Kali Nicole Gross

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-03-22 02:31Z by Steven

Kali Nicole Gross

New Books Network


Christine Lamberson, Assistant Professor of History
Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas

Kali Nicole Gross

Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America
Oxford University Press 2016

True crime is as popular as ever in our present moment. Both television and podcast series have gained critical praise and large audiences by exploring largely unknown individual crimes in depth and using them to consider broader questions surrounding the justice system, guilt and innocence, class and racial inequality, and evidence. Rarely do we get to think historically about these broader topics through the lens of individual, especially unknown, cases in light of the challenges posed by researching historical crimes. Kali Nicole Gross, Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of History at Rutgers University New Brunswick, has done incredible research to do just that in her new book, Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America (Oxford University Press, Hardcover 2016, Paperback 2018). The book won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Nonfiction.

The book tells the story of the discovery of a torso, the investigation of the murder, and the life of the accused—Hannah Mary Tabbs. The body was discovered in 1887 and drew an unusual amount of attention in the segregated areas in and around Philadelphia, especially given the victim and accused were black. In this episode of the podcast, Gross discusses why the case caught the eye of the public and investigators at the time. She also explains some of the broader context and insights of the case. Finally, she talks about her research process. We don’t give away the resolution of the case in our conversation, but will introduce you to Hannah Mary Tabbs and the world of post-Reconstruction Philadelphia in which she lived.

Listen to the interview (00:56:48) here. Download the interview here.

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A black female politician was gunned down in Rio. Now she’s a global symbol.

Posted in Articles, Brazil, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Women on 2018-03-20 17:24Z by Steven

A black female politician was gunned down in Rio. Now she’s a global symbol.

The Washington Post

Anthony Faiola, South America/Caribbean Bureau Chief
Miami, Florida

Marina Lopes, Reporter
São Paulo, Brazil

Demonstrators rally for a second consecutive day last Friday to mourn Marielle Franco, a Rio de Janeiro councilwoman, black rights activist and outspoken critic of police brutality who was fatally shot in an assassination-style attack in the city on March 14. (Lianne Milton/For The Washington Post)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Before stepping into her Chevrolet Agile at 9:04 p.m. last Wednesday, Marielle Franco had just done what she did best: fire up a room.

“Let’s do this,” the 38-year-old politician with the cascading Afro had said as she wrapped up a speech at Rio’s House of Black Women calling for black empowerment.

Brazil needed it, she said. Across this troubled metropolis, police brutality and extrajudicial killings were ravaging the slums. Elected last year as the only black woman on Rio’s 51-member city council, she had gone after those responsible while reframing the debate in an uncomfortable new way.

In a society that has long seen itself as post-racial, Franco argued, the slaughter was not just a war on the poor. It was also a war on blacks…

…Racism in Brazil has a complex history.

The country imported 4 million slaves, more than 10 times the number brought to the United States. In the United States, intermixing of races was discouraged. But in Brazil, where Portuguese settlers were outnumbered by their slaves, it was endorsed as a way to “whiten” the population.

Miscegenation soon became a cornerstone of national identity, with 53 percent of Brazilians now seeing themselves fluidly as black or mixed-race.

“In Brazil, you bump up against this narrative of racial mixture, that black identity or white identity is an import — that the concept of racism was imported by Americans,” said Glen Goodman, professor of Brazilian studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Critics say that the myth of a post-racial Brazil silences conversations about deep-rooted discrimination and violence…

Read the entire article here.

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EXCLUSIVE: Afro-Latina Slam Poet, Elizabeth Acevedo, Debuts First Novel ‘Poet X’

Posted in Articles, Latino Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2018-03-20 01:51Z by Steven

EXCLUSIVE: Afro-Latina Slam Poet, Elizabeth Acevedo, Debuts First Novel ‘Poet X’


Jenifer Calle, Politics and Culture Writer


Elizabeth Acevedo has been empowering Afro-Latinas for years by bringing attention to the various experiences of women of color through her powerful words in poetry.

As a Latina, you might remember a certain poem or a book that changed your life, a verse so precise it gave you chills. Acevedo’s debut novel, Poet X, will do just that with its raw emotions that are universal to all young girls, wrapped up in beautiful lyrical verses.

