Resource Links Tagged with "History"

No More ‘Redface:’ Lost Colony Production Will No Longer Hire White Actors for Native American Roles

by Heather Leah| April 2021
After 83 years of production, The Lost Colony will no longer cast white actors in ‘redface’ for Native American roles. First staged in 1937, the popular outdoor play tells the mysterious and tragic story of the Roanoke Colony in North Carolina. The historic change was prompted by an online petition by Adam Griffin that demanded the play “stop performing racist, redface performances.” The petition, which has been signed by over 600 people, calls the play out for bronzing or painting the skin of white actors so that they appear “like Native Americans.” Griffin’s petition says this is a form of blackface, coined as “redface.”
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [Indigenous] [Art & Culture] [Denial] [History] [Employment]

Return the National Parks to the Tribes; The Jewels of America’s Landscape Should Belong to America’s Original Peoples.

by David Treuer | April 2021
The American story of “the Indian” is one of staggering loss. Some estimates put the original Indigenous population of what would become the contiguous United States between 5 million and 15 million at the time of first contact. By 1890, around the time America began creating national parks in earnest, roughly 250,000 Native people were still alive. In 1491, Native people controlled all of the 2.4 billion acres that would become the United States. Now we control about 56 million acres, or roughly 2 percent. And yet we remain, and some of us have stayed stubbornly near the parks, preserving our attachment to them. Grand Canyon National Park encloses much of the Havasupai Tribe and its reservation. Pipe Spring National Monument sits entirely inside the 120,000-acre Kaibab Paiute Indian Reservation, in northern Arizona. Many other parks neighbor Native communities. But while the parks may be near us, and of us, they are not ours.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2020’s] [History] [Indigenous] [Systemic Racism] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Denial] [Social Justice] [Accountability] [Environment] [Politics] [Assumptions] [Silencing POC]

Whitewashing the Great Depression; How the Preeminent Photographic Record of the Period Excluded People of Color from the Nation’s Self-Image

by Sarah Boxer | December 2020
Quick, name one iconic Depression-era portrait each by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Russell Lee. My guess is that you’d choose Lange’s Migrant Mother, a portrait of Florence Owens Thompson and her children taken in Nipomo, California, in 1936. For Evans, you’d probably pick a 1936 portrait of tight-lipped Allie Mae Burroughs standing before the wall of her family’s cabin in Hale County, Alabama. For Lee, you might draw a blank, but you’d likely recognize his 1937 group portrait Saturday Night in a Saloon, showing four drinkers in Craigville, Minnesota. (It was used in the opening sequence of the TV show Cheers.)
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [Silencing POC] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [White Supremacy] [Art & Culture] [History] [Systemic Racism] [White Defensiveness] [Politics] [Denial]

Okinawans Exhibit Artful Way of Reclaiming Indigenous Space

by Megumi Chibana | April 2021
Note: This article originally appeared in Verge 4.2 (Fall 2018), published by the University of Minnesota Press.
In 1995, the Okinawan community of Yomitan — which had been dispossessed of their lands during the Pacific War to allow for the building of a Japanese airfield — revealed their plans for the future of their village. Village leaders placed an image and a poem at the center of this new vision, an artful way of imagining indigenous space…. In 1995, the Japan-US Special Action Committee on Okinawa, or SACO, agreed on joint use of the Yomitan Airfield. Although the permission provided only for “interim use,” the repossession and use of the airfield by the village opened new space for the community. Through self-organization and the reconfiguration of space, the village successfully refuted the military use of indigenous space and regenerated the landscape as a democratic hub for deliberating alternative futures. This is when the community developed and detailed the Phoenix Plan, as a new vision to imagine indigenous space.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [Art & Culture] [History] [Politics][Indigenous] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Reparations] [Social Justice]

You’re Already on Stolen Land. You Might as Well Pay Rent.

by Sena Crow | November 2019
And yes, if you’re wondering: this post is for white settlers. f you’re not already actively working to unlearn colonizing habits and unconditionally support Indigenous people, now is the perfect time to start. It’s November, and that means it’s Native History Month. Native History Month urges us to ask how we can better recognize, support, and protect Indigenous communities.First, ask yourself this question every day: Whose land am I living on? The second question to ask yourself: What do I own on this land? And the third: What people have lost from what I have gained?
TAGS: [Individual Change] [2010’s] [Indigenous] [Systemic Racism] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [History] [Social Justice] [Accountability]

