Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Slavery, United States on 2016-02-29 03:27Z by Steven


The Daily Ohio Statesman
Columbus, Ohio

Delivered in the House of Congress on Wednesday, February 17th, 1864.

The Bill, To establish a Bureau of Freedmen’s Affairs, being under consideration, Mr. Cox had the floor and proceeded to speak. He first discussed some constitutional points that enter into the question, and then continued as follows:

“But,” its is urged. “something must be done for the poor blacks. They are perishing by thousands. We must look the great fact of anti-slavery and its millions of enfranchised victims in the face and legislate for their relief.” Such Is the appeal to our kindlier natures. Something should be done. The humanity which so long pitied the plumage should not forget the dying bird. But what can be done without violating the Constitution of the United States, or without intrenching upon a domain never granted by the States or the people in their written charter of powers? What can be done? Oh! ye, honey-tongued humanitarians of New England, with your coffers filled from the rough hand of western toil, the beaded sweat of whose industry by the subtle alchemy of your inventive genius is transmuted into the jewels of your parvenu and shoddy plendor, with your dividends rising higher and higher like waves under this storm of war, I would beseech you to go into the camps of the contrabands, as the gentleman described them, who are starving and pining for their old homes, and lift them out of the mire into which your improvident and premature schemes have dragged them, pour the oil of healing into their wounds, and save a few of them at least from the doom of extirpation. Here is a fitting and legal opportunity for the exercise of a gracious humanity. I rejoice to know that many good men, even from New England, have embraced it.

But the gentleman urges this legislation, because if it be not passed, the President’s proclamation will be made “a living lie.”— He thinking that “neither the considerate judgment of mankind nor the gracious favor of God can be invoked upon the President’s act of freedom, unless the law shall protect the freedom which the sword has declared.” Not merely has the President’s proclamation been made a living lie, but the thousands of corpses daily hurried out of the contraband hovels and tents along the Mississippi prove it to have been a deadly lie. Neither the judgment of man nor the favor of God can be invoked without mockery upon a fanatical project so fraught with misery to the weak and wholesale slaughter to its deluded victims!

But we are warned to look the great fact in the face that millions unfit for freedom are yet to become free. I know, Mr. Speaker, that we cannot change the fact by closing our eyes. It is true. The revolution rolls on. No effort on the part of the Democracy to achieve a peace through conciliation will now be listened to. The spirit of those in power is the spirit of extermination. The war with its revolutions goes on, and slavery as a political if not as a social institution may fall under its crushing car. It may be that all of the four million slaves will be thrown, like the one hundred thousand already freed, upon the frigid charities of the world. But, sir, if slavery be doomed, so, alas! is the slave. No scheme like this bill can save him. The Indian reserves, treaties, bounties, and agencies did not and does not save the red man. No Government farming system, no charitable black scheme, can wash out the color of the negro, change his inferior nature, or save him from his inevitable late. The irrepressible conflict is not between slavery and freedom, but bewtween black and white; and, as DeTocqueville prophesied, the black will perish.

Do gentlemen on the other side rely upon the new system, called by the transcendent AbolitionistsMiscegenation,” to save the black? This is but another name or amalgamation; but it will not save the negro.— True, Wendell Phillips says it is “God’s own method of crushing out the hatred of race, and of civilizing and elevating the world,” and Theodore Tilton, the editor of the Independent (a paper publishing the laws of the United States by authority), holds that hereafter the “negro will lose his typical blackness and be found clad in white men’s skins.” But, sir, no system so repugnant to the nature of our race—and to organize which doubtless the next Congress of Progressives, and perhaps the gentleman from Massachusetts, will practically provide can save the negro.

Mr. Eliot—I nave no doubt that my friend understands all about it.

Mr. Cox—I understand all about it, for I have the doctrines laid down in circulars, pamphlets, and books published by your anti-siavery people. But it was not my intention to discuss It now and upon this bill.

Mr. Price—If all the blacks are crushed out, how is amalgamation to ruin the country?

Mr. Cox—They will all run, according to the new gospel of abolition, into the white people, on that side of the House. [Laughter.]

Mr. Eliot—Is that what the gentleman is afraid of?

Mr. Cox—No, sir, for I do not believe that the doctrine of miscegenation, or the amalgamation or the white and black, now strenuously urged by the Abolition leaders, will save the negro. It. will destroy him utterly. The physiologist will tell the gentleman that the mulatto does not live; he does not recreate his kind; he is a monster.

Such hybrid races, by a law of Providence, scarcely survive beyond one generation. I promise the gentleman at some future and appropriate time, when better prepared to develope that idea of miscegenation as now heralded by the Abolitionists, who are in the van of the Republican movement.—

Mr. Eliot—I hope that the gentleman will go into it.

Mr. Cox—If such’ be the desire of the gentleman I will attempt it, though reluctantly; for my materials, like the doctrine, are a little “mixed.”

