milkis and Daniel J. TichenorWhile both presidents are demagogues who faced impeachment, today’s political reality means that Trump can do more damage.


The Forgotten History of America’s Worst Racial Massacreby Nan Elizabeth WoodruffHundreds of black citizens were killed in Elaine, Arkansas, a century ago this week.

Nothing really surprises us anymore. Except now.

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Historians on Trump: We've never seen anything like thisby Elizabeth Cobbs, Kyle Longley, Ken Osgood, Jeremi Suri We are historians who have researched every president since George Washington, and we've never seen anything like this.

Argentina Holocaust museum's Nazi artifacts

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Owning Nazi objects in Argentina can be illegal if it is determined that the items incite racial or religious hate in public, although they can be allowed in private. It has not been determined if the collector violated the anti-discrimination law, although he has been charged with owning pieces of illegal origin.

BIG READ: Argentina Holocaust museum displays Nazi artifacts seized in 2017 raid - The Globe and Mail

Bitter Bread

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Abbas Fahdel’s 2015 film Homeland: Iraq Year Zero is one of the great, essential documentaries of this decade. Described as a “choral saga,” it chronicles the daily life of Fahdel’s family in Baghdad, immediately before and after the 2003 US invasion. Fahdel records as his society’s stability evaporates, dramatically replaced by grief and confusion as the country (now without an operating government) plunges into chaos.

Bitter Bread turns a compassionate eye on the hardscrabble lives of people who have been violently uprooted from their homes, and still yearn for them. The refugee crisis is frequently depicted as a serious yet abstract issue, but Fahdel brings it into focus on an immediate, human level.
Bitter Breadscreens October 1 and 3 at Film at Lincoln Center(165 W. 65th Street), as part of the 57th New York Film Festival.

There is a way! | Kikotan Massacre | the right story?

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There's a new way to deal with Confederate monuments: Signs that explain their racist history Breaking News
tags: racism, Confederacy, American South, Confederate Monuments, White Supremacy, us south
... Americans are exploring a new way to deal with the country's Confederate monuments: place explanatory panels on or alongside the statues detailing the real history behind them. It's the latest frontier in the nation's ongoing - and, in recent years, horrifically violent - reckoning with the statues, troubling testaments to the country's racist past.
Atlanta installed markers next to four of the city's most prominent Confederate monuments in August. Officials in Decatur, Ga., placed a sign near a Confederate monument this month. Come October, three such markers will go up in downtown Franklin, Tenn. Cities including Savannah, Ga., and Richmond are weighing pr…

In The News

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In the News

Kehinde Wiley’s Times Square Monument: That’s No Robert E. Lee
Reggie Ugwu, September 27, 2019, The New York Times



He looks like a man lost in time, uprooted, with the horse he rode in on, from a previous century, perhaps, or was it a future one?

In a riot of flashing neon signs and costumed avengers, populating a patch of Times Square on Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets, he can be seen looking regal and triumphant astride a rearing steed worthy of Napoleon, flanked between the modern colonial outposts of American Eagle Outfitters and Express.

The new statue, a bronze sculpture on limestone titled “Rumors of War” and unveiled on Friday, is the first public work by the artist Kehinde Wiley. Mr. Wiley, 42, is best known for his aristocratic portraits of African-American men, including the one of President Obama that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.
“Rumors of War,” Mr. Wiley’s largest sculpture to date at a towering 27 feet high and 16 feet wide, was i…

How Do We Address a Statue of President Roosevelt That Affirms Racist Hierarchies?

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How Do We Address a Statue of President Roosevelt That Affirms Racist Hierarchies? Almost two years after the fascist rally at Charlottesville around a mediocre statue of Robert E. Lee, the American Museum of Natural History has opened its exhibition Addressing the Statue. READ

Blackface Is the Tip of the Iceberg

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In American politics, lawmakers can get a pass for almost anything short of open allegiance to racist ideologies or the explicit use of racist imagery.

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In The News

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In the News

The Long History of American Slavery Reparations
Manisha Sinha, September 20, 2019, The Wall Street Journal


During the colonial era, it was customary for masters to grant “freedom dues” to indentured servants who had completed their fixed term of service. They were given land at times but at the very least tools and livestock to help begin their new lives in freedom. When former slaves demanded land after the Civil War, they were harking back to this longtime custom, which the rest of the country (with the exception of the abolitionists) had long forgotten. Since the Reconstruction era, the reneged-upon promise of reparations—recompense to African-Americans for centuries of enslavement and racial oppression—has continued to fester like an open sore on the nation’s body politic. Many Americans dismiss the idea of reparations as economically impractical, legally impossible and politically inflammatory. In the 20th century, however, several countries—most prominent…

