menu

All posts in: Featured Artist

HISTORY STORIES

The Last Slave Ship Survivor Gave an Interview in the 1930s. It Just Surfaced

 // MAY 3, 2018

N-3448300dpi-Horizontal

Cudjo Lewis, the last surviving captive of the last slave ship to bring Africans to the U.S. (Credit: Erik Overbey Collection, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama)

Roughly 60 years after the abolition of slavery, anthropologist Zora Neale Hurstonmade an incredible connection: She located the last surviving captive of the last slave ship to bring Africans to the United States.

Hurston, a known figure of the Harlem Renaissance who would later write the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, conducted interviews with the survivor but struggled to publish them as a book in the early 1930s. In fact, they are only now being released to the public in a book called Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” that comes out on May 8, 2018.

Zora Neale Hurston (1903-1960) studied anthropology under scholar Franz Boas. She wrote several novels, drawing heavily on her knowledge of human development and the African American experience in America. She is best known for Their Eyes Were Watching God. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Zora Neale Hurston (1903-1960) studied anthropology under scholar Franz Boas. She wrote several novels, drawing heavily on her knowledge of human development and the African American experience in America. She is best known for Their Eyes Were Watching God. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Hurston’s book tells the story of Cudjo Lewis, who was born in what is now the West African country of Benin. Originally named Kossula, he was only 19 years old when members of the neighboring Dahomian tribe captured him and took him to the coast. There, he and about 120 others were sold into slavery and crammed onto the Clotilda, the last slave ship to reach the continental United States.

The Clotilda brought its captives to Alabama in 1860, just a year before the outbreak of the Civil War. Even though slavery was legal at that time in the U.S., the international slave trade was not, and hadn’t been for over 50 years. Along with many European nations, the U.S. had outlawed the practice in 1807, but Lewis’ journey is an example of how slave traders went around the law to continue bringing over human cargo.

To avoid detection, Lewis’ captors snuck him and the other survivors into Alabama at night and made them hide in a swamp for several days. To hide the evidence of their crime, the 86-foot sailboat was then set ablaze on the banks of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta (its remains may have been uncovered in January 2018).

Most poignantly, Lewis’ narrative provides a first-hand account of the disorienting trauma of slavery. After being abducted from his home, Lewis was forced onto a ship with strangers. The abductees spent several months together during the treacherous passage to the United States, but were then separated in Alabama to go to different plantations.

Detail_of_Cudjoe_Lewis_marker

A marker to commemorate Cudjo Lewis, considered to be the last surviving victim of the Atlantic slave trade between Africa and the United States, in Mobile, Alabama. (Credit: Womump/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0)

“We very sorry to be parted from one ’nother,” Lewis told Hurston. “We seventy days cross de water from de Affica soil, and now dey part us from one ’nother. Derefore we cry. Our grief so heavy look lak we cain stand it. I think maybe I die in my sleep when I dream about my mama.”

Lewis also describes what it was like to arrive on a plantation where no one spoke his language, and could explain to him where he was or what was going on. “We doan know why we be bring ’way from our country to work lak dis,” he told Hurston. “Everybody lookee at us strange. We want to talk wid de udder colored folkses but dey doan know whut we say.”

As for the Civil War, Lewis said he wasn’t aware of it when it first started. But part-way through, he began to hear that the North had started a war to free enslaved people like him. A few days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered in April 1865, Lewis says that a group of Union soldiers stopped by a boat on which he and other enslaved people were working and told them they were free.

N-3446-resize (2)

Cudjo Lewis at home. (Credit: Erik Overbey Collection, The Doy Leale McCall Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University of South Alabama)

Lewis expected to receive compensation for being kidnapped and forced into slavery, and was angry to discover that emancipation didn’t come with the promise of “forty acres and a mule,” or any other kind of reparations. Frustrated by the refusal of the government to provide him with land to live on after stealing him away from his homeland, he and a group of 31 other freepeople saved up money to buy land near the state capital of Mobile, which they called Africatown.

Hurston’s use of vernacular dialogue in both her novels and her anthropological interviews was often controversial, as some black American thinkers at the time argued that this played to black caricatures in the minds of white people. Hurston disagreed, and refused to change Lewis’ dialect—which was one of the reasons a publisher turned her manuscript down back in the 1930s.

Many decades later, her principled stance means that modern readers will get to hear Lewis’ story the way that he told it.

Full Story: https://www.history.com/news/zora-neale-hurston-barracoon-slave-clotilda-survivor?utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1525373347

DR. MAE JEMISON TO LAUNCH LOOK UP AT 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF SPACEFLIGHT CELEBRATION

Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 1.58.25 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:

Cindy Carway/Stephanie Hornback

Carway Communications, Inc.

