Headlines misc.

Confronting Slavery at Long Island’s Oldest Estates – The New York Times

still relevant, we don’t know our own history in the USA

Headlines misc.

Fostering Long-Term Thinking 02018

Layers of Time

* The Long Now Foundation uses five-digit dates, the extra zero is to solve the deca-millennium bug which will come into effect in about 8,000 years.


Source: The Long Now Foundation – Fostering Long-Term Thinking

Headlines misc. MYTH OF RACE

In the News

ALBUQUERQUE — Lenny Trujillo made a startling discovery when he began researching his descent from one of New Mexico’s pioneering Hispanic families: One of his ancestors was a slave.

“I didn’t know about New Mexico’s slave trade, so I was just stunned,” said Mr. Trujillo, 66, a retired postal worker who lives in Los Angeles. “Then I discovered how slavery was a defining feature of my family’s history.”

Mr. Trujillo is one of many Latinos who are finding ancestral connections to a flourishing slave trade on the blood-soaked frontier now known as the American Southwest. Their captive forebears were Native Americans — slaves frequently known as Genízaros (pronounced heh-NEE-sah-ros) who were sold to Hispanic families when the region was under Spanish control from the 16th to 19th centuries. Many Indian slaves remained in bondage when Mexico and later the United States governed New Mexico.

The revelations have prompted some painful personal reckonings over identity and heritage. But they have also fueled a larger, politically charged debate on what it means to be Hispanic and Native American.

A growing number of Latinos who have made such discoveries are embracing their indigenous backgrounds, challenging a long tradition in New Mexico in which families prize Spanish ancestry. Some are starting to identify as Genízaros. Historians estimate that Genízaros accounted for as much as one-third of New Mexico’s population of 29,000 in the late 18th century.

“We’re discovering things that complicate the hell out of our history, demanding that we reject the myths we’ve been taught,” said Gregorio Gonzáles, 29, an anthropologist and self-described Genízaro who writes about the legacies of Indian enslavement.


Wreck found by reporter may be last American slave ship, archaeologists say
Ben Raines, February 24,

Relying on historical records and accounts from old timers, may have located the long-lost wreck of the Clotilda, the last slave ship to bring human cargo to the United States.

What’s left of the ship lies partially buried in mud alongside an island in the lower Mobile-Tensaw Delta, a few miles north of the city of Mobile. The hull is tipped to the port side, which appears almost completely buried in mud. The entire length of the starboard side, however, is almost fully exposed. The wreck, which is normally underwater, was exposed during extreme low tides brought on by the same weather system that brought the “Bomb Cyclone” to the Eastern Seaboard. Low tide around Mobile was about two and a half feet below normal thanks to north winds that blew for days.

“I’m quaking with excitement. This would be a story of world historical significance, if this is the Clotilda,” said John Sledge, a senior historian with Mobile Historical Commission, and author of The Mobile River, an exhaustive history of the river. “It’s certainly in the right vicinity… We always knew it should be right around there.”

This reporter, Ben Raines, used the abnormally low tides to search for the ship after researching possible locations. The remote spot where the ship was found, deep in the swampy Mobile-Tensaw Delta, is accessible only by boat. During my first trips after discovering the wreck, I documented it with photographs and aerials shot with a drone. Over the next week, I ferried a shipwright expert in the construction techniques used on old wooden vessels and a team of archaeologists from the University of West Florida to the site.

Many people know that Thomas Jefferson had a long-standing relationship with his slave, Sally Hemings. But fewer know that they had four children, three boys and a girl, who survived to adulthood. Born into slavery, Sally’s daughter Harriet boarded a stagecoach to freedom at age 21, bound for Washington, D.C. Her father had given her $50 for her travel expenses. She would never see her mother or younger brothers again.

With her departure from Monticello in 1822, Harriet disappeared from the historical record, not to be heard of again for more than 50 years, when her brother told her story. Seven-eighths white, Harriet had “thought it to her interest to go to Washington as a white woman,” he said. She married a “white man in good standing” in that city and “raised a family of children.” In the half-century during which she passed as white, her brother was “not aware that her identity as Harriet Hemings of Monticello has ever been discovered.”

So how did we lose a president’s daughter? Given America’s obsession with the Founding Fathers, with the children of the Revolution and their descendants, why did Jefferson’s child disappear? As it turns out, America has an even greater obsession with race, so that not even Harriet Hemings’s lineage as a president’s daughter was sufficient to convey the benefits of freedom. Instead, her birth into slavery marked her as black and drove her decision to erase her family history.

Throughout the history of the so-called “New World,” people of African descent have faced a yawning chasm where their ancestry should be. People bought and sold to labor on plantations lost not only their names but their connections to their language, tradition, and culture. Very few who descend from this painful legacy know exactly where their ancestors came from. The situation contributes to what Toni Morrison calls the “dehistoricizing allegory” of race, a condition of “foreclosure rather than disclosure.” To compound the loss, most descendants of slaves have been unable to trace their ancestry further back than 1870, the first year in which the Census listed African Americans by name.

But the recent work of several enterprising scholars is helping to disclose the histories of enslaved people in the Americas. For example, The Freedman’s Bureau Project has made 1.5 million documents available to the public, in a searchable database that combines traditional scholarship with digital crowdsourcing.

And now, a just-announced Michigan State University project—supported by a $1.5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation—will seek to “change the way scholars and the public understand African slavery.” Called “Enslaved: The People of the Historic Slave Trade,” the multi-phase endeavor is expected to take 18 months to complete an “online hub,” reports Smithsonian, linking together dozens of databases from all over the world.

