Passing for White to Escape Slavery

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2020-09-19 20:07Z by Steven

Passing for White to Escape Slavery

JSTOR Daily: where news meets its scholarly match
2020-09-17

Matthew Wills


Ellen and William Craft via Flickr/ Flickr

Passing for white was an intentional strategy that enslaved people used to free themselves from bondage

Racial passing is in the news with the case of Jessica Krug, a white academic who claimed several Black identities throughout her professional career. The phenomenon of white people putting on different backgrounds is widespread—for example, as shown in well-documented cases of white people claiming Native American ancestry. But passing for Black seems, well, different.

One reason for that may be that the idea of passing has historically been linked to Black people passing for white. Scholar Martha J. Cutter, digging into “the early history of racial passing,” argues that it originated in advertisements offering rewards for captured runaway slaves starting in the mid-eighteenth century, decades before the American Revolution.

“The archive suggests that while laws from state to state and in different time periods varied, the idea of an enslaved individual from a black family heritage deliberately passing for white was frequently configured as duplicitous and even incendiary,” she writes…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Dash Harris is doing the work to end anti-Blackness in LatinX culture

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2020-09-19 01:50Z by Steven

Dash Harris is doing the work to end anti-Blackness in LatinX culture

theGrio
2020-06-16

DeMicia Inman

Through her work in creating ‘NEGRO: A DOCU-SERIES ABOUT LATINX IDENTITY,’ Harris hopes to dismantle anti-Blackness in the LatinX community.

The African diaspora gave much of the world a very layered identity. For centuries, the slave trade resulted in African natives being sold or stolen as slaves and transported across the globe. Now, Black people reside in countries from the United States and Brazil to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Dash Harris, an Afro-LatinX woman, understands not only her multi-cultural heritage but also the implications and societal structure surrounding her identity. Through her work in creating NEGRO: A DOCU-SERIES ABOUT LATINX IDENTITY and more, she hopes to highlight LatinX existence and dismantle anti-Blackness in the LatinX community…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , ,

(Un-)mixing in the Mandate: purity and persistence of ‘German-time’

Posted in Books, Chapter, History, Media Archive, Oceania on 2020-09-17 17:49Z by Steven

(Un-)mixing in the Mandate: purity and persistence of ‘German-time’
in New Guinea

Chapter in: Norig Neveu, Philippe Bourmaud and Chantal Verdeil (Eds), Experts et expertise dans les mandats de la Société des Nations: figures, champs et outils, [The Expert in the Mandate], Inalco Presses, 2020

Christine Winter, Associate Professor and Matthew Flinders Fellow in History
Flinders University of South Australia
College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
South Australia, Australia

“Unmixing” is a central term in the debates to bring stability and peace after WWI by ethnically homogenising regions and new nations: “… to unmix tlie (sic) populations of the Near East will tend to secure the true pacification of the Near East…” (Fritzhof Nansen, Lausanne Conference, Quoted by Sadia Abbas, Unmixing, Politicalconcepts, 2012.) So how did the nations with aspirations to ‘rule’ New Guinea deal with what could not be ‘un-mixed’: people of mixed descent, and what did this mean for German-New Guineans?

This chapter is an exploration of Weimar and Nazi German colonialism focusing on the Pacific Mandates. It focuses on leagies of German colonialism after the end of the formal German colonial empire. The crisis of the League of Nations destabilized the legitimacy of Mandate rule in the Pacific during the mid-1930s. Purity and persistence of Germanness became a theme for both the Mandate Administration and the Third Reich. In this chapter I explore the role and function of Germans of ambiguous racial belonging, namely mixed-race German Pacific Islanders, in a wider contest of expert advice and policy development. Racial scientists, German missionaries and ex-colonial officials all had a stake in the future of the Mandated Territories, and its mixed-race German population. Depending on the argument and on their place of residency – Germany or the Pacific – mixed-race German-Pacific Islanders were used as fellow Germans or as ‘natives’ to legitimize German claims.

Read the chapter draft here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

How to replace Norfolk’s Confederate monument? One idea is to honor interracial marriage pioneers.

