Legacies links for January 9, 2023: independent colleges (and others) explore the afterlives of slavery

We’re back with new links for a new year (but reaching back into late 2022, while we were on a break). As always, we encourage you to share this post. A link here does not imply agreement or endorsement by the Council of Independent Colleges.

In perhaps the most famous “winter scene” associated with American slavery, the fictional Eliza and her baby escape to freedom across the ice floes of the Ohio River in abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852). The episode is based on a true story. Source: National Museum of American History
  • Tom Stafford, “Local theater group’s new play explores slavery’s legacy,” Dayton.com (January 8, 2023): LINK. “Freedom Flight,” a new play about the underground railroad in Ohio, will tour 20 states after a premiere at CIC member institution Antioch College. The play is based, in part, on original research conducted at CIC member Wittenberg University.
  • Julia Martin, “Slavery’s legacy is written all over North Jersey, if you know where to look,” The Bergen Record via Yahoo! News (January 4, 2023): LINK. A reminder that slavery was a national institution—hence the legacies of slavery are a national challenge.  
  • Avis Wanda McClinton, et al., “Confronting the Legacy of Quaker Slavery,” Friends Journal (January 1, 2023): LINK. “The 339 Manumissions and Beyond Project is a research and educational effort that is a response to the release of newly digitized manumission documents that reside at [CIC member] Haverford College in Pennsylvania.”
  • Edward González-Tennant, “Remembering the Rosewood Massacre,” JSTOR Daily (January 1, 2023): LINK. “On January 1, 1923, Rosewood, Florida, was a thriving town of mostly African American residents. Seven days later, it was gone, burned to the ground by a white mob.” At Legacies Partner Austin College, the project team is exploring a similar eruption of racial violence in Sherman, TX, in 1930.
  • Don Rogers, “The ‘kind’ slaveholder’s legacy,” The Aspen (Colo.) Times (January 1, 2023): LINK. A reflection on the legacies of slavery in one White family, which includes a history of casual racism but also the efforts of distant relative LBJ to promote civil rights. “In my gut, I don’t feel guilty. I don’t believe the sins of our fathers and mothers are our problem, our burden. But that might only be a vestige of the legacy only slowly diluting as it seeps from one generation to the next, drip by drop.”
  • Alex Baumhardt, “How a school project prompted Oregon to rid slavery from its constitution,” Oregon Capital Chronicle (December 28, 2022): LINK. A professor and a group of students from CIC member Willamette University were the driving force behind the recent ballot initiative to remove the “slavery exception” (i.e., as a punishment for crime) from the state constitution.  
  • Gerry Lanosga, “‘Behold the Wicked Abominations That They Do’: The Nineteenth-Century Roots of the Evidentiary Approach in American Investigative Journalism,” American Journalism 39:4 (2022), pp. 368–391: https://doi.org/10.1080/08821127.2022.2133024. Explores an unexpected legacy of the antislavery movement: modern investigative journalism. Although the article is behind a paywall, there is a free teaching guide that helps draw the line between abolitionist exposés of the 1850s and Watergate coverage in the 1970s.