BLACK History - Fuck a Month

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Postby Phara » Mon Mar 28, 2016 11:12 am

Post the beautiful, proud, varied, amazing, unheard of, needs to be known... and everything in between

Black History


For example, an excerpt from Phlawless Phelon's glorious post below.

“To call yourself a New Yorker you must have been to Harlem at least once.” - Wallace Thurman in an article regarding Harlem's night life.

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Wallace Thurman - (1902-1934)

*Born in Salt Lake City, 1902 and moved to Harlem in 1925.
*Editor, critic, novelist, and playwright
*Studied at University of Utah and USC, but did not receive a degree.
*Many of Harlem's most successful artists were given an outlet to display their talents by Wallace Thurman, and without Wallace Henry Thurman, Langston Hughes and other artists may not have reached their full potential.
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Postby PhlawlessPhelon » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:02 am

“To call yourself a New Yorker you must have been to Harlem at least once.” - Wallace Thurman in an article regarding Harlem's night life.

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Wallace Thurman - (1902-1934)

*Born in Salt Lake City, 1902 and moved to Harlem in 1925.
*Editor, critic, novelist, and playwright
*Studied at University of Utah and USC, but did not receive a degree.
*Many of Harlem's most successful artists were given an outlet to display their talents by Wallace Thurman, and without Wallace Henry Thurman, Langston Hughes and other artists may not have reached their full potential.


Major Works

*Outlet, Founder and Editor, 1925
*Fire!!, Editor, 1926
*“Harlem Facets.” The World Tomorrow 10, 1927
*Harlem: A Forum of Negro Life (periodical), Editor, 1928
*Harlem: A Melodrama of Negro Life in Harlem (a play). Opened at the Apollo and later Broadway, 1929
*The Blacker the Berry. 1929
*Infants of the Spring. 1932
*Interne. 1932


The Blacker the Berry included themes such as abortion, prejudice, homosexuality, and ethnic conflict.

Interne discussed the city hospital where Wallace Thurman would eventually spend the last six months of his life.

Infants of the Spring depicted younger black artists being hindered by older black critics. This undertone within the novel further shows his belief in the younger generation of black artists.

Fire!!
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*The magazine that only lasted one issue received minimal attention in white media outlets.
*The magazine sparked debate with intellectuals such as W.E.B. Du Bois.
*Figures associated with the magazine's lasting impression include Langston Hughes, Richard Nugent, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Bennett, and of course, Wallace Thurman.
*"Fire, like Mr. Hughes' poetry, was experimental. It was not interested in sociological problems or propaganda. It was purely artistic in intent and conception.” - Wallace Thurman

lasting impacts:

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“Brother to Brother” is an independent film that relives the memories of Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, and other Harlem Renaissance artists.

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Influence could be noted to have impacted artists like Charley palmer, and his art entitled “The Blacker the Berry.”
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Postby Phara » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:05 am

holy shit, that's a magnificent post. changing op.
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Postby Phara » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:21 am

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"*"Fire, like Mr. Hughes' poetry, was experimental. It was not interested in sociological problems or propaganda. It was purely artistic in intent and conception.” - Wallace Thurman"

i love this. It feels a bit like ninja although we are concerned with sociological problems. But it is experimental, and it's purely artistic in intent and conception, and even more... that cover is sick
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Postby Phara » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:22 am

Charley Palmer. Stored somewhere. This image is glorious.

Thank you so much for this thread D.

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Postby PhlawlessPhelon » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:26 am

I still own a copy of Fire!!, Zora Neale Hurston is my favorite writers, so I try to grab anything I can of hers. She'll be covered in my next major posting for this topic.

Also, Charley Palmer's art is gorgeous.

