Google+

Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities

 

Ebony & Ivy

512ekThWQUL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities

by Craig Steven Wilder

Bloomsbury Press

Hardcover, $30.00

432 pages

ISBN: 978-1-59691-681-4

 

Book Review by Kam Williams

 

“Ebony & Ivy… delivers a groundbreaking and incendiary exploration of the intertwined histories of slavery, race, and higher education… Many of America’s revered colleges and universities… Harvard, Yale, and Princeton… were drenched in the sweat, the tears, and sometimes the blood of people of color…

Money from the purchase and sale of human beings built the campuses, stocked the libraries, and swelled the endowments of American colleges. Slaves waited on faculty and students; academic leaders eagerly courted the support of slaveholders and slave traders.

Ultimately, our leading universities were thoroughly dependent on enslavement and became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained it. In short, the American academy never stood apart from American slavery—it stood beside church and state as the third pillar of a civilization built on bondage.”

— Excerpted from Foreword (Excerpted from the book jacket)

 

Most people hold the Ivy League in high esteem as an exclusive oasis of intellectual thinking where one can acquire an excellent education. What they might not know is that its long-revered universities were also once intimately involved in slavery, depending on that evil institution for everything from funding to free labor.

Furthermore, places like Princeton served as a proving ground for the sons of plantation owners being trained in classes on slave management that:

“For Sullenness, Obstinancy, or Idleness… Take a Negro, strip him, tie him fast to a post; take then a sharp Curry-Comb, & curry him      severely til he is well scrap’d; & call a boy with some dry Hay, and make the Boy rub him down for several Minutes, then salt him & unlose him.”

From inciting anti-abolitionist riots, to spearheading the back to Africa movement to teaching courses codifying the notion of white superiority, the Ivy League openly functioned as a subtle affirmation of slavery.” Despite the fact that it had played such a pivotal role in the creation and maintenance of a color-coded society, it would later put considerable effort into “cleansing the stain of human slavery from the story of its prosperity.”

This is the thesis of Craig Steven Wilder, as eloquently substantiated in Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History. A professor of history at MIT, Wilder’s painstakingly-researched opus uncovers the ugly underbelly of Ivy League and other Colonial era colleges like Rutgers and Williams.

The author goes on to point out how, after the Civil War, “some of the best-educated people in the nation were revising history to romanticize and sanitize their relationship to bondage. They erased their pasts as masters or reimagined their slaves as a lower order of adopted family—trusted, faithful, and beloved servants whom they had treated with dignity and human sympathy.”

Yankee academia exposed as a former bastion of Southern aristocracy.

 

To order a copy of Ebony & Ivy, visit: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1596916818/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20

 

 

,

Entertainment

Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp

  The Bounce Back Film Review by Kam Williams Love Gurus Date Despite Philosophical Differences in Delightful Romantic Romp   Love guru Matthew Taylor (Shemar Moore) is the author of the new best seller, "The Bounce Back." Accompanied by his enterprising business manager, Terry (Bill Bellamy), he's been hawking the self-help book on plenty of TV and radio programs. Since Terry believes that "Image is everything," he's concerned that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This

  Volume 2 of Yes Sir, Yes Sir, 3 Bags Full! – You Do NOT Want to Miss This Book Review by Amy Lignor What began in an unforgettable Volume 1—living Jerry Hall’s story and dealing with the heart-wrenching issues of the Viet Nam* War—continues here. The action of battle, fraught with the unending horrors that the “unwanted veterans” dealt with, grows even more painful. And as war comes closer to an end, what should have been peaceful … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman By Craig Lamb You are a waterfowler hunting solo with your prized retriever. Getting to the blind takes a four-wheel drive to pull through mud holes and keep on the two-track. Behind your truck is that aluminum jon boat. Launching that beast alone is a real hassle. Get it launched and you spend more time loading all the gear, a dog and yourself. All of the above is part of the fun, maybe, of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman

Gain all Access Mobility with Roundabout Woodsman By Craig Lamb You are a waterfowler hunting solo with your prized retriever. Getting to the blind takes a four-wheel drive to pull through mud holes and keep on the two-track. Behind your truck is that aluminum jon boat. Launching that beast alone is a real hassle. Get it launched and you spend more time loading all the gear, a dog and yourself. All of the above is part of the fun, maybe, of … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season

  The Best & Worst (So Far) of the 2016 NFL Season by Amy Lignor     Okay…we’re almost dead center, folks, so it’s time to sum up the best and silliest actions and reactions that the 2016 NFL season has provided fans thus far.   Analysts are always yapping, and most likely nothing they say will actually come true. However, right now almost everyone is agreeing to the fact that Tom Brady has a score to settle. Yes, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Charity Begins at Home

  Charity Begins at Home by Amy Lignor   Turning a blind eye is easy for some; preferred by others. But the fact is that the bad doesn’t become good – in any area – unless eyes are open wide to not only see what’s occurring, but also to gain the knowledge needed to stop the bad from getting even worse. Remarks are made about “other countries” and what they do wrong when it comes to the harming of animals for profit. However, in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe

  Exploring the Holidays Around the Globe by Amy Lignor   Thanksgiving has been had. Games have been watched and the golden turkey has caused a great many belts to be loosened. So…here it comes!   From hanging the stockings on the chimney with care to the red-nosed reindeer who had to be there; from Santa heading down that chimney just right to lovely sleigh bells ringing softly in the night, the holiday season is a truly … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Forecasting Climate Change

  Forecasting Climate Change by Amy Lignor As with anything in this world, it depends on whose opinion or observations you trust as to just how bad climate change is becoming. As 2016 begins to wrap up, climate scientists, atmospheric physicists, chemists, oceanographers – you name it – no one can come up with any other explanation for climate change and the warming of our planet other than human activity. How fast is it happening? … [Read More its Good for You...]