238 posts tagged with slavery.
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Peter. Ben. Harry. Daniel...

What we owe the slaves that built the White House
posted by dfm500 on Jul 28, 2016 - 40 comments

The Paintings of Ben Sakoguchi

In a series of colorful, captivating, and often provocative paintings, Los Angeles artist Ben Sakoguchi (b. 1938) examines how baseball, long referred to as America’s national pastime, reflects both the highs and lows of American culture. The son of a grocer and avid baseball fan, Sakoguchi juxtaposes the iconic imagery of vintage orange crate labels from the 1920s to the 1950s with whimsical, eccentric, and sometimes scathing portrayals of America’s beloved sport. [more inside]
posted by dfm500 on Jun 30, 2016 - 8 comments

Remaking 'Roots'

Remaking 'Roots' In this version, accuracy is at the forefront, Mr. Wolper said one day last fall, in his production office in New Orleans, where the walls were covered with images of slave ships, plantation houses and African beads. “I’m not being modest here,” he said. “We have to make it better than the first ‘Roots.’ Otherwise, why bother?”
posted by modernnomad on May 18, 2016 - 31 comments

Oh, weep no more today! We will sing one song, for the old Kentucky Home

The Kentucky Derby, "America's Greatest Race," will take place at Churchill Downs this weekend. CNN international has answers to 11 general questions to get you started in the festivities, and NBC New York has a short history of the spectacle around the race, which is largely about fashion through the decades. And then there's the opening ceremony and song - My Old Kentucky Home (official "sing along" video). It sounds pretty somber, and it is, especially if you sing all of the original 1831 lyrics. The Forgotten Racial History Of Kentucky's State Song (NPR Codeswitch). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 6, 2016 - 22 comments

The myth of the "Irish slave"

How the Myth of the "Irish slaves" Became a Favorite Meme of Racists Online [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Apr 26, 2016 - 96 comments

What Does It Owe Their Descendants?

"More than a dozen universities — including Brown, Columbia, Harvard and the University of Virginia — have publicly recognized their ties to slavery and the slave trade. But the 1838 slave sale organized by the Jesuits, who founded and ran Georgetown, stands out for its sheer size, historians say." (slnyt)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 18, 2016 - 37 comments

Inside America’s Auschwitz

Smithsonian Magazine looks at the Whitney Plantation, the first slave museum in the United States.
“Often, plantation exhibits were established for those who lived through the Civil Rights era and yearned for a less complicated time,” says Ashley Rogers, director of museum operations. “And that’s an easy thing to accomplish when you have a ‘chandelier’ tour. Where the previous focus at plantations has been on the house and the culture of Southern gentility, things are changing.”
posted by frimble on Apr 9, 2016 - 41 comments

“Slavery has always been a legal institution. And it never ended.”

prisoners are the slaves of today, and that slavery affects our society economically, morally and politically.” (pdf)
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 5, 2016 - 42 comments

The new triangle trade

"If slavery were an American state it would have the population of California and the economic output of the District of Columbia, but it would be the world’s third-largest producer of CO2."
posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 9, 2016 - 23 comments

"Oh! Sir, I am very glad, because he is free now."

After much criticism and some defence, A Birthday Cake for George Washington has been pulled by Scholastic Press. [more inside]
posted by Stilling Still Dreaming on Jan 18, 2016 - 72 comments

Blood-Bought Sweets

Quakers pioneered social enterprise. They were also the first to fail: How hard was it to opt out of the slave economy in the U.S. before the Civil War? Pretty hard, as the "free produce" movement discovered: In 1829... the members of [the Female Association for Promoting the Manufacture and Use of Free Cotton] reported their contractors had spun 2,515 pounds of cotton. Compared to the approximately 78 million pounds of cotton produced across the country in the year 1800 alone, it was a drop in the bucket. The economics of slavery previously.
posted by Cash4Lead on Jan 7, 2016 - 12 comments

Les Guerriers de l’Ombre

But where much slavery media aims for education and humanity, Freedom wants blood. You kidnap slave drivers and set fire to their buildings. Freedom still shocks today, and that it debuted the same year as Super Mario Bros. 2 is almost unfathomable in the traditional framework of game history and culture.