Headlines misc.

Why a Radical 1970s Science Group Is More Relevant Than Ever

Science for the People was not directly responsible for the tomato-thrower, but the group was picketing labs dedicated to war research and asking scientists to pledge not to work on military projects. Since they would “do anything to break down the offensive/defensive capability of the United States,” as one FBI report put it, the agency saw them as a real threat.

“In the context of contemporary of American corporate capitalism … [science] largely contributes to the exploitation and oppression of most of the people both in this country and abroad.”

“Science for the People came out very strongly in saying that science is not politically neutral,” says Sigrid Schmalzer, a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “They had a critique of the entire system.”

Source: Why a Radical 1970s Science Group Is More Relevant Than Ever – Atlas Obscura


Huffington Post Names "An Open Letter on #NoDAPL" Among Top 30 Most Important Articles Written by People of Color in 2016 – Native News Online

Outside the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C. – Native News Online photo by Mark Charles

24 Dec 2016

NEW YORK – Earlier this week, the Huffington Post named an open letter written to a woman who works for the clerks office in Minot, North Dakota by an American Indian artist as one of the top 30 most important articles written by people of color in 2016.  The Huffington Post selected the article published in Native News Online on September 15, 2016 written by Renee Nejo, a tribal citizen of the Mesa Grand Band of Mission Indians, calls out a white woman who accused protesters of looking for “handouts,” silencing the very real grievances of the water protectors.

Source: Huffington Post Names “An Open Letter on #NoDAPL” Among Top 30 Most Important Articles Written by People of Color in 2016 – Native News Online


RIP Prince: A World Lit Up In Purple

rest in peace Dear Prince

Mixed American Life

A world awash in Purple


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Sourced through from:

*crying* This is beautiful >> RIP Prince: A World Lit Up In Purple 

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BLACK OR WHITE: 3 Black Adoptees Speak Out About Life With White Parents

They share their thoughts about the new film Black or White and their own struggles with racial identity.

Jan. 27 2015 | THE ROOT


Generic image: Thinkstock

Does love know no color?

The ad campaign for Kevin Costner’s new film Black or White definitely supports that idea, pushing the hashtag #LoveKnowsNoColor while promoting the transracial custody drama.

Black or White pits a child’s white maternal grandfather (Costner) against her black paternal grandmother (played by Octavia Spencer) in a legal battle for custody. Think Losing Isaiah meets The Blind Side, dealing with the matter of white parents raising black or biracial children. In both those films, as in Black or White, the main focus seems to be on the adults in the room, fighting over the future and well-being of a child of color. But what of the children put in this situation, raised by white families?

The Root talked to three transracial adoptees, all adopted by white families in the 1970s, about their experiences and views on transracial adoption, as well as Costner’s new film. While all three appreciated the love and foundation their families provided, a common theme evolved: In a racially polarized society, children of color cannot be raised devoid of their history and culture. All three agreed that white families who adopt children of color need to abandon the naivete of colorblindness and deal with the racial reality their black and brown children face.

Here are their stories:

Chad Goller-Sojourner 

Author and performer Chad Goller-Sojourner used to be afraid of black people, despite being a black person himself. “I used to cross the street when I saw multiples of them. Rap music scared me,” he said.

Raised by white parents in a mostly white community, Goller-Sojourner had an identity that was completely assimilated. “One of the interesting things from when I was younger is when you grow up with white parents, white neighborhood, white church, your default identity is a white kid. Blackness comes later,” he said, adding, “People always reminded me I was black.”

It wasn’t until he went off to college, to a town he described as whiter than his hometown, that he began the work of unpacking his “blackness.” He had to move away from his parents and the privilege of their whiteness to see the reality surrounding him.

Chad Goller-Sojourner (Naomi Ishisaka Photo)

“Regardless of how you got to the front of the line, no one wants to be sent to the back of the line, giving up things you’ve held so dear as white,” Goller-Sojourner said of letting go of his “whiteness.” “Sophomore year, I went to my first black house party … it was like, 12 people. I remember the police came and I thought, ‘Wait a second, over [at white parties], white kids are jumping off the roof, banisters, fire escapes.’ Air was different there. These police officers were looking at us the way I’d look at others before crossing the street.”

After that, he added “Sojourner” to his name, changed his major to African-American studies and launched himself headfirst into better understanding his cultural roots. “All that happened very quickly because I was making up for lost time,” he said.

Of Costner’s film, Goller-Sojourner is wary. “There’s a lot of these movies where the white savior comes up. White people come and save us and everything is good,” he said.

Goller-Sojourner expressed concern that the film, which pits a financially better-off white family against a less-wealthy black one, plays into old white superiority tropes, not telling the full story. For him, it’s not about just meeting the basic needs of a child: race matters. He believes black children should be adopted in pairs when adopted by white parents and that white parents need to immerse themselves in black history and culture, and make black friends.

“If you’re going to adopt kids, it’s the white parents’ obligation to shepherd them in same-race maturation,” he said. “When you have a transracial family, mixed-race family, you’re going outside the normal. Somebody has to be uncomfortable and it shouldn’t be the child. … Your child should not be your first black friend. That’s the bottom line. If you don’t know no black people, why are you trying to bring one to your home?”


 [The comments on this article at THE ROOT are also intensely good…Trace]