ONE DROP: Shifting the Lens on Race

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Social Science, United States on 2021-02-27 04:26Z by Steven

ONE DROP: Shifting the Lens on Race

Beacon Press
2021-02-16
288 pages
9 x 9 Inches
ISBN: 978-080707336-0

Yaba Blay

Challenges narrow perceptions of Blackness as both an identity and lived reality to understand the diversity of what it means to be Black in the US and around the world

  • What exactly is Blackness and what does it mean to be Black?
  • Is Blackness a matter of biology or consciousness?
  • Who determines who is Black and who is not?
  • Who’s Black, who’s not, and who cares?

In the United States, a Black person has come to be defined as any person with any known Black ancestry. Statutorily referred to as “the rule of hypodescent,” this definition of Blackness is more popularly known as the “one-drop rule,” meaning that a person with any trace of Black ancestry, however small or (in)visible, cannot be considered White. A method of social order that began almost immediately after the arrival of enslaved Africans in America, by 1910 it was the law in almost all southern states. At a time when the one-drop rule functioned to protect and preserve White racial purity, Blackness was both a matter of biology and the law. One was either Black or White. Period. Has the social and political landscape changed one hundred years later?

One Drop explores the extent to which historical definitions of race continue to shape contemporary racial identities and lived experiences of racial difference. Featuring the perspectives of 60 contributors representing 25 countries and combining candid narratives with striking portraiture, this book provides living testimony to the diversity of Blackness. Although contributors use varying terms to self-identify, they all see themselves as part of the larger racial, cultural, and social group generally referred to as Black. They have all had their identity called into question simply because they do not fit neatly into the stereotypical “Black box”—dark skin, “kinky” hair, broad nose, full lips, etc. Most have been asked “What are you?” or the more politically correct “Where are you from?” throughout their lives. It is through contributors’ lived experiences with and lived imaginings of Black identity that we can visualize multiple possibilities for Blackness.

Table of Contents

  • Author’s Note
  • Intro
  • Introspection
  • Mixed Black
  • American Black
  • Diaspora Black
  • Outro
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgements
  • About
Tags: , , , ,

Cherokee Nation Strikes Down Language That Limits Citizenship Rights ‘By Blood’

Posted in Articles, Audio, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2021-02-27 03:58Z by Steven

Cherokee Nation Strikes Down Language That Limits Citizenship Rights ‘By Blood’

National Public Radio
2021-02-25

Mary Louise Kelly, Host
All Things Considered


Rena Logan, a member of a Cherokee Freedmen family, shows her identification card as a member of the Cherokee tribe at her home in Muskogee, Okla., in this photo from October 2011. She is among the some 8,500 people whose ancestors were enslaved by the Cherokee Nation in the 1800s.David Crenshaw/Associated Press

The Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court ruled this week to remove the words “by blood” from its constitution and other legal doctrines.

The words, added to the constitution in 2007, have been used to exclude Black people whose ancestors were enslaved by the tribe from obtaining full Cherokee Nation citizenship rights.

There are currently some 8,500 enrolled Cherokee Nation members descended from these Freedmen, thousands of whom were removed on the Trail of Tears along with tribal citizens.

“The Freedmen, until this Cherokee Nation Supreme Court ruling, they couldn’t hold office, they couldn’t run for tribal council and they couldn’t run for chief,” says Graham Lee Brewer, an editor for Indigenous affairs at High Country News and KOSU in Oklahoma. “And I would argue that that made them second-class citizens.”…

Read the entire story here. Download the story (00:04:10) here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Hidden History of Black Argentina

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2021-02-10 02:05Z by Steven

The Hidden History of Black Argentina

The New York Review
2021-02-08

Uki Goñi


Allsport via Getty Images
Diego Maradona (front, center) with family and friends in Villa Fiorito, Argentina, 1980

A century of European immigration brought with it a comprehensive effort to erase the country’s multiracial past. Only recently has that been reversed.

Erika Denise Edwards, Hiding in Plain Sight: Black Women, the Law, and the Making of a White Argentine Republic (Tuscaloosa: University Alabama Press, 2020).

“This country has no tradition of its own,” Argentina’s master writer, Jorge Luis Borges, told me in an interview in 1975. “There’s no native tradition of any kind since the Indians here were mere barbarians. We have to fall back on the European tradition, why not? It’s a very fine tradition.” The words grate to modern ears, but they seemed true to Borges’s world. His own grandmother, Frances Anne Haslam, had come from Staffordshire, England. And by 1920, when Borges turned twenty-one, over half the population of his native Buenos Aires had been born in Europe, the result of a vast wave of late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century immigration.