Freedom: Rebels in the Darkness was a slave rebellion game for the Amiga, Atari ST, and PC by Afro-Caribbean developer Muriel Tramis. Screenshots at MobyGames, many of which are very evocative.
posted by ignignokt on Jan 6, 2016 - 4 comments

Ashley's Sack

My great grandmother Rose
mother of Ashley gave her this sack when
she was sold at age 9 in South Carolina
it held a tattered dress 3 handfulls of
pecans a braid of Roses hair

posted by Countess Elena on Jan 5, 2016 - 21 comments

The forgotten slaves of Tromelin Island

On July 31, 1760, L'Utile, a ship of the French East Indian Company loaded with an illegal cargo of about 160 Malagasy slaves, was shipwrecked on a barren, windswept islet now known as Tromelin Island, 500 km east of Madagascar. The French crew, with the help of the surviving Malagasy, built a makeshift boat and set sail for Madagascar two months later, leaving behind 60 Malagasy with three months’ provisions, a letter recognising their good conduct and the promise that someone would come back for them. Weeks passed, then months, then years. Since 2006, archeological teams have gone to Tromelin to examine the wreck site and learn about the lives of the marooned Malagasy: diary of the 2010 campaign. [more inside]
posted by elgilito on Jan 5, 2016 - 8 comments

“...people are guilty if they eat shrimp that we peeled like slaves.”

Global supermarkets selling shrimp peeled by slaves. by Margie Mason, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza and Esther Htusan [Associated Press] [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Dec 14, 2015 - 84 comments

Then he handed me a bag full of money

"The Memphis Grizzlies will be honoring the old Memphis Sounds for their Hardwood Classic games this NBA season by wearing the Sounds’ red-and-white jerseys. Given that the Sounds were around in the early 1970s and were of the ABA, the jerseys are pretty slick and sweet. ...To understand the Sounds you need to understand the music. And to understand the music you need to understand race and cotton." - Curtis Harris on Stax Records and the context of the Memphis Sounds.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 16, 2015 - 18 comments

"This is not a comfortable conversation."

Michael Twitty is becoming one of the most transformative figures in the world of food. Reinterrogating and recreating African-American history in the context of American culinary history through his blog Afroculinaria, Twitty argues for "culinary justice" in food writing and the conversation on food history. His project (and forthcoming book of the same name) The Cooking Gene is in part a product of his Southern Discomfort Tour, a journey retracing the preservation and transmission of culinary knowledge before, during and beyond slavery. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Oct 11, 2015 - 8 comments

“...lot of dogs dont like black people but theyre fine w/everyone else.”

Our Racist Dogs by Kelly Mays McDonald [The Awl] Why do certain dogs attack certain people? Because they’re weaponized.
“Weaponized dogs are ever-present in humanity’s long legacy of colonialism and slavery. They have fought alongside many instances of human atrocity to perpetrate acts of physical and psychological violence that supersede the scope of a simple gunshot. European colonizers of the New World notably trained their dogs to “relish Indian flesh” by explicitly feeding them the bodies of the victims after a battle. Throughout America’s early history, slave masters and bounty hunters adopted bloodhounds as the primary means of tracking down runaway slaves by scent, which is widely depicted in popular media. What is left out of the popular narrative, however, is the fact that when they encountered people on the run, the dogs were often trained to bite and tear the flesh of slaves to hold them there until they could be shot, shackled and dragged back to their masters for public lynchings and beatings.”
posted by Fizz on Sep 18, 2015 - 31 comments

Modern day slavery in Brazil; an invisible crime with numbers unknown.

Al Jazeera has recently published a series of articles: -
Heartache and suffering: Slavery in Brazil.
Escaping forced Labour - ex-slaves push for justice in a system that often fails them.
Mining Misery, Subcontracting slavery: How big companies in Brazil get away with it.
posted by adamvasco on Sep 12, 2015 - 1 comment

Slave Tetris

Because it was "perceived to be extremely insensitive by some people," Danish game developer Serious Games Interactive has removed the 'Slave Tetris' feature from Playing History: Slave Trade.
posted by buriednexttoyou on Sep 2, 2015 - 80 comments

Kings County Penitentiary

The Luxury Brooklyn Apartment Complex at the Site of a Former Prison [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin on Sep 2, 2015 - 20 comments

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.”

