Tag: slavery

Matilda Joslyn Gage: In Her Name, American (1826-1898)

A few weeks back, I came upon a term I had not heard before, the ‘Matilda Effect’. It’s defined as: a bias against acknowledging the achievements of those women scientists whose work is attributed to their male colleagues (Wikipedia). This term was coined by science historian Margaret W. Rossiter in 1993, in her essay The Matthew Matilda Effect in Science. The Matthew Effect, labeled in 1948 and credited to Robert K Merton, and later to Harriet Zuckerman as well, refers to the way that: eminent scientists will often get more credit than a comparatively unknown researcher, even if their...

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Polly Coppinger’s Son: Osceola,”Master Spirit of the Seminole Nation” (1804-1838)

National Indigenous Peoples Day is being celebrated across the United States this week. Malinda Maynor Lowery, professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, in her article The Native History of Indigenous Peoples Day, relays, “More and more towns and cities across the country are electing to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day as an alternative to—or in addition to—the day intended to honor Columbus’ voyages…The growing recognition and celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day actually represents the fruits of a concerted, decades-long effort to recognize the role of Indigenous people in the nation’s history.” You can read Lowery’s full article here. In the spirit of...

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Memorials to the Victims of the Middle Passage

In several interviews after the publication of her 1987 novel, Beloved, Toni Morrison laments the lack of awareness and homage to the victims of the Middle Passage. What is the Middle Passage? Brittanica defines the Middle Passage, as “the forced voyage of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to the New World. It was one leg of the triangular trade route that took goods (such as knives, guns, ammunition, cotton cloth, tools, and brass dishes) from Europe to Africa, Africans to work as slaves in the Americas and West Indies, and items, mostly raw materials, produced on the plantations (sugar, rice, tobacco, indigo, rum, and cotton) back to Europe. From about 1518 to the...

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Toni Morrison’s Beloved: Slavery and the Haunting that Persists.

Toni Morrison’s Beloved is a novel about the enslavement of Black Americans and its lasting emotional, physical and psychic effects. It takes place in Cincinnati, Ohio right before and after the Civil War. Beloved is the story of Sethe, a woman so strong, she survives the unthinkable, over and over and over again. Beloved is the name of the angry baby girl haunting the home of her younger sister, Denver, and Sethe, the mother who murdered her. The ghost, in her eighteen-month-old, non-physical form has driven everyone else out of the house, including Sethe’s two sons whom she tried...

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Joy Harjo: “The Knowing” (Muscogee (Creek)-American, b. 1951)

I was elated to discover that the Library of Congress has appointed Joy Harjo to a second term as United States Poet Laureate! In addition to her poetry, music, and speaking engagements, Harjo is working on two exciting projects. According to the Library of Congress, one is “Living Nations, Living Words: A Map of First Peoples Poetry…a web mapping application geared toward storytelling, to showcase contemporary Native American poets from across the country,” billed as Harjo’s “signature laureate project.” The second project is hot off the press, released August 25, 2020, When the Light of the World Was Subdued, Our...

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