Legacies links for May 8, 2023: horseracing, Vermont, and Tampa Bay all have obscured Black histories

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19th century oil painting of a racehorse with two African American workers
Edward Troye, Portrait of the Racehorse ‘Tobacconist’ (1833) source: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • Tracey Teo, “The Kentucky Derby’s forgotten Black past,” BBC (May 4, 2023): LINK. “Today, there are few African Americans involved in the US’ horseracing industry, but they once dominated the sport, working as jockeys, trainers, breeders and grooms. In fact, in the latter half of the 19th Century, when horse racing was one of the most popular sports in America, African Americans were considered some of the best horsemen in the world, a fact that has long since been forgotten or erased.”
  • Eva Laurens, “Lindenwood’s history with slavery is complicated,” LindenLink (May 2, 2023): LINK. One of the founders of CIC member Lindenwood University (Saint Charles, MO), Mary Sibley, held slaves for some time — but she also supported abolitionist martyr Elijah Lovejoy. Historians at the university argue that “despite the complexity [of its founders], it is important for students and faculty to learn about the school’s history.”
  • Michael Bielawski, “Bill proposes Vermonters pay reparations for slavery,” (May 3, 2023): LINK. “A bill being considered in the [Vermont] House would create a task force to examine how Vermont might apologize and compensate for slavery — even though the state Constitution [passed in 1793 and still in force today] prohibited the practice.”
  • Paul Guzzo, “Here’s what little we know about the slave-era residents of Tampa Bay,” Tampa Bay Times (May 3, 2023): LINK. The history and legacy of slavery in Florida is complicated — and too little known. “With the exception of Samuel Forrester, Tampa Bay’s ‘Black Daniel Boone,’ little is known about the stories of those enslaved here [in the Tampa Bay]. Local history was written, in part, by the enslavers and their descendants. They chose to omit the ugliness of slavery. And the enslaved likely preferred to forget about their experiences rather than pass on those stories.”
  • Judy Woodruff and Frank Carlson, “A look at the history of racism in America and its role in today’s divisions,” PBS NewsHour (May 3, 2023): LINK. A broad overview of racism in American history that examines how the “founding of the nation on the promise of freedom at a time when many couldn’t participate in the democracy being created” is a “fundamental contradiction that has evolved over time.”