I feel like Wallace Thurman was not given the credit he deserved because of the "rumors" of his sexuality. It was the 1920's after all. Plus, he died young. So, all that he achieved was done in such a short time-frame.
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Postby Phara » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:29 am

how fuckin interesting. so he might have been gay and it kept him even more under wraps or behind the scenes?
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Postby PhlawlessPhelon » Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:37 am

His marriage ended after 6 months, and his wife claimed that he was homosexual but refused to admit it.
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Postby Pawly » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:28 am

Fantastic post! Please keep up this excellent work.
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Postby cerrodepedro » Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:33 pm

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Imagining the story of Robert Smalls, as a slave, commandeering a Confederate steamer with lots of ammo and firepower (including a Howitzer), then transporting 17 black people, is some kind of inspiring, some kind of incriminating. Makes you wonder what the fuck you're doing with your life.

I reference the House of Representatives website that gives a bit of a biography.

The Roots page on him by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., asserts that as a child, he was looked at with some favor by his 'owner' (I remember what Chris Rock said about 'owners' and I like how it presents a present context: "Who actually wants to be called an owner, even if you owned a football team? Just the title owner is just so nasty and disgusting."), and was assigned less body-breaking tasks than field work. I speculate that some "Mulatto" features might have contributed to this favor. According to the same Gates article, Smalls' mother worked to have him do some field work, which included observing slaves being punished brutally, to the end of preserving the strength of his sense of the evils of slavery at large.

Due in part I think to opportunity and also to resourcefulness, he gained an incredibly impressive amount experience doing a variety of tasks associated with sailing, including piloting ships.

Gates' recounting is superior to anything I could give:

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., in The Root Article wrote:[The] opportunity is at hand on the night of May 12. Once the white officers are on shore, Smalls confides his plan to the other slaves on board. According to the Naval Committee report, two choose to stay behind. “The design was hazardous in the extreme,” it states, and Smalls and his men have no intention of being taken alive; either they will escape or use whatever guns and ammunition they have to fight and, if necessary, sink their ship. “Failure and detection would have been certain death,” the Navy report makes plain. “Fearful was the venture, but it was made.”

At 2:00 a.m. on May 13, Smalls dons Capt. Rylea’s straw hat and orders the Planter’s skeleton crew to put up the boiler and hoist the South Carolina and Confederate flags as decoys. Easing out of the dock, in view of Gen. Ripley’s headquarters, they pause at the West Atlantic Wharf to pick up Smalls’ wife and children, along with four other women, three men and another child.

At 3:25 a.m., the Planter accelerates “her perilous adventure,” the Navy report continues (it reads more like a Robert Louis Stevenson novel). From the pilot house, Smalls blows the ship’s whistle while passing Confederate Forts Johnson and, at 4:15 a.m., Fort Sumter, “as cooly as if General Ripley was on board.” Smalls not only knows all the right Navy signals to flash; he even folds his arms like Capt. Rylea, so that in the shadows of dawn, he passes convincingly for white.

“She was supposed to be the guard boat and allowed to pass without interruption,” Confederate Aide-de-Campe F.G. Ravenel explains defensively in a letter to his commander hours later. It is only when the Planterpasses out of Rebel gun range that the alarm is sounded — the Planter is heading for the Union blockade. Approaching it, Smalls orders his crew to replace the Palmetto and Rebel flags with a white bed sheet his wife brought on board. Not seeing it, Acting Volunteer Lt. J. Frederick Nickels of the U.S.S. Onward orders his sailors to “open her ports.” It is “sunrise,” Nickels writes in a letter the same day, an illuminating fact that may have changed the course of history, at least on board the Planter — for now Nickels could see.

In The Negro’s Civil War, the dean of Civil War studies James McPherson quotes the following eyewitness account: “Just as No. 3 port gun was being elevated, someone cried out, ‘I see something that looks like a white flag’; and true enough there was something flying on the steamer that would have been white by application of soap and water. As she neared us, we looked in vain for the face of a white man. When they discovered that we would not fire on them, there was a rush of contrabands out on her deck, some dancing, some singing, whistling, jumping; and others stood looking towards Fort Sumter, and muttering all sorts of maledictions against it, and ‘de heart of de Souf,’ generally. As the steamer came near, and under the stern of the Onward, one of the Colored men stepped forward, and taking off his hat, shouted, ‘Good morning, sir! I’ve brought you some of the old United States guns, sir!’ ” That man is Robert Smalls, and he and his family and the entire slave crew of the Planter are now free.


