“Strike for your lives and liberties… Let your motto be Resistance! Resistance! RESISTANCE! … What kind of resistance you… make you must decide by the circumstances that surround you.” These words were spoken by abolitionist and clergyman Henry Highland Garnet in 1843, and they give this exhibit of African American portraiture its name. It was […]Read more "Let your motto be Resistance!"
1934: A New Deal for Artists By Meghan Evans “I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people. Let us all here assembled constitute ourselves prophets of a new order of competence and of courage. This is more than a political campaign; it is a call to arms. Give me […]Read more "1934: A New Deal for Artists"
Uncle Tom’s Children is a collection of short stories written by Richard Wright and published in 1938. Wright was born in Mississippi during the first decade of the 20th century, and as a result, lived to experience the immense racial injustices that Africans Americans still faced even after the passing of the 13th,14th , and […]Read more "Mann vs. Nature"
Last week’s discussion about how to tell the history of lynching in museums was a difficult one for me to conceptualize. I must admit, I could not even look through the grotesque exhibition content on the Without Sanctuary website because it upsets me to have to witness this tragic part of African American history. In fact, I have […]Read more "Presenting the History of Lynching in Museums"
(Photo from http://www.ktul.com/Global/story.asp?S=13805281) W.E.B. Dubois’ The Souls of Black Folk asks the question: “How does it feel to be a problem?” He famously defined Black identity as “this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on […]Read more "How do you cope with a massacre?"
My first interaction with an African American person was while I was still in diapers. I waddled up to a black army sergeant and tried to wipe his face. Being from a town with a predominantly white population I had never met an African American person before, and it would be another 16 years before […]Read more "50 Shades of Black: The Impossibility of Defining Blackness"
There is a scene from the 1972 film Cabaret that manages to encapsulate in a few short seconds the very ethos of the movie, it’s dark moral about the dangers of fiddling while Rome burns. The two main characters, Liza Menneli’s anti-heroine Sally Bowles and her love interest Brian (Michael York), are traveling in a […]Read more "In Here, Life (Isn’t) Beautiful"
(photo courtesy of the Waterford Museum) When considering museums that tell the story of immigration, institutions like The Lower East Side Tenement Museum often come to mind. Often overlooked are smaller, local institutions that seek to tell the immigrant stories of their community and tie them to the greater national narrative. These exhibits can facilitate […]Read more "Starting with a Question: “Making Waterford Our Home”"
“Work, culture, liberty, — all these we need, not singly but together, not successively but together, each growing and aiding each, and all striving toward that vaster ideal that swims before the Negro people,the ideal of human brotherhood, gained through the unifying ideal of Race; the ideal of fostering and developing the traits and talents […]Read more "United We Stand?: A Reflection Upon the Needs of the Negro Addressed by W.E.B. DuBois in “Of Our Spiritual Strivings”"
Americans love to flaunt our immigrant heritages (it is said that there are more Irish Americans than there are Irish in Ireland) but the United States has historically not been terribly fond of immigrants themselves. They tend to be poor, don’t speak English, and practice bewilderingly different customs, so we are hesitant to welcome them […]Read more "Assimilation Nation: Immigrants, Food, and Cultural Politics"