first_imgIn response, African American intellectuals — James W.C. Pennington, Frederick Douglass, William Wells Brown — often took the high road, offering ethical and moral arguments against scientific racism. Black women would use themselves to challenge stereotypes, such as Sojourner Truth’s wearing Quaker garb, Sinha said.Nonetheless, the notion of an “American aristocracy of skin” persisted well into the 20th century. Not until the 1930s did racist academic theories largely fall out of fashion —despite the facts, Sinha said, “that only did [the abolitionists] have the better ethics and morality, they also had the better science.” Related Today they are seen as emblematic of the depth of American racism. But in their day and for a century beyond, the familiar but unsettling 19th-century daguerreotypes of Jem, Alfred, Delia, Renty, Fassena, Drana, and Jack were accepted in some circles as scientific evidence of the inherent inferiority of Blacks.A Thursday afternoon webinar, “The Enduring Legacy of Slavery and Racism in the North,” took as its starting point a new book on the images, “To Make Their Own Way in the World: The Enduring Legacy of the Zealy Daguerreotypes,” co-published by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and the Aperture Foundation. The webinar examined the role of slavery in the North through the 19th century and the influence of Agassiz and scientific racism.The daguerreotypes, commissioned by Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz to support his theories of human origins and found in the attic of the Peabody in 1976, represent “vivid and visceral records of our country’s original sin,” according to the book’s preface. Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin quoted it in introducing the panel: Kyera Singleton, executive director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters in Medford; John Stauffer, Sumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American studies; and Manisha Sinha, James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in American History at the University of Connecticut.This program was presented as part of the presidential initiative on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery, a University-wide effort housed at the Radcliffe Institute.The images are symbolic of Harvard’s own entanglement with slavery, Brown-Nagin said. “For too long, Americans in the north of this country have cherished a narrative about widespread Northern opposition to the institution of slavery — privileging those stories over a more accurate and complete narrative about the ways that many Northerners were complicit in, and benefited from, slavery.”,Disturbing material like the Zealy images are crucial to understanding the historical picture, said Singleton, who is a doctoral candidate in American culture at the University of Michigan. “I want you to think about the violence of forgetting, of not seeing.” She cited statistics to bear out the role of slavery in the Northern economy: By the 1670s more than half the ships in Boston Harbor were slave ships, and enslaved people represented 12 percent of the population in Boston, and as much as 25 percent in Rhode Island.She said the deeper truth is more than a matter of numbers. “How does one tell a complex story of slavery? At our museum, we know that some 60 people were enslaved by the Royall family. We know their names, but we don’t have a ton of information of who they were and how they felt.” To fill out the story, the museum made an archaeological dig that uncovered game pieces, smoking pipes, and other artifacts of the slaves’ everyday lives. “One cannot talk about the beautiful colonial mansion of the Royall family without talking about the people who built it, or the indigenous land it sits upon. … Who was enslaved against their will to generate enormous wealth for a white family?”Stauffer looked deeper into Massachusetts’ decidedly mixed record on racism. On one hand, African American males during the Civil War had unrestricted suffrage, a privilege not granted to Irish immigrants. Massachusetts, which abolished slavery in 1783, was also the first state to overturn the ban on interracial marriage, the first to desegregate schools, and the first to admit Black jurors. And at Harvard, the first African American instructor, Aaron Molyneaux Hewlett, was a popular campus figure and the first Black superintendent of physical education. “One cannot talk about the beautiful colonial mansion of the Royall family without talking about the people who built it, or the indigenous land it sits upon.” — Kyera Singleton, executive director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters Yet it was also in Massachusetts that Agassiz pursued his racism through most of the 1800s, despite some pushback from the religious community, which noted that his theory of separate races contradicted Genesis. (“He said that the Bible did not include all the Genesis stories, which was a creative but problematic way of getting around that,” Stauffer said.)Agassiz maintained friendships with the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Sen. Charles Sumner, both public abolitionists who failed to dispute his views in public — though Sumner did in letters, Stauffer said. He suggested that they may have been reluctant to challenge the intellectual community in Boston. “It is fascinating to me that some of his anti-slavery colleagues do not confront him, which would have led to an important and rich discussion at the time.”Sinha expanded on the “afterlives” of Northern slavery. Agassiz, she said, was only one of many 19th-century “scientific racists” who employed quasi-scientific reasoning to argue against Black rights. “They were measuring peoples’ skulls, the distance between their nose and their heads, and making pernicious claims about inherent racial inferiority. Whether it’s intellect, beauty, sensibility — you name it, they made those claims.” New University-wide initiative will deepen the exploration of Harvard’s historical ties to enslavement center_img Event examines ‘400 Years of Inequality’ How slavery still shadows health care A renewed focus on slaverylast_img read more

first_imgUS Department of Labor continue reading » The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) this week approved the Department of Labor’s request to delay the effective date by 18 months, to July 1, 2019. CUNA sent several comment letters during the rulemaking process pushing for the delay, to give credit unions extra time to resolve any additional compliance challenges.The rule defines who is a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan.In addition to the delay, CUNA supports additional research efforts to ensure credit union members are not harmed by the unintended consequences of overly broad rules, and additional analysis into whether the rule may limit choices for moderate or low-income consumers.center_img 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

