Legacies links for August 8, 2022: hidden histories, recovered histories, contested histories, and more

The Atlanta race riot of 1906, as seen on the cover of the French magazine Le Petit Journal (detail). source: New Georgia Encyclopedia

We’re back from a brief hiatus, so this set of links reaches back two weeks (and a little further). As always, we encourage you to share this posting. A link does not imply agreement or endorsement by the Council of Independent Colleges.

  • Jacquelyne Germain, “Colonial Williamsburg tells the story of early American settlers. But in 1956 it paved over Black history to make a parking lot,” CNN (August 7, 2022): LINK. Not the first time that community members have pushed a privileged institution to excavate and interpret an erased Black cemetery.
  • Joshua F.J. Inwood, “The Modern Infrastructure Landscape and the Legacy of Slavery,” The Professional Geographer (published online, August 5, 2022): https://doi.org/10.1080/00330124.2022.2085120. From the abstract: “[A] broad reading of the infrastructure landscape of the contemporary United States opens space to see how slavery affects our current geographies. By focusing on infrastructure—the roads, ports, rail lines, and buildings, among other examples—built by enslaved people, we can locate slavery in contemporary landscapes.” The article is behind a paywall, but see this (free) article by the same researcher.
  • Michael Warren, “Atlanta’s image challenged by facts of 1906 race massacre,” Associated Press (August 3, 2022): LINK. Recovering the history of the “1906 Atlanta Race Massacre, which shaped the city’s geography, economy, society and power structure in lasting ways.”
  • Victor Ray, “Critical Race Theory’s Merchants of Doubt,” TIME (August 1, 2022): LINK. The author argues that “the moral panic over critical race theory rests on a weak intellectual foundation.”
  • Manisha Aggarwal-Schifellite, “Dreams of land deferred,” Harvard Gazette (August 1, 2022): LINK. Discusses “Castor and Patience,” a sweeping new opera by former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith and composer Gregory Spears that explores the tortuous efforts of African Americans to secure home ownership from Emancipation through the housing market crash of 2008.
  • Brenda Hafera, “A Tale of Three Presidential Houses: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” The Heritage Foundation (July 27, 2022): LINK. A conservative critique of recent efforts to address the legacies of slavery at Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Montpelier.
  • Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks, “Seattle Audubon will change its name, severing tie to slave owner,” Seattle Times (July 26, 2022): LINK. “Pointing to the racist actions and beliefs of its [slave-owning] namesake, John James Audubon, the local organization announced that it will change its name to better reflect its mission and values.” In response, the Massachusetts chapter said it had “no plans” to change its name.
  • “Yale Announces 2022 Frederick Douglass Book Prize Finalists,” Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition (July 26, 2022): LINK.
  • Robert L. Reece, “Life Expectancy for Black People Living in Former Slave Counties Is Considerably Lower Than the Life Expectancy for White People, Even after Taking a Whole Host of Factors into Account,” Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin (June 2022): LINK.