Just as the history of the Maroons in Jamaica demonstrate, the black freedom struggle can ill afford any more accommodation or compromise now any more than it did two centuries ago. Marronage is freedom, but only if we collectively understand its limits. Otherwise it is mired in class collaborationist politics which may profess a desire for black freedom, but in reality hamper it at every turn.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) recently made national headlines and late-night punchlines when he suggested low income people should stop buying iPhones to afford healthcare. In the District of Columbia, however, Chaffetz is primarily known for his attempts to block DC legislation and programs.
Growing up in an Irish Catholic family, my family embodies many of the stereotypes one thinks of around St. Patrick’s Day. The cousins Patrick and Danny Boy. The fond childhood memories of pubs and Irish music, most often played by a family friend who immigrated to the United States and became, you guessed it, a police officer.
Sometime in the late 1930s, Irene Robertson interviewed Mary Teel about her memory of slavery and her life since. Some of Robertson’s questions clearly made the formerly-enslaved Teel feel uncomfortable, like when she asked about the Klan, education, and voting. Nonetheless, Teel’s account of slavery and its aftermath repeated a theme common among her peers: years of hard work still left her “hard up.”
In his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln tried to calm the fears of his political opponents: “While the people retain their virtue and vigilance no Administration by any extreme of wickedness or folly can very seriously injure the Government in the short space of four years.”
In the December 5, 2016 issue of The Atlantic, journalist Emma Green wondered “Are Jews White?” This is a question that seems to be quite simple – very few people in the United States in 2017 would consider Jews to be members of a minority group, at least not anymore.
When the water protectors (or, if you support the Dakota Access Pipeline, protesters, rioters, and troublemakers) formed the Sacred Stone Camp in April, they faced an insurmountable challenge: a semi-built, big corporation and bank backed, stakeholder supported “black snake” (or, if you support Dakota Access, pipeline) that was slowly creeping underneath their land and near their water source.
Everyone involved in TAHR is dedicated to a simple principle: that the past is relevant to the present. We hail from a wide variety of personal, political, intellectual, and disciplinary backgrounds both in and out of academia. The issues of today were formed historically, and the only appropriate solutions to those issues are ones informed by a comprehensive understanding of how they came to be.