Performative Activism Is the New ‘Color-Blind’ Band-Aid for White Fragility; White People Embracing Hashtags Won’t Help Us Destroy Anti-Black Racism. Here’s Why.

by Maia Niguel Hoskin, Ph.D. | June 2020
Because Whites are the nonracialized majority, they live in an insulated environment of racial protection and comfort, which makes them unable to tolerate racial stress. Whiteness scholar Robin DiAngelo refers to this as White fragility and says this about it: Once White people are confronted with racial stress, it triggers various defensive responses in them, such as anger, guilt, silence, outward displays of emotion, defensiveness, and shutting down. Some argue that color-blindness has been used as a way for Whites to accommodate their racial fragility and ease their guilt. Feelings of shame and defensiveness associated with racial injustice can be minimized if its existence is denied. Like color-blindness, performative activism is manipulative and maintains systems of racial privilege by Whites centering their desire to seek comfort over addressing racial injustice.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [Myths] [White Fragility/Tears] [“All Lives Matter”] [White Defensiveness] [White Blindness] [White Supremacy] [Social Justice] [Policing] [Black Lives Matter] [History] [Colorblindness] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts] [Anti-Racism]

Nulhegan Abenaki Post Statement on Abenaki Ethnocide

Posted on the website of the Nulhegan Band of the Coosuk-Abenaki Nation | January 2021
The Indigenous Abenaki people of the Northeast have, for generations, been subjected to both genocidal attacks (killing of people) and ethnocidal attacks (killing of culture) by colonial settlers and their descendants. In the colonial era, these threats took the form of murderous attacks on families and villages in war-time. In the modern era, these threats have included eugenic sterilization [http://www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/eugenics/VT/VT.html], forced separations of children and families, misrepresentations of history, and other attacks that the United Nations classifies as “ethnocide.” By definition, ethnocide includes both a “mental element” – “the intent to destroy” – and a “physical element” – when perpetrators deliberately take actions to cause “serious bodily or mental harm” [https://www.un.org/en/genocideprevention/genocide.shtml].
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [Indigenous] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Systemic Racism] [Silencing POC] [Racial Terrorism] [History] [Social Justice]

158 Resources to Understand Racism in America

by Meilan Solly | June 2020
Amid escalating clashes between protesters and police, discussing race—from the inequity embedded in American institutions to the United States’ long, painful history of anti-black violence—is an essential step in sparking meaningful societal change. To support those struggling to begin these difficult conversations, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture recently launched a “Talking About Race” portal featuring “tools and guidance” for educators, parents, caregivers and other people committed to equity. “Talking About Race” joins a vast trove of resources from the Smithsonian Institution dedicated to understanding what Bunch describes as America’s “tortured racial past.” From Smithsonian magazine articles on slavery’s Trail of Tears and the disturbing resilience of scientific racism to the National Museum of American History’s collection of Black History Month resources for educators and a Sidedoor podcast on the Tulsa Race Massacre, these 158 resources are designed to foster an equal society, encourage commitment to unbiased choices and promote antiracism in all aspects of life. Listings are bolded and organized by category.
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [Systemic Racism] [Anti-Racism] [Policing] [Teachers] [History] [Intersectionality] [Slavery] [Racial Terrorism] [Black Lives Matter] [Civil War] [Politics] [Social Justice] [Racial Covenants] [Housing] [Employment] [Economics] [Silencing POC] [Health Disparities] [Prison System] [Implicit Bias] [Indigenous] [Police Shootings] [Latino/a] [White Supremacy] [White Culture]

What Women’s Suffrage Owes to Indigenous Culture

by Briget Quinn | August 2020
It’s an under-known fact that the “revolutionary” concept of a democratic union of discrete states did not spring fully formed from the Enlightenment pens of the Founding Fathers, like sage Athena from the head of Zeus. No, the idea of “united states” sprang from the Haudenosaunee, collective name for six tribes that comprise the so-called (mostly by non-Natives) Iroquois Confederacy: the Seneca, Oneida, Mohawk, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Tuscarora nations. Should you doubt this, check out Congressional Resolution 331, adopted in 1988 by the 100th Congress of the United States, which says as much. It’s worth noting that the Haudenosaunee Confederacy still thrives today, likely the world’s oldest participatory democracy.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [Collective Action] [History] [Indigenous] [Myths] [Politics] [Silencing POC] [Systemic Racism] [White Blindness] [White Culture] [White Fragility/Tears] [White Privilege] [White Supremacy]

