Blog Archives

No Account For It

While drafting the post Half-white Slaves of Aristocratic Masters at my blog, I acknowledged that Edward Ball, in his text, The Sweet Hell Inside: The Rise of an Elite Black Family in the Segregated South, employs the term ‘concubines’ to describe intimate, long-term

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Posted in Coercion, Punishment & Sale, Cooperation: Assistance, Support & Harmony, Enslaved People, Intimacy & Family Life, North America, Philosophical Culture, Plantations, Research Adventures, Sex & Concubinage, Slave Trader, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), Slavery

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)

Redrawing A Community – A Washington Descendant’s Journey

In 2010, an archive of rare documents passed down in my family for over 250 years arrived at my home in Austin. Reading them I came face to face with my family’s role in both creating democracy and denying freedom.

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Posted in Ancestry, Colonial (Before 1770s), Connecting Across Families, Discovery & Personal Reactions, Historic Harms, Legacies, Linked Descendants, North America, Plantations, Racism, Slaveholders, Slaveholding (1780 -1865), The Journey

Moved to Tears

When I read Gayle Jessup White’s essay in a recent post on “The Root,” I had such strong identification with it that I was moved to tears: Like most African Americans, oral history is my primary source for deep family

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Posted in Racism

Part I: Facing Slavery and Finding Amanda

This post is the first of three pieces on 1) how I discovered slavery in my heritage, specifically focusing on a woman named Amanda owned by my ancestor Thomas Jackson and his second wife Courtney Robertson; 2) what more that official

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Posted in Ancestry, Contemporary (1970- present), Discovery & Personal Reactions, Intimacy & Family Life, Legacies, Linked Descendants, Racism, Slaveholding (1780 -1865)

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
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