He went on to win a House seat, and confronted the violence of being a black man in politics rather constantly. It baffles me that stories like this never made it into my grade school curriculum except in passing. I detest "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" narratives when talking about remarkable people doing incredible things while taking on terrible circumstances.

It makes so much more sense to me to instead look at said stories as an indication of the fact that the best a lot of us can do is contribute to the work that remarkable people are already doing, and recognize how shameful it is that folks with any more power to influence the general state of society would allow terrible circumstances to blunt any of the work that said remarkable people engage in.
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Postby ink » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:01 pm

PhlawlessPhelon wrote:Image

Influence could be noted to have impacted artists like Charley palmer, and his art entitled “The Blacker the Berry.”


so ive been staring at this for a few minutes and i cant seem to stop. im so intrigued by the use of color theory and tonal ranges in dark and deep african skin tones... off topic i know, but great thread nonetheless
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Postby PhlawlessPhelon » Fri Apr 01, 2016 9:09 pm

I don't think it is off-topic at all. My argument has always been that Wallace Thurman's biggest contribution to the Harlem Renaissance was his influence on other writers and artists. As such, this artwork holds the same title as Thurman's most well-known writing. Without Wallace Thurman, Charley Palmer might not have ever produced something as beautiful as that.
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Postby Phara » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:23 am

ink wrote:
PhlawlessPhelon wrote:

Influence could be noted to have impacted artists like Charley palmer, and his art entitled “The Blacker the Berry.”


so ive been staring at this for a few minutes and i cant seem to stop. im so intrigued by the use of color theory and tonal ranges in dark and deep african skin tones... off topic i know, but great thread nonetheless

OMG, WE NEED AN ART THAT INSPIRES THREAD. I HAD THE SAME REACTION.
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Postby Phara » Sat Apr 02, 2016 11:24 am

PhlawlessPhelon wrote:I don't think it is off-topic at all. My argument has always been that Wallace Thurman's biggest contribution to the Harlem Renaissance was his influence on other writers and artists. As such, this artwork holds the same title as Thurman's most well-known writing. Without Wallace Thurman, Charley Palmer might not have ever produced something as beautiful as that.

That's an amazing legacy, you know? I really love that.
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Postby PhlawlessPhelon » Sat Apr 02, 2016 7:48 pm

cerrodepedro wrote:Imagining the story of Robert Smalls, as a slave, commandeering a Confederate steamer with lots of ammo and firepower (including a Howitzer), then transporting 17 black people, is some kind of inspiring, some kind of incriminating.


Robert Smalls was truly a great American, hero, and actually tried to do the right thing as a politician.
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Postby PhlawlessPhelon » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:31 pm

“Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It's beyond me. ” - Zora Neale Hurston in "How It Feels to Be Colored Me"

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Zora Neale Hurston - (1891-1960)

*Born in Notasulga, Alabama, 1891.
*Novelist, short story writer, folklorist, and anthropologist.
*Received an AA from Howard University, BA from Barnard College (sole black student during her time), and graduate studies at Columbia University.
* Wrote four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays.
* she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Major Works

*The Hilltop, Co-Founder of Howard University's student newspaper
*"How It Feels to Be Colored Me" . Essay, 1928
*Mules and Men, Author, 1935
*"Hoodoo in America" The Journal of American Folklore, 1931
*Their Eyes Were Watching God Author, 1937
*Tell My Horse Author, 1938
*Dust Tracks on a Road. Autobiography, 1942

Mules and Men - is an auto-ethnographical collection of African American folklore. It documents a number of stories about Marie Laveau and other voodoo traditions.

Their Eyes Were Watching God - According to TIME magazine, this novel is one of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923. The main character, an African-American woman in her early forties, tells the story of her life via an extended flashback to her best friend. Her life has three major periods corresponding to her marriages to three very different men.

