Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics


300 Schoolgirls

 photo Bringbackourgirls_zps0051d06d.jpg

300 schoolgirls.  300 schoolgirls.  300 schoolgirls…stolen from their classrooms, kidnapped by men.  300 schoolgirls kidnapped by men who have publicly announced their intention to sell them as slaves.  To sell them into slavery.  To sell them to men who would rape them and terrorize them into drudgery.  No more school.

This morning I kissed my daughters as they went off to school.  I didn’t remember the 300 schoolgirls waiting to be sold.  I didn’t remember them until I read a headline on a left-wing blog and I think I know why.  And it’s the ugliest of reasons.  It’s a reason I only impute to others in the most severe situations.  It’s the reason that people were stolen from Africa and sold into slavery for centuries.  It’s the reason that stands behind slavery, murder, torture, humiliation, lynching.  It’s the reason that 6 million members of my own community were exterminated.  Racism.

Robert Carter III–American History’s Forgotten Liberator

Robert Carter III, you may ask? Who in the world was he and why should we care?

Well, I’ll tell you why we should: February is black history month, the month during which we should all reflect on the contributions that black Americans have made to this nation of ours and on the suffering our black brothers and sisters have endured. Robert Carter III is part of that history, for by his Deed of Gift in 1791 Carter–the richest man in the colony of Virginia–made clear his intention to free more than 450 slaves, more than the total number of slaves owned by his neighbors George Washington and Thomas Jefferson combined.

Musical Migrations: The Geography of the American Blues

Juke joint on a Saturday evening, outside Clarksdale, Mississippi, 1939.

Hey Moose!  Just dropping by to say ‘hello’. I’ve been lurking about as much as I can, but far too busy for blogging lately with the whole school, work, and kids thing going on. Still, I miss the Purple Palace something fierce* so I wanted to drop this little thing I’ve been working on. If you like music, history, cultural geography, or even if you just want to spend a few minutes not thinking about Syria, well this is the post for you.

*see what I did there?

Obviously, I wrote this for a different format, so I didn’t bother with html links for the individual citations and whatnot. If anyone wants the full list of references, or more information about any of them, just make a request in the comments. I’m happy to kick down the goods.


The uniquely American musical form known as ‘the Blues’ represents perhaps the most powerful reflection of the trials and travails that were critical in shaping the African American experience in America. Originating from the cultural influences of both Africa and Europe, this surprisingly simple musical form mixes the sorrow and pain of slavery, as well as the joys of emancipation and freedom, and recollects the long struggle for equality in the face of discrimination and prejudice.

Tracing the geography of the Blues from its seminal roots in the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, and along its subsequent spread north and west across the of United States with the Great Migration, this musical tradition has unquestionably spawned or influenced almost all genres of modern American music, which have in turn influenced people and cultures all around the globe.

Thought by musicologists, historians, and relevant scholars of virtually every stripe to be America’s only uniquely original musical form, the Blues chart the movement of a people, the development of their culture, and record the genuine experience of African Americans while continuing to serve as the foundation for nearly all genres of American music–from rock and roll to hip-hop, and from to jazz to country, western swing, and bluegrass.

CARICOM: a call for reparations for native genocide and slavery

 photo shackles_zps4f4fd642.jpg

As August 1st approaches, the day the British passed the Slavery Abolition Act in 1833, which would be put in effect, August 1, 1834, freeing over 700,000 people held in bondage, which is celebrated in parts of the English speaking Caribbean as “Emancipation Day”, this last month has seen debate and discussion throughout the Caribbean, and in Great Britain, France and the Netherlands about a somewhat surprising unanimous statement issued by CARICOM in July on their final meeting day.  

Caribbean nations launch joint effort for slavery compensation former colonial powers

Leaders of more than a dozen Caribbean countries are launching a united effort to seek compensation from three European nations for what they say is the lingering legacy of the Atlantic slave trade.

The Caribbean Community, a regional organization that typically focuses on rather dry issues such as economic integration, has taken up the cause of compensation for slavery and the genocide of native peoples and is preparing for what would likely be a drawn-out battle with the governments of Britain, France and the Netherlands.

Caricom, as the organization is known, has enlisted the help of a prominent British human rights law firm and is creating a Reparations Commission to press the issue, said Ralph Gonsalves, the prime minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who has been leading the effort.

The Picture Worth a Thousand Words

President Barack Obama looks out a window as he and First Lady Michelle Obama tour the Maison des Esclaves (House of Slaves) Museum on Gorée Island, Senegal, June 27, 2013.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)