Today's episode delves into the details of white women's involvement in the markets where enslaved humans were bought and sold, and how very, very much these women knew and participated in this commerce. We also get into the details you never learned about in the Dred Scott Supreme Court case. You might remember that this case determined the Constitution never meant for Black people to be citizens, regardless of their status as enslaved or free (in which case you remember more than Mandy), but you most likely didn't know there was a white woman behind the whole dirty deal: Irene Sanford Emerson Chaffee. Continued shout outs to historian Stephanie Jones-Rogers' wonderful book They Were Her Property. Buy it. Read it. Share it. It's so good.
The history of wet-nursing predates U.S. slavery, but investigating the forced labor of enslaved women as wet nurses brings in many different layers of trauma between Black and white women. Many of us have encountered the concept of a wet nurse before, but everything that went into this practice, from the timing of pregnancies, to the loaning or selling of Black women as wet nurses, to the disregard for the biological children of Black women and their needs...it's a whole dark, devastating, and incriminating history against the white women involved that lives on in women's choices (or lack thereof) today. Much appreciation to historians Emily West and R.J. Knight and Stephanie Jones-Rogers for their research.
Today we're discussing how Nikole Hannah-Jones got done dirty by UNC-Chapel Hill. In a definitely political move, UNC announced the Knight Chair recipient would not get automatic tenure, as was previously routine, but would have a five-year contract that would consider tenure after that point. Given the controversy around Hannah-Jones' 1619 Project and what we learn about the conservative agenda of North Carolina's board of governors (heyyyy, Art Pope) and broader movements to influence what happens on college campuses (heyyyy, Koch brothers). This is definitely some white-people-fuckery.
This minisode visits a very white lady topic: the Jane Austen House Museum. Mandy announces her disdain for romantic classic literature, and Katy outs herself as a gas station smut-lit aficionado. But we're both here for the Austen museum's decision to include more context to Austen's writing by addressing the roles of colonialism and slavery in her history. Yet, not everyone is on board....ahem, white ladies. Shout out to Vanessa Riley's insightful op-ed in the Washington Post: A Jane Austen museum addressing Regency-era slavery? How sensible.
It's the first minisode of Season 2! And, in true ODL minisode fashion, it's not that mini. But when you're talking about white lady fuckery, there's just a lot to cover. This minisode is a Local Laundry and Katy takes us to Cleveland in the early 60's to talk about school segregation with the help of Leonard Nathaniel Moore's article "The School Desegregation Crisis of Cleveland, Ohio: 1963-1964: The Catalyst for Black Political Power in a Northern City" in the Journal of Urban History (2002). More pictures and resources available at ClevelandMemory.org. While we have plans to get deep into the soiled undergarments of public schooling and white-ladyness later this season, help yourself to this little pre-wash cycle!
We're gearing up for Season 2, but had a quick minisode (that obviously turned not-so-mini) to discuss some legislative issues and just general ranting! In particular, we dig into the bill popping all over the country that refuses public monies for the teaching of "divisive concepts" like the idea that United States is inherently racist and sexist, that implicit is a bias is a thing... you know: facts. We're taking the rest of the week off to keep prepping for the next history lessons, so enjoy a longer mini today!
Wow! January 6, 2021 will be a day in US history books, but it was also the day we put out our first episode! Nearly four months later, we wrap up the voting rights season of Our Dirty Laundry. It was more than we ever could have imagined. We were challenged, we were horrified, we were inspired, and you came along with us. Join us to debrief and hear some listener take-aways. (And TW: there's a couple gross stories about mice in the beginning. Apologies.)
We've spent this series airing the dirty laundry of white women in the history of voting rights in this country. Along the way, we have mentioned the names of several women of color, also fighting for those rights, who were often harmed by the women we associate with the suffrage fight. Today we learn about six women who don't commonly make it into the histories we are taught regarding suffrage. These women fought from the margins, frequently at the risk of their own lives, but their influence reached far beyond those margins. They believed, deeply, in principles of equity and opportunity. They knew, from lived experience, that our collective liberation is bound up together. They sacrificed more than their share, they built more than they ever had access to themselves, our lives are truly better because of their work. Join us to learn more about Tye Leung Schulze, Ida B. Wells, Luisa Capetillo, Mary McLeod Bethune, Zitkála-Šá, and Fannie Lou Hamer.