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Four Hundred Souls
Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 | Ibram X. Kendi, Keisha N. Blain
A choral history of African Americans covering four hundred years in the voices of ninety writers, edited by Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire.
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An incredible read. I loved all of the different voices and perspectives.

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Behind on some reviews! Finished this a few weeks ago. Beautiful collection of stories and history. I wish history I was taught and what is taught today was less one sided and took a faceted view of what brought the world to where it is today.

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I cannot simply tell you the reasons why this book should be read. Understanding our nation's past in a deep, thorough anthology of articles. Learning of current Black writers that you will see more works in the future. Being gifted with stories of hope and defeat that you never learned in school. A quilt. A piece of music. A community. And it is perfect. I enjoyed discussing this with @megnews #400Souls

Ruthiella Fantastic review! ❤️ 3mo
TrishB Lovely review ♥️ 3mo
Kdgordon88 Such a great description of this important book. 3mo
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Thoughts on the final chapter and overall book?


MallenNC My thoughts on Part 10 were that even though this is the section I‘m most familiar with because it‘s the timeframe of my life, there were still things to learn. The saddest ones for me were about Amadou Diallo and the chapter on voting rights with the story about the man who walked so much in order to vote and never got to do so. (edited) 4mo
MallenNC Overall, I‘m so glad I read this book and that we took our time with it. I can imagine going back to it and reading parts again, almost like an encyclopedia. Because I know there is more I can take in on subsequent readings. It‘s so interesting to see the people and parts of history that were chosen to represent each timeframe. So much of this book resonates with what the US is struggling with today. 4mo
megnews @MallenNC I cried thinking of Amadou‘s mother losing her son like that and so far away. It just doesn‘t make sense and so upsetting. Yes, the man who walked so far to vote was powerful. It makes me sad to think so many don‘t exercise this right today and what others would have given to be able to do so. 4mo
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MallenNC @megnews I cried thinking of his mother and her hopes for him. And voting rights, which are so important, are in such danger now. 4mo
megnews @MallenNC I know. We have to show id in Ohio the last several years and I feel it‘s nothing but a poll tax. They also recently purged our rolls here if people hadn‘t voted in a certain period of time. The reduced polling places in Georgia last election was unbelievable! We seem to be going backwards. 3mo
Butterfinger That last part was gripping and so powerful. I know it must have been that it is part of my identity. Echoing @MallenNC Growing up with Reagan, and even as an adult - becoming a Republican because that is what the Gentrys did. (Until a blatant racist came on the scene. I will never be identified by this party again.) I remember the Reagans' fight against drugs, but didn't know that the budget was for more imprisonment and less treatment. So sad. Not going to the root or being proactive in the fight. I'm getting sleepy, so forgive me if it seems like I am rambling. 3mo
Butterfinger I'm also glad Anita Hill was represented. I thought then she was brave. And that quote, "We believe Anita Hill. We believe Christine Blasey Ford. This time the signatories were all men, of various races, who were taking up the charge given to them by Black women almost thirty years earlier. They could not redo 1991, but they did better.". Loved it. 3mo
megnews @Butterfinger The War on Drugs makes me so mad when you see how the opioid epidemic is being handled so much differently today, with treatment instead of punishment. 3mo
Butterfinger Exactly @megnews it is still the elitest white men who hold the power in the government. It's outrageous. And even now with COVID. I was so angry when I learned of the numbers. 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews @Butterfinger that all makes me mad. We still have people serving time with 3 strikes and you‘re out, for minor possession of drugs, but not major white collar crimes, where they get out because of good behavior (or now COVID) or have powerful friends. The way the opioids addiction is being treated different is maddening too. The Reagan part always upsets me, not only did they handle the War on Drugs in the least humane way… (edited) 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa …and criminalize different races & drugs differently, but they were also helping to increase the drugs on the street with the Iran Contra scandal. So one arm of the govt was basically aiding & abetting delivering them, another criminalizing them differently based on race, and another making money on for profit imprisoning them. I think it‘s always bothers me because we have the ongoing “kids for cash” scandal in PA, where judges were ⤵️ 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ Basically taking kickbacks from the prison /juvenile detention complex, to send them more people, so they sentenced kids to more severe and longer sentences for minor violations for the money. We all need to realize it can happen to anyone! I‘m seeing some of the same thing with the Undocumented that crossed the border, they separated the kids, but put their parents in many cases directly into our prison system (& I‘m sure are charging the ⤵️ (edited) 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ gov‘t a tidy sum for the job). In jail and their children taken, all before an asylum hearing. Sadly so much wrong boils down to someone making a profit. (edited) 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I agree, some parts will stick with me and some I‘m sure I‘ll refer back too. This last section that hit things in my lifetime was powerful for that reason too. 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger I was glad Anita Hill was represented too. She had a new book out too that I want to read. (edited) 3mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa yes, with marijuana being legalized in so many locations, I feel anyone in prison for marijuana should be released. Yet, there they still sit. 3mo
AnneCecilie I think what will stay with me from this part was the man who walked 18 miles to vote and still didn‘t get to vote. I can‘t believe that it should be this difficult to vote. And the young man shot over 40 times by four policemen. I see from the conversation that I‘m not the only one @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC And the quote @Butterfinger wrote in as well. 3mo
rjsthumbelina @MallenNC I definitely agree that this one will deserve many subsequent re-read! 3mo
rjsthumbelina @Riveted_Reader_Melissa any book recommendations that include the Iran Contra scandal? 3mo
rjsthumbelina I definitely think that what hit me the hardest from this section was the end of the war on drugs section. I listened on audio so I don't have access to the exact quote, but it boiled down to that people 'were thinking "How could someone be so terrible to take drugs and to sell drugs to others?" when the question should have been "What kind of a country opens so many new prisons while closing treatment centers?"' 3mo
rjsthumbelina ⬆️ As someone who works in mental health as a group therapist and case manager, it's so maddening to me that this country made the choice to criminalize behaviors rather than give people the help they needed to do better 3mo
megnews @rjsthumbelina completely agree with above. But if leaders are going to treat it this way, it should at least be consistent with how the opioid epidemic is treated now. Different rules shouldn‘t be made for different people. The inconsistency based on race and class is maddening. 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @rjsthumbelina I feel the same way about mental health now. People will push off the gun violence problem as a mental health issue (I personally think it‘s much more than that) but they have no interest in funding mental health services either. If you really believe that is the problem, why not try funding the solution. 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @rjsthumbelina The book The New Jim Crow is a good start for how the scandal effected especially inner city communities. I haven‘t found a good book on it per say, but this website is pretty good. https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB2/index.html basically we started out trading arms, but ended up aiding & abetting drug traffickers. Punishing the inner city youth who took or sold drugs harshly, but looked the other way for big traffickers 3mo
rjsthumbelina @Riveted_Reader_Melissa thanks for the resources! 😊 3mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘ve had The New Jim Crow on my TBR forever. I may put a buddy read together someday. I really have to have external pressure to read nonfiction or I tend to set it down for fiction. 3mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Well when you are ready, I should re-read it. And I completely understand, that‘s one reason why I started my reading group. 😂 3mo
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This book is a collection of individual short essays, each essay covering a span of years & the history that occurred during that time span. Don‘t be intimidated by the subject or length because you can read one or a few, and take a break whenever, coming back to it over time. Each story is unique, but they add up to a greater understanding and in-depth look at our collective history.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Honestly this would make a great daily devotional type read, with a section of history each day.

Thank you so much for organizing this group read @megnews . This book is one I knew I wanted to read, but probably would have been intimidated and put off indefinitely, so thank you so much for the motivation to read it, and the great discussions for each section. I can‘t wait to finish up our discussion next weekend. #400Souls
megnews Great review! I didn‘t feel like anything I could say would do it justice. Thank you for being such an integral part of the conversations. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews You are very welcome, and again, thank you! 4mo
AnneCecilie Great review. Perfectly summed up. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews @AnneCecilie it was hard to write a review for this one, especially in 451 words. (edited) 4mo
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Spanning 400 years of African American history, from 1619-2019, in brief essays by a “choir” of contributors, this volume is thought-provoking and is sure to inspire the reader to reflect on American history and look deeper into many historical events presented here.
Thank you to the #400Souls discussion group for helping me stay committed to finishing this important book and reflect further on it. Looking forward to our final discussion Friday.

