19 posts tagged with race and slavery.
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Letter to My Son

Letter to My Son, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, July 4, 2015: "I came to understand that my country was a galaxy, and this galaxy stretched from the pandemonium of West Baltimore to the happy hunting grounds of Mr. Belvedere. I obsessed over the distance between that other sector of space and my own. I knew that my portion of the American galaxy, where bodies were enslaved by a tenacious gravity, was black and that the other, liberated portion was not... And I felt in this a cosmic injustice, a profound cruelty, which infused an abiding, irrepressible desire to unshackle my body and achieve the velocity of escape."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 5, 2015 - 31 comments

Her legacy is rooted in resisting the foundation of American capitalism.

Keep Harriet Tubman – and all women – off the $20 bill. "Harriet Tubman did not fight for capitalism, free trade, or competitive markets." [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on May 14, 2015 - 66 comments

"A Subtlety" & We Are Here

Why I Yelled at the Kara Walker Exhibit: "Anger shot up my body like a hot thermometer. Face flushed, I walked to the Mammy sphinx. Couples posed in front of it, smiling as others took their photos. So here it was, an artwork about how Black people’s pain was transformed into money was a tourist attraction for them... Something snapped... I yelled that this was our history and that many of us were angry and sad that it was a site of pornographic jokes." [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 2, 2014 - 170 comments

Did black people own slaves?

"One of the most vexing questions in African-American history is whether free African Americans themselves owned slaves. The short answer to this question, as you might suspect, is yes, of course … For me, the really fascinating questions about black slave-owning are how many black "masters" were involved, how many slaves did they own and why did they own slaves?" Henry Louis Gates Jr. on black slave owners.
posted by klangklangston on Jun 26, 2014 - 56 comments

"By our unpaid labor and suffering..."

"To celebrate freedom and democracy while forgetting America’s origins in a slavery economy is patriotism à la carte." Slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation both de jure and de facto--Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Case for Reparations.
posted by ilicet on May 21, 2014 - 153 comments

Why I Wouldn't See 12 Years a Slave With a White Person

"Very often, black people work to make white people at ease by layering away any unease we ourselves may feel. It is hard work to translate yourself daily to someone else who most likely lives life without ever being fully aware of how their very existence has been the basis for determining what is 'normal' in America and much of the world. And yet this painful and ongoing work of translation is second nature to those of us who have always had to figure out ways to be seen and understood in a world where the white experience is assumed to be the default."
posted by rcraniac on Nov 28, 2013 - 191 comments

"The American Revolution is not a story just for white people."

"We’ve coined a term," said Katrinah Lewis, the actress who typically interprets Lydia. "Post-traumautic slave syndrome." The Washington Post reports on African American actors who interpret the lives of slaves at Colonial Williamsburg.
posted by Snarl Furillo on Mar 11, 2013 - 38 comments

Interesting aspects of the American Civil War

Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, recently touched on a couple of interesting aspects of the American Civil War. First, Racism Against White People briefly looked at how Southern intellectuals argued that Northern whites were of a different race. Then a subthread in the comments on that post spawned an investigation of American Exceptionalism in History and the notion of preserving democracy in the context of the American Civil War. After all, "if a government can be sundered simply because the minority doesn't like the results of an election, can it even call itself a government?" Definitely check out the comments of both posts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jul 8, 2012 - 49 comments

"The Civil War isn't tragic"

The Atlantic's Ta-nehisi Coates sparks months of debate with his contention that The Civil War Isn't Tragic. "The Civil War is our revolution. It ended slavery, and birthed both modern America, and modern black America. That can never be tragic to me." [more inside]
posted by Danila on Aug 25, 2011 - 116 comments

The New Jim Crow

“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.” [more inside]
posted by TheGoodBlood on Mar 28, 2011 - 143 comments

Swimming, or the lack of, in the Black American community

A recent drowning tragedy in Shreveport, Louisiana has brought to light a startling statistic in America: a majority of black youth can not swim. [more inside]
posted by nomadicink on Aug 11, 2010 - 207 comments

Deadly Symbiosis

Deadly Symbiosis: Rethinking race and imprisonment in twenty-first-century America.
posted by lunit on Jan 29, 2009 - 16 comments

The Dream is Alive

Happy Birthday Dr. King. Today is Martin Luther King Day. He was born 80 years ago, on January 15th, 1929. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just thirty-nine years old. Tomorrow, more than four decades after Dr. King’s death, Barack Obama will take his oath of office to become the 44th president of the United States and the first African American president in US history. The Reverend Joseph Lowery, a civil rights icon who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr, King, will deliver the benediction at the inauguration ceremony. Obama accepted the Democratic party nomination on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, arguably his most famous address. While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People"s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic US foreign policy and the Vietnam War. [more inside]
posted by caddis on Jan 19, 2009 - 30 comments

What Happened to My Forty Acres and a Mule, Fool?

