Blog Archives

Spontaneous Solidarity

Serial, unpermitted marches; a die-in on a major bridge; even overnight encampment at City Hall did not get #BlackLivesMatter concerns into meetings with the Mayor/ Police Commissioner in Portland, Oregon. Instead of allowing public testimony on a secretly negotiated police

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Posted in Coercion, Punishment & Sale, Contemporary (1970- present), Cooperation: Assistance, Cooperation: Assistance, Support & Harmony, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Implications for Action, Power, Racism, Support & Harmony, The Journey

Saving Slave Cemeteries

Cemeteries are protected spaces.  But in order for those spaces to be protected, they have to be identified.  Sadly, for many reasons, many slave cemeteries are not identified, and thus, they are particularly vulnerable to destruction.

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Posted in Implications for Action, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)

Tarzan Carried a Message

On 1 March, performer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte celebrated his 88th birthday. On 8 November last year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Belafonte with its Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award … and honored with an Oscar the man’s long

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Posted in Abolitionist, Africa, Arts & Community Culture, Civil Rights/Black Power (1955- 1968), Colonial (Before 1770s), Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Europe, Film, Historic Harms, Implications for Action, News Media, Racism, Research Adventures, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)

There is a Little Bit of Me in a Little Bit of You — A Black Woman Explains to a White Man . . . . “We Are Kin by Blood and Slavery”

My great grandfather, Jeremiah Turner (1840-1917), was born in slavery. Our family history explained ‘Jery’ was the slave son of Squire Turner (1793-1871), of Richmond, Kentucky. Jeremiah Turner was assuredly Squire Turner’s property when, in 1864, he made a bid for

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Posted in Connecting Across Families, Cooperation: Assistance, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Implications for Action, Linked Descendants, North America, Racism, Sex & Concubinage, Support & Harmony

Coming to the Table Leads in Push for HR 40 Reparations Study

I am posting for Pam Smith. She says, “Ahhh the woes of not being a techy in a technological world! A few little glitches prevented me from posting this directly to the BitterSweet blog. As an active member of CTTT I

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Posted in Historic Harms, Implications for Action, Intimacy & Family Life, North America, Power, Racism

Up in Smoke: Slavery Researchers Decry Burning of Historical Records

New Post Posted on January 10, 2014 by psmith30 (Post first written on January 4, 2014) I am fighting back tears and my stomach is in knots. Most people probably wouldn’t have a physical reaction like this upon learning that 100

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Posted in Abolitionist, Ancestry, Civil Rights/Black Power (1955- 1968), Enslaved People, Farms, Free People of Color, Historic Harms, Implications for Action, Jim Crow Segregation (1890- 1955), Legacies, Linked Descendants, Non-Slaveholding Whites, Plantations, Power, Racism, Reconstruction/”Redemption” (1866- 1890), Research Adventures, Slave Trader, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Slavery, Towns

Being Linked Through Slavery Means …

Being a “linked descendant” puts racism and white privilege in a harsh light for me.  It makes speaking out honestly about the legacy of slavery a personal and family imperative. I always knew that my mother’s ancestral roots went back

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Posted in "Side" & Linked Families, Ancestry, Connecting Across Families, Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Enslaved People, Historic Harms, Implications for Action, Linked Descendants, Plantations, Sex & Concubinage, Slave Trader, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)

What Do We Want to Say?

The Storytellers of BitterSweet have wide-ranging conversations and share stories on many topics, and we imagine that our readers and guest contributors will expand the exchange with new topics and themes. Our stories touch on all periods in U.S. history,

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Posted in Beyond Work, Eras, Implications for Action, Intimacy & Family Life, Labor, Legacies, Power, Racism, Regions, Settings, Status, The Journey