In the News #bigisms | Slavery Illiteracy is disturbing | Freedom Found

For hundreds of years, enslaved people were bought and sold in America. Today most of the sites of this trade are forgotten.
Anne C. Bailey. Photographs by Dannielle Bowman, February, 12, 2020, The New York Times

SARAH ELIZABETH ADAMS was around 5 when her mother was sold to a slave dealer in Lynchburg, Va. The auction took place in the mid-1840s, in the town of Marion, Va. Sallie, as she was called, was herself sold that day, but not with her mother: A man named Thomas Thurman purchased Sallie to take care of his sick wife. She would never see her mother again. For the remainder of her childhood, whenever she could, Sallie would slip away and find solace under a tall white-oak tree. All alone, she would wrap her arms around the tree’s wide trunk and cry. The tree became the place where she would recall the names and faces of her family members sold away; a place where she could grieve, but also a place where she could find shade and respite from her sorrow.

This story was …

Prof. Dr. Louis Warren on "The Ghost Dance Movement"


No Second Chances for the Third Reich

Removed from Amazon’s Bookstore Breaking News
tags: Hitler, books, Amazon, World War 2

Amazon is quietly canceling its Nazis.

Over the past 18 months, the retailer has removed two books by David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as several titles by George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party. Amazon has also prohibited volumes like “The Ruling Elite: The Zionist Seizure of World Power” (photo at right) and “A History of Central Banking and the Enslavement of Mankind.”
While few may lament the disappearance of these hate-filled books, the increasing number of banished titles has set off concern among some of the third-party booksellers who stock Amazon’s vast virtual shelves. Amazon, they said, seems to operate under vague or nonexistent rules.

“Amazon reserves the right to determine whether content provides an acceptable experience,” said one recent removal notic…

In the News #bigisms #headlines

Born a slave, John Hunter lived to be 112. Then a NC historian found his family.
Josh Shaffer, February 5. 2020, The News & Observer

An 1870 census report showing John Hunter, age 101, as a blacksmith. 

In 1876, a writer for the Raleigh Sentinel sat down to interview an old, old man — a Raleigh native so aged he recalled clearing the forest to build Fayetteville Street, frightening deer and dodging bears.

He said he’d seen British troops in Raleigh before the city had a name. He’d seen burning buildings in the War of 1812. And after a century, he’d seen a lifetime of slavery abruptly end, offering him a short taste of freedom.

John Hunter lived to be 112 by history’s best guess, and until a few months ago, his name had almost totally vanished from Raleigh’s memory.

With luck and the internet, City of Raleigh Museum Director Ernest Dollar rescued him from wills buried in the state archive, articles printed in newspapers that no longer exist and a single line from the 1870 …

A Brief History of the United States|Bowling for Columbine (2002)


In the News #bigisms

Overlooked No More: Homer Plessy, Who Sat on a Train and Stood Up for Civil Rights
Glenn Rifkin, January 31, 2020, The New York Times

When Homer Plessy boarded the East Louisiana Railway’s No. 8 train in New Orleans on June 7, 1892, he knew his journey to Covington, La., would be brief.

He also knew it could have historic implications.

Plessy was a racially-mixed shoemaker who had agreed to take part in an act of civil disobedience orchestrated by a New Orleans civil rights organization.

On that hot, sticky afternoon he walked into the Press Street Depot, purchased a first-class ticket and took a seat in the whites-only car.

The civil rights group had chosen Plessy because he could pass for a white man. It was asserted later in a legal brief that he was seven-eighths white. But a conductor, who was also part of the scheme, stopped him and asked if he was “colored.” Plessy responded that he was.

“Then you will have to retire to the colored car,” the conductor ordered.


How One Man's Story Offers a New Way to Understand Slave Insurrection

How One Man's Story Offers a New Way to Understand Slave Insurrection
by Vincent Brown
Wager, also known by his African name, Apongo, was a leader of the largest slave rebellion in the 18th century British Empire. But long before taking his part in the great Jamaican insurrection of 1760– 1761, commonly called Tacky’s Revolt, he had been on a remarkable odyssey.
Apongo had been a military leader in West Africa during a period of imperial expansion and intensive warfare there. During this time, he had even been a notable guest of John Cope, a chief agent of Cape Coast Castle, Britain’s principal fort on the Gold Coast. Captured and sold at some point in the 1740s, Apongo became the property of Captain Arthur Forrest of HMS Wager, who renamed him for the Royal Navy warship. Wager came in bondage to Forrest’s plantation in Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica, where he again encountered John Cope, who had retired to his own Jamaican estate. Occasionally, Cope would entertain his…