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#BookReport A great bunch of books finished this week. Only Plane and 400 Souls were 5 🌟 reads. Matrix was 4.5 🌟. I finished the first section of Delights for #SundayBuddyRead but it‘s a bit gory for me so moving on. It was also my October #Doublespin. Love that DNF‘s count!

#WeeklyForecast Next up after finishing my two current reads will be The Guncle and Adriane.

TheBookHippie No worries ♥️ it‘s a lot. 4mo
Cinfhen Guncle is SOOOOO GOOD!! Especially on audio 4mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! Looking great!!! 4mo
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Wow. I loved this section! What did everybody else think? Favorite part? Learn anything new?
We‘ll be wrapping up next week and moving onto The Warmth of Other Suns the following week. Anyone is welcome to join.

MallenNC I enjoyed this section a lot because it was about an era I know more about. I think Sherrilyn Ifill‘s chapter was my favorite because I am such an admirer of her work. I didn‘t know about that Texas case. I also liked the chapter about Black writers. 4mo
MallenNC Also I‘m looking forward to rereading The Warmth of Other Suns. I can‘t believe we‘ve almost finished this one. It seemed so long when we started 4mo
megnews @MallenNC I know! Time flies when you‘re having fun! I‘m glad you‘re joining us for @OtherSuns. I knew about Isaac Woodard but I don‘t believe I ever heard about Dorie Miller, who shot down 2 of the planes attacking Pearl Harbor. I enjoyed the section on Black Arts. What I really appreciated was reading about the Civil Rights movement with no focus on MLK. While he contributed so much the focus on him has taken from all that others did as well. ⬇️ 4mo
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megnews I appreciated that a lot. 4mo
MallenNC @megnews I agree. It is good to learn about other people who also did so much for civil rights. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m behind, but I promise to catch up and come back to this tomorrow. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa All caught up now. And I agree with everything you said. I liked the Ifill chapter too, I follow her on Twitter and always find her perspective knowledgeable and informative. I‘m excited for Warmth of Other Suns too…and I agree with @MallenNC how is this long book almost over, when did that happen. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews I really liked all these sections, the main parts you knew, but they all did a great job at highlighting some of the other stories and people of the time that have been sort of brushed aside by history in favor of the “big” (mostly male) names. Just like Ida B Wells in an earlier section, I found myself wanting to read more about Ella Baker or the Combahee Collective…so many more stories to read and unearth before they are lost it seems 4mo
Butterfinger @megnews @MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I am always a dollar short and a day behind recently. I liked learning about Black Power after Malcolm X's assassination. I read his autobiography last year with Melissa and I was left with a hole. It is now partially filled. I knew that the organization in Berkeley did a lot for families - free breakfast, but it didn't coincide with Malcolm's work. Now I understand. I also kept thinking about Sammy Davis Jr. and his experiences in the army during WWII. I loved his autobiography. 4mo
Butterfinger If you wanted another book to read. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger I had not heard of the Sammy Davis Jr book, I think it‘s another I should stack. 4mo
megnews @Butterfinger yes, thanks for sharing. His life is very interesting and I‘d like to know more. 4mo
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What were your thoughts as you read through part 8 this week?

MallenNC I had gotten behind last week so I was glad to catch up. I learned a lot about Booker T. Washington and I also liked that Ida B. Wells-Barnett was in this section too. I‘m so interested in her life. My favorite was the chapter on Zora Neale Hurston. 4mo
megnews @mallennc we missed you last week! I loved the Booker T quote about going to school being about the same as getting into paradise. I also enjoyed the pieces on the Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I still find it amazing that her book when out of print for decades until Alice Walker revived it..and now it‘s on a bunch of “books you should read before XYZ lists”. As a book lover and collector, it always seems surreal to me that books can disappear… my brain just refuses to compute that fact. 4mo
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MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I know! That is amazing(not in a good way). I love Their Eyes Were Watching God. I need to read Hurston‘s autobiography. 4mo
MallenNC @megnews I missed y‘all last week. I just couldn‘t get caught up! I am glad you all want to read The Warmth of Other Suns. Reading Wilkerson‘s chapter made me want to reread it. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC It‘s been on my list to read since we read Caste. She is such a good writer. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Yes, it just blows my mind, and not in a good way. Especially when I think that everything was print then…with digital books will that get better or worse, cheaper to continue in digital print at least (once it‘s done), but lots easier to censor…just delete it all from every device…. Scary stuff to me. 4mo
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘ve read Caste too. It was good but Warmth of Other Suns was better to me because it‘s more of a narrative. 4mo
rjsthumbelina I loved pretty much this entire section. Booker T Washington, the Great Migration, the Depression, Zora Neale Hurston. I didn't know about the feud between her and Richard Wright (makes sense - I've never liked Wright's writing and I adore Hurston's). 4mo
Butterfinger @rjsthumbelina @MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I knew the story about Ida Walker walking with the white suffragists in the parade and I think I learned about her from a picture book last year. She was such a strong person. I'm glad the Harlem Renaissance was represented. So much wonderful works came from that period. And the line from the poem about being the phoenix. Still so much fighting to get equal freedom, but such hope. 4mo
megnews @rjsthumbelina I had never hear that about her and Wright either. I have read in a couple places that she and Langston Hughes had a falling out in later years. 4mo
AnneCecilie I really enjoyed reading about the Harlem Renaissance and Zora Neale Hurston, probably because I have book by the authors of the Harlem Renaissance on my tbr and I just a book by Hurston. 3mo
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AnneCecilie That‘s a powerful quote. 4mo
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What were your thoughts on this week‘s readings? Favorite section? Anything new? Did anyone else look up Atlanta‘s Shermantown like me? Illustration above.