According to this idea of Argentina’s roots, our capital city of Buenos Aires is “the Paris of South America,” and “we are all descendants from Europe,” as then President Mauricio Macri said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2018. A corollary of this claim is one made by an earlier president, Carlos Menem, to a Dutch audience at Maastricht University in 1993 that, because Argentina had abolished slavery as early as 1813, “we don’t have blacks.” At a later lecture—bizarrely enough, at Howard University in Washington, D.C.—Menem added, “that is a Brazilian problem.”

For me, the myth of a European-only Argentina reached its breaking point last November, with the death of the soccer star Diego Maradona, arguably the greatest player who ever lived. He transcended the world of sports to become a figure of hope and defiance for millions of Argentines…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A Family History of British Empire

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-02-10 01:42Z by Steven

A Family History of British Empire

Black Perspectives
2021-02-05

Mary Hicks, Assistant Professor of Black Studies and History
Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

“Where are you from?”—The deceptively simple question looms over the sprawling narrative of Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands, the newest work by Black feminist theorist, literary critic, and historian Hazel Carby. This historical and existential query frames Carby’s gripping exploration of her ambivalent relationship to idealized “Britishness” as the child of a white, working-class Welsh mother and a Black, Jamaican father born in 1940s London. The omnipresent demand by strangers that she produce a satisfying account of her origins exemplifies her experiences as an unlocatable and thus unimaginable subject (98). Her own emotionally charged childhood memories ground Carby’s evocative examination of the intertwined nature of intimacy, race, and labor in the British Empire, stretching from the period following World War II back to the revolutionary wars of the late eighteenth century.

Imperial Intimacies begins with the Gramscian imperative to reconstruct, and at times invent, one’s personal genealogy, not only in fact but in feeling…

Read the entire review here.

Tags: , , , , ,

He became the nation’s ninth vice president. She was his enslaved wife.

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Slavery, United States on 2021-02-09 18:19Z by Steven

He became the nation’s ninth vice president. She was his enslaved wife.

The Washington Post
2021-02-07

Ronald G. Shafer


Richard Mentor Johnson became vice president in 1837. (Library of Congress)

Her name was Julia Chinn

She was born enslaved and remained that way her entire life, even after she became Richard Mentor Johnson’s “bride.”

Johnson, a Kentucky congressman who eventually became the nation’s ninth vice president in 1837, couldn’t legally marry Julia Chinn. Instead the couple exchanged vows at a local church with a wedding celebration organized by the enslaved people at his family’s plantation in Great Crossing, according to Miriam Biskin, who wrote about Chinn decades ago.

Chinn died nearly four years before Johnson took office. But because of controversy over her, Johnson is the only vice president in American history who failed to receive enough electoral votes to be elected. The Senate voted him into office.

The couple’s story is complicated and fraught, historians say. As an enslaved woman, Chinn could not consent to a relationship, and there’s no record of how she regarded him. Though she wrote to Johnson during his lengthy absences from Kentucky, the letters didn’t survive.

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Free People of Color History Conversation (Zoom Virtual Event)

Posted in Forthcoming Media, History, Live Events, United States, Videos on 2021-01-30 22:37Z by Steven

Free People of Color History Conversation (Zoom Virtual Event)

Cape Fear Museum
814 Market Street
Wilmington, North Carolina 28401
Friday, 2021-02-05, 17:00Z (12:00 EST)

Jan Davidson, Cape Fear Museum and Host

In 1860, 12 percent of the free people of color in slave states lived in North Carolina. Join UNCG professor Dr. Warren Milteer and Cape Fear Museum on Zoom for a conversation about the lives of free men, women, and children of color in our region. Dr. Milteer, who authored North Carolina’s Free People of Color, will discuss his work with Museum historian Dr. Jan Davidson.

Warren Eugene Milteer, Jr. is an assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2014. His publications include two academic books, Beyond Slavery’s Shadow: Free People of Color in the South (forthcoming with UNC Press, 2021) and North Carolina’s Free People of Color, 1715-1885 (LSU Press, 2020), the independently published Hertford County, North Carolina’s Free People of Color (2016), as well as articles in the Journal of Social History and the North Carolina Historical Review. Milteer was the recipient of the Historical Society of North Carolina’s R. D. W. Connor Award in 2014 and 2016 for the best journal article in the North Carolina Historical Review

For more information, click here. To join the conversation, click here.

Tags: , , , ,

North Carolina Free People of Color, 1715-1885 with Warren Eugene Milteer Jr.

