Showing posts from 2021

In The News #BigIsms #PoliceBrutality #EmmettTill #Tallahatchie #Freedmen

Digital records from 19th Century give Black families a glimpse of their ancestry Curtis Bunn, September 17, 2021, NBC News This month, the genealogy site unveiled a Black family lineage game-changer — 3.5 million records of previously enslaved Black people, available for free. It is believed to be the world’s largest digitized and searchable collection of Freedmen’s Bureau and Freedman’s Bank archives. The collection has Black genealogists and habitual researchers thrilled because the descendants of the enslaved in America can learn more about their families in a far easier way. “This is very exciting and will help many researchers, historians and ordinary people trying to learn more about their ancestry,” said Angela Dodson, CEO of Editorsoncall, a company that provides editorial services for writers. Dodson has done extensive work on researching her own family tree.  continue   How the Origins of Epidemiology Are Linked to the Transatlantic Slav

Pandemic Legacies

Pandemic Legacies: Health, Healing, and Medicine in the Age of Slavery and Beyond Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture |   2021 Lapidus Center Conference October 6-8, 2021 register here Just as the slave trade tied together the cultures and populations of four continents, it also wed together distinctive disease ecologies. The lack of local populations with exploitable labor in the Americas compelled an increase in the volume of Africans that Europeans forced into the transatlantic slave trade, setting the stage for epidemic diseases and other health issues that shaped the cultural, social, and material life of Atlantic slavery. Genocidal warfare and the destructive effects of Eurasian African epidemic diseases caused the near decimation of Indigenous populations. Yellow fever, a virus native to tropical West Africa, became a common scourge to American ports. Doctors theorizing about the virus developed racial stereotypes that posited that people of African de

In The News #BigIsms

Memory and memorials: Yale scholar’s work influences removal of Lee statue Mike Cummings, September 13, 2021, Yale News Yale historian David Blight visited Richmond, Virginia, often in the late 1990s while researching the Civil War’s effect on American memory. When not sifting through archives, he’d jog along the city’s famed Monument Avenue, named for the five grandiose memorials to Confederate leaders that adorned the tree-lined boulevard and grassy mall. At the time, Blight couldn’t imagine that those monuments would ever come down. “It was unthinkable,” he said. “This was the most important shrine to the Confederacy right in the heart of Richmond, the former Confederate capital.” More than 20 years later, Blight had a role in the legal battle that paved the way to removing the last and most prominent of the avenue’s Confederate monuments: a towering equestrian statue of rebel general and slaveowner Robert E. Lee. continue BRIEF AMICUS CURIAE OF HISTORIANS D

In The News #BigIsms #Segregation #UndergroundRailroadPhotos

How a Surprise Discovery of Photographs From the 1960s Meets the Moment Pierre-Antoine Louis, Sept. 4, 2021, The New York Times Not long after his mother passed away in 2018, a massive relic from Jeffrey Henson Scales’ childhood was unexpectedly found in his family’s home. His stepfather and older brother were preparing the house for an eventual sale when they came across a trove of 40 rolls of film. “We think these are probably yours,” they told Mr. Scales, a photographer and a photo editor at The New York Times . Included in the rolls were photographs that Mr. Scales had taken when he was a teenager — images that captured major cultural, political and social moments of the 1960s. There were pictures of student protests in Berkeley, Calif., photos of Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone at the famous Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, and about 15 rolls of the Black Panther Party. continue   Who Segregated America? Destin Jenkons, August 31, 2021, Public Bo

TRC pivotal in genocide, reconciliation debate

 Opinion - 2021-09-06   Staff Reporter Reconciliation is defined by Oxford as “The process of making one’s view or belief compatible with another.” Putting national reconciliation into context, this is the term used for the establishment of national unity in countries faced with political and civil problems. These problems can be war, tribalism, racism, xenophobia and so forth. Therefore, reconciliation is viewed as a process of healing relationships that requires public truth-sharing, apology and commemoration that acknowledge and redress past harms. It is a long-term process that requires patience and tolerance. After WWII, many countries established truth and reconciliation commissions (TRCs) that were aimed at investigating and performing an inquiry on the atrocities that were committed by both sides of the war. In the same vein, many African countries such as Liberia, Congo, South Africa and Rwanda joined the bandwagon to deal with their civil conflict aftermath. Des

Heroes of Ireland's Great Hunger

BOOK REVIEW Sections in Heroes of Ireland’s Great Hunger include “The Kindness of Strangers,” with chapters on Quaker philanthropy, an exiled Polish Count who distributed emergency famine relief, and an American sea captain who arranged food shipments to Ireland; “Women’s Agency,” with three chapters on women who “rolled up her linen sleeves” to aid the poor; “Medical Heroes,” with five doctors who risked their own lives to aid the Irish; and sections on the role of religious orders in providing relief and Irish leadership. Final reflections include a chapter on “The Choctaw Gift.” The Choctaw were an impoverished Native American tribe who suffered through the Trail of Tears displacement to the Oklahoma Territory. They donated more than they could afford to Irish Famine Relief because they understood the hardship of oppression and going without. KEEP READING  Christine Kinealy recently released a collection of essays, prepared with Jason King and Gerard Moran, Heroes of Ir

Who was Guyasuta?

