Category Archives: Slavery

SCL Pick: “The house on Diamond Hill : a Cherokee plantation story”

Happy Friday, everyone! In honor of Native American Heritage Month, today’s SCL Pick is a recent addition to our collection: The house on Diamond Hill: a Cherokee plantation story, by public historian Tiya Miles. Miles is a 2011 MacArthur Fellow and her research “explores the complex interrelationships between African and Cherokee people living and working in colonial America.” She is currently a professor at the University of Michigan and you can read a fuller biography of her accomplishments here.

The house on Diamond Hill: a Cherokee plantation story is available here at the Library and we encourage you to check it out. Here’s a brief summary from the catalog description:

  • “At the turn of the nineteenth century, James Vann, a Cherokee chief and entrepreneur, established Diamond Hill, the most famous plantation in the southeastern Cherokee Nation. In this first full-length study to reconstruct the history of the plantation, Tiya Miles tells the story of Diamond Hill’s founding, its flourishing, its takeover by white land-lottery winners on the eve of the Cherokee Removal, its decay, and ultimately its renovation in the 1950s. This moving multiracial history sheds light on the various cultural communities that interacted within the plantation boundaries–from elite Cherokee slaveholders to Cherokee subsistence farmers, from black slaves of various ethnic backgrounds to free blacks from the North and South, from German-speaking Moravian missionaries to white southern skilled laborers. Moreover, the book includes rich portraits of the women of these various communities. Vividly written and extensively researched, this history illuminates gender, class, and cross-racial relationships on the southern frontier.”

A brief preview is also available on Google books. If you’re interested in learning more about research on Native Americans and African Americans, check out our previous post with a list of related books.

Lecture and exhibit opening TODAY (11/8) at Wilson: “Generations of Captivity in North Carolina: The Bennehan-Cameron Plantations, 1776-1865”

Reposted from the UNC Library News and Events blog

Generations of Captivity in North Carolina: The Bennehan-Cameron Plantations, 1776-1865

Lecture by Sydney Nathans
Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011
Wilson Special Collections Library
5 p.m.  Reception and Exhibit Viewing, 4th floor
5:30 p.m.  Program, Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Free and open to the public
Information: Liza TerllFriends of the Library, (919) 548-1203

The lives of people enslaved at the Stagville Plantation in what now is Durham County, N.C., will be the focus of a lecture and exhibit at the Wilson Special Collections Library. The program and exhibit are free and open to the public.

Sydney Nathans, professor emeritus of history at Duke University, will give a lecture Nov. 8 titled “Generations of Captivity in North Carolina: The Bennehan-Cameron Plantations, 1776-1865.” The lecture will open the exhibit in the Wilson Library’s 4th floor gallery, Kin and Community: African American Lives at Stagville, on view through Mar. 2, 2012.

Nathans has devoted much of his academic life to working in the Cameron Family Papers in the Southern Historical Collection, focusing on relations between whites and blacks and the lives of black families who lived on the Bennehan-Cameron family’s extensive plantations in Orange (now Durham) County.

The Cameron family, which also had substantial plantations in Alabama and Mississippi, was among North Carolina’s largest landholders and slaveholders.

The event and exhibit are sponsored by the Southern Historical Collection and the Friends of the Library.

Historic Slavery Accounts Available for Purchase through DocSouth Books Partnership

 

 

Reposted from the UNC Library News and Events blog:

Twelve historic accounts of African American slavery are newly available in reprint and online editions, thanks to a collaborative effort of the UNC Library and the University of North Carolina Press.

The venture, DocSouth Books, allows readers to purchase reprinted classic editions from the collections of the UNC Library. The books were originally scanned as part of the Library’s Documenting the American South (DocSouth) digital publishing program.

Beginning this month, UNC Press will offer bound print-on-demand copies of the books at prices ranging from $15 to $40. The Press will soon also make the books available as downloadable e-books.