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Virginia on 2020-09-12 21:57Z by Steven

How to replace Norfolk’s Confederate monument? One idea is to honor interracial marriage pioneers.

The Virginian-Pilot
Norfolk, Virginia
2020-07-07

Ryan Murphy


Sean and Silena Chapman, with their 6-week-old son Kevin, support erecting a statue honoring the Lovings, the couple who successfully challenged Virginia’s interracial marriage ban in the 1960s, where Norfolk’s Confederate monument stood. As seen Tuesday, July 7, 2020. (Stephen M. Katz/The Virginian-Pilot)

It’s June 12, 2020.

It’s been almost three weeks since Silena and Sean Chapman brought home their third baby, Kevin.

Silena, a doctor who specializes in caring for sick and premature infants, is full of energy and says she’s always getting into some idea or another.

Sean is reserved and gentle. He spends most of his days taking care of their two other young children. He’s getting ready to start a woodworking business out of the Chesapeake couple’s Great Bridge garage.

Early that morning in downtown Norfolk, a crane removes 16-foot-tall Johnny Reb, the bronze Confederate soldier who sat atop a city monument for 113 years.

Silena knows the statue well. She lived for years on College Place, just a few blocks from it…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Interracialism: Biracials Learning About African-American Culture (B.L.A.A.C.)

Posted in History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2020-09-12 00:51Z by Steven

Interracialism: Biracials Learning About African-American Culture (B.L.A.A.C.)

YouTube
2020-04-09

Dr. Zebulon Miletsky, Associate Professor of Professor of Africana Studies and History
State University of New York, Stony Brook

‘Interracialism: Biracials Learning About African American Culture (B.L.A.A.C.)’ with Dr. Zebulon Miletsky. February 19th 4:00PM-5:30PM Melville Library, Central Reading Room, Stony Brook University.

A discussion of #interracialism and #interracialmarriage, and the phenomenon of “#antiblackness”—identity and #mixedrace in the 21st century, and the possible stakes for those who identify as multiracial and biracial—in these politically divided times.

Watch the video (01:08:02) here.

Tags: , , ,

Born Enslaved, Patrick Francis Healy ‘Passed’ His Way to Lead Georgetown University

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2020-09-11 02:22Z by Steven

Born Enslaved, Patrick Francis Healy ‘Passed’ His Way to Lead Georgetown University

Smithsonian Magazine
2020-09-08

Bryan Greene
Washington, D.C.


Because the 19th-century college president appeared white, he was able to climb the ladder of the Jesuit community

This back-to-school season, as the coronavirus pandemic demands continued social distancing, many college students are logging onto their classes remotely. While the country fights this public health crisis on one front, it fights the ongoing effects of systemic racism on another, and the battle is joined on America’s college campuses, where skyrocketing tuition costs, debates over academic freedom, and reckonings with the legacies of institutional racism come together.

The University of North Carolina, for instance, has had to tackle both crises this summer, as it shuttered dorms and sent students home after Covid-19 cases spiked soon after opening. In July, administrators approved guidelines for renaming buildings that currently honor North Carolinians who promoted the murderous 1898 overthrow of Wilmington’s elected multiracial government. In June, meanwhile, Princeton acceded to longstanding demands to strip Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school, since his most notorious public policy as President of the United States was to segregate the federal workforce. Following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, an ever-widening circle of students on campuses nationwide are re-examining their institutions’ unquestioned genuflection to their white-supremacist heritage.

But at Georgetown University, students, faculty, alumni, and administration have been re-appraising the school’s racist past for years. In 1838, when the Jesuit school was deep in debt, its president, Reverend Thomas F. Mulledy, on behalf of the Maryland Jesuits, sold 272 black men, women and children to Louisiana plantations to keep the school afloat. Three years ago, Georgetown pulled Mulledy’s name off a dormitory, replacing it with the name of enslaved laborer Isaac Hawkins. Georgetown will now consider applicants who are descendants of these enslaved persons in the same light as the children of faculty, staff and alumni for purposes of admission.

