“Descendant” is a 2022 documentary about the past and present history of the Clotilda and Africatown. The Clotilda was a slave ship that illegally transported what is believed to be the last group of kidnapped Africans to America. After the Civil War, the group settled in an area of Alabama near where they first arrived and established a Black settlement that would come to be called Africatown. The documentary tells the story of the survivors of the Clotilda and follows their descendants’ fight to maintain control of their town and legacy when the ship’s remains are finally located.
Summary “Song Yet Sung” by James McBride is in part a story about the Underground Railroad. But it’s also about much more. The story takes place in 1850 about a…
“Kindred” is a 1979 novel by Octavia E. Butler that blends science fiction with historical fiction by combining time travel with slave narratives. Dana is a Black woman who is a writer living in Los Angeles. She suddenly finds herself being transported back and forth between the then-present and a plantation in Maryland before the Civil War. During her travels to the past, Dana meets ancestors both enslaved and slave owners at different points in their lives. In effort to ensure that she will exist in the future, Dana tries to balance navigating antebellum society with attempting to have a positive influence on her ancestors.
“They Were Her Property” by Stephanie Jones-Rogers discusses the role that White women played in the institution of slavery. It’s pointed out that so often, in part because of patriarchy, White women are not perceived as having played an active role in slavery. This is because White women were also subjugated by the patriarchal society of the time and did not have voting rights or other basic civil and civic rights that were afforded to men. But as we see throughout history, and is explained here in this book, an individual or group of people being oppressed does not mean that they themselves are incapable of oppression.
“Stamped from the Beginning” by Ibram X. Kendi provides a history of America’s racist ideas. Organized into five sections, the book tells the history of not just Black people in America but also how racist ideologies developed over time. This history is also viewed through the lens of categorizing people, events, and concepts into three positions on a spectrum ranging from racist to anti-racist. Of particular interest are explanations of the nuance of items that fall in the middle.