An Upstream Battle: John Parker’s Personal War on Slavery

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Slavery, United States on 2021-05-05 21:30Z by Steven

An Upstream Battle: John Parker’s Personal War on Slavery

Anne Stanton Publications
2019-02-12
136 pages
ISBN-13 : 978-1796696295
5.5 x 0.34 x 8.5 inches

Anne Stanton

*** Free download available from 2021-05-05 through 2021-05-09 here! ***

John Parker wasn’t interested in helping anyone run away. He had worked too hard getting himself free to want to risk losing it for someone he didn’t know. But Sam didn’t give up, and soon John was enlisted to help two young women cross the Ohio River to freedom. What neither man knew at the time was that this marked the beginning of a personal war on slavery for John Parker, one in which he would help hundreds of runaways escape. An Upstream Battle is comprised of four stories from the life of John Parker, an African American businessman and inventor. Based on events portrayed in Parker’s autobiography, An Upstream Battle illustrates the real danger that Parker and other members of the Underground Railroad were exposed to, and their commitment to helping runaway slaves, despite that danger. This book makes a great gift for YA readers who couldn’t put down “Bud, not Buddy”.

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Would the Rev. Patrick Healy, Who Passed for White, Want to Be Celebrated as a Black Hero?

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Passing, Religion, Slavery, United States on 2021-04-18 23:14Z by Steven

Would the Rev. Patrick Healy, Who Passed for White, Want to Be Celebrated as a Black Hero?

Faithfully Magazine
2020-10-13

Alexandria Griffin, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion
New College of Florida, Sarasota, Florida


Father Patrick Francis Healy, S.J., was the first African American to receive a doctorate degree and the first to be president of a predominantly White university when he became president of Georgetown University in 1872. (Photo: Blake Photography/Public domain)

Patrick Healy never directly addressed questions of what his racial identity might have been in the written record he left behind. However, he wrote on a few occasions about “blacks” or “negroes” in a tone that seems to indicate that he saw them as a group he did not belong to.

In 2015 and 2016, Georgetown University became enmeshed in conversations about race taking place at college campuses across the United States. At Georgetown, conversation centered on the institution’s history with slavery, which had been an integral part of its early years, with much of the labor on campus falling to enslaved people.

The focus was the sale of 272 enslaved African Americans in 1838, a sale undertaken by Jesuits Thomas F. Mulledy and William McSherry with the intent to accrue enough money to pay off some of the school’s debts and keep it open. This sale resulted in the breakup of numerous families, and the majority were sold into the Deep South, where they were subjected to harsher conditions of forced agricultural labor. The sale was controversial at the time but eventually largely faded from the memory of White Catholics. (As Shannen Dee Williams, historian at Villanova University and originator of the Twitter hashtag #BlackHistoryIsCatholicHistory, has pointed out, what many people now think of as new information about religious orders owning enslaved people never faded from the memories of Black Catholics.)

Moreover, discussion also included broader issues around Georgetown’s relationship to slavery, including buildings named after slaveholding faculty, and on what actions might be taken to acknowledge and make amends for this history. A number of initiatives grew out of this; a working group made archival resources on slavery at Georgetown available online and researched the fates of those sold in 1838, the school held an apology ceremony attended by community members and descendants of those sold, and buildings named after Mulledy and McSherry were renamed. Additionally, the school opted to grant descendants of those sold in 1838 preferential admission. More recently, students voted to add a student fee to go toward reparations for descendants of those enslaved at Georgetown. The future of the fee and how or whether it will be implemented remains uncertain. The university has recently committed to raising $400,000 annually toward reparations, which some students feel is too little.

Patrick Francis Healy: Legally Enslaved, Passing for White

One figure has been strangely absent from this conversation: Patrick Francis Healy, the university’s 29th president. In November of 1853, Healy, then a young Jesuit in training, sent a letter to an older Jesuit and mentor, George Fenwick. He wrote from his teaching post at College of the Holy Cross: “Father, I will be candid with you. Placed in a college as I am, are boys who were well acquainted with by sight or hearsay, with me + my brothers, remarks are sometimes made (then if not in my hearing) which wound my very heart. You know to what I refer. The anxiety of mind caused by these is very intense.”…

Read the entire article here.

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How one woman discovered her true cultural heritage

Posted in Biography, Louisiana, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Videos, Women on 2021-04-08 02:16Z by Steven

How one woman discovered her true cultural heritage

BBC News
2021-04-06

What would you do if you discovered one of your parents wasn’t who they said they were?

That’s what happened to Gail Lukasik who found out her mother had ‘passed’ as white to escape racial segregation in the US, in the early 20th Century.

She was, in fact, mixed race but had kept it secret all her life and made Gail promise to keep the secret until after she died.