Henry Ossawa Tanner: The Life and Work of a 19th-Century Black Artist

by Arnesia Young | February 2021
The 19th century was not an easy time to be a Black person in America, especially if you were trying to make it as an artist. For that reason, it is extremely remarkable to note when an American artist of African descent is able to rise above the racial discrimination so prevalent during that time period and become a renowned artist of international acclaim. Henry Ossawa Tanner was one such artist, and he was able to achieve that impressive feat during his lifetime. While he struggled with the complexities and the implications of his race and heritage, Tanner ultimately persevered and was able to develop his talent in a variety of genres. His artwork and story leave a lasting legacy that has impacted many Black artists who’ve followed since.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [Art & Culture] [History] [Role Model] [Slavery] [Black Lives Matter]

The Aggressive Fragility of ‘I’m Not Racist: and ‘Not All White People’

by Jeremy Helligar | March 2021
Dear Sharon Osbourne, Piers Morgan, and Becky from ‘The Real World Homecoming’: Please. Stop. People can be so exhausting. Correction: Some people can be so exhausting. Although exceptions are generally implied when we generalize, for some people, nothing can be left to implication — especially if the subject is racism. I see evidence of this in the comments section of nearly every article I read or write about race. There are always a few in the audience, usually White, who take offense because they presume that when Black people write about the racism White people inflict on them, unless “White people” is qualified with “some,” they are being lumped in with the main offenders. Apparently, for them, the true horror of racism isn’t racism itself but being accused of it due to association.
TAGS: [Individual Change] [2020’s] [Systemic Racism] [History] [Social Justice] [White Fragility/Tears] [White Supremacy] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts] [Microaggressions] [White Privilege] [Economics]

Texas Student Says Teacher Gave White Students the Go-Ahead to Use the N-Word

by Zack Linly | March 2021
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: A lot of white teachers have no business whatsoever teaching Black students. A Black mother in San Marcos, Texas, has filed a complaint with the San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District over an incident involving her daughter and a teacher who allegedly told her white students that it’s OK for them to say the n-word as long as Black people continue to say it.
TAGS: [Collective Action] [2020’s] [Systemic Racism] [Black Lives Matter] [Teachers] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts] [White Supremacy] [White Blindness] [History] [Cognitive Dissonance] [Accountability]

The Crimson Klan

by Simon J. Levien | March 2021
When J. Max Bond Jr. ’55 entered Harvard at the age of 16, he was among 15 Black students in his class, most of whom lived in the north corner of Harvard Yard. As his freshman spring semester began, two other Harvard freshmen erected a wooden cross facing that corner of the Yard, formed by Stoughton and Holworthy Halls. And around midnight on Feb. 5, 1952, the students lit the cross on fire… Post-Harvard, Bond became one of a few prominent Black architects in the 20th century. After his death in 2009, his widow, Jean Carey Bond, released an 11-page retelling of his life. In it, Jean reveals that the University threatened Bond or any Black student with suspension should they go to the media with the cross burning. Bond, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa and finished undergrad in three years, was never suspended.
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2020’s] [Systemic Racism] [Silencing POC] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [White Defensiveness] [History] [Slavery] [Denial] [Social Justice]

How Native Americans Were Vaccinated Against Smallpox, Then Pushed Off Their Land; Nearly Two Centuries Later, Many Tribes Remain Suspicious of the Drive to Get Them Vaccinated Against the Coronavirus

by Dana Hedgpeth | March 2021
More than 180 years ago, the federal government launched the largest effort of its kind in the United States to vaccinate Native Americans against the deadly disease of smallpox… In 1832, Congress passed legislation — the Indian Vaccination Act — that allowed the federal government to use about $17,000 to hire doctors to vaccinate Native Americans who were living near White frontier settlements. Many White settlers feared that Indians would spread the disease to them. “It wasn’t in the interest of Indian people,” said Pecos, who is also co-director of the Leadership Institute at the Santa Fe Indian School. “It was a way of vaccinating them to move them so White Americans could move them into Western lands.”
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [Indigenous] [Health Disparities] [Politics] [Social Justice] [Systemic Racism] [Racial Terrorism] [Definitions] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Silencing POC] [History]