But since I am challenged to exhibit this doctrine of the Abolitionists—called after some Greek words—miscegenatio—to mix and generate—I call your attention first to a circular I hold in my hand. It was circulated at the Cooper Institute the other night, when a female who, in the presence of the President, Vice President, and you, Mr. Speaker, and your associates in this Hall, made the same saucy speech for abolition which she addressed to the people of New York. It begins with the following signiflcant quotation irom Shakespeare:

The elements
So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, “This was a man!”

If gentlemen doubt the authenticity of this new movement let them go to the office of publication, 118 Nassau Street, New York, and purchase. The movement is an advance upon the doctrine of the gentlemen opposite, but they will soon work up to it. The more philosophical and apostolic of the Abolition fraternity have fully decided up on the adoption of this amalgamation platform. I am informed that the doctrines are already indorsed by such lights as Parker Pillsbury, Lucretia Mott, Albert Brisbane, William Wells Brown, Dr. McCune Smith, (half and half—miscegen.) Angelina Grimké, Theodore D. Weld and wife, and others.

But these are inferior lights compared with others I shall quote, when I name Theodore Tilton, an editor of the Government paper in Brooklyn called the Independent; when I recall the fact that the polished apostle of Abolition, Wendell Phillips, whoso golden-lipped eloquence can make miscegenation as attractive to the ear as it is to the other senses; when I quote from The New York Tribune, the center and circumference of the Abolition movement, and Mrs. Stowe, whose writings have almost redeemed by their genius the hate and discord which they aided to create; when I shall have done ail this, I am sure the Progressives on the other side will begin to prick up their ears and study the new science of miscegenation with a view to its practical realization by a bureau. [Laughter.]

First hear the testimony or Wendell Phillips. He says:

Now I am going to say something that 1 know will make the New York Herald use its small capitals and notes of admiration, and yet no well-informed man this side of China but believes it in the very core of his heart. That is, “amalgamation”—a word that the northern apologist for slavery has always used so glibly, but which ynu never heard from a southerner. Amalgamation! Remember this, the youngest of you: that on the 4th day on the 4th day of July, 1803, you heard a man say, that in the light of all history, in virtue of every page he ever read, he was an amalgamationist to the utmost extent. I have no hope for the future, as this country has no past, and Europe has no past but in that sublime mingling of races whic is God’s own method of civilizing and elevating the world. God, by the events ol his providence, is crushing out the hatred of race which has crippled this country until to-day.

I put it to gentlemen on the other side, Are you responsible for him? Ah! you received him, how ardently in this city and Capitol last year!

Mr. Eliot—To whom does the gentleman refer?

Mr. Cox—”Wendell Phillips. The Senate doors flew open for him; the Vice President of the United States welcomed him; Senators flocked around him; Representatives cheered his disunion utterances at the Smithsonian: and you will follow him wherever he leads. He is a practical amalgamationist, and he is leading and will lead you up to the platform on which vou will finally stand. You may seem coy and reluctant now, but so you were about the political equality of the negro a year ago; so you were about abolishing slavery in the States two “years ago. Now you are in the mlllennial glory of abolition. So it will be here after with amalgamation!

Here is what Theodore Tilton. editor of the Independent, says in the circular to which I have referred:

Have you not seen with your own eyes—no man can have escaped it that the black race in this country is losing its typical blackness? The Indian is dying out; the negro is only changing color! Men who and by, shall ask for the Indians, will be pointed to their graves: “There lie their ashes.” Men who, by and by, shall ask for the negroes, will be told, “There they go, clad in white men’s skin.’ A hundred years ago a mulatto was a curiosity; now the mulattoes are half a million. You can yourself predict the future.

Mr. Eliot—The gentleman will permit me to say that surely all this was under a state of slavery.

Mr. Cox—I will show the gentleman directly that his friends and leaders propose to continue it in a state of freedom. It will be the freest kind of license.

Mr. Eliot—The gentleman will allow me to suggest whether the difficulty he labors under is not that the Democratic party is afraid the Republicans will get ahead of them.

Mr. Cox—I am not afraid of anything of the kind while white people remain upon which we can center our affections and philanthropy. You can take the whole monopoly of “miscegenation.” We abhor and detest it. The circular referred to has other indorsements, which I quote before I reach that Warwick of Republicanism, Horace Greeley. The Anti-Slavery Standard of January 30 says:

This pamphlet comes directly and fearlessly to the advocacy of an idea of which the American people are more afraid than any other. Assuredly God’s law will fulfill and vindicate themselves. It is in the highest degree improbable that He has placed a natural repugnance between any two families of His children. If He has done so, that decree will execute itself, and these two will never seek intimate companionship together. If, on the contrary, He has made no such barrier, no such one is needful or desirable, and every attempt to restrain these parties from exercising their natural choice is in contravention of His will, and is an unjust exercise of power. The future must decide how far black and white are disposed to seek each other in marriage. The probability is that there will be a progressive intermingling, and that the nation will be benefitted by it.

