Legacies links for August 14, 2023: a lost city, Afrofuturism, and teaching Black history

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Historic map of North Carolina showing the former location of Rock Landing.
A map identifying Rock Landing, NC, an example of a lost city (now buried by a lake). source: WRAL News

Recent links:

  • Christina A. Samuels, Caroline Preston, Javeria Salmon, “How do we teach Black history in polarized times?” Hechinger Report (August 7, 2023): LINK. Using three cities as examples, the authors emphasize the efforts that high school teachers are making to present a balanced view of history, highlighting both struggles and achievements while promoting a sense of understanding and empathy.
  • Maya Pontone, “Philadelphia Unveils Proposals for New Harriet Tubman Statue,” Hyperallergic (August 7, 2023): LINK. Five artists are finalists in a competition to create a new public monument to abolitionist hero Harriet Tubman in Philadelphia. The process of selecting an artist has highlighted the contested nature of memorial-making in the 21st century, as an earlier plan for a memorial to be sculpted by a white artist was scrapped after a public outcry.
  • Deion Scott Hawkins, “Medical exploitation of Black people in America goes far beyond the cells stolen from Henrietta Lacks that produced modern day miracles,” The Conversation (August 8, 2023): LINK. Black people in America have been exploited by the medical industry through practices such as forced sterilization, medical experimentation, and denial of medical treatment: “Revealing the dark history of medical racism is key to making sure that past injustices do not recur.” (The author teaches at CIC member Emerson College.)
  • Alexander N. Taylor, “When Confederate-glorifying monuments went up in the South, voting in Black areas went down,” The Conversation (August 8, 2023): LINK. The erection of Confederate monuments since Reconstruction is related to a decrease in voting turnout among Black communities in the South: “These findings demonstrate that a connection existed between racism and these monuments from their inception—and provide context for modern monument debates.”
  • Heather Leah, “Underwater ghost town: NC lake covers ‘lost city’ with links to Underground Railroad,” WRAL News (August 9, 2023): LINK. An underwater ghost town in North Carolina may have played a role in the Underground Railroad. The town, notable in its day as a terminus of the Roanoke Canal, was also home to a Black woman brewer who escaped slavery twice.
  • Roy Whitaker, “Through space and rhyme: How hip-hop uses Afrofuturism to take listeners on journeys of empowerment,” The Conversation (August 9, 2023): LINK. Hip-hop is 50 years old, so it definitely has a past! Along the way, it has often drawn upon a specific future—i.e., Afrofuturism—for themes and imagery that resist oppression and reclaim Black agency.
  • Stanley Nelson, Valerie Scoon, and Allie Weintraub, “Documentary traces history of policing the Black community—from slavery through present day,” ABC News (August 10, 2023): LINK. A new Hulu documentary explores the complicated racial history that helps explain contemporary policing in Black communities, from slavery through Amir Locke (a Black man killed by police earlier this year in Minneapolis).