Showing posts from August, 2019

When it began

This month marks 400 years since the first recorded African slaves arrived in North America to work plantations in English colonies. In the centuries after, European slave traders shipped across millions of African men, women and children. — Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 1, 2019 From 1514 to 1866, more than 12.5 million African captives were forced onto about 40,000 European ships, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database estimates. Via @ReutersGraphics — Reuters Top News (@Reuters) August 2, 2019

Girls Of The Leesburg Stockade

SOURCE I never fully realized the monumental role that massive numbers of children played in civil rights protests. Law enforcement arrested and jailed children by the thousands for days, and sometimes months, and their involvement helped to enable one of the greatest legal and social assaults on racism in the 20th century—the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Leesburg Stockade Girls are an incredible example of these courageous, young freedom fighters. You may ask, “Who were the Leesburg Stockade Girls?” In July of 1963 in Americus, Georgia, fifteen girls were jailed for challenging segregation laws. Ages 12 to 15, these girls had marched from Friendship Baptist Church to the Martin Theater on Forsyth Street. Instead of forming a line to enter from the back alley as was customary, the marchers attempted to purchase tickets at the front entrance. Law enforcement soon arrived and viciously attacked and arrested the girls. Never formally charged, they were jailed in squalid conditions

Hate Crimes against Native Americans

[2018] Anti-American Indian groups have received little-to-no public scrutiny, compared to their anti-black and anti-Latino counterparts. Yet the number of hate crimes against Native Americans in 2016 was 4 percent nationwide , even though Indigenous people represent around 2 percent of the population. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a leading civil rights organization that monitors hate groups, does not include anti-American Indian groups in its annual accounting of hate groups, currently at 954 nationwide . A  Southern Poverty Law Center representative told High Country News that they will examine whether CERA “fall in line with our hate group criteria as we work on finalizing our 2018 count.” Calling them hate groups, the Montana Human Rights Network argues, could help communities identify and resist their ideology. So, why aren’t they already considered hate groups? The answer lies in a combination of coded language, mainstream ignorance of Indigenous issues and

Old Man Trump Ain’t My Home

Old Man Trump/ Ain’t My Home by  Woody Guthrie I suppose that Old Man Trump knows just how much racial hate He stirred up in that bloodpot of human hearts When he drawed that color line Here at his Beach Haven family project Beach Haven ain’t my home! No, I just can’t pay this rent! My money’s down the drain, And my soul is badly bent! Beach Haven is Trump’s Tower Where no black folks come to roam, No, no, Old Man Trump! Old Beach Haven ain’t my home! I’m calling out my welcome to you and your man both Welcoming you here to Beach Haven To love in any way you please and to have some kind of a decent place To have your kids raised up in. Beach Haven ain’t my home! No, I just can’t pay this rent! My money’s down the drain, And my soul is badly bent! Beach Haven is Trump’s Tower Where no black folks come to roam, No, no, Old Man Trump! Old Beach Haven ain’t my home! **Woody Guthrie of This Land Is Your Land fame wrote a song about Donald Trump’s racist f

1619 project

If you missed the New York Times ‘s 1619 project, which appeared in a special edition of the New York Times Magazine , you should definitely check out the PDF, which is available for free online . Here is a passage from Linda Villarosa’s essay on how physical differences were used to reinforce slavery: Over the centuries, the two most persistent physiological myths — that black people were impervious to pain and had weak lungs that could be strengthened through hard work — wormed their way into scientific consensus, and they remain rooted in modern-day medical education and practice. In the 1787 manual “A Treatise on Tropical Diseases; and on The Climate of the West-Indies,” a British doctor, Benjamin Moseley, claimed that black people could bear surgical operations much more than white people, noting that “what would be the cause of insupportable pain to a white man, a Negro would almost disregard.” To drive home his point, he added, “I have amputated the legs of man

California’s Forgotten Confederate History

California’s proslavery roots run much deeper than one might suspect. When gold was first discovered near Sacramento in 1848, Southern-born argonauts—some of them with slaves in tow—were among the thousands to join the rush. Over the next several years, they transported somewhere between 500 and 1,500 African American bondspeople to California. Source: California’s Forgotten Confederate History | The New Republic