I hold In my hand the Anglo-African, of January 23, which discusses this subject from the purely African stand-point:

The author of the pamphlet before us advance beyond these lights of the days gone by. What they deemed a remote and undesirable probability he regards as a present and pressing necessity; what they deemed to be an evil to be legislated against he regards as a blessing which should be hastened by all the legislative and political organizations in the land! The word, may the deed, miscegenation, the same in substance with the word amalgamation, the terror of our abolition friends twenty years ago, and of many of them to-day—miscegenation which means intermarriages between whites and blacks miscegenation,” which means the absolute practical brotherhood and social intermingling of blacks and whites, he would have inscribed on the banner of the Republican party, and held up as the watchword of the next Presidential platform!

We take a deep interest In the doctrine shadowed forth, that to improve a given race of men. It is too late to begin with infant and Sunday schooling: at birth they have the bent of their parents, which we may slightly alter, but cannot radically change. The education and improvement should begin with the marriage of parties who, instead of strong resemblances, should have contrasts which are complementary each of the other. It is disgraceful to our modern civilization that we have societies for improving the breen of sheep, horses and pigs, while the human race is left to grow up without scientific culture.

The editor of the Anglo-African confesses that he is a little staggered in his theories by what he calls evident deterioration of the mixed bloods of Central America, but he finds the solution of the difficulty in the fact that the races there mlxed, Indian and Spanish, are not complementary of each other. This, to my observation, Mr. Speaker, is as absurd as it is untrue. But I am not now arguing the reasonableness of this doctrine of mixed races. I only propose to show what it is, and whither it is tending.

The New York Tribune, the great organ of the dominant party, is not so frank as the Anglo-African, but its exposition of “miscegenation” is one of the signs which point to the Republican solution of our African troubles by the amalgamation of the races, in indorsing the doctrine of this pamphlet, Mr. Greeley holds that—

No statesman in his senses cares to put morsels of cuticle under a microscope before he determines upon the prudence of a particular policy. Diversity of race is the condition precedent in America, and their assimilation is the problem. High skulls, broad skulls, long skulls, black hair, red hair, yellow hair, straight jaws or prominent jaws, white skins, black skins, copper skin, or olive skins, Caucasians, Ethiopians, Mongolians, Americans, or Malays, with oval pelvis, round pelvis, square pelvis, or oblong pelvis, we have or may have them all in our population; and our business is to accommodate all by subjecting merely material differences to the ameliorating influence of an honest and unlimited recognition of one common nature.

To “assimilate these various races” it the problem which Mr. Greeley approaches. We cannot but admire the delicate phraseology by which his approaches are couched. It is so the pamphlet to which I referred. It is bold and out-spoken. It advocates a preference of the black over the white as partners. The following are the points inculcated by its author:

  1. Since the whole human race is of one family, there should be, in a republic, no distinction in political or social rights on account of color, race or, nativity.
  2. The doctrine of human brotherhood implies the right of white and black to intermarry.
  3. The solution of the negro problem will not be reached in this country until public opinion sanctions a union of the two races.
  4. As the negro is here and cannot be driven out there should be no Impediment to the absorption of one race in the other.
  5. Legitimate unions between white and black could not possibly have any worse effect than the il legitimate unions which have been going on more than a century in South.
  6. The mingling of diverse races is proved by all history to have been a positive benefit to the progeny.
  7. The southern is caused less by slavery than by the base prejudices resulting from distinction of color, and perfect peace can come only by a cessation of that distinction through an absorption of the black race into the white.
  8. It is the duty of anti-slavery men everywhere to advocate the mingling of the two races.
  9. The next Presidential election should secure to the blacks all their social and political rights; and the progressive party should not flinch from conclusions fairly deductible from their own principles.
  10. In the millennial future the highest type of manhood will not be white or black, but brown; and the union of black with white in marriage will help the human family the sooner to realize its great destiny.

The author finds an emblem of his process in the blending of many to make the one new race, in the crowning of the dome above this Capitol with the bronze statue of Liberty! It is neither black nor white, but the intermediate miscegen, typifying the exquisite composite race which is to arise out of this war for Abolition, and whose destiny it is to rule the continent! Well might the correspondent of the New York Tribune, in describing the lifting of the uncouth masses, and bolting them together joint by joint, till they blended into the majestic “Freedom” which lifts her head in the blue sky above us, regard the scene as prophetic or the time when the reconstructed symbol of freedom in America shall be a colored goddess of liberty! But to the pamphlet itself. Here we have it, Mr. Speaker. This new evangel for the redemption of the black and white, upon its introductory page begins as follows:

The word is spoken at last. It is miscegenation—the blending of the various races of men—the practical recognition of the brotherhood of all the children of the common Father. [Laughter.]

