Tag: African American history

It Was a Good Day: White Supremacy and Legal History

Today we share the final installment of our roundtable on Ta-Nehisi Coates's We Were Eight Years in Power. Scott Hancock is associate professor of History and Africana Studies at Gettysburg College, with expertise in Black northerners’ engagement with the law. Previous installments of the roundtable are available here, here, and here ...
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The Long Struggle of African American Placemaking

Continuing our roundtable on We We Eight Years in Power, today we share a post by Kelly Houston Jones, an assistant professor of history at Austin Peay State University. Her research focuses on slavery, agriculture, and the environment in the trans-Mississippi South. Previous installments of the roundtable are available here ...
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Author Interview: Sarah Gronningsater

In our June 2017 issue, Dr. Sarah Gronningsater published an article titled “‘On Behalf of His Race and the Lemmon Slaves’: Louis Napoleon, Northern Black Legal Culture, and the Politics of Sectional Crisis.” She is an assistant professor of history at CalTech in Pasadena, California, with an expertise in legal, ...
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Recovering Southern Women: A Report from the OAH

In recent weeks, activists have spotlighted the disappearance of numerous young women of color from the District of Columbia and its environs—a reality, they allege, that was long underreported by public functionaries and local media.[1] Intentionally or neglectfully, these women’s voices and those of their communities were long silenced. As ...
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Violence After Victory: Reconstruction Scholarship at the OAH

The streets, sidewalks, and facades of New Orleans’ famous Canal Street repeatedly bore witness to terrible outbursts of violence throughout the Reconstruction Era, as ex-Confederates tried to overturn the egalitarian reforms of Reconstruction through bloodshed and intimidation. Several of the most important massacres and street battles in the history of ...
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Information from Susan B. Carter et al., eds., Historical Statistics of the United States, Earliest Times to the Present: Millennial Edition, (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Did Disenfranchisement Give the South an Electoral Advantage?

There has been much recent discussion of the three-fifths clause of the Constitution, which boosted slaveholding states’ representation in the Electoral College by including for apportionment a population that received no benefits from government. Scholars have debated how this influenced national politics under slavery, but this conversation applies to the ...
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Mass Incarceration And Its Mystification: A Review Of The 13th

This article was originally published by The African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS) and is reprinted here with permission. Although some of the material falls outside the temporal boundaries of this blog, we believe our readers will find it to be a valuable review, due to its connections to the Civil War. ...
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CWP Gates

Camp William Penn and the Fight for Historical Memory

If you were to drive down Cheltenham Avenue north of Philadelphia today between Penrose Avenue and School Lane, you would pass standard urban blocks, nothing extraordinary. A cemetery, gas station, a mixed collection of residences, and a community center. Casual passersby—many residents, even--do not recognize the historical significance of the ...
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The Battle of Ft. Pillow, a lithograph from Kurz and Allison. Image from Blackpast.org, accessed July 14, 2016.

Witnessing Racial Violence: Public Awareness and the Battle of Ft. Pillow

In 2014, bystanders’ video evidence of Michael Brown and Eric Garner’s deaths at the hands of police thrust racial bias and police brutality against people of color into the national spotlight. Black Lives Matter subsequently became both a rallying cry and a movement, with followers asserting that the deaths of ...
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At a meeting of the Union League, Moses (Mahershala Ali) and Newt (Matthew McConaughey) tell the Freedman that all citizens shall have the right to vote.

Aiming for Accuracy: Free State of Jones, Contingency, and the Meaning of Freedom

Early in Free State of Jones a Confederate soldier proclaims he is not fighting for slavery but rather “for honor.” His comrades, including poor Mississippi farmer Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey), needle him. Considering the "Twenty Negro Law,” Conscription Act, and tax-in-kind law, they point out that their blood only helps ...
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Muhammad Ali’s Civil War Inheritance: A Historical Note

The death of Muhammad Ali reminded people here in America and across the world of the many ways in which his life had meaning beyond his triumphs in the boxing ring. As numerous people have recalled in recent days, Ali was more than a fierce boxer; he lived a fierce ...
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LeVar Burton as Kunta Kinte in Roots (1977).

Roots (1977) versus Roots (2016)

I was initially skeptical about the Roots remake (especially because of the History Channel’s involvement) and watched the original again to see if an update seemed warranted. I found that while still riveting, it has many shortcomings. The original mini-series inaccurately depicts West African kingdoms, for example, and glosses over the ...
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Envying Roots:  The 1970s Mini-Series is Back!

Envying Roots: The 1970s Mini-Series is Back!

In the last several decades, African Americans have become avid genealogists, turning eagerly to Ancestry.com and DNA testing, joining clubs and traveling to the National Archives in an effort to fill in their family trees. Henry Louis Gates credits the original 1977 television series, Roots, for initiating this interest, saying ...
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Screenshot 2016-02-01 at 8.43.34 AM

Slavery 101: Slate’s “History of American Slavery” Podcast

In the inaugural Slate Academy, Slate history writer Rebecca Onion, and Slate’s chief political correspondent, Jamelle Bouie offer a podcast series billed as the “college course you wish you’d taken.” Onion’s and Bouie’s course – The History of American Slavery – outlines the development of American slavery by focusing on ...
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