Poet X is a Young Adult novel that follows the story of an unapologetic 15-year-old girl, Xiomara Batista, growing up in Harlem. As a Dominican-American teen stepping into adulthood she takes to her journal to deal with the emotions and frustrations she feels at home and at school. In this three-part novel, Xiomara struggles with her conservative mother, an absent father, her faith in God, her sexuality, and much more. Xiomara’s awakening through slam poetry helps her find her voice but her journey of self-discovery doesn’t come easy…

Read the entire article here.

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Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Monographs, United States, Women on 2018-03-18 00:23Z by Steven

Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad

W. W. Norton & Company
February 2018
352 pages
5.9 × 8.6 in
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-393-60926-4

Krystal A. Sital

An eloquent new Caribbean literary voice reveals the hidden trauma and fierce resilience of one Trinidadian family.

There, in a lush landscape of fire-petaled immortelle trees and vast plantations of coffee and cocoa, where the three hills along the southern coast act as guardians against hurricanes, Krystal A. Sital grew up idolizing her grandfather, a wealthy Hindu landowner. Years later, to escape crime and economic stagnation on the island, the family resettled in New Jersey, where Krystal’s mother works as a nanny, and the warmth of Trinidad seems a pretty yet distant memory. But when her grandfather lapses into a coma after a fall at home, the women he has terrorized for decades begin to speak, and a brutal past comes to light.

In the lyrical patois of her mother and grandmother, Krystal learns the long-held secrets of their family’s past, and what it took for her foremothers to survive and find strength in themselves. The relief of sharing their stories draws the three women closer, the music of their voices and care for one another easing the pain of memory.

Violence, a rigid ethnic and racial caste system, and a tolerance of domestic abuse—the harsh legacies of plantation slavery—permeate the history of Trinidad. On the island’s plantations, in its growing cities, and in the family’s new home in America, Secrets We Kept tells a story of ambition and cruelty, endurance and love, and most of all, the bonds among women and between generations that help them find peace with the past.

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A Black Woman Who Defied Segregation in Canada Will Appear on Its Currency

Posted in Articles, Canada, Economics, History, Media Archive, Women on 2018-03-13 18:33Z by Steven

A Black Woman Who Defied Segregation in Canada Will Appear on Its Currency

The New York Times

Ian Austen

Canada’s finance minister, Bill Morneau, right, with Wanda Robson in Gatineau, Quebec, last year, after an image of her sister Viola Desmond was chosen to be featured on a new $10 bank note.
Chris Wattie/Reuters

OTTAWA — Nine years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Jim Crow-era bus in Montgomery, Ala., Viola Desmond tried to sit in a whites-only section of a movie theater in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

Ms. Desmond, a businesswoman who had her own line of cosmetics and who died in 1965, was prosecuted for trying to defraud the provincial government of 1 cent — the difference in sales tax for a seat in the balcony, where blacks were expected to sit and the whites-only ground floor ticket price. While she offered to pay the tax, she was convicted and fined 26 Canadian dollars, including court costs, at a trial at which the theater owner acted as the prosecutor and she was without a lawyer.

Now she is about to become the first black person — and the first woman other than a British royal — to appear alone on Canadian currency. The new series of $10 bills is to be released this year…

A conceptual image of the front of the new Canadian bank note featuring a portrait of Viola Desmond.
Bank of Canada

Read the entire article here.

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Philippines’ generation of sex tourism children

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Oceania, Women on 2018-03-13 17:21Z by Steven

Philippines’ generation of sex tourism children

Al Jazeera

Dave Tacon

Monday evening at ‘Dolls HouseGo-Go bar, one of the largest establishments on Fields Avenue. The Fields Avenue red light strip originally emerged to service the Clark US Air Force Base, which closed in 1991. Angeles City is now a centre for international sex tourism.

As sex tourists depart Balibago, they leave behind a growing number of children conceived in illicit exchanges.

Angeles City, Philippines – Weekends are busy on Fields Avenue in Balibago. Young women greet meandering men and invite them into the bars that line the street. Known as the “supermarket of sex”, Angeles City’s red light district has fast become a top destination for sex tourism.

Male travellers from Asia, Australia, the US, Europe and the Middle East constitute the bulk of the arrivals at Clark Airport, a former US military airbase. From there, many flock to the bars and clubs of Fields Avenue – and to the impoverished young women who work there.

Acquiring their company for the night is straightforward. For a small fee, the men obtain what is known as an “early work release” that permits them to take the woman of their choice back to their hotel.

It is a trade that thrives in the Philippines, where there are an estimated half-a-million sex workers, almost a fifth of whom are minors. Although illegal in the predominantly Catholic country, an estimated $400m is spent on prostitution there each year.