megnews @AnneCecilie I saw your post with the Ida B Wells quote and comment re: white men. It has always drives me crazy that they blamed with no evidence black men for the crime for which they were guilty for so long. Same re: the lazy stereotype. Black people built this country while white people fanned themselves. Who‘s lazy? Sorry for such strong feelings. I just get really aggravated about the hypocrisy. 4mo
megnews I could have posted a lot of quotes from this section, particularly of Frederick Douglass. He was so eloquent in his speech. I wish I could have heard him. (edited) 4mo
megnews Everything I read continues to strike me that the more things change the more they stay the same. Thinking of Atlanta‘s laws allowing garbage to be dumped in poor and black neighborhoods. Also the policing in Philly where the country‘s first prison was built in anticipation of PA‘s emancipation of the enslaved. 😡 (edited) 4mo
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa I agree with all of that. Plus it struck me how much history we plowed over with revitalization & highway acts, because we didn‘t like it. That‘s just lost forever. The book The Color of Law really laid out how much this was purposefully done, but still it always strikes me. And he can‘t even find a photo of his relative online, who was in part of a famous case. So sad. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa And it‘s not just us either. When AuthorAMonth was doing James Baldwin, I read that his home in France was similarly demolished. You‘d think it would have been made into a museum like Hemingway‘s in the Keys, but nope. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Yes, that book, The Color of Law also talked about dumps, disposals, etc being approved for “Black” communities, even when they complained, but moved out of “white” communities when they complained. And then it basically became part of zoning laws.. “white” neighborhoods as residential, “black” neighborhoods labeled as commercial. 🙄 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa And yes, I really need to move up Fredrick Douglas‘s autobiography up to read! (edited) 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa And I have to say, I personally liked the one that started a la movie trailer…long suffering hero who never loses and never really wins, but keeps fighting in every sequel forever. Like “Cotton” earlier, it stood out to me as unique and I liked it. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Plus I can‘t help wishing more about Reconstruction violence and laws was taught in schools…my school was like Civil War, emancipation, still treated blacks like second class citizens (black & white water fountains and riding in the back of the bus), Martin Luther King Jr., boycotts, marches, Civil Rights Laws…poof fixed…done and over like magic 🪄 🤯 (edited) 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I really liked the writing on that essay too. It was excellent. I have The Color of Law on my tbr. (edited) 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa yes I think much more needs to be taught about the purposeful end of Reconstruction. I don‘t believe I understood that until I was an adult. And I‘ve always loved history! 4mo
Butterfinger Reading about the reconstruction era and the rise of KKK is hard for me and this section just made me hurt. I had never heard of Ida B. Wells-Barnett and her fight against lynching. Lynching was just a war tactic. To place fear in hearts - so they wouldn't vote. It just makes me feel so impotent. And I agree, this part of Black history needs to be part of education. The suffrage passed, but was withheld. So important to know and understand. Terrorist acts - so accurate. @Riveted_Reader_Melissa 4mo
Butterfinger I was pleased to see the reference to Douglass's separation from the white female suffragists. And I was reminded of Barracoon when I read about Nicodemus. Towns of the freed being created. I want to know more about these towns. The successes as well as the hardships conquered. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger I first came upon Ida B Wells in a history book about Teddy Roosevelt‘s as a “mudraker”- a journalist that brings the muck to the surface. Then she was writing about corporate and political scandals…great book… but I didn‘t even know she was Af. Am. And huge in fighting against lunching in the south until I read more about her because I thought she was so fearless and such a spectacular journalist. If it was mentioned in the book⤵️ (edited) 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ it flew past me until later. 4mo
megnews @Butterfinger Barracoon is excellent. 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa after this, do you still want to do 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa or I was also thinking about this since it will coincide with Native American Heritage month. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews I‘d be up for both, so whichever you‘d like to read first. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Actually let‘s do Warmth of Other Suns first. I own that one already. 😂 (edited) 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa sounds good. I own it too. Ill break it down into small chunks and post a schedule. Does friday evening still work for you? 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Yes, Fine by me! And it gives me time between that and my other group. 4mo
rjsthumbelina I find the Reconstruction period so fascinating, probably bc we don't hear much about this period in history...unless you go looking for it specifically. Ida B Wells is one of my favorite historical figures 4mo
megnews @rjsthumbelina I find that period so interesting too. It gives you a glimpse of how maybe things could be different today had it not been shut down. It‘s so sad and frustrating 4mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I want to read Warmth of Other Suns! So tag me on plans please, @megnews ! I‘ve been quiet and late with comments on this book but it‘s just wonderful in a 🙇🏼‍♀️ way. 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage the current book sections were about 40 pages each week. If we do the same it would go from mid October thru the first week of January. Is the page length too much/too little? Is it took long of time commitment? I liked our short sections. Let me know and I‘ll get something posted. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews I liked our sections too, but I‘m weird about completing things before the end of the year, so I might read a little ahead to finish in this year. 😂. Don‘t ask why, it‘s just a manmade division, but I almost always find myself doing that. Like some kind of completion (look at what I accomplished in x year) instead of resolutions. 🤷‍♀️🤪 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa that makes sense. Maybe I‘ll tag on the last two sections together 4mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage @megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘d rather have a bigger section in October than around the holidays. But I‘m sure I‘ll make it work either way. Agree that finishing by year end is better. 4mo
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Sorry I‘m running late for tonight‘s discussion folks. Did you learn anything new in part 6? Favorite quotes? #400Souls

