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Showing posts from 2021

History Colorado releases 1,300 pages of Denver’s Ku Klux Klan membership records

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    The records, digitized and searchable, are available online now for free Exhibit A: History Colorado’s digitized Ku Klux Klan ledgers, which debuted online this week at historycolorado.org/kkkledgers . The archive, which contains 1,300 pages of original KKK membership records, only covers the years 1924 through 1926, but its contents are stunning. It’s not just a story of victimization and oppression, DiPrince said. The posting of the digital archive comes with links to stories of people who resisted the KKK at the time, such as Dr. Joseph Westbrook. He infiltrated the KKK long before Det. Ron Ferguson went undercover to bust them in Colorado Springs in the 1970s (a story that was made into Spike Lee’s Oscar-winning 2018 film “BlacKkKlansman”). Photographing Ku Klux Klan membership ledgers for the Greater Denver area, 1924-1926, in the Digital Imaging Studio at the History Colorado Center. (Provided by Katie Bush, History Colorado) WOW: History Colorado releases Denver Ku Klux

The KKK ruled Denver a century ago. Here’s how the hate group’s legacy is still being felt in 2021.

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 About a third of Denver’s white, U.S.-born men were part of the Ku Klux Klan at its height in Colorado Ripple effects of the Klan’s takeover of Denver’s power structures over the course of just a few years in the mid-1920s are still felt, especially after the release by History Colorado this spring of digital copies of the Klan’s membership ledgers from that time period. The more than 30,000 names in the documents include those of the men the Klan’s political machine installed as Colorado’s governor, Denver’s mayor and police chief, judges, state senators and representatives. IMPORTANT: The KKK ruled Denver a century ago. Here’s how the hate group’s legacy is still being felt in 2021. – The Denver Post

Juneteeth and whitewashing

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According to a 2019 Washington Post poll, most Americans know very little about slavery. The plan to center a Juneteenth event around so-called “displaced white refugees” is part of a larger effort to distort narratives about slavery.   The annual commemoration of Juneteenth therefore represents a significant moment of celebration among Black communities across the nation — and a significant opportunity for members of the broader public to acknowledge the painful history of enslavement. From the 17th to the 19th century, an estimated several hundred thousand African captives were transported to the territory that what would become the United States. At the start of the Civil War in 1861, there were four million enslaved Black people — an estimated 250, 000 of them resided in Texas .  The Latta Plantation’s event, which has since been canceled after the public outcry, flies in the face of this history. It attempted to downplay the experiences of enslaved people and even garne

In The News | The Fog of History Wars + MORE #BigIsms

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The Fog of History Wars David W. Blight, June 9, 2021,  The New Yorker Once again, Americans find themselves at war over their history—what it is, who owns it, how it should be interpreted and taught. In April, the Department of Education called for a renewed stress, in the classroom, on the “unbearable human costs of systemic racism” and the “consequences of slavery.” In response, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a formal letter, demanding more “patriotism” in history and calling the Democrats’ plan “divisive nonsense.” Like all great questions of national memory, the latest history war has to play out in politics, whether we like it or not. This is especially true as we limp, wounded, from the battlefields of the Trump era, when facts were nearly rendered irrelevant. continue   What Washington and Lee has embraced Colbert I. King, June 11, 2021, The Washington Post Washington and Lee University’s board of trustees has decided to leave the school’s name uncha

In The News #BigIsms # FannieLouHamer #blackbirding

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  Veterans group official resigns over censored Memorial Day speech that highlighted Black history Meryl Kornfield and Andrea Salcedo, June 4, 2021, The Washington Post The head of an American Legion post in Ohio stepped down after he cut a veteran’s microphone during a speech Monday referencing how Black people organized the earliest Memorial Day commemoration on record, according to the veterans group. Jim Garrison resigned after he was asked by Legion officials, the American Legion Department of Ohio said in a statement Friday. The veterans group said Garrison and Cindy Suchan, chair of the Memorial Day parade committee and president of the Hudson American Legion Auxiliary, decided to “censor” retired Army Lt. Col. Barnard Kemter in a “premeditated” move. Kemter shared his Memorial Day speech in advance with Suchan, who asked him to remove a part of his speech, and he didn’t, according to the department. continue   The Women Who Preserved the Story of the Tulsa Race Massa