Just what our miscegenetic Chaplain prays for here almost every morning; and you all voted for him, even some of my friends from the border States. The “introduction” proceeds:

While the sublime inspirations of Christianity have taught this doctrine. Christians so-called have ignored it in denying social equality to the colored man; while democracy is founded upon the idea that all men are equal, Democrats have shrunk from the logic of their own creed, and refused to fraternize with the people of all nations; while science has demonstrated that the intermarriage of diverse races is indispensable to a progressive humanity, its votaries, in this country at least, have never had the courage to apply that rule to the relations of the white and colored races, But Christianity, democracy, and science, are stronger than the timidity, prejudice, and pride of short-sighted men; and they teach that a people, to become great, must become composite. This involves what is vulgarly known as amalgamation [laughter], and those who dread that name, and the thought and fact it implies, are warned against reading these pages.

There are some remarkable things thrown out in this pamphlet, which should be examined by gentlemen upon the other side. The author discusses the effect of temperature on color. Quoting from a German naturalist, he holds—

That the true skin is perfectly white; that over it is placed another membrane, called the reticular tissue, and that this is the membrane that is black; and, finally, that it is covered by a third membrane, the scarf skin, which has been compared to a fine varnish lightly extended over the colored membrane, and designed to protect it. Examine also this piece of skin, belonging to a very fair person. You perceive over the true white skin a membrane of a slightly brownish tint, and over that, again, but quite distinct from it, a transparent membrane. In other words, it clearly appears that the whites and the copper-colored have a colored membrane which is placed under the scarf skin and immediately above the true skin, just as it is in the negro. The infant negroes are born white, or rather reddish, like those of other people, [laughter,] but in two or three days the color begins to change; they speedily become copper- colored, [laughter,] and by the seventh or eight day, through never the sun, they appear quite black. [Laughter.]

He mention that it is known that negroes, in some rare instances, are born quite white or are true Albinos; sometimes, after being black for many years, they become piebald, or wholly white, without their general health suffering under the change. He also mentions another metamorphosis, which would not be agreeable to the prejudices of many among us; it is that of the white becoming piebald with black as deep as ebony.

That is an argument to how that we all, black and white, start off in the race of life nearly of the same color, and that we ought to come to it again, by the processes of miscegenation!

The author, in his second chapter, devotes many pages to considering the superiority of mixed races. Without combating his facts or deductions, let me quote this grand conclusion:

Whatever of power and vitality there is in the American race is derived, not from its Anglo-Saxon progenitors, but from all the different nationalities which go to make up this people. All that is needed to make us the finest rice on earth is to ingraft upon our stock, the negro element which Providence has placed by our side on this continent. [Laughter.] Of all the rich treasures of blood vouch fed to us, that of the negro is the most precious [laughter,] because it is the most unlike any other that enters into the composition of our nation life—[Laughter.]

Mr. Washburne, of Illinois, here interrupted Mr. Cox.

Mr. Cox—My friend ought not to be so sensitive. These developments will not hurt him. He does not belong to the miscegenists yet; and if he will stand by Gen. Grant and the white constitution—physical and political—he will not “mix” himself in this matter, I again quote:

It is clear that no race can long endure without a commingling of its blood with that of othor races. The condition or all human progress is miscegenation. [Laughter.] The Angio-Saxon should learn this in time for his own salvation. If we will not heed the demands of justice, let us at least respect the law self-preservation. Providence has kindly placed on the American soil; for hi own wise purposes, four million colored, people. They are our brothers, our sisters. [Laughter.] By mingling with them we beoome powerful, prosperous, and progressive; by refusing to do so we become feeble, unhealthy, narrow-minded, unfit for the nobler offices of freedom; and certain of early decay. [Laughter.]

I call the special attention of my friend from Massachusetts [Mr. Eliot] to these points, with a view to their incorporation in his bureau for freedmen and freed women. All your efforts will be vain, and you will not be able to maintain a healthy vitality, if you do not mix your whites very freely with your black beneficiaries.

[Conclusion to-morrow.]

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Charles W. Chesnutt’s Stenographic Realism

Posted in Articles, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-28 23:18Z by Steven

Charles W. Chesnutt’s Stenographic Realism

MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S.
Volume 40, Number 4, Winter 2015
pages 48-68

Mark Sussman
Hunter College, City University of New York

Speaking before a meeting of the Ohio Stenographer’s Association on 28 August 1889, Charles W. Chesnutt declared: “The invention of phonography deserves to rank, and does rank, in the minds of those who know its uses, with the great inventions of the nineteenth century; along with the steam engine, the telegraph, the sewing machine, the telephone” (“Some” 74). Phonography, the name Isaac Pitman gave to his popular system of shorthand notation, had been an obsession for Chesnutt going back about a decade. While he supported himself and his family for a short time solely by writing fiction, his income largely came first as a free-lance legal stenographer and then as the owner of his own successful stenography practice. In the midst of teaching himself Pitman’s shorthand, Chesnutt wrote in his journal on 28 June 1880: “I must write a lecture on phonography—the principles of the art; its uses, and the method of learning it” (Journals 143), and so his speech marked the culmination of his desire to entwine the practice of shorthand with his other obsession, that of becoming a writer of fiction.

