What Woodrow Wilson Cost My Grandfather

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2015-11-25 18:04Z by Steven

What Woodrow Wilson Cost My Grandfather

The New York Times

Gordon J. Davis, Partner
Venable, LLP,  New York, New York

John Abraham Davis, center, and his family at their farm in the early 1900s. Credit Courtesy of the Davis Family

OVER the last week, a growing number of students at Princeton have demanded that the university confront the racist legacy of Woodrow Wilson, who served as its president before becoming New Jersey’s governor and the 28th president of the United States. Among other things, the students are demanding that Wilson’s name be removed from university facilities.

Wilson, a Virginia-born Democrat, is mostly remembered as a progressive, internationalist statesman, a benign and wise leader, a father of modern American political science and one of our nation’s great presidents.

But he was also an avowed racist. And unlike many of his predecessors and successors in the White House, he put that racism into action through public policy. Most notably, his administration oversaw the segregation of the federal government, destroying the careers of thousands of talented and accomplished black civil servants — including John Abraham Davis, my paternal grandfather.

An African-American born in 1862 to a prominent white Washington lawyer and his black “housekeeper,” my grandfather was a smart, ambitious and handsome young black man. He emulated his idol, Theodore Roosevelt, in style and dress. He walked away from whatever assistance his father might have offered to his unacknowledged black offspring and graduated at the top of his class from Washington’s M Street High School (later the renowned all-black Dunbar High School)…

Read the entire article here.

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The History of Race in America Is Not Black and White

Posted in Articles, History, Louisiana, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-25 02:10Z by Steven

The History of Race in America Is Not Black and White

History News Network

Dianne Guenin-Lelle

Dr. Dianne Guenin-Lelle teaches French at Albion College. A specialist in Seventeenth Century French Narrative, Francophone Louisiana and Multicultural Pedagogies, she has published numerous articles and two books, Jeanne Guyon, Selected Writings in the Classics in Western Spirituality Series (2012, co-authored with Ronney Mourad) and The Prison Narratives of Jeanne Guyon (2012, co-authored by Ronney Mourad). Her latest book The Story of French New Orleans: History of a Creole City (University Press of Mississippi) will appear in January.

Despite the racial divide in this country, exemplified by the #blacklivesmatter movement, history shows it does not have to be this way. If we are going to fill this chasm, we should look to the past. A past that we have forgotten too often. Our accepted version of US history is basically that African Americans came to this land to become enslaved by whites and were liberated by the Emancipation Proclamation. While there existed Free People of Color before the Civil War, in this version of history, they managed to escape slavery and move north. This narrative sets up race relations along a “black-white” color line of racial separation, and accompanying opposition around questions of privilege, power and dignity. In the US today many feel a sense of despair that the situation has changed so little over so long, and a kind of hopeless fear that things might never be different…

Read the entire article here.

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The Story of French New Orleans: History of a Creole City

Posted in Books, Forthcoming Media, History, Louisiana, Monographs, United States on 2015-11-25 02:03Z by Steven

The Story of French New Orleans: History of a Creole City

University Press of Mississippi
January 2016
208 pages (approx.)
1 map, bibliography, index
6 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496804860

Dianne Guenin-Lelle, Professor of French
Albion College, Albion, Michigan

Why New Orleans is considered America’s distinctly French city

What is it about the city of New Orleans History, location, and culture, continue to link it to France while distancing it culturally and symbolically from the United States. This book explores the traces of French language, history, and artistic expression that have been present there over the last three hundred years. This volume focuses on the French, Spanish, and American colonial periods to understand the imprint that French socio-cultural dynamic left on the Crescent City.

The migration of Acadians to New Orleans at the time the city became a Spanish dominion and the arrival of Haitian refugees when the city became an American territory oddly reinforced its Francophone identity. However, in the process of establishing itself as an urban space in the antebellum south, the culture of New Orleans became a liability for New Orleans elite after the Louisiana Purchase.

New Orleans and the Caribbean share numerous historical, cultural, and linguistic connections. The book analyzes these connections and the shared process of creolization occurring in New Orleans and throughout the Caribbean Basin. It suggests “French” New Orleans might be understood as a trope for unscripted “original” Creole social and cultural elements. Since being Creole came to connote African descent, the study suggests that an association with France in the minds of whites allowed for a less racially-bound and contested social order within the United States.