40 acres and a mule has been a slogan of African-American economic aspirations ever since the legislation creating the Freedman's Bureau promised ex-slaves parcels not exceeding forty acres each, to the loyal refugees and freedmen. General William Tecumseh Sherman's Special Field Order No. 15 decreed that the land on slave plantations be seized and distributed to freed slaves, but Andrew Johnson rescinded the order and vetoed expansion of the Freedman's Bureau. Both Henry Louis Gates and Dalton Conley have associated the failure to grant freed slaves their "40 acres and a mule" with the wealth gap between black and white Americans, but now an economics grad student, Melinda Miller, has brought important quantitative data to the debate in a new research paper. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Dec 14, 2007 - 43 comments

The Slow Death of American Slavery

Slavery Ended in the 1960s, not the 1860s The Civil War made slavery illegal, but that didn't wipe it out completely. White farmer, John Williams, forced his black overseer to murder 11 slaves in the wake of a 1921 federal investigation. The Dial Brothers were also convicted by the Justice Department for "African slavery" in the 1940s. In another case, a black genealogist found a 104-year-old man who claims he and his family were enslaved until the 1960s. It's not necessary to rehash the entire reparations debate to realize that some of these post-Civil War slavery cases may finally have a day in court.
posted by jonp72 on Dec 5, 2003 - 13 comments

Senator Blanche K. Bruce

Senator Blanche K. Bruce was the first black person to serve a full term in the United States Senate (representing Mississippi from 1875 to 1881), and the first person born into slavery to preside over the Senate. The Senate Commission on Art recently unveiled a newly-acquired portrait of this determined leader.
posted by oissubke on Dec 16, 2002 - 17 comments

Gone To Croatan: Runaway Slaves, Lost Tribes, Tri-Racial Isolates & Hi, Iconomy!

In the late 18th or early 19th century a group of runaway slaves and serfs fled from Kentucky into the Ohio Territory, where they inter-married with Natives and formed a tribe - red, white & black - called the Ben Ishmael tribe. The Ishmaels (who seem to have been Islamically inclined) followed an annual nomadic route through the territory, hunting & fishing, and finding work as tinkers and minstrels. They were polygamists, and drank no alcohol. Every winter they returned to their original settlement, where a village had grown.

But eventually the US Govt. opened the Territory to settlement, and the ~official~ pioneers arrived. Around the Ishmael village a town began to spring up, called Cincinnati. Soon it was a big city. But Ishmael village was still there, engulfed & surrounded by "civilization." Now it was a ~slum~.


Maroons, Ramapaughs, Jackson Whites, the Moors of Delaware, Melungeons, the Ben Ishmaels--hat tip to Footnotes of History on that last--Red Bones, Brass Ankles, Turks, Lumbees, Croatans and other lost tribes and rebel slave communities.

The questions raised are what is race, tribe and family ...among others.

Included by extension are Hakim Bey, The Moorish Orthodox Church, various tribes of Black Indians, Jukes, Kallikaks, Margaret Sanger, The Bell Curve and Heather Locklear. (Step within the tent for the latter's interpetive dance)
posted by y2karl on Nov 15, 2002 - 38 comments

Non-blacks expelled from anti-racism conference.

Non-blacks expelled from anti-racism conference. Delegates at an anti-racism conference voted last Wednesday to expel non-blacks from the meeting, saying it was too traumatic to discuss slavery in front of them. Ironic? Hypocritical? Justified?
posted by swank6 on Oct 7, 2002 - 39 comments

Here's your reparations money, now shut up!

Here's your reparations money, now shut up! Another POV in the slavery reparations debate: From the conservative National Review, an argument that paying off black Americans would be worth it "if they could no longer play the race card."
posted by darren on Mar 20, 2001 - 24 comments

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