Tag Archives: slavery

Sacred Study Saturdays, Aaron as Watson Reparation, and extended Adulting

The common good, or the general welfare, requires that Adults see the need for restitution, or other kinds of reparation to restore trust,  as earlier generations saw in the book of Exodus.  Those two types of repairing go hand in hand with our need, today, to become a more fully inclusive society.

The first reparation happens in last week’s traditional cycle Torah reading.  This week’s parashah (Torah reading) continues with Aaron and Moses dealing with Pharaoh, and with the enslaved People of Israel.  Last week’s parashah, VaEra, however, started by repairing one problem:  Moses’ privilege.   It dealt with Moses’ attempt to refuse on the grounds of slowness of speech, yet one article argues that that slowness may have been all in his mind, kind of an inverse to Sherlock Holmes’ concern about arrogance: his own.  Both men see potential flaws in themselves, and both seek responses.  Moses gets it in his brother Aaron, who has grown up as a slave, unlike Moses’ palace upbringing.  Sherlock Holmes gets his remediation in-waiting by asking Dr. Watson to be a brake on any perceived arrogance via a one word reminder of his (imho) most beautiful story, Yellow Face: “Norbury.”

The second repair is made this week, in Parashat Bo.   Reparations for 400 years of enslavement by the Egyptians:

דַּבֶּר־נָ֖א בְּאָזְנֵ֣י הָעָ֑ם וְיִשְׁאֲל֞וּ אִ֣ישׁ ׀ מֵאֵ֣ת רֵעֵ֗הוּ וְאִשָּׁה֙ מֵאֵ֣ת רְעוּתָ֔הּ כְּלֵי־כֶ֖סֶף וּכְלֵ֥י זָהָֽב׃

Tell the people to borrow, each man from his neighbor and each woman from hers, objects of silver and gold.”

 

These reparations happened in cash, so to speak, but there are other ways to repair generational damage, such as scholarships, acknowledgement of the truth of systemic wrongs, help with finding family history, free tutoring, etc, and creation of a floor on poverty for all, which in effect helps most those who have historically been wronged the most.  Such a safety net in the long run helps us all.

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different sources related to the concept of restitution

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how a study of restitution might help, or hinder, inclusive thinking,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses your thoughts, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson 20/67 published since this post, and the most recent lesson 21/67…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Mindful Mondays, using past pain, and Adulting as racial sensitivity work

So, why bother: Why work and walk, when being who you were born still hurts? 

 1994 Baltimore, when I had finally secured the protection of a job at Space Telescope Science Institute, and was trying to make friends with co-workers, and forget my origins:

“There are people here who will not want someone who looks like you on their land.”

“The races don’t mix.”

Apparently, the South had risen, again, up in northern Maryland.  

Why bother, again?

Because Adulting includes the responsibility to strive for better. Better from oneself, and better from and for our world.

Though many up north do not recognize those of us whose families have always officially been labelled “colored” (as my birth certificate reads), yet called “mulatto families” informally, the resentment remains, and so does the pain.  Brown parties were real, but so were efforts to use our light skin for the good of our people.   Like my maternal grandfather, light enough to pass, but who kept his OB/GYN practice in SE when most DC doctors were avoiding the area, while other Black families, as my paternal grandfather did with his second family, left for white neighborhoods.  Both men fought in WWII and attended Howard University, yet both of their children, my parents, were rejected for being too light-skinned.  One parent railed against this rejection by both sides (particularly by the Puerto Rican commuity in DC), while the other parent went north and passed for white. Mostly.

The common good, or the general welfare, requires that we rise above our childhoods, rise above how we may have been treated, what we may have endured, missed, never had, and or had to do to survive to adulthood.  And being a true Adult requires that we commit, in my humble opinion, to making this world  more fully inclusive and safe for all of us.   To do that, we must continue to learn from our past, collectively and individually.  Earlier this week, I stumbled across something I wrote a while ago, that I am still working on striving to figure out how to use for the greater good:

This is an off-the-cuff post, as I need to get this off my chest in order to concentrate on the book  I am reviewing and the one I am writing, but this cuts into both like a hot rusty knife. The jagged edges left from the taunts of the kids in kindergarten and 1st grade of how I must be white because my mother is dating a White man, and my skin is so light, I look like a little wild indian.
Of dark-skinned girls saying how I had “that good hair” while not letting my play double dutch with them, and of feeling grateful to the one girl who “took up for me” in school for a short while.

