In 2002 Henry Louis Gates jr. published The Bondwoman's Narrative
. It was the first publication of a novel written in the 1850s by a former slave who wrote under the name Hannah Crafts. The original manuscript has been digitized by Yale's Beinecke Library
. The book caused a splash at the time, sold well and was reviewed widely, including an essay by Hilary Mantel in the London Review of Books
. The identity of Hannah Crafts was uncertain, which cast a slight shadow on its provenance, but Prof. Gregg Hecimovich discovered the writer's true identity
. Her name was Hannah Bond and after escaping slavery she became a teacher in New Jersey. Journalist Paul Berman further fills in the story of Colonel Wheeler
, the slaveowner whose family was depicted in The Bondwoman's Narrative.
Wheeler was the US ambassador to Nicaragua in the 1850s and played a major part in the administration of General Walker, the American who became a short-lived dictator of Nicaragua and tried to set it up as a slave state.
Robert Penn Warren's book Who Speaks for the Negro?
was a collection of interviews with various men and women involved in the Civil Rights Movement published in 1965. Vanderbilt University has made all the interviews
available as audio and transcripts, taken from the original reel-to-reel recordings. Among the interviewees were Martin Luther King Jr.
, Malcolm X
, Septima Poinsette Clark
, Ralph Ellison
, Stokely Carmichael
, James Baldwin
and Bayard Rustin
. On the page for each interview there are links to related documents
, such as letters, photos and contemporary news articles.
A heartbreaking 10-minute documentary on Joe Gaetjens
who scored the single goal in the USA's shocking victory over England at the 1950 World Cup. Gaetjens was a Haitian accounting student at Columbia University who went to Europe shortly after the 1950 World Cup and returned to Haiti a few years later. His story
, and the story of the upset victory
, was until recently largely unknown in the US.
Make a Map
is a website that lets you create your own maps of the US and areas thereof using various demographics data. It's still in beta stage but it's got all of the US (at least everywhere I've thought to look) and so far has datasets for median household income, population change 2000-9, population density, median home value, unemployment rate, average household size and median age. It's fun to use and taught me a great deal about my home city. The sitemaker, ESRI, also has a pretty good free globe map software, ArcGIS Explorer
, for which you download map layers
Slavery in the North
is a website covering the 200-year history of slavery in the northern colonies in what would become the United States.