The titles are slave narratives, or biographies and autobiographies of fugitive and former slaves. Included is Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave, recently slated for Hollywood adaptation by Brad Pitt.

The Library launched DocSouth in 1996 as a pilot to bring a small number of highlights from the stacks to a broader audience online. Today, DocSouth comprises fifteen collections of 1,454 digitized books, along with maps, images, oral histories, manuscripts, and primary source materials.

By converting some of those digital files to new print editions and even to e-books, access to rare materials has expanded greatly, said Jenn Riley, head of the Carolina Digital Library and Archives, which includes DocSouth.

“Users now have two new ways to engage with these books,” she said. “This collaboration with the UNC Press makes perfect sense as a way to expand the scope of DocSouth.”

 

SCL Picks: Banned Books Week Edition

Happy First Amendment Day! In honor of Banned Books Week, this week we’ll be highlighting items in the SCL collection that have been at one time or another banned, challenged, or otherwise contested.

Today’s pick is Toni Morrison’s 1987 classic, Beloved:

“Proud and beautiful, Sethe escaped from slavery but is haunted by its heritage–from the fires of the flesh to the heartbreaking challenges to the spirit. Set in rural Ohio several years after the Civil War, this profoundly affecting chronicle of slavery and its aftermath is Toni Morrison’s greatest work.” (Source: Syndetic Solutions

The American Library Association website lists the following points of contention over the years:

“Challenged at the St. Johns County Schools in St. Augustine, FL (1995). Retained on the Round Rock, TX Independent High School reading list (1996) after a challenge that the book was too violent. Challenged by a member of the Madawaska, ME School Committee (1997) because of the book’s language. The 1987 Pulitzer Prize winning novel has been required reading for the advanced placement English class for six years. Challenged in the Sarasota County, FL schools (1998) because of sexual material.  Retained on the Northwest Suburban High School District 214 reading listing in Arlington Heights, IL (2006), along with eight other challenged titles.  A board member, elected amid promises to bring her Christian beliefs into all board decision-making, raised the controversy based on excerpts from the books she’d found on the Internet.  Challenged in the Coeur d’Alene School District, ID (2007).  Some parents say the book, along with five others, should require parental permission for students to read them.  Pulled from the senior Advanced Placement (AP) English class at Eastern High School in Louisville, KY (2007) because two parents complained that the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about antebellum slavery depicted the inappropriate topics of bestiality, racism, and sex.  The principal ordered teachers to start over with The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne in preparation for upcoming AP exams.”

Curious to see what all the fuss is about? Come by the Stone Center Library and read it for yourself!

Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15-October 15

Did you know? Yesterday marked the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is observed from September 15-October 15. This holiday period was established in 1968 and recognizes the contributions and heritage of those U.S. citizens whose ancestry traces back to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

As explained on the official website, “The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period.”

This year’s theme is “Many Backgrounds, Many Stories…One American Spirit” and a wealth of related resources are available online: exhibitions and collections, images, and even audio and video clips.

Here at the Stone Center Library, we have numerous books on Latin American topics… check out a sampling below, and stay tuned for more highlights over the course of the month!

Happy reading! 🙂

SCL Boredom-Buster #11: “The pecan orchard: journey of a sharecropper’s daughter,” by Peggy Vonsherie Allen

This week the SCL Boredom-Busters series continues with summer reading recommendations in non-fiction, as a complement to the fiction and poetry titles we’ve highlighted thus far. Today’s pick is:

The pecan orchard: journey of a sharecropper’s daughter, by Peggy Vonsherie Allen.

