news around the web

In the News

A statue of Klansman Nathan Bedford Forrest along Interstate 65 in Nashville was doused in pink paint.  A different statue of the KKK member and Confederate general was recently removed in Memphis.

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The Ties That Bind: Sexual Assault, Gender, and 21st-Century Capitalism

Harriet Fraad and Richard D. Wolff: The pervasiveness of sexual assault today reflects the combined effects of households’ feudal class structures and enterprises’ capitalist class structures.

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Lauren Berg, Dec 31, 2017, The Daily Progress

Historical artifacts sitting on dusty shelves tend to create a romantic picture of archaeology, bringing to mind Indiana Jones riding off into the sunset with a hard-won ancient trophy tucked into his bag.

But archaeology is about much more than digging up items of historical importance — there’s tedious cataloguing, analysis and research to be done. And now, thanks to a recently announced grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, archaeologists at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello will be able to expand their digital archive and help advance the study of enslaved communities.

In 2000, archaeologists at Monticello established the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery, or DAACS. It is a collaborative, online database where archaeologists can upload and share data about artifacts found during excavations of slavery sites at Monticello and other places in the Chesapeake region, according to Fraser Neiman, director of archaeology at Monticello.

When it began, the database contained information about artifacts collected from six sites. Today, it contains information from 80 separate sites, including the Carolinas and parts of the Caribbean, Neiman said. The idea is to broaden the scope and help scholars better understand the evolution of slavery-based societies from the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries.

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The man’s name was Abraham. In a grainy 1889 photo of the plantation home belonging to Furman University’s namesake family, he appears standing by the portico with his face obscured in foliage and shadows.

Under the system of apartheid and chattel slavery that defined the United States economy from its early days, Abraham had lived part of his life as the legal property of James C. Furman, the university’s first president. Researchers only know his first name because someone wrote it on the back of the photograph. The rest of his life remains hidden from view.

In the fall, faculty and students at Furman University began sifting through their own history to more fully tell the stories of Abraham and other slaves like him whose labor helped establish the school. They will present their findings and recommendations in the spring.

“We wanted to reclaim some humanity for him. We don’t know who he was,” said Steve O’Neill, a professor of history at Furman.

With the announcement of its Task Force on Slavery and Justice in May 2016, Furman joined a nationwide reckoning. Since Brown University became one of the first prominent schools to launch an inquiry into its history of slavery in 2003, schools including Georgetown University have begun making public atonement and renaming buildings after former slaves.

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Online Forum: A History of Student Activism, January 8–12, 2018
AAIHS Editors, December 30, 2017, Black Perspectives

Black Perspectives, the blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is hosting an online forum on Student Activism. The forum will illuminate the long history of high school student organizing that extends back to the era of Brown v. Board of Education. While society often views adolescents as a problem population, young people have been and continue to be some of the most committed social activists in the past sixty years. The participants in this online forum trace this history and also explore the concept of a 21st century high school organizing tradition. Organized by Dara Walker (Rutgers University-New Brunswick), the forum will feature essays from Tess Bundy (Merrimack University), Aaron Fountain (Indiana University), Jon N. Hale (College of Charleston), Kera Lovell ( University at Hawaii) and Dara Walker (Rutgers University-New Brunswick).

The forum  begins on Monday, January 8, 2018 and concludes on Friday, January 12, 2018. During the week of the online forum, Black Perspectives will publish new blog posts every day at 5:30AM EST. Please follow Black Perspectives (@BlkPerspectives) and AAIHS (@AAIHS) on Twitter; like AAIHS on Facebook; or subscribe to our blog for updates. By subscribing to Black Perspectives, each new post will automatically be delivered to your inbox during the week of the forum.

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2 Replies to “news around the web”

  1. The story of Cudjo Lewis was interesting indeed.

    As for archaeology, I have long been interested in how that study has changed in recent years. At one time, it was all about discovering ancient signs of life, and artifacts from many thousands of years ago. It is now seemingly just as interested in more modern history, as recent as the 17th century, and even late Victorian London. Fascinating stuff.

    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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