Patrick Rael

Rael on Ferguson, Respectability Politics, and the Early Republic

Six months after the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, it is worth revisiting scholars’ reflections on what his death, extrajudicial killings of people of African descent, and histories of slavery and diaspora have in common. Last August, Patrick Rael placed present-day re-articulations of respectability politics against a long history of black political rhetoric, … Continue reading

Foner on the Underground Railroad (NYTimes.com)
Eric Foner

Foner on the Underground Railroad (NYTimes.com)

Eric Foner on revisiting histories of the Underground Railroad: “That view largely held among scholars until 1961, when the historian Larry Gara published “The Liberty Line,” a slashing revisionist study that dismissed the Underground Railroad as a myth and argued that most fugitive slaves escaped at their own initiative, with little help from organized abolitionists. … Continue reading

George E. O'Malley

O’Malley on Balancing the Empirical and the Humane in Slave Trade Studies

George E. O’Malley discusses balancing quantitative analyses of slavery with understanding slaves’ experiences of bondage: “In learning about the cultures enslaved people created in various American regions, I had become convinced that historians needed to ground such research in a better understanding of the networks that delivered enslaved people to the Americas. After all, where … Continue reading

Berry and Morgan: #Blacklivesmatter Till They Don’t: Slavery’s Lasting Legacy
Daina Ramey Berry / Jennifer Morgan

Berry and Morgan: #Blacklivesmatter Till They Don’t: Slavery’s Lasting Legacy

“We live in a nation that has yet to grapple with the history of slavery and its afterlife.” – Daina Ramey Berry and Jennifer L. Morgan In an essay for The American Prospect, slavery scholars Daina Ramey Berry and Jennifer L. Morgan place #blacklivesmatter protests around the world in context with “the historical value of … Continue reading

TALK: The Race for Digitality | Roopika Risam
Roopika Risam

TALK: The Race for Digitality | Roopika Risam

At African Diaspora 2.0, Roopika Risam of #DHPoco: Postcolonial Digital Humanities discussed the tension between digital humanities and African diaspora studies. An excerpt: “…In the race for digitality, we find ourselves struggling to understand the relationship between our deep investments in discourses like intersectional feminism or critical race theory and digital humanities. The burden of … Continue reading

Edward E. Baptist

Baptist on What Whites Refuse to Believe About Slavery | The Guardian

“In 1845, Frederick Douglass, a fugitive from slavery, joined dozens of white passengers on the British ship Cambria in New York harbor. Somewhere out on the Atlantic, the other passengers discovered that the African American activist in their midst had just published a sensational autobiography. They convinced the captain to host a sort of salon, … Continue reading

Baptist On “What the Economist Doesn’t Get About Slavery” in POLITICO Magazine
Edward E. Baptist

Baptist On “What the Economist Doesn’t Get About Slavery” in POLITICO Magazine

“We think of authors as people who lay themselves bare in their books, but perhaps reviewers of books reveal their innermost fears and beliefs as well. That can be true even when—as in the distinguished British periodical the Economist, founded in 1843—the reviewers hide behind anonymity. When Mr./Ms. Anonymous of the Economist reviewed my book … Continue reading

ESSAY: Salgado on Art in Schomburg’s Black Atlantic
César A. Salgado

ESSAY: Salgado on Art in Schomburg’s Black Atlantic

César A. Salgado | The Visual Arts in Arturo A. Schomburg’s Black Atlantic: “…Although there is no date on the prospectus, Schomburg’s book project on Negro Painters was part of the third and last phase in his career as a Harlem/Brooklyn intellectual, antiquarian, and race leader. This phase begins in 1926, after he sells his … Continue reading

Donald R. Shaffer

ESSAY: Shaffer on Emancipation and “What Mattered More?”

As 1862 drew to a close, as far as emancipation was concerned the nation’s attention was riveted on whether President Abraham Lincoln would finalize the Emancipation Proclamation. They had little to worry about on that score. In the last days of 1862, Lincoln and his cabinet were not debating whether the administration should go ahead … Continue reading