Author Topic: The 1619 Project  (Read 7234 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #45 on: January 26, 2020, 05:22:11 pm »
The 1619 Project



Today, our very manner of speaking recalls the Creole languages that enslaved people innovated in order to communicate both with Africans speaking various dialects and the English-speaking people who enslaved them.

Our style of dress, the extra flair, stems back to the desires of enslaved people — shorn of all individuality — to exert their own identity.

Enslaved people would wear their hat in a jaunty manner or knot their head scarves intricately.

Today’s avant-garde nature of black hairstyles and fashion displays a vibrant reflection of enslaved people’s determination to feel fully human through self- expression.

The improvisational quality of black art and music comes from a culture that because of constant disruption could not cling to convention.

Black naming practices, so often impugned by mainstream society, are themselves an act of resistance.

Our last names belong to the white people who once owned us.

That is why the insistence of many black Americans, particularly those most marginalized, to give our children names that we create, that are neither European nor from Africa, a place we have never been, is an act of self-determination.

When the world listens to quintessential American music, it is our voice they hear.

The sorrow songs we sang in the fields to soothe our physical pain and find hope in a freedom we did not expect to know until we died became American gospel.

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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2020, 06:55:11 am »
The 1619 Project



Amid the devastating violence and poverty of the Mississippi Delta, we birthed Jazz and Blues.



And it was in the deeply impoverished and segregated neighborhoods where white Americans forced the descendants of the enslaved to live that teenagers too poor to buy instruments used old records to create a new music known as Hip-Hop.

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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2020, 04:14:57 pm »
The 1619 Project




Our speech and fashion and the drum of our music echoes Africa but is not African.

Out of our unique isolation, both from our native cultures and from white America, we forged this nation’s most significant original culture.

In turn, ‘‘mainstream’’ society has coveted our style, our slang and our song, seeking to appropriate the one truly American culture as its own.

As Langston Hughes wrote in 1926,


‘‘They’ll see how beautiful I am

And be ashamed —

I, too, am America.’’

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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2020, 07:37:59 am »
The 1619 Project




For centuries, white Americans have been trying to solve the ‘‘Negro problem.’’

They have dedicated thousands of pages to this endeavor.

It is common, still, to point to rates of black poverty, out-of-wedlock births, crime and college attendance, as if these conditions in a country built on a racial caste system are not utterly predictable.

But crucially, you cannot view those statistics while ignoring another:


that black people were enslaved here longer than we have been free.

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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2020, 08:42:39 am »
Thursday, 12th March 2o2o
A clarification to a passage in an essay from The 1619 Project that has sparked a great deal of online debate
by Jake Silverstein




Today we are making a clarification to a passage in an essay from The 1619 Project that has sparked a great deal of online debate.

The passage in question states that one primary reason the colonists fought the American Revolution was to protect the institution of slavery.

This assertion has elicited criticism from some historians and support from others.

We stand behind the basic point, which is that among the various motivations that drove the patriots toward independence was a concern that the British would seek or were already seeking to disrupt in various ways the entrenched system of American slavery.

Versions of this interpretation can be found in much of the scholarship into the origins and character of the Revolution that has marked the past 40 years or so of early American historiography — in part because historians of the past few decades have increasingly scrutinized the role of slavery and the agency of enslaved people in driving events of the Revolutionary period.

That accounting is itself part of a growing acceptance that the patriots represented a truly diverse coalition animated by a variety of interests, which varied by region, class, age, religion and a host of other factors, a point succinctly demonstrated in the title that the historian Alan Taylor chose for his 2016 account of the period:

“American Revolutions.”

If the scholarship of the past several decades has taught us anything, it is that we should be careful not to assume unanimity on the part of the colonists, as many previous interpretive histories of the patriot cause did.

We recognize that our original language could be read to suggest that protecting slavery was a primary motivation for all of the colonists.

The passage has been changed to make clear that this was a primary motivation for some of the colonists.

A note has been appended to the story as well.

Revision and clarification are important parts of historical inquiry, and we are grateful to the many scholars whose insightful advice has helped us decide to make this change, among them:

Danielle Allen,

Carol Anderson,

Christopher L. Brown,

Eric Foner,

Nicholas Guyatt,

Leslie Harris,

Woody Holton,

Martha S. Jones,

Jack N. Rakove,

James Brewer Stewart and David Waldstreicher.

Recently, The New York Times Magazine also hosted a public conversation about this very subject with the historians:


Annette Gordon-Reed,

Eliga H. Gould,

Gerald Horne,

Alan Taylor and Karin Wulf.

These five scholars also helped deepen our sense of the period’s complexity.

One outcome of The 1619 Project that we are grateful for is how it has shown all of us, historians and journalists alike, how important it is to continue to work together to illuminate the past.

