Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History

Posted in Audio, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-08-23 21:25Z by Steven

Episode 096: Nicholas Guyatt, The Origins of Racial Segregation in the United States

Ben Franklin’s World: A Podcast About Early American History

Liz Covart, Host and Historian
Boston, Massachusetts

Ever wonder how the United States’ problem with race developed and why early American reformers didn’t find a way to fix it during the earliest days of the republic?

Today, Nicholas Guyatt, author of Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation, leads us on an exploration of how and why the idea of separate but equal developed in the early United States.

During our investigation, Nick reveals the demographics of the United States after the War for Independence; The early American problem of racial integration; And how and why early American reformers invented the idea of racial segregation.

Listen to the episode here. Download the episode here.

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Nicholas Guyatt’s ‘Bind Us Apart’

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-08-23 19:28Z by Steven

Nicholas Guyatt’s ‘Bind Us Apart’

Book Reviews
The New York Times

Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History
Columbia University, New York, New York

How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation
By Nicholas Guyatt
Illustrated. 403 pp. Basic Books. $29.99.

Half a century ago, inspired by the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, historians embarked on an effort to identify the origins of racial segregation. C. Vann Woodward insisted that rather than existing from time immemorial, as the ruling’s opponents claimed, segregation emerged in the 1890s. Others located its genesis in Reconstruction or the pre-Civil War North.

Eventually, the debate faded. Now, Nicholas Guyatt offers a new interpretation. Segregation and its ideological justification “separate but equal,” he argues, originated in the early Republic in the efforts of “enlightened Americans” to uplift and protect Indians and African-­Americans. After trying and abandoning other policies, these reformers and policy makers concluded that only separation from whites — removal of Indians to the trans-Mississippi West and blacks to Africa — would enable these groups to enjoy their natural rights and achieve economic and cultural advancement. Thus, almost from the outset, the idea of separating the races was built into the DNA of the United States.

Guyatt, who teaches at the University of Cambridge, is the author of a well-­regarded book on the history of the idea (still very much alive today) that God has chosen this country for a special mission. In “Bind Us Apart” he addresses another theme central to our national identity: Who is an American? To find an answer he offers a detailed account of early national policies toward Indians and blacks…

…One of Guyatt’s surprising findings is how many liberals believed that the Indian population should be assimilated through intermarriage. “You will mix with us by marriage,” [Thomas] Jefferson told an Indian delegation in 1808. “We shall all be Americans.” Not all whites agreed, of course. In the 1820s “all hell broke loose” in Cornwall, Conn., when two young Indian men who arrived to study at a religious school ended up marrying local white women…

Read the entire review here.

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Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation

Posted in Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-08-23 17:47Z by Steven

Bind Us Apart: How Enlightened Americans Invented Racial Segregation

Basic Books
416 pages
Hardcover ISBN 13: 978-0-465-01841-3

Nicholas Guyatt, University Lecturer in American History
Cambridge University

The surprising and counterintuitive origins of America’s racial crisis

Why did the Founding Fathers fail to include blacks and Indians in their cherished proposition that “all men are created equal”? The usual answer is racism, but the reality is more complex and unsettling. In Bind Us Apart, historian Nicholas Guyatt argues that, from the Revolution through the Civil War, most white liberals believed in the unity of all human beings. But their philosophy faltered when it came to the practical work of forging a color-blind society. Unable to convince others—and themselves—that racial mixing was viable, white reformers began instead to claim that people of color could only thrive in separate republics: in Native states in the American West or in the West African colony of Liberia.

Herein lie the origins of “separate but equal.” Decades before Reconstruction, America’s liberal elite was unable to imagine how people of color could become citizens of the United States. Throughout the nineteenth century, Native Americans were pushed farther and farther westward, while four million slaves freed after the Civil War found themselves among a white population that had spent decades imagining that they would live somewhere else.

Essential reading for anyone disturbed by America’s ongoing failure to achieve true racial integration, Bind Us Apart shows conclusively that “separate but equal” represented far more than a southern backlash against emancipation—it was a founding principle of our nation.

