By Christiana Remarck
Growing up as a Guyanese-American, born from two Guyanese immigrants living in New York, at least once a month my family and I would make a trip to a place now called Little Guyana. It’s a small enclave in Richmond Hill, Queens from 104th to 130th street on Liberty Ave. Whether we were going for some produce for a traditional, Guyanese recipe or a new saree for a Hindu wedding, I believe it would have been impossible to preserve our culture in New York City without the establishments that were set up in this community. Guyanese people themselves are highly diversified from ethnicity to religion making some needs specific, while other needs are universal to Guyanese as a whole. This essay will highlight some staples of Guyanese culture that enable every Guyanese person to set up a home away from home within the confines of New York City. It will explore some of the most sought out spots on Liberty Avenue that a Guyanese living anywhere in New York City would visit when making a trip to Richmond Hill, whether for food, clothing, or religious goods.
By Holly Pinheiro
Prior to the 1960s, most white historians outright ignored the wartime experiences of African American soldiers. Few white historians, including Dudley Cornish, discussed United States Colored Troops regiments, and their analyses took a largely military focus by cataloguing a regiment’s mustering in and out process, military engagements, deaths, and causalities. These white historians opted to avoid any substantive discussion of African American military service. African American historians, conversely, began examining African American soldiers almost immediately following the war and continued long after. Historians, such as William Wells Brown, Joseph Wilson, and George Washington Williams, sought to rightfully place the wartime experiences of African American soldiers at the center of their monographs. These scholars sought to humanize African American soldiers’ experiences and highlight the fact that their service was not only masculine patriotism, but also legitimized their claim for citizenship rights while simultaneously participating in ending slavery. Even with the breadth of scholarship that scholars continue to produce on the topic of African Americans soldiers during the Civil War, obvious gaps in the historiography remain. Who were these soldiers long before their service? How did these young men, the families, and local communities combat the onslaught of racism in Northern society in the antebellum era? Did their motivations to enlist reflect the idealism that advocates of enlistment championed during recruitment campaigns? How did military service negatively impact the Northern African American families left behind? These are crucial questions that are at the center of my research, and until now, remained unquestioned and unanswered. My objective in conducting this research is to humanize the individual soldiers and their families to show how war affected the front lines and the home front simultaneously — thereby revealing how Northern African American families experienced the Civil War. This research focuses on African American New York soldiers and their families because their lived experiences deserve scholarly attention if we ever hope to understand how the war impacted Northern society.
By Keisha N. Blain
Founded by Marcus Garvey, with the assistance of Amy Ashwood, in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1914, the UNIA (Universal Negro Improvement Association) was the largest and most influential Pan-Africanist movement of the twentieth century. Emphasizing racial pride, black political self-determination, racial separatism, African heritage, economic self-sufficiency, and African redemption from European colonization, Garvey envisioned the UNIA as a vehicle for improving the social, political, and economic conditions of black people everywhere. From Kingston, Jamaica, Garvey oversaw UNIA affairs before relocating to Harlem. At its peak, from 1919 to 1924, the organization attracted millions of followers in more than forty countries around the world.
This post is excerpted and adapted from Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom,
courtesy of University of Pennsylvania Press.
Copyright (c) 2018 Columbia University Press. Used by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved.
In the context of Indecent’s success, along with concurrent off-Broadway revival of God of Vengeance, Eddy Portnoy’s book Bad Rabbi is a timely excavation of the real-life, nonfictional, but perhaps sensationalized stories of sex, violence, misery, and depravity that characterized much of urban Jewish life in the first decades of the twentieth century. Mining the depths of Yiddish press, largely produced in New York City and Warsaw, Portnoy’s study hones in on the scoundrels, cheats, criminals, and gossipmongers of Jewish enclaves within the growing, cosmopolitan urban centers in the United States and Poland. At the center of Bad Rabbi is the flourishing Yiddish press and the dogged journalists who documented the daily lives of the “rabble” — the “downwardly mobile” Jews who, Portnoy claims, have been lost to a predominantly celebratory narrative of popular Jewish history.
This is an exclusive excerpt, adapted from the author's new book (released today!),
Dagger John: Archbishop John Hughes and the Making of Irish America, courtesy of Cornell University Press.
This is the first of three posts on the Trump patriarchs, adapted from the author's bestseller,
The Trumps: Three Builders and a President, courtesy of Simon & Schuster.
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