Gail has turned her story into a book called White Like Her.

Video produced by Trystan Young.

Watch the video here.

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The complex history of Alexander Twilight, nation’s first African American to earn a bachelor’s degree

Posted in Articles, Biography, Campus Life, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2021-02-11 00:04Z by Steven

The complex history of Alexander Twilight, nation’s first African American to earn a bachelor’s degree

USA Today
2021-02-08

Marina Affo, Reporter
Delaware News Journal, New Castle, Delaware

Though Twilight is lauded today as an African American scholar, preacher and educator, for much of his life he was marked as white on census records.

Tucked away on Franklin Street at Vermont’s Middlebury College sits a modest, red-bricked building bearing the name of Twilight Hall.

It pays homage to the first student of African descent who graduated from Middlebury in 1823. Alexander Twilight was also the first Black person to obtain a bachelor’s degree across America – a piece of history Middlebury is proud to represent.

At Northern Vermont University, there is Alexander Twilight Theater and in Boston, there is Alexander Twilight Academy, which offers year-round academic programming for middle school students from under-resourced backgrounds to prepare them for high school and college.

Though not widely know, Twilight is celebrated as an accomplished African American man whose achievements paved the way for others like him.

But consider this: Though Twilight is lauded today as an African American scholar, preacher and educator, for much of his life he was marked as white on census records…

Read the entire article here.

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A Family History of British Empire

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Caribbean/Latin America, History, Media Archive, United Kingdom on 2021-02-10 01:42Z by Steven

A Family History of British Empire

Black Perspectives
2021-02-05

Mary Hicks, Assistant Professor of Black Studies and History
Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

“Where are you from?”—The deceptively simple question looms over the sprawling narrative of Imperial Intimacies: A Tale of Two Islands, the newest work by Black feminist theorist, literary critic, and historian Hazel Carby. This historical and existential query frames Carby’s gripping exploration of her ambivalent relationship to idealized “Britishness” as the child of a white, working-class Welsh mother and a Black, Jamaican father born in 1940s London. The omnipresent demand by strangers that she produce a satisfying account of her origins exemplifies her experiences as an unlocatable and thus unimaginable subject (98). Her own emotionally charged childhood memories ground Carby’s evocative examination of the intertwined nature of intimacy, race, and labor in the British Empire, stretching from the period following World War II back to the revolutionary wars of the late eighteenth century.

Imperial Intimacies begins with the Gramscian imperative to reconstruct, and at times invent, one’s personal genealogy, not only in fact but in feeling…

Read the entire review here.

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The True Story of Jess Krug, the White Professor Who Posed as Black for Years—Until It All Blew Up Last Fall

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Passing, United States, Women on 2021-02-05 01:24Z by Steven

The True Story of Jess Krug, the White Professor Who Posed as Black for Years—Until It All Blew Up Last Fall

The Washingtonian
2021-01-27

Marisa Kashino


Photograph courtesy of YouTube

She fabricated harrowing personal backstories, peddled gross caricatures, and spoke from perspectives she had no right to claim. And nobody stopped her.

“Iam a coward.”

Jessica Krug’s confession started ricocheting across screens one brutally muggy afternoon in late-summer Washington. “For the better part of my adult life,” it began, “every move I’ve made, every relationship I’ve formed, has been rooted in the napalm toxic soil of lies.” Krug, a faculty member at George Washington University, had taken to Medium, the online forum, to reveal a stunning fabrication. Throughout her entire career in academia, the professor of African history—a white woman—had been posing as Black and Latina.

“I have thought about ending these lies many times over many years, but my cowardice was always more powerful than my ethics. I know right from wrong. I know history. I know power. I am a coward,” she wrote. “You should absolutely cancel me, and I absolutely cancel myself.”

The statement, posted September 3, 2020, went viral immediately, unleashing a tidal wave of Oh, my Gods across the text chains of Krug’s GW colleagues and other academics. “We were all blindsided,” says GW history-department chair Daniel Schwartz. Distraught emails from Krug’s students—less than a week into a virtual semester already upended by the coronavirus pandemic—began piling up in faculty in-boxes. Meanwhile, an online mob went to work churning up old photos of Krug and tanking the Amazon ratings of her book. By the end of the day, a now-infamous video of Krug calling herself “Jess La Bombalera” and speaking in a D-list imitation Bronx accent was all over the internet….

Read the entire article here.

