USC to erect statue of first African-American professor

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2017-07-23 16:01Z by Steven

USC to erect statue of first African-American professor

The State
2017-01-29

Avery G. Wilks, Reporter


A portrait of Richard T. Greener on display at USC. Larry Lebby Larry Lebby

COLUMBIARichard T. Greener was little remembered in Columbia for almost 150 years.

Then, in 2012, Greener’s law degree and law license were found in a Chicago house that was being demolished. And Greener and the University of South Carolina were reunited.

Monday, USC will celebrate Greener, its first African-American professor.

And, next fall, Greener, who taught classics, math and constitutional history at USC from 1873-77, will become the first historical figure to be immortalized with a statue on USC’s downtown Columbia campus…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Lt. Stephen Atkins Swails

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2017-02-08 20:48Z by Steven

Lt. Stephen Atkins Swails

Kingstree News
Kingstree, South Carolina
2017-02-07

Cassandra Williams Rush, Special to The News


Lt. Stephen Atkins Swails
Photo by Ronald Walton

Lt. Stephen Atkins Swails, an attorney, a member of the Electoral College, a member of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, was the Mayor of Kingstree. He was born February 23, 1832 in the city of Columbia, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania and died May 17, 1900 in the Kingstree.

Swails was biracial and born a free black whose complexion was so light he was often mistaken as white

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Escaping slavery, one family’s story

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2016-12-23 03:02Z by Steven

Escaping slavery, one family’s story

Free Press Newspapers
Illinois
2016-12-14

Sandy Vasko, Executive Director
Will County Historical Society

Black history in Braidwood starts during the coal strikes of the 1870s. Before that time the only black people this area knew were passing through on the Underground Railroad. Or did they? As I have learned, not all of them kept going. Some decided to stay in one place not to very far from here despite all the troubles and complications that meant.

Let’s start at the beginning with Eliza Wilson. She was born a slave in South Carolina in 1825 and is described as a mullato, in other words she was partly white, and probably her father was her owner. But in those days, one drop of black blood meant you were black. In 1845 we find her in a census as a free woman. How she earned her freedom is unknown, but soon we find her listed in South Carolina register as a slave owner. Blacks owning slaves!?!?! Yes, it seems that it was not uncommon. What is interesting is that the three slaves she owned were 1, 3, and 5 years of age…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Putting The Past Behind Them: Slave Descendant Unites With Plantation Owner

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, Slavery, United States on 2016-08-05 23:30Z by Steven

Putting The Past Behind Them: Slave Descendant Unites With Plantation Owner

Growing Wisconsin
2016-07-13

Lynne Hayes

The dinner was historic on many levels. On one side of the table sat Nkrumah Steward, 44, the ancestor of a slave. On the other side of the table sat Robert Adams, the ancestor of the man who owned that slave.

This was a meeting of two men who shared a complicated past, one that forever ties them together by blood and circumstance.

If it weren’t for Steward’s fascination with genealogy and his desire to complete a family tree, the two men might never have met.

Digging Into His Past

Over the last 20 years, Nkrumah Steward, of Canton, Michigan, an IT Technician for Coca-Cola, has questioned relatives, plowed through archival papers, and hunted down details through online genealogy sites to piece together his family tree.

He was fortunate to have known his great-grandfather, James Henry, who he knew was the first to be born a free man on his mother, Linda’s, side. Steward had always been curious as to why James Henry looked so “white.”

Through his research, Steward came to learn why. Not only was he descended from slaves, but the line began with a union between his 4th great grandmother, Sarah, a house slave, and, Joel Robert Adams, the slave owner of a South Carolina plantation known as Wavering Place.

Steward’s maternal family tree branched out like this: Sarah and her master, Joel Robert Adams, had Louisa in 1835; Louisa had Octavia. Octavia’s son, James Henry, was the first to be born free. James Henry later fathered Steward’s grandfather, J.D.; and J.D. fathered Steward’s mother, Linda.

Though he was born free, James Henry’s mixed blood made life complicated. He was allowed only to attend a black college; but when he moved from South Carolina to Detroit, Michigan, he “passed” for white and was able to get jobs he would never have had as a black man…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Misty Copeland, Brooklyn Mack coming to Columbia

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-21 02:17Z by Steven

Misty Copeland, Brooklyn Mack coming to Columbia

The State
Columbia, South Carolina
2016-01-19

Erin Shaw


Misty Copeland

The principal ballerina and former Columbia dancer to speak at ballet fundraiser

Misty Copeland, one of the most famous ballerinas in the country, will appear in Columbia with professional ballet dancer and South Carolina native Brooklyn Mack for a fundraiser benefitting two of the city’s ballet companies.