Harlem Hellfighters

PHILADELPHIA — Horace Pippin (1888–1946) was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, less than 25 years after the Civil War ended. He grew up in the village of Goshen, New York, 50 miles northwest of Manhattan, and attended segregated schools. For this reason, the seemingly neutral description of Pippin as a self-taught artist should be seen through the lens of America’s policy of segregation and government-maintained racial discrimination. The chances of Pippin attending a White-run art school were practically nonexistent during his lifetime. He was self-taught out of necessity, as the society in which he lived had shut most of its doors on him.Before Pippin enlisted in the segregated Black and Puerto Rican 369th Infantry Regiment, nicknamed by the Germans the “Harlem Hellfighters,” he worked in a coal yard, as a hotel porter, and as a used-clothing peddler. READ: Seeing American History Through the Art of a Black WWI Soldier

The Origins of White Supremacists' Fear of Replacement

  In August of 2017, marchers in the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanted “They will not replace us!” and “The Jews will not replace us!” The theme links back to Camus, but is a defensive narrative with deep roots in racist rhetoric within European and United States history. READ: The Origins of White Supremacists' Fear of Replacement

Deconstructing Race-Based Stereotypes at the Halsey Institute

For her exhibition at the Halsey Institute, Katrina Andry explores the stereotypes that engender gentrification and the negative effects of stereotypes on the lives of Black people and how these stereotypes give rise to biased laws and ideologies in our society. On view through December 7, 2019, the shows printmaking, collage, and installation beckon viewers to examine their preconceived notions of society. READ: Katrina Andry and Colin Quashie on View at the Halsey Institute

How academia uses poverty, oppression, and pain

Today, anything and everything is allowed if a postcolonial/decolonizing seal of approval accompanies it, even if it is devoid of any political urgency. The effects of networking are another one of the ways decolonizing in this field of Humanities shows itself to be a farce. As far as I understand history, Christopher Columbus was really great at networking. He tangled people like me in chains, making us believe that it was all in the name of knitting a web to connect us all under the spell of kumbaya. BEST READ: How academia uses poverty, oppression, and pain for intellectual masturbation - RaceBaitr

No, Confederate monuments don't preserve history. They manipulate it!

No, Confederate monuments don't preserve history. They manipulate it! Ana Lucia Araujo, August 16, 2019, Newsweek America said goodbye and good riddance this month to yet another monument glorifying the Confederacy and lying about history on public grounds. Visitors to Fort Monroe, the historic site where the first Africans arrived on the shores of Virginia in 1619, will no longer see the name of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, displayed across its famous archway. Removing Davis' name is an important rejection of the manipulation of history. The individuals behind the archway sought to fulfill their political agenda by honoring a secessionist government, promoting white supremacy and denying the realities of slavery in the United States. Confederate monuments don't preserve "our history," like some falsely argue. They instrumentalize the past to maintain a nostalgia for a white ethnostate in the public space. And as long as the

Artists in 18 Major US Museums Are 85% White and 87% Male, Study Says

The U.S. art museum sector is grappling with diversity. While previous work has investigated the demographic diversity of museum staffs and visitors, the diversity of artists in their collections has remained unreported. We conduct the first large-scale study of artist diversity in museums. By scraping the public online catalogs of 18 major U.S. museums, deploying a sample of 10,000 artist records comprising over 9,000 unique artists to crowdsourcing, and analyzing 45,000 responses, we infer artist genders, ethnicities, geographic origins, and birth decades. Our results are threefold. First, we provide estimates of gender and ethnic diversity at each museum, and overall, we find that 85% of artists are white and 87% are men. Second, we identify museums that are outliers, having significantly higher or lower representation of certain demographic groups than the rest of the pool. Third, we find that the relationship between museum collection mission and artist diversity is weak, suggest

Wealth work is not new—nor are its critiques

According to Mark Muro, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, an estimated 20 percent of wealth work is done by people who are not citizens, compared with less than 10 percent of all U.S. labor. Foreign-born workers often move to large metros to find jobs before relocating to cheaper towns and suburbs to build a more permanent home. In this way, one can see wealth work as a bridge for foreign-born workers and less skilled Americans to get a foothold in the labor force. READ: America's Hot New Job Is Being a Rich Person's Servant - The Atlantic

In the News: United States History, Metastatic Racism, Australia’s hidden slave trade history, Bessie Smith

