Black Day for the White House?

By Preston King
Special to AfriGeneas

preston_kingThe South has a penchant for dogma and excess. It is an inclination that needs amending. The region has made much progress, but, in the end, perhaps, only under duress. We are right to be sensitive to the large, long-term failure reflected in the region’s history. To be blunt, recall the obvious:– (a) unalloyed defense of slavery up to 1865; (b) an unnecessary Civil War guaranteed by the South’s unprovoked attack on Fort Sumter in 1861; (c) the sustained demagoguery and lynching throughout the segregationist decades up to and through WWII; (d) root and branch opposition to desegregation up through the 1960s; (e) the present craze for so-called ‘conservatism’ and its attendant nonsense – vaunting a hyper-minimalist, no-tax, night-watchman state (only worthy of the nineteenth century). Is there really any need for the South to wallow in the notion that capitalism is all-good just because it isn’t all-bad? Why does this region have to go ott in almost everything?
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Genealogy Web site adds slave manifests, letters

By JANET McCONNAUGHEY
The Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Records of more than 30,000 slaves shipped to New Orleans, copies of more than 20,000 letters to and from Abraham Lincoln, and records of 4.2 million Civil War soldiers are going online for the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.

Most will be available only to Ancestry.com’s 925,000 paying subscribers, but the Lincoln letters and speeches, provided by the Library of Congress, will be free.

An index of the slave manifests also will be free, once volunteers have created it from the scanned images being added to the site Thursday, said Gary Gibb, vice president for content for the family of sites.
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Integrated Town that Predates Civil War Earns Landmark Status

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – A remote western Illinois field could someday yield tourists instead of crops, adding to the state’s legacy of racial equality that already includes Abraham Lincoln and the nation’s first black president.Once an integrated town that flourished decades before the Civil War broke the grip of slavery, the lost community’s potential as a heritage attraction got a boost last week when it was designated a National Historic Landmark by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne.

Landmark status puts New Philadelphia among a select group of sites deemed vital in interpreting the nation’s heritage and history. While more than 80,000 sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, fewer than 2,500 have been named landmarks.

Achieving the nation’s top historic designation should aid fundraising efforts to continue archaeological research of the now-buried town and could ultimately help make New Philadelphia a popular historic destination, said
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Barack’S Inaugural: The Secret Version

By Preston King
Special to AfriGeneas

preston_kingI have rare access to White House sources. When the President spoke on that cold January day, he (to keep warm) said more than intended. Listeners outdoors, amidst chattering teeth, could not hear. Many at home, choked with emotion, fared no better. I have permission to transcribe the original version on condition readers keep mum. Thus:

Dear Supporters, thank you for putting me here. Dear opponents, please don’t be like that! Who better than I to displace fear with hope, and discord with unity? Democrats and republicans: Shut your eyes… and come together… over me.

Our fundamental American principles are equality and freedom. The two are really one. For freedom is fully achieved only if extended equally to everyone. Nor can there be equal liberty and opportunity without a social safety net, for children especially.
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