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She Is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body

Posted in Anthropology, Books, Caribbean/Latin America, Forthcoming Media, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Monographs, Women on 2015-11-23 21:35Z by Steven

She Is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body

Oxford University Press
240 Pages
53 images
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780199968169
Paperback ISBN: 9780199968176

Melissa Blanco Borelli, Senior Lecturer in Dance
Royal Holloway University of London

  • Weaves together historical method, auto-ethnographic, and performative writing
  • Sits at the precipice of scholarly and public interest in Cuban cultural history

She is Cuba: A Genealogy of the Mulata Body traces the history of the Cuban mulata and her association with hips, sensuality and popular dance. It examines how the mulata choreographs her racialised identity through her hips and enacts an embodied theory called hip(g)nosis. By focusing on her living and dancing body in order to flesh out the process of identity formation, this book makes a claim for how subaltern bodies negotiate a cultural identity that continues to mark their bodies on a daily basis. Combining literary and personal narratives with historical and theoretical accounts of Cuban popular dance history, religiosity and culture, this work investigates the power of embodied exchanges: bodies watching, looking, touching and dancing with one another. It sets up a genealogy of how the representations and venerations of the dancing mulata continue to circulate and participate in the volatile political and social economy of contemporary Cuba.

Table of Contents

  • Prologue, Entre Familia/Between Family
  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Historicizing Hip(g)nosis
  • Interlude 1: Echando Cuentos/Telling Stories
  • Chapter 2: Hip(g)nosis at Work: Rumors, Social Dance and Cuba’s Academias de Baile
  • Interlude 2: A Marriage Proposal
  • Chapter 3: Hip(g)nosis as Pleasure: The Mulata in Film
  • Interlude 3: Lost Baggage
  • Chapter 4: Hip(g)nosis as Brand: Despelote, Tourism and Mulata Citizenship
  • Conclusion or Rear Endings
  • Index
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DNA study finds London was ethnically diverse from start

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom, Videos on 2015-11-23 19:43Z by Steven

DNA study finds London was ethnically diverse from start

BBC News

Pallab Ghosh, Science Correspondent

A DNA study has confirmed that London was an ethnically diverse city from its very beginnings, BBC News has learned.

The analysis reveals what some of the very first Londoners looked like and where they came from.

The first results are from four people: two had origins from outside Europe, another was from continental Europe and one was a native Briton.

The researchers plan to analyse more of the 20,000 human remains stored at the Museum of London.

According to Caroline McDonald, who is a senior curator at the museum, London was a cosmopolitan city from the moment it was created following the Roman invasion 2,000 years ago

Early London: An artist’s impression of building work at the Roman Fort Wall in 200 AD (Museum of London, Peter Jackson)

“The thing to remember with the original Londoners is that they were not born here. Every first generation Londoner was from somewhere else – whether it was somewhere else in Britain, somewhere else on the continent somewhere else in the Mediterranean, somewhere else from Africa,” she said…

Read the entire article and watch the video here.

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First Look at Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in ‘The Loving Story’ (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case)

Posted in Articles, Arts, History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2015-11-23 19:16Z by Steven

First Look at Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in ‘The Loving Story’ (Based on Anti-Miscegenation Case)

Shadow and Act: On Cinema Of The African Diaspora

Tambay A. Obenson

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as Mildred and Richard Loving, on the set of the movie “Loving,” being shot in Richmond, Va. (Ben Rothstein/Big Beach Films via AP)

Three years ago, director Nancy Buirski’s feature documentary, “The Loving Story,” was released. It follows the real-life story of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple living in the state of Virginia where interracial coupling was illegal, and their struggles, including the US Supreme Court case named after them – Loving vs Virginia (1967); the landmark civil rights case in which the United States Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute, unconstitutional, overturning existing laws and bringing an official end to all race-based restrictions on marriage in the United States.

Persecuted by a local sheriff, the Lovings were found guilty of violating Virginia’s law against interracial marriage and forced to leave the state. But Mildred Loving chose to fight. She wrote a letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy asking for help. He referred her to the ACLU and two young attorneys took the case.

Richard and Mildred Loving

In 1958, they went to Washington, D.C. – where interracial marriage was legal – to get married. But when they returned home, they were arrested, jailed and banished from the state for 25 years for violating the state’s so-called Racial Integrity Act

Read the entire article here.