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The Memoir of a White-Passing Activist

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-08-18 00:46Z by Steven

The Memoir of a White-Passing Activist


Haley Arthur

My experiences with being mixed race and trying to use my white privilege to help liberate myself and others.

“Oh, you’re mixed? Wow, I would never have guessed. Now it all makes sense.”

Yes, this is something that has been said to me multiple times, and something that I will probably continue to hear for the rest of my life. But the part that bothers me is not the fact that people don’t recognize my indigenous blood upon first glance, but rather that the fact that in the eyes of some people, fighting to gain equal rights for everyone only “makes sense” if I am not a full-blooded white person (which, by the way, is pretty much impossible to come by these days anyway, for all of you white supremacists out there). People say this as if they know that the system benefits white people, and cannot conceive why I, a fellow white person, would ever want to change that. But that in itself is a huge part of the problem. Nothing about racial injustice “makes sense”, least of all the hesitation to fight against it…

Read the entire article here.

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“I’m Aboriginal. I’m Just Not The Aboriginal You Expect Me To Me.” // REVIEW OF “Am I Black Enough For You?” By Anita Heiss #AWW2016

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Oceania on 2016-08-17 02:31Z by Steven

“I’m Aboriginal. I’m Just Not The Aboriginal You Expect Me To Me.” // REVIEW OF “Am I Black Enough For You?” By Anita Heiss #AWW2016

A Keyboard and An Open Mind: The Blog of Avid Reader and Writer, Emily Witt

Emily Witt

Title: Am I Black Enough For You?
Author: Anita Heiss
Genre: Memoir/Non-fiction
Date Read: 01/08/2016 – 09/08/2016
Rating: ★★★★

Normally memoirs don’t really get more than three stars from me. It’s not that they’re terrible, just that they’re not a genre I have much interest in, so even if I find the writer interesting, that’s not necessarily the case for the writing itself. Fortunately, I found Anita Heiss’ memoir to be thought-provoking and easy to read, and it helped me to understand how our Aboriginal Australians form their identity.

In 2009, Anita Heiss found herself as one of seventeen successful Aboriginal people targeted by “journalist” (I use that term loosely) Andrew Bolt, who accused them in his nationally-distributed newspaper column, as well as online, of “choosing” to identify as Aboriginal to further their careers. Four of these Aboriginal people took Bolt, and the Herald and Weekly Times to court, arguing that he had breached the Racial Discrimination Act (RDA). They won the case…

Read the entire review here.

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The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity by Gregory D. Smithers (review)

Posted in Articles, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-08-15 15:35Z by Steven

The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity by Gregory D. Smithers (review)

Journal of Interdisciplinary History
Volume 47, Number 2, Autumn 2016
pages 241-242

Tyler Boulware, Associate Professor of History
West Virginia University

The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity. By Gregory D. Smithers (New Haven, Yale University Press, 2015) 368 pp. $40.00

Scholars have studied the Cherokee from many angles, ranging from political, diplomatic, and economic histories to interdisciplinary explorations of race, gender, class, and kinship. Smithers offers a new take on the history of the Cherokee, their experiences as a diasporic people. Focusing on the years between 1756 and 1945, and largely unfolding in linear fashion, The Cherokee Diaspora underscores the importance of migration and settlement. The pressures of settler colonialism prompted many of the Cherokee in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to relocate to different areas of the Southeast, while others moved farther afield beyond the Mississippi River. This vanguard of migration to the West, Smithers argues, occurred on an unprecedented scale, only to be eclipsed by near wholesale displacement during the removal crisis. Migration and resettlement continued thereafter, as individuals, families, and kin groups scattered across the United States during the Civil War—the subsequent period of allotment and assimilation—and later during the termination and relocation era of the twentieth century.

