Showing posts from April, 2022

Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad

  Sailing to Freedom: Maritime Dimensions of the Underground Railroad Center Street Gallery 18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA 02740 May 20, 2022 to November 20, 2022 in person •  register here Sailing to Freedom highlights little-known stories and describes the less-understood maritime side of the Underground Railroad, including the impact of African Americans' paid and unpaid waterfront labor.  This exhibition is an extension of the 2021 publication of the same title, edited by Timothy Walker and released by UMass Press. It corresponds with an NEH Summer teacher’s institute “ Sailing to Freedom: New Bedford and the Underground Railroad ,” running in July 2022. continue

Telling the Truth about All This: Reckoning with Slavery and Its Legacies at Harvard and Beyond

  Telling the Truth about All This: Reckoning with Slavery and Its Legacies at Harvard and Beyond Knafel Center, Harvard Radcliffe Institute Friday, April 29, 2022 • 9:15 am to 6:00 pm ET Hybrid event via zoom or at the Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA  register here Over the past two decades, universities around the world have begun to engage with their legacies related to slavery. Many have issued reports detailing some of their historical ties to slavery, the substantial financial benefits the institutions and their affiliates extracted from slave economies, and universities’ intellectual contributions to racist ideologies and practices. At the same time, this research has uncovered a long history of African American resistance, and we are just beginning to address the impact of legacies of slavery on Black students at these institutions into the 21st century.  

What Could Have Been

What Could Have Been: a short documentary film about the proposal for America’s first HBCU in New Haven, Connecticut, 1831  

In the News #BigIsms #Abolition

  For a Black Man Hired to Undo a Confederate Legacy, It Has Not Been Easy Matt Stevens, April 17, 2022, The New York Times RICHMOND, Va. — As Devon Henry and his construction team take down the last remnants of statues that long dotted this former capital of the Confederacy, they have developed a grim game. Random passers-by, some in vehicles, others on foot, often make known their disapproval of Mr. Henry’s work — so often, in fact, that Mr. Henry, who is Black, began to keep count of the many times he or a Black crew member were called an incendiary racial slur. The count is 72 and climbing, according to Mr. Henry, who has emerged as the go-to statue remover not only for this city, but for all of Virginia and other parts of the South. continue   Abolition Democracy’s Forgotten Founder D. G. Kelley, April 19, 2022, Boston Review Nearly every activist I encounter these days identifies as an abolitionist. To be sure, movements to abolish prisons and police have

In The News #BigIsms #HowSlaveryEnded #JackieRobinson #SELMA #DorisDerby

  A Reckoning With How Slavery Ended Eric Herschthal, April 15, 2022, The New Republic Eric Herschthal reviews Kris Manjapra’s book, Black Ghost of Empire. In 1955, C. Vann Woodward, the nation’s preeminent historian of the South, published a brief history of Southern segregation that Martin Luther King Jr. would call “the Bible of the civil rights movement.” The Strange Career of Jim Crow , as the book was titled, was intended to counter a common defense of segregation at the time—that it had “always been that way.” By showing that legal segregation emerged only in the 1890s, and only after attempts at interracial democracy during Reconstruction were overthrown, Woodward provided civil rights activists with a usable past: a short but rigorous history that could serve the cause of desegregation. Kris Manjapra’s brief and important new book, Black Ghost of Empire , fits squarely within the usable past genre. To make the case for reparations in its broadest sense—not

Athletics, IQ, Health: Three Myths of Race

  INVENTING THE MYTH OF RACE T he notion and practice of classifying humans into races based on skin color and other physical traits started a few centuries ago. This idea likely evolved from medieval European religious and folk ideas about the importance of blood and inheritance. T he 17th century marked a major turning point in the development of racial hierarchies: That’s when the first enslaved Africans landed in the Virginia colonies. Over time, the notion that groups could be divided and ranked based on natural and God-given traits evolved into a justification for slavery, colonization, and the displacement and genocide of Native Americans. European settlers largely ignored the sovereignty of Native American tribes, including their land rights . Settlers also began to pass race-based laws that upheld ideas of white supremacy, such as giving indentured Europeans legal rights that were not extended to enslaved Africans. By 1691, sex and marriage between Europeans and