  • “This is a true story of the struggle, survival, and ultimate success of a large black family in south Alabama who, in the middle decades of the 20th century, lifted themselves out of poverty to achieve the American dream of property ownership. Descended from slaves and sharecroppers in the Black Belt region, this family of hard-working parents and their thirteen children is mentored by its matriarch, Moa, the author’s beloved great grandmother, who passes on to the family, along with other cultural wealth, her recipe for moonshine. . . Told in clean, straightforward prose, the story radiates the suffocating midday heat of summertime cotton fields and the biting winter wind sifting through porous shanty walls. It conveys the implicit shame in “Colored Only” restrooms, drinking fountains, and eating areas; the beaming satisfaction of a job well done recognized by others; the “yessum” manners required of southern society; and the joyful moments, shared memories, and loving bonds that sustain-and even raise-a proud family.” (Source: Syndetic Solutions)

Happy reading! 🙂

Juneteenth: An introduction & UNC resources

On June 19, 1865 – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation – Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, TX to enforce the previously declared abolition of slavery.

In recognition of this landmark event, Juneteenth was first established as a state holiday in Texas in 1980 and celebrates slavery’s end in the United States. Juneteenth is now celebrated in most states, including North Carolina, and it “celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.”

Here at the Stone Center Library, we encourage you to learn more about this holiday, the events surrounding emancipation, and African-American celebrations in general by recommending a few books to get you started:

Interested in learning more? Don’t forget our Guide to the Web, which includes a list of resources on Emancipation and Reconstruction. Happy reading!

SCL Picks: Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities

This week, the Stone Center Library recommends yet another new arrival to our collection: Blackberries and Redbones: Critical Articulations of Black Hair/Body Politics in Africana Communities. This anthology seeks to respond to the following question: “As a text, how are Black bodies and Black hair read and understood in life, art, popular culture, mass media, or cross-cultural interactions?.”

With editors Regina E. Spellers and Kimberly R. Moffitt at the helm, Blackberries and Redbones is divided thematically into five areas:

  • Part I: Hair/Body Politics as Expression of the Life Cycle
  • Part II: Hair/Body as Power
  • Part III: Hair/Body in Art and Popular Culture
  • Part IV: Celebrations, Innovations, and Applications of Hair/Body Politics
  • Part V: Contradictions, Complications, and Complexities of Hair/Body Politics

An interdisciplinary mix of scholarly essays, poems, and other creative writing, each selection concludes with 2-3 discussion questions for further thought, making this a collection both academically rigorous and supremely accessible to the general public.

Writings include titles such as “From Air Jordan to Jumpman: The Black Male Body as Commodity” (Ingrid Banks); “Weaving Messages of Self-Esteem: Empowering Mothers and Daughters through Hair Braiding” (Tracey Y. Lewis-Elligan); “‘I am More than a Victim’: The Slave Woman Stereotype in Antebellum Narratives by Black Men” (Ellesia A. Blaque); “The Big Girl’s Chair: A Rhetorical Analysis of How Motions for Kids Markets Relaxers to African American Girls;” and “Sun Kissed or Sun Cursed?: Exploring Color Consciousness and Black Women’s Tanning Experiences” (Regina E. Spellers).

You can also check out their companion website www.blackberriesandredbones.com, which features a discussion board (registration required). Interested in learning more? Come by the library and check it out – Blackberries and Redbones is currently featured in our reading area display. Hope to see you soon!

National Library Week 2011: More of what’s new @the Stone Center Library

In honor of National Library Week, our coverage of new arrivals currently on display here at the library continues.  Today’s theme is religion:

“This phenomenological analysis of African American religious subjectivity suggests the tragic, understood as an ontological category, as the seminal hermeneutical lens through which one can deepen one’s understanding of the experience and its theological implications.”

“The author provides background information on traditional black churches and today’s black megachurches and explores the influences of the former on the empowering socialization educational tactics employed in megachurch congregations.”

“For AIDS scholars, researchers, and community activists, Harris (sociology, California State U., Fullerton) draws from her dissertation research and fieldwork to describe AIDS activism in black churches in New York City, the formation of the black church AIDS movement, and the organizational development and marketing and education strategies of The Balm In Gilead.”