MallenNC I always learn something new and this section was no different. I didn‘t know about Oregon‘s history, so that chapter was very interesting. But the most interesting to me was the part about Freedom‘s Journal, the first Black owned and operated newspaper. I went to journalism school so I‘m always interested in media. That chapter and one other talked about the importance of representation, which is sadly still lacking. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa No problem, I‘m late logging only Litsy myself. The chapter about the Dred Scott decision, and how we‘ve basically never really overturned it… and how much that still carries weight today. Especially as all the laws/rulings since then meant to correct some of that, like the Voting Rights Act, have since been struck down and not replaced. I think I need to start thinking of it like the ERA in feminism, with that a lot of other fights are mute, ⤵️ (edited) 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ without it, each individual thing has to be fought again and again separately (like Roe). Either women or people of African descent are equal or they are not, instead of fighting each peacemeal battle unendingly (it seems lately). 4mo
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Yes! The representation part of that was scary…we‘ve backslid a LOT in recent years! 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC The part about Oregon made me think of all the “Proud Boys” stuff there lately, and maybe helped me understand more how such a movement could take hold there.🤷‍♀️. It‘s weird for me, growing up I always thought of Washington & Oregon as more hippy nature liberal….not so much in reality. It‘s so surreal growing up and realizing how much history is not taught or twistedly taught. (edited) 4mo
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I was born in and still live in North Carolina, so I don‘t know that much about the Northwest. That chapter made me realize how so much of the attention on racism on our history is focused on the South, when the issues are much more widespread. (edited) 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I was born in NC too (my dad was stationed there in the service), moved back to PA when I was about 5. PA, at least the rural part I live in, is still pretty racist….the number of Confederate flags I see here still amazes me. They see it as part of history they say, rebellion really (grew up watching too much Dukes of Hazard I think), but we are in the North that fought that flag…which always strikes me as crazy. 4mo
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes, I don‘t have any patience for anyone who wants to wave that flag. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC It amazing, I have an aunt…lived her whole life in PA… but was incensed when NASCAR banned the confederate flag….because that‘s part of “our history”. I always want to ask them if they fly the Union flag of that time in history too (sometimes I do and I get, that‘s just the American flag…although it isn‘t the American flag of today, and I don‘t see anyone flying that as part of “our history”). 4mo
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Right. Lots of things are “part of history” but they don‘t deserve pride of place. If I wanted to wave another flag for my heritage I would use the flag for North Carolina. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Yes. I don‘t know if they are gaining popularity where you are or not, but I feel the same way about those thin blue line flags too…they always look like someone destroyed an American flag to me (and they are EVERYWHERE here). 4mo
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa Those are around here too. They‘re pretty equal to the confederate flag. 4mo
rjsthumbelina I found the essay dealing with Oregon and the one about Dred Scott never having been repealed to be the most eye-opening. It's so disheartening that the country hasn't ever officially said that ruling was wrong 4mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage I really appreciated the essay about Maria Stewart and the intersectional writings of Black women. I hadn‘t heard of her. And the essay on passing, especially since I read Nella Larsen‘s excellent book a year or so ago. 4mo
Butterfinger After just finishing a historical fiction about Lucy Stone, I realize she must have known Mary Stewart. Wish she had been mentioned in the book. What an incredible woman. 4mo
Butterfinger @MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I ditto the Confederate flag. I was raised in western NC and thank goodness my father taught me that flag stands for hatred and a sinful period we should not be honoring. He ties the flag to the KKK rallies which was more prominent in the 60s when he was growing up. That shocked me to find out PA has them. 🤯 Really? The poem about compromise hit the nail right on the head. In words, it seems silly to make a line free or slave, but in reality, lives and humanity were being destroyed. 4mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger Lots of closet racist here, they just hide it behind…it‘s a rebel flag, I hate “big” government, I‘m a rebel (a la Dukes of Hazard against boss Hog) ! And now, with the blue line flag, I support the police, they are just our local town police, we love them. (Nevermind that in that same show they were running circles around the police.) 🙄 and no deeper conversations/reflections seem to happen. 🤯 4mo
megnews @MallenNC I had heard at some point about Oregon‘s racist history but didn‘t know the details. Was interested to learn more. 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘m whole or piecemeal. What a great way to put it. It reminds me of Leaving Coy‘s Hill about Lucy Stone. She and Susan B and Elizabeth Cady Stanton spilt ways because she wanted voting rights passed for all, not just women and they were willing to get one and hope for more later. 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I didn‘t grow up there but had always thought of those states as more liberal too. 4mo
megnews @MallenNC very true about racist history focused on the South. We lie to ourselves when we don‘t recognize the totality of our history. 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I live in a fairly rural area of Ohio and see the Confederate flag here too. Huge ongoing debate about the sale of that flag at our county fair. It grates my nerves because I have ancestors from OH who fought against that flag. Losers take their flags down! It isn‘t Ohio history. I find myself with a “go back where you came from” mentality when northerners fly that flag. 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC my argument against the flag is always “you don‘t see British flags flying. They lost and took their flags back to England. 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I agree about the think blue line flag. I always feel a definite message is being sent. And I‘m pretty sure that‘s against the flag code. 4mo
megnews @Butterfinger confederate flags flying here in ohio too. 🤯 see my post above about it. And it‘s not just kkk rallies in the 60s. They were flown at that incident in Charlottesville a few years ago. It‘s hatred and intimidation. (edited) 4mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC @Butterfinger @BarbaraTheBibliophage @rjsthumbelina I was struck by Charleston “It was the Blackest city in the country—and one of the most heavily policed. It seems that wherever the Black body is present, whether in solitary or in a multitude, whites feel threatened.” We know it‘s always been this way but getting facts like this always helps when someone tries to debate for the “other side.” ⬇️ (edited) 4mo
megnews This quote also really hit me: who we are, and who belongs, is the most fundamental question that we have ever asked or can ever ask. We are still struggling to get the answer to this question right. We are still coming up short. 4mo
megnews @rjsthumbelina I agree about the Dred Scott case. It‘s kind of like the anti lunching bill several Congress people have been trying to pass. Republicans think it‘s not necessary because it was never legal. But it went unpunished and we still have vigilantes like George Zimmerman getting away with taking what they think is justice in their own hands. That‘s not how this country is supposed to work. 4mo
megnews @BarbaraTheBibliophage I agree about the essay on passing. I recently read that as well. 4mo
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yep. I knew about Sally Hemings, but that section really brought home to me how convoluted those family trees had to be….and just how much mental gymnastics it had to take to cut that part of your family out as “other”. 5mo
MallenNC I was late finishing this section. I liked how Kiese Layman wrote about cotton. This section also reminded me I want to read more about Sally Hemmings. I read Never Caught, about Oona Judge, a few years ago. 5mo
megnews @MallenNC I love Layman‘s writing. I‘ve wanted to read more on Hemings for awhile too. 5mo
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MallenNC @megnews This book is just adding to my TBR. I already have Clint Smith‘s How the Word is Passed that I‘m hoping to read soon. 5mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC the part about the Louisiana rebellion was very moving to me. 5mo
megnews @MallenNC I‘ve been seeing good things about that one and recently added it to my tbr. 5mo
MallenNC @megnews For me too. And it‘s another piece of history that I didn‘t know about. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Yes! And both that memorial and the one in the section before (I believe) with the hanging coffins for lynchings…such powerful memorials. It‘s really hard to believe we don‘t have a National Memorial Museum in this country. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Yes, interesting that we‘ve heard/were taught about the rebellions led by white men(some even have movies…The Free State of Jones, for example) but the other, not so much. Even in our history of history, we prioritize the rebellion and ingenuity of the white leaders, and bury any other stories. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC And yes…the Cotton essay was so different from the rest, and it stood out as more powerful because of that I think. Parts of that one, were almost poetic. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Anybody else read about the Fugitive Slave Laws, and the emergence of Slave Catchers a bit differently his week. Enabling private citizens, motivated by money, to become law enforcement arms and terrorize a group of people…this week made me think of Texas‘s new abortion laws. 😬 5mo
rjsthumbelina I was struck again by the white slaveholders being afraid of rebellions. Seems counterintuitive. If they had really thought that black people were 'lesser' than them, they wouldn't have been afraid. The Sally Hemings story hit differently for me than before, too. Especially bc she wasn't the only one of his slaves that he had children with. 5mo
Butterfinger I knew about Sally Hemings from Stephanie Dray. It was mainly about how Patsy felt about her family. But I'd like to read a book from Sally's perspective. After reading about the memorial, it struck me that if we, as a nation, acknowledge our part of genocide, we could begin to heal. @Riveted_Reader_Melissa when I read the Fugitive Laws, I thought how the hateful took advantage of it to torture just like the SS. The amoral people who find pleasure in dispensing pain. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @rjsthumbelina It always bothered me a bit that that relationship is sort of romanticized now. His children asked him to never marry again, so he didn‘t….& he did have long relationship with Sally Hemings, but she was still his slave. He freed their children after a certain age, but he never freed her (at least not that I know of) and he had “relations with” other slaves. I think because that relationship has come to light, as their descendant⤵️ 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ could finally prove relationship to a famous president through DNA, there seems to be a big push to make that a “love” affair, instead of a master/slave relationship…and that always makes me cringe. Whether they felt love or not (we‘ll never know), but whatever they felt it was still born out of a huge power/pressure/no-choice-for-her-at-all really dynamic which is not a “romantic” relationship. It‘s a coercion one. ⤵️ (edited) 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ just like we‘d view the imbalance of a power in a boss/employee relationship as sexual harassment and improper, but by a magnitude of 1000‘s. She literally could not leave, could not say no, and again her story is written by his descendants. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger It‘d be great, but I think anything we‘d get from her perspective would be historical fiction, which means probably highly sanitized & white washed. If she kept a diary, it probably was disposed of by descendants in the generation after her death….to protect the President reputation. 5mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa all good points on Hemings in addition to she was so young. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Younger than his oldest daughters ☹️ 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews That one looks interesting! Thanks for the recommendation 5mo
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The more you learn the more bizarre the whole thing always seems to me - slavery & how they somehow carved out parts of their family as “other”. Here Sally Hemings & Jefferson‘s wife Martha had the same father (John Wayles), they were actually half sisters 😬…& when Jefferson met her she was 14, and by 16 (or thereabouts) pregnant. So their children & his “legal” kids were half sisters (by Jefferson), but also cousins (by Wayles daughters). 😑

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What did you learn from this week‘s reading?

fredthemoose Oops—got so engrossed in The Guncle that I‘ve gotten behind… 5mo
megnews @fredthemoose no problem. Join in when you can. 5mo
MallenNC My favorites were the chapters on Lucy Terry Prince, who I hadn‘t heard about before, and Phyllis Wheatley, who I‘d heard of but still learned more about. 5mo
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MallenNC I also wrote down this quote from Wesley Lowery: “While some nations vow never to forget, our American battle has always been over what we allow ourselves to remember.” That resonated as my state (NC) battles over what teachers are allowed to teach about racism and history. 5mo
megnews @MallenNC I highlighted that quote too. It really resonated with me. I also highlighted about Michigan “privatizing” the prison system as early as 1843. 5mo
megnews Another quote I sat with for awhile: As men and women were thrown behind bars for nonviolent offenses in the 1980s through the early 2000s, Detroit neighborhoods were gutted, children were orphaned, and voter rolls were depleted. ⬇️ 5mo
MallenNC @megnews Every section of this book proves that what I‘ve thought of as modern problems (like the prison system) have roots in our history. 5mo
megnews ⬆️ When we think of prison statistics we hear about overfilled jails and prisons and America having the highest incarceration rate per capita on the planet. What is sometimes missed in the conversation is not what‘s full, but what is empty because of that. I really had to think about the impact on communities. On families and children. 💔 5mo
megnews @MallenNC absolutely! 5mo
MallenNC @megnews So true. The ripple effect of that incarceration is wide reaching. 5mo
rjsthumbelina One thing that I thought was interesting that I had never heard of before was the Stono Rebellion. I also thought it was cool that some religious groups denounced slavery as early as they did. 5mo
Butterfinger @MallenNC I was so upset today because our new standards are on hold because of the critical race theory. WE ARE GOING BACKWARDS!!! Why can't we follow Germany's lead and admit our wrongs and build policies based on the wrongs? I also appreciated learning more about Terry Prince. 5mo
MallenNC @Butterfinger I hadn‘t heard that. I‘m very worried about the direction our legislature continues to go. 5mo
Butterfinger @megnews it is mind boggling to see the statistics. 5mo
Butterfinger My favorite part from this section was about the Freedom Church. "We who speak out in public life to insist that God cares about love, justice, and mercy and to call people of faith to stand with the poor, the uninsured, the undocumented, and the incarcerated are often accused of preaching something new." The author from this piece understands why people stop going to church. It struck my soul. It has been a battle. But I am going to follow and do what I believe the Bible says to do. 5mo
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NikkiM5 Love this ❤️ the chance for growth is one thing lost. 5mo
megnews @NikkiM5 agreed! I loved it too. Makes you think. 5mo
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This week we read part 3 of #400Souls. 1699-1739. Thoughts? Anything that stood out or impacted you most?