Columbia Classical Ballet and Columbia City Ballet are jointly organizing a March 15 luncheon, for which costs and profits will be split evenly among both companies.

Copeland and Mack will speak about the arts at the ticketed event, which will have seating available for the public.

…Copeland has danced for American Ballet Theatre — one of the top companies in the country — since 2000, when she was the only African American woman in a company of 80 dancers.

In June 2015, she was promoted to principal dancer, making her the first African American woman to ever be promoted to the position in the company’s 75-year history…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Complicated History of Nikki Haley

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-01-18 00:22Z by Steven

The Complicated History of Nikki Haley

The New Yorker
2016-01-13

Jelani Cobb, Staff Writer; Professor of History
University of Connecticut


Like President Obama, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley—who delivered last night’s Republican response to the State of the Union—has harnessed the rhetoric and symbolism of racial progress.
Credit Photograph Courtesy C-SPAN

Set aside the feuding policy particulars and last night’s pairing of Barack Obama and Nikki Haley, in the State of the Union address and Republican response, becomes a far more compelling exercise. There was a particular symmetry to the speakers: two people of color with multiracial families, both of whom have deployed the rhetoric and symbolism of racial progress at key moments in their careers.

Last summer, Haley, the two-term governor of South Carolina, gained national attention for her decision to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the State Capitol, in Columbia, South Carolina. Coming days after the massacre of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, the move marked an audacious if symbolic reckoning with the racial ugliness of the past.

The decision did not obviously fit into Haley’s broader vision for South Carolina, which preceded the events at Emanuel A.M.E. by several years. To a greater extent than any of her gubernatorial peers, Haley has promulgated and benefitted from the idea of a “New South,” which has shaken the grip of dead tradition and can serve as a model for the rest of the country. (It’s worth noting that even the concept of a New South is dated. When the Atlanta newspaper publisher Henry Grady used the term in the post-Reconstruction era, he, too, was hoping to cast off a moribund past and self-defeating tradition. The novelty of the South is that there is now a history of its efforts to move beyond its history.)…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

#MemeOfTheWeek: The Racial Politics Of Nikki Haley

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-01-17 02:35Z by Steven

#MemeOfTheWeek: The Racial Politics Of Nikki Haley

National Public Radio
2016-01-16

Sam Sanders, Reporter, Washington Desk


Gov. Nikki Haley, R-S.C. at Charleston, S.C., Republican presidential debate Thursday.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Depending on whom you ask, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s State of the Union response this week was either going to save the modern Republican Party or kill conservatism.

This week, those differing responses evoked two different hashtags. Both, in some ways, were about Haley’s heritage, and they bring to light the tricky way she’ll have to navigate race should she take on a more prominent role in the 2016 election.

#DeportNikkiHaley

After Haley gave the Republican response to President Obama’s seventh and final State of the Union address this week, some conservatives were not impressed. Haley said in her speech that fixing immigration “means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion. Just like we have for centuries.” She offered a tacit rebuke of Donald Trump when she said, “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”

(She confirmed on NBC’s Today show the next day that she was, in fact, referring to Trump.).

The response to those lines, and other conciliatory notes in Haley’s speech, was swift. And some of it was brutal. Conservative firebrand Ann Coulter probably went the farthest, writing, “Donald Trump should deport Nikki Haley.”….

….In some ways, Haley seems to face the same conundrum former Louisiana Gov. and failed Republican presidential candidate Bobby Jindal did — not seeming “brown enough” for some voters of color, while being “too brown” for others. (We won’t bore you with the details, or subject you to some of the graphic tweets, but just take a look at the #JindalSoWhite hashtag to see what we’re talking about.)

Of course, Twitter is not exactly or entirely representative of the real world, and even thousands of tweets for or against Nikki Haley might not accurately depict actual support or disapproval of her…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Something Old, Something New

Posted in Arts, Audio, Autobiography, Biography, History, Media Archive, Religion, Slavery, United Kingdom, United States on 2015-10-06 15:20Z by Steven

Something Old, Something New

BBC Radio 4
2015-10-06

Johny Pitts, Host

Peter Meanwell, Producer


Recorded & mixed! Finished @BBCRadio4 (Engineer Steve Hellier with Johny Pitts) Source: Peter Meanwell

From Sheffield to South Carolina, Johny Pitts explores alternative Black British identity.