Georgia Board of Education Votes to Censor American History #BigIsms

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 The nature of racism today is what is left unsaid and unexamined. The state board drafted a resolution restricting classroom discussion of racism, then blocked comments from the YouTube livestream. ...the political reality remains: a purple state on the knife’s edge of flipping permanently Democratic because it has run out of racially resentful white voters. Source: Georgia Board of Education Votes to Censor American History

The Other Slavery

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Andrés Reséndez ON HIS BOOK THE OTHER SLAVERY A landmark history — the sweeping story of the enslavement of tens of thousands of Indians across America, from the time of the conquistadors up to the early 20th century. Since the time of Columbus, Indian slavery was illegal in much of the American continent. Yet, as Andrés Reséndez illuminates in his myth-shattering  The Other Slavery , it was practiced for centuries as an open secret. There was no abolitionist movement to protect the tens of thousands of natives who were kidnapped and enslaved by the conquistadors, then forced to descend into the “mouth of hell” of eighteenth-century silver mines or, later, made to serve as domestics for Mormon settlers and rich Anglos. NATIONAL BOOK AWARD Judges Citation: The Other Slavery upends conventional historiography to show how slavery, more than epidemics, led to the catastrophic decline of Native populations in the Americas. Andrés Reséndez tracks slavers across centuries,

In the News #BigIsms #WhiteWash #TULSA

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The devastation of the Tulsa Race Massacre DeNeen L. Brown, May 28, 2021, The Washington Post On May 30, 1921, Greenwood was one of the wealthiest Black communities in the country, home to doctors, lawyers and entrepreneurs. It boasted restaurants, grocery stores, churches, a hospital, a savings and loan, a post office, three hotels, jewelry and clothing stores, two movie theaters, a library, pool halls, a bus and cab service, a highly regarded school system, six private airplanes and two Black newspapers, according to the Greenwood Cultural Center. Two days later, it was all gone. continue   The fight to whitewash US history: ‘A drop of poison is all you need’  Julia Carrie Wong, 25 May 2021,  The Guardian On 25 May 2020, a man died after a “medical incident during police interaction” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The man was suspected of forgery and “believed to be in his 40s”. He “physically resisted officers” and, after being handcuffed, “appeared to be suffering medical di

Eyewitness Account of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 | 100th anniversary #BigIsms

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  Reblog from JUNE 2020 Lara Blog An Oklahoma lawyer details the attack by hundreds of whites on the thriving black neighborhood where hundreds died 95 years ago The ten-page manuscript is typewritten, on yellowed legal paper, and folded in thirds. But the words, an eyewitness account of the May 31, 1921, racial massacre that destroyed what was known as Tulsa, Oklahoma’s “Black Wall Street,” are searing. “I could see planes circling in mid-air. They grew in number and hummed, darted and dipped low. I could hear something like hail falling upon the top of my office building. Down East Archer, I saw the old Mid-Way hotel on fire, burning from its top, and then another and another and another building began to burn from their top,” wrote Buck Colbert Franklin (1879-1960). The Oklahoma lawyer, father of famed African-American historian John Hope Franklin (1915-2009), was describing the attack by hundreds of whites on the thriving black neighborhood known as Greenwood in the boomin

100 Years After the Tulsa Race Massacre, an Artist Reflects

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Steps from my front door is the site of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. This land was once called Black Wall Street. Imagine over thirty-five bustling blocks of mostly Black homes and businesses being firebombed, in one of the wealthiest Black communities in the United States. Imagine being one of hundreds detained, shot, or worse — killed blocks from your home or place of business. Imagine a city ordinance forbidding you to rebuild on your own land. Imagine a century of silence, with little to no trace of your relative, neighbor, friend, or partner. Imagine the bounty of fear and rumor. The Tulsa Race Massacre , formerly known as the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot, took place from May 31 to June 1, 1921 in the Greenwood District of Tulsa, Oklahoma. TOUCHING: 99 Years After the Tulsa Race Massacre, an Artist Reflects  

First Person: I am a history teacher. Let me teach history.