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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #50 on: March 13, 2020, 05:22:53 pm »
The 1619 Project



At 43, I am part of the first generation of black Americans in the history of the United States to be born into a society in which black people had full rights of citizenship.


Black people suffered under slavery for 250 years; we have been legally ‘‘free’’ for just 50.


Yet in that briefest of spans, despite continuing to face rampant discrimination, and despite there never having been a genuine effort to redress the wrongs of slavery and the century of racial apartheid that followed, black Americans have made astounding progress, not only for ourselves but also for all Americans.

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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #51 on: March 26, 2020, 05:29:51 am »
Thursday, 26th march 2o2o
Final survivor of transatlantic slave trade revealed to have died 80 years ago

by Storm Gifford







The identity of America’s last captured African slave has been revealed.

Matilda McCrear was just 2 years old when she was abducted in 1860 by slave traders in West Africa.

She, her sister, Sallie; and mother, Grace, survived the long, perilous trek across the Atlantic Ocean, only to be purchased by an Alabama plantation owner named Memorable Creagh, according to Newcastle University researcher Hannah Durkin.

They attempted to escape soon after their arrival but were caught.


When McCrear passed away in 1940, she became the final African-born, American slave to die, according to a remarkable new article published in the online journal Slavery and Abolition.

After being freed, she led an extraordinary life that included a relationship with a Caucasian gentleman.

“She didn’t get married,” claimed Durkin, an American studies professor at the British university.

“Instead, she had a decades-long common-law marriage with a white, German-born man with whom she had 14 children.”


McCrear, who also changed her surname to further distance herself from her slave name of Creagh, apparently fashioned her hair in an African tribal style during her adulthood.

“Even though she left West Africa when she was a toddler, she appears throughout her life to have worn her hair in a traditional Yoruba style,” remarked Durkin.


“A style presumably taught to her by her mother.”

She also sported facial markings usually performed during African traditional rites.

Even after the end of the Civil War, 5-year-old Matilda and her relatives tended the plantation as sharecroppers, according to Durkin, who added that Grace apparently never became fluent in English.


During her later years in the 1930s, she along with several other surviving slaves, sought compensation for their heinous seizure but the case was dismissed.

When McCrear died, there was no obituary.

“There was a lot of stigma attached to having been a slave,” Durkin explained.

“The shame was placed on the people who were enslaved, rather than the slavers.”
















« Last Edit: March 26, 2020, 05:33:17 am by Battle »

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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #52 on: March 29, 2020, 01:46:55 am »
The 1619 Project




What if America understood, finally, in this 400th year, that we have never been the problem but the solution?

When I was a child — I must have been in fifth or sixth grade — a teacher gave our class an assignment intended to celebrate the diversity of the great American melting pot.

She instructed each of us to write a short report on our ancestral land and then draw that nation’s flag.

As she turned to write the assignment on the board, the other black girl in class locked eyes with me.

Slavery had erased any connection we had to an African country, and even if we tried to claim the whole continent, there was no ‘‘African’’ flag.

It was hard enough being one of two black kids in the class, and this assignment would just be another reminder of the distance between the white kids and us.

In the end, I walked over to the globe near my teacher’s desk, picked a random African country and claimed it as my own.

I wish, now, that I could go back to the younger me and tell her that her people’s ancestry started here, on these lands, and to boldly, proudly, draw the stars and those stripes of the American flag.

We were told once, by virtue of our bondage, that we could never be American.

But it was by virtue of our bondage that we became the most American of all.

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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #53 on: March 31, 2020, 02:12:31 pm »
Tuesday, 31st March 2o2o
U.S. Appeals Court Blocks Release of Grand Jury Records in 1946 Mass Lynching Case
by Neil Vigdor





A federal appeals court has ordered that grand jury evidence long sought by civil rights activists and historians in a 1946 mass lynching case in rural Georgia must remain sealed.

Despite the historical significance of the case, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta ruled Friday that federal judges do not have the authority to unseal federal grand jury records, except for a limited set of circumstances governing grand jury rules of secrecy.

The 8-to-4 decision reversed a lower court’s ruling in 2017 that the evidence should be unsealed.

That ruling, which had been viewed as a breakthrough in the unsolved murders of two black couples in 1946 by a mob of white men in Walton County, Ga., was also affirmed in 2019 by a three-judge panel made up of members of the circuit court, which heard the case after the Justice Department appealed the lower court’s decision.

Last June, the full court voted to rehear the case, which led to Friday’s ruling.

The victims in the lynchings, Roger and Dorothy Malcom and George and Mae Murray Dorsey, were dragged from their car at gunpoint on July 25, 1946, tied up and shot about 60 times at close range in the attack, which was widely considered to be one of the last mass lynchings in American history.

