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Showing posts from September, 2019

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 …

Racial Disparities In Maternal Deaths

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Medicine continues to advance on many fronts, yet basic health care fails hundreds of women a year who die during or after pregnancy, especially women of color. Black mothers die at a rate that's 3.3 times greater than whites, and Native American or Alaskan Native women die at a rate 2.5 times greater than whites, according to a report out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: Can Racial Disparities In Maternal Deaths Be Reduced? : Shots - Health News : NPR

Photographic Technique Erased a Māori Tradition

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When European colonizers arrived in the 19th century, they documented the area’s Indigenous inhabitants, but the collodion process served to erase prominent markings known as tā moko, a centuries-old form of tattooing performed by the Māori people. In the wet plate photographs, Tā moko would barely show up.

Source: How a 19th-Century Photographic Technique Erased a Māori Tradition

Jim Crow and America's Racism Explained

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Artists Who Have Addressed Sexual Trauma Since the 1970s

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In Against Our Will, Vivien Green Fryd makes a convincing case for the need to examine artworks through the lens of sexual trauma, a violent reality that unfortunately spans across gender, ethnicity, race, and time.

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The New Secession

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St. George supporters are used to fielding calls that their goal to create a new city is racist. “Yes, I’ve been called a racist in no uncertain terms. I’m not a racist. I can’t— you know, I’m not going to try to attempt to defend it,” Norman Browning told Frontline in its 2014 documentary, Separate and Unequal. (Browning did not respond to a request for comment from The Atlantic on LinkedIn. When I called his office, I was put on hold for 30 minutes before the line went dead. Each subsequent call was sent directly to voicemail.) “What I do is I let my actions speak, and how I conduct myself and how I treat people speak.”

Source: The Resegregation of Baton Rouge Public Schools - The Atlantic

The missing pieces of America’s education

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The missing pieces of America’s education
Joe Heim, August 28, 2019, The Washington Post

Five essays discuss what isn’t being talked about in classrooms



For this project on how students learn about slavery in American schools, The Washington Post asked noted historians to write an essay on aspects of slavery that are misunderstood, poorly taught or not covered at all in the nation’s classrooms. From the cruel separation of families to the resistance by enslaved people and the widespread enslavement of Native Americans, these contributions address gaps in our common knowledge about what the practice of slavery has meant for America.

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Slavery and the Eastern Shore

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It has been 400 years since the first Africans arrived in chains on the shores of Virgina beginning the era of slavery that would haunt the nation long
AUDIO: Slavery and the Eastern Shore (Part 1) | Delmarva Public Radio

Down the Rabbit Hole of Reparations

Thread: People often criticize me for calling America a “racist country.” Even when people mention reparations, white people will say that it happened so long ago and they had nothing to do with it.

But today I went down a rabbit hole that proves how racist this country is. — michaelharriot (@michaelharriot) September 1, 2019
The Flexner Report had tremendous negative impact on African Americans and medicine. When the dust settled, the number black medical schools in the U.S. went from over 100 to two. — Leon Bates (@The_Africanus) September 1, 2019

The Black radical tradition of hope

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Jamara Wakefield discusses museums and why they should shuck their colonial legacies:I am constantly asking myself these questions: Why does the decolonization of museums matter? Why do I continue to visit these colonized spaces knowing they rest comfortably in their resistance to change? I see museums as liminal spaces.  The word “liminal” comes from the Latin root, limen, which means “threshold.” The liminal space is the “crossing over” where you have left something behind, yet you are not yet fully in something else. When museums operate in their full liminal potential they are able to tell non-binary histories. For US museums this means acknowledging colonialism, imperialism and white supremacy while also striving towards a decolonialized future.
While I’m not certain all institutions have this potential, I believe art and cultural institutions do because many of their mission statements already lean in this direction—but too often they do not have the internal insti…
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.