Category Archives: New Additions

Founding Fathers, Intentions & Values

It is common to hear appeals to the intent and values of the founders of our nation in attempts to give support to opinions and political positions. On this very morning I have heard news reports about the current dispute over the placing of a monument to the ten commandments adjacent to a court. People on either side of the debate were sure that the founding fathers would support the position each held. Continue reading


If free people of color in New England had anticipated enacting their freedom as an entitlement, under the same terms as whites enacted theirs, they soon learned that whites’ understanding of antislavery and Revolu­tionary rhetoric was quite different from their own. As whites’ eighteen­th-century observation that servitude made slaves servile hardened into their nineteenth-century conviction that all people of color were inher­ently servile ¾ freed slaves perhaps, but free people, never ¾ people of color struggled to adapt their expectations of citizenship to the grim truth of mounting hostility, ridicule, and escalating efforts to control and even eliminate their presence.

Joanne Pope Melish, Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and Race in New England, 1780-1860 Continue reading

The De-Radicalization of Anti-Racism

The title and the probing ideas come from Amy Elizabeth Ansell’s New Right, New Racism: Race and Reaction in the United States and Britain. My explorations follow her lead only as it opens vistas onto what is happening in the United States, since that is where I live and observe. In a detailed and precise way, Ansell outlines the emergence of “new racism” with the advent of “new right” politics during our most recent decades. Continue reading

Shoulders of the Past for the Future

She is helping to coordinate plans which a local college is projecting for a summer gathering of people who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement of this century. The intent evidently is to engage some of these “veterans” in dialogue with younger people for whom the Civil Rights Movement is history, sometimes seeming quite ancient and irrelevant. Continue reading