Legacies links for February 13, 2023: Black history, reparations, and the great outdoors

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Samford University’s Racial Reconciliation Memorial in Birmingham, Alabama, also honors the legacy of Harry, an enslaved African American who helped save students during a fire on the campus in 1854. source: Samford University
  • Russell Contreras, “Black history booms as states restrict it,” Axios (February 6, 2023): LINK. “Red states are limiting Black history lessons in public schools at the same time scholars are producing groundbreaking new works around art, slavery, civil rights, and the Great Migration.” Includes links to several new books and teaching resources.
  • Chad Williams, “W.E.B. Du Bois, Black History Month and the importance of African American studies,” The Conversation (February 7, 2023): LINK. More than 70 years ago, Du Bois explained “how the teaching of African American history has always challenged racist and exclusionary narratives of the nation’s past.”
  • Kameron Brown, “Samford Preserves and Honors Black History,” Samford University (February 6, 2023): LINK. A round-up of archival materials and other campus resources related to slavery and the struggle for racial equality held by CIC member Samford University (Birmingham, Alabama).
  • “Nearly three quarters of Southerners believe U.S. should offer African Americans some form of reparations to address slavery,” Business Wire (February 8, 2023): LINK. A summary of results from the latest “Survey of the South” from E Pluribus Unum (the nonpartisan group founded by former NOLA mayor Mitch Landrieu). “This year’s data highlights a significant sentiment shift in terms of Southerners’ willingness to support reparations.”
  • Maya Srikrishnan, “True reparations aren’t limited to money,” The Center for Public Integrity (February 10, 2023): LINK. African Americans in California are de-emphasizing one big check as reparations and are instead focusing on reparations as equal access to education, employment, healthcare, and housing.
  • Heather Greenwood Davis, “How reading the night sky helped Black Americans survive,” National Geographic (February 3, 2023): LINK. Also discusses the small but growing number of Black astronomers: “From tracking the seasons to ‘following the gourd’ to freedom, knowledge of the stars was imperative for enslaved Africans. Their descendants are reclaiming those ties.”
  • Kiley Bense, “In Louisiana, Climate Change Threatens the Preservation of History,” Inside Climate News (February 4, 2023): LINK. Whitney Plantation in Louisiana presents a growing example of the ongoing climate crisis and joins historical and archaeological treasures around the world that must be sufficiently protected now so as not to lose their irreplaceable resources.
  • Stacey Sheridan, “Park district cancels controversial cooking camp,” Wednesday Journal (February 7, 2023): LINK. The Park District of Oak Park, Illinois, cancelled a summer camp program for children “based on the foods found during the Transatlantic Slave Trade” in the face of criticism from some community members. The program, which was developed by Black educators and focused on the persistence of African foodways, had been offered successfully several times in Texas. 
  • Jalen Brown, “Black students are less likely to attain college degrees because of discrimination and external responsibilities, study finds,” CNN (February 9, 2023): LINK. A new study from the Lumina Foundation highlights the additional burdens and discrimination that many Black students face at historically white colleges and universities. These systemic challenges are especially notable at for-profit institutions.