Riveted_Reader_Melissa I thought this section did a great job at dispelling the myths that we‘ve built up around slavery, from the…it was so long ago, to the that‘s just the way it was then, to the idea that slaves lived their whole lives on one plantation and were “part of the family” I particularly hate that one. The different sections did a great job working together to show how people were sold and moved many times in their lives, that they were tortured ⤵️ 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ abominably, & that it just didn‘t magically happen, but was systematically constructed to work that way, any gap or loophole that was found was quickly shut off. Even your master/father freeing you didn‘t stop your indenture from being sold & then converted into straight slavery after his death, or the labeling of any children. The system worked VERY hard to keep one group enslaved & keep the other from EVER identifying or humanizing “them”⤵️ 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ basically that the US vs THEM was so intentionally made, legalized, enforced. Any chance of common cause with other indentured was systematically cut off at the knees because it hurt the wealthy landowners. 5mo
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa I think it also did a great job of showing how any class identify and common cause was subverted…and I think we can see that legacy still today, even as we fight past individual laws, the Us vs Them has stuck for many. The “what about poor white folks” arguments, and “they got too much already” help/assistance/whatever, when really it should be a shared cause together against “the man” (wealthy/upper classes). ⤵️ 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ I was thinking about that this week as a certain Governor outlaws masks, but when he tests positive, but is asymptotic, he gets to rest at home with health care aids and a course of Regeneron antibody treatment, just to be safe. Something the regular joe wouldn‘t/couldn‘t have access to. There is such an economic disparity in the US, between the haves and have nots, but yet we can‘t get it together in common cause on many cases because of all 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa …this back history. That was purposefully done to prevent coalition…and it‘s still doing its job today. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Sorry for the long rambling posts there, sometimes 451 characters it just not enough for my thinking process. 🤷‍♀️ 5mo
rjsthumbelina I think the intentionality was what really stuck out to me in this section. We so often think that it was just the way it always was, but those laws were intentionally crafted to make sure that no white people could identify the same way as non-white people, slaves or not. I also liked the explanation of how indentured white people were by law required to be treated drastically differently from others. One thing I didn't know about was the slave⬇️ 5mo
rjsthumbelina ⬆️market on Wall Street 5mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa love your long posts. I loved how this section pointed us back to primary sources. We “sort of” learn about him crow laws but we don‘t ever learn about how these types of laws had been created so long ago. We tend to think that‘s just the way it was like oops we just stepped in gum and didn‘t know better. We‘re people that much stupider then? This section shows us exactly how shrewd they were. 5mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I also don‘t like the “part of the family” myth as well as the “all masters weren‘t bad” myth. Give me a break. Be enslaved then if you think it wasn‘t so bad. I also appreciated the commentary on the “it was so long ago” argument. I liked your correlation on my other post between 9/11 & Pearl Harbor and the failed uprising in January. 5mo
megnews @rjsthumbelina I appreciated the reading about the transition from indentured servant to enslaved. I never realized til a few years ago some Africans were indentured. And I never “got” the reason for the change to divide and conquer and keep the wealthy in power til I‘ve read more the last several years. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews it‘s very much a controlling of history….how‘s that old saying go, history is written by the victors. So remember it‘s all from their point of view and says what benefits them to put into writing. Like the recent craziness of the Texas State School board which approves textbooks and because they are such large buyer of textbooks, the one‘s they approve get used throughout the US….changing slavery to “workers” for little or no pay. 🙄 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Yes, so much of the early history needs to be unearthed (like 12 Years a Slave being a book that went out of print until someone made a movie about it), and brought back into the light. And so many of these early laws were definitely to prevent empathy across “races” by class. The whole reason to create a race system was to other a particular group for separate treatment. (And yes, I‘m thinking about Caste now) 5mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa when I read this stuff I think about how much better off we‘d all be if the truth were taught. 5mo
MallenNC I‘m late getting online but I wanted to add that the chapter on Virginia Slave Codes really resonated with me. As Melissa said, the myths of slavery and history were really made clear here. I keep thinking of the passage on how these myths “give us a false faith in the present.” 5mo
MallenNC And also that the same way that white men who felt threatened wrote the laws supporting slavery then, their descendants maintain white supremacy the same way today. “They can maintain it with the same intention today, if we allow it.” 5mo
AnneCecilie This part gave me a lot to think about. The quote “belief that liberty required slavery” has really stuck with me. I just don‘t get this sort of thinking, they are the complete opposites. And also that there were more slaves in NYC than in one of the southern states. That Wall Street was a slave market, it will never think about that street the same way again. The slave codes. The chapter on African identities. And the African American cities. 5mo
megnews @AnneCecilie I really liked the chapter on African identities too. 5mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC @AnneCecilie @rjsthumbelina I really liked the chapter on maroons. I‘ve heard a little about the Great Dismal Swamp that people escaped to and I want to do some more research on that. It was also interesting to learn about why Georgia was founded. I did not know it was created as a military buffer between Spanish Florida. I also really enjoyed the poem by Morgan Parker. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Yes! The parts about the maroons I‘ve heard very little about in the US, I had heard some of the stories about the islands. I thought that was interesting and Georgia, I hadn‘t heard that but if history either. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC That was a great section and quote! 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @AnneCecilie yes, much as we think about NY being in the north, it was a huge port city and the north didn‘t really have much distinction (slavery-wise) until much later when states chose sides closer to the Civil War…and even then it was money & business! 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @rjsthumbelina and @AnneCecilie Here‘s a great article about Wall Street that I found this morning, just googling a bit. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/business-49476247.amp 5mo
Butterfinger I enjoyed reading the discussion @Riveted_Reader_Melissa don't ever worry about writing too much - it is all pertinent and I appreciate the other resources. @MallenNC @AnneCecilie @rjsthumbelina I have thought about the essay that mentioned the towns that were settled and governed by people of color. They finally feel free of white power and the government forces them to integrate. Threw my belief system through the wringer. You think it was a positive thing - equal education for all, but it was still a way for the white to take back control. 5mo
Butterfinger And how NC had a community in the 70s. Never heard of it. I loved the poem. It left an impact on me. I read it several times. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger It‘s a very good book, because you get so many short stories about such a range of issues…all that you can read more about later. So it‘s great for bringing different and new things to your attention. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger …. And so many that seem to be getting purposefully buried/lost to history. 5mo
MallenNC @Butterfinger I live in NC and had only recently heard about Soul City. The Raleigh newspaper did a look back at the intentions of its founder. 5mo
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And this.

AnneCecilie There‘s a lot of powerful quotes in this 3rd part 5mo
megnews @AnneCecilie definitely! I highlighted a lot. 5mo
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Butterfinger I hate the phrase - "that was the way back then." I remember a Litsy individual fussed about people talking about racism of classics. It was wrong then, too. 5mo
megnews @Butterfinger I agree. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa The older I get the more I understand terms like the “whitewashing”. We‘ve made it just an all around cover up now, and historically it was repainting, but I feel like I need the author of my other book right now (Wordslut) to dig into its history. Because the historical whitewashing of history, sure seems very much a white‘s washing the history of anything they don‘t want to remember. 5mo
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This is so true. I remember even as a kid trying to explain to my grandparents how it wasn‘t that long ago because they were the “slavery was a long time ago” types. I work on family genealogy and I recall when it dawned on me my grandparents were born with the right to vote but my husband‘s (at the time) in Mississippi were not able to until into their 30s. Only two generations back. It‘s not so long ago as we think.

