Legacies links for November 20, 2023: Convict Labor, School Integration, and Cancelling MLK Day (?)

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Historic photo of a group of African American convicts on a chain gang with an armed white guard. The guard points a rifle towards the camera.
“Convict Labor” (1895). source: New Georgia Encyclopedia
  • Ryan Moser, “Slavery and the Modern-Day Prison Plantation,” JSTOR Daily (November 8, 2023): LINK. “The stories of antebellum slavery and modern-day prison labor are deeply intertwined in the Deep South of the United States, exemplified by the prison plantation.”
  • Arrman Kyaw, “Panel: Erasing Black History Threatens to Harm Black Community, Students, and Nation’s Future,” Diverse: Issues in Higher Education (November 14, 2023): LINK. “[A] panel — part of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s larger National Racial Equity Initiative for Social Justice Summit — brought together experts to discuss contemporary attacks against the inclusion of Black history in societal awareness and education.”
  • “The Annotated Frederick Douglass,” The Atlantic (November 13, 2023): LINK. With an introduction and annotations by David Blight, Sterling Professor of American History at Yale University (and director of CIC’s Legacies initiative), The Atlantic revisits Douglass’ radical hopes and dreams for Reconstruction. Part of a special issue devoted to Reconstruction.
  • Siddhartha Mitter, “Dawoud Bey, Full Frame: On Richmond’s Trail of the Enslaved,” New York Times (November 9, 2023): LINK. In a new exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, photographer Dawoud Bey has “turned his attention to the psychic geography of the Black experience — the deep relationship between American terrain and histories of bondage and freedom.”
  • Grace Elizabeth Hale, “How Two Versions of a Family Story Sparked a Writer’s Quest for Truth,” Literary Hub (November 8, 2023): LINK. In this excerpt from In the Pines: A Lynching, a Lie, a Reckoning (Little, Brown and Co., 2023), Hale’s understanding of a lynching that happened in her community — and the role her white ancestors supposedly played in diminishing white supremacy — is upended.
  • Elliott Drago, “History is a Vital Resource,” Jack Miller Center (November 6, 2023): LINK. An interview with historian Peter Porsche, faculty member at CIC member Baylor University (Waco, TX), who discusses the intersections of race, religion, and access to American citizenship.
  • Walter Kimbrough, “King Day 2024 is Cancelled,” Diverse: Issues in Higher Education (November 3, 2023): LINK. The former president of CIC member (and HBCU) Dillard University (New Orleans, LA) argues that “the days of a sanitized, watered-down Martin Luther King Jr. must come to an end, because the times are too perilous to do what we’ve always done.” He invites universities to authentically honor King by having a Day of Sacrifice: Host teach-ins. Push back against politicians who are “trying to ban books, end DEI programs, or discriminate against the LGBT community.”
  • “School Integration in America: A Conversation with American Experience,” WGBH (November 2023): LINK. The filmmakers behind two new PBS documentaries, “The Busing Battleground” and “The Harvest: Integrating Mississippi’s Schools,” in conversation about the progress of education equity.
  • National Academies Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity, “Examining the History, Consequences, and Effects of Race-Based Clinical Algorithms on Health Equity: Proceedings of a Workshop,” The National Academies Press (2023): LINK. “Examining ways to promote race-conscious medicine, participants [in this July 2023 workshop] explored the underlying assumptions of racial differences in physiology, and parameters for identifying instances when race and ethnicity as social constructs are legitimate considerations for improving health equity, such as when promoting outreach, screening, and community education and engagement.”