The sculpture "Point of View" imagines a meeting between Guyasuta (Seneca) and George Washington which shaped the future of the Ohio Valley. Pittsburgh. Image Lee Paxton  CC BY-SA 4.0 Guyasuta   In 1753, when George Washington first crossed the Appalachian Mountains to the region around modern Pittsburgh, it was to deliver an eviction notice. A French army had occupied what is now western Pennsylvania, and Washington’s British employers wanted them gone.   Accompanying Washington on the last leg of his western trek was a Seneca warrior named Guyasuta. His job was to hunt game for the British, and his and Washington’s paths would cross again.   In the French and Indian War, which started the very next year, the Senecas sided with France. In July 1755, when a nominally French army consisting mostly of Native Americans decimated Gen. George Braddock’s expeditionary force eight miles east of the future site of Pittsburg, two of the survivors, on opp

HEADLINES NEWS #BigIsms | First fugitive slave narrative in American history

Smithsonian Begins Two-Year Racial Justice Initiative Sarah Bahr, August 25, 2021, The New York Times When Lonnie G. Bunch III, the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, announced last year that the organization had received a $25 million gift from Bank of America, he envisioned an initiative that would create safe spaces in communities across the nation where Americans could gather to discuss the country’s racial past. The result, “Our Shared Future: Reckoning With Our Racial Past,” a two-year series of online and in-person events, will kick off Thursday in Los Angeles with a virtual summit meeting that will focus on income and health care inequality and include subjects ranging from early race science to vaccine distribution. The initial event will be livestreamed at, starting at 7 p.m. Eastern. continue   It’s time to free Black revolutionaries from US prisons Akin Olla, 25 August 2021, The Guardian While the rise of the Black Lives

IN THE NEWS! #BigIsms #UncleBen #Junkanoo

  A Mississippi Restaurant Has Been Beloved for Decades. But There’s Another Story to Tell. Brett Anderson, August 16, 2021, The New York Times GREENWOOD, Miss. — In the Deep South, any restaurant that has operated for nearly a century is bound to have a complicated racial history. Lusco’s is one of those. Since opening in its current location on the day President Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated in 1933, the restaurant has served cotton farmers and soldiers returning home from war. By the time Karen and Andy Pinkston took over in 1976, it had survived the Great Depression and Prohibition. It had seen the violence of Jim Crow and the civil rights movement — and like restaurants across the South, it had become a site of those struggles. Along the way, Lusco’s won renown far beyond its home state, and helped establish a style of dining unique to the Mississippi Delta, one loosely based on steak and seafood (and, if you’re lucky, tamales) served in timeworn spac

Remembering the Artists Who Were Among the Early Victims of Nazi Death Camps

They murdered 9,839 people at Grafeneck that year, including six artists of the Prinzhorn collection, the huge and influential trove of art by inmates of psychiatric institutions. ... As winter turned to spring in 1940, Hitler’s private office in Berlin, the Kanzlei des Führers (KdF), ordered the Grafeneck killing station to ramp up its activities. The transport squadron would be given an additional bus, which meant it could carry seventy-five people at once, and the gas chamber was enlarged to fit them all. Other victims were shipped in by train. At 8 am on Thursday, March 7, a giant rail transport of 457 patients arrived at the little station at Marbach an der Lauter. Deep snow had fallen in the Swabian Jura, and it took the SS eight hours to unload them all. Egon Stähle, Leonardo Conti, and Karl Brandt came to oversee the operation, taking their turns at the gas chamber window, but there were too many to kill in a single day, so 138 women were temporarily housed in th

In the News #DarkHistory #BigIsms #MarchTrilogy #HIDDENKansas

Britain’s Idyllic Country Houses Reveal a Darker History Sam Knight, August 16, 2021, The New Yorker Dyrham Park, an English country estate nestled among steep hills seven miles north of Bath, fulfills your fantasy of what such a place should be. A house and a dovecote were recorded on the site in 1311. The deer park was enclosed during the reign of Henry VIII. The mansion that you see today is a mostly Baroque creation: long, symmetrical façades, looking east and west; terraces for taking the air; eighteenth-century yew trees, an orangery, a church, fascinating staircases, a collection of Dutch Masters. According to The Buildings of England: Gloucestershire , published in 1970, Dyrham Park constitutes “the perfect setting; English country house and church.” The house was a location for the movie of “The Remains of the Day.” On the second floor is the Balcony Room, which affords fine views of the gardens. The room, once an intimate place to sit and drink tea or coffee

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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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