Courthouse News: African Ancestry Data Offers Deeper Examination of History of Slavery

Courthouse News: African Ancestry Data Offers Deeper Examination of History of Slavery. “The transatlantic slave trade officially ending in the 19th century, but the effects of that brutal system continue to reverberate in the genes of enslaved people’s ancestors, according to a new study. Pairing genetic data with historical records, researchers at 23andMe can now paint a clearer picture of African ancestry in the New World, detailing the origins of enslaved Africans and the methods used to exploit them after they survived the grueling Middle Passage.”

Cornell Chronicle: Fugitive slave ad database receives grant from Mellon

Cornell Chronicle: Fugitive slave ad database receives grant from Mellon. “Cornell-based Freedom on the Move (FOTM), a database documenting the lives of fugitives from American slavery through newspaper ads placed by slave owners in the 18th and 19th centuries, has received a $150,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.”

Harvard Magazine: Bringing Black History to Light

Harvard Magazine: Bringing Black History to Light. “Amid the pandemic, Houghton’s regular digitization projects have been put mostly on hold, and when protests arose after George Floyd’s killing, it sparked a nationwide hunger to understand black history and experiences. Libraries and institutions seemed suddenly keen to support African-American communities. ‘It felt like a great opportunity to increase black representation in our digital collections,’ says [Dorothy] Berry, whose professional background is in African-American-focused archival work. She put together project titled, ‘Slavery, Abolition, Emancipation, and Freedom: Primary Sources from Houghton Library.’ Leading a team of colleagues, she will spend the 2020-21 academic year building out the library’s digital collection of records related to African-American history: thousands of items from the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth.”

New York Times: Ola Mae Spinks, Who Helped Preserve a Slave Archive, Dies at 106

New York Times: Ola Mae Spinks, Who Helped Preserve a Slave Archive, Dies at 106. “Ola Mae Spinks, a librarian and descendant of slaves who went to the Library of Congress in 1972 to bring order to a vast but scattered archive of interviews with former slaves, thus helping to preserve them for scholars, died on June 16 at her home in Southfield, Mich. She was 106.”

MarketWatch: ‘If I tell people about what happened, I honor my ancestors.’ How the pandemic is helping a slavery historian develop a K-12 lesson plan on African-American history

MarketWatch: ‘If I tell people about what happened, I honor my ancestors.’ How the pandemic is helping a slavery historian develop a K-12 lesson plan on African-American history. “When COVID-19 stormed America in March, Christine King Mitchell took a break from her job as a docent at the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston, S.C. Mitchell, 64, is an historian who has made education and research on the enslavement of African-Americans from 1619 to 1865 her life’s work. But how to keep going during a global pandemic, in a moment when the May 25 police killing of George Floyd and subsequent anti-racism protests have triggered a broad cultural push to acknowledge the longstanding oppression of Black Americans more fully?”

Topple the Racists: Interactive map shows statues linked to slavery in Scotland and UK (The Herald)

The Herald: Topple the Racists: Interactive map shows statues linked to slavery in Scotland and UK. “Anti-racism campaigners have created an interactive map detailing the statues in the UK that have links to slavery, which they argue should be taken down. The ‘Topple the Racists’ website features twelve Scottish monuments on its crowdsourced list of statues and monuments to slave traders and colonialists.”

ZDNet: GitHub to replace “master” with alternative term to avoid slavery references

ZDNet: GitHub to replace “master” with alternative term to avoid slavery references. “GitHub is working on replacing the term “master” on its service with a neutral term like ‘main’ to avoid any unnecessary references to slavery, its CEO said on Friday. The code-hosting portal is just the latest in a long line of tech companies and open source projects that have expressed support for removing terms that may be offensive to developers in the black community.”