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Q&A with Miriam Jiménez Román

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Census/Demographics, History, Interviews, Latino Studies, Media Archive, Social Science, United States, Women on 2015-11-22 22:02Z by Steven

Q&A with Miriam Jiménez Román

Los Afro-Latinos: A Blog Following the Afro-Latino Experience

Kim Haas

In February, Latina magazine listed “6 Afro-Latinas Who Are Changing the World.” Naturally, Miriam Jiménez Román was second on the list.

Her work as a writer, professor and head of the Afro-Latin@ Forum has educated the world about the Afro-Latin experience and made her an authority on the subject. Her latest work, The Afro-Latin@ Reader: History and Culture in the United States, has been hailed for critics for its diverse portrait of Black Latinos in America.

Jiménez sat down to speak with Los Afro-Latinos about the book, Afro-Latinos in the media and bridging the gap between African Americans and Latinos.

Los Afro-Latinos: Why did you publish The Afro-Latin@ Reader?

Miriam Jiménez Román: After the 2000 Census was released [the mainstream media], basically posed Latinos and African-Americans in a Black vs. Brown dynamic. And it gave the sense that the [United States] was evolving into this post racial state and we didn’t really have to talk about race anymore. Latinos didn’t have a concern about race because the Census says Latinos, the largest minority group, can be of any race and this is a demonstration of overcoming race in [the United States]. My co-editor [Juan Flores] and I and a number of other people were appalled by that kind of analysis.

First, we’re not in a post racial state. Race is still a very important part of how all of us – globally – live our lives. African-Americans and Latinos need to get together, create change that will benefit not just Latinos and African-Americans but all people of color…

Read the entire interview here.

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Martha S. Jones – “The Children of Loving v. Virginia”

Posted in History, Law, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2015-11-22 18:39Z by Steven

Martha S. Jones – “The Children of Loving v. Virginia

Organization of American Historians
September 2015

An OAH Lecture by Martha S. Jones, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan

This lecture was presented as part of the Created Equal initiative at Franklin College in Franklin, Indiana, in September 2015. Recorded by the college’s Pulliam Fellow Videographer, Ian Mullen ‘16.

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Once unknown, story of WWII Latino Tuskegee Airman uncovered

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-21 02:43Z by Steven

Once unknown, story of WWII Latino Tuskegee Airman uncovered

Fox News Latino

Bryan Llenas, National Correspondent

Among the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first African-American military air squadron which heroically fought in World War II, was a little known about Hispanic pilot named Esteban Hotesse.

Born in Moca, Dominican Republic, but a New Yorker since he was 4 years old, Hotesse served with the Tuskegee Airmen for more than three years before he died during a military exercise on July 8th, 1945. He was just 26.

As a black Dominican, Hotesse was a part of a squadron credited for single-handedly tearing down the military’s segregation policies, while helping to change America’s perception of African-Americans during the Jim Crow era.

Enlisted on February 21, 1942 Hotesse was part of the 619 squadron of the 447 bombardment group known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Though his squadron never flew in combat, he took part in the battle for civil rights at home…

Read the entire article here.

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At Last …?: Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Race & History

Posted in Articles, Biography, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-19 02:43Z by Steven

At Last …?: Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Race & History

Winter 2011, Volume 140, Number 1
Posted Online 2011-03-09
pages 131-141
DOI: 10.1162/DAED_a_00065

Farah J. Griffin, William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies
Columbia University

In this essay, Griffin brings to the fore two extraordinary black women of our age: First Lady Michelle Obama and entertainment mogul Beyoncé Knowles. Both women signify change in race relations in America, yet both reveal that the history of racial inequality in this country is far from over. As an Ivy League-educated descendent of slaves, Michelle Obama is not just unfamiliar to the mainstream media and the Washington political scene; during the 2008 presidential campaign, she was vilified as angry and unpatriotic. Beyonce, who controls the direction of her career in a way that pioneering black women entertainers could not, has nonetheless styled herself in ways that recall the distinct racial history of the Creole South. Griffin considers how Michelle Obama’s and Beyonce’s use of their respective family histories and ancestry has bolstered or diminished their popular appeal.

Read or purchase the article here.

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