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a US presidential slave ownership reference table

Which US presidents owned slaves? [more inside]
posted by threeants on Dec 30, 2013 - 82 comments

Abolished at last

18 years before slavery was finally abolished in Mississippi, T.V. Nation went and got themselves some slaves. [more inside]
posted by Cold Lurkey on Feb 18, 2013 - 87 comments

"If I was to die, today or tomorrow, I do not think I would die satisfied till you tell me you will try and marry some good, smart man that will take care of you and the children"

Author Jon Meacham has a new book out on Thomas Jefferson. It is reviewed in the New York Times: Cultivating Control in a Nation’s Crucible
But this book does not address its principal concern, power, until Jefferson has accrued some. When it comes to the force that he wielded as a slaveholder, Mr. Meacham finds ways to suggest that thoughts of abolition would have been premature; that it was not uncommon for white heads of households to be waited on by slaves who bore family resemblances to their masters; and that since Jefferson treated slavery as a blind spot, the book can too.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 3, 2012 - 44 comments

A photographic essay on modern day Slavery

Lisa Kristine, a photographer, gives a thoughtful and very moving talk on the extent of modern day slavery in this TEDx talk. The photos she shows are absolutely beautiful and the bare-bones stories behind them are exceptionally hard to hear at times. The group she is working with, Free the Slaves, seems to be doing a lot of good work and working on real solutions for the people involved (such as the one example she gives where the slaves that were freed carried on doing the same work, the only work they had ever known, but rent the quarry themselves and are now the recipients of the profits etc). She has published a book with these photos as well and it's available on her website.
posted by HopStopDon'tShop on Aug 15, 2012 - 4 comments

The Sins of the Fathers

Richard Dawkins on the surreal experience of being the subject of a Sunday Telegraph "gotcha" article.
posted by Artw on Feb 19, 2012 - 167 comments

"Please try to respect the youth. They are the ones who are going to build the next generation."

Now in its fourth year, CNN Heroes highlights and rewards "Everyday People Changing the World." This year's Hero of the Year (chosen by public poll) is Anuradha Koirala, whose group Maiti Nepal has rescued more than 12,000 women and girls from sex slavery along the India / Nepal border since 1993. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 26, 2010 - 9 comments

Meeting David Wilson

David A. Wilson, descendant of slaves, traced his family tree back to North Carolina, where he met David B. Wilson, descendant of the slave owners. "Meeting David Wilson" is the documentary that resulted. [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias on Apr 10, 2008 - 19 comments

mobile homes built without nails

Chattel houses were very small houses, built by freed slaves or plantation workers, that could be dismantled quickly and moved in the event they were fired or unable to pay property tax to the plantation owner on whose land the house stood. Examples in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad l Sunday 25 March 2007 marked 200 years to the day that the British Parliament passed an Act to outlaw the slave trade in British colonies. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Mar 9, 2008 - 4 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

Shameful day for the Cherokee Nation?

Members of the Cherokee Nation have voted to revoke tribal citizenship for descendants of black slaves the Cherokees once owned.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 4, 2007 - 117 comments

Code Breaking

Did Anyone Really Follow the Drinking Gourd? Were you taught that slaves in the antebellum South sang this traditional song to convey coded instructions for escaping Northward? Were you taught that quilt block patterns could be read as a map to freedom, or that quilts were hung outside safe houses as signals to escaping slaves?Though these are among the most often taught stories of the operation of the Underground Railroad, current scholarship indicates that these aren't survivals of pre-Civil War African-American folklore, but legends constructed and popularized within the twentieth century, frequently by white writers and performers. In today's New York Times, these legends battle it out with fact in debate over the proposed design of a new Frederick Douglass memorial [PDF].
posted by Miko on Jan 23, 2007 - 42 comments

Laid Off From Life

Peter Drucker; the Prince of Management, dead at 95. He was a visionary leader to many. I tried to look up some opposing views and could not readily find any. Peace out.
posted by Mr T on Nov 12, 2005 - 22 comments

Lets wade in the water

Lets wade in the water, Coded slave songs.
posted by sgt.serenity on Apr 27, 2005 - 15 comments

Voices from the Days of Slavery.

Voices from the Days of Slavery. A collection of audio recordings made between 1932 and 1975 of African Americans known to have once been slaves. Hear Isom Moseley describe how he used to make soap, and express his opinion of the "white folks" who owned and ran the plantation where he was held. Wallace Quarterman describes his experience as a freed man in Georgia, and recounts the violent atmosphere of the Reconstruction South. Aunt Phoebe Boyd describes the demands of agricultural work. Even more narratives are available as transcripts from the companion exhibit, Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 (linked to previously on Metafilter here), though some of these were unfortunately edited selectively.
posted by profwhat on Jan 19, 2004 - 15 comments

Vodou

Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou. 'Vodou is Haiti's mirror. Its arts and rituals reflect the difficult, brilliant history of seven million people, whose ancestors were brought from Africa to the Caribbean in bondage. In 1791 these Africans began the only successful national slave revolt in history. In 1804 they succeeded in creating the world's first Black republic: the only one in this hemisphere where all the citizens were free. Their success inspired admiration, fear and scorn in the wider world. Cut off from Euro-American support, Haitians managed to created their own dynamic "Creole" society-one rooted in Africa but responsive to all that was encountered in their new island home.' History, theology and religious art.
Related :- an essay on the Vodou concept of soul, Voodoos and Obeahs on sacred-texts ('required reading if you want to understand the background of Haitian and Jamaican Vodun, and the profound influence of imperialism, slavery and racism on its development').
posted by plep on Jan 2, 2004 - 10 comments

