Tag Archives: slave

The Simpsons Celebrate Black History Month and Their Racially Mixed Heritage

I’m sitting here watching the Black History Month Episode of “The Simpsons”.  The title “The Color Yellow”.  Um…really?  Must they co-op the title of one of the most beloved pieces of fiction in the black community?

When Miss Hoover asks her students to research their family history, Lisa is horrified to discover that most of her ancestors were bad people – a motley crew of horse thieves and deadbeats. But while rummaging through the attic, Lisa happens upon a diary kept by her ancestor, Eliza Simpson. As Eliza’s story unfolds, Lisa learns that her family was part of the Underground Railroad, a group that helped slaves escape to freedom. Eliza recounts liberating a slave named Virgil (guest voice Brown), but when Lisa presents her findings at school, some of her classmates refute it, leaving Lisa determined to exonerate her family’s name.

Wow, one of Mr. Burns ancestors just checked over one of Homer Simpson’s ancestors like a slave on the auction block.  He noted that if anyone knows how to estimate the value of a man, he does. I don’t know what to say, but I think I like this episode. Wouldn’t you just know it, Antebellum Marge was an abolitionist who fell in love with a brother and ran off to Canada! Oh as a descendant of their union, Lisa is 1/64th black.  She says, “That’s why my Jazz is so smooth!”. Homer says “That’s why I make less than my white co-workers!”.  Wow. Good episode, but I like “Nate, Peter’s black ancestor” on Family Guy better.

I guess I get the title now.  Are they saying that the Simpsons are yellow in the way black folks commonly use the word…yella gal or high yellow?  Interesting.

2 Comments

Filed under african american, black, black history, black man, culture, history, race, slavery, television

Race Vs. Gender: Blacks, Women, and the Vote

Before Obama and Clinton, there was Douglas and Stanton… 

Blacks and women have typically shared — in their fight for the vote, non-discrimination and economic equality — give way to the nitty-gritty of reaching consensus, setting policy, passing legislation and, in the case of elections, making choices.

One bitter case from the 19th century involved a split between the abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the women’s rights’ pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Stanton was herself a fervent abolitionist, and a close ally of Douglass, who later confined herself to the cause of women’s equality. These ideals would eventually clash, resulting in increasingly divisive rhetoric that reached a harsh climax after Stanton condemned the 15th amendment — which gave black men the right to vote but left out women of all races — as something that would establish “an aristocracy of sex on this continent.” She also alluded to the “lower orders” like Irish, blacks, Germans, Chinese.

During a heated meeting in New York City’s Steinway Hall in 1869, Stanton wondered, “Shall American statesmen … so amend their constitutions as to make their wives and mothers the political inferiors of unlettered and unwashed ditch-diggers, bootblacks, butchers and barbers, fresh from the slave plantations of the South?” At which point, Douglass rose, paid tribute to Stanton’s years of work on civil rights for all, and replied, “When women, because they are women, are hunted down through the cities of New York and New Orleans; when they are dragged from their houses and hung from lampposts; when their children are torn from their arms and their brains dashed out upon the pavement; when they are objects of insult and rage at every turn; when they are in danger of having their homes burnt down… then they will have an urgency to obtain the ballot equal to our own.”

Blacks won the right to vote with the 15th Amendment in 1870; women won theirs with the 19th Amendment, in 1920, a half-century later. Each of their causes would stutter-step along at sometimes different paces, but usually in some loose if not formal concert.

Source: New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under academic, activism, african american, black, black man, change, civil rights, culture, government, law, race, racism, slavery, women