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The Charleston massacre: What is the meaning of black life in America?

Stephanie Jones-Rogers, assistant professor of history | July 13, 2015

“Was already weary. Was already heavy hearted. Was already tired. Where can we be safe? Where can we be free?” I excerpted these words from a tweet that Solange Knowles (Beyoncé’s younger sister) posted on June 18th at 6:49pm, the evening after Dylann Roof walked into Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, … Continue reading »

Jupiter Hammon should be a household name

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | February 17, 2013

But my guess is, many readers didn’t know his name a week ago– and some still don’t. So let’s correct that. According to the Lloyd Harbor Historical Society, Jupiter Hammon was “America’s First Colonial Afro-American Published Poet”. Hammon was born and died in slavery, living from 1711 to after the American Revolution with successive generations … Continue reading »

Slavery’s heavy hand

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | May 31, 2012

In an earlier post, I mused about the notion of the “heavy hand of history,” the idea that long-past conditions pull us in certain directions even generations after the fateful events. One of the very earliest users of the phrase, in 1944, was an eminent psychologist who was trying to understand the situation of African … Continue reading »