Tell My Horse - According to Amazon, -"Based on acclaimed author Zora Neale Hurston's personal experiences in Haiti and Jamaica—where she participated as an initiate rather than just an observer during her visits in the 1930s—Tell My Horse is a fascinating firsthand account of the mysteries of Voodoo. An invaluable resource and remarkable guide to Voodoo practices, rituals, and beliefs, it is a travelogue into a dark, mystical world that offers a vividly authentic picture of ceremonies, customs, and superstitions."

Dust Tracks on a Road - The publishers forced extensive changes to the book, making Zora Neale Hurston remove a lengthy attack on American imperialism in Asia. She was also required to tone down sexually-explicit anthropological content and remove some libelous passages. This resulted in a work that appeared not to condemn America's mistreatment of ethnic minorities. Consequently, she was attacked for pandering to white audiences. More recent editions have attempted to insert deleted passages to bring it closer to Hurston's original intentions.

Fire!!
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*The magazine that only lasted one issue received minimal attention in white media outlets.
*The magazine sparked debate with intellectuals such as W.E.B. Du Bois.
*Figures associated with the magazine's lasting impression include Langston Hughes, Richard Nugent, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Bennett, and of course, Wallace Thurman. --This group of writers called themselves the Niggerati
*Zora had a play featured in the magazine, and a short story entitled "Sweat". The short story, "Sweat", revolves around a washerwoman and her unemployed, insecure husband. Its themes include domestic abuse, the working life, empowerment, and survival.

lasting impacts:

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“Brother to Brother” is an independent film that relives the memories of Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, and other Harlem Renaissance artists. The film featured Zora Neale Hurston portrayed by Aunjanue Ellis.

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Their Eyes Were Watching God was adapted for a 2005 film of the same title by Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, with a teleplay by Suzan-Lori Parks. The film starred Halle Berry as Janie Starks.

Zora Neale Hurston's official website
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Postby ink » Tue Apr 12, 2016 6:51 pm

this thread is the bees knees... i see im going to have to do a bit of homework. Im pretty sure ive seen "Their Eyes Were Watching God." But brother to brother looks pretty good
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Postby ink » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:15 am

Percy Lavon Julian


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Born in Alabama in 1899, pioneering chemist Percy Julian was not allowed to attend high school but went on to earn his Ph.D. His research at academic and corporate institutions led to the chemical synthesis of drugs to treat glaucoma and arthritis, and although his race presented challenges at every turn, he is regarded as one of the most influential chemists in American history.

Early Life

Percy Lavon Julian was born April 11, 1899, in Montgomery, Alabama, the grandson of former slaves. He attended school through the eighth grade but there were no high schools open to black students. He applied to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he had to take high school-level classes in the evening to get him up to the academic level of his peers. In spite of this challenging beginning, he graduated first in his class, with Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Life in Academia

Percy Julian Biography
Academic, Civil Rights Activist, Chemist, Scientist, Medical Professional (1899–1975)

African-American chemist Percy Julian was a pioneer in the chemical synthesis of medicinal drugs such as cortisone, steroids and birth control pills.

After college, Julian accepted a position as a chemistry instructor at Fisk University. He left in 1923 when he received a scholarship to attend Harvard University to finish his master’s degree, though the university would not allow him to pursue his doctorate. He traveled for several years, teaching at black colleges, before obtaining his Ph.D. at the University of Vienna in Austria in 1931.

With his doctorate in hand, he returned to DePauw to continue his research. In 1935 he earned international acclaim by synthesizing physostigmine from the calabar bean to create a drug treatment for glaucoma, but in spite of his success, the university refused to make him a full professor because of his race.

Later Career

Desiring to leave academia, Julian applied for jobs at prominent chemical companies, but was repeatedly rejected when hiring managers discovered that he was black. Ultimately, he obtained a position at Glidden Company as the lab director. There he invented Aero-Foam, a product that uses soy protein to put out oil and gas fires and was widely used in World War II, as well as other soybean-based inventions.

