Posts Tagged ‘history’

Freedom Riders

February 25, 2021

A brief look at 1961’s Freedom Riders from Smithsonian Magazine. More here.

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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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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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Disease Tracing in 1854

February 3, 2021

Using data analysis and interviews, Dr. John Snow figured out how a cholera outbreak was speading in mid-nineteenth century London. A Vox video by Phil Edwards.

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Harriet Tubman: On the Money, Again.

January 26, 2021

Harriet Tubman: On the Money, Again.

American hero Harriet Tubman will replace the genocidalslave-owning killer Andrew Jackson on the face of the US 20 dollar bill, says the Biden adminstration. The move was first proposed in 2016, but nixed after the election of Donald Trump, who hung a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office.

$20 dollars was the monthly pension Harriet Tubman received from the government as a war widow and for her own service in the Civil War. And the pension wasn’t awarded until 1899.

More:

“Biden administration revives effort to put Harriet Tubman on $20 bill,” Jacob Bogage, Washington Post

“Biden Administration Will ‘Speed Up’ Efforts To Put Harriet Tubman On $20 Bill,” Laurel Wamsley, NPR News

Related:

“The $20 Bill Honors Harriet Tubman In A Relevant Way You Might Not Know About,” Amée LaTour, Bustle

“How Harriet Tubman’s military service added up to $20 — a month,” Kevin Lilley, Army Times

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Trump Executive Order: Create a ‘Garden of Heroes’

January 21, 2021

Trump Executive Order: Create a 'Garden of Heroes'

Two days before fleeing the mess he made in Washington, lame duck Donald Trump issued an executive order “establishing a statuary park named the “National Garden of American Heroes,” his reaction to the removal of statues celebrating America’s racist past. In keeping with his deep reverence for America’s history, Trump’s imaginary garden is planted with tributes to 244 legendary dead Americans like William F Buckley, Johnny Cash, Alex Trebek, Vince Lombardi, Walt Disney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Daniel Boone, Kobe Bryant, Johnny Cash, Whittaker Chambers, Julia Child, Henry Clay, Roberto Clemente, Buffalo Bill Cody, Samuel Colt, Davy Crockett, Barry Goldwater, Billy Graham, Charlton Heston, Alfred Hitchcock, Bob Hope, Audie Murphy, Annie Oakey, Elvis Presley, Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Norman Rockwell, Babe Ruth, Fulton Sheen, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Shirley Temple, Sam Walton, and Cy Young, as well as founding fathers like John Wayne.

Also included are some notable personages who might object to inclusion in this Trump-ordered hodgepodge were they not conveniently expired: Muhammad Ali (Muslim and Civil Rights activist), Hannah Arendt (analyst of Totalitarianism), Dorothy Day (founder of the Catholic Worker movement), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (liberal feminist jurist), Samuel Gompers (labor leader), Woodie Guthrie (radical songwriter), Helen Keller (suffragist, pacifist, radical socialist, ACLU founder), Edward Murrow (journalist), environmentalists Ansel Adams and John Muir, and Civil Rights icons Medgar Evers, Barbara Jordan, Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Rosa Parks, for example.

Don’t get too excited about this. The Executive Order doesn’t specify a site for the “Garden of Heroes,”and there’s no funding, either. In other words, it’s a typical Trump construction project.

More:

“Trump orders creation of ‘Garden of American Heroes’ amid backlash over monuments,” Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

“I Beg Your Garden? Trump Adds ‘Hero’ Names To Statue Garden Unlikely To Take Root,” Barbra Sprunt, NPR News

Executive Order 13934 Revised, January 18, 2021

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Image (alternate “Heroes Garden” concept) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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