Blog Bonus (good stuff I’m reading)

I’m adding BLOG BONUS in 2016:  a mix of good stuff I’m reading and you might want to read them too!   I know, I know, you all read way too much, but this is when you don’t have enough material… a new category Blog Bonus will be there when you need it… XOX  Lara

In the News

Remembering Slavery, Again (our national amnesia?)

by Susan Gillman | February 7th, 2016 Los Angeles Review of Books

IN 2015, A YEAR OF DEBATE over the Confederate flag and intense meditation on the meaning of race in the United States, it would be a shame to miss the equally public memories of race-slavery in Britain.  Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners, a two-part BBC documentary, publicized the Legacies of British Slave-ownership (LBS), a University College London database of all the slave owners in Britain who were awarded compensation when slavery was abolished on August 1, 1834.  A Broadway musical, Amazing Grace, dramatized the story of the British slave-ship captain John Newton, who wrote the hymn that would become associated with African-American culture and civil rights struggles — and which President Obama sang during the eulogy for Pastor Clementa Pinckney, killed in June 2015 by a white supremacist who shot six other members of the AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. British novelist Caryl Phillips published The Lost Child, partly a prequel to Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, in which he draws on the long critical speculation that Heathcliff, brought from the slave port of Liverpool to the Yorkshire moors, is black.  It appears that both the United States and the United Kingdom are witnessing one of those moments when we confront what Toni Morrison said in an early interview about Beloved (1987), “something that the characters don’t want to remember, I don’t want to remember, black people don’t want to remember, white people don’t want to remember. I mean, it’s national amnesia.”

Read more:


Tracing Slaves to Their African Homelands

From Caribbean sugar plantations to the South Atlantic island of St. Helena, researchers are unlocking the long-kept secrets of enslaved peoples.

By Andrew Lawler| National Geographic | FEBRUARY 4, 2016

More than twelve million people crossed from Africa to the New World as slaves. Historians know a good deal about the African ports where they embarked, the slave ships that carried them across the ocean, and the destinations of these enslaved peoples.  

But they know surprisingly little about where in Africa these masses of people originally came from.  

Now, thanks to recent advances in genetic techniques, scientists are filling in this important gap in the tragic African diaspora.

“This will change our understanding of population and migration histories,” says Hannes Schroeder, a biological anthropologist at the University of Copenhagen. “What was just potential is now being fulfilled.” 

Read more:


Albany’s long, neglected history of slavery

New research, exhibit starts to tell story of centuries of bondage

By Paul Grondahl | Albany Times Union February 4, 2016

Here is a statistic that might shock you. In 1790, there were 217 households in Albany County that owned five or more slaves of African descent, a portion of the county’s 3,722 slaves, the most of any county among New York state’s 21,193 slaves counted in that year’s census.

History textbooks and conventional wisdom tend to relegate slavery as an issue of the Southern states, a shameful narrative bracketed by President Abraham Lincoln‘s Emancipation Proclamation and the grim toll of the Civil War.

But new research at the State Museum and an exhibit at Fort Crailo, a state historic site in Rensselaer, titled “A Dishonorable Trade: Human Trafficking in the Dutch Atlantic World,” is bringing slavery out of the shadows and directly onto the front stoops of Albany across three centuries.

Through historical research and archaeology, the emerging scholarship is painting a fresh portrait of a deeply ingrained system of wealthy Dutch families in Albany and the Capital Region who owned human beings and subjugated them to their will during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

Read more:


Rest in Peace, Earth Wind Fire founding member Maurice White…Photo of Maurice White: HERE

maurice white

I’m reading the delicious scoop of amazing Ann Friedman: These are her to-read recommendations!

The UN calls for reparations.  A Michigan judge puts a violent cop in his place.  Toni Morrison’s obituary for James Baldwin.  One of the only black editors in publishing.  The DuVernay TestDidion in Los Angeles.  A Turkish American in Istanbul.  A masochistic tour of the British royal palaces. Why do so many incompetent men become leaders?  Women on the left against Hillary, fighting erasure.  How candidates devour black youth culture for political gain.  Mistaking feelings for politics.  A long-haired biker dude discovers how women are really treated.  Don’t call her “curvy.” What happens when a country where abortion is illegal tells women not to get pregnant?  A suicide pact as “a reasonable choice.”  The life-changing magic of dropping acid.  Craft vodka is a sham. America’s best gas station restaurants.  On not observing the Super Bowl.  The social networks of trees.  On writers and envy.  The predictable seduction of Nicholas SparksHandwritten letters from creative women to other women. Yes!

“The light is he, shining on you and me.” – the Earth Wind and Fire website on Maurice (top photo)

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