Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Counting Down to The Rise and Fall of the Not-So-Invisible Empire

My lecture series on slavery, White supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan - The Rise and Fall of the Not-So-Invisible Empire - starts in just about a month.  Looking forward to seeing you there!  [If you haven't signed up yet, you can register on the California State University - East Bay OLLI website by clicking here.]  

In the meanwhile - 

This past Saturday, I attended a performance by one of my favorite jazz singers, Tierney Sutton.  She opened her show with a music video of the song "Good People" - confronting racism with a musical and visual survey of events in American history (as well as some present-day realities). 

Tierney then began her live performance without an introduction or comment by singing "The Way We Were".
Mem'ries may be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget

So it's the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember the way we were

Having spent a great deal of time over the past few months reading, researching and thinking about racism in America in preparation for The Rise and Fall of the Not-So-Invisible Empire, this was a surprise coincidence - and a surprisingly moving moment.   

On another note -

One of the topics that I will touch on briefly in the series is modern-day slavery and human trafficking.  Statistics vary quite a bit, but there are somewhere around 50 million people in the world today living in slavery.  Most coverage of human trafficking focuses on people being forced into sex work, but there are other areas of forced labor - one of the fastest growing being cyber slavery.  Hundreds of thousands are forced to work in industrial scale online scamming compounds. in southeast Asia.   You might find CNN's Ivan Watson's report on the intersection between human trafficking and the proliferation of online scamming:  Myanmar-based gangs force trafficking victims to scam Americans online. 

Some more food for thought - 

CNN's Fareed Zachariah closed out 2023 with a special report on immigration:  A Fareed Zakaria GPS Special: Immigration Breakdown.   Fareed provides a wide-ranging look at immigration, exploring not only the situation at the US southern border but immigration's history of racism.  You might also find the PBS American Experience page Reconstruction: The Second Civil War worth checking out.

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