What makes Georgetown’s reflective moment most remarkable, however, and complicated, is that 35 years after Mulledy salvaged the school’s finances by selling human property, the school would be led by a man who, himself, was born enslaved. The story of Georgetown president Reverend Patrick Francis Healy reveals how a university built by enslaved persons, and rescued from collapse by the sale of enslaved persons, saw its “second founding” in the late 19th century under the guidance of a man whom the Jesuits knew had been born black but helped “pass” as white

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Black Violinist Who Inspired Beethoven

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Europe, History, Media Archive on 2020-09-11 02:13Z by Steven

The Black Violinist Who Inspired Beethoven

The New York Times
2020-09-04

Patricia Morrisroe


The violinist George Bridgetower has, like so many other Black artists, been largely forgotten by a history that belongs to those who control the narrative. The Trustees of the British Museum, via Art Resource, NY

George Bridgetower, the original dedicatee of the “Kreutzer” Sonata, was a charismatic prodigy but faded into history.

Six months after Beethoven contemplated suicide, confessing his despair over his increasing deafness in the 1802 document known as the Heiligenstadt Testament, he was carousing in taverns with a charismatic new comrade, George Polgreen Bridgetower. This biracial violinist had recently arrived in Vienna, and inspired one of Beethoven’s most famous and passionate pieces, the “Kreutzer” Sonata.

Beethoven even dedicated the sonata to Bridgetower. But the irritable composer — who would later remove the dedication to Napoleon from his Third Symphony — eventually took it back.

While Napoleon didn’t need Beethoven to secure his place in history, this snub reduced Bridgetower to near obscurity. Though his name was included in Anton Schindler’s 1840 biography of Beethoven, he was described inaccurately as “an American sea captain.” Like so many Black artists prominent in their lifetimes, he has been largely forgotten by a history that belongs to those who control the narrative.

Bridgetower was born on Aug. 13, 1778, in eastern Poland, and christened Hieronymus Hyppolitus de Augustus. His father, Joanis Fredericus de Augustus, was of African descent; his mother, Maria Schmid, was German-Polish, making Bridgetower what was then known as a mulatto, a person of mixed race. (The poet Rita Dove’s 2008 book “Sonata Mulattica,” an imagined chronicle of Bridgetower’s life, has helped raise his profile a bit in recent years.)…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Black, Native American and Fighting for Recognition in Indian Country

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2020-09-11 01:10Z by Steven

Black, Native American and Fighting for Recognition in Indian Country

The New York Times
2020-09-08

Jack Healy, Rocky Mountain correspondent


Ron Graham’s father, Theodore Graham, center, as a youth with his youngest sibling, Rowena, on his lap, in a photograph from around 1912. Mr. Graham spent decades assembling documentation showing that he is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. via Ron Graham

Enslaved people were also driven west along the Trail of Tears. After a historic Supreme Court ruling, their descendants are fighting to be counted as tribal members.

OKMULGEE, Okla. — Ron Graham never had to prove to anyone that he was Black. But he has spent more than 30 years haunting tribal offices and genealogical archives, fighting for recognition that he is also a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

“We’re African-American,” Mr. Graham, 55, said. “But we’re Native American also.”

His family history is part of a little-known saga of bondage, blood and belonging within tribal nations, one that stretches from the Trail of Tears to this summer of uprisings in America’s streets over racial injustice.

His ancestors are known as Creek Freedmen. They were among the thousands of African-Americans who were once enslaved by tribal members in the South and who migrated to Oklahoma when the tribes were forced off their homelands and marched west in the 1830s…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

North Carolina’s Free People of Color, 1715–1885

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2020-09-10 01:16Z by Steven

North Carolina’s Free People of Color, 1715–1885

Louisiana State University Press
July 2020
304 pages
6.00 x 9.00 inches
17 halftones, 1 map
Hardcover ISBN: 9780807171769

Warren Eugene Milteer Jr., Assistant Professor of History
University of North Carolina, Greensboro

In North Carolina’s Free People of Color, 1715–1885, Warren Eugene Milteer Jr. examines the lives of free persons categorized by their communities as “negroes,” “mulattoes,” “mustees,” “Indians,” “mixed-­bloods,” or simply “free people of color.” From the colonial period through Reconstruction, lawmakers passed legislation that curbed the rights and privileges of these non-enslaved residents, from prohibiting their testimony against whites to barring them from the ballot box. While such laws suggest that most white North Carolinians desired to limit the freedoms and civil liberties enjoyed by free people of color, Milteer reveals that the two groups often interacted—praying together, working the same land, and occasionally sharing households and starting families. Some free people of color also rose to prominence in their communities, becoming successful businesspeople and winning the respect of their white neighbors.

