Miss Lydia Monroe of Ringold, Louisiana, a student nurse at Provident Hospital in Chicago. Her father is a machinist at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company.
May 1942

Miss Lydia Monroe of Ringold, Louisiana, a student nurse at Provident Hospital in Chicago. Her father is a machinist at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company.

May 1942

African American woman being carried to police patrol wagon during demonstration in Brooklyn, New York.
1963

African American woman being carried to police patrol wagon during demonstration in Brooklyn, New York.

1963

In 1818, a large German family fled poverty in Germany and arrived in Louisiana.  Orphaned and separated from their extended family by indentured servitude, two little girls disappeared.  Twenty five years later, a German immigrant woman met a light skinned slave woman she believed to be Salomé Müller, one of the missing girls.  Although Mary Miller has no memory of a German childhood, she is renamed Sally Miller (an Anglicization of Salomé Müller) and a legal team is soon fighting for her freedom as a white woman.
The Lost German Slave Girl follows the case to the Louisiana Supreme Court and traces the history of slavery in Louisiana.  White looking slaves were not unusual in the antebellum South, slave women had born their masters children for generations, but a person of entirely European ancestry could not legally be kept as a slave.  This dichotomy required some serious mental gymnastics, but legally if the mother was a slave, so was the child.  Looking white was irrelevant to Sally Miller’s case, the central issue for the court was the race of Sally’s mother.  Was she the daughter of a German immigrant or the daughter of a slave?
Although the author makes his opinion known, in the end it is left up to the reader to decide whether Sally was a German girl sold into slavery by an opportunist or a woman born into slavery who saw a chance at freedom.  The book is a bit dense, but it was one of the more interesting books I read in 2011 (thought it was published in 2002).  If you’re interested in race as a social construct and the laws governing slavery, I think you’ll enjoy this book.

In 1818, a large German family fled poverty in Germany and arrived in Louisiana.  Orphaned and separated from their extended family by indentured servitude, two little girls disappeared.  Twenty five years later, a German immigrant woman met a light skinned slave woman she believed to be Salomé Müller, one of the missing girls.  Although Mary Miller has no memory of a German childhood, she is renamed Sally Miller (an Anglicization of Salomé Müller) and a legal team is soon fighting for her freedom as a white woman.

The Lost German Slave Girl follows the case to the Louisiana Supreme Court and traces the history of slavery in Louisiana.  White looking slaves were not unusual in the antebellum South, slave women had born their masters children for generations, but a person of entirely European ancestry could not legally be kept as a slave.  This dichotomy required some serious mental gymnastics, but legally if the mother was a slave, so was the child.  Looking white was irrelevant to Sally Miller’s case, the central issue for the court was the race of Sally’s mother.  Was she the daughter of a German immigrant or the daughter of a slave?

Although the author makes his opinion known, in the end it is left up to the reader to decide whether Sally was a German girl sold into slavery by an opportunist or a woman born into slavery who saw a chance at freedom.  The book is a bit dense, but it was one of the more interesting books I read in 2011 (thought it was published in 2002).  If you’re interested in race as a social construct and the laws governing slavery, I think you’ll enjoy this book.

Bessie Coleman, the first female African American pilot.  Part of Black Wings, a special airing on the Smithsonian Channel.  

For the non-USians: Does your country cover US history in schools at all?

Since I end up posting a lot of US-related history and I know many of my followers aren’t from the US, I’m curious how much emphasis US history gets in other countries. 

I assume US involvement in international affairs from WWII on gets some attention with the whole superpower thing.  And my impression has always been that Canadian schools end up covering some US history because there is overlap due to our shared geography (War of 1812, 54 40 or Fight).

The US clearly has a much shorter history than Old World countries and the US was a relatively unimportant country until the 20th century, so I wouldn’t expect all that much to be covered unless a student specialized in history.

P.S. If you don’t mind, name you country!

Trackwomen, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company
1943

Trackwomen, Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company

1943


Cretonne textiles designed by Lois Mailou Jones

Cretonne textiles designed by Lois Mailou Jones

Eartha M.M. White and her mother Clara White, Jacksonville, Florida, 1910.
A former opera singer, Eartha was instrumental in the construction of the first school for black children in the Bayard neighborhood of Jacksonville.  By living frugally, Eartha was able to contribute to a range of philanthropic causes while working as a schoolteacher.  In 1904, Eartha founded the Clara White Mission in honor of her mother, a former slave who ran a soup kitchen out her home.  Initially founded to serve blacks in segregated Jacksonville, the Clara White Mission today provides social services to people of all races. 

Eartha M.M. White and her mother Clara White, Jacksonville, Florida, 1910.

A former opera singer, Eartha was instrumental in the construction of the first school for black children in the Bayard neighborhood of Jacksonville.  By living frugally, Eartha was able to contribute to a range of philanthropic causes while working as a schoolteacher.  In 1904, Eartha founded the Clara White Mission in honor of her mother, a former slave who ran a soup kitchen out her home.  Initially founded to serve blacks in segregated Jacksonville, the Clara White Mission today provides social services to people of all races. 

"Something which we think is impossible now is not impossible in another decade."

ourpresidents:

Happy birthday Susan B. Anthony!
February 15, 1820 - March 13, 1906
In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the bill authorizing the Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin.  The U.S. Mint officially released the coin on July 2, 1979.

ourpresidents:

Happy birthday Susan B. Anthony!

February 15, 1820 - March 13, 1906

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the bill authorizing the Susan B. Anthony Dollar Coin.  The U.S. Mint officially released the coin on July 2, 1979.

Barack and Michelle dance to At Last, performed by Beyonce.

