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Continental Drift : African Europeans: An Untold History

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  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?

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  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

Other Address for BIG ISMS

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Here is where you can find us: https://thebigisms.wordpress.com/2020/11/29/my-white-friend-asked-me-on-facebook-to-explain-white-privilege-i-decided-to-be-honest-yes-magazine/   (we will leave this blog up since there is so much history to read and consider.)

In the News #BigIsms

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When the Enslaved Went South Alice Baumgartner, November 19, 2020,  The New Yorker In the four decades before the Civil War, an estimated several thousand enslaved people escaped from the south-central United States to Mexico. Some received help—from free Black people, ship captains, Mexicans, Germans, preachers, mail riders, and, according to one Texan paper, other “lurking scoundrels.” Most, though, escaped to Mexico by their own ingenuity. They acquired forged travel passes. They disguised themselves as white men, fashioning wigs from horsehair and pitch. They stole horses, firearms, skiffs, dirk knives, fur hats, and, in one instance, twelve gold watches and a diamond breast pin. And then they disappeared. Why did runaways head toward Mexico? For enslaved people in Texas or Louisiana, the northern states were hundreds of miles away. Even if they did manage to cross the Mason-Dixon line, they were not legally free. In fact, the fugitive-slave clause of the U.S. C

End of an Error: Bye Bye

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  There is another blog to read news and history: THE BIG ISMS on wordpress

The Next Trump

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  I know we want to celebrate Trump’s loss but Zeynep Tufekci has some sobering points about the next strongman who may come to power in the US: Make no mistake: The attempt to harness Trumpism—without Trump, but with calculated, refined, and smarter political talent—is coming. And it won’t be easy to make the next Trumpist a one-term president. He will not be so clumsy or vulnerable. He will get into office less by luck than by skill. Perhaps it will be Senator Josh Hawley, who is writing a book against Big Tech because he knows that will be the next chapter in the culture wars, with social-media companies joining “fake news” as the enemy. Perhaps it will be Senator Tom Cotton, running as a law-and-order leader with a populist bent. Maybe it will be another media figure: Tucker Carlson or Joe Rogan, both men with talent and followings. Perhaps it will be another Sarah Palin—she was a prototype—with the charisma and appeal but without the baggage and the need for a pre

IN THE NEWS #BigIsms

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Confronting the Damage of Trumpism David W. Blight, November 7, 2020, The New York Times “I speak the password primeval . . . . I give the sign of democracy,” wrote Walt Whitman in “Song of Myself.” “By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms.” One of our greatest poets sought the deepest forms of democracy, where people are completely unleashed to share their fullest humanity. Whitman endlessly sang of rebirth and renewal, in nature and in human society. Near the end of the same poem, he breathed his epitaph: “I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,/ If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.” As a mythic, defining characteristic, the idea of rebirth has a profoundly fertile history in this land. Americans — their nation, their polity, their multiethnic culture — have never stopped being reborn, despite the conflicted meanings invoked by that concept. We admire second and third acts; we end

Holy Post - Race in America (2 Parts)

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IN THE NEWS #BigIsms

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The Most Sacred Right (audio) October 29, 2020, Throughline, on NPR Frederick Douglass dreamed of a country where all people could vote and he did everything in his power to make that dream a reality. In the face of slavery, the Civil War and the violence of Jim Crow, he fought his entire life for what he believed was a sacred, natural right that should be available to all people - voting. continue   The 2020 election surpasses all before it, except one Manisha Sinha, October 28, 2020, CNN The 2020 presidential election is one of the most crucial in American history. Political pundits have taken to discussing past presidential elections, especially those that have been politically controversial and close, searching for a historical precedent. The so-called Revolution of 1800 put Jeffersonian Republicans in charge and drove the Federalist Party to extinction. In the presidential election of 1824, supporters of Andrew Jackson, who won the popular vote, claimed that John Quincy

The Lincoln Brigade

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 Guest Post by Dr. Raeschelle Potter-Deimel I begin today with a quote which seems to be very befitting in today's world. It ponders the meaning of the word democracy, the act of it and the disregard of its power to hold societies of very diverse peoples together, to act as one unit of thinkers, seeking equal rights and justice for all."     " One of the major obstacles in the way of human progress, of human understanding, is cynicism. The cynicism that states that people only act in their own self-interest or what they believe to be their self-interest, that says within every seemingly altruistic act there lurks a dark core of greed or hatred or fear. To make people behave, the cynics say, to make society work, you have to know how to exploit and manipulate that dark core. That's life, the cynics say, that's just the way people are. And you can listen to this for a while and maybe agree up to a point, but then you say, 'What about the guys in the

A Portrait of Donald J. Trump, by Vic Berger & VICE News

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THE MAN CARD | PREVIEW CUT | A Film About White Male Identity Politics

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Trump (2017 – ) Trump has been a master at tapping into white male anxiety. According to Katz, he easily won the Republican primaries by ridiculing the manhood of his Republican opponents. He portrays himself as a “blue collar” billionaire, glorifying gun culture and tapping into evangelical masculinity (despite his playboy reputation), while running an unapologetically misogynist campaign. His rise to power parallels the rise of strong misogynistic leaders around the world (eg Bolsonaro, Putin, Xi Jingping, and Erdogan).

The Internet of Civil Rights: the New Digital Divide | Brigitte Daniel

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Brigitte Daniel addresses and reframes the new kind of “underserved”: those not only on the wrong side of the digital divide, but those who are impacted by and advocate to keep digital technologies accessible for a new generation of internet civil rights. In her talk, Daniel illustrates how her family’s African American cable company, Wilco Electronics Systems, Inc. has evolved over the last 40 years and has helped to provide technologies to those communities who have been overlooked for decades. Daniel talks about the diverse body of voices that make up internet users, how new internet policies are shaping a global change in its use and status, and how we must strive to effectively serve and provide digital access to all people in order to create a more just society. A ‘telecom visionary’ according to Marie Claire magazine and a vocal advocate for gender and cultural diversity in the tech industry, Ms. Brigitte Daniel has emerged as a national thought leader and supporter for d

The New Digital Divide: The Perception Problem | Navarrow Wright

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Navarrow Wright recently launched the "Close The Divide" project ( http://closethedividefor.me ) which aims to increase awareness about the digital opportunity to under-served audiences.

Let's Fix the Digital Divide

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The current pandemic has exposed the reality that America’s telecoms have failed to deliver the high speed broadband they had promised and that telephone customers paid for. Today, millions of people are without high-speed internet access, not only in rural areas, but also throughout inner cities, with low income areas hit the hardest. This unequal access to broadband is called the "Digital Divide." The telecoms built much of the fiber optic network they promised the American public (and which is needed for their 5G network), but failed to connect millions of customers who had paid for fiber optic connectivity through rate increases on their phone bills. Now, every city and every state is looking for solutions to fix this ‘have and have not’ situation - and to fund safe, secure, fast, and reliable infrastructure. Wireless companies are pushing their agenda hard, but  unregulated wireless is no solution! This Tuesday, we're asking you to please watch this short e

Indian Slavery

think

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

Little Man Little Man