In 1948, three black farmers decided they'd had enough. They were going to vote in rural South Georgia, where white supremacists held power by suppressing the black vote. Pulitzer-Prize winning author, journalist and Emory University professor Hank Klibanoff explores the mysteries and injustices of history through civil rights cases that few have seen. How far would white supremacists go — on the streets, in the courtrooms, in the legislatures — to preserve their racial dominance? And, most importantly, why? Who were we back then? The truth is restless, relevant and revealed in Buried Truths.
For Eddie Wise, owning a hog farm was a lifelong dream. In middle age, he and his wife, Dorothy, finally got a farm of their own. But they say that over the next twenty-five years, the U.S. government discriminated against them because of their race, and finally drove them off the land. Their story, by John Biewen, was produced in collaboration with Reveal.
It’s heartbreaking to hear the individual stories of those who were discriminated against. It’s even worse to consider the thousands of others whose stories aren’t told.
The concluding episode in our series, Seeing White. An exploration of solutions and responses to America’s deep history of white supremacy by host John Biewen, with Chenjerai Kumanyika, Robin DiAngelo, and William “Sandy” Darity, Jr.
Peggy McIntosh (born November 7, 1934) is an American feminist, anti-racism activist, scholar, speaker, and Senior Research Associate of the Wellesley Centers for Women. She is the founder of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity). She and Emily Style co-directed SEED for its first twenty-five years. She has written on curricular revision, feelings of fraudulence, and professional development of teachers.
In 1988, she published the article "White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women’s Studies". This analysis, and its shorter version, "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack" (1989), pioneered putting the dimension of privilege into discussions of power, gender, race, class and sexuality in the United States. Both papers rely on personal examples of unearned advantage that McIntosh says she experienced in her lifetime, especially from 1970 to 1988. McIntosh encourages individuals to reflect on and recognize their own unearned advantages and disadvantages as parts of immense and overlapping systems of power.
She has been criticized for concealing her considerable, personal class privilege and displacing it onto the collective category of race.
Definitely want to read her Invisible Knapsack work.
With Dr. Nancy Hill, McIntosh co-founded the Rocky Mountain Women’s Institute, which, for thirty-five years, annually gave “money and a room of one’s own” to ten women who were not supported by other institutions and were working on projects in the arts and many other fields.
Another example of Virginia Woolf’s idea being put into practice in the wild. (I added a link to the Wikipedia page to make it more obvious.)
When it comes to U.S. government programs and support earmarked for the benefit of particular racial groups, history is clear. White folks have received most of the goodies. By John Biewen, with Deena Hayes-Greene of the Racial Equity Institute and recurring series partner Chenjerai Kumanyika.
Affirmative action is really best framed as White affirmative action…
After listening to most of this series and really appreciating the work that has gone into it, I wish there were an online lecture series version of Deena Hayes-Greene’s work for the Racial Equity Institute. I’d love to hear a longer version of what they’ve done without needing to travel. Ideally it could be done as a paid series of lectures along the lines of what The Great Courses does (perhaps as history/sociology lectures?) or some other similar group that could produce it well with accompanying learning materials, but also done in a way to help underwrite and spread their work. I’d definitely pay for it.
We are an alliance of trainers, organizers, and institutional leaders who have devoted ourselves to the work of creating racially equitable organizations and systems. We help individuals develop tools to challenge patterns of power and grow equity. Join us today.
For years, Myra Greene had explored blackness through her photography, often in self-portraits. She wondered, what would it mean to take pictures of whiteness? For her friends, what was it like to be photographed because you’re white? With another conversation between host John Biewen and series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika.
Photo: Matt Geesaman, Chicago, 2009. By Myra Greene.
It’s interesting to see this word “marked” defined in a modern advertising sense and comparing it with the word “stamped” in the quote “The ‘inequality of the white and black races’ was ‘stamped from the beginning'” from Jefferson Davis on April 12, 1860 on the floor of the U.S. Senate as quoted by Ibram X. Kendi in his book Stamped from the Beginning.
So now you’re combining Frisbee and golf. I mean, how much whiter can you get than that?!
For hundreds of years, the white-dominated American culture has raised the specter of the dangerous, violent black man. Host John Biewen tells the story of a confrontation with an African American teenager. Then he and recurring guest Chenjerai Kumanyika discuss that longstanding image – and its neglected flipside: white-on-black violence.
The congressman disputed a story we reported. We stand by it.
I’m curious about the statistics on the number of people that read this versus the number that listened to the attached audio. I suspect the latter was a tiny fraction, which means that to some extent that the outlet wins. In the end it’s nice to have access to the original sources of reporting like this.
Chapters 1 & 2 are an overview of prior history of ancient Greece and the “climate theory” of Aristotle and then the Genesis 9:18-29 “curse of Ham” (son of Noah) as the early roots of racism. It then moves into the slave trade of Portugal with Zuarara, Ibn Khaldūn, Las Casas, a Leo Africanus’ writings and their effect on the roots of modern racism.
Given the politics of the day, its curious to note that so many Republican party members would simultaneously be climate deniers on the one hand, and climate believers on the other.
As I look at the title of the forthcoming chapter 3 “Coming to America”, I can’t help but think about the potential ironies of the relationship to the text and the Eddie Murphy film of the same title.
On page 21 Kendi writes:
As strictly a climate theorist, Ibn Khaldūn discarded the “silly story” of the curse of Ham.
Here he references this to The Muqaddimah: An Introduction to History by Ibn Khaldūn, Franz Rosenthal, and N.J. Dawood (Princeton University Press, 1969). I’m curious exactly where the “silly story” portion stems? Is it from Ibn Khaldūn directly in translation or from the more modern book? Given that Ibn Khaldūn lived from 1332-1406 and certainly didn’t write in English, I’m curious about the original translation by which the phrase “silly story” comes about. Silly has an archaic meaning of “helpless; defenseless” (roughly around the time of Shakespeare) prior to its modern definition, and prior to that it derived from the Old English word “seely” which meant “blessed”. Given that the phrase is used to describe a passage from Genesis, it’s entirely possible that the word “silly” held the “blessed” connotation here, but it’s not obvious from the context or the reference which is the proper meaning to take. Certainly taking the modern definition on its face seems like the wrong path to take here. I wonder if Kendi could shed some additional light on his sources to clarify the issue?