The Tragic Story Called ‘United States History’ Héctor Tobar, Aug. 7, 2019, The New York Times In the cities and towns of California, Colorado, Arizona and other Western states, there are countless highways of memory leading back to El Paso. That Texas border town on the Rio Grande, site of a horrific mass shooting on Saturday, is the Ellis Island of the American Southwest. My mother-in-law, now in her 80s, lives in Los Angeles but was born in neighboring Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and lived in El Paso, too; she can remember a time when residents of the two sister cities flowed back and forth easily on the bridges across the river. And every summer and winter vacation season, thousands of American families drive through El Paso on journeys to see their Mexican relatives. “It was still pitch black, but a light shined on the American and Mexican flag,” one of my California university students wrote recently, describing a night drive through El Paso and Juárez. “Both s

King Donald?

Why are the Trumps obsessed with royalty and status ? Nine Burleigh has some fascinating thoughts on the matter over at Newsweek : For Trump, however, this royal dinner was clearly more than the usual state visit, as the New York Times pointed out on Tuesday. While Trump has worked hard to build his life into a glittering, eponymous brand, there has long been a royal-specific yearning in the Trump family. What is less known is that this desire arguably dates back to Trump’s mother, an immigrant maid who came to America almost 100 years ago and bequeathed to her fourth child the notion that all that glitters really is gold. Unlike his mother’s origins, Trump’s obsession with the royals — the human epitome of his old go-to word, “classy” — is hardly a secret. Besides all the gold T’s and his gilded Versailles triplex in Trump Tower, there’s the family crest that Trump essentially stole from the socialite who built Mar-a-Lago, modifying it to remove the word “Inte

Rediscovering Stories of Slavery in Connecticut

A Memorial Project Is Rediscovering Stories of Slavery in Connecticut Erik Ofgang, July 24, 2019, Connecticut Magazine Shortly before the Revolutionary War, an enslaved Connecticut man named Jeffrey Brace was beaten unconscious by his new owner, John Burwell of Milford. Burwell struck Brace with his fists, legs and a chair. In a written account years later, Brace recalled that one blow to his head during the beating was so hard it “pealed [sic] up a piece of my scalp about as big as my three fingers.” After waking up, Brace was subjected to two rounds of whipping and made to walk a quarter-mile barefoot in the winter. Brace’s visceral, difficult-to-read account of the horrors of slavery in Connecticut is the type of story we don’t often hear about Northeastern states, says Dennis Culliton, a recently retired teacher at Adams Middle School in Guilford. In Connecticut, we’re good at “pointing our fingers south and saying how awful those people were,” he says. But whe

Nuns Who Bought and Sold Human Beings

The Nuns Who Bought and Sold Human Beings Rachel L. Swarns, August 2, 2019, The New York Times Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School, one of the oldest Roman Catholic girls’ schools in the nation, has long celebrated the vision and generosity of its founders: a determined band of Catholic nuns who championed free education for the poor in the early 1800s. The sisters, who established an elite academy in Washington, D.C., also ran “a Saturday school, free to any young girl who wished to learn — including slaves, at a time when public schools were almost nonexistent and teaching slaves to read was illegal,” according to an official history posted for several years on the school’s website. But when a newly hired school archivist and historian started digging in the convent’s records a few years ago, she found no evidence that the nuns had taught enslaved children to read or write. Instead, she found records that documented a darker side of the order’s history

Slavery by Another Name

1941: The Year Slavery Finally Ended Slavery by Another Name PBS (2012) Film Review This shocking documentary reveals how virtual slavery persisted in the South for 80 years after the Civil War and the enactment of the 13th amendment. This involuntary servitude, based on Jim Crow laws and illegal debt slavery, allowed Southern factories, railroads, mines and plantations to use former slaves as a captive workforce. Prior to 1941, the federal government largely turned a blind to these activities, owing to the economic importance of free labor in the industrialization of the South. When the Civil War ended in 1865, Congress imposed a period of radical Reconstruction on the South. Enforced by federal troops, it ensured that newly freed slaves enjoyed the right to vote and other civil liberties they were guaranteed under the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment.* The 1500 or so black politicians elected to Reconstruction governments established the firs

Indian Slavery

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

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“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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