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    It’s 2021. Why do I still have to convince people in power that Black stories are worthy of being taught? As a history teacher, a professional educator with years of experience in the classroom, my main job is to teach historical truths. Each year I attend so many professional development sessions that I sometimes don’t even turn in all of my continuing education credit certificates because I have surpassed the requirements for teacher recertification. In addition, I regularly connect with colleagues and organizations on social media to bring my students the most comprehensive and contemporary understanding of my content area. Finally, I often spend weekends at historical sites or walking trails while listening to the latest book talk on relevant topics. I do this so that I can be better, stronger, and know more for my students — and also because I have a passion for the study of history. GOOD READ: First Person: I am a history teacher. Let me teach history. - Chalkbeat

Dr. Seuss and Racism #BigIsms

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    Seth Lerer reflects on the performance of childishness and the legacy of racist content in children's stories. Professor Philip Nel of Kansas State University, in his book, Was The Cat in the Hat Black? , argued that this most iconic member of the Seuss menagerie was modeled on minstrel-show performances and African-American idioms.  GOOD READ: Letter from Whoville: On Dr. Seuss and Racism - BLARB Follow me on twitter:   Letter from Whoville: On Dr. Seuss and Racism https://t.co/eTXJEVFzy3 — Trace kalala Hentz (@StonePony33) May 28, 2021

In the News #Reparations #BigIsms #TulsaRaceMassacre #Rijksmuseum #TexasRevisionists #GeorgeFloyd

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Racism in America - PBS https://www.pbs.org /articles/2020/06/racism-in-america/ Race and Racism in America (2020) Watch a collection of films and specials that highlight and add context to the many aspects of race and racism in our country.   Photos: A look back at Bay Area protests after George Floyd’s death   IN THE NEWS⮟   What the US can learn from Africa about slavery reparations Kwasi Konadu, May 6, 2021, The Conversation The House Judiciary Committee voted on April 14, 2021, to recommend the creation of a commission to study the possibility of paying reparations to the descendants of enslaved people in the United States. The measure, H.R. 40, would establish a 15-person commission to offer a “national apology” for slavery, study its long-term effects and submit recommendations to Congress on how to compensate African Americans. Any federal reparations bill faces long odds of being enacted due to Republican opposition, but this is the furthest this effort has advan

Do-It-Yourself Sculptures That Probe the White Savior Narrative

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Roberto Visani’s cardboard kits based on art historical depictions of enslaved people consist of flat pack sculptures that can be assembled and disassembled as easily as Ikea furniture. Two works from the series, currently on view at Geary Gallery in New York City, recreate famous symbols of the abolitionist movement designed by white artists: Josiah Wedgewood’s 1787 seal for the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade and American sculptor Hiram Powers’s “ Greek Slave ” (1841-73).  KEEP READING

Dope Is Death | The Short List

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  When the Black Panthers and Young Lords Teamed Up to Fight Addiction with Acupuncture The documentary "Dope Is Death" chronicles the history of a first-of-its-kind detox center in the Bronx. This was just as Nixon’s War on Drugs was revving up, which was of course in fact a war on poor people by other means — on one end it’s been alleged that intelligence agencies funneled drugs into impoverished areas , while on the other end police incontestably used the presence of drugs as a pretense to brutalize those areas.  The story of a radical movement that sought to end heroin addiction in communities of color with acupuncture, led by Dr. Mutulu Shakur, the step father of Tupac.  "The producers of Dope is Death would like to acknowledge an error in the documentary: Gloria Fontanez has been misidentified as Iris Morales, both were members of the Central Committee of the Young Lords. We apologize for this error and we would like to honor both women for the

In the News #TackysRevolt #SunshineProject #GreatMigration #WarriorWomen #BlackRebellion #BigIsms