This essay takes as its point of departure the idea that Chesnutt’s two coinciding writerly practices—stenography and fiction—are more than merely coincidental. The connection of writing to stenography and stenography to writing, far from being limited to the singular professional development of Chesnutt (the first major black American novelist), reflects some of the shared anxieties and contradictions of the racial and literary imaginations of the nineteenth century. Stenography, as a writing system that claims to record and preserve the inflections of human speech, and literary realism, a form of writing that claims to register the vicissitudes of human experience, both participate in a form of mimesis that was, by the end of the nineteenth century, the primary site of critical discord surrounding American fiction.

However, that discord was not only literary. Rather, debates about the role of mimesis in literary production, while they found their mute brother in the technology of stenography, also shaded into debates about the nature of imitativeness and, more specifically, whether or not imitativeness was an epistemic quality rooted in race. For race scientists, anti-abolitionists, and, later, for post-Reconstruction critics of black education, the idea that “Africans” possessed an imitative nature posed an insurmountable obstacle to any real education. Further, the idea that a black person appearing to have acquired knowledge through education was, in truth, only “parroting” what they had heard suggested that while blacks could use knowledge, only whites could truly possess it. Chesnutt’s dual practices of writerly mimesis turn racialized models of imitation on their head. His novel The House behind the Cedars (1900) suggests that imitation, in the form of learned manners and etiquette, constitutes the only identifiable form of “racial” behavior, white or black. Far from a perceived special “African” quality, imitation demonstrates the literal insubstantiality of race itself. Dialect fiction, an ostensibly mimetic writing form that portrays human speech as the locus of racial authenticity, ironically materializes and substantializes what Chesnutt elsewhere strove to demonstrate was insubstantial. For Chesnutt, then, writing was the sole arena in which the paradoxes of race thinking could take shape; to write race was, in some sense, and perhaps only for Chesnutt, to literally bring race into being.

The story “The Goophered Grapevine” exemplifies this phenomenon. One of Chesnutt’s stories written largely in dialect, this tale almost seems designed to look like one of Chesnutt’s stenographic transcriptions. It displays what Lisa Gitelman has described as “the underlying matter of representing orality” (52) in even those domains of literary culture without direct knowledge of shorthand writing. The story begins, as do all of the tales collected in Chesnutt’s The Conjure Woman (1899), in the first person. The white Northerner John describes his and his wife Annie’s decision to move from northern Ohio to North Carolina, both for Annie’s health and in order for John to purchase a vineyard. The two encounter Julius McAdoo, a former slave, who warns them away from the vineyard, telling them that years ago some of the scuppernong vines were “goophered” (cursed or hexed…

Read or purchase the article here.

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1-on-1 with Gopher basketball star Rachel Banham

Posted in United States, Videos, Women on 2016-02-28 22:58Z by Steven

1-on-1 with Gopher basketball star Rachel Banham

Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Hobie Artigue, Reporter

MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) – University of Minnesota senior Rachel Banham has been the best player to watch in the Twin Cities on the basketball court and is the toast of the Big Ten.

Watch Fox 9’s Hobie Artigue hit the court with Banham in a good, old fashioned game of HORSE.

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MSNBC severs ties with Melissa Harris-Perry after host’s critical email

Posted in Articles, Arts, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-28 22:37Z by Steven

MSNBC severs ties with Melissa Harris-Perry after host’s critical email

The Washington Post

Paul Farhi, Media Reporter

MSNBC has parted ways with host Melissa Harris-Perry after she complained about preemptions of her weekend program and implied that there was a racial aspect to the cable-news network’s treatment, insiders at MSNBC said.

Harris-Perry refused to appear on her program Saturday morning, telling her co-workers in an email that she felt “worthless” to the NBC-owned network. “I will not be used as a tool for their purposes,” wrote Harris-Perry, who is African American. “I am not a token, mammy or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by [NBC executives] or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back.”

The rebuke, which became public when it was obtained by the New York Times, has triggered discussions involving the network, Harris-Perry and her representatives about the terms of her departure, said people at MSNBC, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Harris-Perry’s departure has not been formally announced…

..All of the changes carry a potential perception risk that MSNBC — known as the most liberal among the three leading cable-news networks — is diminishing the contributions of its minority personalities, network officials acknowledge. In addition to the issues with Harris-Perry and Diaz-Balart, the network’s new emphasis on news during the day has led to the demotion of two African American hosts: the Rev. Al Sharpton and Joy Reid, both of whom have been moved from daily shows to lower-profile weekend slots. (Reid assumed Harris-Perry’s hosting duties on Saturday.)…

Read the entire article here.

