Preface to African Americans in American History, 1526 – Present

We must always take sides.Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encouragesthe tormentor, never the tormented.Elie Wiesel The subject matter of this next book is not African American history, but American history which includes aspects that white Americans considered unimportant, painful, or attempted to ignore. Blacks have contributed much to this country, and the…

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White Supremacy

Slavery, racism, and genocide, America’s horrors, are seldom discussed in the “manifest destiny,” of our “shining beacon on a hill.” It is difficult, nearly impossible, to separate the phenomenon of slavery from racism and white supremacy since both of the latter were used to justify permanent enslavement of African Americans. Nor is this a sectional…

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White Supremacy and Racism

Sadly, white supremacy and racism are much in the news these days. Our president recognized “good people” among the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and similar groups in Charlottesville in August 2017, encouraging them.   The greatest paradox of America has been the existence of castes of people excluded from the Declaration of Independence’s central premise…

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Kirkus Review of Collective Amnesia: American Apartheid

COLLECTIVE AMNESIA: AMERICAN APARTHEID African Americans’ 400 Years in North America, 1619-2019 Eugene DeFriest Betit Xlibris (502 pp.); February 14, 2019 BOOK REVIEW An accomplished American historian explores the roots and effects of the mistreatment of African Americans in the United States. Much of the history in Bétit’s (War’s Cost, 2016, etc.) carefully researched and…

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Who and What was Jim Crow?

The short answer is that no one knows how the name originated. What is known is that in 1832 an entertainer born in Manhattan, Thomas Dartmouth “Big Daddy” Rice, wrote a song and dance he called “Jim Crow.” Rice applied blackface makeup and imitated slave dialect for his performances, birthing a type of minstrel show…

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