Colonel Ty Seidule, Professor and Head of the Department of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, explains that the American Civil War was fought over slavery. (Via)
posted by zarq on Aug 12, 2015 - 50 comments

Lost Friends

Lost Friends: Advertisements from the Southwestern Christian Advocate:
Two dollars in 1880 bought a yearlong subscription to the Southwestern Christian Advocate, a newspaper published in New Orleans by the Methodist Book Concern and distributed to nearly five hundred preachers, eight hundred post offices, and more than four thousand subscribers in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. The "Lost Friends" column, which ran from the paper's 1877 inception well into the first decade of the twentieth century, featured messages from individuals searching for loved ones lost in slavery.
[more inside] posted by metaquarry on Jul 13, 2015 - 15 comments

Sugar Plantations in the West Indies

The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed The T71 files have been converted into an online database; a free, publicly available resource.
posted by infini on Jul 12, 2015 - 38 comments

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

The Atlantic Slave Trade in Two Minutes

Interactive animation of the Atlantic slave trade. Pause and click on individuals ships for detailed data (not available for all ships).
posted by laptolain on Jul 2, 2015 - 25 comments

"There are an estimated 155,000 modern-day slaves in Mauritania."

A photo feature on five Mauritanian women, now freed from contemporary slavery. Slavery in Mauritania has been called a major human rights issue, with roughly 4% (155,600 people) of the country's population – proportionally the highest for any country – being enslaved against their will. [1]
posted by DarlingBri on Jul 2, 2015 - 10 comments

Broadly speaking, a Duck Dynasty shirt is not a good sign.

One of my favourite Twitter accounts is the frustrating and important @AfAmHistFail, run by an anonymous (for obvious reasons) docent who gives slavery presentations at a historical plantation. She shares the ups and downs of her job, the struggles to keep composure in the face of racist questions and monologues, and the difficulty of puncturing the romanticization of the antebellum South. She was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
posted by DynamiteToast on Jun 22, 2015 - 72 comments

40 acres and a mule

A Reparations Infographic
posted by aniola on Jun 9, 2015 - 42 comments

Migrant Worker Employment Standards at Patagonia

The Unacceptably High Cost of Labor – How a deeper dive into our supply chain led to a new Migrant Worker Standard. Patagonia started auditing their supply chain in 2011 and uncovered the dark side of migrant-worker relations in Taiwan.
posted by blue_beetle on Jun 5, 2015 - 11 comments

Ballast

For the first time, "the wreckage of a slaving ship that went down with slaves aboard has been recovered." The recovery of artifacts from the 1794 shipwreck is a milestone for the African Slave Wrecks Project, a collaboration by six partner groups (including the National Museum of African-American Art and Culture and the National Parks Service) to find, document, and preserve archaeological remnants of the slave trade. Some of the objects will be included in exhibits in the NMAAHC.
posted by Miko on May 31, 2015 - 7 comments

Meet Addy

In 1864, a nine-year-old slave girl was punished for daydreaming. Distracted by rumors that her brother and father would be sold, she failed to remove worms from the tobacco leaves she was picking. The overseer didn’t whip her. Instead, he pried her mouth open, stuffed a worm inside, and forced her to eat it. This girl is not real.
posted by ChuraChura on May 29, 2015 - 53 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

Burmese slaves in the global fish trade

"If Americans and Europeans are eating this fish, they should remember us," said Hlaing Min, 30, a runaway slave from Benjina. "There must be a mountain of bones under the sea. ... The bones of the people could be an island, it's that many."

Are slaves catching the fish you buy? A year-long AP investigation into the use of slaves to catch fish that end up in supply chains going to Kroger, Wal-Mart and Sysco, the U.S.' biggest food distributor.
posted by mediareport on Mar 25, 2015 - 21 comments

"I feel like my own identity was born in those cotton fields."

Victorian mourning dress embodies black history
"Vancouver artist Karin Jones has made a powerful installation about black history at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.It’s a braided black Victorian mourning dress made from artificial hair extensions used by black women. Surrounding the dress on the floor are cotton bolls that contain the artist’s hair. I’ve only seen images the work online. Even so, I found myself really moved by the way it uses beauty to embody painful truths about slavery and the history of people of African descent in North America."
posted by Lexica on Mar 18, 2015 - 9 comments

Is it an art gallery? A plantation tour? A museum?

