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Saturday, May 23, 2015


"Texts give students the false impression that the Underground Railroad was a vast, formal system of escape routes, secret signs and safe houses by which fugitive slaves could travel to destinations where slavery no longer existed -- and four of the books contain maps that purport to show this system's trunk lines and branches. The American Journey has two such maps; Free Nation and Pathways and Past and Promise have one map apiece. All the maps are ludicrous. They convey much misinformation, and some of them are so detailed that they resemble diagrams of today's interstate highway system....

The notion that the Underground Railroad had routes which ran throughout the South, and which were manned by kindly Southern abolitionists, is a fiction. To the extent that the Underground Railroad operated at all, it operated in the free states of the North. It was a hazy, informal alliance of Northern abolitionists, many of them free blacks...

Readers who want some reliable information about Tubman should look at two recent books written by historians: Kate Clifford Larson's "Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero" (published in 2004 by Ballantine Books) and Jean M. Humez's Harriet Tubman: The Life and the Life Stories (published in 2003 by the University of Wisconsin Press). Larson presents a detailed, comprehensive biography of Tubman."READ MORE

The gap between the myth of black history and real black history always contains the same thing: Black Agency. In Sociology "Agency" is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. At the group level, you could say the thing that's missing is that our own history telling contains FUBU while white his-story of our history contains white benevolence and pity.
Viola Davis To Play Harriet Tubman for HBO

This is why I'm not tired of the slave movies yet. We're just starting to see the realistic ones. A lot of people don't read a lot of history. A movie is a cheap and easy way to get some.

But I'll probably read the book too.