It came to be known as the Moore’s Ford lynchings.

“I think history demands a full disclosure of the truth surrounding this important civil rights case,” Joseph J. Bell Jr., a lawyer who has fought for the release of the records for seven years, said in an interview on Monday.

Mr. Bell’s client, Anthony Pitch, an author and historian, had sued for the release of the records, which have been kept at the National Archives.

Mr. Pitch died last year, so his widow has taken up the cause.

Mr. Bell said he planned to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Why were 2,790 people interviewed?” Mr. Bell said of the investigation.

“One hundred and six witnesses testified before a grand jury for 16 days and no one has been brought to justice?”

The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday night.

In a 2011 letter to a judicial rules committee, Eric Holder, then the U.S. attorney general, said that federal courts should be allowed to disclose grand jury materials of great historical significance.

The rules committee opted not to proceed with the recommendation, the circuit court’s ruling said.

The lynchings prompted Martin Luther King Jr., then 17, to write a letter to what was then The Atlanta Constitution about the plight of black people in America and set off a wide-scale investigation by the F.B.I. under the agency’s director, J. Edgar Hoover.

The killings took place about 60 miles east of Atlanta, where the Moore’s Ford Bridge crosses the Apalachee River.

Laura Wexler, who wrote a book about the lynchings called “Fire in a Canebrake,” a reference to the gunshot sound of thicket burning, said in an interview on Monday that the ruling was disappointing.

“Not being able to see those grand jury documents means there’s so many things we don’t know,” Ms. Wexler said.

“How the hell was nobody indicted in this?”

Ms. Wexler, who has also been involved in the records fight, said that she wanted to know how the police and the F.B.I. handled the investigation and whether grand jury witnesses, some of whom were African-American, felt intimidated.

“What happened in that jury room?” she said.

“I think the storyteller in me as well as the historian is just hungry for that. Without it, it’s just like the story ends in midsentence.”













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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #54 on: April 04, 2020, 01:02:52 am »
Saturday, 4th April 2o2o
Georgia prosecutor to expunge King Jr's 1960 Atlanta arrest
by Associated Press




(ATLANTA, Georgia) — A county prosecutor in Georgia said he will expunge Martin Luther King Jr.'s record for his trespassing arrest during a 1960 sit-in protesting the segregated dining rooms at an Atlanta department store.

Fulton County Solicitor General Keith Gammage told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution he is also interested in erasing the records of all other civil rights workers who were arrested in Atlanta.

“I always had in my mind, what effect would it have if we expunged the record for arrests of Martin Luther King Jr and the other civil rights protesters and called those arrests what they were — unconstitutional and biased arrests?” said Gammage, 48, who also serves on the board of trustees at King’s Ebenezer Baptist Church.

“There is a gap between social justice-related protests and activism, and a true criminal offense," Gammage said.

But some civil rights advocates said they wouldn't want their civil disobedience records expunged.

“That is part of my history as a civil rights worker,” Bernard LaFayette, who was arrested 30 times, told the paper.

King biographer Clayborne Carson also was arrested for his work as a civil rights activist.

He told the Journal-Constitution it is a “badge of honor, and it doesn’t change the historical reality that you were arrested.”

Gammage said he's had positive conversations with the King family about his plan and wouldn’t do it without their support.

Gammage's office is responsible for prosecuting misdemeanors and code violations, such as shoplifting and trespassing.

Since 2017, he's cleared the records of more than 3,000 people whose non-violent and low-level charges were keeping them from getting jobs or obtaining housing, the Journal-Constitution reported.

King joined the Atlanta Student Movement 's campaign of boycotts and sit-ins on October 19th, 1960, and was arrested after asking to be served in a whites-only dining room at Rich's Department Store.

The trespassing charges were swiftly dropped and all the protesters were let go except for King.

In neighboring DeKalb County, a judge ruled that King's arrest violated his probation for a misdemeanor traffic citation, and sentenced him to four months hard labor.

He was finally released after John and Robert Kennedy intervened, days before the presidential election.

During his life, King was arrested more than two dozen times.

Gammage's decision will have no effect on King's arrests outside Fulton County, but the solicitor general said he would encourage other jurisdictions to start similar discussions.
















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Re: The 1619 Project
« Reply #55 on: Today at 12:21:23 pm »
Monday, 25th May 2o2o
We Know Why COVID-19 Is Killing So Many Black People
by Sabrina Strings




About five years ago, I was invited to sit in on a meeting about health in the African-American community.

Several important figures in the fields of public health and economics were present.

A freshly minted Ph.D., I felt strangely like an interloper.

I was also the only black person in the room.