The Decline of Black Business; and What it Means for American Democracy by Brian S. Feldman | May 2017 The last thirty years also have brought the wholesale collapse of black-owned independent businesses and financial institutions that once anchored black communities across the country. In 1985, sixty black-owned banks were providing financial services to their communities; today, just twenty-three remain. In eleven states that headquartered black-owned banks in 1994, not a single one is still in business. Of the fifty black-owned insurance companies that operated during the 1980s, today just two remain. Over the same period, tens of thousands of black-owned retail establishments and local service companies also have disappeared, having gone out of business or been acquired by larger companies. Reflecting these developments, working-age black Americans have become far less likely to be their own boss than in the 1990s. TAGS: [Strategies] [2010’s] [Art & Culture] [Justice System] [History] [Economics] [Systemic Racism] [Black Lives Matter] [Social Justice] [Politics] [Slavery] [Civil War] [White Supremacy] [White Privilege] [Racial Covenants] [Racial Terrorism]

by Brian S. Feldman | May 2017
The last thirty years also have brought the wholesale collapse of black-owned independent businesses and financial institutions that once anchored black communities across the country. In 1985, sixty black-owned banks were providing financial services to their communities; today, just twenty-three remain. In eleven states that headquartered black-owned banks in 1994, not a single one is still in business. Of the fifty black-owned insurance companies that operated during the 1980s, today just two remain. Over the same period, tens of thousands of black-owned retail establishments and local service companies also have disappeared, having gone out of business or been acquired by larger companies. Reflecting these developments, working-age black Americans have become far less likely to be their own boss than in the 1990s.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2010’s] [Art & Culture] [Justice System] [History] [Economics] [Systemic Racism] [Black Lives Matter] [Social Justice] [Politics] [Slavery] [Civil War] [White Supremacy] [White Privilege] [Racial Covenants] [Racial Terrorism]

For White Allies on Black History and Slavery in the U.S.

(posted) by Paula M. Fitzgibbons | Date Unknown
Black history month is about so much more than slavery, but in the U.S., Black history and slavery are inseparable. And sadly, many of us still don’t have an adequate education on the topic. I’m always flabbergasted when I hear people say that Black Americans need to “get past” slavery. “It wasn’t us,” they say. “That happened hundreds of years ago. Get over it already.” It’s clear to me that these people don’t fully grasp the horror of American slavery, how long it lasted, and what happened after it. They also don’t seem to understand how severe trauma works.
TAGS: [Collective Action] [Slavery] [Black Lives Matter] [Systemic Racism] [White Fragility/Tears] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [White Defensiveness] [White Blindness] [Social Justice] [Racial Terrorism] [Silencing POC] [History] [Denial]

The Samuel George Morton CRANIAL COLLECTION; Historical Significance and New Research

by Emily S. Renschler and Janet Monge | Month Unknown 2008
Although few visitors to the Museum would know this, the Samuel George Morton cranial collection at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is one of the most famous collections of human skulls in the entire world. Its presence in Philadelphia is the result of the collecting activities of Samuel George Morton (1799–1851), a Philadelphian who actively participated in the vibrant medical and scientific community that spanned the Atlantic Ocean in the early 19th century.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [Art & Culture] [History] [Slavery] [Indigenous] [Black Lives Matter] [Latino/a] [Myths] [White Supremacy] [White Privilege] [White Culture] [Systemic Racism]

Black Opera Composer Is Dismissed Over Lyrics for 100-Year Commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre

by Shanelle Genai | March 2021
When composer Daniel Roumain was commissioned to create an original work for “Greenwood Overcomes,” a celebration led by the Tulsa Opera to recognize the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, I’m sure he never thought one lyric would be enough to lose him the commission. Unfortunately, it was. As Vulture reports, Roumain composed an aria inspired by the horrific details of the massacre titled They Still Want to Kill Us, with the last two lines reading: “God bless America/God damn America.” But when mezzo-soprano singer Denyce Graves, who was set to perform the aforementioned song, expressed concerns over those lines—Tulsa Opera asked Roumain if he would consider changing the lyrics. He said no, and now, both Roumain and his work are now no longer a part of the celebration.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [Silencing POC] [Systemic Racism] [History] [Art & Culture] [-ing While Black] [Black Lives Matter] [Denial] [White Defensiveness] [White Supremacy] [White Privilege] [White Blindness] [White Fragility/Tears]