Julian continued his biomedical work as well, and discovered how to extract sterols from soybean oil and synthesize the hormones progesterone and testosterone. He was also lauded for his synthesis of cortisone, which became used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Julian left Glidden in 1953 and established his own laboratory, Julian Laboratories, in 1954. He sold the company in 1961, becoming one of the first black millionaires, before founding Julian Research Institute, a nonprofit organization that he ran for the rest of his life.

He died of liver cancer on April 19, 1975.


i particularly like how he used a bit of creativity and ingenuity to thwart the racism he encountered. :)

Private sector work: Glidden

In 1936 Julian was denied a professorship at DePauw for racial reasons. DuPont had offered a job to fellow chemist Josef Pikl but declined to hire Julian, despite his superlative qualifications as an organic chemist, apologizing that they were "unaware he was a Negro".[11] Julian next applied for a job at the Institute of Paper Chemistry (IPC) in Appleton, Wisconsin. However, Appleton was a sundown town, forbidding African Americans from staying overnight, stating directly: "No Negro should be bed or boarded overnight in Appleton."

Meanwhile, Julian had written to the Glidden Company, a supplier of soybean oil products, to request a five-gallon sample of the oil to use as his starting point for the synthesis of human steroidal sex hormones (in part because his wife was suffering from infertility).[3] After receiving the request, W. J. O'Brien, a vice-president at Glidden, made a telephone call to Julian, offering him the position of director of research at Glidden's Soya Products Division in Chicago. He was very likely offered the job by O'Brien because he was fluent in German, and Glidden had just purchased a modern continuous countercurrent solvent extraction plant from Germany for the extraction of vegetable oil from soybeans for paints and other uses.[6]

Julian supervised the assembly of the plant at Glidden when he arrived in 1936. He then designed and supervised construction of the world's first plant for the production of industrial-grade, isolated soy protein from oil-free soybean meal. Isolated soy protein could replace the more expensive milk casein in industrial applications such as coating and sizing of paper, glue for making Douglas fir plywood, and in the manufacture of water-based paints.

At the start of World War II, Glidden sent a sample of Julian's isolated soy protein to National Foam System Inc. (today a unit of Kidde Fire Fighting), which used it to develop Aer-O-Foam,[25][26] the U.S. Navy's beloved fire-fighting "bean soup." While it was not exactly Julian's brainchild, his meticulous care in the preparation of the soy protein made the fire fighting foam possible. When a hydrolyzate of isolated soy protein was fed into a water stream, the mixture was converted into a foam by means of an aerating nozzle. The soy protein foam was used to smother oil and gasoline fires aboard ships and was particularly useful on aircraft carriers. It saved the lives of thousands of sailors and airmen.[26] Citing this achievement, in 1947 the NAACP awarded Julian the Spingarn Medal, its highest honor.
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Postby PhlawlessPhelon » Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:03 pm

Great post.

After I read this, I checked out Depauw's biography of Percy Julian. I noticed that they seemed to conveniently leave out the fact that they denied him full professor. Instead, they casually mention that he decided to leave academia without explaining why.
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Postby ink » Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:00 pm

PhlawlessPhelon wrote:Great post.

After I read this, I checked out Depauw's biography of Percy Julian. I noticed that they seemed to conveniently leave out the fact that they denied him full professor. Instead, they casually mention that he decided to leave academia without explaining why.

yea.. how convenient. :/

had a friend who went to DePauw.. he also confirmed this, and noted the varying degrees of instituionalized racism still present. curious, as now there is a statue there, i think i recall him telling me
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Postby Phara » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:05 pm

BUMP,

This is one of the most beautiful threads here.

Harriet Tubman -- our newest beauty on our oldest ugly.

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Nina Martyris of NPR wrote:Harriet Tubman, who will soon be the first African-American to grace a U.S. currency note, spent her whole adult life raising money either to rescue slaves or help them start life afresh on free soil. While her abolitionist friends in the North were generous contributors to the cause, Tubman also self-funded her heroic raids through an activity she enjoyed and excelled at: cooking.

Tubman's role as a professional cook, which provided her with a much-needed source of money in her long and poverty-stricken life, has often been overlooked.