2008

ourpresidents:


First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes inauguration and life in the White House-
In honor of Valentine’s Day we present a brief collection of America’s First Sweethearts.

ourpresidents:

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes inauguration and life in the White House-

In honor of Valentine’s Day we present a brief collection of America’s First Sweethearts.

Canadian Women’s Army Corps member on Valentine’s Day 1944.

Canadian Women’s Army Corps member on Valentine’s Day 1944.

Ann Lowe Debutante Gown, 1958
Ann Lowe was a popular mid century designer for the socialite set.  One of her best known designs was Jackie Kennedy’s 1953 wedding dress.  
The dress pictured above was part of the collection of the now defunct Black Fashion Museum which has been folded into the National Museum of African American History and Culture (opening 2015).  You can read more about the Black Fashion Museum collection here.

Ann Lowe Debutante Gown, 1958

Ann Lowe was a popular mid century designer for the socialite set.  One of her best known designs was Jackie Kennedy’s 1953 wedding dress.  

The dress pictured above was part of the collection of the now defunct Black Fashion Museum which has been folded into the National Museum of African American History and Culture (opening 2015).  You can read more about the Black Fashion Museum collection here.

racismfreeontario:



Unlike the United States, where there is at least an admission of the fact that racism exists and has a history, in this country one is faced with a stupefying innocence.
— DIONNE BRAND

Viola Desmond. On November 8th 1946 Ms. Viola Desmond decided to go and see a movie while she was waiting for her car to be repaired. She requested floor seats and paid for the ticket. As she sat watching the movie she was approached and asked to move, but claiming an inability to see from the balcony she refused.
Her refusal would not be accepted and she was subsequently dragged out the theatre by two men who injured her knee in the process. She was arrested and was forced to spend the night incarcerated on the male cell block. Such was her dignity that she sat upright throughout the terrible ordeal.
During her trial she was not told that she could have legal counsel, or cross examine the witnesses testifying against her. The fact that she was unfamiliar with the legal segregation that the cinema utilized and that the sign indicating the seating standards by race was obscured was not taken into consideration. She was subsequently found guilty of tax evasion because though she asked for a floor seat the segregated seating meant that she had actually purchased a ticket for the balcony where Blacks were forced to sit.
By not sitting in the supposedly appropriate place, she had avoided paying exactly one cent in taxes. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail and was ordered to pay a total of 26 dollars in fines, with 6 of those dollars to be given to the manager of the theatre who had damaged her knee when he roughly removed her from her seat.
Not content with the verdict, with the support of NSACCP (The Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People), Ms. Desmond would fight her way to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Despite the fact that this was clearly a miscarriage of justice based solely in the theatre’s racist policy, the conviction was upheld.
Frederick Bissett, Ms.Desmonds White lawyer, donated his fees back to the NSACCP which then used the funds to fight segregation in Nova Scotia. In 1954, (well before Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat) segregation was struck down in Nova Scotia thanks in large part to the struggle of Ms. Desmond.
At the end of the supreme court battle, Ms.Desmond’s marriage failed because it could not withstand the strain of the trial and publicity it resulted in. She was also forced to give up her dream of owning a chain of beauty salons that catered to Black women. Ms. Desmond moved to Montreal to attend Business school and, upon completion of her degree, to New York to start her business as an agent. Ms. Desmond died at the age of 50, shortly after she arrived in New York City.
 (via  RacismFreeOntario.com: Viola Desmond)

racismfreeontario:

Unlike the United States, where there is at least an admission of the fact that racism exists and has a history, in this country one is faced with a stupefying innocence.

— DIONNE BRAND

Viola Desmond. On November 8th 1946 Ms. Viola Desmond decided to go and see a movie while she was waiting for her car to be repaired. She requested floor seats and paid for the ticket. As she sat watching the movie she was approached and asked to move, but claiming an inability to see from the balcony she refused.

Her refusal would not be accepted and she was subsequently dragged out the theatre by two men who injured her knee in the process. She was arrested and was forced to spend the night incarcerated on the male cell block. Such was her dignity that she sat upright throughout the terrible ordeal.

During her trial she was not told that she could have legal counsel, or cross examine the witnesses testifying against her. The fact that she was unfamiliar with the legal segregation that the cinema utilized and that the sign indicating the seating standards by race was obscured was not taken into consideration. She was subsequently found guilty of tax evasion because though she asked for a floor seat the segregated seating meant that she had actually purchased a ticket for the balcony where Blacks were forced to sit.

By not sitting in the supposedly appropriate place, she had avoided paying exactly one cent in taxes. She was sentenced to 30 days in jail and was ordered to pay a total of 26 dollars in fines, with 6 of those dollars to be given to the manager of the theatre who had damaged her knee when he roughly removed her from her seat.

Not content with the verdict, with the support of NSACCP (The Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People), Ms. Desmond would fight her way to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Despite the fact that this was clearly a miscarriage of justice based solely in the theatre’s racist policy, the conviction was upheld.

Frederick Bissett, Ms.Desmonds White lawyer, donated his fees back to the NSACCP which then used the funds to fight segregation in Nova Scotia. In 1954, (well before Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat) segregation was struck down in Nova Scotia thanks in large part to the struggle of Ms. Desmond.

At the end of the supreme court battle, Ms.Desmond’s marriage failed because it could not withstand the strain of the trial and publicity it resulted in. She was also forced to give up her dream of owning a chain of beauty salons that catered to Black women. Ms. Desmond moved to Montreal to attend Business school and, upon completion of her degree, to New York to start her business as an agent. Ms. Desmond died at the age of 50, shortly after she arrived in New York City.

 (via  RacismFreeOntario.comViola Desmond)