Posts Tagged slavery

Belle navigates blurred lines of race, gender and class in 18th Century Britain

One might as well begin with this painting.

In this image, we see two women of status, Dido Elizabeth Belle alongside her cousin, white Lady Elizabeth Murray. It is an oil portrait from 1779. I’m no art historian, but I can tell you that the image communicated an intimacy and nod towards an equality in social status that I hadn’t seen in European paintings of dark skinned peoples from the medieval through to the Victorian period. A great Tumblr, People of Color in European Art History has collected a host of images and in most of them, the darker body is subordinate to the lighter body. While Murray assumes considerable real estate in the foreground ...

One might as well begin with this painting.

In this image, we see two women of status, Dido Elizabeth Belle alongside her cousin, white Lady Elizabeth Murray. It is an oil portrait from 1779. I’m no ...

Quick Hit: Why I Visit Sites of Slavery

When Ani DiFranco decided to host a creative retreat at the Nottoway Plantation, she clearly didn’t think about what kind of statement she was making.

It is evident that she did not stop to consider how hosting a retreat at a plantation that at one point enslaved 150 humans helps to reinforce our historical amnesia and romanticization when it comes to the brutality that was slavery. Many bloggers quickly explained just what was so messed up about the whole debacle, which made me feel a bit better, but also left me feeling slightly unsettled. Where is the line between indulging in rosy-colored stories of happy slaves and remembering the suffering that our nation was built upon? Can we ...

When Ani DiFranco decided to host a creative retreat at the Nottoway Plantation, she clearly didn’t think about what kind of statement she was making.

It is evident that she did not stop to consider ...

Infographic: This is what slavery today looks like

As I write this, more than 29 million people are living in slavery. This statistic comes from the first index on modern-day slavery in 162 countries, released by the Australia-based Walk Free Foundation on Thursday. According to the Foundation, slavery today includes forced labor and human trafficking. While India has the greatest number of slaves, the country with the biggest percentage of the population living in slavery is Mauritania. Infographics after the jump.

As I write this, more than 29 million people are living in slavery. This statistic comes from the first index on modern-day slavery in 162 countries, released by the Australia-based Walk Free ...

It’s Juneteenth 2013. More Black people are in prison than were slaves and Paula Deen wants to bring slavery back

Today is June 19, or Juneteenth. While the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, slaves in Texas didn’t find out slavery was over until June 19, 1865, hence commemorating this date as the end of legal slavery in the US.

As Phillipe Copeland points out, the prison system was quickly positioned to take the place of slavery through the 13th amendment:

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” (emphasis mine)

If the architects of the 13th Amendment really wanted to abolish slavery, why make an exception for criminal convictions? Given that slavery at that time ...

Today is June 19, or Juneteenth. While the Emancipation Proclamation was signed on January 1, 1863, slaves in Texas didn’t find out slavery was over until June 19, 1865, hence commemorating this date as the end ...

Throwback Thursday: The audacity of Phyllis Wheatley as observed by June Jordan

We live in strange times. Yesterday, as Zerlina has discussed, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments over Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. And while Scalia barked that VRA is the “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” less than half a mile away, the Rosa Parks Statue was unveiled at the Capital Building in honor of Park’s activism that ignited the Civil Rights Movement. The same building that was built by African slaves. Yesterday was also the 71st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s upholding the 19th amendment that protected the right to vote for women. What a strange and poetic irony of a day was February 27, 2013; a normal day in American life, proof of our complicate history ...

We live in strange times. Yesterday, as Zerlina has discussed, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments over Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act. And while Scalia barked that VRA is the “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” ...

Quentin Tarantino is trolling you and “Django Unchained” is awesome for what it is

If you found yourself upset about the new movie “Django Unchained,” your first mistake was probably listening to anything Quentin Tarantino said about his new film before it premiered. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Tarantino claimed his new movie “Django” is more authentic than the classic miniseries Roots and I’m here to tell you that Tarantino is out here trolling you, and it’s working.

He’s baiting folks like Spike Lee and other critics of the film, who find Tarantino’s portrayal of slavery “disrespectful.” By comparing his film to “Roots,” Tarantino is simply creating controversy, so that more people go see the movie, and it’s totally working as “Django” has made $64 million in a few weeks time.

First ...

If you found yourself upset about the new movie “Django Unchained,” your first mistake was probably listening to anything Quentin Tarantino said about his new film before it premiered. In an interview with The Daily Beast, ...

On Juneteenth, idleness, legacy and history

My grandmother tells me that in Tennessee, this day, the day the slaves caught word that they had been freed by President Lincoln by executive proclamation in January 1863, was on August 8, 1865. But she’d add, still, we celebrate this day, June 19th, as Juneteenth, the official day as the end of intergenerational, black chattel slavery. The Root has a thorough accounting of the delay by the Union in spreading the ‘good news’. Melissa Harris-Perry also offers a history lesson in context for us:

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My grandmother tells me that in Tennessee, this day, the day the slaves caught word that they had been freed by President Lincoln by executive proclamation in January 1863, was on August 8, 1865. But she’d add, ...

Michele Bachman, “The US was founded on diversity.”

Michele Bachman proves to us that you don’t need to know a lot about American history to work in the American government. She typifies the “fake it till you make it,” ethos of young professionals, except when she fakes it she gets it all wrong, making you wonder if she really just believes the things she says. At a meeting in Iowa on tax relief Bachman went into why she loves the United States so damn much saying,

“How unique in all of the world, that one nation that was the resting point from people groups all across the world. It didn’t matter the color of their skin, it didn’t matter their language, it didn’t matter their economic status. Once you got ...

Michele Bachman proves to us that you don’t need to know a lot about American history to work in the American government. She typifies the “fake it till you make it,” ethos of young professionals, except when ...