Full Stop: Casually Anti-Black Behaviors You Need to Quit NOW

by Sharai | February 2021
I was hoping that being socially distanced this February would let us avoid some of the issues that make me angry every year. While these behaviors are year-round problems they seem to dramatically increase every February because a lot of white people want to take part in Black History Month but don’t get how these behaviors come across. I believe this stems from society not knowing how to talk about race and I have created a quick list from things I’ve clocked on social media last week. Hopefully, this list helps those of you who are serious about doing better.
TAGS: [Individual Change] [2020’s] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts] [History] [Black Lives Matter] [White Privilege] [“All Lives Matter”] [White Fragility/Tears] [Systemic Racism]

White Women’s Role in White Supremacy, Explained; Women at the Capitol Riot are Just the Latest Reminder of a Long History

by Anna North  | January 2021
It’s tempting to think of the storming of the US Capitol on Wednesday as toxic masculinity run amok: a mob of mostly white men, carrying guns and wearing animal skins, trying to overthrow democracy on behalf of a president who once bragged about his ability to grab women “by the pussy.” It’s even more tempting to embrace this narrative when, in a bizarre statement, that president’s campaign press secretary describes him as “the most masculine person, I think, to ever hold the White House.”
But focusing too much on masculinity obscures a crucial truth: Many women were either present at the riot or cheering on the insurrectionists from back home. There was Ashli Babbitt, the 35-year-old Air Force veteran and apparent devotee of QAnon ideology who was killed during the riot. There was the woman photographed with “zip-tie guy” Eric Munchel, now believed to be his mother. There was Martha Chansley, the mother of the widely photographed “QAnon shaman” who wore a horned hat and carried a spear to Congress. She wasn’t present at the riot but later defended her son in an interview, calling him “a great patriot, a veteran, a person who loves this country.”
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Blindness] [White Defensiveness] [White Privilege] [Politics] [Black Lives Matter] [Civil War] [Myths] [Slavery] [Economics] [History] [Calling Police] [Systemic Racism]

The Treaty That Forced the Cherokee People from Their Homelands Goes on View

by SMITHSONIAN VOICES  | April 2019
On Friday, April 12, 2019, representatives of the three federally recognized tribes of the Cherokee people—the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma—came together at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., for the installation of the Treaty of New Echota in the exhibition Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations. Negotiated in 1835 by a minority party of Cherokees, challenged by the majority of the Cherokee people and their elected government, the Treaty of New Echota was used by the United States to justify the forced removal of the Cherokees from their homelands along what became known as the Trail of Tears.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2010’s] [Indigenous] [History] [Art & Culture] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [Systemic Racism] [Politics] [Justice System]

Why History Matters: the Legacy of Slavery

by David Rosen | January 2021
When recalling Lincoln, many New Yorkers may remember the famous speech he gave at Cooper Institute (aka Cooper Union) in February 1860 calling to limit the extension – but not the end – of slavery.  It was a critical campaign speech that helped him secure the Republican Party nomination for President.  In November, he was elected, and, in December, South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union.
Unfortunately, few American – and likely very few New Yorkers – will recall that Lincoln’s speech was strongly attacked by city business leaders and the Democratic Party, many assailing him with the racist slogan, “Black Republican.” More important, Lincoln’s election sparked a strong movement in the city, led by Mayor Fernando Wood, to join the South and secede from the Union. This is one of the many important historical stories retold in an informative new book by Jonathan Daniel Wells, The Kidnapping Club: Wall Street, Slavery and Resistance on the Eve of the Civil War (Bold Type Books). Slavery was formally abolished in New York State in 1827, but the slave trade lived on in the city until the Civil War. Wells argues that the slave trade persisted in New York City in the decades before the Civil War because it was the capital of the Southern slave economy.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [History] [Civil War] [Slavery] [Politics] [Social Justice] [Policing] [Black Lives Matter] [Justice System] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [Silencing POC] [Racial Terrorism] [Social Justice]