And for another short while there was my mother’s Jewish roommate Susanna, the 18 year old who took me everywhere, while my mother was out with her White boyfriend every weekend, and often weekdays as well. The one adult who never said “stop asking so many questions!” Yet the one adult who really showed the fear I lived with: a NY police officer pulled us over and she looked at me

-don’t say anything smart alecky, because this cop is going to think you are my daughter, so he is going to think I’m dating a Black guy.

A that moment, I knew. There really was no place for me in this world, and there never would be.

Through all of the moves to different projects and evictions, through sleeping in cars, begging to be let back into the school program I’d been in before … then even while staying in a professor’s apartment as she traveled to Africa, grateful to have a place to stay that week before my internship, I knew I had no place in this world. And I knew that it would always be that way: too light-skinned to be included by most of my fellow Black people, even within my own family (“you know your grandmother only tolerated your mother because she was so light-skinned” -thanks, Uncle…), but always reminded by the white folks, like my first day of school in VA, that I am a “nigger,” and nothing will change that constant outsider-ness. Not even fleeing to another …

But I can try to help make this world a place where skin color and connections matter less. A world where no one ever sleeps on the street or fears for his or her safety, and thus a world where who you were born only means who your friends might (or might not) be, but doesn’t mean you are out on the street or fear for your safety.

So I work and I walk: I work for the Universal Basic Income that Dr. Martin Luther King called for, so that no child, black or white, ever has to fear the police just because of skin color, and no person ever has to sleep on the street for any reason, or go hungry, or come with hat in hand to ask anyone else for food, clothing, shelter or money for basic needs (and yes, a basic phone is also a basic need, as is free decent Public Transpo and Universal Health Care).

And I walk because a car (which I will admit to having fears of driving due to my PTSD, but I could usually keep that under control enough to pull over, back when I used to drive) also divides us economically, and any car takes money from public transportation. Yes, I am also lucky to be able to walk. And grateful. Ok, back to reading and writing…
Peace,
Destinie (Shira… ? really?)
yes: Shira

Back-posting this so it shows only to my Readers… Written on Monday, March 11th, 12019 HE…

So, it turns out that a sense of belonging doesn’t magically appear with a good job, or upon graduation with a degree, nor even upon completing a major thesis.  Living among people who never missed a meal (involuntarily), nor had to worry about where they’d lay their head that night after the library closed or after finishing the grave-yard shift at People’s Drug Store in Dupont Circle, which meant dodging the dodgy folks on the way to and on the Metro platform.   Yet feeling their pity when finally opening up.  That alien sense that no one really gets it, and that those who do, still feel you to have been more lucky than they were:

you got out.

Action Items:

1.) Search for two different books, articles, blogs or stories, like Passing, perhaps, that show or tell the experience of being outside looking in…

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how we can build inclusive thinking to change this situation,

4.) Write a book, blog post or tweet that uses those thoughts, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. If you write a book, once published, please consider donating to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(The previous lesson 24/67 published since this post, and the most recent lesson 25/67…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

MonDay 6 of GED in 5 months, serfs vs. slaves

Adulting is about getting better and better at distinguishing fine details, and understanding why those details are important.   One of the key details of Phase I of the Four Freedoms movement is the Adulting skill of finding information on local laws that affect your status, like a serf being free after one year and a day in a city.

What, if you can remember (or ever learned), is the difference between a serf and a slave?

Day 6 Lesson Plan:

Khan Academy

that/which, who/whom

Khan Academy fractions , Day 1 of 3
Day 6 ExitSlips

Action Items:

1.) Search your local public library’s online catalogue for books on the European Middle Ages.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on what serfdom was, and what it might have been like to live in Europe as a serf at that time, and how it was different from being a slave.

4.) Write a book, story, blog post or tweet that uses those thoughts, and please tell us about it! If you write a book, once it is published please consider donating a copy to your local public library.

Dear Readers, ideas on learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning, on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write -one can add Stayed on Freedom’s Call via this GR button:

 Nos vemos!  

ShiraDest

December, 2020 CE = December 12020 HE

(Day 5Day 7)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

book review, languages, and family history as self-Health Care?

Here is what language-learning and family history research can do for your health: perspective…

-History of Black Slavery in Puerto Rico, by Soler:

Historia de La Esclavitud Negra En Puerto RicoHistoria de La Esclavitud Negra En Puerto Rico by Luis M. Soler

This extensive and not easy to read, but well worthwhile history of slavery in Puerto Rico, shows the importance not only of where we have been, but also what tools we have now and how to evaluate them in the light of past and present situations. The author comments that a Cooperative could have saved the small coffee producers of Puerto Rico, though not on whether that would have enabled the liberation of their enslaved workers. Yet this is a step forward in the analysis of both labour relations and the history of People of Color in the Americas.

