American Racism and White Supremacy - China Galland
“AMERICAN RACISM and WHITE SUPREMACY”
A talk by China Galland, author of Longing for Darkness, Tara and the Black Madonna and Love Cemetery,Unburying the Secret History of Slaves
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
College of Marin Library, Free Lecture Series
835 College Ave.,
Kentfield, CA 94904
Event Publicity: David Patterson, C.O.M., 415-457-8811, ext. 7869
Penguin Publicity: Louise Braverman, 212-366-2000
Additional Information: Leslie Keenan Publicity, 415-897-0413
Demonizing darkness, imagining dark-skinned people as inferior undergirds American racism. European traditions contradict this image with statues, paintings and icons of Christ and his mother Mary as dark-skinned or black people. These venerable figures of Mary and Jesus have long been enthroned at mainstream pilgrimage sites in Europe that precede even Christianity. They stand in direct contradiction to racist ideas and images.
White supremacists and their allies leave out the European culture they claim, and further, try to bury the historical record of how U.S. wealth was spun out of cotton, slavery, rape, theft, killing, lynching, and genocide. It’s literally not working. Land developers break ground, dig down, and bones come up. The other side of the story is surfacing.
Sites from the nineteenth-century and earlier tell a different story that’s often left out of textbooks. African American burial grounds with enslaved people’s remains are found throughout the U.S., not only in the South. From the African Burial Ground National Monument in New York to Love Cemetery in East Texas, there are hundreds of sites, that pieced together, tell our larger narrative. These burial grounds also contain graves of people who were both African and Native American, who had heritages of all kinds, including Anglo.
“In order to have a common future, we have to reconstruct our common past,” Manning Marable said. Hurricane Harvey reminds us that we don’t have a future if we can’t work together. We’re all neighbors now and we’re all in the same boat.
When workmen dug the foundation for the Federal Building in Manhattan (1991), they ran into what turned out to be a 6-acre site with 20,000 remains of Africans and African Americans, both enslaved and free from the 18th and 19th centuries. That burial ground runs under Wall Street as well. It’s now a green space adjacent to the Federal Building at Broadway and Duane. The African Burial Ground National Monument is a magnificent memorial with an interpretive center that tells the story.
Love Cemetery also hold stories of people who were descended from both Native and African American ancestors. Many of these 19th century cemeteries of enslaved people do. Today DNA reveals that some people’s background is much more mixed than they’d been led to believe.
Burial grounds of enslaved people and Native Americans hold narratives that are keys to our future. Stories are food – they feed our understanding, they nourish the truth of our relationship to the earth and to each other. We are not separate.
The little-known history we find in these fragile, overlooked sites may be as important to a new understanding of who we are in the U.S. and what’s needed for a sustainable environment as the ice core samples from Antarctica and the Global Seed Vault in Norway are to all humanity. Telling the truth of our history frees everyone.
Resurrecting Love and the story of Love Cemetery give us a replicable model that can be used throughout our country to transform the way we teach history. Galland will also show short video clips from her documentary film in-progress, Resurrecting Love.