Patrick Rael on the 13th Amendment: "First, the “loophole” argument imputes to its framers and judicial interpreters a conspiracy against intentions of full equality that the amendment never included in the first place. All the Thirteenth Amendment did was abolish slavery; it stood virtually moot on the meaning of freedom. This was by design. Antislavery … Continue reading Rael on the 13th Amendment and Mass Incarceration at @AAIHS
"To those who made the spiteful, foolish choice to vote for a sociopath who does not understand let alone value the rule of law, here is the one irreducible fact that you, your children, their children, and theirs will have to live with: YOU left the center. YOU defected from the compact. YOU flipped the game board and went home. YOU broke it, for all of us. When those who had the most cause to do this did not. If you have cause for anger, how much cause have those with deep and longstanding grievances against this country? I’m sorry if that's ungenerous, but what you have done is the essence of ungenerous." - Patrick Rael
Rael at @AAIHS: "1837, leading African American thinkers debated the question in the black press. At issue was whether or not it was right for institutions designed for black uplift to close their doors to whites. On the one hand stood William Whipper, a Philadelphia activist and founder of the bi-racial American Moral Reform Society (AMRS). With him was Robert Purvis, another leading light in Philadelphia’s black abolitionist circles. Both argued against “complexional distinctions,” or the principle that blacks ought to act alone to further their interests. Squared off against the Philadelphians were newspaper editor Samuel Cornish of New York, Henry Highland Garnet, another outspoken black New Yorker, and William J. Watkins, a free black teacher from Baltimore."
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 Rael on Ferguson, Respectability Politics, and the Early Republic
Lincoln's Unfinished Work Patrick Rael (Bowdoin College) Special to African Diaspora, Ph.D. Amidst the widespread discussions of Steven Spielberg's recent film Lincoln, few have sought to place the film within its own tradition of Civil War films. There's nothing new, of course, about focusing a film on the character of Abraham Lincoln, though it has … Continue reading SPECIAL to #ADPhD: Rael on “Lincoln’s Unfinished Work”
Rael, Patrick, ed. African-American Activism before the Civil War: The Freedom Struggle in the Antebellum North. New edition. New York City, NY: Routledge, 2008. From the Routledge website: African-American Activism before the Civil War is the first collection of scholarship on the role of African Americans in the struggle for racial equality in the northern … Continue reading BOOK: Rael, et. al. on African-American Activism