Retracing Slavery’s Trail of Tears; America’s Forgotten Migration – the Journeys of a Million African-Americans from the Tobacco South to the Cotton South

by Edward Ball | November 2015
“My grandfather went to the folks who had owned our family and asked, ‘Do you have any documentation about our history during the slave days? We would like to see it, if possible.’ The man at the door, who I have to assume was from the slaveholding side, said, ‘Sure, we’ll give it to you.’ When Delores McQuinn was growing up, her father told her a story about a search for the family’s roots. He said his own father knew the name of the people who had enslaved their family in Virginia, knew where they lived—in the same house and on the same land—in Hanover County, among the rumpled hills north of Richmond.“The man went into his house and came back out with some papers in his hands. Now, whether the papers were trivial or actual plantation records, who knows? But he stood in the door, in front of my grandfather, and lit a match to the papers. ‘You want your history?’ he said. ‘Here it is.’ Watching the things burn. ‘Take the ashes and get off my land.’ “The intent was to keep that history buried,” McQuinn says today. “And I think something like that has happened over and again, symbolically.”
TAGS: [Racial Terrorism] [2010’s] [History] [Slavery] [Silencing POC] [Confederate Monuments] [Politics] [Black Lives Matter] [Definitions] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Social Justice] [Civil War] [Accountability]

This Emmett Till Memorial Was Vandalized Again. And Again. And Again. Now, It’s Bulletproof.

by Kayla Epstein | October 2019
The cars came one by one, down a gravel road and through a cotton field, to the edge of the Tallahatchie River and the spot where, 64 years ago, historians believe Emmett Till’s lifeless body was pulled from the river. The vehicles carried Till’s relatives, including cousin the Rev. Wheeler Parker, community leaders and advocates dedicated to keeping his memory alive. The group had gathered on Saturday at noon in the remote spot near Glendora, Miss., to dedicate yet another memorial to Till. And this time, it was bulletproof. It took 50 years to get the first memorial to Till erected in Tallahatchie County, the site of the lynching that helped spark the civil rights movement. But then an entirely new battle began: keeping the tribute intact.
TAGS:  [Racial Terrorism]  [2010’s]  [History]  [Systemic Racism]  [White Supremacy]  [White Culture]   [Social Justice]  [Black Lives Matter]  [White Privilege]  [White Defensiveness]  

Where Are The Good Radical White People? The Enemy is Already in Position Unchecked, Unchallenged, Unbothered, and Unencumbered. The Battle Has Started, and Good White People Haven’t Shown Up Yet.

by Marley K. | January 2021
We all see the bad, angry, lying, narcissistic, and insane White people and politicians. The media gives them plenty of airtime to show the world what God awful people they are. The bad radical Y’All Qaeda, Hillbilly Insurrectionists, Q-Poos and fools, White gang-bangers, Mighty Mediocre Militia Men, Krazy Karenites, MAGA Monkeys, and Proud Man-Boys seem to be roaming the country freely, unchecked by the other White people. The good radical White folks. Where y’all at? I’m talking about the good White people who love to tell us how good they are. We rarely see them being good or doing good. I’m ready to see good radical Whiteness go to war with bad radical Whiteness.
TAGS: [Individual Change] [2020’s] [White Privilege] [White Defensiveness] [White Blindness] [White Supremacy] [History] [White Fragility/Tears] [Advocacy] [Systemic Racism] [Politics] [Accountability] [Policing] [Definitions] [Denial] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts] [Anti-Racism]

Reparations Matter: Accountability Begins with Understanding

by Douglas Haynes | February 2021
Last month’s violent insurrection at the US Capitol overshadowed the re-introduction of H.R. 40 on January 4, 2021. Introduced by Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee  (D-Texas), this bill provides for funding for a commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans. The two events could not be more different. One was a violent assault on the US Congress by extremists. The other reflected the deliberate law-making process of a modern democracy. In seeking to de-certify the votes of millions of Americans, the protestors sought nothing less than the restoration of white supremacy in the slogans “Make America Great Again” or “Take Back Our Country.” By contrast, the co-sponsors of the House bill called on the federal government to finally come to terms with the costs and consequences of the legal enslavement and differential treatment of Black people in both the past and present.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [Reparations] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Privilege] [Systemic Racism] [Black Lives Matter] [Social Justice] [Definitions] [Slavery] [Politics] [History]

