Our old suffragist friends turn to whiteness once again! In season one, we learned many of the early white suffragists turned their back on women of color in their efforts to secure the vote for themselves. Unsurprisingly, eugenics was also enthusiastically endorsed by many early feminists. Because it turns out, white supremacy has always been a helluva drug. Come learn about Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Victoria Woodhull and get ready for some *drama*! These women were a hot mess!
It's a mini, but it turned into a maxi - we said we'd discuss slave labor camp weddings (aka plantation weddings) and we're also throwing in some information about balls. Dances, people, not *those* balls. Don't get too comfortable though, it's still a gross discussion. Thanks to the following articles:
Plantation Weddings are Wrong: Why Is It So Hard for White Americans to Admit That?
Pinterest and The Knot Pledge to Stop Promoting Plantation Weddings
It Was Never Ok to Get Married at a Plantation. Here’s Why
Despite Everything, People Still Have Weddings at ‘Plantation’ Sites
Mandy takes back the reigns for this laundry session, and there's gonna be several loads to get through. We're talking about eugenics—which is basically the idea that natural selection of the fittest could be accelerated through deliberate selection of the "fittest" and, even uglier, "deselection" of the "non-fit" or "degenerate" subsets of the human population. In this first episode we remind ourselves of our Darwinian evolutionary theory and Mendelian genetics (think peas and monks, guys), and then we introduce the dad and mom of American eugenics - Charles and Gertrude Davenport. They saw themselves as a model couple and template for good marriage, but, well...let's just say, no one was doing the laundry in that house.
When the South lost the Civil War, all the white women decided to give up on riding the wave of white privilege and jump on board with reconstruction and restitution, forever ending racial discrimin.....oh who the hell am I kidding! Of course they didn't! Along came the Daughter's of the Confederacy! Defenders of the "lost cause", memory keepers for confederate traitors...I mean, "true patriots", and erectors of statues, -- totally meant to honor their ancestors and not in any way intimidate formerly enslaved people or change the memory of a nation. *eye roll* Guess what? The United Daughters of the Confederacy still has close to 20,000 members today! That's a lot of dirty laundry ladies. Many thanks to Karen L. Cox's fantastic book Dixie's Daughters: The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Preservation of Confederate Culture. We also mention Teaching Hard History's fantastic podcast episodes about Indigenous enslavement (with Christina Snyder and Meredith McCoy) and the Confederados in Brazil.
Today's interview is with Hasan Kwame Jeffries, author and professor of history at The Ohio State University. Dr. Jeffries hosts the podcast "Teaching Hard History" and gave a TED talk with nearly 1.8 million views on "Why we must confront the painful parts of US history". We talk about having the curiosity to learn and go beyond the narratives and nostalgia we are typically taught in US history, but also why knowledge is not enough. Follow Dr. Jeffries on Twitter @ProfJeffries... come for the history, stay for the adorable, hilarious stories about his daughters.