Tubman was the daughter of a cook. Her mother, Rit Ross, worked in the "big house" on the plantation in Dorchester County, Md., where Tubman was raised. An early food-related incident is testimony to the future General Tubman's strong-willed character. When she was about 6, Tubman was hired out to a neighboring farm – a common practice at the time – run by James and Susan Cook. When she got there, writes biographer Kate Clifford Larson in Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero, the hungry little girl was so nervous in the company of a white family, she refused the milk offered by her new mistress.

"I was fond of milk as any young shoot," Tubman later said to her first biographer, Sarah Bradford. "But all the time I was there I stuck to it, that I didn't drink sweet milk."

She spent almost two unhappy years with the family, during which she was regularly flogged and finally sent home after she fell seriously ill.

In 1849, fearing she would be sold like her two older sisters had been, Tubman escaped to Philadelphia. She travelled to Baltimore and New Jersey, where in order to support herself and raise money to go back to rescue her family, she spent the summer of 1852 working as a cook in a resort at fashionable Cape May, N.J. She used her wages to pay for a raid that freed nine slaves.

On the roughly 13 raids Tubman conducted "down into Egypt" over the course of a decade, one of the many challenges she faced was keeping her party of rescued slaves fed on their long and arduous journey – often through snow, icy rain and swamps, with teams of armed men and dogs searching for the runaways. To keep babies from crying and attracting attention, she dosed their bread with laudanum to put them to sleep.

On the Underground Railroad, "one of the conductor's chief duties was finding nourishment – those slaves who didn't have the benefit of a conductor were on their own. One slave recalled wandering through the woods all day eating acorns."
Kate Clifford Larson, Tubman biographer
She may have been hailed as the Black Moses, but unlike that ancient prophet, she couldn't wave her staff and produce manna from heaven. Instead, she simply used her ingenuity. Once, after buying two chickens at a market, she almost came face to face with a former overseer. So she quickly released one of the chickens she was carrying, and pretended to give chase, creating a comic kerfuffle that allowed her to slip away unnoticed, even though, ironically, everyone's eyes were on her.

Otherwise, Tubman went foraging in the forest. "While the woods were rich with resources like sassafras, black cherry, and paw-paw, not everything was safe to eat," Clifford Larson told me. "One of the conductor's chief duties was finding nourishment – those slaves who didn't have the benefit of a conductor were on their own. One slave recalled wandering through the woods all day eating acorns."

What made foraging doubly difficult was that many slaves fled in the winter, shortly after Christmas. "They knew they would probably be sold off at the end of the year, so this was when they would have to run," says Robyn Affron of Adkins Arboretum, who worked on an audio tour of the Underground Railroad with Clifford Larson. "In winter in the mid-Atlantic, they had little or no food. If they were lucky they could seek refuge and food from the Quaker community. Sacks would be hidden in holes in trees with warm socks and hardtack biscuits."

But no matter how dire the situation, Tubman, who was deeply religious, operated on the unshakable belief that God would provide. An abstemious eater, she fasted on Fridays, a practice she learned from her father Ben Ross. He also taught her some invaluable survival skills.

"An expert lumberjack, Ross spent much time living off the land, navigating through forests, fields and waterways," says Clifford Larson. "He passed that knowledge to his gifted daughter, and she put it to good use while traveling along the Underground Railroad."

Tubman grew up on a farm, and through her life, she reached for earthy food metaphors to express herself. "I felt like a blackberry in a pail of milk," she said when she, an illiterate black woman, bid for and bought a parcel of land in Auburn, N.Y., that would eventually house the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged and Infirm Negroes.

"I threw him acrossed my shoulder like a bag o' meal and took him away out of there," was how she described her audacious 1860 rescue of a fugitive slave named Charles Nalle in Troy, N.Y., in the midst of a whirl of police batons and bullets.

And in response to a group called the African Civilization Society, whose mission it was to repatriate all Negroes – free and slave alike – to Africa, Tubman related the parable of a farmer who sowed onions and garlic on his land, but when he found his cow's butter too strong and unsellable, returned to planting clover. By then it was too late – the wind had blown the onions and garlic all over the field. White people, she said, had got slaves to do their hard work for them, but now that their presence didn't suit them, they wanted to pack them off to Africa. "But they can't do it," she said in a public speech in Boston that drew loud applause. "We're rooted here, and they can't pull us up."