Regardless of era or destination, the Cherokee in diaspora sought to maintain a distinct sense of themselves. Critical to this endeavor was the rise of the Cherokee nation-state and the multiracial elites who, though often splintered, sought to protect Cherokee peoples and lands. What emerged, Smithers writes, was Cherokee attachment to a new political homeland, the Cherokee Nation in present day Oklahoma, and an ancestral homeland in the southern Appalachians (which also served as a political homeland for the Eastern Band Cherokee). The post-removal political homeland was especially important because it gave the Cherokee across the continent a “political focal point on which to fix their allegiance” (116).

A major sub-theme of the book is how these two homelands became important to Cherokee identity, particularly legal identity, and how Cherokee leaders struggled to define citizenship. This issue assumed greater urgency during and after the Civil War as a shrinking territorial base became threatened by “intruders,” many of whom claimed Cherokee citizenship. Forced “to determine who was and was not Cherokee,” officials enacted laws and erected bureaucratic impediments to inhibit the path to citizenship (175). Smithers notes that race often played a critical factor in deciding the fate of citizenship applications, resulting in many “African Cherokees” being denied both citizenship and a legitimate claim to Cherokee identity (222).

The Cherokee Diaspora covers its extended chronology well, treating removal as only one moment (albeit a traumatic one) of a longer diasporic history and converging the Eastern Band and Cherokee Nation into a singular analysis. Smithers draws upon an array of scholarship and extensive archival research to explore the interconnected concepts of migration, memory, and identity. Interdisciplinary approaches influence the work, but Smithers’ methodology is squarely grounded in the field of history. Scholars from other disciplines will find much to like in this book, but they would also expect more. Anthropologists, for instance, would require such a study to be informed by ethnographic field-work and a consideration of contemporary Cherokee voices, thereby making the work more of an “indigenous history.” They would want to know more the contribution of clan membership and identity to a sense of belonging throughout this long era of migration and resettlement. Nevertheless, Smithers provides a nuanced and convincing analysis of the Cherokee diaspora. His account, at its essence, is “a story of how the Cherokee became a diasporic people, and continued to be Cherokee” (24). It is a story well worth telling…

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Inconsistency within Expressed and Observed Racial Identifications: Implications for Mental Health Status

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Social Science on 2016-08-07 23:49Z by Steven

Inconsistency within Expressed and Observed Racial Identifications: Implications for Mental Health Status

Sociological Perspectives
Volume 59, Number 3 (September 2016)
pages 582-603
DOI: 10.1177/0731121415602133

Whitney N. Laster Pirtle, Assistant Professor of Sociology
University of California, Merced

Tony N. Brown, Associate Professor of Sociology
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

The present study extends previous work on distress that arises from discrepancy between self and interviewer racial identifications. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) data, we examine mental health consequences of inconsistency over time within expressed (self) and observed (interviewer) racial identifications among American Indians. Given that phenotype signals race, we also contribute to prior research by examining whether skin color moderates inconsistency’s mental health consequences. Analyses show that observed racial inconsistency increased American Indians’ depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation. That is, when interviewers labeled a respondent “American Indian” at one wave of data but not another, there were deleterious implications for mental health status. In addition, an interaction between observed inconsistency and skin color demonstrated that observed inconsistency tended to be harmful when respondents were observed as having light skin. We argue observed inconsistency captures the distressing experience of being not readily classifiable.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Banished from the tribe

Posted in Articles, Economics, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-07-26 01:53Z by Steven

Banished from the tribe

Inter-County Leader/Washburn County Register
Cooperative-Owned Newspapers Serving Northwest Wisconsin

Ed Emerson

Gary King

WEBSTER – Tony Ammann is the grandson of former longtime St. Croix Chippewa chief and traditional “midewiwin” spiritual leader Archie Mosay. His mother, Archie’s daughter, has Department of Interior papers certifying her blood quantum requirement to be a member of the tribe. Despite Ammann’s lineage and heritage, the St. Croix Chippewa Tribal Council is actively seeking to banish him from the tribe.

Ammann says the attempt at disenrollment is an old vendetta that underlines the need for reform and greater accountability within tribal governance.