One of the facilitators introduced me to the other participants and said something to the effect of

“Sabrina, what do you think? Why are black people sick?”

It was a question asked in earnest.

Some of the experts had devoted their entire careers to addressing questions surrounding racial health inequities.

Years of research, and in some instances failed interventions, had left them baffled.

Why are black people so sick?

My answer was swift and unequivocal.

“Slavery.”

My colleagues looked befuddled as they tried to come to terms with my reply.

I meant what I said:

The era of slavery was when white Americans determined that black Americans needed only the bare necessities, not enough to keep them optimally safe and healthy.

It set in motion black people’s diminished access to healthy foods, safe working conditions, medical treatment and a host of other social inequities that negatively impact health.

This message is particularly important in a moment when African-Americans have experienced the highest rates of severe complications and death from the virus and “obesity” has surfaced as an explanation.

The cultural narrative that black people’s weight is a harbinger of disease and death has long served as a dangerous distraction from the real sources of inequality, and it’s happening again.

Reliable data are hard to come by, but available analyses show that on average, the rate of black fatalities is 2.4 times that of whites with Covid-19.

In states including Michigan, Kansas and Wisconsin and in Washington, D.C., that ratio jumps to five to seven black people dying of Covid-19 complications for every one white death.

Despite the lack of clarity surrounding these findings, one interpretation of these disparities that has gained traction is the idea that black people are unduly obese (currently defined as a body mass index greater than 30) which is seen as a driver of other chronic illnesses and is believed to put black people at high risk for serious complications from Covid-19.

These claims have received intense media attention, despite the fact that scientists haven’t been able to sufficiently explain the link between obesity and Covid-19.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 42.2 percent of white Americans and 49.6 percent of African-Americans are obese.

Researchers have yet to clarify how a 7 percentage-point disparity in obesity prevalence translates to a 240 percent-700 percent disparity in fatalities.

Experts have raised questions about the rush to implicate obesity, and especially “severe obesity” (B.M.I. greater than 40), as a factor in COVID-19 complications.

An article in the medical journal The Lancet evaluated Britain’s inclusion of obesity as a risk factor for virus complications and retorted,

“To date, no available data show adverse Covid-19 outcomes specifically in people with a BMI of 40 kg/m2.”

The authors concluded,

“The scarcity of information regarding the increased risk of illness for people with a BMI higher than 40 kg/m2 has led to ambiguity and might increase anxiety, given that these individuals have now been categorised as vulnerable to severe illness if they contract Covid-19.”

Promoting strained associations between race, body size, and complications from this little-understood disease has served to reinforce an image of black people as wholly swept up in sensuous pleasures like eating and drinking, which supposedly makes our unruly bodies repositories of preventable weight-related illnesses.

The attitudes I see today have echoes of what I described in “Fearing the Black Body: The Racial Origins of Fat Phobia.”

My research showed that anti-fat attitudes originated not with medical findings, but with Enlightenment-era belief that overfeeding and fatness were evidence of “savagery” and racial inferiority.

Today, the stakes of these discussions could not be higher.

When I learned about guidelines suggesting that doctors may use existing health conditions, including obesity, to deny or limit eligibility to lifesaving virus treatments, I couldn’t help thinking of the slavery-era debates I’ve studied about whether or not so-called “constitutionally weak” African-Americans should receive medical care.

Fortunately, since that event I attended five years ago, experts focused on the health of African-Americans have continued to work to direct the nation’s attention away from individual-level factors.

The New York Times’ The 1619 Project featured essays detailing how the legacy of slavery impacted health and health care for African-Americans and explaining how, since the since the era of slavery, black people’s bodies have been labeled congenitally diseased and undeserving of access to lifesaving treatments.

In a recent essay addressing Covid-19 specifically, Rashawn Ray underscored the legacy of redlining that pushed black people into poor, densely populated communities often with limited access to health care.

And he pointed out that black people are overrepresented in service positions and as essential workers who have greater exposure than those with the luxury of sheltering in place.

Ibram X. Kendi has written that the “irresponsible behavior of disproportionately poor people of color” — often cited as an important factor in health disparities — is a scapegoat directing American’s attention from the centrality of systemic racism in current racial health inequities.

Evaluating the inadequate and questionable data about race, weight and Covid-19 complications with these insights in mind makes it clear that obesity — and its affiliated, if incorrect implication of poor lifestyle choices — should not be front and center when it comes to understanding how this pandemic has affected African-Americans.

Even before Covid-19, black Americans had higher rates of multiple chronic illnesses and a lower life expectancy than white Americans, regardless of weight.

This is an indication that our social structures are failing us.
 
These failings — and the accompanying embrace of the belief that black bodies are uniquely flawed — are rooted in a shameful era of American history that took place hundreds of years before this pandemic.