Posted in Audio, History, Media Archive, United States on 2021-01-30 22:12Z by Steven

North Carolina Free People of Color, 1715-1885 with Warren Eugene Milteer Jr.

Research at the National Archives and Beyond
2020-06-25

Bernice Bennett, Host

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.

Warren Eugene Milteer Jr. is assistant professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is the author of North Carolina’s Free People of Color, 1715–1885.

Listen to the episode (00:45:57) here. Download the episode here.

Tags: , , ,

An Upstream Battle: John Parker’s Personal War on Slavery

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2021-01-30 21:43Z by Steven

An Upstream Battle: John Parker’s Personal War on Slavery

Anne Stanton Publications
2019-02-12
136 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-1796696295
5.5 x 0.34 x 8.5 inches

Anne Stanton

John Parker wasn’t interested in helping anyone run away. He had worked too hard getting himself free to want to risk losing it for someone he didn’t know. But Sam didn’t give up, and soon John was enlisted to help two young women cross the Ohio River to freedom. What neither man knew at the time was that this marked the beginning of a personal war on slavery for John Parker, one in which he would help hundreds of runaways escape. An Upstream Battle is comprised of four stories from the life of John Parker, an African American businessman and inventor. Based on events portrayed in Parker’s autobiography, An Upstream Battle illustrates the real danger that Parker and other members of the Underground Railroad were exposed to, and their commitment to helping runaway slaves, despite that danger. This book makes a great gift for YA readers who couldn’t put down “Bud, not Buddy”.

Tags: , , , ,

No Future in This Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2021-01-21 15:53Z by Steven

No Future in This Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner

University Press of Mississippi
November 2020
208 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496830708
Paperback ISBN: 9781496830692

Andre E. Johnson, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies
University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

A critical study of the career of the nineteenth-century bishop

No Future in This Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner is a history of the career of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (1834–1915), specifically focusing on his work from 1896 to 1915. Drawing on the copious amount of material from Turner’s speeches, editorial, and open and private letters, Andre E. Johnson tells a story of how Turner provided rhetorical leadership during a period in which America defaulted on many of the rights and privileges gained for African Americans during Reconstruction. Unlike many of his contemporaries during this period, Turner did not opt to proclaim an optimistic view of race relations. Instead, Johnson argues that Turner adopted a prophetic persona of a pessimistic prophet who not only spoke truth to power but, in so doing, also challenged and pushed African Americans to believe in themselves.

At this time in his life, Turner had no confidence in American institutions or that the American people would live up to the promises outlined in their sacred documents. While he argued that emigration was the only way for African Americans to retain their “personhood” status, he also would come to believe that African Americans would never emigrate to Africa. He argued that many African Americans were so oppressed and so stripped of agency because they were surrounded by continued negative assessments of their personhood that belief in emigration was not possible. Turner’s position limited his rhetorical options, but by adopting a pessimistic prophetic voice that bore witness to the atrocities African Americans faced, Turner found space for his oratory, which reflected itself within the lament tradition of prophecy.

Tags: , ,

Afro-Argentines: How Black People Were Systematically Whitewashed From Argentine History

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive on 2021-01-05 01:28Z by Steven

Afro-Argentines: How Black People Were Systematically Whitewashed From Argentine History

The Bubble
2018-07-03

Allie Pitchon


Afroargentines playing candombe porteño near of a bonfire of Saint John (San Juan) in 1938. via africanarguments.org

Argentina is perceived by many to be a primarily white, European country, with Buenos Aires often referred to as the “Paris of Latin America” in popular culture. This perception is rooted in a post-colonial process where Argentine leaders and intellectuals in the 19th century, especially during the Generation of 1837 and the Generation of 1880, actively made an effort to systematically erase Black Argentines from the country’s history, popular culture, and society in an effort to position the nation as a global power modeled after the US and Europe.

By the second half of the 1700’s, roughly a third of the population of Buenos Aires was comprised of Afro-Argentines. While some were free, most were enslaved, brought in slave ships during the late 16th century in the hundreds of thousands to work as domestic servants and on plantations in the Rio de la Plata region. During the 18th and 19th centuries, people of African descent spread across Argentina. In some provinces, including Salta, CĂłrdoba, Santiago del Estero, and Catamarca, Black Argentines accounted for roughly half the population. Meanwhile, General San MartĂ­n’s army was heavily comprised of Afro-Argentines. In the battle of Chacabuco, for instance, which was key in helping liberate Chile from Spanish rule, half of the soldiers were Afro-Argentines promised freedom from slavery in exchange for military service…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , ,