More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Virginia on 2019-01-19 05:12Z by Steven

More cities add Barack Obama’s name to landmarks, highways

USA TODAY
2019-01-13

Chris Woodyard, Los Angeles Bureau Chief

LOS ANGELESBarack Obama hasn’t been the president for nearly two years, but his fame is still spreading – at least when it comes to naming things after him.

The nation’s first African-American president need not go far around the country these days to find something that carries his name. There’s Barack Obama Way in New Albany Township, Indiana, and Barack Obama Boulevard in Pahokee, Florida. There’s a long list of schools now named for him, like Barack Obama Academy for Academic & Civic Development in Plainfield, New Jersey, and Barack Obama Elementary School in Richmond, Virginia.

Obama even has animal species named after him, like placida barackobamai, a sea slug

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I dig through archives to unearth hidden stories from African-American history

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2018-12-27 02:48Z by Steven

I dig through archives to unearth hidden stories from African-American history

The Conversation
2018-12-04

Jane Landers, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of History
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee


An archivist works with a document from Paraiba, Brazil. David Lafevor, CC BY-SA

Many years ago, as a graduate student searching in the archives of Spanish Florida, I discovered the first “underground railroad” of enslaved Africans escaping from Protestant Carolina to find religious sanctuary in Catholic Florida. In 1738, these runaways formed Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose, the first free black settlement in what became the U.S.

The excitement of that discovery encouraged me to keep digging. After doing additional research in Spain, I followed the trail of the Mose villagers to Cuba, where they had emigrated when Great Britain acquired Florida. I found many of them in 18th-century church records in Havana, Matanzas, Regla, Guanabacoa and San Miguel del Padrón.

Today, those records and others live on in the Slave Societies Digital Archive. This archive, which I launched in 2003, now holds approximately 600,000 images dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Since its creation, the archive has led to new insights into African populations in the Americas

…Previously unknown church records for Havana’s black Brotherhood of St. Joseph the Carpenter document the membership of Jose Antonio Aponte, executed by Spanish officials in 1812 for leading an alleged slave conspiracy. Our records similarly document the marriage and death of another famed “conspirator” – the mulatto poet Gabriel de la Concepcion Valdes, better known as Placido

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Turn Onto Old Dixie. After a Long, Rocky Stretch, It Becomes Obama Highway.

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, United States on 2016-10-24 19:21Z by Steven

Turn Onto Old Dixie. After a Long, Rocky Stretch, It Becomes Obama Highway.

The New York Times
2016-10-23

Dan Barry


Peter Henry, the son of Dora Johnson, looking over a wall near 27th Street and President Barack Obama Highway in Riviera Beach, Fla., that once separated black and white neighborhoods.
Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

A main thoroughfare in the predominantly black town of Riviera Beach, Fla., was once called Old Dixie Highway. But now the road has a new name: President Barack Obama Highway.

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. — The rechristened road runs beside a railroad freight line, slicing across a modest corner of Palm Beach County and a considerable section of the Southern psyche. It used to be called Old Dixie Highway.

But now this two-mile stretch, coursing through the mostly black community of Riviera Beach, goes by a new name. Now, when visitors want to eat takeout from Rodney’s Crabs, or worship at the Miracle Revival Deliverance Church, they turn onto President Barack Obama Highway.

Our national journey along this highway is nearing its end, these eight years a blur and a crawl. That historic inauguration of hope. Those siren calls for change. The grand ambitions tempered or blocked by recession and time, an inflexible Congress and a man’s aloofness.

War, economic recovery, Obamacare, Osama bin Laden. The mass shootings, in a nightclub, in a church — in an elementary school. The realization of so much still to overcome, given all the Fergusons; given all those who shamelessly questioned whether our first black president was even American by birth.

His towering oratory. His jump shot. His graying hair. His family. His wit. His tears.

The presidency of Mr. Obama, which ends in three months, will be memorialized in many grand ways, most notably by the planned construction of a presidential library in Chicago. But in crowded and isolated places across the country, his name has also been quietly incorporated into the everyday local patter, in ways far removed from politics and world affairs…

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A Seminole Legend: The Life of Betty Mae Tiger Jumper

Posted in Anthropology, Autobiography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Women on 2016-06-26 01:43Z by Steven

A Seminole Legend: The Life of Betty Mae Tiger Jumper

University Press of Florida
2001-11-30
208 pages
5.5 x 8.5
Hardcover ISBN 13: 978-0-8130-2285-7

Betty Mae Tiger Jumper

Patsy West

With A Seminole Legend, Betty Mae Jumper joins the ranks of Native American women who are coming forward to tell their life experiences. This collaboration between Jumper and Patsy West, an ethnohistorian who contributes general tribal history, is a rare and authentic account of a pioneering Florida Seminole family. It will take its place in Seminole literature, historical and anthropological studies, Florida history, women’s history, and Native American studies.

Betty Mae Tiger was born in 1923 to a Seminole Indian mother and a French trapper father, a fair-skinned half-breed who was nearly put to death at age five by tribal medicine men. Her inspiring autobiography is the story of the most decorated member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida—a political activist, former nurse, and alligator wrestler, who today has her own web site.

Jumper is also a beloved story-teller, renowned for passing along tribal legends. In this book she describes her family’s early conversion to Christianity and discusses such topics as miscegenation, war and atrocities, the impact of encroaching settlement on traditional peoples, and the development of the Dania/Hollywood Reservation. She became the first formally educated Florida Seminole, attending a government boarding school in Cherokee, North Carolina, where at age 14 she learned to speak English.

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Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution

Posted in Books, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2016-04-14 02:15Z by Steven

Antiracism in Cuba: The Unfinished Revolution

University of North Carolina Press
April 2016
332 pages
6.125 x 9.25
24 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4696-2672-7

Devyn Spence Benson, Assistant Professor of History and African and African American Studies
Louisiana State University

Analyzing the ideology and rhetoric around race in Cuba and south Florida during the early years of the Cuban revolution, Devyn Spence Benson argues that ideas, stereotypes, and discriminatory practices relating to racial difference persisted despite major efforts by the Cuban state to generate social equality. Drawing on Cuban and U.S. archival materials and face-to-face interviews, Benson examines 1960s government programs and campaigns against discrimination, showing how such programs frequently negated their efforts by reproducing racist images and idioms in revolutionary propaganda, cartoons, and school materials.

Building on nineteenth-century discourses that imagined Cuba as a raceless space, revolutionary leaders embraced a narrow definition of blackness, often seeming to suggest that Afro-Cubans had to discard their blackness to join the revolution. This was and remains a false dichotomy for many Cubans of color, Benson demonstrates. While some Afro-Cubans agreed with the revolution’s sentiments about racial transcendence–“not blacks, not whites, only Cubans”–others found ways to use state rhetoric to demand additional reforms. Still others, finding a revolution that disavowed blackness unsettling and paternalistic, fought to insert black history and African culture into revolutionary nationalisms. Despite such efforts by Afro-Cubans and radical government-sponsored integration programs, racism has persisted throughout the revolution in subtle but lasting ways.

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Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black

Posted in Articles, Audio, Identity Development/Psychology, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2016-02-06 21:04Z by Steven

Identity A Challenge For Latinas Who Are Black

WUSF News
WUSF Public Media
Tampa, Florida
2016-02-03

Naomi Prioleau


Evelin Diaz is Afro-Dominican and a Spanish teacher’s assistant at Lennard High School in Ruskin.
Naomi Prioleau/WUSF

When people think of famous Latina women, Jennifer Lopez or Sofia Vergara come to mind.

Not Zoe Saldana or Rosario Dawson.

The difference between these pairs of Latina actresses isn’t one of talent or fame. Saldana and Dawson also happen to identify as Black – a reality some Tampa-area Afro-Latinas say is difficult to navigate.

“People respect our (Latino) community but for the Afro-Latinas, people just like to group us as Black and stuff and want to deny that we’re Spanish,” said University of South Florida student Jessica Roberts, who is Puerto Rican and Dominican. And Black.

Roberts said she doesn’t speak Spanish, and as a result is told that she’s not “truly” Latina. People say she should only identify as Black…

…However, it’s not so easy to break down the number of Afro-Latinos here – or elsewhere. The U.S. Census doesn’t currently give the option for Latinos to identify as another race, meaning even if someone is Afro-Latino or Asian-Latino, they can only mark Latino.

USF sociology professor and author Dr. Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman said the inability to count Afro-Latinos isn’t the big problem. Latinas who are also Black struggle to find acceptance in both the Latino and Black communities, as well as with themselves…

Read and listen to the story here. Download the story (00:04:19) here.

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Tío Tomás’s Cabin: Marco Rubio and White Cubanidad

Posted in Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-01-16 15:24Z by Steven

Tío Tomás’s Cabin: Marco Rubio and White Cubanidad

Latino Rebels
2016-01-14

Jason Nichols, Lecturer in African American Studies
University of Maryland

Last semester I had a young man turn in an assignment in which students were instructed to write to a current presidential candidate. This particular student had been outspoken and one of the more socially aware and progressive students in the class. He has a leadership position in a Latino fraternity, and often attempted to find commonality between the plight of African Americans and people of Latino (Latinx) origin.

His paper was interesting to say the least. He directed his letter toward Marco Rubio and expressed disgust that Rubio could be the one to break the glass ceiling for Latinos in this country. He went as far as to refer to Rubio as a ‘sellout.” My comments to him may seem obvious to some, but fundamentally call into question the designation of “Latino” and whether brownness conflicts with whiteness. The young man who completed the assignment is of Brazilian descent, but identifies as strongly as Latino, which is evidence that Latinos are not bound by language. In addition, Latinos are of many different racial backgrounds, and many identify as multiracial. Many Latinos are politically astute, but are far from a political monolith unlike African Americans, who tend to vote as a solid bloc…

Read the entire article here.

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Old Dixie Highway renamed President Barack Obama Highway in Florida city

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-12-20 03:15Z by Steven

Old Dixie Highway renamed President Barack Obama Highway in Florida city

The Washington Post
2015-12-19

Elahe Izadi, Reporter


Workers install a new sign in Riviera Beach, Fla., on Thursday. (City of Riviera Beach)

Old Dixie Highway is no more in Riviera Beach, Fla. Instead, motorists are driving on President Barack Obama Highway.

Riviera Beach officials renamed the portion of the highway in their city limits, and the new sign carrying the name of the nation’s first black president went up Thursday. Old Dixie, officials said, paid homage to an era that glorified slavery.

The name was “symbolic of racism, symbolic of the Klan, symbolic of cross burnings, and today we are stepping up to a new day, a new era,” Riviera Beach Mayor Thomas Masters told WPTV on Thursday.

The street itself carried a painful history for some. Dora Johnson, 77, told the television station that she once witnessed a cross-burning on Old Dixie Highway. Johnson will be given the old sign that has been removed, Masters told the Palm Beach Post.

The city council’s August vote to rename Old Dixie came at a time when many communities in the South were reconsidering Confederate flags and monuments. A national debate over such symbols began anew following the June shooting of nine parishioners by a white gunman inside a historic black church in South Carolina

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One Drop of Love at the Straz Center

Posted in Arts, Autobiography, Census/Demographics, History, Live Events, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-07 17:47Z by Steven

One Drop of Love at the Straz Center

Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Jaeb Theater
1010 N. W.C. MacInnes Place
Tampa, Florida 33602
Saturday, 2014-11-08, 19:30 EST (Local Time)

Produced by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, this extraordinary one-woman show by Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni incorporates filmed images, photographs and animation to tell the story of how the notion of ‘race’ came to be in the United States and how it affected her relationship with her father. This show is a moving memoir that takes audiences from the 1600s to the present, to cities all over the U.S. and West and East Africa, where both father and daughter spent time in search of their ‘racial’ roots. Funny and provocative, One Drop of Love is a spellbinding and honest journey into the heart of finding one’s place in the world and in the complicated microcosm of one’s family.

For more information, click here.

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‘One Drop of Love’ star Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni talks race, family and more

Posted in Articles, Arts, Census/Demographics, History, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Social Science on 2014-11-06 21:37Z by Steven

‘One Drop of Love’ star Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni talks race, family and more

The Tampa Bay Times
St. Petersburg, Florida
2014-11-05

Robbyn Mitchell, Times Staff Writer


Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni: “Race is like a religion to us.”

It’s been an interesting year in race relations for America. In just over 10 months, there have been communities violently protesting loss of due process, NBA owners losing their teams over racist remarks and anti-immigration zealots blockading school buses full of brown children because they were presumed to be foreign.

It’s a climate — not of change, as was promised by the election of President Barack Obama, but of an overwhelming dedication to fight change.

“People believe in race so strongly they’re faithful to it. Race is like a religion to us,” said Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni, writer and performer of One Drop of Love, a one-woman multimedia show coming to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts Saturday night.

As a woman with parents who identify themselves as different races — her father is black and her mother is white — Cox DiGiovanni says she has the had the privilege to move between two different spheres of American society and decide for herself how she would be defined.

“The way I identify myself is as a culturally mixed woman searching for racial answers,” she said. “I care about justice and that’s more important than racial identity.”…

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