Butterfinger You are absolutely right. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Exactly, when it‘s in living memory of your parents and grandparents lives, and the stories they can tell from their experiences…it‘s not ancient history. But we have a bad habit of trying to make anything uncomfortable “so long ago” as a way to make it irrelevant. My grandparents talked about the Great Depression, so those stories are real to me, why would other stories be “ancient history”. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa And it‘s weird right now watching it happen in real time, the insurrection that happened in January was SO long ago, we should move on! But other historic events on the US are remembered every year like Pearl Harbor or 9/11. It‘s all about control, who controls the story and the narrative and for what reason. 5mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa love all your comments here! 5mo
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😢So sad but unfortunately true.


Riveted_Reader_Melissa And still is…. 😢 (edited) 5mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa true. I just highlighted almost all of the 1704-1709 section. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews I‘ve been highlighting a lot too. Some books it feels like over half the book is probably in Goodreads as highlights. 5mo
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Sorry I‘m a little late for the #400souls buddy read post tonight. Been helping my daughter move into her dorm all day. What were your thoughts on this week‘s readings?

Butterfinger I am doing the same thing today. As soon as I get to the hotel I will discuss. 5mo
MallenNC @Butterfinger @megnews I hope college move-in went well/goes well for you both. I work at a college so I know how it is! 5mo
MallenNC I learned a lot from this section about early enslavement, laws, and events like Bacon‘s rebellion. It was interesting when a writer would tie what they were writing about to modern day racism/inequality. 5mo
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MallenNC My main thought throughout was how different the US and our world would have been if religious figures or other leaders had made different decisions. Rather than making laws and rules that reinforced slavery and racism. 5mo
rjsthumbelina My overall takeaway from this part was that it was a ton of little laws, one or two at a time, that eventually made slavery into the giant it became. I thought the conversation surrounding the church ceasing to baptize non-white people was so telling. The interplay between religion and the rise of slavery was so interesting, especially considering the high rates of Christianity in Black America today 5mo
Butterfinger @MallenNC thank you. NC State. @rjsthumbelina I was going to write about the hypocrisy of the Christian church. They didn't want to lose their free labor so they changed laws. Except for the Quakers. They saw slaves as human. Made me mad and to think that Christianity is to win souls, but white supremacists from the 1600s caused four hundred years and ongoing of racism and suffering. This was a new thought for me - I know persons of color has always had a high percentage of imprisonment, but that it is still a remnant of slavery was new. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa You‘re fine, I‘m a whole day late. LOL! Helping my nephew practice his speech for his summer Speech class final today. Fun Fun! I loved this section, so hard to read, and depressing at times, but I thought all the essays were pretty strong. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger Yes, the religion thing was very well spelled out. And yes…even current disparities in who is policed, and who is arrested, and who gets harsher sentences can all be tied into big disparities between race. A great book on that if you are interested is The New Jim Crow, which ties the higher imprisonments rates also to stripping people of other rights, like voting rights, etc. great book, a game changer in how I thought about things 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger the prison industrial complex is such a big business, they make money on the incarcerated. Here in PA we had the Kids For Cash scandal, where judges were basically getting kickbacks to sentence juveniles to harsher sentences, because the prisons then got more money on occupancy. Jacob Soboroff touched on it briefly in Separated too, it‘s about the kids being separated at the border…their parents are going straight to our prisons ⤵️ 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ in many cases, before they reach any court to even determine if they should be asylum seekers instead. Again another way to incarcerate people and get money for their imprisonment. It‘s an important topic to learn about, because sadly it effects us all. 5mo
Butterfinger @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I will definitely read it. The more I know the more power behind my arguments. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger The 2 best books on race, to really understand the history of everything in the US, that I recommend time and time again are The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (which I tagged above), and The Color of Law (which I‘ll tag below). Those two give such a great groundwork and foundation for so much of the current racial issues we are still dealing with and processing in the US. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger On a side note, my nephew‘s persuasive speech was about legalizing marijuana, one of his points was white and black peoples use marijuana at about equal rates, but black people are many times more likely to be arrested for and sentenced for possession. His facts there were from the ACLU https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/new-aclu-report-despite-marijuana-legalizati... 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @Butterfinger If you go into the report it‘s self, it breaks it down by state… so you can actually look up your state and see how it‘s doing. It was very interesting, and again that‘s just the report on the policing of 1 substance, so a tiny fraction of the picture. https://www.aclu.org/report/tale-two-countries-racially-targeted-arrests-era-mar.... Sorry, for the tangent, I just happened to have it in front of me (edited) 5mo
Butterfinger @Riveted_Reader_Melissa no, don't apologize. It is relevant to this section. @megnews how are you feeling today? 5mo
megnews @Butterfinger I‘m feeling equal parts sad and excited. She called me when she woke up at ten so that‘s great! I‘m sitting at Cracker Barrel eating lunch. Three hours to go til I get home. Then I‘ll respond on this thread and post for #mgbuddyread. How about you? (edited) 5mo
Butterfinger Megan, we finally got her in, but we are staying one more night so we can eat breakfast with her. I think the little one is more pitiful than I. 5mo
megnews @MallenNC move in went great. My daughter is at UNC Pembroke. I feel great about her being there and she loves it already. 5mo
MallenNC @megnews I‘m so glad it went well and that she‘s liking it already. One of my high school friends went to UNCP and she loved it. Of course it‘s been quite a while since we were in college. 5mo
megnews @MallenNC @Butterfinger @rjsthumbelina @Riveted_Reader_Melissa as a Christian I know there‘s history between the church and racism but when you see the facts of the little laws a little at a time, many at the church‘s leading, it is so painful. The self serving hypocrisy of not baptizing people! 5mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I always appreciate you pointing to other books. I have both of those on my list. Non fiction is so daunting to me but I‘m trying to read more. Must get to these soon. 5mo
MallenNC @megnews Yes, the racist decisions made by religious people/the church are hard to take when you read them laid out like that. (edited) 5mo
megnews Also @Riveted_Reader_Melissa great speech topic your nephew chose. I hope he did well. I know the stats you‘re talking about. I wish they‘d legalize it and throw open the doors for every person who is locked up for it. 5mo
megnews @MallenNC yes they are hard to swallow like that. But I feel like we have to. 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Raised Christian here too, not practicing so much anymore though. Raised United Methodist, so they tended to stay a bit more out of politics than say the Catholics or Evangelicals I knew over the years, but as I‘ve aged I‘ve become more of an all religions tend to believe in a “Great Spirit” and all have pieces of wisdom to give us, so I‘ve fallen out a bit with organized religion per say, any our god is better than yours, I think my ⤵️ 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ shift there came as I learned more about missionaries historically and how much evil men with power & robes can do to those they decide are “savages” and get away with. It‘s a corruption of religion to me, whether it‘s this case with African Americans where standing by their moral values and could have made a difference, or any abuse with any native population, or even the more recent Catholics priest scandal (where they were harbored & ⤵️ 5mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ moved to new congregations, but basically left to continue on) I‘ve kind of lost my faith, not in God per say, but in the human (usually white & male) power structures that have a bad tendency to bend their moral values when it suits them. This section was one great example, made me wish I was raised Quaker, LOL They seemed like they were (at least in this slice of history) willing to put their beliefs ahead of their need for money or power. 5mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I completely agree that man has corrupted and used religion as an excuse for their own agendas. 5mo
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Six brief essays, 2 fictional vignettes, and a poem. What was your favorite from Part 1? Least favorite? Did you learn something new? Have a favorite quote? Share your insights on Part 1 here. If you haven‘t finished part 1 yet feel free to comment anytime.