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Terra Incognita: Poems by Adebe DeRango-Adem

Posted in Books, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Poetry, United States on 2016-02-28 18:54Z by Steven

Terra Incognita: Poems by Adebe DeRango-Adem

Inanna Publications
80 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-77133-217-0

Adebe DeRango-Adem

Titled after the Latin term for “unknown land”—a cartographical expression referring to regions that have not yet been mapped or documented—Terra Incognita is a collection of poems that creatively explores various racial discourses and interracial crossings buried in history’s grand narratives. Set against the similarities as well as incongruities of the Canadian/American backdrop of race relations, Terra Incognita explores the cultural memory and legacy of those whose histories have been the site of erasure, and who have thus—riffing on the Heraclitus’s dictum that “geography is fate”—been forced to redraw themselves into the texts of history. Finally, Terra Incognita is a collection that delves into the malleable borders of identity and questions what it means to move physically and spiritually, for our bodies to arrive and depart, our souls to relocate and change their scope.

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Adebe DeRango-Adem explores her identity in art and poetry

Posted in Articles, Arts, Canada, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Women on 2016-02-28 18:45Z by Steven

Adebe DeRango-Adem explores her identity in art and poetry

The Toronto Star

Debra Black, Immigration Reporter

Adebe DeRango-Adem was recently hailed as a young Canadian author to watch by Canada’s poet laureate, George Elliott Clarke. She is a poet and doctoral student in English literature at University of Pennsylvania.

Adebe DeRango-Adem was recently hailed as a young Canadian author to watch by Canada’s poet laureate, George Elliott Clarke. She is a poet and doctoral student in English literature at University of Pennsylvania.

Adebe DeRango-Adem was recently hailed as a young Canadian author to watch by Canada’s poet laureate, George Elliott Clarke. DeRango-Adem is a poet and doctoral student in English literature at University of Pennsylvania. Her latest work, Terra Incognita, a collection of poetry published last year, examines racial identity. The winner of the Toronto Poetry Competition in 2005, she served as Toronto’s first junior poet laureate. She spoke to the Star about Black History Month and what it means to her, as well as the importance of exploring identity in art.

I’m wondering what your feelings are about the designation of Black History Month and what that means for you as a writer. Is it important?

A colleague of mine, Andrea Thompson, who is pretty well known in the poetry world, described my book as an excellent and complete mapping of racial topography in Canada. We’re still struggling with the notion of post-race world and post-racial identities. My book and how it speaks to Black History Month is about pushing for malleable borders of identity and identification, in terms of blackness. I happen to be of mixed race — black identified mixed race — and so my book kind of inhabits the same questions that I think are important for everyone to consider. Questions such as: What’s our fixation on the attempts to envision a post-racial world all about? Who is to say, for example, that this idea of mixed races — what makes that radical? That term blackness itself is being opened in good ways. So those are the questions that I think my book is asking. It’s referring to the inter-racial experience as a grounding, but it also wants to ask about immigration. I, myself, am a child of immigrant parents. From Italy and Ethiopia. I came to the U.S. to study, also making me an immigrant. My book is also about asking how blackness in Canada relates to roots, movement and differentiation…

Read the entire interview here.

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The Louisiana Convention.

Posted in Articles, Louisiana, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-02-28 18:13Z by Steven

The Louisiana Convention.

The Spirit of Democracy
Woodsfield, Ohio
page 2, column 3

The Convention for the reconstruction of Louisiana, now in session at New Orleans, is one of the smallest affairs in the way of brains ever before assembled in the United States. It is composed of cooks, boot-blacks, field-hands, bureau officers, and men unknown five miles from their place of residence. It is with weapons of this sort that the Radical Revolutionists are ruling the South, and trampling the rights of White men under their feet. Here is a list of the  members, taken from the N. Y. World:

  • W. Jasper Blackburn, white, is a Northern man who edits the Homer Iliad, a little Radical paper of intense bitterness published in Claiborne parish.
  • O. C. Bladin is a New Orleans mulatto.
  • Hyacinthe Bonseigneur is the same and chairman of a standing committee that on “conteengeent expanses.”
  • Emile Bonnefoi is a mulatto.
  • Wm. Brown is an unknown white
  • Dennis Burrel is a negro.
  • Wm. Butler is a negro.
  • Wm. H. Cooley is a white man; a District Judge in Point Coupee and chairman of the standing committee on the new constitution. He is not so Radicals he was and swears freely.
  • W. R.  Crane is a truly loyal man whose name appears subscribed to this oath: “I do solemnly swear that I am qualified according to the Constitution, and the laws of the State to vote. I will be faithful and true allegiance bear to the State of Louisiana and the Confederate States of America, and that I will support, protect, and defend the Constitution of the State and of the said Confederate States. So help me God. March 20, 1862.”Some years prior to this the reconstructing Crane offered a resolution in the Louisiana Legislature to unseat J. P. Benjamin then United States Senator; because the said Judah was in favor of Mr. Clay’s compromise measure, instead of being as Soule, Quitman and the reconstructing Crane then were for instantaneous secession. After Butler the beast came to this city, Mr. Crane became curator of the estates of persons sent beyond the line, and of registered enemies. In personal appearance he is adust as to the face, orange-tawny as to the beard, and stringy as to the neck, around which, without any intervention of a collar is twisted a wispy black cravat.
  • Thos. S. Crawford is a melancholy unknown young white man in blue steel specs.
  • R. J. Cromwell is a negro doctor.
  • Samuel E. Curey is a very black negro.
  • Geo. W. Dearing, Jr, is a mulatto.
  • A. J. Demarestis white, unknown.
  • Chas. Depasseau, is a mulatto.
  • P. G. Deslonde, mulatto.
  • Jos. DeBlonde, mulatto.
  • Auguste Donator Jr., mulatto.
  • Davis Douglas, mulatto.
  • J. G. Drimkard, white, unknown.
  • Gustavus Duparte, mulatto.
  • Ulger Dupart, mulatto.
  • C. H. B. Duplessis, white, unknown.
  • J. B. Esnard, mulatto.
  • G. W. Furgeson, white, unknown.
  • John Gair, mulatto.
  • R. G. Gardiner, a very black negro, temporary president of the Convention.
  • Abraham N. Gould, negro.
  • Leopold Guichard, mulatto.
  • Peter Harper, Jno. S. Harris, Thos. P. Harrison, O. H. Hempstead, and W. .H. Hiestaud, all white and entirely unknown.
  • J. H. Ingraham, mulatto, a cook in the Washington artillery during the war, and now Chairman of the Committee on Bill of Rights.
  • R. H. Isabelle, mulatto.
  • Thos. Isabelle, mulatto.
  • Simon Jones, white.
  • Geo. Y. Kelso, mulatto.
  • Jas. H. Landers, white, wears a brimstone colored vest an is Solon Shinge to a hair. Otherwise unknown.
  • Victor Lange, mulatto.
  • Chas Leroy, mulatto.
  • J. B. Lewis, Viite.
  • Richard Lewis, black.
  • Jno. J. Ludwig, white, a German—Has good sense, but speaks English fewly.
  • Jno. Lynch, white. “Give ye me wor’rd of honor he has” said he the other day, sotto voce, in debate. And of such is delegate Lynch.
  • Frederic Mane, white.
  • Thomas M. Martin, mulatto.
  • J. A. Massicot, white.
  • Win. R. Meadows, white.
  • Ben. McLeran, white.
  • W. L. McMillan, white of Ohio, ex-U. S. A.
  • Milton Morris, a very black negro.
  • S. R. Moses, still blacker.
  • Wm. Munell, mulatto.
  • Jas. Mushaway, white.
  • Theophile Myers, mulatto.
  • J. P. Newsham, white, ex-U. S.
  • Jos. C. Oliver, mulatto.
  • S. B. Packard, white.
  • Jno. Pierce, mulatto.
  • P. B. S. Pinchback, mulatto. Great friend of. Banks, N. P.
  • Curtis Pollard, negro, black as jet.
  • Geo. W. Reagan, white, ex-U. S. A.
  • D. Reese, white.
  • Fortune Riard, mulatto.
  • D. D. Riggs, white.
  • J. A. N. Roberts, mulatto.
  • L. Rodriquez, mulatto.
  • N. Schawb, white, German.
  • Charles Smith, white, Internal Revenue assessor.
  • Sosthene Snacr, mulatto.
  • Jno. Scott, negro.
  • G. Snider, white.
  • H. G. Steele, white.
  • Chas. Thibaut, white.
  • E. Twichant, mulatto.
  • M. H. Twichell, white, ex-U. S. A.
  • Napoleon Underwood, white.
  • P. F. Valfroit, negro.
  • Jno. B. Vandergriff, white.
  • Michel Vidal, white.
  • Rufus Naples, white.
  • G. M. Wickliffe, white, is a truly loyal man. In 1860, he edited a paper at Clinton, in this State called The Spirit of the South, full of death to abolitionists, hang the abolitionist devils, whet the knife, prepare the fuel, etc., etc., in the very worst style of the fire-eating school. As before observed he is a truly loyal man. He looks, big black mustache “hilang!” air and all as though he had just dropped down out of the Bowery and with two negroes Williams and Wilson, closes the roll of this Convention.

Were the people of the South true to their own interests they would rise in the name of the Constitution of the United States, and wipe the vampire band of howling, blood-thirsty Niggers and unknowns, who are now engaged in eating out their substance and outlawing them, from existence.