Building the First Slavery Museum in America - David Amsden, The New York Times
"From their weathered cypress frames, a dusty path, lined with hulking iron kettles that were used by slaves to boil sugar cane, leads to a grassy clearing dominated by a slave jail — an approach designed so that a visitor’s most memorable glimpse of the white shutters and stately columns of the property’s 220-year-old 'Big House' will come through the rusted bars of the squat, rectangular cell. A number of memorials also dot the grounds, including a series of angled granite walls engraved with the names of the 107,000 slaves who spent their lives in Louisiana before 1820. Inspired by Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, the memorial lists the names nonalphabetically to mirror the confusion and chaos that defined a slave’s life."
[more inside] posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 27, 2015 - 21 comments

Reginald D. Hunter's Songs of the South

In a three-part series on BBC2 in the UK over February and March, Reginald D. Hunter travels across the (USA) south and explores the music and culture. There is a bunch of intriguing clips in advance. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Feb 16, 2015 - 7 comments

Welcome to Americana

The Brazilian Town Where the American Confederacy Lives On 'I asked if she knew there was a connection between slavery and the American South. "I've never heard that before," she said. She wasn't sure why her ancestors had left the States. "I know they came. I don't really know the reason," she said. "Is it because of racism?" She smiled, embarrassed. "Don't tell my grandmother!"'
posted by kmz on Feb 6, 2015 - 32 comments

How Harry Potter fans won a four-year fight against child slavery

Right before Christmas, Warner Bros. quietly gave “Harry Potter” fans what was, for some of them, a long-wished-for gift. In a letter to Andrew Slack, the founder of the Harry Potter Alliance, Joshua Berger, the company’s president for Harry Potter Global Franchise Development, announced, “By the end of 2015, and sooner when possible, all Harry Potter chocolate products sold at Warner Bros. outlets and through our licensed partners will be 100-percent UTZ or Fair Trade certified.”
[more inside] posted by Elementary Penguin on Jan 21, 2015 - 13 comments

"This is whataboutery with a TARDIS"

It was with a heavy heart and no small amount of anger that I decided it was necessary to write a public refutation of the insidious myth that the Irish were once chattel slaves in the British colonies. The subject of this myth is not an issue in academic circles, for there is unanimous agreement, based on overwhelming evidence, that the Irish were never subjected to perpetual, hereditary slavery in the colonies, based on notions of ‘race’. Unfortunately this is not the case in the public domain and the ‘Irish slaves’ myth has been shared so frequently online that it has gone viral.
For OpenDemocracy, Laim Hogan writes a short article on the myth of Irish slavery, extracted from his larger essay 'The myth of “Irish slaves” in the colonies'. This has become relevant again in the wake of Ferguson as white supremacists and others use it to disparage and minimise African-American history and suffering: "the Irish don't ask for reparations and they were slaves".
posted by MartinWisse on Jan 19, 2015 - 97 comments

You asked me to write my life.

My name is Omar ibn Seid (pdf, 163 kb). My birthplace was Fut Tûr, between the two rivers. I sought knowledge under the instruction of a Sheikh called Mohammed Seid, my own brother, and Sheikh Soleiman Kembeh, and Sheikh Gabriel Abdal. I continued my studies twenty-five years. Then there came to our place a large army, who killed many men, and took me, and brought me to the great sea, and sold me into the hands of the Christians, who bound me and sent me on board a great ship and we sailed upon the great sea a month and a half, when we came to a place called Charleston in the Christian language. There they sold me to a small, weak, and wicked man.
[more inside] posted by ChuraChura on Jan 14, 2015 - 6 comments

Slave songs, songs of hope.

