Showing posts from August, 2021

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

What Visiting Plantations Taught Me About Historical Erasure

 " I spent the summer of 2016 visiting plantations across the south in attempt to learn more about Leanna’s life. While I’d read about plantations, I felt I needed to see these places in person to get a true sense of them." I once read about how trauma can be inherited, that it’s possible for trauma to leave a chemical mark on a person’s genes to be passed down to future generations. My mother was a damaged woman but how much of that damage was inherited? I wanted to understand more of what had led my mother to be the way she was. I felt like I needed to learn the past in order to understand my present, and if I explored my family’s history then I could find some sort of answer. My family used to tell this story about one of my ancestors, a woman by the name of Leanna Brown, my great-great grandmother, who was once a slave to North Carolina Senator Bedford Brown. She had a relationship with a man on a nearby farm, had three children with him. One of them, the bo

What Happens to Mutual Aid now?

  Last year, as the entire world went into lockdown and movements to address and account for the racist, classist violence that the pandemic only made worse, there was a dramatic proliferation of mutual organizations... Though the pandemic helped make them a household term, mutual aid organizations are an American institution, the earliest of which dates back to American slavery.  In Ariel Aberg-Riger’s visual article ‘Solidarity, Not Charity’: A Visual History of Mutual Aid, they explain the mission of one of the first Black mutual aid societies, called The Free African Society. Created in Philadelphia in 1787 by two religious men, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, The Free African Society was quite literally born to help freed slaves adjust to a life outside of slavery. In 1896, Callie House created the Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty, & Pension Association to give pensions to Black workers emancipated after the Civil War like herself. Throughout American history, mutual aid net

In the News #BigIsms #lynching #VastEarlyAmerica

A moving tribute to Professor Leon Litwack, who died this Thursday, August 5, 2021. More than a professor: The enduring impact of Leon Litwack Gary M. Pomerantz, Special to the Daily CAL, March 20, 2021 Forty years later, I can still see and hear him at the podium. Maybe that was Leon Litwack’s plan for his students all along, to take up residence in our minds. Litwack, historian emeritus at UC Berkeley, taught at the university for 43 years. He became a cult figure on campus by bringing his leftist intellectual fire to American history. With that Morgan Freeman voice — a higher authority speaking — he cast his spell. What I write here may seem elegiac, but at age 91, Litwack remains an intellectually vital figure. Once his student, and much later his friend, I write in appreciation of Litwack’s continuing relevance at a time when the story of the American past is being fought over — with monuments falling, school names changing — like so many mastiffs ripping at a

Our history is full of both the good and the bad

 Historians Can't Leave the Teaching of History to Politicians   by Walter G. Moss Walter G. Moss is a professor emeritus of history at Eastern Michigan University, a Contributing Editor of HNN, and author of   A History of Russia. 2 Vols. For a list of his recent books and online publications click  here .       By training and academic specialization I’m a historian of Russia. Certainly not an expert on U.S. history. So many with more expertise may wish to comment and tell me I’m wrong on what I’m about to say. So be it.    As historians we know that present conditions often dictate what we think significant about the past. Today one could argue that dealing with climate change is our nation’s (and our planet’s) most important task, but that is a tremendously complex project, and history has not furnished us a great deal of guidance . It has, however, told us much about another pressing topic--U.S. race relations.   The theme present

#beyondism #listen4change: racism is highly adaptable

KBD: "Racism is highly adaptable." #listen4change — Jordan Haynie Ware (@GodWelcomesAll) January 23, 2016 #listen4change I love that word beyondism . We need to go beyond black and white. We need to go through that binary thinking — Michelle Wilkey (@loislane45013) January 22, 2016

Reckoning with History: Michael Morand on 1748 Map of New Haven


Yale and Slavery Research Project website

The Gilder Lehrman Center is pleased to announce the launch of  The Yale and Slavery Research Project website. In announcing the establishment of the Yale and Slavery Working Group on October 14, 2020, Yale University President Peter Salovey stated, “To understand where we are today and to move forward as a community, we must study the history of our university. As an American institution that is 319 years old, Yale has a complex past that includes associations, many of them formative, with individuals who actively promoted slavery, anti-Black racism, and other forms of exploitation. We have a responsibility to explore this history, including its most difficult aspects; we cannot ignore our institution’s own ties to slavery and racism, and we should take this opportunity to research, understand, analyze, and communicate that history.” The Yale and Slavery Working Group (YSWG) is focused on a deep and thorough investigation of Yale’s historic involvement and association

In the News #BigIsms #LOSTCAUSE #Colorline

‘The Lost Cause’ Is Back Charles M. Blow, July 28, 2021, The New York Times If this phony “debate” over the obscure concept of critical race theory caught you off guard and unaware, you are not alone. But it is apparently part of a Republican political strategy to make race — or more precisely, the denial of American racism — a central (and winning) political issue for Republicans. As David Siders reported Wednesday in Politico, the mantra “America is not a racist country” is emerging as “an early plank of the 2024 G.O.P. contest.” continue   New Lafayette Square marker highlights role of slavery in building White House Joe Heim, July 28, 2021, The Washington Post The unveiling ceremony on the north side of Lafayette Square on Wednesday wasn’t large and it didn’t last long, but history was made. Or rather, history was recognized. Finally. Fifty or so people gathered in the late-morning swelter to watch as Stewart D. McLaurin, president of the White House Hist

Indian Slavery

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absolute power depends on absolute control over knowledge, which in turn necessitates absolute corruption

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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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