But when the sex tourists depart, they sometimes leave more behind than they’d arrived with. A large number of children have been conceived in such exchanges and while some foreign nationals provide support for and, in some instances, even marry the mother of their child, many more children never even meet their biological father and are left to live in poverty…

Read the entire article here.

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New $10 bill starring Nova Scotian will debut in Halifax next week

Posted in Articles, Biography, Canada, Economics, History, Media Archive, Women on 2018-03-06 04:06Z by Steven

New $10 bill starring Nova Scotian will debut in Halifax next week

CBC News
Nova Scotia

Wanda Robson, the sister of Viola Desmond, smiles as it is announced during a ceremony in 2016 that her sister will be featured on Canadian currency. (Canadian Press)

Viola Desmond’s banknote will be unveiled at Halifax Central Library on Thursday

Canadians will get their first peek at the new $10 bill featuring civil rights pioneer Viola Desmond at an event in Halifax next week.

The banknote will be unveiled Thursday at the Halifax Central Library by federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz

Read the entire article here.

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Viola Desmond, the new face of the $10 bill, ‘represents courage’

Posted in Articles, Biography, Canada, Economics, History, Media Archive, Social Justice, Women on 2018-03-06 03:51Z by Steven

Viola Desmond, the new face of the $10 bill, ‘represents courage’

The Globe and Mail

Laura Stone

Viola Desmond, shown in this undated handout image provided by Communications Nova Scotia, often described as Canada’s Rosa Parks for her 1946 decision to sit in a whites-only section of a Nova Scotia movie theatre, will be the first woman to be celebrated on the face of a Canadian banknote.

Viola Desmond just wanted to watch a movie.

The year was 1946 and the movie was The Dark Mirror, a psychological thriller starring Olivia de Havilland. Ms. Desmond, a beauty-school owner from Halifax, was temporarily stranded in New Glasgow, N.S., after some car trouble. She hadn’t been to the movies in years, probably not since Gone with the Wind came out in 1939.

So, she walked to a nearby theatre, bought a ticket and sat in the front – a better view for the petite woman with poor eyesight.

There was only one problem: She was black…

Read the entire article here.

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Iola Leroy or, Shadows Uplifted

Posted in Books, Media Archive, Novels, Slavery, United States, Women on 2018-03-05 01:19Z by Steven

Iola Leroy or, Shadows Uplifted

Broadview Press
352 pages
5½” x 8½”
Hardcover ISBN: 9781554813858 / 1554813859
(Originally published in 1892)

Frances E. W. Harper (1825-1911)

Edited by:

Koritha Mitchell, Associate Professor of English
Ohio State University

Frances Harper’s fourth novel follows the life of the beautiful, light-skinned Iola Leroy to tell the story of black families in slavery, during the Civil War, and after Emancipation. Iola Leroy adopts and adapts three genres that commanded significant audiences in the nineteenth century: the sentimental romance, the slave narrative, and plantation fiction. Written by the foremost black woman activist of the nineteenth century, the novel sheds light on the movements for abolition, public education, and voting rights through a compelling narrative.