What happens when your Dad’s an African-American soul star [Richie Pitts] and your Mum’s a music-loving girl from working class Sheffield? Are your roots on the terraces at a Sheffield United match, or in the stylings of a Spike Lee film? For writer and photographer Johny Pitts, whose parents met in the heyday of Northern Soul, on the dance floor of the legendary King Mojo club, how he navigates his black roots has always been an issue. Not being directly connected to the Caribbean or West African diaspora culture, all he was told at school was that his ancestors were slaves, so for BBC Radio 4, he heads off to the USA, to trace his father’s musical migration, and tell an alternative story of Black British identity.

From Pitsmore in Sheffield, to Bedford Stuyvesant in New York, and all the way down to South Carolina, where his grandmother picked cotton, Johny Pitts heads off on a journey of self-discovery. On the way he meets author Caryl Phillips, Kadija, a half sister he never knew, and historian Bernard Powers. He visits the Concorde Baptist Church in Brooklyn, New York, and the Bush River Missionary Baptist Church, in Newberry, South Carolina. He tracks down a whole host of long-lost cousins, and talks to Pulitzer winning writer Isabel Wilkerson. On the way he shines a light on the shadows of his ancestry, and finds stories and culture that deliver him to a new understanding of his own mixed race identity and history.

Listen to the story here.

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

From Ferguson to Charleston and Beyond, Anguish About Race Keeps Building

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-06-21 02:59Z by Steven

From Ferguson to Charleston and Beyond, Anguish About Race Keeps Building

The New York Times
2015-06-20

Lydia Polgreen, Johannesburg Bureau Chief

Ferguson. Baltimore. Staten Island. North Charleston. Cleveland.

Over the past year in each of these American cities, an unarmed black male has died at the hands of a police officer, unleashing a torrent of anguish and soul-searching about race in America. Despite video evidence in several of the killings, each has spurred more discord than unity.

Grand juries have tended to give the benefit of the doubt to police officers. National polls revealed deep divisions in how whites and blacks viewed the facts in each case. Whites were more likely to believe officers’ accounts justifying the use of force. Blacks tended to see deeper forces at work: longstanding police bias against black men and a presumption that they are criminals.

Then, on Wednesday night, a young white man walked into a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., and joined a group of worshipers as they bowed their heads over their Bibles. He shot and killed nine of them. In his Facebook profile picture, the suspect, Dylann Roof, wore the flags of racist regimes in South Africa and the former Rhodesia.

The massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston was something else entirely from the police killings. But it, too, has become a racial flash point and swept aside whatever ambiguity seemed to muddle those earlier cases, baldly posing questions about race in America: Was the gunman a crazed loner motivated by nothing more than his own madness? Or was he an extreme product of the same legacy of racism that many black Americans believe sent Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Walter Scott and Tamir Rice to their graves?

The debate has already begun…

…America is living through a moment of racial paradox. Never in its history have black people been more fully represented in the public sphere. The United States has a black president and a glamorous first lady who is a descendant of slaves. African-Americans lead the country’s pop culture in many ways, from sports to music to television, where show-runners like Shonda Rhimes and Lee Daniels have created new black icons, including the political fixer Olivia Pope on “Scandal” and the music mogul Cookie Lyon on “Empire.”

It has become commonplace to refer to the generation of young people known as millennials as “post-racial.” Black culture has become so mainstream that a woman born to white parents who had claimed to be black almost broke the Internet last week by saying that she was “transracial.”

Yet in many ways, the situation of black America is dire…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Emil Guillermo: Rachel Dolezal, Dylann Roof, and Father’s Day

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Law, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2015-06-21 02:38Z by Steven

Emil Guillermo: Rachel Dolezal, Dylann Roof, and Father’s Day

Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
2015-06-20

Emil Guillermo

Rachel Dolezal nearly wrecked everyone’s Father’s Day.

You don’t often see a daughter outed so publicly by her white father for passing as an African American, but I guess post-racial filial love isn’t necessarily unconditional.

I admit to being somewhat sympathetic of Rachel D., at first. The Census, our demographic standard, is, after all, a “you are what you say you are” proposition. You can self-identify to your heart’s content. No one is going to enforce a “one drop rule,” like they did in Virginia for hundreds of years to keep marriage a segregated institution.

But Dolezal’s “no drop” rule can also be problematic. And when her family’s outing her became like a reality show audition, leave it to the black man whom she called dad, Albert Wilkerson, to bring things back to earth. “There are bigger issues in this country to be discussing,” he told People magazine. “[But] I’m not going to throw her under the bus.”

Now that’s the kind of love you’ll only find from a real, though fake, “Dad.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,