I now also know that the family of my enslaved 5xGreat Grandfather Miles Manzilla could even have originated in Spain itself, potentially. Our shared origins are important to know, both for understanding why enslaved workers would have defended their masters during Indian attacks, and also in deciding how to relate to our history of enslavement today. What feelings remain to be resolved on all sides?

P. 15 del pdf = P. 21 del libro
La Corona y los esclavagistas se creaban liberales y generosos, evidentemente, pero sus esclavos no compartieron ese sentimiento!
The Crown and owners thought themselves generous, but their slaves disagreed!

P. 25=32: Ya sabîa Bartolomé de Las Casas pero no de Fray Antonio de Montesinos a favor de los indigenes.
Dominicans vs Franciscans ??

P.33 Las Ordenanzas No Fueron Cumplidas…

         The Orders (…of the King to protect the Indigenous/Indian/Native Population) were Not Obeyed…

P.33=P.40: At least he admitted his error before he died;

                   Al menos se admetîa su error antes de su muerte.

P.77pdf=P.86: The author thinks that a Cooperative would have saved small producers in PR from the falling coffee prices (due to Cuban overproduction)…

P. 126 So France had a Black Code, too? Of course, where did the southern colonies/states (USA) get them from…

3 November, 1839: Pope Gregory XVI condemned the Slave Trade? and Baltimore, and Maryland…

In summary, there was not only lots of Mestisage, but a good bit of back-and-forthing of slaves between PR and the English and French-speaking colonies. Thus, entirely possible that Miles Manzilla, Sr’s family was of Spanish colony origin.

Read, Write, Run, Teach !

ShiraDest
18 February, 12016 HE

View all my reviews

 Nos vemos!  

Action Items in support of health for all that you can take right now:

1.) Consider your thoughts on slavery and the modern-day effects on Black families in the USA.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write

Stayed on Freedom's Call: Cooperation Between Jewish And African-American Communities In Washington, DC, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans)!

ShiraDest

NaNoWriMo 2020 CE

November, 2020 CE = 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the most recent lesson plan…)

Creative Commons License
Shira Destinie Jones by ShiraDest is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Sacred Study Saturdays and Hallowe’en as a former slave might have seen it

This week has been Parashat Lech Lecha (Go, You; or literally: Go to yourself!).

 


So, also related to the question of slavery as we see in this week’s Parashah, below, my wip research is progressing, but I keep thinking of the verses where the newly freed Children of Israel are commanded not to return a runaway slave to his harsh master.  I wonder what preachers, and rabbis, of various persuasions thought and said about those verses, especially when the time of year comes up on the Jewish calendar to read them (twice, I think, Parashat Re’eh and another parashah that I’ll have to look up, if someone would like to remind me in the comments, please?).

My notes from Parashat Lech Lecha:

October 27, 2020 –
page 79
5.07%“The original Battle of the 5 Armies (+4 more…)!”
 
October 27, 2020 –
page 80
5.13% “”…born into his household…”
“… our loyal servants…” as Annette Gordon Reed put it…”

 

So, it turns out that slaves born into the household were trusted, even trained with weapons, etc.  People recently enslaved were considered less reliable.  Yet this commentary (Etz Chaim, again) does not square with the lived experience in the United States.  And I think I know why.

People often say that slavery has always existed in human history, and that Black Americans complain too much.  But the case is that there were always slaves of both races, and also that a much larger portion of the population was enslaved, prior the formation of the USA.  Here, in the US, by contrast, slavery was legally defined, after a few short years of colonization, on a racial basis, followed by prohibitions of trades and property-ownership types in even “Free States” applying to all people who did not look White enough. 

This was an unprecedented change in the practice of slavery, as well as the practice of routinely separating slaves from their children and spouses, erasing their identities by force, and reducing these slaves to sub-human status, and then keeping them their even if they managed to somehow acquire freedom. These things, as well as the ferocious brutality of “The Peculiar Institution” as practiced in the American deep South, distinguish slavery in the USA from slavery as practiced previously in history.  To the point where slaves were respected enough to use as soldiers, as Abraham does in this week’s Torah portion.  Recall that even Free Colored Troops were not allowed until the Union had no more choice.

