'Many African Americans object to the term “Uncle” (or “Aunt”) when used in this context, as it was a southern form of address first used with older enslaved peoples, since they were denied use of courtesy titles.'
He embarked on the task intending not just to rely on historical research but to track down living witnesses to the many tragedies and upheavals that Congo has endured. His efforts were well rewarded…he managed to find Congolese veterans with memories of early white missionaries and colonial officials, and tales of religious uprisings and resistance movements. His witnesses from more modern times include musicians, footballers, political activists, warlords and child soldiers. The result is a vivid panorama of one of the most tormented lands in the world.
When we think about the Civil Rights Act, our minds are drawn to scenes of obstructionist Southern politicians and presidential arm-twisting. But we often forget the broader context of activism and protest in which the bill’s long journey across Capitol Hill took place…These two stories—the political theater inside the Capitol, and the violent tumult of civil rights protests outside it—did not happen independently. Each drove the other. Few pieces of legislation in American history have been as intimately connected to its social context as the Civil Rights Act.
…being reasonable has never worked in history. All other big racial justice movements, all of the big historical figures in racial justice were never reasonable. They were always painted as crazy during their time, and even afterwards…people forget that because they want to look at these things in the past and not the present, and I think people need time and space to understand the sickness of things that happen now, especially because they don’t understand digital lives and our generation…Whiteness will always be the enemy. It’s not like I want to hurt them, it’s not like I want them to have any pain, but like, I just want them to realize that what they have, and to honor the advantages. And I don’t think it’s much to ask to just even acknowledge it.
This is not a story about skin color. This is not a story about how race is a social construction. I’d reckon such a story would be boring for you. If it’s not, let me tell you—it would be boring to me. I’m not interested in narrating the tribulations of being, surefire bet, the lightest black person in the room. Nor am I informed enough to tell you of the triumphs. In America, skin color is the x in virtually every social equation. It is predictive. I am quite positive that being lighter has meant privileges that were not afforded to people with browner skin, many privileges that I have not even identified. This is a story about history, about identity.
It looked so beautiful, but I found out on the black side where began my hell.
Johnny Gaddy, 68
of his time at the
Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, [where] five older black men took a road trip to Marianna, a rural town on the Florida panhandle—historic Klan country—to confront their demons on the reform school’s vast, wooded campus…[researchers] had excavated 55 sets of remains at Dozier’s Boot Hill cemetery, 5 more than they’d originally identified, and 24 more than were indicated in the school’s official records. Other campus locations remain to be searched.