Here is a specimen of the blood-thirsty speeches daily thrown into the faces of disfranchised white men:

New Orleans, December 7.—In the Convention to-day, while discussing the preamble and resolutions denying the statements contained in the memorial to congress expressing a fear of a war of races, a negro named Cromwell declared: “We will rule; until the last one of us goes down forever.” That negroes were going to have their rights, if it was by revolution and blood, in spite of Andy Johnson or any other man, and declared that he was ready for revolution.

From the above the people can very readily see what, the negro doctrines of Sumner and Wilson have brought the country too.

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Lupita Nyong’o and Trevor Noah, and Their Meaningful Roles

Posted in Arts, Communications/Media Studies, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-02-28 15:32Z by Steven

Lupita Nyong’o and Trevor Noah, and Their Meaningful Roles

Table for Three
The New York Times

Philip Galanes

Lupita Nyong’o, an Oscar-winning actress, and Trevor Noah, the host of “The Daily Show,” at the Dutch in SoHo. Credit Malin Fezehai for The New York Times

The most intriguing stars seem to appear from out of nowhere.

Take Lupita Nyong’o, the Mexican-Kenyan actress who had not even graduated from Yale School of Drama before landing her star-making role as Patsey in “12 Years a Slave,” for which she won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2014.

Or Trevor Noah, the comedian from Johannesburg, who had appeared on “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central a scant three times before being named Jon Stewart’s successor last March.

Ms. Nyong’o, 32, has since appeared in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and lent her voice to “The Jungle Book,” which will open in April. She has also acted on stage in an Off Broadway production of “Eclipsed,” about the struggles of a group of women during the Liberian Civil War. (“Eclipsed” will open on Broadway next month.) Ms. Nyong’o quickly became a fashion darling, too, as the first black face of Lancôme. She has appeared on the cover of Vogue twice…

Read the entire interview here.

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New Du Bois Review Study Confirms the Obvious: U.S. Latinos Are Not ‘Becoming White’

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Work, United States on 2016-02-28 15:01Z by Steven

New Du Bois Review Study Confirms the Obvious: U.S. Latinos Are Not ‘Becoming White’

Latino Rebels

Julio Ricardo Varela

Last year, we spent a lot of time countering slippery claims and misreporting by several nationally recognized writers (specifically Jamelle Bouie and Nate Cohn) who were pushing a mainstream media narrative that more and more U.S. Latinos were becoming “White” in this country. The pieces we published from several contributors were quick to refute how writers like Bouie and Cohn lacked any real knowledge or understanding of this topic.

A new study called “LATINA/O WHITENING? Which Latina/os Self-Classify as White and Report Being Perceived as White by Other Americans?” was recently published in the Du Bois Review. Dr. Nicholas Vargas, the study’s author, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences at The University of Texas at Dallas. After reading Vargas’ study (you can download the full study here), our founder and publisher @julito77 sent Dr. Vargas a few questions via email. Here is what Dr. Vargas sent back to us:

What prompted you to do this study?

VARGAS: As I became more familiar with the scholarly literature on assimilation, a literature that is informed primarily by the assimilation trajectories of Eastern and Southern European groups of the early 20th century, I came across a number of arguments that Latina/os would soon be following in their footsteps. The argument is that Latina/os will come to identify as White and look back on their Latina/o identities much the same way that many Whites today look back to a detached Irish or Italian heritage. Some of these arguments suggested that Latina/o racial self-identification as White on the U.S. Census and other surveys could be a sign that the process of Latina/o Whitening is already underway. Journalists proclaimed that if Latina/os are identifying as White, then they are probably “becoming White” the same way that others have in the past…

Read the entire interview here.

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Melissa Harris-Perry Walks Off Her MSNBC Show After Pre-Emptions

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-02-27 01:23Z by Steven

Melissa Harris-Perry Walks Off Her MSNBC Show After Pre-Emptions

The New York Times

John Koblin, Television Reporter

Melissa Harris-Perry said she had received no word about whether her MSNBC show had been canceled.
Credit Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Melissa Harris-Perry said she was refusing to go on the MSNBC show she hosts this Saturday, following several weeks of pre-emptions and what she described as a loss of editorial control.

In an email sent to people she works with this week, which was obtained by The New York Times, Ms. Harris-Perry said that her show had effectively been taken away from her and that she felt “worthless” in the eyes of NBC News executives.

“Here is the reality: Our show was taken — without comment or discussion or notice — in the midst of an election season,” she wrote. “After four years of building an audience, developing a brand and developing trust with our viewers, we were effectively and utterly silenced.”…

…Ms. Harris-Perry is black, and Mr. Lack and Mr. Griffin are white. In the phone interview on Friday, Ms. Harris-Perry clarified her remarks and said she did not think race played a role in her recent absence from the air.

“I don’t know if there is a personal racial component,” she said. “I don’t think anyone is doing something mean to me because I’m a black person.”…

Read the entire article here.

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