Father Healy’s Imprint: Past, Present and Future

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2016-01-31 02:45Z by Steven

Father Healy’s Imprint: Past, Present and Future

The Hoya
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
2004-11-09

Moises Mendoza

Every day thousands of students pass by Healy Hall and marvel at its towering steeples and complex intricacies. Few of them realize that the man responsible for this Georgetown trademark was every bit as complex and dynamic as the building bearing his name today.

As the first black president of a predominantly white university, Fr. Patrick Healy, S.J., revolutionized Georgetown and helped build firm foundations for a young university.

Yet Healy’s trek to greatness began not in the hallowed halls of academia, but on the Georgia cotton plantation where he was born on Feb. 27, 1834. The son of an Irish Catholic and a biracial domestic slave, Healy had great obstacles to overcome. Healy’s father Michael immigrated to the United States from Ireland through Canada around 1815. Experiencing great success in a series of land lotteries, he moved to Macon, Ga., where he built his own cotton plantation with the help of 49 slaves. Michael Healy became relatively prosperous and became a prominent businessman in the Macon community…

Read the entire article here.

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Her Father’s People

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-27 18:56Z by Steven

Her Father’s People

Stanford Magazine
July/August 2009

Erin Aubry Kaplan


Antonin Kratochvil
WEDDED IDEALISM: Danzy Senna was the middle child born to Fanny Howe and Carl Senna.

For years, Danzy Senna thoughtfully explored issues of race and identity in fiction, including her novels Caucasia and Symptomatic. And then one day the author, walking through Harvard Square, found herself surrounded by signs, buildings and businesses bearing the names and images of Boston’s most prominent families. DeWolfe, Quincy, Howe—they were names of Senna’s forebears via her mother, poet and professor Fanny Howe.

The display reminded Senna, ’92, how much she had always known about her mother’s people—and how little she knew about her father’s. In 1968, Carl Senna, soon to become the youngest editor at Beacon Press, and Fanny Howe married—a commitment that was headily symbolic (personal but also political) in that Carl was black and from Southern poverty, while Fanny, ’62, was white and raised with Mayflower privilege. Their wedding photograph, Danzy Senna writes, showed “the ‘Negro of exceptional promise’ taking the hand of the descendant of slave traders.”

As Senna contemplated those names in Boston, she thought, “What about my father’s side?” After all, “he gave me both my first and last names. Yet I knew so little about him.” So begins her nonfiction book, Where Did You Sleep Last Night? (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), which seeks to bring some balance to her family history, and to a larger narrative that reflexively puts whites at the center of the American story and blacks at the margins…

Read the entire article here.

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A Tale of Two Dinners

Posted in Articles, Audio, Biography, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-01-24 01:44Z by Steven

A Tale of Two Dinners

The Moth: True Stories Told Live
Added: 2015-05-12
Recorded: 1999-04-19

Bliss Broyard

A daughter discovers her father’s painstakingly kept secret.

Listen to the episode here.

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She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-01-21 01:56Z by Steven

She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story

Balzer + Bray (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2010-10-19
32 pages
8.5 in (w) x 11 in (h) x 0.25 in (d)
Hardcover ISBN: 9780061349201
eBook ISBN: 9780062184801

Audrey Vernick

Illustrated by Don Tate

Effa always loved baseball. As a young woman, she would go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth’s mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team. Or be the first—and only—woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

From her childhood in Philadelphia to her groundbreaking role as business manager and owner of the Newark Eagles, Effa Manley always fought for what was right. And she always swung for the fences.

From author Audrey Vernick and illustrator Don Tate comes the remarkable story of an all-star of a woman.

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Preview of DREAM OF THE WATER CHILDREN by Wendy Cheng

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Autobiography, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-19 20:23Z by Steven

Preview of DREAM OF THE WATER CHILDREN by Wendy Cheng

2Leaf Press: A Small Press with Big Ideas!
New York, New York
2016-01-18

Wendy Cheng, Assistant Professor
School of Social Transformation Faculty
Arizona State University

A Black-Japanese Amerasian reflects on life in the present, with the traces of wars and their aftermaths.

In Dream of the Water Children, Fredrick Kakinami Cloyd delineates the ways imperialism and war are experienced across and between generations and leave lasting and often excruciating legacies in the mind, body, and relationships. The book is particularly good in detailing these costs as experienced by women and children, most vividly in cataloguing the life and emotions of Cloyd’s mother, and of Cloyd himself as a child and young man.