FBI’s deadly Cointelpro

  Exposing Spies, Lies and Deceit – Black justice advocates demand full disclosure Barrington M. Salmon, Contributing Writer 4/12/2022 The underhanded, deceitful and deadly tactics employed by the U.S. government to infiltrate, dismantle and destroy Black leaders and groups must be fully exposed, demand activists. Black Justice Advocates, a growing coalition of about 25 organizations and individuals working for passage of House Resolution 2998 (HR 2998), is intensifying its ground game in an effort to ensure that a bill, demanding full disclosure of th e Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counter Intelligence Program (Cointelpro) , passes in Congress and becomes law. Activists laid out demands and strategies during a recent webinar. Although Cointelpro supposedly disbanded in 1971, critics who have been targeted by the FBI say it never disappeared, just shapeshifted and continues to monitor the activities of Black Lives Matter and o

Able Archer 1983 The Brink of Apocalypse


In the News #BigIsms

Race, War, and Winslow Homer Claudia Roth Pierpont, April 11, 2022, The New Yorker A soldier in blue sits high on the branch of a pine tree. The barrel of his rifle, jutting hard across the canopy of green, is mounted with a lens that he holds close to his eye as he takes aim. We can’t see his face. Neither can the man he is about to kill, down below, hundreds of yards away, whether in the midst of battle or furtively leaving camp to fill canteens—many soldiers got shot this way—or simply lifting his head above fortifications to take a breath. The telescopic rifle, widely introduced in this country during the Civil War, allowed for attack with unprecedented stealth, a technological leap akin in our time to the military drone. In the spring of 1862, Winslow Homer observed the sharpshooting soldiers trained to use these weapons while encamped with the Union Army at the Virginia front. Homer, at twenty-six, was a professional artist-reporter, his drawings often reproduce

Sold as a Dream for Black Buyers, a New Orleans Neighborhood is a Toxic Nightmare

Twenty-eight years have gone by, but Joshua Allen Akeem still remembers the knock at the door. Strangers from the Environmental Protection Agency walked into his house and spoke to his mom. She buried her face in her hands. “‘Please tell me this is not true,’” he recalled her saying, “over and over and over.” It was true. Viola Allen’s dream home sits atop a nightmare. The city of New Orleans built 67 ranch-style houses on a sprawling former garbage dump in the late 1970s without saying a word to the Black, mostly first-time home buyers who were encouraged to move there by city officials. Under the untreated soil where the new residents planted fruit trees, grew flower gardens and watched their children play in the dirt were 149 toxic contaminants, 49 of them linked to cancer, according to an analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency. The saga of 57 families living on the former Agriculture Street Landfill in the Gordon Plaza housing subdivision is c

From Slavery to Eugenics (via zoom)

  From Slavery to Eugenics: Confronting Legacies of Racism in Medicine and Across the Disciplines Yale & Slavery Research Project Student Symposium Wednesday, April 20, 2022 • 12:00 to 6:00 pm

In The News #BigIsms #ActsofTerror #Outrages #WhatisRace

  This Is Why It Took More Than 100 Years to Get an Anti-Lynching Bill Jamelle Bouie, April 1, 2022, The New York Times On Tuesday, President Biden signed a bill to make lynching a federal crime. Devised by a group of Black lawmakers in the House and Senate — Tim Scott of South Carolina, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Bobby Rush of Illinois and Kamala Harris of California (when she was still in the Senate) — the law comes into being after more than 200 failed attempts, over more than 100 years, to pass anti-lynching legislation through Congress. “Lynching was pure terror to enforce the lie that not everyone, not everyone belongs in America, not everyone is created equal,” Biden said, speaking to civil rights leaders, journalists and others during the signing ceremony at the White House. “Lynching is not a relic of the past,” said Vice President Harris. “Racial acts of terror still occur in our nation. And when they do, we must all have the courage to name them and hold

Ignoring racism in schools actually increases prejudice | Lynching is a federal crime + Good News

 “ A study from Sesame Workshop found that 86 percent of the children ages 6-11 who they surveyed report that people in the United States are treated unfairly on the basis of race; nearly half the children say that racism is top of mind for them.” EdWeek > Lynching is now a federal crime. Good luck teaching kids why. This week, President Biden signed the Emmett Till Antilynching Act into law. But with book bans descending upon classrooms across the country, how many kids will understand the significance of this legislation? MSNBC > GOOD NEWS To power you through the week ahead Questlove won an Oscar for Best Documentary at the 2022 Academy Awards for his 2021 directorial debut, Summer Of Soul , which highlighted the beauty of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival. At the ceremony, he wore a custom piece created by the Quilters of Gee’s Bend . RECOMMENDED READING News and insights 

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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