This edition engages the latest research on Harper’s life and work and offers ways to teach these major moments in United States history by centering the experiences of African Americans. The appendices provide primary documents that help readers do what they are seldom encouraged to do: consider the experiences and perspectives of people who are not white. The Introduction traces Harper’s biography and the changing critical perspectives on the novel.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: A Brief Chronology
  • A Note on the Text
  • Iola Leroy; Or, Shadows Uplifted
  • Appendix A: Slavery, Civil War and Emancipation, Reconstruction and Its Demise
    1. From the Fugitive Slave Act (1850)
    2. United States Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney, the Dred Scott Decision (1857)
    3. From the First Confiscation Act (1861)
    4. From the Second Confiscation Act (1862)
    5. The Emancipation Proclamation (1863)
    6. From the Freedmen’s Bureau Act (1865)
    7. The Thirteenth Amendment (1865)
    8. From the Fourteenth Amendment (1868)
    9. The Fifteenth Amendment (1870)
    10. The Compromise of 1877
    11. From United States Supreme Court Justice Billings Brown, Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
  • Appendix B: Not White? Then You Can’t Be Equal
    1. From Abraham Lincoln, Address on Colonization to a Deputation of Negroes (1862)
    2. From Frances Harper, “Mrs. Frances E. Watkins Harper on the War and the President’s Colonization Scheme,” Christian Recorder (27 September 1862)
    3. From Michigan Supreme Court Justice James Campbell, The People v. Dean (1866)
  • Appendix C: Black Families in Slavery and Freedom
    1. From Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845)
    2. Dictated letters between enslaved husbands and wives while separated by their owners
    3. From “Arrest of Fugitive Slaves,” Cincinnati Gazette (29 January 1856)
    4. Frances Harper, “The Slave Mother: A Tale of Ohio” 1857)
    5. Testimony about enslaved men and women who fled slavery to join the Union effort and often planned to return to help family members escape (1863)
    6. Letter from a black soldier to his children (1864)
    7. Letter from a black soldier to the owner of one of his daughters (1864)
    8. Newspaper Notices in Hopes of Finding Lost Loved Ones after Emancipation (1866–93)
  • Appendix D: Education in Slavery and Freedom
    1. From the South Carolina Negro Act (1740)
    2. Account about an enslaved woman who ran a midnight school (1881)
    3. Account of teaching/learning in secret during slavery (1902)
    4. An account of finding the spark for learning while enslaved (1885)
    5. Accounts of the consequences of learning to read and write
    6. Account of black soldiers wanting education
    7. Account of recently emancipated people’s eagerness to learn
    8. Testimony on Ku Klux Klan preventing school attendance after Emancipation (1872)
  • Appendix E: Preventing Freedom Even after Emancipation
    1. Laws constraining black girls and boys via apprenticeship and African Americans of every age via vagrancy statutes (1865)
    2. Testimony about Ku Klux Klan raping black women whose husbands/fathers voted (1871)
    3. From Henry W. Grady, “The Race Problem in the South” (1889)
    4. From Ida B. Wells, The Red Record: Tabulated Statistics and Alleged Causes of Lynching in the United States (1895)
  • Appendix F: Black Women’s Activism
    1. From Frances Harper, “We Are All Bound Up Together” (1866)
    2. Frances Harper, “Aunt Chloe’s Politics” (1872)
    3. From Frances Harper, “Colored Women of America,” Englishwoman’s Review (15 January 1878)
    4. From Frances Harper, “The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the ColoredWoman,” African Methodist Episcopal Church Review (1888)
    5. From Frances Harper, “Enlightened Motherhood: An Address … Before the Brooklyn Literary Society” (15 November 1892)
    6. From Fannie Barrier Williams, “The Intellectual Progress of The Colored Women of the United States Since the Emancipation Proclamation” (1893)
  • Appendix G: Being Black and a Woman: Aesthetics and Reception
    1. William J. Watkins, “The Reformer,” Frederick Douglass’ Paper (7 April 1854)
    2. Grace Greenwood, Impressions of Harper as a Speaker (1866)
    3. From Anna Julia Cooper, “The Status of Woman in America” (1892)
    4. Reviews of Iola Leroy
      1. “Publications Reviewed,” Christian Recorder (12 January 1893)
      2. From “Review 1,” Independent (5 January 1893)
      3. Richmond Planet (21 January 1893)
      4. From “Recent Fiction,” The Nation (23 February 1893)
      5. From “Our Book List,” A.M.E. Church Review (April 1893)
      6. “Book Review,” Friends’ Review; a Religious, Literary and Miscellaneous Journal (22 June 1893)
      7. Review of Reviews (January 1895)
      8. From “Recent Fiction,” Independent (29 October 1896)
      9. From Edward Elmore Brock, “Brock’s Literary Leaves,” Freeman (Indianapolis) (14 August 1897)
      10. [W.E.B. Du Bois,] “Writers,” Crisis (April 1911)
  • Works Cited and Select Bibliography
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For Multiracial Women, Hair Is a Political Statement

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Canada, Media Archive, Women on 2018-02-27 01:27Z by Steven

For Multiracial Women, Hair Is a Political Statement

The Link
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Volume 38, Issue 5 (2018-02-06)

Aysha White & Marissa Ramnanan

On the left is Marissa, on the right, Aysha. Photo Elisa Barbier

Two Women of Colour Talk About the Racialization of Their Hair

I have a weird ethnic first name (Aysha) and she has a weird ethnic last one (Ramnanan).

We are both mixed race, meaning we won’t find ourselves represented in mainstream media. In mostly white environments, such as universities, we become uncomfortably aware of how different we look from people belonging to a single race.

I gravitated towards Marissa, guessing she was also mixed because of her very curly hair…

Read the entire article here.

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