Riveted_Reader_Melissa It was such a mixed bag, but it worked for me. As diverse as it all was, for me it was a reminder of all the diverse real individuals that we‘ll never hear from that were lost to history (and purposefully erased). Most confusing & intriguing to me was the fictional narrative and history that happened to focus on the same figure and his worker/“worker for life” and his neighbor which took the same historical story, but with very different views.⤵️ 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ I also found the real history around Rolfe & Pocahontas interesting. It‘s such an interesting piece of history, that I wish we had more records about. Pocahontas‘s history has always fascinated me. No matter how much I learn, I wish she‘d have written a biography so we could see events through her eyes. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Quote-wise…I highlighted a lot, it‘s mostly highlighted at this point. 6mo
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MallenNC Nikole Hannah-Jones‘ opening section was so powerful. It‘s so true how the two arrivals, the Mayflower and the White Lion, show the contradictions of America. From that section on the erasure of the White Lion from the history we are taught: “When we are creating a shared history, what we remember is just as revelatory as what we forget.” 6mo
MallenNC I also was struck by the idea in the last piece about “Half Freedom” as a state of existence in the U.S. for Black people even now. (pg 33). I loved the ending poem, but I connected less with the fictional pieces. I wonder if that will change for me in future sections. I am happy to be going through this book at a slower pace so I can really take it in. (edited) 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa I also found the Fredrick Douglas speech about Independence Day not being a real “Independence” day very moving, for a large percentage of the population. And I found the discussion about teaching the history of The White Lion alongside The Mayflower very interesting and a compelling one. The Mayflower story we are taught as youngsters is so twisted and leaves out so much as it is, it‘s needed revisited for awhile. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Yes, that was a great quote. 6mo
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I have read that Fredrick Douglass speech before. It is very powerful. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa And a side note….someone on Litsy recommended a book to me awhile ago, and I haven‘t gotten to it yet. It‘s an alternative history where the races are reversed called Lion‘s Blood. I don‘t know if it‘s good or not (haven‘t read it yet), but the story of the White Lion made me think about that and wonder if that‘s why he picked that title. I‘m curious now… 6mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I highlighted that quote about the White Lion as well. I agree it‘s time we rectify the teaching of a whole and truthful history. There are so many stories we‘ll never know. I love fiction but not so much short stories so I too took more from the non fiction. I like reading it more slowly as well. I‘ve gone back and reread portions throughout the week. 6mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I have read Douglass‘s speech before as well. I highlighted the portion that called him a “founding father of democracy.” Though he didn‘t sit alongside Washington and Jefferson, it is so true that he is a Founding Father of democracy. 6mo
MallenNC @megnews Reading this slowly is one of the reasons I wanted to participate in this group read. I am bad to rush through to “get finished” and I think something of this scope deserves more of my attention and patience. 6mo
megnews The section about women really struck me: It was a womanhood synonymous with market productivity, not motherhood; with physical prowess instead of feminine vulnerability; and with promiscuity rather than modesty or a heightened moral sensibility. Such a distortion of Black women‘s physical, emotional, cultural, gendered, and spiritual selves led to the broad public‘s imagining of Black women as workhorses, whores, and emasculating matriarchs. (edited) 6mo
rjsthumbelina @MallenNC I agree. The White Lion section was so important, as was the section about "half freedom" for blacks and ties to today. @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I agree, it was so diverse! I think writing a collection like this with as much diversity as possible is so smart! - it really drives home, for me, the vast differences between black people throughout history. Shows that this history is just as vast as the history we are familiar with 6mo
megnews @MallenNC I agree. I didn‘t know if people would want to commit to a longer read but it really has to be ruminated on and sat with at times. I was pleasantly surprised people were happy about the longer read. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews @MallenNC I am so guilty of that rushing through to get finished thing, and yes, for something like this a little more time to process is good. I was thinking about trying to slow down a bit more and just read 1 or 2 of the small sections each day, so they can sit with me for the day before the next one. Like short little chapters a day/daily devotional reading. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews I will also agree, the nonfiction sections stuck with me more too… not sure if that will be the case overall, but it was for part 1. 6mo
megnews I really loved the poem at the end as well. The first line was so powerful. “We‘d like a list of what we lost.” So impossible to do. 💔 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Yes, that part about twisting the version of womanhood as market not motherhood made me think of the issues we still have there, with not recognizing black women‘s pain, and higher birth mortality rates. 6mo
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I like the idea of reading one piece per day. I do like the shorter length of these essays. I‘m sure it will give me a lot of authors to read more of later. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @rjsthumbelina Yes, sometimes more diversity in the writing helps remind us of all the diversity in the actual history. History tends to teach things as one amalgamated lump, all this way, but really each story was so unique and different. 6mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa the part about women made me look forward to #SheSaid in October I think for 6mo
MallenNC @megnews The poem was very powerful. I‘m not a frequent reader of poetry, but when a poem really works it sticks with me. The lines “Someone brought them. Someone bought them” gave me chills. 6mo
megnews @MallenNC I had not even thought of that! Now I‘m going to have to look up each author. I have a feeling my TBR is going to topple again. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews Yes, that‘s in October! 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC Yes, that‘s always the danger isn‘t it. I had that problem with 6mo
megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I did too! I read that one awhile ago and added a lot. 6mo
fredthemoose I‘m late to the chat, but also was struck by the discussion of the White Lion and embarrassed to realize I had never heard of or thought about the name of the ship or the individuals on it. Given that, the assertion that White people are seen as individuals but Black people are seen as members of their race (I‘m paraphrasing poorly) definitely resonated with me… 6mo
fredthemoose I also really appreciated Ijeoma Oluo‘s piece talking about how her mom is white but she can never claim whiteness. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @fredthemoose Yes! That was a great piece. The 1 drop rule, still with us till this day basically….any black at all and you are perceived as black, treated black, have to navigate a world of prejudices as black. 6mo
Butterfinger @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @fredthemoose @MallenNC @rjsthumbelina the social studies curriculum in NC changed this year to make lessons more inquiry based. The idea is to have children learn through primary documents to create a final product. I'm really excited about this change and as I was thinking I would love to have John Rolfe's document of the White Lion. And the essential question would be - How did Rolfe's disregard for names influence early America's judgement? 6mo
megnews @fredthemoose that piece was very thought provoking. When my mixed race children were young & I was filling out forms I always put both races but their dad would say “they‘re black. That is the way the world sees them.” definitely as they‘ve grown older I‘ve seen that & how they‘ve dealt with things my older daughter, who is white, never had to deal with. It was tough to hear it as she told her mom “you cannot become part white.” 6mo
megnews @Butterfinger I LOVE that your curriculum is based on primary documents! That‘s so exciting. 6mo
Butterfinger Right now, it is just a thought in my head. I will flesh it out? And I want to know more about Go-Go and her sister. And the last line of her story - It is in this year that Go-Go calls out her sister's sacred name as she watches her pale-eyed granddaughter sold across the river to cover the tax on tobacco. It just entails all the sin of slavery in that one sentence. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention Megan. 6mo
MallenNC @Butterfinger I grew up (and still live) in North Carolina and I didn‘t know that. I love it! Learning from primary sources is not something I remember doing until at least high school (in U.S. history). I hope you are able to use the White Lion document as you mentioned. 6mo
MallenNC Speaking of primary sources, I am doing an online course through FutureLearn about Black people in Tudor England, and one of the best parts has been looking at primary sources and finding out how historians have been able to use those documents to piece the stories of individuals. 6mo
Butterfinger @megnews I am so excited. For the students to see history in a scientific way and to delve deeper. In one of my recent Time magazines, Black history in schools and Ibram Kendi says, if it is ignored, nothing will ever change. And I believe that with my whole heart. Teach empathy through history. I will see if I can find it online and share the link. 6mo
Butterfinger Yes @MallenNC I am thrilled that the state adopted this. That course sounds very interesting. I teach fifth and I am excited. 6mo
MallenNC @Butterfinger That‘s awesome. I should add I don‘t have kids. I didn‘t want you to think I was an uninterested parent! I love that you want to teach empathy to your students. That is missing in so much of our public discourse these days. 6mo
MallenNC @Butterfinger Here‘s the course information, as FYI. https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/black-tudors (edited) 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC A great book, a bit later in history, but great The Black Count. The story for me just enlightened how much has been white-washed through history. It is the true story of Alex Dumas‘s father who was “Black”, some of the inspiration for The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers came from his father‘s real life adventures as a General in the French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic Wars. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Another great true story I really liked, that might make a great primary source for you @Butterfinger (depending on the ages & maturity level). Is the one tagged below, it can be dry at times, just because the language is so formal and dated, so it might need to be broken up for a young audience. But it chronicles his life as a slave, freedom in England, and then later in his life he‘s on some of the expeditions to the Arctic. So a few small ⤵️ 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa ↪️ sections could be pulled out and led to whole lessons on slavery, expeditionary trips, etc… 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC That course sounds fascinating! 6mo
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘ve done a few of these FutureLearn courses during the pandemic. They‘re made for a general audience but I‘ve been impressed by the content. I have a copy of The Black Count. I need to read it! I also now need to read the book the course is based on. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @MallenNC I was just thinking I need to see what other courses they have, this is the first I‘ve heard of it, but the course link you shared looks great! 6mo
MallenNC @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I‘ve done several of the history ones and one on Jane Austen. 6mo
Butterfinger Good resource @Riveted_Reader_Melissa I do have his journal. 6mo
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Lots to unpack during our first discussion tomorrow evening.