In America after the Civil War, the emancipation of four million slaves and the explosion of Chinese immigration fundamentally challenged traditional ideas about who belonged in the national polity. As Americans struggled to redefine citizenship in the United States, the “Negro Problem” and the “Chinese Question” dominated the debate. . . The book further explores how blacks and Chinese reimagined the evangelical nationalist project to suit their own needs and hopes. Historian Derek Chang brings together for the first time African American and Chinese American religious histories through a multitiered local, regional, national, and even transnational analysis of race, nationalism, and evangelical thought and practice.”

“This book explores the legacy of slavery in Black theological terms. Challenging the dominant approaches to the history and legacy of slavery in the British Empire, the contributors show that although the 1807 act abolished the slave trade, it did not end racism, notions of White supremacy, or the demonization of Blackness, Black people and Africa.”

“Touching on issues of slavery, geography, Native American history, Jewish-Christian relations, literacy, and translation, he brilliantly exposes how the loss of land and the supersessionist ideas behind the Christian missionary movement are both deeply implicated in the invention of race.”

“This book follows the extraordinary career of Dwight York, who in his teens started out in a New York street gang, but converted to Islam in prison. Emerging as a Black messiah, York proceeded to break the Paleman’s “spell of Kingu” and to guide his people through a series of racial/religious identities that demanded dramatic changes in costume, gender roles and lifestyle.”

“Beginning with King’s roots in Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church, Baldwin traces the evolution of King’s attitude toward the church through his college, seminary, graduate school, and civil rights years. The emphasis is on King’s concept of the church as “the voice of conscience.” . . Baldwin critiques the contemporary church on the basis of King’s prophetic model, and concludes by insisting that this model, not the entrepreneurial spirituality of the contemporary megachurches, embodies the best potential for much-needed church renewal.”

“The changes to U.S. immigration law that were instituted in 1965 have led to an influx of West African immigrants to New York, creating an enclave Harlem residents now call ”Little Africa.” These immigrants are immediately recognizable as African in their wide-sleeved robes and tasseled hats, but most native-born members of the community are unaware of the crucial role Islam plays in immigrants’ lives.”

Interested in learning more?  Don’t forget the Stone Center Library Guide to the Web, which  includes a section on Church Life, found within the category of Society and Government

Coming tomorrow: our series concludes with a look at new selections having to do with themes of community, migration, identity, and heritage.  Stay tuned!

National Library Week 2011: Celebrate with more new books @the SCL!

Yesterday, we posted a handful of the new books currently on display here at the library.  Today, we continue with a selection of those books pertaining to the arts, identity, and untold stories of the African Diaspora.  Click on the links below for more information, or come see us at the Stone Center Library:

“Focusing on orally transmitted cultural forms in the Caribbean, this book reaffirms the importance of myth and symbol in folk consciousness as a mode of imaginative conceptualization.”

“Lorick-Wilmore (sociology, Northeastern U.) explores the specific role and functions of community-based organizations in the creation of Black ethnic identity options for Caribbean immigrants in New York City.”

“Allegory and Meaning is the study of the allegorical-cum-symbolic mode in selected African, African American, and Caribbean literary works. It argues that the domain of allegory in these works constitutes, at bottom, a contested site of paradoxes. The discussion of these African, African American, and Caribbean writers’ use of the allegorical mode is a serious attempt to recover the subtext of their works.”

“Afro-Cuban Diasporas in the Atlantic World explores how Yoruba and Afro-Cuban communities moved across the Atlantic between the Americas and Africa in successive waves in the nineteenth century.”

“This book looks at the experiences of the average black person in England and Wales during the period of the British slave trade. . . This book overturns many of the conventional assumptions that have been made about their lives. They were not enslaved, stigmatised outsiders but woven into English society as government officials, defenders of the country, tradesmen, entertainers and founders of families who have left a legacy of their presence in the form of descendants that in some cases can be traced to the present day.”

 

Stay tuned!  Coming tomorrow: new books on African and African-American religions.