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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_imgA friend says someone on the opposite platform said Tashan was looking at him ‘weirdly’ (Picture: BTP) Comment Tributes have flooded in for ‘perfect athlete’ Tashan Daniel, who died on a tube carriage (Picture: PA)The father of an aspiring athlete knifed to death at a London Underground station says he is ‘so proud’ of his son as hundreds attended a vigil.Tashan Daniel, 20, was killed at Hillingdon station at around 4pm as he made his way to an Arsenal match on Tuesday.The sprinter who hoped to represent Great Britain celebrated his birthday over the weekend and was given tickets to the match as a present.A friend who was with him during the attack said he heard someone on the opposite platform complaining about Tashan ‘staring at him weirdly’.ADVERTISEMENTTearful crowds lay floral tributes and sang Amazing Grace outside the station this evening. Chandima Daniel said he was hearing so many ‘amazing things’ about his son from people (Picture: PA) Advertisement Got a story for Metro.co.uk? Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] For more stories like this, check our news page. Hundreds of mourners gathered outside Hillingdon station to pay their respects (Picture: PA) He had just celebrated his 20th birthday and was on the way to a football match when he was killed (Picture: PA)Paramedics and members of the public tried to save his life but he died aboard a tube carriage.A knife was found nearby after the suspects ran out of the station towards Auriol Drive, stealing clothes from a washing line to hide their blood soaked clothing.Many attendees at the vigil wore hoodies from Hillingdon Athletics Club, where Tashan trained as a 200m sprinter.His coach Josh Swaray called him a ‘perfect human being’, praising his ‘hilarious’ sense of humour and his dedication to training.Tashan quit his job as a studio photographer to train an athlete full-time and competed in March this year.Mr Swaray said: ‘Every time Tashan competed he was running faster times, every single time.‘As an athlete that is all we hope for but it doesn’t work like that.‘He was just that gifted, he was just that talented. He knew it, I knew it, everyone around us knew. He held up a picture of his son during a prayer (Picture: PA)Grieving father Chandima Daniel lifted a photo of his son in the air during a prayer and urged people in the crowds to hug each other.AdvertisementAdvertisementHe said: ‘It’s about bringing the community together and stopping this nonsense.‘This is an amazing turnout, it really is, I don’t know what to say really. It’s just unbelievable.‘I’m still in a state of shock about what happened, it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions at the moment.’He says people have been saying ‘amazing things’ about his son which makes him ‘so proud to be his father’.Police say he was with a friend when two other men provoked a fight in front of horrified passengers.Witnesses say they saw blood and a person performing CPR on Tashan as the station was evacuated. Mourners lay floral tributes and sang Amazing Grace in honour of the young athlete (Picture: PA) James HockadayThursday 26 Sep 2019 10:08 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link995Shares Friends say he wanted nothing to do with ‘all this street nonsense’ (Picture: Twitter/@tashandaniiel)‘I’d have people come up to me at competitions asking how I got him to do that, because he was just that good.’He said the athlete who idolises Usain Bolt suffered a hamstring injury in March but had just began preparing for the winter season.Tashan was hoping to travel to Florida for training in December.Mr Swaray added: ‘On Monday, he was perfect. His running style had improved so much.‘It’s funny because perfection was what I was looking for from him, the other guys I coach I don’t necessarily look for perfection.‘He is the only person that I can say was a perfect human being.‘People say to me it’s such a shame it happened to him, he was a good kid but no, he wasn’t a good kid, he was a perfect kid, there was nothing wrong with him.AdvertisementAdvertisementMore: SchoolMum finds girl, 6, rubbing talcum powder on her face to make herself whiteParents vow to homeschool son after headteacher bans face masks in classTrans boy, 17, waiting two and a half years to get an appointment at gender clinicGCSEs and A-Levels will be delayed due to coronavirus‘No one is perfect, but he really was. He did everything right.’Mr Swaray works for Met-Track, an organisation supported by the Metropolitan Police which goes into schools to try and stop young people taking the wrong path in life.Chaka Maillet, who trained alongside Tashan said: ‘We were training with him on Monday and I saw him before he left, we always said bye.‘And the next day he’s gone, so it’s affected us a lot.‘We’re talking about Tashan – someone who was not affiliated in any way with all this street nonsense, any violence in London, he’s not that kind of person.’ Advertisement Tearful mourners attend vigil for athlete, 20, stabbed to death in Tube station Tashan was a promising athlete who hoped to sprint for Great Britain (Picture: PA) Chandima Daniel said he was ‘so proud’ to be Tashan’s father (Picture: PA) Sign Up for News UpdatesGet your need-to-know latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and moreSign upNot convinced? Find out more »last_img read more