Bree Newsome Speaks Out After Her Act of Civil Disobedience

At dawn on June 27, 2015, Bree Newsome (with support from local activists) scaled the flag pole in front of South Carolina’s courthouse in Charleston, and took down the Confederate flag. She was immediately arrested and posted bail (thanks, in part, to crowdfunded support from Color of Change and Ferguson Action).

In an exclusive statement published at Blue Nation Review, Bree Newsome explained what she did and why:

“We discussed it and decided to remove the flag immediately, both as an act of civil disobedience and as a demonstration of the power people have when we work together. Achieving this would require many roles, including someone who must volunteer to scale the pole and remove the flag. It was decided that this role should go to a black woman and that a white man should be the one to help her over the fence as a sign that our alliance transcended both racial and gender divides. We made this decision because for us, this is not simply about a flag, but rather it is about abolishing the spirit of hatred and oppression in all its forms.

I removed the flag not only in defiance of those who enslaved my ancestors in the southern United States, but also in defiance of the oppression that continues against black people globally in 2015, including the ongoing ethnic cleansing in the Dominican Republic. I did it in solidarity with the South African students who toppled a statue of the white supremacist, colonialist Cecil Rhodes. I did it for all the fierce black women on the front lines of the movement and for all the little black girls who are watching us. I did it because I am free….”

Read the entire statement: EXCLUSIVE: Bree Newsome Speaks For The First Time After Courageous Act of Civil Disobedience.

For updates follow ColorOfChange.org and @fergusonaction on Twitter (relevant hashtags: #FreeBree, #BreeNewsome, #KeepItDown)

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Rothman Remarks on Marguerite Thompson’s Petition for Freedom

Adam Rothman remarks on a freed woman of color’s petition for manumission, posted by the National Archives on June 30, 2015:

“…One aspect of Marguerite Thompson’s petition that drew my attention is the fact that she submitted her petition to the Judge Charles Peabody’s U.S. Provisional Court (USPC). This court was established by the United States after Union forces seized New Orleans in 1862. Legal scholar John Gordan writes that “the most legally dramatic of the Provisional Court’s activities was its granting of manumission petitions by slaveholders.” (See Gordan’s article, “New York Justice in Civil War Louisiana,” Judicial Notice 8, p. 20)

As Gordan reveals, one of those slaveholders who appealed to Judge Peabody to manumit his slaves was the lawyer Thomas Jefferson Durant, who later represented Rose Herera in her quest to recover her children.

Read the rest: Marguerite Thompson’s Petition | Beyond Freedom’s Reach: A Kidnapping in the Twilight of Slavery.

BOOK: Finch on La Escalera Rebellion and Enslaved Resistance in Cuba

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Aisha K. Finch, Rethinking Slave Rebellion in Cuba: La Escalera and the Insurgencies of 1841-1844. University of North Carolina Press, 2015.

via UNC Press:

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BOOK: Millward on Charity Folks, Free and Enslaved Women in Maryland

Millward_Charity_Folk

Jessica Millward, Finding Charity’s Folk: Enslaved and Free Black Women in Maryland. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2015.

via UGA Press:

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DIGITAL: French Revolution Digital Archive

Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog (Archived)

In digital francophonie noire:

“The French Revolution Digital Archive emerged from the expressed need by scholars of the French Revolution to gain greater and more flexible access to their sources. The French Revolution itself produced scores of documents by participants, spectators, and critics. These materials include texts of all sorts – legal documents, pamphlet literature, belles lettres, musical compositions, and a rich imagery. Dispersed in libraries and archives, hidden in documental series and in short individual pamphlets, this diverse documentary heritage can now be offered to scholars in a digital format. The French Revolution Digital Archive brings together two foundational sources for research: the Archives parlementaires (hereafter AP) and a vast collection of images selected from the collections of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Both of these corpora were included in the important “French Revolution Research Collection” produced by the BnF and the Pergamon Press for the bicentennial of the…

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DIGITAL: The Arabella Chapman Project

Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog (Archived)

Arabella Chapman, Vol 1, page 13

A project out University of Michigan that digitized two 19th-century photo albums owned by an African-American woman named Arabella “Bella” Chapman recently went live:

The Arabella Chapman Project brings together students and scholars of African American history and culture to explore the role of visual culture, especially photography, as a critical dimension of the everyday life and politics of black Americans at the end of the nineteenth century.