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What Vincent Brown’s award-winning ‘Tacky’s Revolt’ can teach us about slavery, war, and enduring racism Kate Tuttle, May 10, 2021, The Boston Globe Tacky’s Revolt, a 1761 uprising in Jamaica that is the subject of Harvard history professor Vincent Brown’s most recent book, was the largest revolt by enslaved people in the 18th-century British empire. More than that, he argues, it was “a war within other wars, a kind of eddy in these transatlantic currents of warfare that convulsed the entire period.” Brown hopes the book will not only help place Tacky’s Revolt in its rightful context, but help readers understand their own histories as part of a larger picture, one shaped by warfare on many fronts, from Africa to Europe to the Americas to the very notion of chattel slavery itself. We talked with Brown on the occasion of “Tacky’s Revolt” winning a 2021 Anisfield-Wolf Award for nonfiction, which recognizes “books that have made important contributions to our understanding of

The Rifleman

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  How the Modern NRA Was Born at the Border Historians in the News tags: Second Amendment , racism , immigration , Mexican American history , National Rifle Association by Sierra Pettengill and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz In my new documentary,  The Rifleman , I use archival footage to tell the story of Harlon Carter (1913–1991), who led the National Rifle Association (NRA) from 1977 until 1985, during a period when it transformed from principally a sporting organization into a radical right political bloc. When he was seventeen, Carter, who grew up in the Texas borderlands, was convicted of murdering a thirteen-year-old, Ramón Casiano, after Casiano was supposedly seen on the Carters’ property. This kind of white nationalist violence would be a prominent feature of the rest of Carter’s life. After his murder conviction was vacated by the Texas Cour

History for elites?

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Studying History Should not be Only for the Elite, Say Academics Prof Kate Williams, a popular historical author and presenter on UK TV history programmes including the BBC’s Restoration Home and Time Watch: Young Victoria, said: “I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, history is protected at the top Russell Group universities’. But that is a really dangerous route to go down. Are we saying that if people don’t get 3As, they don’t deserve to do history?” Williams, who is a professor of public engagement with history at the University of Reading, fears that working-class students who don’t want to leave home to go to university, or can’t afford to, may find themselves unable to study the subject. “It should be a degree that is open to all, and that means it must be available to those who want to study locally. Otherwise we might as well be going back to the Victorian period when this sort of university education was only for elite men.” Williams said she was angry that the governm

Voting Out Trump was not Enough

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    The need in this country dwarfs the best of what Joe Biden has put on the table for changing our current condition. Source: Voting Trump Out Is Not Enough | The New Yorker ANOTHER GREAT READ: A conversation with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor , the Princeton professor and socialist activist.

The Game is Changing

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This article is part of “ Inheritance ,” a project about American history and Black life.  To research and write the stories of Black and white southerners is to undertake almost two entirely different tasks. Black artifacts and records have long been systematically destroyed and marginalized. Like water fountains and public schools, the creation of historical archives was once racially segregated. Archives are usually supported by state governments or private institutions and include a wide range of personal, organizational, and government documents. Extant collections typically reflect the prejudice of past white southern archivists who didn’t believe that the Black people who shared their society lived lives worth studying. When white archivists set out to collect documents they thought future historians would find most important, they often gathered only the photographs, ledgers, diaries, and letters produced by wealthy, white citizens. Most of these archivists didn’t think someone

The Office of Historical Corrections

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  The award-winning author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self brings her signature voice and insight to the subjects of race, grief, apology, and American history. Danielle Evans is widely acclaimed for her blisteringly smart voice and X-ray insights into complex human relationships. With The Office of Historical Corrections , Evans zooms in on particular moments and relationships in her characters' lives in a way that allows them to speak to larger issues of race, culture, and history. She introduces us to Black and multiracial characters who are experiencing the universal confusions of lust and love, and getting walloped by grief--all while exploring how history haunts us, personally and collectively. Ultimately, she provokes us to think about the truths of American history--about who gets to tell them, and the cost of setting the record straight. In "Boys Go to Jupiter," a white college student tries to reinvent herself after a photo of her in a C

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Indian Slavery

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

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