Béatrice "Betty" Bonifassi (wiki) has been exploring music rising from slavery for some time now. About 10 years ago she recorded a song called No Heaven (4min) with DJ Champion et ses G-Strings, where the influence is present. She recently released a self titled album with the subtext of chants d'esclaves, chants d'espoir or slave songs, songs of hope. A taste from a live presentation of Prettiest Train / No More my Lawrd . (5min 27sec) Here is a short interview she did in English talking about the music. (5min) Lomax audio recordings of prisoners with hoes preforming Prettiest Train (3min45sec). And prisoners with axes give rendition of No More, My Lord (2min50sec) [more inside]
posted by phoque on Jan 5, 2015 - 8 comments

A Sword Among Lions

"We all appreciate what you're doing"
"But?"
"But you're LOUD and you say uncomfortable things and it is Victorian times"
"So what makes people uncomfortable in Victorian times?"
"I don't know, being alive?" [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 31, 2014 - 12 comments

Finding freedom in a harsh wilderness

The Underground Railroad was the route that allowed Southern slaves to escape North, but some slaves found freedom by hiding closer to home, in the vast wilderness area of North Carolina and Virginia known as the Great Dismal Swamp. Research suggests that thousands of maroons, as the escaped or freed slaves were called, lived there between 1700 and the 1860s. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 30, 2014 - 8 comments

The Barbarous Years

The Shocking Savagery of America's Early History, a look at historian Bernard Bailyn's book.
Bailyn has not painted a pretty picture. Little wonder he calls it The Barbarous Years and spares us no details of the terror, desperation, degradation and widespread torture—do you really know what being “flayed alive” means? (The skin is torn from the face and head and the prisoner is disemboweled while still alive.) And yet somehow amid the merciless massacres were elements that gave birth to the rudiments of civilization—or in Bailyn’s evocative phrase, the fragile “integument of civility”—that would evolve 100 years later into a virtual Renaissance culture, a bustling string of self-governing, self-sufficient, defiantly expansionist colonies alive with an increasingly sophisticated and literate political and intellectual culture that would coalesce into the rationale for the birth of American independence. All the while shaping, and sometimes misshaping, the American character. It’s a grand drama in which the glimmers of enlightenment barely survive the savagery, what Yeats called “the blood-dimmed tide,” the brutal establishment of slavery, the race wars with the original inhabitants that Bailyn is not afraid to call “genocidal,” the full, horrifying details of which have virtually been erased.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 20, 2014 - 42 comments

Deliver Us

Ridley Scott's new film Exodus: Gods and Kings recasts the myth of Moses in typically grimdark swords-and-sandals fashion. It... ain't so good. Want something more artful? Look no further than The Prince of Egypt [alt], an underrated masterpiece of DreamWorks' traditional animation era. Directed by Brenda Chapman (a first for women in animation), scored to spectacular effect by Hans Zimmer and Stephen Schwartz, and voiced by, among others, Voldemort, Batman, and Professor X, the ambitious film features gorgeous, striking visuals and tastefully integrated CGI in nearly every scene. It also manages the improbable feat of maturing beyond cartoon clichés while humanizing the prophet's journey from carefree scion to noble (and remorseful) liberator without offending half the planet -- while still being quite a fun ride. Already seen it? Catch the making-of documentary, or click inside for more. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 15, 2014 - 86 comments

Angela Davis on police violence

‘There is an unbroken line of police violence in the United States that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery, the aftermath of slavery, the development of the Ku Klux Klan,” says Angela Davis. “There is so much history of this racist violence that simply to bring one person to justice is not going to disturb the whole racist edifice.”
posted by standardasparagus on Dec 14, 2014 - 17 comments

I El-Rei have knowledge of you Captain Zumbi of Palmares...

Quilombos are the communities formed by escaped slaves in Brazil.
Probably the most well known of these is Palmares one of whose inhabitants was the legendary leader Zumbi.
posted by adamvasco on Nov 19, 2014 - 7 comments

Industry and government say "Collect Everything".

"Sometimes, society gets it wrong... When that happens, strong privacy protections—including collection controls that let people pick who gets their data, and when—allow the persecuted and unpopular to survive."

What happens when we let industry and government collect all the data they want.

posted by anemone of the state on Nov 9, 2014 - 21 comments

Candyland

Sugar: the evolution of a forbidden fruit
Sweetness was meant to be irresistible. We are born with a sweet tooth. Babies drink in sugar with their mother’s milk. Sweetness represents an instant energy boost, a fuel that kept our ancestors going in a harsher world where taste buds evolved to distinguish health-giving ripeness and freshness from the dangers of bitter, sour, toxic foods. Sugar gives us drug-like pleasures – lab rats deprived of their sugar-water fix exhibit classic signs of withdrawal. When things are going well, we blissfully say, “Life is sweet.”
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 13, 2014 - 20 comments

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