More on my continuing striving with Hebrew next week, friends:

Yassas,   γεια σας!    Salût !  Nos vemos!  Görüşürüz!     ! שָׁלוֹם

Action Items in support of literacy and hope that you can take right now:

1.) Search for two different resources to translate the word “servant” into Hebrew.

2.) Share them with us in the comments, here, please.

3.) Share your thoughts on how you like each of the resources you found,  perhaps as an update on your GoodReads reading,

4.) Write a blog post or tweet that uses a Hebrew word, tells a good story, and makes a difference. I’m working on that through my historical fantasy #WiP, #WhoByFireIWill. Once published, donate one or more copies to your local public library, as I intend to do.

Dear Readers, any additional ideas toward learning, especially multiple #LanguageLearning as part of on-going education and empathy-building, to #EndPoverty, #EndHomelessness,  #EndMoneyBail & achieve freedom for All HumanKind? 

Support our key #PublicDomainInfrastructure  & #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19:
1. #PublicLibraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Teach and Learn (Lesson Plans) !

ShiraDest

September, 12020 HE

(The previous lesson plan since this post, and the next lesson plan…)

– Day 35/67, High School Equivalency in Five Months: End of week 9/18

Week Nine:
Day 35 Lesson Plan, Week 9, Thursday, 1 November, 2018 Grammar: plural nouns ending in ‘f’ Math: Area of a circle Day 35 Exit Tix
All of the lesson plans can be found for All Weeks: 1-18, here…

My #historical #fantasy #WiP shows a man striving to save his family, at any cost.

Social Justice Action Items:

read and share this previous related post about a modern family’s fight for justice

(which came from a recent ProPublica article co-published with The New Yorker).

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

scheduled in:  September, 12020 HE

– Day 34/67, High School Equivalency in Five Months: Middle of week 9/18

Week Nine:
Lesson plan, Day 34, Wk 9, Wednesday, 31 October, 2018 Grammar: semicolons and colons How to find the height of a triangle Math: Circles and Pi See Computer Model with today’s reading Day 34 Exit Tix
All of the lesson plans can be found for All Weeks: 1-18, here…

My #historical #fantasy #WiP shows a man striving to save his family, at any cost.

Social Justice Action Items:

read and share this previous related post about a modern family’s fight for justice

(which came from a recent ProPublica article co-published with The New Yorker).

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

scheduled in:  September, 12020 HE

– Day 33/67, High School Equivalency in Five Months: Middle of week 9/18

Week Nine:
Day33Wk9Tuesday30October2018 Grammar: coordinating conjunctions Math: Area of polygons on a grid/coordinate plane Day 33ExitTix
All of the lesson plans can be found for All Weeks: 1-18, here…

My #historical #fantasy #WiP shows a man striving to save his family, at any cost.

Social Justice Action Items:

read and share this previous related post about a modern family’s fight for justice

(which came from a recent ProPublica article co-published with The New Yorker).

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

scheduled in:  September, 12020 HE

Day 32/67, High School Equivalency in Five Months: Start of week 9/18

Week Nine:
Monday, 29 October, Day 32 Lesson Plan Grammar: Essay Writing -keep working on your Introductory Paragraph Math: Drawing polygons in the coordinate plane Day32ExitTix
All of the lesson plans can be found for All Weeks: 1-18, here…

My #historical #fantasy #WiP shows a man striving to save his family, at any cost.

Social Justice Action Items:

read and share this previous related post about a modern family’s fight for justice

(which came from a recent ProPublica article co-published with The New Yorker).

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

scheduled in:  September, 12020 HE

– Day 32/67, High School Equivalency in Five Months: Start of week 9/18

Week Nine:
Monday, October, Day 32 Lesson Plan Grammar: Essay Writing -keep working on your Introductory Paragraph Math: Drawing polygons in the coordinate plane Day32ExitTix
All of the lesson plans can be found for All Weeks: 1-18, here…

My #historical #fantasy #WiP shows a man striving to save his family, at any cost.

Social Justice Action Items:

read and share this previous related post about a modern family’s fight for justice

(which came from a recent ProPublica article co-published with The New Yorker).

Let’s #EndPoverty , #EndHomelessness, & #EndMoneyBail starting by improving these four parts of our good #PublicDomainInfrastructure 4:
1. #libraries,
2. #ProBono legal aid and Education,
3. #UniversalHealthCare, and
4. good #publictransport
Read, Write, Ranked Choice Voting and Housing for ALL!!!!, Walk !


#PublicDomainInfrastructure #StopSmoking for CCOVID-19
ShiraDest

scheduled in:  September, 12020 HE