Legacies links for June 26, 2023: racial healing, affirmative action, and other legal legacies

A day late, but we’re still catching up from the Juneteenth hiatus! As always, we encourage you to share it with friends, students, colleagues, etc. A link does not imply agreement or endorsement by the Council of Independent Colleges.

Portrait of Arthur Fletcher.
Arthur Fletcher, Black Republican, “father of affirmative action.” source: The Seattle Times

Recent links:

  • Devon M. Sayers, “The new museum at America’s largest slave port site also taps into a deeply rooted joy,” CNN (June 19, 2023): LINK. The International African American Museum opens in Charleston, SC, on June 27. The museum is designed to “honor … the many thousands of Africans forced to leave home under barbaric conditions as it also celebrates their essential American legacy.”
  • David B. Parker, “How Black Americans combated racism from beyond the grave,” The Conversation (June 14, 2023): LINK. Honorific titles like “Mr.,” “Ms.,” and “Mrs.” were often placed on gravestones belonging to African Americans to command a sense of dignity not always encountered in the person’s lived experience.
  • Rachel Treisman, “Slave cases are still cited as good law across the U.S. This team aims to change that.,” NPR (June 14, 2023): LINK. The 1848 Supreme Court case Townsend v. Townsend (where the “insane delusion rule” first made an appearance) forms the backdrop for the Citing Slavery Project, a “comprehensive online database (and map) of slave cases and the modern cases that cite them as precedent.”
  • Zak Cheney-Rice, “Affirmative Action Never Had a Chance: the conservative backlash to the civil-rights era began immediately — and now it’s nearly complete,” The Intelligencer (June 12, 2023): LINK. As the Supreme Court considers the ramifications for ending affirmative action, the author looks back at Arthur Fletcher, a Black Republican sometimes called the “father of affirmative action,” who fought to defend the practice until his death in 2005.
  • Adelle M. Banks, “Three years after George Floyd’s death, faith groups quietly advance racial healing,” Religious News (June 9, 2023): LINK. Across denominations, some Christian groups work to raise awareness about systemic racism in their own faith communities, following a spiritual mandate for racial healing inspired by biblical teachings.
  • Hakim Bishara, “How Long Must We Sing This Song?” Hyperallergic (June 16, 2023): LINK. In an exhibition at the Cristin Tierney Gallery in NYC, the artist Dread Scott has transformed four of Nina Simone’s protest songs—”Mississippi Goddam” (1964), “Four Women” (1966), “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” (1967), and “Pirate Jenny” (1964)—into visual art pieces showing the systemic oppression of African Americans.

Some news from around the CIC network:

  • “How the Founding Fathers argued over slavery,” KERA (June 13, 2023): LINK. An interview with Edward Larson, author of American Inheritance (Norton, 2023), professor of history and Hugh and Hazel Darling Chair in Law at CIC member Pepperdine University. Larson discusses American and British strategies to emancipate enslaved Black people during the American Revolution.
  • E. Gale Greenlee and N.E. Brown, “Kentucky’s Black Craft Trail and the Unequal Path from Berea College to Lincoln Institute,” Hyperallergic (June 15, 2023): LINK. “The relationship between [CIC member] Berea College and Lincoln Institute is marked by racism, ‘benevolent’ White donors, and Black educators who equipped Black youth with skills in industrial trades.”
  • “$3.8M in Action Fund Grants Help Protect 40 African American Historic Sites,” National Trust for Historic Preservation (June 13, 2023): LINK. The National Trust for Historic Preservation gives grants to help preserve African American historic sites, including campus structures at five HBCUs that are also CIC members: Morris College, Dillard University, Talladega College, Tuskegee University, and Jarvis Christian University.