Originally posted on Iridescence Media:

The Half Has Never Been Told is Edward E. Baptist’s second historical book published. The first of which, Creating An Old South, shares familiar topics as discussed in this book. Edward E. Baptist holds a PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently an Associate Professor of History at Cornell University.


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Originally posted on A Woman Reading:

Originally published by the Gaston Gazette: Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 11:34 AM.

No plaques or memorials there state that he is strongly believed to be the first freed slave to have owned property in Gaston County. Nor that his home, livery stable and makeshift general store became the hub of a thriving black community known as “Freedom” in the 19th century.

Even his burial site, in a nondescript African-American cemetery along South Hawthorne Street, lacks a clearly visible gravestone.

But his family members have never forgotten his story, his importance in the community, nor the place where he was laid to rest in 1918 after he died at the ripe age of 93.

“When I was growing up as a…

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Originally posted on Black Girls YouTube :

 “…i wanted to be a new person and my rebirth was stifled not by the master but the slave.” - Nikki Giovanni.


Celebrating Juneteenth – and a letter from my great great grandfather

The United States freed its last slaves on this day June 18, 1865, 149 years ago. Officially commemorated as Juneteenth, this holiday goes unmarked and unnoticed by the majority Americans, including many African-Americans. Which begs the question: why? When TED Fellow Kyra Gaunt received a copy of a letter from her great great grandfather, a former slave who had escaped via the Underground Railroad, his handwritten words opened her eyes to how limited, fragmented and ephemeral narratives of slavery still are. A shorter version of this story appears on the ideas page of TED.com.

NOTE: I hope readers will consider that online literacy leads to emancipation for black girls and others, too.

In March 2014, I…

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Spending time in South Africa I have become familair with the classification system used to separate people under the Apartheid racial classification system. I did not know that the Jim Crow laws in the South also had variations to allow for wider forms of discrimination.

Originally posted on Abagond:

Segregated Chinese school - Bolivar County, Mississippi (1938)

Segregated Chinese school – Bolivar County, Mississippi (1938). Click to enlarge.

A guest post by commenter Jefe:

Chinese Americans in Mississippi under Jim Crow (1877-1967) were classified as “colored”. In the 1920s, when it started to affect the education of their children, they fought back. By the 1950s they were almost “white”.


Jim Crow: “separate but equal”

What being “colored” meant for them:

  • Employment: In the Mississippi Delta nearly all Chinese men became self-employed grocers to black sharecroppers, a niche whites did not want.
  • Marriage and family: Anti-miscegenation laws added “Mongolian” and “Malay” as races that could not marry whites. Meanwhile the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 made it nearly impossible to bring over wives or brides from China. Most Chinese men remained bachelors, though some married black. After 1910 “Paper Sons and Daughters” began to arrive from China, through a loophole in the Exclusion Act created by the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.
  • Education: In the 1920s their children were kicked out of white schools and forced…

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Discovering previously unknown narratives or pierces of stories that we can construct narrative from helps provide a deeper context for the time inwhich our ancestors lived. This is just one reason why archival research is important to our understanding of both our personal and national histories.

Originally posted on Legacies of British Slave-ownership:

Guest Blog by: Abigail Bernard[1]

My ancestors were enslaved on the Mount Pleasant Estate in Carriacou, Grenada. Whilst conducting research about them, I consulted three separate on-line resources that, when connected together, were able to give me an insight into the lives of three men who worked on the same estate.

The first resource I came across was The Third Report of the Commissioner of Inquiry into the Administration of Civil and Criminal Justice in the West Indies, dated 5 October 1826.[2] This was written by Sir Fortunatus Dwarris and presented to the House of Commons. Although the main report does not mention Grenada, the appendix includes a section on the island and deals with complaints by enslaved people to Grenada’s Guardians of Slaves.

Map of Grenada

The report reveals that three enslaved men named Gregware, Antoine and Dan, of the Mount Pleasant Estate in Carriacou, stole a canoe and sailed…

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On hiatus


I am spending spring semester in Port Elizabeth, South Africa at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University where I will intern in their writing center.  I leave in 10 days and I will not be posting very often on this site while I am gone.  I hope that you will follow me on the blog I specifically created for this study abroad trip: YNOT

The name of the blog was inspired by my late mother who’s name was Alyce and she always said, “Alyce with a ‘y’, like Alice in Wonderland.”

I look forward to returning to this blog when I come back to the States this summer.


Lost Cause Rhetorics


The writer of this entry echoed my sentiments in her first sentence, “I am a reluctant student of the Civil War.” Its funny how as a child growing up in the South I rejected where I was from, wholesale. I talked about how much I wanted to get out of the South, above the Mason-Dixon Line and never return.  The people who were vested in Civil War history, when I was young, were mainly those who saw the Confederate Battle Flag as their heritage.  These Confederate apologists were not people I could morally identify with and thus, I wanted to flee. As I grew up I was able to break from those who saw the South from behind those distorted filters.

I chose to reblog this post because I like this author’s take on David Blight‘s book and her personal connection with the same section of the South in which I grew up.

Originally posted on Issues and Interpretations in Public History:

I’ll admit this first: I am a reluctant student of the Civil War. That being said, I would argue that any person interested in history and living along the Dixie Highway/I-75 route of Sherman’s March (where every one of my ‘stompin’ grounds as a kid was the site of a battle and whose hometown was burned in the March) cannot help but learn about the Civil War. I am also a student of American Literature, and if one likes Theoreau or Whitman or DuBois, one learns about the Civil War.

I admit the reluctance because it shaped my reading of Blight’s (good, detailed, glad I read it) book, and it shapes the way I frame my understanding of this era of American history. What was truly strange for me was re-seeing these core authors–Emerson, DuBois, Washington, Wells, Grimke, Whitman, Douglass, Johnson, etc.–completely from the lens of Civil War politics and…

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