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Showing posts from April, 2021

Controversy Erupts Over Penn Museum’s Possession of MOVE Bombing Victims’ Remains

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Last week, the University of Pennsylvania museum apologized for hosting the stolen remains of enslaved people.   by Hakim Bishara April 22, 2021 The Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia ( Windell Oskay/Flickr ) Just over a week after the Penn Museum apologized for hosting the stolen skulls of enslaved people in its Morton Collection, it is now embroiled in a second controversy involving its possession of remains of Black Philadelphians killed in the MOVE Bombing . According to reports yesterday, April 21, in the local news outlets BillyPenn and the Philadelphia Inquirer , the remains of victims of the 1985 bombing had been stored at the museum for decades, later to be moved back and forth between Penn and Princeton University. Eleven people, including five children, were killed in a police airstrike against members of the Black liberation movement MOV

Tatter Bristle Mend: The Brilliant Sonya Clark

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  Tatter, Bristle, and Mend (solo retrospective)   National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC : Mar 03 to Jun 27, 2021 Textile and social practice artist Sonya Clark (b. 1967) is renowned for her mixed-media works that address race and visibility, explore Blackness, and redress history. This exhibition—the first survey of Clark’s 25-year career—includes the artist’s well-known sculptures made from black pocket combs, human hair, and thread as well as works created from flags, currency, beads, cotton plants, pencils, books, a typewriter, and a hair salon chair. The artist transmutes each of these everyday objects through her application of a vast range of fiber-art techniques: Clark weaves, stitches, folds, braids, dyes, pulls, twists, presses, snips, or ties within each object. Featuring 100 works of art, Tatter, Bristle, and Mend spans the breadth of the artist’s career to date. Early beaded and stitched pieces are p

Bone Rooms

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Gunshots ripped through the late-spring air near a dusty U.S. Army outpost in rural Minnesota in May 1864. Militiamen who were engaged in a campaign against local Indians shot a Dakota man twice: one bullet struck him in the head, shattering his skull; the other tore through his mouth or neck. Either wound alone could have been fatal. The man likely died instantly or bled to death in seconds. Healthy and strong in life, he now lay on the ground completely disfigured. Described in contemporary newspaper accounts as a “hostile Sioux”—and later by scientists as a man of distant Asiatic descent—he was probably between 25 and 35 years old. A single incident such as this, even a deadly one, on the distant Minnesota frontier might have soon vanished from memory in a nation focused on violent clashes with Native Americans

In the News #BigIsms #BonesofBlackChildren #Tubman #BoneRooms

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The Men Who Turned Slavery Into Big Business Joshua D. Rothman, April 20, 2021, The Atlantic Isaac Franklin spent part of Christmas Day 1833 assessing his company’s operations and making plans for the future. Writing from New Orleans to one of his business partners in Virginia, Franklin took a few moments out of his holiday to report that he had rented a new showroom in the city from which he would soon start making sales, and that sales up the Mississippi River at the company’s branch in Natchez, Mississippi, were going swimmingly. Franklin had just come from Natchez, and he was happy to relay the news that he had seen “first rate prices and profits,” realized nearly $100,000, and likely outdone all of his competitors put together. He was also collecting outstanding debts from customers to whom he had extended credit, and he promised that he would soon send along some money, though he told his partner that he ought to consider rustling up additional funds from his banking

In The News #BigIsms #BlackIndians #Slavery

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Stacey Abrams’s fight against voter suppression dates back to the Revolution Karen Cook Bell, April 13, 2021, The Washington Post The recent effort by the Georgia legislature to suppress African American votes through the newly enacted Election Integrity Act reflects a longer history of exclusion and marginalization. As voting rights activist and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams points out, the act revives “Georgia’s dark past of racist voting laws.” Abrams is continuing a long tradition of Black women fighting against institutional practices that keep African Americans from exercising their voting rights. Many have celebrated Abrams’s accomplishments, pointing out that her effective marshaling of community resources led to Georgia electing two Democratic U.S. senators and a Democrat winning its electoral votes for the first time in nearly 30 years. Abrams’s efforts embody how Black women have been at the forefront of movements to address inequity, soci

The Seductions and Confusions of Genealogical Research

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by Ann Banks' Confederates in My Closet For a long time, I thought that researching family history was a dubious pastime. Also one fraught with peril, when undertaken for the purposes of ancestor-glorification and ego-gratification.  Should you have a forebear by whom you set great store – for example, as my Aunt May did by Philip Alston, you may well learn many disreputable things about him, of which owning slaves is only one. ... According to a website compiling “ All Deceased Banks & Bankses Persons of European Origin in the U.S. . .” Dr. Banks’ Hampton, Virginia, house was burned down during the Civil War and the family was forced to flee, saving only a pair of silver candlesticks.  This colorful detail comes from the records of a Mrs. James Banks and may or may not be apocryphal. (And if it IS true, what became of those candlesticks?) I take note of the qualifying “of European Origin” in the webpage title.  In the 1840 census, Dr. Banks’s

Maury's Racist Legacy in Sciences #HonestPortrayals

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Rethinking Matthew Fontaine Maury’s Racist Legacy in the Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences Helen M. Rozwadowski and Penelope Hardy Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Colloquium University of Wisconsin Aired on March 22, 2021 Amidst recent calls in the United States and elsewhere to remove statues and other references that glorify historically racist figures, we offer a reexamination of nineteenth-century naval officer Matthew Fontaine Maury, who was well-known during his lifetime for his contributions to navigation, ocean science, and meteorology. While Maury made significant contributions toward understanding and representing the ocean-atmosphere system and argued for increased support from both government and public for such studies, his work, including his science, was also inextricably involved in his nation's imperialist goals. Before and after his resignation from the United States navy to join the Confederacy during the American Civil War, Maury worked for the perpe

Understanding Trenton Doyle Hancock

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  Trenton Doyle Hancock Something American Learn More about the artist  

In the News #BigIsms #JimCrow #GoldenAge #JacobLawrence

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If It’s Not Jim Crow, What Is It? Jamelle Bouie, April 6, 2021, The New York Times The laws that disenfranchised Black Americans in the South and established Jim Crow did not actually say they were disenfranchising Black Americans and creating a one-party racist state. I raise this because of a debate among politicians and partisans on whether Georgia’s new election law — rushed through last month by the state’s Republican legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican — is a throwback to the Jim Crow restrictions of the 20th century. continue   Bill to Expand African Burial Ground National Monument Hakim Bishara, April 4, 2021, Hyperallergic Lawmakers from the United States Senate and House of Representatives have reintroduced a bill to expand the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York into an international museum and education center. Located in Lower Manhattan, the African Burial Ground holds the remains of more than 15,000 enslaved and free Black p

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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