Showing posts from March, 2020

In the News #bigisms #racism

'Remarkable' woman discovered as last known survivor of transatlantic slave trade Jack Guy, March 26, 2020, CNN (CNN) — A woman who was taken from Africa when she was just two years old has been identified as the last known survivor of the transatlantic slave trade. Matilda McCrear was taken from West Africa to Mobile, Alabama, on board the last slave transport ship, the Clotilda , in July 1860, a UK researcher has discovered, uncovering the life of a remarkable woman. McCrear was transported alongside her mother Gracie, three older sisters, and a man who became her stepfather, according to a press release from Newcastle University. Her two brothers were left in West Africa. McCrear, her mother and one sister were bought by the same slaveowner, while the other two siblings were never seen again. She died in 1940 when she was 81 or 82. McCrear's grandson, Johnny Crear, now 83 years old, said he had "no idea" she had been on the Clotilda and sa

Yellow fever epidemic of 1793

A History of Giving and Receiving (audio) Joanne Freeman talks with Richard Newman about Philadelphia’s African American communities response to the yellow fever epidemic of 1793. December 13, 2019, BackStory   In 1793, Philadelphia was struck by a debilitating yellow fever epidemic. With the leadership of Bishop Richard Allen, the African-American community decided to help with the relief effort and give aid to infected folks throughout the city. But in the wake of the epidemic, white residents falsely accused African-American helpers of theft and exploitation. Joanne talks with scholar Rich Newman about the generosity of Bishop Richard Allen and his fight to disseminate the true story about the African-American aid. Listen Bishop Richard Allen’s account,   A NARRATIVE of the proceedings of the Coloured People during the awful calamity in Philadelphia, in the year 1793; and a refutation of some censures thrown upon them in some publications , is available on the

In The News #Pandemics #bigisms

The Epidemics America Got Wrong Jim Downs, March 22, 2020, The Atlantic By late March 1863, hundreds had died in Alexandria, Virginia. The mortality rate had almost doubled in just one night, and even quadrupled in other parts of the country. Three thousand people were dead in less than a month in North and South Carolina. The numbers in Louisiana, Georgia, and parts of Mississippi were equally as high. As a smallpox epidemic tore through the country, more than 49,000 people died from June 1865 to December 1867, the years an official count was kept. Smallpox exploded at this time not because of a lack of protocols or knowledge—a vaccine even existed—but because political leaders simply didn’t care about the group that was getting sick. Government inaction or delay—due to racial discrimination, homophobia, stigma, and apathy—have shaped the course of many epidemics in our country. In the 1980s, for example, HIV spread as the government barely acknowledged its exist

Russell Brand with Gabor Mate


In The News #bigisms #racism

In the News The history of slavery remains with us today Ariela Gross and Alejandro de la Fuente, March 9, 2020, The Washington Post Now that the Democratic primary race has narrowed to two older white male candidates, political analysts have begun to focus on the allegiances of African American voters, who are the core of the Democratic Party base. Some have suggested that African American support of Joe Biden rests less on their trust in him, than on their distrust of white voters’ willingness to vote for a woman, a person of color or a progressive. This reasoning suggests that African American voters make pragmatic political choices based on an understanding of the persistence of anti-black racism in our society, sometimes settling for a white candidate who they think will be least objectionable to white voters while causing African Americans the least harm. To understand where we are today, we need to understand the deep roots of anti-black racism in the histo

In the News #bigisms #racism #1619project

The latest battle over the Confederate flag isn’t happening where you’d expect Megan Kate Nelson, March 6, 2020, The Washington Post Last month, the debate over the public display of Confederate flags and monuments boiled over in Tucson, when city council member Lane Santa Cruz pushed the town to ban the Confederate flag, which had been carried by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, from the city’s annual Rodeo Parade. Mayor Regina Romero agreed, issuing a statement asserting that “the flag has no place in the rodeo parade or elsewhere in our community.” To most Americans, Arizona seems as far from the battlefields of the American Civil War as one can get. But it was in the first year of the Civil War that what we think of as Arizona came into being — as a Confederate territory. In fact, Confederate actions in the Far Western theater of the war reveal the extent to which the Confederate flag became a symbol of white supremacy and conquest. continue   New Stor

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In The News #bigisms

In the News TAKE YOUR FREEDOM: A Play About Slavery Pushes Boundaries in a New York Prison Alice Speri, February 22 2020, The Intercept A group of families and New York state officials gathered on a workday morning last month for a theatrical performance of a historical drama about slavery and human freedom. But it was an unusual setting for a play, especially for one pondering the question of liberation, because the stage was deep inside a maximum-security prison, and the actors were a group of incarcerated men, many of whom still face decades behind bars. At the end of the play, the two-dozen cast members lined up at the front of the stage as one actor after the other removed their costumes: a simple, white T-shirt with the word “slave” or the character’s slave name written across the chest. Below the stage, in the first row, a group of suited senior corrections officials looked on uncomfortably. Then the audience, officials included, broke into a standing

Indian Slavery

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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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