In incident after incident of military violence, sexual violence, social ostracism, intrafamilial cruelty, self-harm, and bullying, Cloyd shows how the social conditions created by war reverberate in our most intimate relationships. At the same time, Cloyd and his mother are never just victims: Cloyd’s spirited mother in particular defies stereotypes of Asian women and war brides as passive and silent. Throughout, Cloyd also traces moments of friendship and communal support among women and children of other mixed-race military families, as they navigated the conditions of multiple societies and cultural norms…

Read the entire preview here.

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Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles

Posted in Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, United States, Women on 2016-01-19 16:25Z by Steven

Queen of the Negro Leagues: Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles

Scarecrow Press (an imprint of Rowman & Littlefield)
January 1998
298 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-57886-001-2
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4617-0708-0

James Overmyer, Member
Negro Leagues Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research

The first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, there was no one like Effa Manley in the sports world of the 1930s and 1940s. She was a sophisticated woman who owned a baseball team. She never shrank from going head to head with men, who dominated the ranks of sports executives and considered sports their exclusive domain. That her life story has remained unchronicled can only be attributed to one thing: her team, the Newark Eagles, belonged to the Negro Baseball League.

This book furthers a growing awareness of black baseball before integration and profiles many of the other highly-competitive owners in the Negro league. It also describes a thriving black community in Newark that took the Newark Eagles into their hearts, creating a fascinating relationship between a community and their sports team.

This book was the first to draw extensively on Eagle team records, left behind by Mrs. Manley when she left Newark in the 1950s, and rediscovered nearly intact thirty-five years later. The files are the most comprehensive source of information about the Newark Eagles. They reconstruct the relationship between the baseball team and the community to an extent never thought to be possible. Also included is material from Mrs. Manley’s scrapbook chronicling her days as a baseball owner and an active home front volunteer during World War II. Her scrapbook is now part of the collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

This important work shines the spotlight on a previously unsung segment of baseball history.

Originally published in cloth as Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles, No. 1 in the American Sports History Series.

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When Ancestry Search Led To Escaped Slave: ‘All I Could Do Was Weep’

Posted in Articles, Audio, Autobiography, Biography, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2016-01-19 02:13Z by Steven

When Ancestry Search Led To Escaped Slave: ‘All I Could Do Was Weep’

Fresh Air (From WHYY in Philadelphia)
National Public Radio
2016-01-18

Terry Gross, Host

When she was in fifth grade, Regina Mason received a school assignment that would change her life: to connect with her country of origin. That night, she went home and asked her mother where they were from.

“She told me about her grandfather who was a former slave,” Mason tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. “And that blew me away, because I’m thinking, ‘Slavery was like biblical times. It wasn’t just a few generations removed.’ ”

But for Mason, slavery was a few generations removed. She would later learn that her great-great-great-grandfather, a man named William Grimes, had been a runaway slave, and that he had authored what is now considered to be the first fugitive slave narrative.

“William Grimes’ narrative is precedent-setting,” Mason says. “[It] was published in 1825, and this was years before the abolitionist movement picked up slave narrative as a propaganda tool to end slavery. It sort of unwittingly paved the way for the American slave narrative to follow.”

Grimes’ original narrative tells the story of his 30 years spent in captivity, followed by his escape in 1814 from Savannah, Ga. He describes how his former owner discovered his whereabouts after the escape and forced him to give up his house in exchange for his freedom. (An updated version, published in 1855, includes a chapter about Grimes’ later life in poverty.)

Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave was again republished in 2008 by Oxford University Press. The latest edition was edited by Mason and William Andrews, a scholar of early African-American autobiography…

…Interview Highlights

On learning from her mother that her ancestors had been slaves

She talked about Grandpa Fuller, who was a mulatto slave. And I inquired about his parentage and she told me that his father, from what she knew, was a plantation owner, and his mother was an enslaved black woman. …

And I’m asking, “Well, that’s weird. Did his father own him?” … I mean, how do you explain … to children that slavery existed in freedom-loving America, No. 1; and No. 2, how do you explain to a child about an enslaved heritage shrouded in miscegenation? It’s not an easy thing to do…

Read the story highlights here. Listen to the interview (00:35:55) here. Download the interview here.