first_imgEnid M. (Griffiths) Lyford, 98 of Milan and formerly of England passed away at her home on Saturday June 16, 2018.  Enid was born March 5, 1920 in Riseley, England the daughter of Fredrick and Charlotte (Dickens) Griffiths.  She was married to Edward George Lyford who preceded her in death in 1966.  Enid worked for the government and also was an apprentice recruiter for the RAE. She was a member of the Women’s Institute and British Legion.  She enjoyed gardening and her family. Enid is survived by her daughters: Wendy Billings of Chilhowie, VA; Lesley Holbert of Milan. brother: Desmond Griffiths of Woolstone Milton Keynes, England; sister: Jean Pople Paulet of Somerset, England. 4 Grandchildren: Dale and Glen Holbert, Lesley Roark and Paul Dembaugh. 6 Great-Grandchildren, 2 Great-Great Grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her husband;  son: Timothy Lyford in 2013; 1 Grandson: Larry Dembaugh Jr. Services will be at the convenience of the family.  Memorials may be given to the Diabetes Association or Multiple Sclerosis.  Laws-Carr-Moore Funeral Home of Milan is entrusted with arrangements; P.O. Box 243, Milan, IN 47031. You may go to www.lawscarrmoore.com to leave an online condolence for the family.last_img read more

first_imgCALIFORNIA has rapidly become a classic example of a place where the rich get richer and the poor continually get poorer. That’s been true for a decade or more when it comes to employment, where pay for high-end jobs requiring college degrees or higher has grown rapidly, while wages for unskilled labor in fields, carwashes, restaurants and hotels have risen only slightly. Now the real-estate market is creating even more severe inequalities. Example: In one ZIP code area of southern Santa Monica, there were two foreclosures on houses during the second quarter of last year, and two again for the same time period this year. Meanwhile, in another ZIP code almost 100 miles east in the Riverside County city of Moreno Valley, there were 23 foreclosures during the second quarter of last year and 296 this year. Statewide, foreclosures were up from about 20,000 during that time period last year to 53,000 this year. Strikingly, property values in most neighborhoods are down this year, but they are actually up in high-end areas where home prices average more than $1 million. So the rich are still getting richer, and the poor – even the not-so-poor and the middle class – are getting much poorer. The poor watch as whatever equity they’ve built up over years of making house payments disappears in a price slump, and then often have to abandon their homes when monthly payments on some subprime mortgages rise after three or five years of requiring only interest. But that kind of inequality occurs every time there’s a real estate recession like the one in which the entire nation is mired today. Even more serious and permanent is the widening difference between economic classes in this state spawned by the ongoing wave of immigration from Latin America, both legal and illegal. “By slow degrees, California has changed from a state where opportunities abounded and prosperity was more broadly shared to one with an increasing divide between the rich and the poor,” reports Jean Ross, executive director of the Sacramento-based California Budget Project, a nonpartisan analysis agency. “It makes it harder for working families to succeed and to give their children a decent start in life.” A new report from the Budget Project finds the gap between low-wage and high-wage workers has widened more in California than other parts of America. One reason for this, the study found, is that job growth in this state has come mostly at the high end and the low end of the wage scale, while the middle ground remains largely stagnant. What the report does not say is that these conditions are largely the result of buildups in the high-technology sector and the steady stream of immigration. High-technology jobs require education and skills, unless they are simple assembly-line posts. Companies like Intel, Google, Yahoo, Qualcomm, Cisco Systems and Oracle, which employ many thousands of workers, offer higher pay and better working conditions than normal. Fortune Magazine lists all of them among the 50 best employers in America to work for. That’s partly because their highly skilled workers are in constant demand, with headhunters calling many of them almost daily. The high pay and free gourmet meals some of these firms routinely provide are ways of hanging onto their best employees. But no one would rank any carwash, restaurant kitchen or vineyard in that category. Jobs there pay exponentially less than those in high-tech. The low-end jobs stay in that category for two reasons: There is little or no competition for workers because these positions require few skills. The immigrants who fill most of them are among the least educated to arrive in America in the last century. Especially the illegal ones, who undergo no screening for education, disease, criminal record or anything else, as legal immigrants must. As a result, the Budget Project reports about 2 million California families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level of $13,690 per year. These families can offer their children few resources, often need children to join them and help at their jobs, and produce a large number of high-school dropouts. One result: School achievement tests show a continuing gap between Latino children and whites. All those factors mitigate against future success for the children. The danger in all this is that extreme distance between economic classes has often been a harbinger of social unrest. It was one of the underlying causes of riots like those in Watts and other parts of Los Angeles in 1965 and 1992. This state’s government appears utterly oblivious to the problem, but continuing to ignore it can only lead to trouble as rage builds among many millions of have-nots. Thomas D. Elias is a writer living in Southern California. Write to him by e-mail at [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more