BarbaraTheBibliophage I‘ve been listening but have the ebook also. Glad I do! 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes there is! 6mo
DivineDiana Thanks for the reminder! Will finish first section by tomorrow! 6mo
AnneCecilie I‘ve just started reading and will have the first part finished tomorrow 6mo
megnews @AnneCecilie join our conversation when you can 😀 6mo
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I committed to two Litsy Readalongs this month. One is Persuasion which has been on my shelves for too, too long. And the other is this new one that I felt compelled to add to my Kindle. I am a fan of Ibram X. Kendi, who is co-editor with Keisha N. Blain. This compilation of 80 writers (a choir) chronicles Black American History. It feels very important. @megnews

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Reposting this one from @megnews It‘s a great Kindle sale and I‘m looking forward to this group read!

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Reposting from @megnews anyone interested in a #BuddyRead , check out her post!

megnews Thanks! 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @megnews You‘re welcome! 6mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage I grabbed up this deal too. Definitely interested in a buddy read, @megnews !! 6mo
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Anyone interested in a #BuddyRead of this with me? I‘ve been wanting to read more nonfiction. I love history but long books intimidate me, especially nonfiction. This is 500 pages in 10 sections so I thought 10 weeks, 50 pgs a week commitment. I thought it‘d help if I‘m reading with someone. We could post quotes, comments along the way & have an informal discussion at the end of each week.
This is on sale on kindle for $3.99 today.
Let me know.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Yes! It‘s on my list to read too! 6mo
WanderingBookaneer 🙋🏻‍♀️ 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa @BarbaraTheBibliophage says she‘s interested too! 6mo
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megnews @Riveted_Reader_Melissa @WanderingBookaneer @BarbaraTheBibliophage does Aug 1 as a start date work for you? Also, I know a lot of buddy reads have discussion on the weekend. Does a Friday evening work? If not I‘m open to suggestions. 6mo
Riveted_Reader_Melissa Works for me. 6mo
BarbaraTheBibliophage Works for me! 6mo
Butterfinger I will join. And August 1 is fine with me too. 6mo
AnneCecilie I want to join too. August 1 works for me 6mo
WanderingBookaneer Works for me! 6mo
DivineDiana Friday is good. 6mo
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Riveted_Reader_Melissa I just snagged it! 6mo
DivineDiana Thank you! Just purchased. 6mo
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June Reading Wrap Up:

5 🌟
Four Hundred Souls: Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha N. Blain 🎧

4.5 🌟
The Unseen: Roy Jacobsen

4 Star⭐
At Night All Blood is Black: David Diop 📖
Between Two Kingdoms: Suleika Jaouad 📖 🎧

3.5 🌟
The Office of Historical Corrections: Danielle Evans 🎧

3 🌟
Women of Salt: Gabriela Garcia 🎧

2.5 🌟
No One is Talking About This: Patricia Lockwood


Loved this on audio for Spring #booked2021. Others read included:
Library: The Writer's Library (so-so)
Translation: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (pick)
UN Peacekeepers: The Satapur Moonstone (pick)
Audiobook: The Plot (pick)
Musical Instrument: The Lola Quartet (pan)

Cinfhen Looks like you had a solid quarter 🙌🏻💗 Yay 😁 8mo
Cinfhen Just wanted to share: You have until midnight, **July 3** to fill out the second quarter form to be entered in our drawing ?

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Started this last night and I really like the format!

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This book is genius. Kendi and Blain gathered many writers to tell 400 years of black history in the US (and the colonies before that), with their various styles and choices of what to cover blending together beautifully. And while I liked the idea of having so many readers on the audio as well, it fell a bit short in that the sound quality is rather uneven and this book deserves better.

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1854-1859 Dred Scott -John A. Powell chapter😔 “But the truth, the overturning of Dred Scott is an ongoing and incomplete project.”

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This book is so freaking interesting. The essays are all so different. Some authors made the stories personal. Others wrote about obscure parts of history. I took a lot of time to properly digest this, only reading an essay or 2 each day. So I've had it a long time and missed the pub date. But I definitely recommend it to all of you that haven't had a chance to dive in yet.

#BookSpinBingo square 20

TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!!! 11mo
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This book is a wealth of knowledge and a time traveling look into the pass and right now! This should be the new history book addition.👏🏽👏🏽

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A vital anthology by 90 black writers—scholars, activists, journalists, novelists & poets—who have each taken on a 5-year segment in this “Community History of African America” covering 400 years: 1619-2019. The ensemble creation is diverse, spirited and potent. The #audiobook with its varied cast and special effects between pieces is most highly recommended!

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While some nations vow to never forget, our American battle has always been about what we allow ourselves to remember.
-Wesley Lowery, The Stono Rebellion

Butterfinger And it is maddening. 11mo
Suet624 Great quote 11mo
Lindy @Butterfinger @Suet624 This history anthology is a great antidote. 👍 11mo
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Autodidacticism while walking with the tagged audiobook. #audiowalk

Centique Oh wow - that looks gorgeous. Is it very cold at the moment? 11mo
Lindy @Centique No, we‘ve had a break in the weather. It‘s currently 1 C at midday. 11mo
Centique @Lindy meanwhile in my city that would be the coldest day in a century! I‘m not equipped for 1 C let alone below 0 🤯 11mo
Lindy @Centique Well, the forecast is for a high of -10 on Friday. That‘s more typical of our winter weather. 🤷‍♀️ 11mo
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Crazeedi 👋👋 Debby!! 11mo
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#audiocrafting with a fantastic audiobook today

BookNAround Very cool stamp! 11mo
Lindy @BookNAround Thanks! A friend gave me a pack of small round lino blanks and this is the first design I‘ve created using them. 11mo
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“Perhaps no one is supposed to know. African America is like the enslaved woman who tragically never knew exactly when she was born. African America is like the enslaved man who chose his own birthday—August 20, 1619—based on the first record of a day when people of African descent arrived in one of the thirteen British colonies that later became the United States.”

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I‘m about a quarter of the way into this book (doing the audio and also highlighting in the ebook like crazy), which was my most anticipated of the year, and it‘s entirely living up to my sky-high expectations. Looking forward to this (free) event today! https://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/400-hundred-souls

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I highly recommend the audiobook!

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It came today!!👏🏽💃🏽😁

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Currently listening to...

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Just got delivered! I am super excited to start this tonight!

LatrelWhite Me too!😁 12mo
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