Black Slavery: The Source of White Real Estate and Power

(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.

Racial disparity in America: How Do Whites Hold Blacks Back?

(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.

Salsbury’s Slavery Spectacular!

(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.

Angola: From Slavebreeder’s Asset to Prison Plantation

(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'.

Are You a Racist? When White Privilege Equals Racism

(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.

Lies My Teacher Told Me by James W. Loewen: A Look at American High School History Education

(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.

What Passes for History Education Here is Pathetic

(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?"

The Confederate Flag Will No Longer Fly at the South Carolina State Capitol

(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?

A Few Books and Movies About Slavery

(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.

What Would Black History Be if the Reconstruction Era Had Continued?

(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, ..."

Slaveholders, Militant Immediatists and Everyone Else on the Abolitionist Spectrum

(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.

Free People of Color: A Freedom with Qualifications

(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),

American History Education and Me: Broad Strokes, Please!

(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.

American Slavery and the Civil War: A Quick When and Why

(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.

Laura Plantation: A Museum on the Mississippi

(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.