Wednesday, June 17, 2009

POW: Mia Bay and Pamela Newkirk

The National Constitution Center put up an interesting discussion between journalism professor Pamela Newkirk and historian Mia Bay, on the life and historical memory of Ida B Wells. I think it worth promoting because
1) I consider myself relatively well versed in American history and I didn't know who she was.
2) Her story is the story of Jim Crow, of the rollback of the rights gained after the civil war. This is an era that doesn't get a lot of play in the narrative of American history, it goes against type. The general narrative is the story of progress- rights gained, biases and bigotries outgrown, of freedom gained. The years after Reconstruction saw the reverse- rights lost, terror imposed, freedom lost. It's not surprising people don't like to dwell on it, but they should at least be aware of it.

The biography Mia Bay references is here.

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