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No Future in This Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner

Posted in Biography, Books, History, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, Religion, United States on 2021-01-21 15:53Z by Steven

No Future in This Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner

University Press of Mississippi
November 2020
208 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9781496830708
Paperback ISBN: 9781496830692

Andre E. Johnson, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies
University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

A critical study of the career of the nineteenth-century bishop

No Future in This Country: The Prophetic Pessimism of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner is a history of the career of Bishop Henry McNeal Turner (1834–1915), specifically focusing on his work from 1896 to 1915. Drawing on the copious amount of material from Turner’s speeches, editorial, and open and private letters, Andre E. Johnson tells a story of how Turner provided rhetorical leadership during a period in which America defaulted on many of the rights and privileges gained for African Americans during Reconstruction. Unlike many of his contemporaries during this period, Turner did not opt to proclaim an optimistic view of race relations. Instead, Johnson argues that Turner adopted a prophetic persona of a pessimistic prophet who not only spoke truth to power but, in so doing, also challenged and pushed African Americans to believe in themselves.

At this time in his life, Turner had no confidence in American institutions or that the American people would live up to the promises outlined in their sacred documents. While he argued that emigration was the only way for African Americans to retain their “personhood” status, he also would come to believe that African Americans would never emigrate to Africa. He argued that many African Americans were so oppressed and so stripped of agency because they were surrounded by continued negative assessments of their personhood that belief in emigration was not possible. Turner’s position limited his rhetorical options, but by adopting a pessimistic prophetic voice that bore witness to the atrocities African Americans faced, Turner found space for his oratory, which reflected itself within the lament tradition of prophecy.

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Olivia Ward Bush-Banks: Anchored in Her Ancestry

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Women on 2020-11-03 21:47Z by Steven

Olivia Ward Bush-Banks: Anchored in Her Ancestry

Three Village Historical Society
Setauket, New York
2020-07-12

Tara Mae

Everyone is influenced by their cultural background, either through acceptance, rejection, or some combination of the two. Olivia Ward Bush-Banks was a writer, journalist, historian, and dramatist. Her relationship with her Black and Montaukett lineage, and her ties to Long Island, informed and inspired her work. In her writing and much of her other work, Bush-Banks amplified her cultural identity.

During her life, Bush-Banks was a respected and valued figure in Black and Indigenous communities. Throughout her many travels, her ties to her heritage kept her grounded in her history even as her writing and outreach relayed it to a larger audience. Sustained by her familial ties, her work was driven by the need to provide for her family, and it elevated the effort of her pursuits.

Born on May 23, 1869, in Sag Harbor, she was the youngest of three daughters. Her parents, Eliza Draper and Abraham Ward, were each of Black and Montaukett descent. It was not uncommon for Blacks and Indigenous people to intermarry: such unions and their resulting families faced racism and discrimination. Her mother died when she was around 9 months old, and her father moved the family to Providence, Rhode Island. Upon Abraham’s remarriage, he gave Bush-Banks to be reared by her maternal aunt, Maria Draper, who raised her as her own. She studied nursing in high school but, encouraged and supported by Maria, developed a passion for drama and poetry…

Read the entire article here.

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Olivia Ward Bush-Banks and the Dualism of African and Native American Identity

Posted in Articles, Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Women on 2020-11-02 18:50Z by Steven

Olivia Ward Bush-Banks and the Dualism of African and Native American Identity

Amistad Research Center
Tilton Hall, Tulane University
6823 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, Louisiana 70118

2014-09-24

Chianta Dorsey

The birth of the African American literary condition occurred in 1773 with the publication of Phyllis Wheatley’s book of poetry and has evolved into a thriving apparatus within American literature ever since. Olivia Ward Bush-Banks is amongst this tradition and the presence of her literary work offers a view into the complex identities of Americans—Black, Native American, and a woman, Bush-Banks had plenty to pull from when she began her writing career at the turn of the 20th century…

Read the entire article here.

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Black Like Kamala

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Biography, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States, Women on 2020-11-01 01:23Z by Steven

Black Like Kamala

The New York Times
2020-08-14

Jamelle Bouie, Opinion Columnist


Kamala Harris in 1966 during a family visit to Harlem. Kamala Harris campaign, via Associated Press

Republican efforts to deny Senator Harris’s identity as an African-American and turn her into a noncitizen are destined to fail.

It was probably inevitable that becoming Joe Biden’s running mate would result in controversy over Kamala Harris’s heritage.

Harris, whose mother emigrated from India and whose father emigrated from Jamaica, is a woman of Tamil and African ancestry who identifies as Black. That’s why, after Biden’s announcement, she was described as the first Asian-American and African-American woman on a major-party presidential ticket.

Not everyone thought this was the right description for Harris. Several allies of President Trump, for example, were quick to dispute the idea that Harris was or could be Black. The radio host Mark Levin said Harris’s Jamaican origins placed her outside the category of African-American. “Kamala Harris is not an African-American, she is Indian and Jamaican,” Levin said. “Her ancestry does not go back to American slavery, to the best of my knowledge her ancestry does not go back to slavery at all.”…

Read the entire article here.

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