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Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Biography, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs on 2016-01-18 19:45Z by Steven

Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific

2Leaf Press
June 2016
appx. 500 pages
Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-28-5
ePub ISBN-13: 978-1-940939-29-2

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd

Introduction by Gerald Horne
Foreword by Velina Hasu Houston
Edited by Karen Chau

Fredrick D. Kakinami Cloyd’s debut, Dream of the Water Children: Memory and Mourning in the Black Pacific, is a lyrical and compelling memoir about a son of an African American father and a Japanese mother who has spent a lifetime being looked upon with curiosity and suspicion by both sides of his ancestry and the rest of society. Cloyd begins his story in present-day San Francisco, reflecting back on a war-torn identity from Japan, U.S. military bases, and migration to the United States, uncovering links to hidden histories.

Dream of the Water Children tells two main stories: Cloyd’s mother and his own. It was not until the author began writing his memoir that his mother finally addressed her experiences with racism and sexism in Occupied Japan. This helped Cloyd make better sense of, and reckon with, his dislocated inheritances. Tautly written in spare, clear poetic prose, Dream of the Water Children delivers a compelling and surprising account of racial and gender interactions. It tackles larger social histories, helping to dispel some of the great narrative myths of race and culture embedded in various identities of the Pacific and its diaspora.

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Maud Sulter

Posted in Arts, Biography, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Women on 2016-01-18 19:00Z by Steven

Maud Sulter

The Herald
Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
2008-03-21

Artist and writer; Born September 19, 1960; Died February 27, 2008. MAUD Sulter, who has died after a long illness aged 47, was an extraordinarily gifted visual artist, writer, playwright and cultural historian.

She was born in Glasgow, of Scots and Ghanaian descent: in her poem Circa 1930, she pointed out that these two cultures “are not as disparate as they might/at first seem. Clan-based societies/With long memories and global diasporas”. The exploration of the continuing presence of Africa in Europe was one of her principal themes, explored through her art in a variety of media: text, photography, sound and performance.

She was active in feminist communities in London in the early 1980s, and while working with a women’s education group programmed Check It, a groundbreaking two-week show at the Drill Hall showcasing black women’s creativity…

…As well as her academic writing, she published several collections of poetry: As a Blackwoman (1985), which won the Vera Bell Prize for poetry that year; Zabat (1989); and Sekhmet (Dumfries & Galloway Council, 2005); and a play about Jerry Rawlings, Service to Empire (2002). “I often address issues of lost and disputed territories, both psychological and physical,” she wrote in 1994. “The central body of my poetic work is unequivocally the love poetry which is addressed to both genders.” Sekhmet begins with a roll-call of love and gratitude to friends, lovers, family across the world, to medics, and to the ancestors, “who walked beside me when I needed them most and carried me forward when the terrain was too rough but never absolve me of the responsibility for my own life and identity”…

Read the entire obituary here.

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A Russian-Chinese woman witnesses the ups and downs of the two nations’ ties

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, History, Media Archive on 2016-01-17 22:45Z by Steven

A Russian-Chinese woman witnesses the ups and downs of the two nations’ ties

Global Times: Discover China, Discover The World
2015-10-30

Zhou Yu


Li Yingnan stands in her home. Her home is filled with Chinese and Russian books and decorations. Photo: Li Hao/GT

It was a sunny August day in Moscow when three shuttle buses stopped at Red Square. A group of women were the first of the dozens of tourists to step off the buses. Though their appearances were barely different from those of ordinary Russians, they were, in fact, Chinese citizens, aged between 50 to 80.

“I was born in Moscow,” said one 80-year-old lady tearfully.

The ladies belonged to a tour group called Russian Mothers Seeking Roots in Russia, and all were the descendants of Russians. It was the first time since the end of World War II that a group of people seeking their roots had been organized by Chinese citizens.

For the next seven days, they would tour major sites in Moscow and St. Petersburg. These old ladies were so excited to see their ancestors’ hometowns, some even dancing on Red Square. Russian WWII veterans told them about the joint military operations between the two countries during the war.

Most of the group members’ mothers were Russians who came to China during the 1930s. In the 1920s, there were around 200,000 Chinese laborers who lived and worked in Russia doing construction work or running shops. Some Chinese workers participated in the Russian Revolution in 1917, and others even joined Russia’s Red Army.

At the end of the 1920s, when the Soviet Union’s strict economic planning system was implemented, the Soviet government closed down all private shops and forced Chinese shop owners to leave the country. Many of these Chinese businessmen had married Russian women, who followed their husbands back to China. Due to Russia’s geographical proximity of Xinjiang, most of these Russian-Chinese couples settled in Xinjiang and the women became Chinese citizens. There are around 15,000 such descendants of Russians still in China…

Read the entire article here.

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