(05-27-2018, updated 08-02-2018) So segregation held African Americans back until the Civil Rights Movement. But there has been no institutional racism since, so they have no excuse for being less well off today, do they? And what about poor white people? Well, it just so happens that two recent reports dispute the myths about the wealth gap between whites and people of color.
(05-16-2018, updated 07-08-2018) To discuss race and real estate, we must go back the beginning of white land use in America. Slavery gave the white South land ownership, labor, currency, collateral and political clout. The wealth and power of the large plantation owners -- the richest and largest property owners in the country --depended entirely on the number of slaves they owned.
(05-1-2018, updated 07-08-2018) How Segregated Housing Policies and Redlining Led to Racial Housing Disparity. How did we get to so many impoverished black neighborhoods, especially inner-city neighborhoods? It wasn't inevitable. A brief history of black housing.
(05-07-2018, updated 07-11-2018) Institutional Racism, Past and Present. A question I saw on Facebook, "What have whites done, since slavery, to prevent blacks from succeeding? Why do we owe them anything?" This series explores centuries of institutional racism, the many creative ways that whites have systematically excluded blacks from the American dream.
(02-23-2018, updated 07-08-2018) The Black America Show: Slavery as Entertainment. Like Buffalo Bill's "Wild West Show", but about the Old South. A news headline called it a show about the “Fun-Loving Darky of Old Slavery Days.” I kid you not. This may well have been the beginning of Southern revisionist history: whitewashing Southern slavery and romanticizing the antebellum South.
(01-16-2018, updated 07-11-2018) The 13th Amendment Loophole Kept Slavery Alive. The 1800s interstate slave trade between the slave-breeding states and the Deep South was especially lucrative. Slave trader Isaac Franklin (1789 - 1846) became one of the South's richest men and the owner of land in several states. He named one piece of land in Louisiana 'Angola'.
(10-29-2017, updated 07-11-2018) Propaganda, Censorship and Other Suppression of Dissent. The fascist attitude: if you're not for us, you're against us and therefore an enemy of the state. Suppression of opposition is key. Book bans, book burning, press censorship, etc. The flip side of government suppression of dissent is government propaganda. Distorting facts and history to create a convenient story to force-feed to the masses.
(08-31-2017, updated 07-12-2018) Also, My Own White Privilege and a Peek at Life While Black in Trump Country. Topic: white privilege and responsibility for racial disparity in the Trump era. Am I a racist? Are you a racist? Many whites say they're not racist, but neither are they responsible for race problems they didn't cause. Here are my thoughts, about Dutch responsibility, my personal privilege and responsibility, and a few shocking encounters.
(08-14-2017, updated 07-12-2018) Hostages, Domestic Abuse Victims, White Southerners, Working-Class Trump Supporters and Cognitive Dissonance. I read this and sympathized. Just like Trump's base always believes him, despite overwhelming evidence that he's lying. They won't face facts either. Why do they act against their own interests? Collective Stockholm Syndrome and Battered Wife Syndrome could offer some insight.
(11-18-2015, updated 07-14-2018) This explains American lack of historical perspective, the weird nationalist pride, the idolization of individuals and the notion that universities are communist breeding grounds. Loewen argues that high school history textbooks are the source of the problem.
(11-17-2015- updated 07-14-2018) Historical bibliographies with unimportant anecdotes, alphabetically arranged; wars are about dates of battles and numbers killed -- I can see why kids think, "Why even bother?"
(06-22-2015, updated 07-14-2018) But they're still careful not to offend the folks who are proud of their Confederate heritage. Southern politicians are falling over themselves in their haste to leap over the fence or off the fence, so they're on the record as having been on the right side of history. Only just in time, but hey, at this point, who's counting hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries?
(04-03-2014, updated 07-15-2018) A rather random list, I know, but It's my list. If you want a longer list, google it. And if you want a complete book review or movie review, again, google it. This is just a list. Of course the first book about slavery on any list should be Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It's fiction, but based firmly in the harsh reality of slavery.
(04-02-2014, updated 07-15-2018) If only the Union Army had stayed in the South, if only the Reconstruction era had been longer... Lincoln went to war to get the South back into the Union. Although the war was mostly about slavery, his initial aim was not to abolish it. He wrote as much in a letter in 1862: "[...] If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, ..."
(03-25-2014, updated 07-15-2018) The Meridian riot of 1871 illustrates the battles between freed blacks and the KKK and other white supremacists in the South during the Reconstruction era. And now for the piece of Southern history I've been working up to: the Meridian race riot of 1871. A sad and horrific part of black history, and the perfect illustration of the pathetic ending of the Reconstruction era.
(03-24-2014, updated 07-15-2018) Then federal army leaves, the KKK wins, the Jim Crow era begins, and the Reconstruction Era is forgotten. After the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, white Southerners imposed the Black Code, so blacks were free, but had no rights. In 1866 the Radical Republicans came into power in Congress, and they came down on the South like a ton of bricks.
(03-21-2014, updated 07-15-2018) White Slave owners, black slave owners, gradualists, immediatists, militants, persuasive abolitionists,moral abolitionists and those who wanted to see all blacks move to Liberia. Yesterday I promised that I would qualify the anti-slavery movement.I mentioned that the North was largely against slavery and the South was largely for it. Well, the white South, that is. But of course things were never quite that black and white, pardon the pun.
(03-20-2014, updated 07-15-2018) Before the abolition of slavery, freedom didn't mean the same thing for free people of color as it meant for whites. Slaveholders would sometimes free their slaves (manumission) in gratitude for special services or for fighting the British. Slaveholders' children by black female slaves were often given their freedom around New Orleans (when it was French and it had the Latin model of slavery, which was different from the American),
(03-19-2014, updated 07-15-2018) What should history education be: the battles (and the dates and the dead) or the reasons they were fought? Let me pause for a moment and make an even stronger disclaimer than I made in last night's post. My focus is on slavery in this series of posts, so I focus on slavery when discussing the Civil War.
(03-18-2014, updated 07-15-2018) There's really no such thing as a quick overview of this topic, so I feel a series coming on. A Dutch friend said that she didn't learn that much about American slavery in high school. I learned a lot--enough to argue viciously with my distant relatives in Bakersfield, California when I visited them at the annoying age of 18, anyway.
(03-16-2014, updated 07-15-2018) The remains of a sugar plantation along the Mississippi in Louisiana. Laura Plantation is a museum in Vacherie, Louisiana, one of the old sugar plantations along the River Road. It's named after Laura Locoul Gore, granddaughter of the Frenchman Guillaume Duparc who settled there in 1804. It's one of the thousand or so Creole plantation homes that used to line the Mississippi from New Orleans on up to Baton Rouge.