Freedom Without Citizenship, Reconciliation without Reparations

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Freedom Without Citizenship, Reconciliation without Reparations
Westenley Alcenat  September 3, 2019, Black Perspectives



It has become a fashionable axiom of white politicians today to acknowledge that slavery was in fact the cause of the Civil War. This consciousness was rekindled by the widely influential writings of former Atlantic magazine writer and editor, Ta-Nehisi Coates. The women who founded the Black Lives Matter movement were also at the forefront of keeping the flame of this conversation. Preceding Coates and Black Lives Matter was Randall Robinson’s important book, The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks. In spite of the renewed discourse, less discussed is how the institutional remnants of Black enslavement is at core an issue of Black economic citizenship for the last 150 years after emancipation and the Civil Rights Act of 1866. While Black citizenship experienced great potential in the late nineteenth century, the transition from slavery to freedom and from…

Andrew Jackson Was A Real-Life Horror Movie Monster

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The truth about Jackson’s savagery was just as disturbing as the fake news. After a particularly bloody battle in 1814, Andrew Jackson’s men counted the dead Indians by cutting off their noses. They collected 557 noses.

and... (this comment)

Jackson ran an ad in the Nashville Gazette, in October, 1804, for the capture of a runaway slave, which stated that in addition to the reward, he would pay an extra $10 per 100 lashes (up to 300), to anyone who willing to inflict them upon his miscreant property. He was known to hold a vengeful lifetime grudge against anyone whom he felt had slighted him, regardless of how minor the supposed offense. His betrayal the Choctow tribe, whom he persuaded to become American allies over the British during the war of 1812, culminated in the “Indian Removal Act” (Trail of Tears), of which he took personal responsiblity to see implemented, resulted in the death of thousands of men, women and children. It’s no surprise that the current occupant of the White…

Why they left America

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Here are brief sketches of two African American artists who left their home country due to racial discrimination and sexism during the early 1960s. Settled in Germany, they became important contributors to the art scene, but have never been inscribed into either German or US art history curricula. Pioneers in their practices, each artist exemplifies the Black space in art fields that people would never ascribe to them.
Source: Why They Left America | Contemporary And

Slavery in the Quaker World

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Slavery in the Quaker World
Katharine Gerbner, September 1, 2019, Friends Journal



Quakers have long been hailed as heroes of the abolitionist movement. Friends like Anthony Benezet and John Woolman worked tirelessly to convince other Whites to abolish slavery and embrace liberty for all. Fourteen years ago, when I began research for my book Christian Slavery, I wanted to understand this abolitionist history better. I started with the “beginning”: the first antislavery protest in North America, written by German and Dutch Quakers in Pennsylvania. But as I quickly learned, this was only part of the story when it comes to Quakers and slavery.
The 1688 Germantown Protest, as it is often called, was the first document in North America to denounce slavery. It is an extraordinary document. It declares, among other things, that the authors are “against the traffick of men‐body.” It goes on to explain that slavery cannot be a Christian practice and that it is against the Golden Ru…

They were once America’s cruelest, richest slave traders. Why does no one know their names?

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They were once America’s cruelest, richest slave traders. Why does no one know their names?
Hannah Natanson, September 14, 2019, The Washington Post



The two most ruthless domestic slave traders in America had a secret language for their business.

Slave trading was a “game.” The men, Isaac Franklin and John Armfield, were daring “pirates” or “one-eyed men,” a euphemism for their penises. The women they bought and sold were “fancy maids,” a term signifying youth, beauty and potential for sexual exploitation — by buyers or the traders themselves.

Rapes happened often.

“To my certain knowledge she has been used & that smartly by a one eyed man about my size and age, excuse my foolishness,” Isaac Franklin’s nephew James — an employee and his uncle’s protege — wrote in typical business correspondence, referring to Caroline Brown, an enslaved woman who suffered repeated rape and abuse at James’s hands for five months. She was 18 at the time and just over five feet tall.

continu…

This is NOT the language of freedom

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Forget everything you’ve ever been taught about free speech in America.
By John W. Whitehead | The Rutherford Institute | September 16, 2019
It’s all a lie.
There can be no free speech for the citizenry when the government speaks in a language of force.
What is this language of force?
Militarized police. Riot squads. Camouflage gear. Black uniforms. Armored vehicles. Mass arrests. Pepper spray. Tear gas. Batons. Strip searches. Surveillance cameras. Kevlar vests. Drones. Lethal weaponsLess-than-lethal weapons unleashed with deadly force. Rubber bullets. Water cannons. Stun grenades. Arrests of journalists. Crowd control tactics. Intimidation tactics. Brutality.
This is not the language of freedom.
This is not even the language of law and order.
Keep Reading

Documenting Hate in America

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What We Found in 2018 In our second year of the Documenting Hate project, ProPublica and our partners have reported on everything from violent neo-Nazis to road rage to anti-Semitic vandalism. Have you experienced hate?Documenting Hate, a collaborative project investigating hate with more than 160 newsrooms around the country. Since we launched the project in January 2017, victims and witnesses of hate incidents have sent us more than 5,400 reports from all 50 states.

