On Wednesday after 51 years, Harold Franklin, the student activist who integrated @AuburnU in 1964, defended his 1969 M.A. thesis w/ the unanimous approval of the faculty @Auburn_History. Hear him tell his story in confronting institutional racism & why #reparations are still due Image
Here is the first part of the M.A. defense where Dr. Franklin tells the story of why he decided to work with @NAACP attorney Fred Gray to desegregate #Auburn and the racism my department inflicted upon him while he was here.
For a longer version of the desegregation process at Auburn that contextualizes it within the wider Civil Rights Movement see Dr. Franklin in conversation with Auburn's head of Special Collections Martin T. Olliff here diglib.auburn.edu/150th/series/a…
For more on Dr. Franklin's lifelong devotion to peace, justice, and equality check out this series of audio interviews given by Dr. Franklin and put out by @AUAlumniAssoc #WarEagle
Here is the 2nd part of the M.A. defense that includes questions from faculty members, including myself and thesis committee member @AustinMcCoy3, about what remains to be done at Auburn and in the state of Alabama to undo the legacy of slavery & Jim Crow.
While no apology can undo the harm my department caused Dr. Franklin or absolve it of its responsibility to make things right now, here is the official apology of the @Auburn_History department as read by thesis committee chair, Dr. Keith Hebert
It is followed by the moment that Dr. Franklin receives his degree. Not his honorary degree. His actual degree. The degree he earned 51 years ago but was denied to him because is was a descendant of the enslaved peoples that built America. @nhannahjones
To be clear, this apology is not a closure but an opening. It is not a finish line but a starting point. This is about new relationships, institutional transformation, structural change, and a culture of ongoing responsibility to help heal the harm that our predecessors caused.
We didn't do this for praise so PLEASE don't offer any. It is not a self-congratulatory moment for any of us at Auburn. We did this because it is the right thing to do and we hope it will inspire others to take real meaningful steps towards reparative justice.
If Dr. Franklin's struggle touched you (there was not a dry eye in the house, trust me) please engage in the reparative process wherever you are. Right the wrongs that you caused and right the wrongs that you didn't cause. #Reparations are THE Civil Rights Movement of today.
There will be more coming out in the months and years ahead as we continue to work with Dr. Franklin and the whole Auburn family to address the university's historical ties to slavery and Jim Crow. #Twitterstorians and #BlkTwitterstorians: Love and solidarity! Keep pushing!

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More from @GuyEmersonMount

Aug 13, 2021
"What if we saw in this data the increasing numbers of racially blended families and mixed-race children – and understood them as signs of a more racially diverse, economically just and culturally rich future? "

This is called mixed race utopianism. It's wack. A quick thread.
Since at least the 16th century settler colonial societies in the Americas imagined the mixed race character of the colonies as some kind of futuristic utopian ideal where the bodies of mixed people would somehow magically lead to a more just world (w/o any affirmative politics).
Mixed race people have continuously been used as America's symbolic embodiment of hope and change---being forced into the role of political props to deny the existence of racism (despite being so brutally subjected to it). The empires of violence that made mixed people get erased
Read 8 tweets
Sep 28, 2020
Can we please stop individualizing and moralizing this.

The 'patriotic' state SYSTEMATICALLY subsidizes the 'owners' of stolen land and labor through a variety of police actions and tax incentives.

Receipts below on how to make tons of money in real estate while paying no taxes
The IRS has "How to tips" to show accountants and wealthy owners how to avoid taxes. It starts with depreciation. Owners of rental property can offset profits by deducting 3.6% of its purchase price per year for 27.5 years even if the value is going up. irs.gov/publications/p…
This means you can buy a rental property for 1,000,000 dollars, it can go up in value by, say, $50,000 but in that tax year it will look like you lost $36,363 (3.6%). Add in deductions for interest payments insurance, maintenance, etc. and you'll usually pay no taxes on rents.
Read 14 tweets
Sep 21, 2020
"Against State Capture" by @AustinMcCoy3 in @TowardFreedom is THE read of the day. So much insight from one of the most caring scholar activists I know. Avoiding elite capture of this uprising is SO important right now (even as it's already happening). towardfreedom.org/story/against-…
"Confrontations with police and attacks on property operate symbiotically with various strategies and tactics that activists and organizations have devised to evade state and electoral capture."---@AustinMcCoy3 on a diversity of tactics.
The notion of “non-reformist reforms” is likewise something that we cannot ever lose sight of. Any demand must ask itself how it is going to deepen and extend this crisis. The risk of falling into well-laid neoliberal traps right now is serious.
Read 10 tweets
Sep 8, 2020
Would you believe me if I told you it was even worse?
Enslavers DID know that they were dealing with fully complicated human beings but decided to regard enslaved peoples as chattel anyway in hopes of destroying that very humanity (while reifying their own).
#AuburnWorldHistory
For proof of this, think about Mary Prince's diary and how often, how arbitrarily, and how much "pleasure" her enslavers took in beating her. They didn't need to treat their cows that way because there was no human spirit to control, condition, and manipulate. @bethany_hadley1
In many ways, the racist notion of enslaved peoples as non-human is an attempt to justify the naked violence that is required to hold human beings in a condition of slavery. #AuburnWorldHistory @bethany_hadley1
Read 4 tweets
Sep 4, 2020
Excellent, balanced review by @JRWinters77 in @BlkPerspectives

I'd only add that, in my reading, critics of #Afropessimism who see it as "a death knell for...the kind of hope and energy needed to confront current problems" don't really understand Afropessimism

It's VERY utopian
It's certainly pessimistic as it relates to OTHER utopian visions (Pan-Africanism, Marxism, feminism, etc.) but only then as it relates to the question of Black ontologies and the capacity to address antiblackness. Destroying capitalism/sexism is part of destroying the world.
In this way I always contend that a better name for those who get hung up on the pessimism part is Afrorealism or Afroskepticism.
Read 6 tweets
Sep 2, 2020
Black grad students @UChicago are joining the #MoreThanDiversity strike by withholding their labor from diversity committees and refusing to help recruit Black students to campus until the university meets their demands for #abolition and #reparations. docs.google.com/document/d/1DO…
The original faculty letter (also calling for abolition and various forms of reparations on and off-campus) can be found here docs.google.com/document/d/1ks…

They also are calling for a full outside boycott of all UChicago sponsored events (seminars, workshops, conferences, etc.).
Additional, specific, reparative demands that are now part of the student letter include increased funding and scholarships for Black grad students, a "formal grievance and reconciliation process" for acts of racism, and grad student participation in university governance.
Read 4 tweets

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