Why an American in England cried in the rain next to a statue of Abraham Lincoln

Statue Lincoln in Lancashire
Source: Lily Seville

Lily Seville posted this story on Facebook August 18 and made it publicly available so it can be shared.

I haven’t told any stories from England since I got home but it seems like maybe we could all use a good story about a civil war statue, a good story about an American President, and a good story about the power of the common people against the rich and powerful, so I’m going to start with this one. It’s probably for the best that you’re reading this here because I haven’t managed to tell this story in person without crying. read more

The Whitney Plantation, a special place carefully designed to teach about slavery

John Cummings at the Whitney Plantation
Source: The Atlantic video about the Whitney Foundation
John Cummings founded the Whitney Plantation to educate the country about our national legacy of slavery and has spent $8 million over 15 years on this project. He says, “This isn’t black history, this is American history .. it was very shocking to me that I didn’t know about slavery … I had no idea of how deprived they were, not by force of circumstance, but by deliberate planning … We’re not finished.”

Ibrahima Seck
Source: The Atlantic’s video about the Whitney Foundation

The museum and memorial’s Director of Research, Ibrahima Seck, says today, “People need to understand what happened on these plantations … why so many people are in jail, so much poverty, black people being shot and killed like game. All that is rooted in slavery.” read more

Big Brands making a killing from inmate labor, a slavery replacement

prison laborVery neatly written exposition of how prisons have replaced slavery as a means of augmenting the wealthy of the wealthy – on the backs of society’s most vulnerable.

“Insourcing,” as prison labor is often called, is an even cheaper alternative to outsourcing. Instead of sending labor over to China or Bangladesh, manufacturers have chosen to forcibly employ the 2.4 million incarcerated people in the United States. Chances are high that if a product you’re holding says it is “American Made,” it was made in an American prison. read more

US Colonel: slavery was the SINGLE reason for the Civil War (video)

North was agrarian tooColonel Ty Seidule, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, sets the record state on the question of what the reason was for the United States Civil War. In this interesting short video Col. Seidule makes the case that the single reason was slavery. Does a good job with it, too.

Here are some highlights:

The buzz term “States’ Rights” was coined by Southern state residents and referred to the right they believed they possessed, to continue slavery. read more

Exploitation by the light-skinned a tradition in the Dominican Republic and Ted Cruz’ Cuba

Slaves dance on Cuban plantationSen. Ted Cruz is an elitist Cuban-American, representative of Cuban plantation owners who imported and exploited African slaves for generations. A lesson plan from PBS’ Black in Latin America feature shows that by persecuting Haitians the Dominican Republic is simply following Cuba’s tradition of persecuting dark-skinned workers once the workers have been exploited to breaking point. This is the Cuban history:

When revolution broke out in the French colony of Saint Domingue (later known as Haiti), sugar production there came to a virtual halt. This caused a sudden demand for sugar. Cuban plantation owners quickly stepped in to fill the gap created by neighboring Haiti, placing Cubans in a position to profit immensely. By the mid-1800’s, Cuba replaced Haiti as the world’s leading producer of sugar, making Cuban plantation owners very wealthy. Sugar is a very labor intensive and the increased pressure to fill market demand for this lucrative crop resulted in a high death rate among slaves. Plantation owners responded to the labor shortage by purchasing more slaves thereby reinvigorating the Transatlantic slave trade even after the British sought to curtail it. read more

Slavery in New York

Slavery in NY 2005-6 ExhibitionSlavery in New York was a New York Historical Society Exhibition in 2005-6.

New York Slavery (1 of 14 chapters – follow links) is the doctoral dissertation of Dr. Vivienne L. Kruger. MA., M. Phil., Ph.D. circa 1985. Dr. Kruger can be contacted at newyorkslavery@yahoo.com

Hat tip to Elizabeth McGrady for the Kruger find.

The important US holiday not many people know about: Juneteenth

Texas JuneteenthHappy belated Juneteenth! This little known holiday celebrates the announcement in Texas by Major-Gen. Granger’s statement on 19 June 1865 that slavery had come to an end.

On 20 June 2006, Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee made a statement to Congress about the importance of recognizing and celebrating this holiday. This is the text of her speech:


The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee) is recognized for 5 minutes.

Ms. JACKSON-LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise to acknowledge the World Refugee Day as we keep the flame of hope alive, showing some 20.8 million internally displaced refugees fleeing persecution who are now looking to the world to ask for relief. read more

Wealthy steal children – that’s not news in the US

After Encarnación Bail Romero was arrested for being an undocumented United States resident, Judge David Dali ruled that because she was in jail, Encarnación had abandoned her son and was an unfit mother. The judge allowed Seth and Melinda Moser of Carthage, Missouri, to adopt Carlos, who is called Jamison by his new parents. Although Seth Moser has a criminal past, the judge ignored it. In 18 federal detention centers around the country this story is played out time and again. Now, ABC news reporters are showing the pain caused to families on both sides of the involuntary adoption issue whose lives are torn apart by difficult immigration issues. read more