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An old slavery era plantation restored as a museum.
history  museum  civil-rights  racism  slavery 
4 days ago by akombo
Former Slaves' Stories of Abraham Lincoln in the South - The Atlantic
"Though there’s no evidence Lincoln actually made any of these incognito visits to the South—and ample documentation to suggest these visits were wholly fictitious—it’s important that many former slaves believed he did. Today, historical debates over emancipation often focus on whether it came from the top down or the bottom up—did Lincoln free the slaves, or did the slaves free themselves? But the stories of Lincoln coming down South suggest many freedpeople didn’t see this as an either/or question.

Did they need Lincoln? Sure. But emancipation wasn’t something Lincoln could just decree from on high. He had to come down South and get his hands dirty. Some even described him as taking on the guise of the trickster popular in black folklore, a sort of Brer Rabbit in a top hat. When former slaves claimed Lincoln had paid them a visit, they weren’t just inserting a beloved president into their story—they were inserting themselves into his story."
people-abraham-lincoln  history  slavery  interesting  culture  society  race  race-black-culture 
5 days ago by daguti
Frederick Douglass On How Slave Owners Used Food As A Weapon Of Control : The Salt : NPR
Douglass makes it a point to nail the boastful lie put out by slaveholders – one that persists to this day – that "their slaves enjoy more of the physical comforts of life than the peasantry of any country in the world."

In truth, rations consisted of a monthly allowance of a bushel of third-rate corn, pickled pork (which was "often tainted") and "poorest quality herrings" – barely enough to sustain grown men and women through their backbreaking labors in the field. Not all the enslaved, however, were so ill-fed. Waiting at the "glittering table of the great house" – a table loaded with the choicest meats, the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay, platters of fruit, asparagus, celery and cauliflower, cheese, butter, cream and the finest wines and brandies from France – was a group of black servants chosen for their loyalty and comely looks. These glossy servants constituted "a sort of black aristocracy," wrote Douglass. By elevating them, the slave owner was playing the old divide-and-rule trick, and it worked. The difference, Douglass wrote, "between these favored few, and the sorrow and hunger-smitten multitudes of the quarter and the field, was immense."

The "hunger-smitten multitudes" did what they could to supplement their scanty diets. "They did this by hunting, fishing, growing their own vegetables – or stealing,"
slavery  food  control 
6 days ago by Quercki
Looking into its past, MIT finds its first president once owned slaves - The Boston Globe
For several years now, MIT president L. Rafael Reif has watched colleges across the country explore their historic ties to slavery, but he always assumed there wasn’t much of a connection at MIT, which was founded after the Civil War.

Recently, however, Reif decided he didn’t want to rely on assumption any longer. He charged a class of students and their professor with combing MIT’s early history to instead dig up facts.

It turns out, Reif’s assumptions were wrong.

The student researchers, their professor, and an archivist discovered that a decade before he founded MIT, the university’s first president owned slaves in Virginia. William Barton Rogers owned eight slaves in the mid-1800s when he lived in Virginia on the campuses of two colleges there, William and Mary and the University of Virginia, the researchers found.
slavery  boston  history  mit  academia 
8 days ago by madamim
Wealth, Slave Ownership, and Fighting for the Confederacy: An Empirical Study of the American Civil War
How did personal wealth affect the likelihood southerners fought for the Confederate Army in the American Civil War? We offer competing accounts for how we should expect individual wealth, in the form of land, and atrociously, in slaves, to affect white men’s decisions to join the Confederate Army. We assemble a dataset on roughly 3.9 million white citizens in Confederate states, and we show that slaveowners were more likely to fight in the Confederate Army than non-slaveowners. To see if these links are causal, we exploit a randomized land lottery in 19th-century Georgia. Households of lottery winners owned more slaves in 1850 and were more likely to have sons who fought in the Confederate Army than were households who did not win the lottery. Our results suggest that for wealthy southerners, the stakes associated with the conflict’s threat to end the institution of slavery overrode the incentives to free-ride and to avoid paying the costs of war

-- very, very counterintuitive to my worldview. Interesting if these results hold up in other conflicts. Anybody studying demographics of East India Company or the subsequent British Army?
economic_history  political_sociology  causal_inference  rational_choice  slavery  civil_war  united_states_of_america  19th_century  dmce  teaching  ?  via:nyhan 
8 days ago by rvenkat
Thinking beyond Black History Month
Nelson explains that the costs of forgetting slavery in Canada are huge—especially when it comes to racial profiling and policing. “For me as a scholar, I see this as a legacy of slavery,” she says, “a manifestation of things we had in the past, in the way that our bodies are marked and deemed to be suspicious.”
crhesi  radar  slavery  racism  canada 
8 days ago by jamesshelley

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