Friday, February 14, 2014

Repost: Black Americans and Afro-Latinos A Common History

Not much to put forth for an introduction here.  This is an article examining the connection between black Americans and Afro-Latinos.  A good read, especially for Black History Month. Interesting point raised in the article: Brazil has the highest black population in the world today outside of Africa, with the United States coming in third.  Check out more here:

A related article about Afro-Brazilians being the majority population in Brazil here:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Plantation Life for the Slave (Black History Month 2014)

Slaves on a cotton plantation in the pre-Civil War south, circa early 19th Century
After being purchased from a slave auction, an event that in its own right was a human atrocity, a given slave would be brought back to the plantation for work. While most of us have a vague idea of plantation life (the work, the subhuman living conditions, the whippings), few have actually had the details spelled out for them. I know that I haven't in a while. So, in this post we briefly explore life on a plantation. Note: I'll be irresponsibly averaging over at least two hundred years of the slave experience. All my references will, of course, be at the bottom of the page. Let's go!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Black History Month 2014: American Slavery - The Early Days

Illustration of plantation slavery
in the Canary Islands
We've looked at the slave ships that brought Africans to the New World, but what were they brought here for? In order to begin to answer this question, I put on my "I Can Learn Anything with Google" hat and look briefly at what necessitated American slavery. The focus here is slavery in the U.S. and the colonies that would be come the U.S., where an estimated 253,000 slaves were shipped.  Seeing as how American slavery (1619 - 1865) existed for longer than our nation has actually been a nation (246 years vs. 238 years), I'm going to do this in parts.  Let's skip back to the early 1600s to examine Slavery - The Early Days.  Spoiler Alert: native Americans get hit first, and the life of an African was very, very cheap.  

Note: My apologies to anyone that I may offend with my smart assery and occasional silliness.  This whole topic is a pot full of painful stuff and humor is how I cope. If you're still reading, bear with me.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Black History Month 2014: The Anatomy of a Slave Ship

Horizontal cross section of a slave ship.  Slaves stacked up against one another like boxes
 or cattle.  The notion of the slave as property starts here and reverberates throughout
the history of the American negro.
Slavery was a horrid and sad era in American history.  Even though it's an ugly and depressing thing to dwell on, appreciation for what our people have become today starts with the recognition of what got us here.  So, we start with what literally got us here: the Slave Ship.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Long-Term Investing: How Much Growth is There, Really?

This is going to be one of my shorter posts...

I've been really interested in money lately.  Namely, how to keep it from flowing forth from my pockets, and even how to make it grow on its own.  This, along with discussions of money amongst other grad students in my department, led me to create a PowerPoint presentation (available after next month) giving a basic overview of things like budgeting, debt, and investing.