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April 30th, 2014
thesmithian
Our wives have grown bitter…cry all day. The abduction of our children and the news of them being married off is like hearing of the return of the slave trade.

Yakubu Ubalala

whose 17- and 18-year-old daughters Kulu and Maimuna are among the disappeared [in Nigeria].

April 25th, 2014
thesmithian

(It reminds one of the Confederates who went on about how slavery was a matter of states’ rights while insisting on a Fugitive Slave Act, which would put federal resources at the disposal of slave catchers, even in the streets of New York or Philadelphia.)

more.

April 10th, 2014
thesmithian

'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.'

more.

March 16th, 2014
thesmithian

'…Two unnamed Academy members said they picked “12 Years a Slave” as their choice for best picture of the year. It subsequently got the award. The shock, though, was that the unnamed members candidly admitted that they did not see the film. They minced no words why.'

more.

March 13th, 2014
thesmithian

…uses a decade of deep research to show that Africans an established part of English society in the 1500s and earlier—and not just as slaves:

more. and more.

March 9th, 2014
thesmithian
Due to my bearded look, the filmmakers cast me as an overseer in two scenes, shattering me out of my comfort zone. Surrounded by production-placed cotton and sugarcane, they gave me a prop whip and directed me to snarl, grunt and shove at extras playing slaves. Racial slurs were plentiful to ensure realism. Everyone participating knew what they had signed up for…
actor Jordan Sudduth, of 12 Years a Slave
February 16th, 2014
thesmithian

…chapters examine the history of degrading racial stereotypes, the significance of free blacks in the process of slavery’s destruction, the psychological function and effect of racism, and especially the intellectual problems raised by the various proposals to colonize free and emancipated blacks outside the United States. In a sense, the problem Davis examines here is not slavery as such, but racial slavery. He believes that race—more than the wealth and power of slaveholders, more than a Constitution that protected slavery in the states—was the single greatest obstacle to emancipation in the United States.

more.

…chapters examine the history of degrading racial stereotypes, the significance of free blacks in the process of slavery’s destruction, the psychological function and effect of racism, and especially the intellectual problems raised by the various proposals to colonize free and emancipated blacks outside the United States. In a sense, the problem Davis examines here is not slavery as such, but racial slavery. He believes that race—more than the wealth and power of slaveholders, more than a Constitution that protected slavery in the states—was the single greatest obstacle to emancipation in the United States.

more.

January 25th, 2014
thesmithian

…contact between disparate groups—black/white, African/European, slave/free, working-class/middle-class—would have yielded this exchange, whether participants intended or even recognized that it was happening. People heard other people’s music and they learned to move and experience sound differently, and in this new, shared dialect…this phenomenon—maybe we could call it “a creolization of bodily experience”—happens everywhere disparate populations come into close proximity with one another. I think it’s at the core of where urban culture arises. 

more.

…contact between disparate groups—black/white, African/European, slave/free, working-class/middle-class—would have yielded this exchange, whether participants intended or even recognized that it was happening. People heard other people’s music and they learned to move and experience sound differently, and in this new, shared dialect…this phenomenon—maybe we could call it “a creolization of bodily experience”—happens everywhere disparate populations come into close proximity with one another. I think it’s at the core of where urban culture arises.

more.

December 29th, 2013
thesmithian

…the remaking of Jesus from Puritan America to antebellum slave cabins, from Joseph Smith’s revelations to Obama’s presidency. The authors compellingly argue that Christ’s body matters, that it signifies power, reflects national fears and evolving conceptions of whiteness, and perpetuates racial hierarchies by continuously reifying the idea that whiteness is sacred.

more.

November 16th, 2013
thesmithian

The everyday lives of Irish and Africans are obscured by sources constructed by elites…Shaw overcomes the constraints such sources impose by pushing methodological boundaries to fill in the gaps, silences, and absences that dominate the historical record. By examining legal statutes, census material, plantation records, travel narratives, depositions, interrogations, and official colonial correspondence, as much for what they omit as for what they include [she] uncovers perspectives that would otherwise remain obscured. This book encourages readers to rethink the boundaries of historical research and writing and to think more expansively about questions of race and difference in English slave societies.

more.

The everyday lives of Irish and Africans are obscured by sources constructed by elites…Shaw overcomes the constraints such sources impose by pushing methodological boundaries to fill in the gaps, silences, and absences that dominate the historical record. By examining legal statutes, census material, plantation records, travel narratives, depositions, interrogations, and official colonial correspondence, as much for what they omit as for what they include [she] uncovers perspectives that would otherwise remain obscured. This book encourages readers to rethink the boundaries of historical research and writing and to think more expansively about questions of race and difference in English slave societies.

more.

November 14th, 2013
thesmithian

…many generations of slaves continued to practice their religion under the guise of Christian liturgy. This union gave rise to a new system of beliefs known as Lucumí or Santería, the ‘way of the saints.’’

more.

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art: drawings by Alberto del Pozo

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