During the Civil War, Tubman worked as a nurse and a spy, but supplemented her income by running an eating-house in Beaufort. There, she sold Union soldiers root beer, pie and ginger bread, which she baked during the night, after her day's work. When she put in a claim for a Civil War pension, her role was described as "nurse, spy and cook."

Tubman's earliest childhood memory had to do with food. She recalled how, when she had to babysit her younger brother – she was barely 4 or 5 years old herself – she used to "cut a fat chunk of pork and toast it on the coals and put it in his mouth. One night he went to sleep with that hanging out, and when my mother come home she thought I'd done kill him. I nursed that there baby till he was so big I couldn't tote him any mo'."

Indeed, the dramatic arc of Tubman's life story, from slave to national hero, can be captured in her tragicomic relationship to pigs. Caught stealing a lump of sugar at the Cooks' house, she saw the mistress reach for the whip, and fled to a neighboring farm. For the next five days, she hid in a pigpen and fought with "an ole sow, an' perhaps eight or ten little pigs" for the potato peelings and other pigswill. Finally, starved and afraid of the belligerent mother pig, she went back. James Cook whipped her.

Over three decades later, when Tubman made history by leading three Union gunboats in the famous 1863 Combahee River Raid that freed 700 slaves in South Carolina, she described how the throngs of slave women came streaming towards "Lincoln's gun-boats" with their babies, baskets, chickens and pigs.

"I nebber see such a sight," she is quoted saying in Bradford's 1869 biography. "We laughed, an' laughed, an' laughed. Here you'd see a woman wid a pail on her head, rice a smokin' in it jus' as she'd taken it from de fire, young one hangin' on behind, one han' roun' her forehead to hold on, 'tother han' diggin' into de rice-pot, eatin' wid all its might; hold of her dress two or three more; down her back a bag wid a pig in it."

One woman brought along two pigs, one white, one black. All three were taken on board, and the pigs promptly christened after a Confederate Civil War general and the president of the Confederate States of America: "de white pig Beauregard, and de black pig Jeff Davis."

Nina Martyris is a freelance journalist based in Knoxville, Tenn.
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Postby ink » Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:49 am

^^ thank you for doing that.. tis a nice juxtapose to the new $20 bill thread. (sun)
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Postby PhlawlessPhelon » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:25 am

Phara wrote:Nina Martyris of NPR wrote:

Over three decades later, when Tubman made history by leading three Union gunboats in the famous 1863 Combahee River Raid that freed 700 slaves in South Carolina, she described how the throngs of slave women came streaming towards "Lincoln's gun-boats" with their babies, baskets, chickens and pigs.

"I nebber see such a sight," she is quoted saying in Bradford's 1869 biography. "We laughed, an' laughed, an' laughed. Here you'd see a woman wid a pail on her head, rice a smokin' in it jus' as she'd taken it from de fire, young one hangin' on behind, one han' roun' her forehead to hold on, 'tother han' diggin' into de rice-pot, eatin' wid all its might; hold of her dress two or three more; down her back a bag wid a pig in it."

One woman brought along two pigs, one white, one black. All three were taken on board, and the pigs promptly christened after a Confederate Civil War general and the president of the Confederate States of America: "de white pig Beauregard, and de black pig Jeff Davis."



Wow, this is super neat part of her story that I never knew.
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Postby ink » Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:35 pm

a great read :)
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Postby NaranjaRa » Sat May 07, 2016 6:45 pm

activist/comedian Dick Gregory is a bit of a hero of mine. he is constantly dropping wisdom, along with his gift of humor, and i always learn something new whenever i watch him speak. i especially loved his talk at 2008's State of the Black Union conference. check it out (in parts):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgSymvZLpOw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QKjlmQl58Ic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMRw6N-ALT4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bnM2X9yGP4

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