Showing posts from February, 2022

Settler Colonialism and the Founding of the United States with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz


In the News #BigIsms #Classroom #CRT #MLK #Harlem #MosesRoper

  You Just Can’t Tell the Truth About America Anymore Jamelle Bouie, February 18, 2022, The New York Times There is a dangerous censoriousness pulsing through American society. In small towns and big cities alike, would-be commissars are fighting, in the name of a distinct minority of Americans, to stifle open discussion and impose their views on the community at large. Dissenters, when they speak out, are hounded, ostracized and sometimes even forced from their jobs. Defenders of this push for censorship say they are simply working to protect the nation’s children from prejudice, psychological distress and inappropriate material. “To say there were slaves is one thing, but to talk in detail about how slaves were treated, and with photos, is another,” said Tina Descovich, a leader of Moms for Liberty, a conservative group that seeks to enshrine “parental rights” into law. Descovich was speaking to The Washington Post in defense of Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florid

The foundation for American democracy is SLAVERY

 Today is Presidents Day, a holiday honoring George Washington, who forced hundreds of enslaved men, women, and children to work from sunrise to sunset, six days a week, for the duration of their lives. Some states also use the day to celebrate Thomas Jefferson, who impregnated a 14-year-old girl he legally owned, and Abraham Lincoln, who ordered 38 Dakota men killed for resisting genocide in the largest mass execution in U.S. history .  Today’s newsletter explores the white supremacy baked into even the most iconic buildings of this nation.  GET EDUCATED By Nicole Cardoza (she/her) Many cultural institutions in D.C. were built by enslaved people, including the White House. President George Washington initially planned to import workers from Europe to complete the ambitious project but had trouble recruiting staff. Instead, they decided to “contract” enslaved laborers from neighboring communities. The government paid the owners, not the enslaved people, for their labor (

Emma Baker’s Place: A Mohegan Woman Standing for Her People & the Land


Docuseries "Everything's Gonna Be All White" Challenges Recurrent Historical Denial

  There’s a difference between not knowing something and actively choosing not to know it. The early-aughts film  Memento , for instance—about a man with a brain disorder that prevents him from making new memories—perfectly illustrates this concept. It ends with its main character destroying hard evidence about what happened in his past so that he can go on believing what he’d prefer to believe about it forever. His instincts are reasonable. Learning the truth can be scary! Especially when it’s a truth about one’s past that carries unflattering implications about one’s present. Actually acting on that instinct, though—and suppressing historic truth—is not reasonable. It’s cowardly, deceitful, and just plain wrong.   Nevertheless, conservatives around the country  have spent  the past  two years  trying to  Memento  the evidence of America’s racist foundations out of their kids’ classrooms, out of the public discourse, and out of their own consciences. They will never fu

From Slavery to Freedom: the Story of James L. Smith


I am watching: Owned: A Tale of Two Americas | Official Trailer | Independent Lens | PBS

  Think about it Comment:  Of course, this documentary film revealed important outcomes of our quite dysfunctional property markets. For the people who are forced to live in depreciated housing in neighborhoods where public services are minimal and employment opportunities almost non-existence, the aggregate effect is despair.  Property prices might be quite low, but even so individual and household income is insufficient to pay the cost of rental housing or qualify for financing to obtain ownership. At the other end of our property markets prices are reaching heights where all but those with very high incomes are able to save enough to cover the down payment and closing costs required.  What do the problems in these very different markets have in common? A combination of huge land costs and land that is held for years or decades as a speculative investment or simply because the cost of holding the land off the market is minimal. These are problems created by how property is assessed a