John Stevens Cooper Family Papers, PC.2190: Featuring a Soldier’s Letters to Wife Left in Charge of the Farm, Family, and Slaves, 1863–1865 (State Archives of North Carolina)

State Archives of North Carolina: John Stevens Cooper Family Papers, PC.2190: Featuring a Soldier’s Letters to Wife Left in Charge of the Farm, Family, and Slaves, 1863–1865. “The John Stevens Cooper Family Papers (PC.2190) are remarkable for the series of letters from John to his wife, Elizabeth, while he served in the Confederate military in 1863 and 1864. This correspondence sheds light on John’s recognition of the fact that, in his absence, Elizabeth knew what was best for managing their farm and slaves. His letters further illuminate his homesickness, his lack of faith in the Southern cause, and, in two notable instances, his desolation upon encountering the enemy.”

Cornell Chronicle: Freedom on the Move digital archive adds K-12 lessons

Cornell Chronicle: Freedom on the Move digital archive adds K-12 lessons. “The Freedom on the Move project, an online collection devoted to fugitives from slavery in 19th century North America, has developed a series of lesson plans to make its crowdsourced database accessible to K-12 teachers and their students.”

NARA: Confederate Slave Payrolls Shed Light on Lives of 19th Century African American Families

NARA: Confederate Slave Payrolls Shed Light on Lives of 19th Century African American Families. “They are single lines, often with no last name, on paper yellowed but legible after 155 years, among thousands scrawled in loping letters that make up nearly 6,000 Confederate Slave Payroll records, a trove of Civil War documents digitized for the first time by National Archives staff in a multiyear project that concluded in January. For years, the Confederate Army required owners to loan their slaves to the military. From Virginia to Florida, the enslaved conscripts were forced to dig trenches and work at ordnance factories and arsenals, mine potassium nitrate to create gunpowder, or shore up forts.”

Celebrating Black History: MSU Libraries to digitize records of enslaved Mississippians for the first time (Mississippi State University)

Mississippi State University: Celebrating Black History: MSU Libraries to digitize records of enslaved Mississippians for the first time. “This undertaking compiles a wealth of 19th-century documents from across the South and, upon completion, will provide a fully text-searchable, indexed collection containing digital images of original documents that include individuals’ names and detailed physical descriptions. Primarily inspired by patron need, the project is based on a similar effort at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture called ‘Unknown No Longer.'”

Rhino Times: UNCG, A&T And Deeds Office Shed Light On Slave Trade History

Rhino Times: UNCG, A&T And Deeds Office Shed Light On Slave Trade History. “A few years ago, the Guilford County Register of Deeds office created a lot of excitement among historians and others interested in early Guilford County, by creating an online database of slave deeds that documented the sell of people rather than property. As an extension of that project, the Register of Deeds Office is now partnering with NC A&T State University’s History/Political Science Department and UNC-Greensboro’s People Not Property project to present a weekly community video interview series on ‘The Slave Deeds of Guilford County.'”

University of Nottingham: Major new database reveals slavery is still not illegal in half the world’s countries

University of Nottingham: Major new database reveals slavery is still not illegal in half the world’s countries. “A new global review of antislavery legislation has busted a popular misconception that slavery is now illegal in every country in the world. The Antislavery in Domestic Legislation Database has been compiled over the past five years and is launched today at the United Nations headquarters by the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab in partnership with the Castan Centre for Human Rights (Monash University, Australia).”

WTOP: New digital project lays bare history of slavery around the White House

WTOP: New digital project lays bare history of slavery around the White House. “A new website initiative launched this week by the White House Historical Association takes an in-depth look into slavery around the nation’s capital. ‘Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood’ offers a comprehensive timeline and abundant resources on the enslaved people who built, worked for and lived around the White House.”

The New Yorker: The Fight to Preserve African-American History

The New Yorker: The Fight to Preserve African-American History. “The struggle over the physical record of slavery and uprising in Richmond is part of a larger, long-overdue national movement to preserve African-American history. Of the more than ninety-five thousand entries on the National Register of Historic Places—the list of sites deemed worthy of preservation by the federal government—only two per cent focus on the experiences of black Americans.”