Showing posts from 2021

One Drop Rule

    The US Census reveals much about the country’s perspective on race. It counts people according to how the nation defines people, and historically, those people counted as Black have been those people with any known Black ancestry.  If you were white, you were free; if you were Black, you were enslaved. Simple. Racial mixing posed a number of potential problems. At a time when Blacks far outnumbered whites, whites were afraid of losing control over the enslaved population. While legally many Mixed-race individuals were considered white in many states at various points of time, socially most whites regarded anyone with any Black ancestry as Black. GOOD READ: How the “One Drop Rule” Became a Tool of White Supremacy

In The News #BigIsms #Schomburg

 MORE! In the News Op-Ed: Kevin McCarthy loves Frederick Douglass. Do you feel better now? David W. Blight, February 17, 2021, The Los Angeles Times Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) loves the great African American leader Frederick Douglass. He has a portrait of the former slave in his office at the U.S. Capitol. Does that make you feel any better? Just now many Americans are weary of, indeed fed up with, Republicans’ venality, hypocrisy and lies. But if we were hoping for at least a weekend off after the second impeachment trial ground to its inevitable end, it was not to be. Instead, as a spoiler, up stepped McCarthy, the House Republican leader, just in time for Valentine’s Day in a gesture of goodwill for Black History Month, to deliver a tribute to the master orator and writer, Douglass. In a one-minute video, as well as a longer narrative statement, McCarthy and his staff served up a tasteless batch of historical pablum. Lame, inaccurate history can seem merely in

In The News #Big Isms #OneDropRule #RedLining #GreatMigration

 T hese are amazing stories. Hope you enjoy!   She sued her enslaver for reparations and won. Her descendants never knew. Sydney Trent, February 24, 2021, The Washington Post Not long after his mother died on an October day in 2003, David Blackman journeyed with his teenage daughter from Pensacola, Fla., to the narrow, two-story brick house in Southside Chicago where he had lived as a boy. Mary Blackman’s home had once throbbed with life — the notes as she played the piano ringing through the rooms, the smell of biscuits and fudge filling the air and, not infrequently, the stern thunder of Mary’s voice as she kept her six children in line. Now the house was eerily quiet, jammed with furniture, stacks of papers and puzzles, dusty knickknacks. As David sifted through items on an old wooden sideboard in Mary’s dining room, a sheaf of papers caught his eye. He picked them up and scanned them: They were photocopies of a one-page contract written in a very old-fashioned, angular

IN THE NEWS #BigIsms #Reparations #Slavery

  In the News 'Uncomfortable truth’: The new push for a slavery reparations commission in Congress DeNeen L. Brown, February 10, 2021, The Washington Post Weeks after Democrats took control of Congress and the White House, a Black lawmaker is making a renewed push for a national commission to examine the impact of slavery and reparations for descendants of millions of enslaved Africans. Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) announced the reintroduction of H.R. 40 to create the reparations commission last month, and next week the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is set to hear testimony on the bill. H.R. 40 has a long history in the House, championed for decades by the late Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and now by Lee. The reparations commission would study the history of slavery, the role federal and state governments played in supporting slavery, and racial discrimination against the descendants of enslaved Africans. continue  

In The News: Museums as Monuments to White Supremacy | Democracy at Turning Point | Phillis Wheatley #BigIsms

  In the News Why 1850 Doesn’t Feel So Far Away Joanne B. Freeman, January 29, 2021, The New York Times Scarcely had the violence ebbed on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 when the Republican calls for healing began. Representative Debbie Lesko of Arizona made an anti-impeachment cease-and-desist plea on Jan. 12 that was typical of many. Addressing Democrats, she warned that impeachment would “further divide our country, further the unrest and possibly incite more violence.” Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina concurred, declaring on Fox News that calls for impeachment would “incite more violence” and “divide the country.” continue   Museums as Monuments to White Supremacy Ana Lucia Araujo, February 2, 2021, Public Books We have reached a new phase in the public debate over whether to repatriate objects stolen from former colonies and now displayed in European and worldwide museums: individuals, on film and in real life, are quite literally taking matters into their own hands. O

David Cay Johnston Speaks On the Trump-McCarthy Bromance



  In the News Black Lives Matter movement nominated for Nobel peace prize Martin Belam, 29 January 2021, The Guardian The Black Lives Matter movement has been nominated for the 2021 Nobel peace prize for the way its call for systemic change has spread around the world. In his nomination papers, the Norwegian MP Petter Eide said the movement had forced countries outside the US to grapple with racism within their own societies. “I find that one of the key challenges we have seen in America, but also in Europe and Asia, is the kind of increasing conflict based on inequality,” Eide said. “Black Lives Matter has become a very important worldwide movement to fight racial injustice. “They have had a tremendous achievement in raising global awareness and consciousness about racial injustice.” continue   Are We Witnessing the Emergence of a New ‘Lost Cause’? Kali Holloway, January 25, 2021, The Nation One way to decisively convey that treasonous white-supremacist insurrectionists are

Admit More States: Divest America of Its Colonial Past

Statehood for American territories – colonies of a so-called “democratic nation” – is a civil rights issue. And while the U.S. has 50 states, this number is not written in stone. All people are entitled to self-determination and equal rights under the Constitution, including those people of color who live in the nation’s capital and the country’s five occupied Pacific and Caribbean island territories – American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Products of America’s legacy of colonialism with BIPOC populations, these territories do not enjoy the rights that the states enjoy, cannot elect the president, and have no voting representation in Congress, even as their residents – with the exception of American Samoa – are U.S. citizens. Two recent events indicate the issue of statehood is ripe, relevant, and in the public conscience. On Nov. 3, Puerto Ricans supported a nonbinding referendum for statehood , reflecting si

Continental Drift : African Europeans: An Untold History

  Continental Drift: Two continents and two millennia of extraordinary African Europeans. Christienna Fryar, January 2021, History Today Olivette Otele’s African Europeans: An Untold History  begins in 23 BC and ends in the present day, spanning two continents, from Sweden to Senegal, from Portugal to St Petersburg. Inevitably such ambitious scope requires a focus. Otele, who became the UK’s first female Black history professor in 2018, covers the terrain by orienting her study around extraordinary figures from each period.  Beginning in the Roman era, Otele explores how officials such as Marcus Cornelius Fronto and Emperor Septimius Severus navigated their African and Roman identities. Staying in the Mediterranean, a discussion of 16th-century Florence and Spain focuses on the lives of the Duke of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici and the Spaniard Juan Latino, a Latin scholar and poet who had been enslaved for the first few decades of his life. Otele then moves north t

Was the Constitution a Pro-Slavery Document?

  Was the Constitution a Pro-Slavery Document? Gordon S. Wood, January 12, 2021, The New York Times Gordon S. Wood reviews The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution , by James Oakes It was not long after the federal Constitution was created in 1787 that many antislavery Northerners began labeling it a pro-slavery document. Parts of it did support slavery — the clause that counted a slave as three-fifths of a person, which gave the slave states greater representation in Congress and the Electoral College than opponents of slavery believed they deserved; and the fugitive slave clause, which required persons held to service who had escaped to free states to be returned to their owners. Because these poisonous clauses seemed to enable Southern slaveholders to dominate the national government in the early decades of the 19th century, the rabid abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison eventually concluded that the Constitution was a “covena

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