Milteer’s innovative study moves beyond depictions of the American South as a region controlled by a strict racial hierarchy. He contends that although North Carolinians frequently sorted themselves into races imbued with legal and social entitlements—with whites placing themselves above persons of color—those efforts regularly clashed with their concurrent recognition of class, gender, kinship, and occupational distinctions. Whites often determined the position of free nonwhites by designating them as either valuable or expendable members of society. In early North Carolina, free people of color of certain statuses enjoyed access to institutions unavailable even to some whites. Prior to 1835, for instance, some free men of color possessed the right to vote while the law disenfranchised all women, white and nonwhite included.

North Carolina’s Free People of Color, 1715–1885 demonstrates that conceptions of race were complex and fluid, defying easy characterization. Despite the reductive labels often assigned to them by whites, free people of color in the state emerged from an array of backgrounds, lived widely varied lives, and created distinct cultures—all of which, Milteer suggests, allowed them to adjust to and counter ever­-evolving forms of racial discrimination.

Tags: , , ,

Author Event: Dedria Humphries Barker on AADL.TV

Posted in Biography, History, Live Events, United States, Videos, Women on 2020-08-19 22:34Z by Steven

Author Event: Dedria Humphries Barker on AADL.TV

Ann Arbor District Library
343 South Fifth Avenue
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
2020-08-20, 00-01:30Z [2020-08-19, 20:00 to 21:30 EDT]

Join Dedria Humphries Barker as she discusses her book, Mother of Orphans: The True and Curious Story of Irish Alice, a Colored Man’s Widow.

Before Her Time: The Heroic Schooling of a Mulatto Girl

White women who for love crossed the 19th century Jim Crow color line for a new life in a Black family were highly unusual and often ostracized. But one such woman was Alice Donlan. Her interracial family braved further complication when her husband died in 1912, and Alice put their three children in an orphanage. Why was the one-hundred year old mystery unraveled by a two decades of research by Alice’s great granddaughter, Dedria Humphries Barker. Mother of Orphans is the resulting family biography. In this presentation, Humphries Barker argues that Alice’s act was heroic and helped propel future generations, including the author, to lives of opportunity.

Richly illustrated with historical and contemporary photographs, Mother of Orphans tells the story of Humphries Barker’s great grandmother, Alice Donlan, an Irish American woman from Indiana, who found love in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the end of the Gilded Age when the Ohio River city was known as the London and Paris of America. It was also the age of Jim Crow and lynching. This family biography explains how navigating interracial family life and different cultural values led to Alice’s unspeakable act. An intricate social history, Mother of Orphans links the stories of four generations of related White and Black women directly affected by Alice’s unspeakable act. And, in the final analysis, the author was amazed at how the social condition of 21st century women remains very similar to the daunting challenges Alice faced, especially when it comes to child care.

Dedria Humphries Barker is a African American woman writer who lives in Lansing, Michigan where she is a working mother of three adult children. Her work has included being a journalist at The Michigan Chronicle, Detroit’s African American newspaper, a staff writer for two Gannett, Co., Inc. daily newspapers, The Commercial News in Danville, Illinois, and The Lansing State Journal in Michigan’s capitol city; an editor at Michigan State University, and a freelance writer whose work on parenting has appeared on Salon.com, Your Teen, and Literary Mama, and in the Redbook and Good Housekeeping magazines, and The Detroit News, among other periodicals. Her work has been published by the historical societies of Ohio and Michigan. She is a former professor of English at Lansing Community College in Michigan.

To watch the event, click here.

Tags: , , , ,