If you have been a victim or witness of a hate crime or bias incident, help us to tell your story: follow this link to fill out the information in the Documenting Hate page.


Why we should remember 1619

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Why we should remember 1619 Amanda Brickell Bellows, August 18, 2019, The Washington Post



Four hundred years ago, the first Africans set foot on mainland English America. Held as captives first on a Portuguese slave ship and then an English privateer, they had endured a grueling journey across the Atlantic Ocean during the summer of 1619. They traveled from present-day Angola to Point Comfort, Va., where they were sold to the colonists of Jamestown. The arrival of enslaved Africans in colonial Virginia would shape not only the future of Jamestown, but also the subsequent development of the United States.

On this anniversary, we should acknowledge slavery’s deep roots and recognize the significant role that captive and free African Americans have played in building the United States of today. During the nation’s earliest days, economics and racism intersected to launch the insidious institution that would bring fortune and privilege to some and inequality, violence and dea…

Playing with Race

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C& Special Edition #Detroit
On Death, Loss, And Processing A (Black) Archive Curator, writer, and artist Legacy Russell ponders the possibility of materializing a Black archive in spaces where language cannot travel.

Playing with Race One is still stumbling across curated incredibilities taking place in museums and art spaces which make us realise: we are absolutely not there yet.

I’ll be portraying Fields

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A modern man brings his slave ancestor to life, revealing America's complex story
Janell Ross, August 30, 2019, NBC News



FORT MONROE, Va. — Joseph Rogers started with his tie, unwinding the broad Balthus knot he’d wound that morning.

Then, he slipped out of his shined leather shoes, his slim-fit gray vest and the matching trousers he’d worn for the trip to Fort Monroe, on the Virginia coast, for a commemoration marking 400 years since the arrival of the first Africans enslaved in what would become America.

As Rogers stepped into a pair of mahogany cotton trousers, borrowed from the American Civil War Museum’s replica clothing collection, this 21st-century black man — with a cloud-based calendar full of obligations and a habit of walking double-time, chest out, shoulders back — began to recede. Rogers was approaching character now, ready to embody a 19th-century slave.

“I am James Apostle Fields,” Rogers said slowly, almost haltingly, to a woman who inquired about his ou…

Rev. William Barber Delivers Masterful History Lesson

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Connecticut schools to teach African American and Latino studies

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Connecticut schools will be required to offer African American, Latino studies under bill that cleared Senate Thursday
Daniela Altimari, May 30, 2019, The Hartford Courant



African American and Latino studies will be a required part of the public school curriculum in Connecticut by 2022 under a bill unanimously approved by the Senate Thursday night.

The measure, which cleared the House of Representatives earlier this month, now heads to Gov. Ned Lamont for consideration.

In an emotional speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Douglas McCrory, a Democrat from Hartford spoke of the need for a more inclusive history curriculum. He invoked Nipsey Hussle, the California rapper and community activist who was shot to death in March, and recited a few lyrics from Jay Z’s “Legacy.''

Too often, McCrory said, schools highlight the legacies of Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglas, but ignore the achievements of lesser-known figures such as Ida B. Wells, an investigative journalis…

What DNA ancestry tests can — and can’t — tell you

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In The News

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The Lost Promise of Reconstruction Eric Foner, September 7, 2019, The New York Times

Among the unanticipated consequences of the election of Donald Trump has been a surge of interest in post-Civil War Reconstruction, when this country first attempted to construct an interracial democracy, and in the restoration of white supremacy that followed. Many Americans feel that we are living at a time like the end of the 19th century, when, in the words of Frederick Douglass, “principles which we all thought to have been firmly and permanently settled” were “boldly assaulted and overthrown.”

Douglass was referring to the rights enshrined in three constitutional amendments ratified between 1865 and 1870. The 13th Amendment irrevocably abolished slavery. The 14th constitutionalized the principles of birthright citizenship and equality before the law. The 15th sought to guarantee the right to vote for black men throughout the reunited nation. All three empowered Congress to enforce …
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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Little Man Little Man

White Fragility

Reparations?

02019 and beyond - this topic is coming up and we need more information.