Tag Archives: Black America

“Doers of the Word” – Continuation of Book Discussion

Thank you for joining us for our discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson during Black History Month.  Because the book is full to the brim with thought-provoking passages, because it is about African American women, and because March is Women’s History Month, we will be continuing our discussion.  For more details, check out our earlier post that outlines the book discussion concept.

As a kickoff to this month’s discussion, I want to share (again) one of the quotes from the book that struck a chord with me.

The quote is from Sarah Parker Remond  and it addressed her ongoing struggle against racial prejudice and oppression in these poignant words:

In joy or sorrow, whether pursuing the pleasures or business of life, it [prejudice against colour] has thrust itself like a huge sphinx, darkening my pathway, and, at times, almost overwhelming the soul constantly called to meet such a conflict.

I have been blessed with many opportunities.  In the midst of those blessings, however, I find myself constantly battling the ever-present racial prejudice and oppression that I have experienced throughout my fifty-eight years on earth. 

As Remond wrote, there are days when the racial prejudice and oppression threaten to overwhelm me and to crush my spirit.  But like Remond and the other women who are the subjects of “Doers of the Word” and like so many other women of color around the world, I just “keep on keeping on.”

I invite you to join in the continuing exploration of “Doers of the Word” so that we may, collectively and individually, learn from the courageous women highlighted therein and develop our own strategies for overcoming not only racial prejudice and oppression but all forms of prejudice and oppression.

“Doers of the Word” – Chapters 5 and 6

Thank you for joining us for our discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our earlier post that outlines the book discussion concept.

Doers of the wordCarla L. Peterson’s book – ““Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) – is not for the casual reader.  It does not lend itself to speed reading or skimming; instead, it requires a commitment of time and effort on the part of the reader.  For me, however, the knowledge that I have gained is well worth the time and effort. Continue reading

How Far We’ve Come and How Far We Still Have to Go

We are so pleased to share this guest post by one of our very favorite people ever: Dr. Fatimah Salleh! Dr. Salleh was born in Brooklyn, NY. She is the oldest of seven children.

Dr. Salleh first learned to love the scriptures from her grandmother, Madeline Riley. It was Nana’s Bible stories that captured Dr. Salleh’s attention.

Dr. Salleh received her Bachelor of Arts in History at Utah State University. She earned her Masters in Newspaper Journalism at Syracuse University and her PhD at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in Mass Communication.Dr. Salleh is currently in her senior year at Duke University pursuing a Master’s of Divinity .

Dr. Salleh is the mother of four children. She has been married to her husband, Eric, for 14 years.

fatimah

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Doers of the Word: Chapters 3 and 4

Welcome to our discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our post from last week that outlines the book discussion concept.

Doers of the word

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how we are all products of our time and environment. Everything we do…every thought we think…every action we perform…all of our earthly experiences are shaped by where and when we live. As I sit here typing this on my computer, I remember back to my freshman year of high school when I was quite literally among those lucky few in the very last class of students to use manual typewriters in our typing class. Students today certainly don’t learn to type on old-fashioned type writers. In fact, they don’t even really NEED typing classes…they learn to type before they learn to write, and almost everyone I know has at least one computer at home! Incredible. We are products of our time and environment, and today we live in an environment where, thanks to the Internet, the world and all the information therein is at our fingertips. Continue reading

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An Additional Narrative : Discussion of Chapters 1 and 2

Welcome to our first discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our post from last week that outlines the book discussion concept.Doers of the word

As Carla L. Peterson explains her purpose and begins to explore the lives of women highlighted throughout the book, I am most struck by the realization that before this book, I knew mostly names of black women connected to southern slavery. This is the narrative of black history. It ends and begins with slavery. When I think of northern abolitionists I think of white people but mostly white women. Black women have been completely erased from the northern abolitionist narrative, which allows for the development of a narrative that views northern whites as the savior of enslaved southern blacks. This, of course, continues an ongoing hierarchy of indebtedness and development of the benevolent oppressor. I believe the very act of expanding our awareness of the diversity of experiences of black people in the 1800s breaks down the oppressive nature of our history and forces us to view the black experience as an individual experience. Our history is not a homogeneous monument to one specific type of oppression (slavery). Just as there is not one narrative of oppression to capture black experience today, there was not of the past either. Continue reading

The What, Where, When, How, and Why of Black History Month

Historical Background:

  1. Black History Month is celebrated during the month of February in the United States and Canada.
  2. The first organized observance of Black history in the United States occurred in 1926 and was called “Negro History Week.”
  3. Dr. Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History spearheaded the establishment of Negro History Week to highlight and bring attention to the contributions of Black people throughout American history, contributions that had been largely ignored.
  4. Dr. Woodson chose the second week of February because it included the (reported) birth dates of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two men whose lives had greatly impacted Black Americans and whose birthdays had historically been celebrated in Black communities.
  5. In 1976, as part of the United States Bicentennial Celebration, the United States officially recognized the expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month.

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Remembering Coretta Scott King

It is right and proper that we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  His work, his writings, and his words made him a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and helped to secure the passage of federal legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment and public accommodations and guaranteeing voting rights.

However, as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King, I would urge us also to remember and celebrate the life and legacy of Mrs. Coretta Scott King, not simply as his wife or his widow, but as a strong and courageous civil rights leader and activist.

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