Legacies links for October 24, 2022: echoes of slavery, at home and abroad

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An image of sculptor Charles Gaines's installation, "Moving Chains"
“Moving Chains,” sculptor Charles Gaines’s installation on Governor’s Island in New York Harbor,calls atten­tion to the nation’s eco­nom­ic, judi­cial, and polit­i­cal frame­works that con­tin­ue the lega­cy of slav­ery today.”
source: Photo by Timothy Schenck via the Governor’s Island website.

At home:

  • Harrison Smith, “Daniel Smith, one of the last children of enslaved Americans, dies at 90,” Washington Post (October 20, 2022): LINK. Smith “was one of the last remaining children of enslaved Black Americans, and a rare direct link to slavery in the United States.”
  • “What can reparations for slavery look like in the United States? One man has ideas,” All Things Considered (NPR) (October 20, 2022): LINK. An interview with Columbia University’s Andrew Delbanco, who delivered the 2022 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities this week on “The Question of Reparations: Our Past, Our Present, Our Future.”
  • VanJessica Gladney, “A Bare and Open Truth: The Penn and Slavery Project and the Public,” Perspectives on History (October 19, 2022): LINK. “In 2006 and again in 2016, the University of Pennsylvania denied having any connections to the institution of slavery.” This article explains how a group of students (including the author) and a faculty member pushed back with detailed research and public participation.
  • Matthew Quest, “The Ex-Slave Who Authored a Greek Language Book,” Greek Reporter (October 19, 2022): LINK. “Is a Greco-Roman classical education a critical component of African-American advancement from having been a conquered people? … William Sanders Scarborough, an African-American former slave, thought so. Indeed, he was a Black man who had the audacity to write a Greek language textbook [in 1881].”
  • Scott Lynch, “Sculptor Charles Gaines’ monumental ‘Moving Chains’ now open on Governors Island,” Brooklyn Magazine (October 17, 2022): LINK. Just across the harbor from the Statue of Liberty, the “110-foot long, 17-foot high kinetic sculpture … evokes the hull of [a slave] ship, with nine massive, 1,600-pound chains running in long loops overhead, clanking loud enough to disconcert.”
  • Bill Newcott, “The Fisk Jubilee Singers’ amazing story, from slavery to stardom,” National Geographic (October 6, 2022): LINK. Since 1871, musical representatives from CIC member Fisk University have shared Black spiritual music with the world while fighting the legacies of slavery.

And abroad:

  • “Pig Feet & Chicken Feet in Liberian Diet Traced as Legacy of Slavery,” University of Liberia (October 19, 2022): LINK. “A renowned Liberian historian has traced the consumption of pig feet, pig bones, chicken feet, and some vegetables and crops in Liberia to the diet of formerly enslaved people [from the United States] who opted for home food even after slavery had ended.” The research by Prof. William Ezra Allen was presented during an international conference in Monrovia devoted to “Colonization, Christianity, and Commerce: The Afterlives of Slavery in the Trans-Atlantic World,” organized by the Princeton Theological Seminary and the University of Liberia.  
  • “University of Dundee publishes report into slavery links,” University of Dundee (October 17, 2022): LINK. “[W]hilst the University’s founders played a leading role in widening access to education by promoting the education of students of both sexes, [the] family’s fortune was derived indirectly from slavery.” Dundee joins a string of UK universities addressing institutional ties to slavery, including Bristol, CambridgeGlasgowManchesterSt. Andrews, and others.