In The News #BigIsms #TiyaMiles #CRT #ApocalypticAnxiety #BloodMeridian

When Everyone Around You Is Talking About the End, Talk About Black History Tiya Miles, February 13, 2022, The New York Times Everyone around me seems to be talking about the end. The end of nearly a million American lives in the Covid pandemic; the end of American democracy; the end of a public bulwark against racism and blatant antisemitism; the end of the post-Cold War peace in Europe; the end of the stable climate; and the end of our children’s best futures, to name a few undeniable possibilities. A condition of apocalyptic anxiety has overtaken us, raising our collective blood pressure, and sending us deeper into a maelstrom of suspicion, conspiracy thinking and pessimism. I confess that I have also been down in this foxhole of doomsday thinking, but hearing it voiced by one of my children, a girl who should have a whole, vibrant life ahead of her, snapped me out of my anxious crouch. This is just a change . I have given these impromptu words of maternal reassur

Virtual Workshop: The Aesthetics of Black Power

  Virtual Workshop: The Aesthetics of Black Power Schomburg Center for Research in African American History and Culture Thursday, February 17, 2022  • 4:00 to 5:00 pm EST register here  (online event) In this virtual educator workshop, we will examine primary sources from the Schomburg Center to explore the ways that African Americans in the Black Power Era utilized fashion to disrupt historically entrenched anti-black standards of beauty and imagine a new liberatory politics for Black style. Participants will get a sneak peak of curriculum in development and receive advanced copies of related materials to use in the classroom.

The Whole World in Her Hands

  American Masters: Marian Anderson - The Whole World in Her Hands PBS Premieres  Tuesday, February 8, 2022 Discover an international singer who captivated royalty in Europe and defied the conscience of 1939 America. Watch rare archival footage and hear audio recordings exploring her life and career from the Metropolitan Opera to the State Department. Watch the Preview

In The News #BigIsms #CRT | Frederick Douglass’ 1876 Report

The Backlash Against C.R.T. Shows That Republicans Are Losing Ground Jamelle Bouie, February 4, 2022, The New York Times Since January 2021, according to an analysis by Education Week,  Republican lawmakers in 37 states have introduced dozens of bills to restrict teaching on the subject of race and racism under the guise of opposition to “critical race theory.” In 14 states, restrictions have either passed into law or been imposed through either executive action or on the authority of a state education commission. One such law, passed in Texas, prohibits teaching that “slavery and racism are anything other than deviations from, betrayals of, or failures to live up to the authentic founding principles of the United States, which include liberty and equality.” One predictable outcome of this frenzy — which includes state lawmakers scrutinizing K-12 and college curriculums for “indoctrination” — is a chilling effect in classrooms, as any attempt to teach an accurate h

The Miracle of Love

Baldwin writes: For, perhaps — perhaps — between now and the last day, something wonderful will happen, a miracle, a miracle of coherence and release. And the miracle on which one’s unsteady attention is focused is always the same, however it may be stated, or however it may remain unstated. It is the miracle of love, love strong enough to guide or drive one into the great estate of maturity, or, to put it another way, into the apprehension and acceptance of one’s own identity. For some deep and ineradicable instinct — I believe — causes us to know that it is only this passionate achievement which can outlast death, which can cause life to spring from death. Baldwin offers: But if one can reach back, reach down — into oneself, into one’s life — and find there some witness, however unexpected or ambivalent, to one’s reality, one will be enabled, though perhaps not very spiritedly, to face another day… What on

In The News #BigIsms #AntonDeKom #SlaveShip #BookBans #Texas #CRT

  John B. Cade’s Project to Document the Stories of the Formerly Enslaved Susanna Ashton, January 26, JSTOR Daily Punishments came on rainy days, reported Thomas Brown from South Carolina. In order to avoid losing the labor during fine weather, his enslaver would, with calculated efficiency, “… keep an account of all the things we did, and on rainy days, we were punished.” A modern reader might imagine that a rainy day could be a respite from toil, but as this testimony demonstrates, those days might just as well augur terror. It was some 70 years after emancipation when Brown shared his story but he was determined to make his witness still matter. In his interview he goes on to detail the kinds of torture and abuse his body was subjected to including beatings from a board designed to raise blisters that would be burst through whipping and finally salted to extend his suffering. continue   Lone-Star Inquisition: How the Texas book ban harks back to the heyday of the

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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