Bookmarked Becoming Free, Becoming Black: Race, Freedom, and Law in Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana by Alejandro de la Fuente and Ariela J. Gross (Cambridge University Press )

How did Africans become 'blacks' in the Americas? Becoming Free, Becoming Black tells the story of enslaved and free people of color who used the law to claim freedom and citizenship for themselves and their loved ones. Their communities challenged slaveholders' efforts to make blackness synonymous with slavery. Looking closely at three slave societies - Cuba, Virginia, and Louisiana - Alejandro de la Fuente and Ariela J. Gross demonstrate that the law of freedom - not slavery - established the meaning of blackness in law. Contests over freedom determined whether and how it was possible to move from slave to free status, and whether claims to citizenship would be tied to racial identity. Laws regulating the lives and institutions of free people of color created the boundaries between black and white, the rights reserved to white people, and the degradations imposed only on black people.

Becoming Free, Becoming Black book cover

This is coming out in January, but I’ve managed to grab an advance reader copy for my holiday reading.
Read The Christmas Eve Confessions of Chuck Todd by Jay RosenJay Rosen (PressThink)

That disinformation was going to overtake Republican politics was discoverable years before he says he discovered it.

Press Think logo card

I keep saying that anyone who has Kellyanne Conway or her ilk on their airwaves is actively suborning perjury in the public commons. Kudos to Jay Rosen on this excellent piece.

It’s honestly hard to believe that even Christianity Today seems to have come around on  some of the truth of what is happening before Chuck Todd has.

I’m glad that at least Chuck Todd knows/understands what is happening now and may change course to help protect it. Perhaps he needs to spend a few days with George Lakoff to attempt an intervention and a solution?

Looking back at our history of reportage of white power/white nationalism will provide some additional immediate ideas. WNYC’s On the Media has had some great material in the last few years on these topics:

One might suggest, “just replace the word ‘racist’ with ‘Republicans'” in these stories, but I think many of them have generally done that for themselves already.

Read grandfather clause (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Grandfather clause, statutory or constitutional device enacted by seven Southern states between 1895 and 1910 to deny suffrage to African Americans. It provided that those who had enjoyed the right to vote prior to 1866 or 1867, and their lineal descendants, would be exempt from recently enacted educational, property, or tax requirements for voting. Because the former slaves had not been granted the franchise until the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, those clauses worked effectively to exclude black people from the vote but assured the franchise to many impoverished and illiterate whites.

Although the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 1915 that the grandfather clause was unconstitutional because it violated equal voting rights guaranteed by the Fifteenth Amendment, it was not until Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson introduced the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that Congress was able to put an end to the discriminatory practice. The act abolished voter prerequisites and also allowed for federal supervision of voter registration. With the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the Fifteenth Amendment was finally enforceable.

I hadn’t known about the racist related background of this phrase. I’ll have to work to remove it from personal use.
Read HEWN, No. 335 by Audrey Watters (hewn.substack.com)
I’ve been thinking quite a bit this week about how bad ideas in ed-tech spread. Obviously, a key way is via the media. Take this NYT story for example: “The Machines Are Learning, and So Are the Students.”
A great example of whitewashing in edtech pointed out here.

I also recommend that NYT response about the 1619 project. 

Read Against “Excellence” by Briallen Hopper (Avidly | Los Angeles Review of Books)
Harvard just denied tenure to an award-winning Latinx scholar and teacher who is working in the field of Latinx studies. (Yale did the same thing last year.) Thousands of students and scholars have already signed an open letter in protest. There is so much to say, and so much already eloquently being said, about the ways that, over and over and over, elite universities fail to support people of color and the fields of knowledge that center them. These repeated failures to recognize excellence in non-white forms demonstrate the systemic racism that pervades these institutions
Listened to There Goes the Neighborhood: Miami, Part 3 by Kai Wright and Nadege Green from The Stakes | WNYC Studios

Life and loss in Little Haiti, where residents find themselves in the path of a land rush.

Haitian migrants fled a violent dictatorship and built a new community in Miami’s Little Haiti, far from the coast and on land that luxury developers didn’t want. But with demand for up-market apartments surging, their neighborhood is suddenly attractive to builders. That’s in part because it sits on high ground, in a town concerned about sea level rise. But also, because Miami is simply running out of land to build upon. 

In the final episode of our series on “climate gentrification,” WLRN reporter Nadege Greene asks one man what it’s like to be in the path of a land rush. Before you listen, check out parts one and two.

In this episode, we hear from:

  • Louis Rosemont, artist in Little Haiti
  • Carl Juste, photojournalist for the Miami Herald
  • Ned Murray of Florida International University
  • Greg West, CEO of Zom Living development firm
  • Jane Gilbert, Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Miami

“NYC

Reported and produced by Kai Wright and Nadege Green. This is the final installment of a three-part series produced in partnership with WLRN in Miami. WNYC’s health coverage is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Working to build a Culture of Health that ensures everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. More at RWJF.org.

