Posts Tagged ‘Black History’

Washington’s Birthday

February 21, 2022

Washington's Birthday

Today is officially Washington’s Birthday (observed) according to the federal government. This date is also known as Presidents’ Day in some states, combining observance of all your favorite chief execs (Millard Fillmore?) into one holiday.

Birthday boy and first president George Washington enslaved 319 human beings in Virginia during his lifetime, but the state’s current governor, Glenn Youngkin, won’t let that be taught in the Old Dominion’s schools. Virginia’s kids will need a field trip to Mount Vernon to learn about it. President Washington also signed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, requiring authorities in free states and territories to allow slave-catchers to seize escaped refugees and transport them back into bondage.

Happy Black History Month.

More:

“George Washington, Slave Catcher,” Erica Armstrong Dunbar, New York Times

Related:

“More than 1,700 congressmen once enslaved Black people. This is who they were, and how they shaped the nation.” Julie Zauzmer Weil, Adrian Blanco and Leo Dominguez, Washington Post

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Image (“George Washington Observes Black History Month”) by Mike Licht. Download a free copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The Hidden Graves Of Louisiana

August 4, 2021

New York Times reporters explore the painstaking search for the graves of enslaved people along the Mississipppi River in Louisiana.

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The New Negro at The 1900 Paris Exposition

February 24, 2021

The 1900 Paris Exposition (Exposition Universelle), like many World’s Fairs and theme parks, had a leavening of exotic stereotypes. A counterweight was “The Exhibit of American Negroes,” depicting African American social progress, curated by W. E. B. Du Bois. Narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, with Rhae Lynn Barnes, Chad Williams, and Farah Griffin. From Black History in 2 Minutes (Or So).

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The Harlem Hellfighters

February 23, 2021

In January 1918, the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment landed in France to fight in World War I. Rather than desegregating its own combat units, the US put the 369th Infantry Regiment under French command. These American “Harlem Hellfighters” fought for 191 days, longer than any American troops, and were honored by France and the United States. Narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates and Hasan Jeffries. From Black History in 2 Minutes (Or So).

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The ‘Birth of a Nation’ and the NAACP

February 22, 2021

In 1915 D.W. Griffith released a propaganda film, “The Birth of a Nation,” enshrining the neo-Confederate “Lost Cause” mythology, the KKK, and its racist justification., using White actors in blackface to perpetuate stereotypes. The NAACP, founded in 1909, largely as anti-lynching organization, understandably protested the film’s screening. Narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, with Vincent Brown, Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, and Imani Perry. From Black History in 2 Minutes (Or So).

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The First Underground Railroad

February 18, 2021

For nearly a century, Spanish Florida granted asylum and freedom to escaped enslaved Africans in the Carolinas and Georgia, prompting an “Underground Railroad” that ran south. Narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, with Hasan Jeffries and Vincent Brown, from Black History in 2 Minutes (Or So).

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40 Acres and a Mule

February 17, 2021

After the Union Civil War victory over the Confederacy, former general William Tecumseh met with 20 black ministers to forge a plan for the 4 million liberated bondsmen. The meeting proposed land ownership – “40 acres and a mule,”a promise President Andrew Johnson would renege on, robbing black families of an economic future, unlike the White families who recieved federal land grants. Narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, with Evelynn Hammonds and Farah Griffin, from Black History in 2 Minutes (Or So).

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The Freedman’s Bank

February 15, 2021

After Union victory in the Civil War, the government opened the Freedman’s Bank to provide a safe place for newly-freed black workers to place their funds. By 1871, 37 branches were open in the US, with over 70,000 people depositing $60 million into this bank. Then, in 1873, there was a depression. Narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, with Hasan Jeffries and Vincent Brown, from Black History in 2 Minutes (Or So).

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Reconstruction: The Vote

February 11, 2021

After the Civil War, Black men were given the right to vote, and more than 2,000 Black office holders were serving at every level of America’s political system. Briefly.

Narrated by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, from Black History in 2 Minutes (Or So).

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The Other Oscar

February 22, 2015

The Other Oscar

This year’s Oscar(tm) Awards will be announced today, but you won’t hear about a movie Oscar of yesteryear, Oscar Micheaux. He’s one of the pioneering filmmakers of African-American cinema whose work will be digitally remastered by Kino Lorber. See the promo below and read about the Kickstarter project here.

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