Self-determination and survival: these were the factors that drove the actions of Indigenous peoples of eighteenth century colonial frontiers. Yet the ways in which they navigated the wars of their time were far more diverse than standard histories of the American Revolution typically confer. Though a close read of Atiatonharónkwen Louis Cook’s involvement—from childhood to retirement—in the European conflicts within Haudenosaunee Territories, Melissane Schrems asks readers of this blog post to consider what a more accurate telling of our complex, suppressed, Indigenous history could be.
The North Country Rights of Nature Symposium will explore how to create a BILL OF RIGHTS for the Kaniatarowanénhne / St. Lawrence River Watershed, Haudenosaunee Territory. In the face of the climate crises, the programs will grapple with the moral implications of protecting the rivers of the “North Country.”
“Land, Liberty, and Loss” by Alan Taylor, below, is the eponymous leading essay for HNY’s newest initiative, a scholar-guided, multi-part exploration of our nation’s founding and how its history—or, more pointedly, misapprehensions of that history—often serves as an obstacle to full democratic and civic flourishing. The project is grounded in the historical and ongoing intersections between racial justice, including the centuries-long deprivations endured by Indigenous and Native Americans, and the evolution of the American landscape. “Land, Liberty, and Loss” is meant to prompt reflection on assumptions about the human connectedness between the natural and built environments, and to allow us to reconsider in a holistic sense how the Revolution that resulted in the United States connects to or disrupts indigenous histories, our use of natural resources, political development, and national expansion.
This October, HNY’s Online Community Conversations will look at how our nation uses its history, exploring ways in which American history so deeply informs our society and our self-image while, at the same time, many Americans’ memories have little to do with the historical record. We will be hosting this conversation on October 21st. Register here. These conversations lead up to the second annual History and the American Imagination event. This year we are hosting, virtually, distinguished scholar Danielle Allen and celebrated author Kiese Laymon for an illuminating conversation about the ways they see this topic. HNY board member Deva […]
Historic Hudson Valley (HHV) is redefining what a documentary is with Webby-Award-Winning website People Not Property: Stories of Slavery in the Colonial North. Focusing on the history of enslavement in the Hudson Valley, the exhibition uncovers erased narratives of families and the records that reveal the depth of northern states’ involvement in the slave trade — even after abolition. HNY spoke with Elizabeth L. Bradley, Vice President of Programs and Engagement and Michael A. Lord, Director of Content Development. Above: C&G Partners, Hand-Drawn Silhouette of Father and Child. Courtesy Historic Hudson Valley. How does the documentary add to the narrative about […]
HNY is continuing its Online Community Conversations series with a discussion on “Memory, History, and Community.” Who, in a democracy, gets to decide how we remember the past? What happens when one group’s memories lie in tension with those of another? What role does memorialization play in our society? To complement this online conversation, we have curated a brief selection of readings that examine the complex interconnections between memory, history, and memorialization. That said, our online conversation, like all of HNY’s Community Conversations, will use a single brief text to spark the conversation. This text will be provided after registration. […]
The following is an excerpt from Elizabeth Hinton’s From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime. Elizabeth is Assistant Professor in the Department History and the Department of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Hinton’s research focuses on the persistence of poverty and racial inequality in the 20th century United States. If you’d like to explore the broader historical context of mass incarceration, you may watch After Attica: Criminal Justice and Mass Incarceration on our YouTube channel. In the century between the end of the U.S. Civil War in 1865 and Johnson’s call for the War […]
Powerful graphic design and social mission intersect in “Finally Got The News,” an exhibition at Brooklyn’s Interference Archive funded through a Humanities New York Action Grant. The mission of Interference Archive is to explore the relationship between cultural production and social movements. This work manifests in an open stacks archival collection, publications, a study center, and public programs including exhibitions, workshops, talks, and screenings; all of which encourage critical and creative engagement with the rich history of social movements. Last month we sat down with project director Jen Hoyer to discuss the Archive and this exhibition. HNY: Tell us a […]
The following is an excerpt from Deva Woodly’s upcoming book, Black Lives Matter and the Democratic Necessity of Social Movements, on the role of social movements, up to and including The Movement for Black Lives. Deva is an Assistant Professor of Politics at The New School for Social Research. Her work explores the ways that public meanings define the problems that the polity understands itself to share, as well as the range of choices that citizens perceive themselves as having. If you’d like to explore the broader historical context of today’s social movements, watch Reflections on Liberation: American Civil Rights […]