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DIGITAL: The Colored Conventions Project

Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog (Archived)

“Mary A. Shadd,” ColoredConventions.org, accessed February 24, 2015, http://coloredconventions.org/items/show/205. “Mary A. Shadd,” ColoredConventions.org, accessed February 24, 2015, http://coloredconventions.org/items/show/205.

“From 1830 until well after the Civil War, free and fugitive Blacks came together in state and national political “Colored Conventions.” Before the war, they strategized about how to achieve educational, labor and legal justice at a moment when Black rights were constricting nationally and locally. And after the war, they continued to convene to discuss local, national and international possibilities, problems and challenges.

The delegates to these meetings included the most well-known, if mostly male, writers, organizers, church leaders, newspaper editors, and entrepreneurs in the canon of early African-American leadership—and many whose names and histories have long been forgotten. All that is left of this phenomenal effort are the minutes. Even these materials are rare and can only be accessed through out-of-print volumes.

This project seeks to not only learn about the lives of these male delegates, the places where…

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Johnson on Time, Space, and Memory at Whitney Plantation (Louisiana)

If your summer travels take you to Louisiana, be sure to visit Whitney Plantation in Wallace, Louisiana (about forty miles from New Orleans). See below for #ADPhD Founder and Curator Jessica Marie Johnson’s reflection on her visit last February….

Johnson on Time, Space, and Memory at Whitney Plantation

“Each statue represents a person. Most represent one of the thirty odd men and women who experienced slavery in Louisiana as a child and was interviewed by Works Progress Administration investigators in the 1930s as an elder. A handful represent a child who labored at the plantation site at some point in its history, a child with a story we now know.

Each child has a name. They have identities and histories. They are neither nameless nor voiceless, as so many subaltern historical subjects are, particularly in histories of slavery. They have already spoken. The statues and everything they represent also give lie to the presumption that the enslaved left no stories, no words worth mentioning or remembering. Or believing.

By choosing to engage the visitors through a historically African-American church filled with statues of enslaved children, Ibrahima Seck, the Director of Research, does more than memorialize the original interviewees and enslaved members of the Haydel/Whitney Plantation site. Seck and the Whitney staff force us to enter the plantation by walking past, watching, and being watched by enslaved themselves. The figures act as artifacts of and portals into the words and lives of residents of Louisiana who experienced slavery, who engaged Writers’ Project interviewers as experts in their own lives. Confronted with their familiars, we are challenged to take them seriously as the only experts that matter. As intellectuals in their own right and masters of their own words and worlds.

This is the visitor’s introduction to the Whitney Plantation and Slave Museum…”

Read the rest at AAIHS: Time, Space, and Memory at Whitney Plantation

 

The #QSWG is Digital Archive No. 15 on Africa is a Country!

Diaspora Hypertext, the Blog (Archived)

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Thanks Liz Timbs for the great write up:

“Since I first started out selecting digital projects for this series, I have been struck by the wide range of forms and types of digital projects that have been and are being developed on Africa and the African Diaspora.  Although I could write on digital archives each week (and likely never get through them all), my post last week inspired me to think outside of the box and look at other styles and modes of digital engagement.  This week’s featured project, the Queering Slavery Working Group, is one of these new kinds of projects, a digital hybrid merging academic investigation with digital activism….”

Read the rest: Digital Archive No. 15–The Queering Slavery Working Group | Africa is a Country.

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