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Americas: A Visual Record. 'This collection is envisioned as a tool and a resource that can be used by teachers, researchers, students, and the general public -- in brief, anyone interested in the experiences of Africans who were enslaved and transported to the Americas and the lives of their descendants in the slave societies of the New World. '
posted by plep on Dec 9, 2003 - 3 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

Olaudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano, or, Gustavus Vassa, the African. 'According to his famous autobiography, written in 1789, Olaudah Equiano (c.1745-1797) was born in what is now Nigeria. Kidnapped and sold into slavery in childhood, he was taken as a slave to the New World. As a slave to a captain in the Royal Navy, and later to a Quaker merchant, he eventually earned the price of his own freedom by careful trading and saving. As a seaman, he travelled the world, from the Mediterranean to the North Pole. Coming to London, he became involved in the movement to abolish the slave trade, an involvement which led to him writing and publishing The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African (1789) a strongly abolitionist autobiography ... '
Of interest :- Ignatius Sancho: African Man of Letters; Quobna Ottabah Cugoano: a Former Slave Speaks Out; American Slave Narratives ('From 1936 to 1938, over 2,300 former slaves from across the American South were interviewed by writers and journalists under the aegis of the Works Progress Administration'); Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938; Excerpts from Slave Narratives.
posted by plep on Jul 17, 2003 - 8 comments

Slavery in Ghana

Child Slaves in Ghana. Short article and photos, from AllAfrica.com.
Related :- Ghana's trapped slaves. "The girls are my slaves - they are the property of my shrine"
posted by plep on Apr 25, 2003 - 10 comments

Coming to America!

Coming to America! Rejected by several countries, this relatively small tribe that has been living in slavery and in violent refugee camps is coming to the US. NY Times reg. req.
posted by Plunge on Mar 10, 2003 - 43 comments

There has been alot in the news about Slave Reperations lately.

There has been alot in the news about Slave Reperations lately. Friday while at the store, the register clerk started to ask me about my family history and then accused me of being a descendant of her ancestor's slave master and told me i owed her. What type of scam is this?
posted by crackheadmatt on Aug 18, 2002 - 135 comments

Happy Juneteenth!

Happy Juneteenth! On this date in 1865, slaves in Texas were notified that Lincoln had emancipated them two years earlier. It's a state holiday in Texas, and Juneteenth is observed in pockets of other states. Should it become a national holiday?
posted by Holden on Jun 19, 2002 - 16 comments

Who owns the products of slave labour?

Who owns the products of slave labour? Or, more broadly, how do we remember the Holocaust? A unique dispute over ownership rights to artwork in the case of the Auschwitz Memorial Museum vs. former camp prisoner Dinah Gottliebova Babbitt illuminates underlying moral questions about the Holocaust and post-Holocaust culture. Babbitt, now living in southern California, is a university-trained Czechoslovak artist who has been fighting to reclaim her art from the Auschwitz Museum since 1973... [She] was a Jewish prisoner there in 1944 when Josef Mengele learned of her artistic skills and forced her to make watercolor portraits of dying Gypsies in order to get the kind of documentation he wanted on exact skin color and ear shapes. Gottliebova Babbitt made a dozen such portraits, seven of which are now tucked away in Room No. 11 of the Auschwitz Museum. [...] "Mengele ordered me to do it as slave labor. But it was my work, my paintings."
posted by jokeefe on Mar 28, 2002 - 20 comments

Reparations activists

Reparations activists are going after corporations who may have had ties to or profited from the slave trade to seek financial compensation. "So far, the reparations legal team has publicly identified five companies it says have slave ties: insurers Aetna, New York Life and AIG and financial giants J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank and FleetBoston Financial Group." Of course, the article (or the sidebar) doesn't cite anyone who may be against the whole notion - which is possibly bias of some sort, and seeing Johnnie Cochran on the list of people involved doesn't exactly warm one's heart either. (here are several other related "background" articles)
posted by owillis on Feb 23, 2002 - 42 comments

No child slaves on board.

No child slaves on board. Of course not. Because if I'm the captain of that ship, or the customer, or the supplier, and every newspaper, TV station and website around the world has been headlining the report of my boat and its embarassing cargo for a week, while I'm still at sea, it's time for some creativity, isn't it? I could have them pick up by another vessel in mid sea. Or, like my forbears in the trade, I could chain them all to something heavy, and toss them overboard. The remaining passengers will know that silence is golden, now, and for years to come. Whatever my decision, I can't complain I didn't have time enough to consider, prepare or execute. The flipside of the information age?
posted by coyroy on Apr 17, 2001 - 1 comment

letter from a freedman to his old master

letter from a freedman to his old master jourdan anderson's letter offers a compelling view of one man's view of freedom. page 2, page 3

posted by riley370 on Oct 26, 2000 - 16 comments

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