We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet: Letters to My Filipino-Athabascan Family

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Justice, United States on 2017-12-05 04:11Z by Steven

We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet: Letters to My Filipino-Athabascan Family

State University of New York Press
February 2018
200 pages
Paperback ISBN13: 978-1-4384-6952-2

E. J. R. David, Associate Professor of Psychology
University of Alaska, Anchorage

A father’s personal and intimate account of his Filipino and Alaska Native family’s experiences, and his search for how to help his children overcome the effects of historical and contemporary oppression.

In a series of letters to his mixed-race Koyukon Athabascan family, E. J. R. David shares his struggles, insecurities, and anxieties as a Filipino American immigrant man, husband, and father living in the lands dominated by his family’s colonizer. The result is We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet, a deeply personal and heartfelt exploration of the intersections and widespread social, psychological, and health implications of colonialism, immigration, racism, sexism, intergenerational trauma, and internalized oppression. Weaving together his lived realities, his family’s experiences, and empirical data, David reflects on a difficult journey, touching upon the importance of developing critical and painful consciousness, as well as the need for connectedness, strength, freedom, and love, in our personal and collective efforts to heal from the injuries of historical and contemporary oppression. The persecution of two marginalized communities is brought to the forefront in this book. Their histories underscore and reveal how historical and contemporary oppression has very real and tangible impacts on Peoples across time and generations.

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Captain “Hell Roaring” Mike Healy: From American Slave to Arctic Hero

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Passing, United States on 2017-01-27 15:18Z by Steven

Captain “Hell Roaring” Mike Healy: From American Slave to Arctic Hero

University Press of Florida
2017-04-35
352 pages
6.125 x 9.25
Hardcover ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-3368-6
Paper ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-5485-8

Dennis L. Noble, Senior Chief Petty Officer (Retired)
United States Coast Guard

Truman R. Strobridge

Foreword by James C. Bradford and Gene Allen Smith, Series Editors

One of the Coast Guard’s great heroes and the secret he kept hidden

In the late 1880s, many lives in northern and western maritime Alaska rested in the capable hands of Michael A. Healy (1839-1904), through his service to the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service. Healy arrested lawbreakers, put down mutinies aboard merchant ships, fought the smuggling of illegal liquor and firearms, rescued shipwrecked sailors from a harsh and unforgiving environment, brought medical aid to isolated villages, prevented the wholesale slaughter of marine wildlife, and explored unknown waters and lands.

Captain Healy’s dramatic feats in the far north were so widely reported that a New York newspaper once declared him the “most famous man in America.” But Healy hid a secret that contributed to his legacy as a lonely, tragic figure.

In 1896, Healy was brought to trial on charges ranging from conduct unbecoming an officer to endangerment of his vessel for reason of intoxication. As punishment, he was put ashore on half pay with no command and dropped to the bottom of the Captain’s list. Eventually, he again rose to his former high position in the service by the time of his death in 1904. Sixty-seven years later, in 1971, the U.S. Coast Guard learned that Healy was born a slave in Georgia who ran away to sea at age fifteen and spent the rest of his life passing for white.

This is the rare biography that encompasses both sea adventure and the height of human achievement against all odds.

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A stone for the Chief: Black Anchorage leader who passed as white honored with memorial

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-12-01 20:23Z by Steven

A stone for the Chief: Black Anchorage leader who passed as white honored with memorial

Alaska Dispatch News
Anchorage, Alaska
2015-10-29

Mike Dunham, Play & Arts & Entertainment Reporter


From left, Corey Todoroff, Jim Vignola and Lex Patten of the Anchorage Fire Department unveil a new grave marker for longtime Anchorage Fire Chief Thomas Bevers, who passed away in 1944, during a ceremony at the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery on Thursday, October 29, 2015. Bevers was also notable for co-founding what would become the Anchorage Fur Rendezvous festival, and for being a black man who passed as white.
Loren Holmes / ADN

The 1930 Anchorage census tells us this about Thomas S. Bevers: He was 39 years old, male, married, white, a veteran of the World War and the city’s fire chief.

But his final resting place was unmarked until Thursday, when an honor guard from the Anchorage Fire Department unveiled a headstone for him at a ceremony in the Anchorage Memorial Park Cemetery.

As his job title suggests, Bevers was more important than the average roustabout hoping to strike it rich — or maybe just get by — in the far-off territory of Alaska. He arrived in Anchorage in 1921 and served as a volunteer fireman. The ladder wagons were pulled by horses and the pumps were worked by hand.

By 1930, he was in the front ranks of city leaders, a man of property, a landlord, a partner in a major fur farm on 10th Avenue. He became involved with civic causes that included building a new hospital and Merrill Field. His ongoing business ventures ranged from establishing the Fairview neighborhood (originally Bevers Subdivision) to part-ownership of the Buffalo Mine near Chickaloon.

He was a member of the Anchorage Boosters Club who loved to give visitors tours of Anchorage while extolling its possibilities. Most famously, he co-founded the Fur Rendezvous winter festival.


Anchorage Fire Department Chief Thomas Bevers in the 1930s
Courtesy Anchorage Fire Department

In 1922 Bevers became the first paid fireman in the city. He retired from the position of chief in 1940 and ran for city council in 1941, winning the office with 772 votes.

In October 1944, during a duck hunting trip on the north side of Knik Arm, he went to bed and quietly died of a heart attack. An editorial in the Anchorage Times lamented, “Anchorage (has) lost one of its best friends and leaders.”

He had no immediate family in the territory. The 1940 census listed him as single. Officials summoned a sister in Virginia to come and claim the body.

Upon her arrival, his friends and business partners did a double take…

Read the entire article here.

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New book details racism faced by black soldiers who helped build Alaska Highway

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United States on 2013-08-05 02:47Z by Steven

New book details racism faced by black soldiers who helped build Alaska Highway

Edmonton Journal
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
2013-08-02

Chris Zdeb

EDMONTON – Author John Virtue admits he knew “absolutely nothing” about The Black Soldiers Who Built the Alaska Highway, which is also the title of his latest book, before he started researching the topic six years ago.

He was inspired to write the story at the suggestion of Monte Irvin, a former New York Giant and a member of the baseball Hall of Fame, who Virtue met while writing a book about the role of the Mexican League in desegregating American baseball.

Virtue had never heard about the black soldiers who worked on the highway, even though he was raised in Edmonton, the staging area for the project.

You’d think it would be hard to miss 5,000 black troops, almost half of the 11,000 American soldiers who spent 18 months working on two of the biggest construction projects of the Second World War

…The black soldiers should have been especially newsworthy, since they were the first African-American troops to be deployed outside of the U.S. mainland during the Second World War.

“The main reason why the contributions of the black soldiers was ignored during the war,” the former journalist says from his Miami Beach home, “is because of the power of congressmen from the southern states, who thought that anything that glorified the contributions of the blacks would cause problems back home. They might agitate for improvement of their conditions once the war was over and they were back home.”…

…There was immediate opposition from Brig.-Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr., commander in charge of the defence of Alaska, to black soldiers being sent to the far north. On receiving a letter from Brig.-Gen. Clarence L. Sturdevant, assistant of the Corps of Engineers, informing him that two black regiments would be sent to the Yukon and Alaska to help with the highway, Buckner minced no words in his reply.

“I have no objections whatever to your employing them on the roads if they are kept far enough away from the settlements and kept busy and sent home as soon as possible,” wrote Buckner, a southern aristocrat raised in rural Kentucky.

“The very high wages offered to unskilled labour here would attract a large number of them and cause them to remain and settle after the war, with the natural result that they could interbreed with the Indian and Eskimos and produce an astonishingly objectionable race of mongrels which could be a problem from now on.”…

Read the entire article here.

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The Black Soldiers Who Built the Alaska Highway: A History of Four U.S. Army Regiments in the North, 1942-1943

Posted in Books, History, Monographs, United States on 2013-08-04 19:03Z by Steven

The Black Soldiers Who Built the Alaska Highway: A History of Four U.S. Army Regiments in the North, 1942-1943

McFarland
2013
228 pages
39 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Softcover (7 x 10)
Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-7117-1
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4766-0039-0

John Virtue, Director
International Media Center at Florida International University

This is the first detailed account of the 5,000 black troops who were reluctantly sent north by the United States Army during World War II to help build the Alaska Highway and install the companion Canol pipeline. Theirs were the first black regiments deployed outside the lower 48 states during the war. The enlisted men, most of them from the South, faced racial discrimination from white officers, were barred from entering any towns for fear they would procreate a “mongrel” race with local women, and endured winter conditions they had never experienced before. Despite this, they won praise for their dedication and their work. Congress in 2005 said that the wartime service of the four regiments covered here contributed to the eventual desegregation of the Armed Forces.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword by Monte Irvin
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. Pondering a Pathway to Alaska
  • 2. Highway and Pipeline Approved
  • 3. The Second Emancipation Order
  • 4. Blacks Rush to Enlist
  • 5. Black Soldiers Voice Their Complaints
  • 6. Army Reluctantly Assigns Black Regiments
  • 7. Heading North
  • 8. Japanese Attack Justifies the Alcan Highway
  • 9. The 93rd and the 95th Start Off with Picks and Shovels
  • 10. The 97th Completes the Highway
  • 11. The 388th Does the Heavy Lifting
  • 12. An Unexpectedly Severe Winter
  • 13. Surviving Isolation
  • 14. The Highway Is Praised, the Pipeline Criticized
  • 15. Identifying Problems
  • 16. News Coverage of Black Troops Suppressed
  • Epilogue
  • Chapter Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Kodiak Kreol: Communities of Empire in Early Russian America [Patricia Cleary Review]

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2013-04-01 00:26Z by Steven

Kodiak Kreol: Communities of Empire in Early Russian America [Patricia Cleary Review]

William and Mary Quarterly
Third Series, Volume 69, Number 3, July 2012
pages 665-667
DOI: 10.5309/willmaryquar.69.3.0665

Kodiak Kreol: Communities of Empire in Early Russian America. By Gwenn A. Miller. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 2010. 242 pages.

Patricia Cleary, Professor of History
California State University, Long Beach

In a period of imperial expansion in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, Russia founded only one overseas colony, in several sites off the Alaskan coast. On Kodiak Island, the focus of Gwenn A. Miller’s study, the Russian American Company pursued the fur trade and sought the support of church and state for its efforts. In the process, the company’s agents disrupted the lives of the indigenous Alutiiq people, not least through forming relationships with local women and creating an ethnically mixed Kreol population. In her exploration of this North Pacific outpost, Miller focuses on how these initially tenuous and later increasingly formalized relationships laid the basis for a distinctive category and community of people within the Russian empire.

Drawing on slim and occasionally challenging sources, Miller traces Russian colonial expansion, examining how conquest and the exaction of tribute from subjugated peoples in Siberia facilitated the Kodiak venture. Teasing out how Russians differentiated themselves from locals, Miller focuses narrowly on the inhabitants of one island outpost, whose interactions, both peaceful and violent, led to the creation of a “new world” that was “never wholly Russian or Alutiiq” (xi). Although less well known than other Russian ventures, such as that at Sitka, Kodiak was, Miller argues, important in no small part because it lay at the “crossroads of early Alaskan colonial contact” (xi)…

At the heart of Miller’s analysis is how mixed-race children came to be important both culturally and economically. Russian American children drew the interest of company leaders and government officials, who “singled out these children to be groomed for middling and at times high-level work within the colonial apparatus” (138). Demographic changes prompted such attention. With the overwhelming majority of native men forced to engage in the increasingly dangerous and difficult otter hunt, overhunting led to ever longer voyages, and growing numbers of men perished at sea. European diseases further contributed to the decline of the indigenous population. Company officials began to recognize two related needs: for young indigenous boys to remain in their communities “to train in the art of the sea otter hunt” (114) as their elders died at accelerated rates and for a population of future company workers to be educated appropriately. The hardships of life in the colonial outpost, the “difficulty of transporting substantial numbers of settlers from mainland Russia” (127), the skewed sex ratio among those who did emigrate, the declining Alutiiq population, and an expanding Kreol one turned the Kreol into “an important constituent of the subject population on Kodiak” (127), a few of whom were sent to study at the company’s expense in Saint Petersburg. State encouragement of mixed-race unions elsewhere, Miller states, typically took place in the earlier rather than later phases of colonial enterprises, with families rather than the state or firms responsible for making decisions about children’s educations. In stark contrast, Russian imperial officials “took increasing interest in this Kreol group of colonial residents as a loyal local population, and their expectations for the behavior of these people as European Russians was expressed in more concrete terms over time” (138), with the 1820s a high point. The church, state, and company all became more interested in these children; the company paid for their education in exchange for years of service, an arrangement that would turn “the local Kreol population into a literate managerial force that would be loyal to the Russian crown” (112)…

Read the entire review here.

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Kodiak Kreol: Communities of Empire in Early Russian America

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion on 2013-03-31 22:12Z by Steven

Kodiak Kreol: Communities of Empire in Early Russian America

Cornell University Press
2010-08-05
248 pages
7 Illustrations
6.1 x 9.3 in
ISBN-10: 0801446422; ISBN-13: 978-0-8014-4642-9

Gwenn A. Miller, Assistant Professor of History
College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts

From the 1780s to the 1820s, Kodiak Island, the first capital of Imperial Russia’s only overseas colony, was inhabited by indigenous Alutiiq people and colonized by Russians. Together, they established an ethnically mixed “kreol” community. Against the backdrop of the fur trade, the missionary work of the Russian Orthodox Church, and competition among Pacific colonial powers, Gwenn A. Miller brings to light the social, political, and economic patterns of life in the settlement, making clear that Russia’s modest colonial effort off the Alaskan coast fully depended on the assistance of Alutiiq people.

In this context, Miller argues, the relationships that developed between Alutiiq women and Russian men were critical keys to the initial success of Russia’s North Pacific venture. Although Russia’s Alaskan enterprise began some two centuries after other European powers—Spain, England, Holland, and France—started to colonize North America, many aspects of the contacts between Russians and Alutiiq people mirror earlier colonial episodes: adaptation to alien environments, the “discovery” and exploitation of natural resources, complicated relations between indigenous peoples and colonizing Europeans, attempts by an imperial state to moderate those relations, and a web of Christianizing practices. Russia’s Pacific colony, however, was founded on the cusp of modernity at the intersection of earlier New World forms of colonization and the bureaucratic age of high empire. Miller’s attention to the coexisting intimacy and violence of human connections on Kodiak offers new insights into the nature of colonialism in a little-known American outpost of European imperial power.

Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Comparative Timeline
  • Maps
  • Introduction
  • 1. An Economy of Confiscation
  • 2. Beach Crossings on Kodiak Island
  • 3. Colonial Formations
  • 4. Between Two Worlds
  • 5. Students of Empire
  • 6. A Kreol Generation
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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Lawsuit Challenging Obama’s Qualifications Is Tossed Out In Federal Court

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2012-09-14 05:39Z by Steven

Lawsuit Challenging Obama’s Qualifications Is Tossed Out In Federal Court

AlaskaPublic.org
2012-09-12

Matt Miller, KTOO – Juneau

An Alaska-based federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit challenging President Barack Obama’s qualifications to appear as a candidate on the November general election ballot.

Gordon Warren Epperly of Juneau claims that Obama does not have the political right to hold federal office because he’s of mixed race. Epperly filed an objection with the state Division of Elections in April and sued in state Superior Court in July…

…The case was moved to U.S. District Court where Judge Timothy Burgess on August 24th dismissed the lawsuit ‘with prejudice.’ That means it can never be brought up again…

Read the entire article here.

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Elections division turns aside Obama nomination challenge

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2012-09-14 05:33Z by Steven

Elections division turns aside Obama nomination challenge

KTOO News: Public Radio at 104.3
Juneau, Alaska
2012-03-06

Matt Miller

The state Division of Elections has turned down a challenge of President Barack Obama’s qualifications to be on the election ballot in Alaska. The challenge was filed by a Juneau resident who says the Democratic candidate is not qualified to run for re-election because he’s of mixed race.

It’s not a lawsuit filed in any court. Actually, it’s what’s called a nomination petition objection that was filed directly with the Division of Elections.

Division director Gail Fenumiai referred the objection to election attorneys within the Department of Law for further review.

“This is first time that we’ve received something like this,” says Fenumiai.

Gordon Warren Epperly is a retired bus driver in Juneau. He challenges Barack Obama’s qualifications to be on the ballot during Alaska’s presidential primary and general election. He says that Orly Taitz and others who’ve challenged Obama’s qualifications of being a ‘natural born citizen’ because of an alleged birth outside of the country went at it all wrong. He says there is no real requirement for a candidate to produce a birth certificate.

Epperly declined to talk on tape for this story. But in his filing he references the infamous Dred Scott decision which he says has never been overturned by the Supreme Court. He says Negros or Mulattos (he pronounces it mull-EYE-ttos) were not eligible to be citizens until the Fourteen Amendment was ratified in 1868. Even then, what Epperly calls ‘purported’ ratification of the amendment only allowed for civil rights, not political rights that allowed them and their descendants to hold federal office…

Read the entire article here.

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The Russian Creoles of Alaska as a Marginal Group

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation on 2012-08-27 01:08Z by Steven

The Russian Creoles of Alaska as a Marginal Group

Social Forces
Volume 22, Number 2 (December 1943)
pages 204-208

Margaret Mary Wood
Russell Sage College

The interest in Alaska which has been aroused by its strategic importance in the present world-war conflict is bringing to the fore as worthy of attention many problems of this distant American frontier to which little heed has hitherto been given. Among these problems the marginal position of the Russian Creoles in Alaska is one which is of special sociological interest. The position of this group is not only characterized by the difficulties which are commonly associated with the marginal position of racial hybrids, but it is also further complicated by a number of cultural difficulties which arc in many respects unique. These latter difficulties must be seen in the light of the history of the group to be rightly understood.

The present Russian Creoles in Alaska are the descendants of mixed marriages between the Russians and the Alaskan natives which occurred during the period of Russian rule in Alaska. The term “creole” was legally defined by the Russian authorities to mean the children of Russian fathers and the native women, and it was used in this sense in the Russian colonies. In the southern United States and in the West Indies, however, the term is used differently and only includes children of Spanish or French descent born in America of European parents. Historians in writing about Alaska have, for the most part, adopted the Russian use of the term; but it has not found a ready acceptance with the American settlers in Alaska who tend to designate the Creoles as “natives” or “half-breeds.” Both of these terms are keenly resented by the Creole group as I learned to my regret when I was teaching at Kodiak in 1916. I inadvertently referred to the Creoles as natives in making a distinction between some of their customs and those of the American group in Kodiak.   My tactless remark was repeated in garbled form to the local school board, all of whom were Creoles, and stirred up a furore which cost me my position for the following year, deservedly enough perhaps. The question of their name is one concerning which the Creole group are exceedingly sensitive.

Precise statistics of the Creoles in Alaska are lacking, but their number is not large. Russian records for Alaska in 1860 give the number of Creoles who had been baptized into the Russian Church as 1,676. In the United States census report of 1880, Ivan Petroff, who enumerated the Alaskan population for the government, gives their number as 1,756. In more recent census reports the Russian Creoles are not distinguished from other natives of mixed blood in Alaska. The 1930 census gives 7,825 as the number of natives of mixed blood out of a total native population of 29,983, but does not list the Russian Creoles separately. They probably do not constitute more than a third to a half of the natives of mixed blood, however, for racial diffusion is occurring rapidly in Alaska. This diffusion is to be expected. It is the natural outcome of a situation in which a pioneer breed of white men, isolated from women of their own race, are in contact with a docile and not unattractive native people.   The Russians recognized this situation in Alaska with greater frankness and tolerance than it has since been accorded under American rule.

Under the jurisdiction of the Russian American Company, which was chartered in 1799, order was introduced into the Russian colony and the earlier…

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