These Abandoned Buildings Are the Last Remnants of Liberia’s Founding History

THE HOUSE OF WINSTON TUBMAN LIES IN RUIN IN LIBERIA. IMAGE GLENNA GORDON.

THE HOUSE OF WINSTON TUBMAN LIES IN RUIN IN LIBERIA. IMAGE GLENNA GORDON.

These Abandoned Buildings Are the Last Remnants of Liberia’s Founding History

In the front parlor of a dilapidated mansion with a god’s-eye view of the Atlantic a group of young men huddle around a light fixture that washed in from the sea and is covered in barnacles. They chip away at it with a hammer and a machete to open it and see if it can be made to work. They are not having much luck, a commodity that is in short supply around here. The building has no electricity or running water. Wind pushes through broken windows. There are holes in the roof. Rainwater has collected in puddles on the grand marble staircase and throughout the house, a faded yellow modernist structure on the edge of a cliff in the sleepy city of Harper in southeastern Liberia about 15 miles from the border of Ivory Coast.

The short iron fence that surrounds the regal mansion, known locally as “the palace,” bears a monogram—“WVST,” for William Vacanarat Shadrach Tubman, Liberia’s longest-serving president, known for his 27 years of autocratic rule beginning in 1944. But the home of the man called “the father of modern Liberia” because he opened the nation to foreign investment and industry is now in ruins and occupied by squatters, a symbol of how decades of political turmoil have shaken up the old order established by freed American slaves.

The Resilience of Barbados Counters Trump’s ‘Sh-thole’ Remarks

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The Resilience of Barbados Counters Trump’s ‘Sh-thole’ Remarks

By J.M. Opal, Associate Professor of History and Chair, History and Classical Studies, McGill University. First published on The Conversation.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, former attorney and future inmate Michael Cohen revealed some of the uglier things Donald Trump said to him during their many years together.

Among the alleged quotes: “Name one country run by a Black person that’s not a sh—hole.” (One wonders how Trump characterized the United States when Barack Obama was President.)

Rarely stated so bluntly, this racist trope is widespread. As always, Trump gives vulgar expression to quiet prejudice, making him sound “honest” to about 40 per cent of Americans no matter how many lies he tells. As Sarah Huckabee Sanders noted after a similar revelation last year, Trump’s straight-shooting bigotry is one thing his fans love about him.

Those who don’t love him need to fight back with specific examples from the real world. Time and again, we need to highlight the big, complex reality that Trump and many of his supporters call “fake news.” Otherwise, his twisted version of the truth will continue to displace objective reality.

MacKenzie Bezos Joins Gates & Buffett 'The Giving Pledge', Sharing Half of Her New Fortune

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MacKenzie Bezos Joins Gates & Buffett 'The Giving Pledge', Sharing Half of Her New Fortune

There aren’t many solo images of MacKenzie Bezos out there. Even though the mom of four is a successful writers and played her own roll in the formation of Amazon, almost all images of MacKenzie include her husband Jeff Bezos.

Vogue US interviewed one of the world’s richest women in 2013 in advance of her “gripping new novel Traps”. The interview by Rebecca Johnson describes MacKenzie as a “bookish and she” girl who spent hours in her bedroom writing elaborate stories. She attended first Hotchkiss and then Princeton, a very deliberate choice that gave her access to writer Toni Morrison. One of America’s most important voices became Bezos’ mentor and called her in 2013 “one of the best students I’ve ever had in my creative-writing classes . . . really one of the best.”

The Story of East Africa's Role In The Transatlantic Slave Trade

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The Story of East Africa's Role In The Transatlantic Slave Trade

The recent discovery of the remains of the Portuguese slave ship São José off Cape Town has brought East Africa’s role in the transatlantic slave trade to public attention. But the São José was merely one of a large number of slave vessels that either rounded the Cape or put into Table Bay for refreshment.

The sinking of the São José two days after Christmas in 1794 marked the end of a bad year for the slave trade at the Cape of Good Hope. In April that year, a second vessel, the French ship Jardinière, had gone down off Cape Agulhas. Around 185 slaves had reached shore but many had then escaped or had died of their exertions. Only 125 were finally auctioned at Stellenbosch.

Muslims Arrived In America 400 Years Ago As Part of the Slave Trade and Today Are Vastly Diverse

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Muslims Arrived In America 400 Years Ago As Part of the Slave Trade and Today Are Vastly Diverse

Most Americans say they don’t know a Muslim and that much of what they understand about Islam is from the media.

It’s not surprising then to see the many misunderstandings that exist about Muslims. Some see them as outsiders and a threat to the American way of life and values. President Donald Trump’s controversial policy to impose a ban on Muslims from seven countries entering into the United States played into such fears.

What many don’t know, however, is that Muslims have been in America well before America became a nation. In fact, some of the earliest arrivals to this land were Muslim immigrants – forcibly transported as slaves in the transatlantic trade, whose 400th anniversary is being observed this year.

What Catholic Church Records Tell Us About America’s Earliest Black History

What Catholic Church Records Tell Us About America’s Earliest Black History

What Catholic Church Records Tell Us About America’s Earliest Black History

For most Americans, black history begins in 1619, when a Dutch ship brought some “20 and odd Negroes” as slaves to the English colony of Jamestown, in Virginia.

Many are not aware that black history in the United States goes back at least a century before this date.

In 1513, a free and literate African named Juan Garrido explored Florida with a Spanish conquistador, Juan Ponce de León. In the following decades, Africans, free and enslaved, were part of all the Spanish expeditions exploring the southern region of the United States. In 1565, Africans helped establish the first permanent European settlement in what is St. Augustine, Florida today.

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