The War of Races: Colfax Massacre

It was high noon on Easter 1873 when the white mob came riding into Colfax.
Five months earlier, Louisiana had held its second election since the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Black male suffrage. But some whites had refused to recognize the result, and former Confederate soldiers had committed acts of racial violence across the state.
When a former slave was fatally shot near Colfax, around 150 Black men holed up inside the river town’s courthouse to wait for federal troops.
Instead, they were met by the mob.“Boys, this is a struggle for white supremacy,” one Ku Klux Klan leader told the mob, according to Charles Lane’s “The Day Freedom Died.”
Armed with superior weaponry — including a small cannon — the mob set the courthouse on fire and shot anyone who emerged. When some Blacks tried to surrender by waving handkerchiefs, they were mowed down and their remains were desecrated. 
Anywhere from 62 to 81 African Americans were killed, according to Lane, a Washington Post editoria…

In The News #bigisms

The Long War Against Slavery
Casey Cep, January 27, 2020, The New Yorker

Casey Cep reviews Vincent Brown's Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

“Here’s to the next insurrection of the negroes in the West Indies,” Samuel Johnson once toasted at an Oxford dinner party, or so James Boswell claims. The veracity of Boswell’s biography—including its representation of Johnson’s position on slavery—has long been contested. In the course of more than a thousand pages, little mention is made of Johnson’s long-term servant, Francis Barber, who came into the writer’s house as a child after being taken to London from the Jamaican sugar plantation where he was born into slavery. Some of the surviving pages of Johnson’s notes for his famous dictionary have Barber’s handwriting on the back; there are scraps on which a twelve-year-old Barber practiced his own name while learning to write. Thirty years later, Johnson died and left Barber a sizable inheritance. But Boswell …

How Politics divides and shapes history books

This is a real big issue here in the US. The dumbing down of history has always been an issue.

The Fight to Decolonize the Museums

Nowhere in the United States is a museum controversy so heated as at New York City’s venerable American Museum of Natural History. Its 5 million annual visitors have included, for four years now, hundreds of demonstrators who have trooped through the museum on an Anti–Columbus Day Tour. They chant, drum, dance, and unfurl banners: rename the day. respect the ancestors. decolonize! reclaim! imagine! They deliver speeches demanding changes, a few of which the museum is slowly making.
The battles to decolonize museums.
Elsewhere in the United States, the Museum of Man, in San Diego, recently hired a Navajo educator as its “director of decolonization” and announced that it would no longer display human remains without tribal consent.
Many of the signs on exhibits are now apologetic. Colonialism “remains a very controversial period,” one says gingerly.LINK

Task Force Report Calls For Sweeping Changes To Maine Tribes' Relationship To State Government

A new report is proposing sweeping changes in the way Maine’s tribes interact with state government. The findings come from a task force charged with reviewing the landmark 1980 Indian land claims act.
The nearly 300-page report details conflicts that have arisen over competing interpretations of the settlement act. It also lays out how the act has resulted in Maine tribes being treated differently than most of the nation’s native Americans, with limited powers of self determination.

Difficult pieces of American history

The exhibition Making Mammy: A Caricature of Black Womanhood, 1840–1940 at the California African American Museum (CAAM) looks at this phenomenon through films, photographs, and articles of material culture, showing just how widespread and insidious this manufactured caricature became. In conjunction with the exhibition, assistant curator Taylor Bythewood-Porter and African-American memorabilia collector Gail Deculus-Johnson will host a discussion on collecting Black Americana. The pair will talk about the value of these important, but difficult pieces of American history, as well as address the ethical questions that accompany collecting them.

READ: Learn About the History and Value of Black Americana Collectibles

In The News #bigisms

Sasha Turner , January 14, 2020, Black Perspectives

We are living in a “memory boom” he says. From Charleston to New York, the national mall and university halls, on land and at sea, we’ve been busy. Taking down and putting up. And taking down and putting up. Again. Monuments and memorials. Remember they say. Remember. The accomplishments, the foundings, the triumphs (abolition not slavery). Remember they say. Remember. The founding fathers (neverfounding mothers). But whose memory? “They ask me to remember
But they want me to remember their memories
And I keep on remembering
Mine” Remember we say. Remember. The genocides. The wars. The crimes against humanity. Remember we say. “You stole us. You sold us. You owe us.” Remember we say. Remember. What do I remember about 1619? “I remember on the slave ship how they brutalize the very soul.”

'A Doubtful Freedom’
David W. Blight, January 16, 2020, The New York Review

David Blight reviews The War Before the War: Fugitive Sl…

Indian Slavery

White Fragility


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

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