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Tag Archives: slavery

“By Blood” Documentary Explores The Legal Battle Waging Between American Indians And Descendants Of Their Slaves

Just who is an American Indian? For hundreds of years, this riddle of identity has vexed the federal government and the tribes alike, writes Marcos Barbery, an investigative reporter and documentary filmmaker. He and his co-director, Samuel Z. Russell, worked for four years to craft a concise 64-minute movie to explore it.  “By Blood,” sponsored by the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards at the 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival, takes up a contentious case moving through the federal courts now: Descendants of slaves once owned by the Cherokee and Seminole nations, made members of the tribe by treaty at the conclusion of the U.S. Civil War, are fighting to continue to be counted as Indians. And leaders of the tribes are opposing them, having disenfranchised some 30,000... Read More →

Ta-Nehisi Coates Presents “Case For Reparations” At City Club Of Cleveland

Photo credit: Donn Nottage Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, walked to the lectern at the City Club of Cleveland and managed to distill two years of work on "The Case for Reparations" into an eight-word thesis: "What you have taken should be given back." It's time, he argues, for America's moral reckoning with the legacy of slavery. For Coates, 38, the spotlight has never been brighter. His 15,000-word article in The Atlantic, buttressed by original research, an extensive bibliography and film clips, broke the record for single-day traffic on the magazine’s website when it was published May 21. Coates took comic Stephen Colbert's jabs on "The Colbert Report." At MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry invited Coates onto her eponymous show, while Bill... Read More →

The Article On Race Every American Should Read

When writer Ta-Nehisi Coates visited Cleveland on a frigid February morning earlier this year, he was blunt when asked about America's trouble acknowledging race. "You can't have America without black people," he said. "Once you understand that, you understand that the black experience is at the core of what it means to be free." His latest treatise for The Atlantic magazine, "The Case for Reparations," throws down the gauntlet on one of the most contentious subjects our nation has grappled with: how to make amends for 250 years of U.S. slavery. "Perhaps no statistic better illustrates the enduring legacy of our country’s shameful history of treating black people as sub-citizens, sub-Americans, and sub-humans than the wealth gap," he writes. "Reparations would seek to close this... Read More →

Will British Period Piece “Belle” Resonate With Moviegoers?

When screenwriter Misan Sagay visited the storied Scone Palace in Scotland, an 18th century painting of a pair of aristocratic women -- one a woman of color, the other white -- caught her eye. Despite the antiquity of the painting, the women were positioned and clothed in equal fashions -- an arrangement that intrigued the screenwriter. It started her hunt -- years combing through archives -- to piece together the history of those two women. Her research informed the screenplay for "Belle," the film based on the darker-skinned woman in the portrait, opening in theaters today. British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw portrays the title character, Dido Elizabeth Belle, born the biracial daughter of an Navy Admiral and African woman in 1761. Sent to live with her aristocratic uncle, Dido straddles... Read More →

Rare Slave Cabin To Become Crown Jewel Of New African American History Museum

The cabin will be dismantled and reassembled at the Smithsonian. Where can one find Nat Turner’s Bible, Emmet Till’s coffin and Harriet Tubman’s shawl? Answer: the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture when it opens in late 2015. Additionally, one of the nation’s oldest remaining slave cabins will be joining these artifacts in Washington, D.C., according to the New York Times. The 320-square-foot cabin is being dismantled piece by piece, to be rebuilt inside the museum. It is one of two slave cabins in Edisto Island, S.C. They have stood on the Point of Pines plantation since the 1850s. Neither cabin has ever had electricity or heat, but continued to shelter inhabitants more than a century after slavery ended. The last known occupants moved... Read More →

Harriet Tubman, American Hero

March 10th, 2013 was the 100th anniversary of the death of Harriet Tubman, a woman whose name is synonymous with bravery and freedom.  Growing up, I attended a small public school in East Cleveland, where each of the students was required to learn the following poem by Eloise Greenfield:    Harriet Tubman didn't take no stuff Wasn't scared of nothing neither Didn't come in this world to be no slave And wasn't going to stay one either   "Farewell!" she sang to her friends one night She was mighty sad to leave 'em But she ran away that dark, hot night Ran looking for her freedom She ran to the woods and she ran through the woods With the slave catchers right behind her And she kept on going till she got to the North Where those mean men couldn't find her   Nineteen... Read More →
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