Caption: Effects of the Fugitive-Slave-Law. Hoff & Bloede New York, 1850 (Source: Library of Congress)    http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2008661523/

Amrita Chakrabarti Myers: “…they would have been abolitionists.”

In response to the recent election, #ADPhD is sharing reflections, short takes, and responses from scholars of slavery. To submit yours, click here.

On November 18, 2016, in light of the recent election, Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, associate professor of history at Indiana University-Bloomington offered this reminder on Facebook of what standing up against injustice has meant, across time and place.

I’ve often heard people say that if they’d been alive during slavery, they would have been abolitionists.
Continue reading “Amrita Chakrabarti Myers: “…they would have been abolitionists.””

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AUDIO: American Exodus: A History of Emigration [rebroadcast] by BackStory

In response to the recent election, #ADPhD is sharing reflections, short takes, and responses from scholars of slavery. To submit yours, click here. On November 11, 2016, in light of the recent election, the BackStory podcast rebroadcast its episode on emigration and immigration, which included stories on free blacks who sailed to Liberia during the 19th century: “With Donald Trump vowing to keep undocumented Mexicans … Continue reading AUDIO: American Exodus: A History of Emigration [rebroadcast] by BackStory

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Johnson: “Yet Lives and Fights”: Riots, Resistance, and Reconstruction | @AAIHS

In response to the recent election, #ADPhD is sharing reflections, short takes, and responses from scholars of slavery. To submit yours, click here.

On November 12, 2016, in light of the recent election, Jessica Marie Johnson published this essay on the African American Intellectual History Society blog:

Continue reading “Johnson: “Yet Lives and Fights”: Riots, Resistance, and Reconstruction | @AAIHS”

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Petrella on Slavery, Democracy, and the Racialized Roots of the Electoral College | @AAIHS

In response to the recent election, #ADPhD is sharing reflections, short takes, and responses from scholars of slavery. To submit yours, click here.

On November 14, 2016, in light of the recent election, the Christopher F. Petrella published this essay on the African American Intellectual History Society blog:

Petrella writes:

“In a direct election system, the North would have outnumbered the South (which had a large population but far fewer eligible voters), whose roughly 550,000 enslaved black people were disenfranchised. Delegates from the South generally supported Madison’s idea of the Electoral College over a direct election system because it was based solely on population volume, not citizenship status or enfranchisement. In conjunction, and at Madison’s urging, the convention agreed to count each enslaved black person as three-fifths of a citizen for the purpose of calculating each state’s representation in the Electoral College and in the allotment of congressional seats.”

Continue reading “Petrella on Slavery, Democracy, and the Racialized Roots of the Electoral College | @AAIHS”

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Susan Eva O’Donovan: “To stand by silently…makes us look profoundly stupid and cruel and racist too.”

In response to the recent election, #ADPhD is sharing reflections, short takes, and responses from scholars of slavery. To submit yours, click here.

On November 14, 2016, news outlets reported that a West Virginian official — Clay County Development Corporation Director Pamela Ramsey – made the following statement comparing First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama to Melania Trump on Facebook: “It will be refreshing to have a classy, beautiful, dignified First Lady in the White House. I’m tired of seeing an ape in heels.” Susan Eve O’Donovan, associate professor of history at the University of Memphis, took to Facebook to put the the statement in context when a follower questioned whether or not Ramsey’s words were racist. Her post is republished here with her permission:

[name redacted], the Ape reference is reprehensible due to centuries of ‘scientific’ racism that insistently located people of color at or at best one step above apes. See for instance this: one of the more infamous images of this kind of despicable thinking:

Continue reading “Susan Eva O’Donovan: “To stand by silently…makes us look profoundly stupid and cruel and racist too.””

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Alex Gil: “This double voice that could pass the censors was key to their survival.”

In response to the recent election, #ADPhD is sharing reflections, short takes, and responses from scholars of slavery. To submit yours, click here.

On November 12 and 14, 2016, Alex Gil, Digital Scholarship Coordinator at Columbia University and one of the editors of sx:archipelagos (the born-digital iteration of Small Axe) posted these reflections on Facebook. They are republished here with his permission.
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Tropiques, 1941

On November 12, 2016

Yo me he pasado una gran parte de mi vida estudiando a un solo poeta, Aimé Césaire. En 1941, cuando los fascistas blancos ya ocupaban su isla de Martinique, este poeta se dedicó a escribir una obra de teatro en secreto:

“Et les chiens se taisaient” (Y los perros se callaban).
Continue reading “Alex Gil: “This double voice that could pass the censors was key to their survival.””

Printed on image: "Negro killed." "Greeley ratification." "K.K.K." Written on border: "Killed by KKK." "Oct 19, 1872." via NYPL Archives http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-fc2c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

Patrick Rael: “I’m afraid that we are now all about to receive a terrible lesson in matters the least of us have been weaned on for generations.”

In response to the recent election, #ADPhD is sharing reflections, short takes, and responses from scholars of slavery. To submit yours, click here.

On November 12, 2016, Patrick Rael, professor of history and scholar of slavery at Bowdoin College, posted this reflection on Facebook. It is republished here with his permission:
inted on image: "Negro killed." "Greeley ratification." "K.K.K." Written on border: "Killed by KKK." "Oct 19, 1872." via NYPL Archives http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e0-fc2c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Printed on image: “Negro killed.” “Greeley ratification.” “K.K.K.” Written on border: “Killed by KKK.” “Oct 19, 1872.” via NYPL Archives

 

I’ve spent most of my life now studying my country’s history, and in particular the ways it has so consistently, so systemically, failed to live up to its ideals. Those are the ideals that justified its bloody founding, the ideals Americans say make their country exceptional. We are a beacon of liberty in a world of darkness, are we not?

For me, it’s always seemed like basic honesty to be willing to test those claims against the historical reality. No one likes a hypocrite, right? — especially when fundamental principles like freedom and equality are at stake. We wouldn’t want to be like those other places — the places we despise, the places we promise we can never become. The places that proclaim their principles only to traduce them when it’s convenient.

That’s why we study history. And if we have the strength to see, we learn that from its very inception ours has been a deeply flawed democracy. Our past is replete — with genocide, slavery, racism, labor exploitation, misogyny, intolerance, mob rule, lynching, and state-sponsored violence of every sort. Every hero we honor — from Martin Luther King, Jr., to Susan B. Anthony, to Caesar Chavez — was spat on and shat on, by mobs composed of our grandfathers and great grandmothers and great great aunts and uncles and distant kin we’ll never name. Those relatives collected the ashen bones of the prophets and made trophies of the flesh that remained.

Somehow, it’s always supposed to come right. Somehow, we tell ourselves, it’ll work out. This is America, after all. We’ve seen the movie. The bigots are always overcome and the path toward a fuller democracy is always set right.
Continue reading “Patrick Rael: “I’m afraid that we are now all about to receive a terrible lesson in matters the least of us have been weaned on for generations.””

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Post-Election Editor’s Note: #ADPhD is at Your Service

Historians of Atlantic slavery: African Diaspora, Ph.D. is at your service. Which primary sources can you share that are helping you move through these times? What moments in history do we need to be reminded up that remind you of now? How does our subject inform our present? If you are writing essays on Facebook–may we archive those on the blog? Are you writing elsewhere?  … Continue reading Post-Election Editor’s Note: #ADPhD is at Your Service