Legacies links for August 21, 2023: Black property rights, an unmarked grave, and Confederate monuments

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In 1957, the Little Rock Nine heroically challenged racial segregation in the public schools of Little Rock and beyond. They were commemorated in a 2005 postage stamp featuring a painting by African American artist George Hunt. source: National Postal Museum. Copyright United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.
  • Adolph Reed, Jr., “The Uses of Affirmative Action,” The Nation (August 9, 2023): LINK. “What does the US Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action in college admissions have in common with proposals for eliminating the ‘racial wealth gap’?” According to Reed, a progressive social scientists and journalist, “Neither will have any impact whatsoever on the lives and material circumstances of the vast majority of Black Americans.”
  • Alexa Spencer, “For Black Folks, Medical Mistreatment Starts Young,” Word in Black (August 9, 2023): LINK. A new study from the Urban Institute confirms that “Black children and their parents are more likely than others to face unfair treatment in medical settings.”
  • James Pollard, “Developers have Black families fighting to maintain property and history,” Associated Press via ABC News (August 12, 2023): LINK. “All along the South Carolina coast, developers of new homes and vacation getaways are targeting properties owned by the descendants of enslaved people.”
  • “Henry Brown’s marker reminds us of slavery’s evils,” Times Leader (August 15, 2023): LINK. Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, just dedicated a marker on the previously unmarked grave of Henry Brown, a Black freeman who served as an Underground Railroad “conductor.” This editorial from the local newspaper calls the marker “a reminder of how revisionist history downplaying the evils of slavery can darken our future.”  
  • Calvin Schermerhorn, “What Florida gets wrong about George Washington and the benefits he received from enslaving Black people,” The Conversation (August 17, 2023): LINK. “Despite the existence of voluminous public records that reveal Washington’s treatment of [a Black man named] Morris and other human property he owned, Florida officials want public school educators to instead emphasize Washington’s efforts to abolish slavery.”
  • Abinahav S. Krishnan, “How GOP lawmakers are pushing for Confederate monuments to be (legally) set in stone,” USA Today, (August 17, 2023): LINK. “Arkansas is one of many Southern states that have passed historic preservation laws to strip local leaders of the power to take down Confederate monuments in their communities. Bills in former Confederate states such as Texas and Florida were introduced in Republican-controlled legislatures this year. Now, similar bills are appearing in states that were not part of the Confederacy, including New York and Pennsylvania.”
  • Bracey Harris, “They integrated Little Rock’s schools—now they’re slamming restrictions on AP African American Studies,” NBC News (August 18, 2023): LINK. “Several surviving members of the Little Rock Nine, a group of students who in 1957 integrated Little Rock Central High School under threats of violence from white segregationists, are denouncing the Arkansas Department of Education’s restrictions on an Advanced Placement African American Studies course.” (Last week, Arkansas officials said that the AP course wouldn’t count for credit toward high school graduation in the state because it’s still a pilot … oh, and because it promotes “indoctrination.”)
  • “Project seeks to name the 10 million people enslaved before the Civil War,” WGBH (August 18, 2023): LINK. “A new collaborative project called 10 Million Names, spearheaded by the New England Historic Genealogical Society and American Ancestors, is seeking to identify and name each individual enslaved before the U.S. Civil War.” An interview with the lead historian of this project from NPR’s “All Things Considered.”