Overall a great series, but their narrative was weakened a bit for me in this final episode with the discussion of the myriad of other economic factors that could potentially be at play. Exactly how much do climate change and gentrification play in the displacement of Little Haiti? What percentage?
Listened to There Goes the Neighborhood: Miami, Part 2 by Kai Wright, Nadege Green and Christopher Johnson from The Stakes | WNYC Studios

The fear of mass displacement isn't paranoia for black people in Liberty City. It's family history.

Valencia Gunder used to dismiss her grandfather’s warnings: “They’re gonna steal our communities because it don't flood.” She thought, Who would want this place? But Valencia’s grandfather knew something she didn’t: People in black Miami have seen this before. 

In the second episode of our series on “climate gentrification,” reporter Christopher Johnson tells the story of Overtown, a segregated black community that was moved, en masse, because the city wanted the space for something else. If you haven't heard part one, start there first.

In this episode, we also hear from:

- Agnes and Naomi Rolle, childhood residents of Overtown

Marvin Dunn, researcher at Florida International University

- James Mungin II, co-founder of The Roots Collective

Reported and produced by Kai WrightNadege Green and Christopher Johnson. This is part two of a three-part series produced in partnership with WLRN in Miami. WNYC’s health coverage is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Working to build a Culture of Health that ensures everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. More at RWJF.org.

Listened to There Goes the Neighborhood: Miami, Part 1 by Kai Wright, Nadege Green, and Christopher Johnson from The Stakes | WNYC Studios

The sea level is rising -- and so is the rent. It's the first episode in our three part series on "climate gentrification."

In Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood, residents are feeling a push from the familiar forces of gentrification: hasty evictions, new developments, rising commercial rents. But there’s something else happening here, too—a process that may intensify the affordability crisis in cities all over the country.

Little Haiti sits on high ground, in a city that’s facing increasing pressure from rising sea levels and monster storms. For years, researchers at Harvard University’s Design School have been trying to identify if and how the changing climate will reshape the real estate market globally. In Miami’s Little Haiti, they have found an ideal case study for what’s been dubbed “climate gentrification.”

We hear from:

Jesse Keenan, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

- Mimi Sanon-Jules, entrepreneur in Little Haiti

Reported and produced by Kai WrightNadege Green and Christopher Johnson. This is part one of a three-part series produced in partnership with WLRN in Miami. WNYC’s health coverage is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Working to build a Culture of Health that ensures everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. More at RWJF.org.

Read The Search for Isaiah Nixon by Hank Klibanoff (The Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project)
The Georgia Civil Rights Cold Cases Project opened its fall 2015 semester with C-SPAN in the classroom, taping the class for its American History TV series, which you can find here. The project ended the semester with a Wall Street Journal article explaining how students in the class discovered the long-lost gravesite of a Georgia man, Isaiah Nixon, who was killed in 1948 because he voted.
Read Primus E. King (1900-1986) by Craig Lloyd (New Georgia Encyclopedia)

On the morning of July 4, 1944, Primus E. King, an African American duly registered to vote in Georgia, sought to cast a ballot at the Muscogee County Courthouse in Columbus in the Democratic Party's primary election. Shortly after entering the courthouse, King was roughly turned away by a law officer who escorted him back out to the street. During this time the Democratic Party monopolized political activity in Georgia, as in other southern states, and the party's primary provided the only occasion in which a voter was offered a choice between candidates seeking offices in state and local government. For this very reason blacks were denied participation in the primaries by the Georgia Democratic Party and its county affiliates.

Listened to "Buried Truths" Pistols (Season 1, Episode 1) by Hank Klibanoff from NPR

Cover art for Buried Truths from WABE/NPR featuring a brown toned blurry/digitized image of an unidentified African American man superimposed with the title of the show so as to disguise the person's identity.

After Primus King, a black barber and pastor, successfully sued the Democratic Party for denying his right to vote on the grounds of race and color, three-term Georgia Governor Eugene Talmadge declared, "This is a white man's country and we must keep it so." The best way to do so: "Pistols."

Listened to "Buried Truths" Fall, Isaiah, Fall (Season 1, Episode 2) by Hank Klibanoff from NPR

Cover art for Buried Truths from WABE/NPR featuring a brown toned blurry/digitized image of an unidentified African American man superimposed with the title of the show so as to disguise the person's identity.

Election day is usually a grand occasion for a small town like Alston, GA. For the white people in town, September 8, 1948, marked a day of good ole traditions and community. But for black voters, it became a place of opportunity...and defiance.