Soon after taking office more than one year ago, the newly elected tribal council began a process to disenroll as many as 16 tribal members. Five of them have legally challenged the action, and a tribal judicial hearing on the matter is scheduled for Wednesday, July 20.

Ammann says many of the others are reluctant to speak out, fearing reprisal or loss of employment. The tribe at one of its casinos employs Ammann. Ammann’s sister, Brooke, is also a plaintiff challenging the disenrollment action.

The St. Croix Chippewa have 1,054 members residing on eight separate enclaves scattered throughout multiple counties. The tribe is the largest employer in Burnett County. It operates casinos at its tribal headquarters in Hertel and in Turtle Lake and Danbury. Annual revenue is said to be in excess of $100 million.

Tribal elders receive per capita payments of approximately $10,000 per year – other members approximately $4,800 per year. Banishment would mean losing that payment and all hunting and fishing rights. The St. Croix Chippewa maintain a blood quantum requirement of 50 percent. It is one of fewer than 10 of 562 federally recognized tribes in the United States to retain such a stringent standard…

Read the entire article here.

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Going Against History?

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Religion, United States on 2016-07-26 00:56Z by Steven

Going Against History?

Institute for Advanced Study

Ann McGrath, Professor of History, Director of the Australian Centre for Indigenous History
Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Locket images of Elias and Harriett, ca. 1826 (Courtesy of the Boudinot Family)

Illicit love and intermarriage

When leading church elders posted the wedding banns on the church doors in Cornwall, Connecticut, in the summer of 1825, all hell broke loose. The banns proclaimed that Harriett Gold, a nineteen-year-old white woman, was to marry Elias Boudinot, a young Cherokee man and a recent graduate of the town’s Foreign Mission School.

Born Gallegina Uwatie, or Buck Watie, Elias had already crossed the boundaries of nations. He took his new name out of respect for Elias Boudinot (1740–1821), the School patron and congressional statesman of New Jersey, whom he had met on the journey from his native Georgia to Cornwall. The original Boudinot had married Hannah Stockton, whose Princeton family had bought their land from William Penn and whose brother was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. A trustee of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), Boudinot founded the American Bible Society, a nationalistic effort that included James Fenimore Cooper, author of The Last of the Mohicans. His religious tracts expounded theories that the Indians were from the lost tribes of Israel. He also wrote sentimental poems about his beloved wife and the happiness brought by their marriage…

Read the entire article here.

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Q&A with ‘Indian Blood’ author Andrew J. Jolivette

Posted in Articles, Gay & Lesbian, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Interviews, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States on 2016-07-11 22:26Z by Steven

Q&A with ‘Indian Blood’ author Andrew J. Jolivette

University of Washington Press Blog

In his new book Indian Blood: HIV & Colonial Trauma in San Francisco’s Two-Spirit Community, Andrew J. Jolivette examines the correlation between mixed-race identity and HIV/AIDS among Native American gay men and transgendered people, and provides an analysis of the emerging and often contested LGBTQ “two-spirit” identification as it relates to public health and mixed-race identity.

Prior to contact with European settlers, most Native American tribes held their two-spirit members in high esteem, even considering them spiritually advanced. However, after contact—and religious conversion—attitudes changed and social and cultural support networks were ruptured. This discrimination led to a breakdown in traditional values, beliefs, and practices, which in turn pushed many two-spirit members to participate in high-risk behaviors. The result is a disproportionate number of two-spirit members who currently test positive for HIV.

Using surveys, focus groups, and community discussions to examine the experiences of HIV-positive members of San Francisco’s two-spirit community, Indian Blood provides an innovative approach to understanding how colonization continues to affect American Indian communities and opens a series of crucial dialogues in the fields of Native American studies, public health, queer studies, and critical mixed-race studies.

We spoke with Jolivette about his book, published this spring.

What inspired you to get into your field?

Andrew J. Jolivette: American Indian studies is in my blood. I felt I had a commitment and a responsibility to give back to my community and I also felt that it was important that more Native perspectives be centered and not just represented or driven by outsiders…

Read the entire interview here.

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