Understanding Africa: Shattering Myths about the Culture of the Second-Largest Continent

by Aukram Burton | February 2021
African culture is vastly misunderstood in western societies. This misunderstanding continues to be perpetuated by educational and media institutions in the Western world that consistently misrepresent the image and contributions of African culture and ethics to the world. For centuries, European-centric thinking has justified colonialism and imperialism as a “civilizing mission” meant to save the African “savages” who live in “sh–holes” often characterized by terms like “exotic,” “primitive” or “pagan,” which is a misconception. This thinking is rooted in the age of European Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries. This movement provided an intellectual backdrop for European theories about human differences.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [Myths] [History] [Definitions] [Slavery] [Systemic Racism] [White Supremacy] [Economics] [White Blindness]

A Forgotten Black Founding Father; Why I’ve Made it My Mission to Teach Others about Prince Hall

by Danielle Allen | March 2021
Many of us who live in Massachusetts know the basic outlines of this story and the early role the state played in standing against enslavement. But told in this traditional way, the story leaves out another transformative figure: Prince Hall, a free African American and a contemporary of John Adams. From his formal acquisition of freedom, in 1770, until his death, in 1807, Hall helped forge an activist Black community in Boston while elevating the cause of abolition to new prominence. Hall was the first American to publicly use the language of the Declaration of Independence for a political purpose other than justifying war against Britain. In January 1777, just six months after the promulgation of the Declaration and nearly three years before Adams drafted the state constitution, Hall submitted a petition to the Massachusetts legislature (or General Court, as it is styled) requesting emancipation, invoking the resonant phrases and founding truths of the Declaration itself.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [History] [Role Model] [Black Lives Matter] [Slavery] [Teachers] [Silencing POC] [-ing While Black] [Advocacy] [Systemic Racism] [Social Justice] [Civil War]

We Were the Last of the Nice Negro Girls

by Anna Deavere Smith  |  February 2021
This article is part of “Inheritance,” a project about American history and Black life.
In 1968, history found us at a small women’s college, forging our Black identity and empowering our defiance. I knew nothing about the multitude of small colleges across the U.S. that had been founded, many by religious institutions, for the specific purpose of educating white women. Nor did I know anything about “suitcase schools,” some of which had reputations as glorified finishing schools where girls were focused on meeting boys attending nearby institutions. (They were called “suitcase schools” because on Fridays the girls took off to spend the weekend with their prospective husbands.) But in 1966, as my counselor put it to my mother, many of these all-girls colleges were “looking for nice Negro girls like Anna.” My father did not like the idea. He was adamant that I attend Howard or Morgan State or some other historically Black college or university, just as he and his siblings and my older cousins had done. My mother and I made our case about “opportunity.” He became emphatic: If I went to a white women’s college, he said, I’d have no social life. This was a legitimate concern—but up to that point, my father’s strictness had severely circumscribed my “social life.” Now he was suddenly concerned about it?
TAGS: [Strategies] [2020’s] [History] [Systemic Racism] [Black Lives Matter] [-ing While Black] [White Privilege] [White Culture] [Policing] [Social Justice] [Assumptions]

How the GI Bill’s Promise Was Denied to a Million Black WWII Veterans; The Sweeping Bill Promised Prosperity to Veterans. So Why Didn’t Black Americans Benefit?

by Erin Blakemore | September 2019
When Eugene Burnett saw the neat tract houses of Levittown, New York, he knew he wanted to buy one. It was 1949, and he was ready to settle down in a larger home with his family. The newly established Long Island suburb seemed like the perfect place to begin their postwar life—one that, he hoped, would be improved with the help of the GI Bill, a piece of sweeping legislation aimed at helping World War II veterans like Burnett prosper after the war. But when he spoke with a salesman about buying the house using a GI Bill-guaranteed mortgage, the door to suburban life in Levittown slammed firmly in his face. The suburb wasn’t open to Black residents.
TAGS: [Strategies] [2010’s] [Systemic Racism] [Racial Covenants] [Black Lives Matter] [Economics] [White Privilege] [White Culture] [White Supremacy] [Denial] [Housing] [Politics] [History] [Social Justice]

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