212-378-2020/carwayny@aol.com

DR. MAE JEMISON TO LAUNCH LOOK UP AT 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF SPACEFLIGHT CELEBRATION

New Initiative to Connect and Inspire People Globally over the Year Culminating in a Day to LOOK UP Global Special Event

LOS ANGELES, September 15, 2017 – Tonight, Dr. Mae Jemison the world’s first woman of color in space will oversee the launch of the LOOK UP worldwide initiative during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of her spaceflight in 1992. 

LOOK UP over the next year will connect people worldwide, from all walks of life, culminating on a single day in August 2018 when everyone will be asked to LOOK UP and share what they see and their thoughts, hopes, fears, dreams and ideas for best path forward.  LOOK UP is a day, 24 hours, we acknowledge our oneness as Earthlings and concurrently our right to be a part of this greater universe.

Why LOOK UP?  “It is critical that we realize that worldwide, that all our lives and well-being are inextricably woven into the fabric of this planet Earth and globally connected to the greater universe,” Jemison stated.  “This is not a choice; it is a reality.  Whether we as a species survive, progress and thrive depends upon how we embrace this reality.”

Notables signing onto the goals of LOOK UP with Jemison, an engineer, physician, social scientist and NASA’s first African American woman astronaut, include:  LeVar Burton; Nichelle Nichols; Jill Tarter, Ph.D.; Halfu Osumare, Ph.D.; Amy Millman and Springboard Enterprises; MAKERS; Bayer Corporation; Scholastic, Inc.; 100 Year Starship; and, Yuri’s Night.

LOOK UP is purposefully designed to build momentum and evolve as individuals and organizations around the globe are connected, propose and develop LOOK UP activities in schools, workplaces, communities and nations that will highlight what they learn from the sky.  The LOOK UP platform will facilitate these activities and the creation of a tapestry of the images, observations and activities that are woven together and can be accessed globally.  The LOOK UP website, www.lookuponesky.org will “go live” tonight and individuals and groups are urged to sign up to receive updates, challenges, opportunities and news, as well as to become part of the LOOK UP global community.

Dr. Jill Tarter points to the fascination of the recent solar eclipse that swept North America and reminds us that “For millennia, across the world humans have looked to the sky to navigate their world.  We live both under one sky here on Earth and within the greater universe.  And while part of Earth, it is important to push to explore farther and to claim a place in the larger cosmos.”

Jemison and colleagues from 100 Year Starship have been developing LOOK UP for over a year and believe it is critical in the world today to offer this platform to engage people across cultures, nations and economies in order to facilitate understanding and contributing to our shared future.  To LOOK UP and build a better, robust path forward that includes and benefits us all.

LeVar Burton explains LOOK UP, “Let’s take one day to LOOK UP and recognize that we share not just the same origins, but the same sky.  And a growing ambition to be mature enough to leave home. LOOK UP and join the movement.”

ABOUT MAE JEMISON, M.D.

Audacious and pioneering, polymath Dr. Mae Jemison is a leading voice for science, social responsibility and innovation.  Jemison leads 100 Year Starship®, a global initiative that is pushing the frontiers of space exploration – ensuring human interstellar travel in 100 years.  The world’s first woman of color in space, she is committed to applying advance space technology to enhance life on Earth.  Dr. Jemison draws upon her experience as a physician, inventor, environmental studies professor, science literacy advocate, development worker in Africa and founder of two tech start-ups.  Recently, LEGO announced her as one of five Women of LEGO NASA kit.  She is the 2016-2017 Poling Chair at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.  A member of Fortune 500 boards, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Dr. Jemison was voted one of the top seven women leaders in a presidential ballot straw poll and was the first astronaut to appear on Star Trek. Dr. Jemison lives in Houston and is still learning important life lessons from her cats.

For more information, visit www.drmae.com.

Find Dr. Jemison on social media:

Twitter:  @maejemison

ABOUT 100 YEAR STARSHIP™

100 Year Starship™ (100YSS) is building a global community to ensure that the capabilities for human interstellar travel beyond our solar system exist as soon as possible, and definitely within the next 100 years.  An independent, non-governmental, long-term initiative, 100YSS was started in 2012 with seed-funding through a competitive grant from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to foster the type of explosive innovation and technology and social advances born from addressing such an audacious challenge.  To bolster such innovation, 100YSS has programs and projects include research and innovation, across the physical and social sciences, the arts, entrepreneurship and education.  Based in Houston, 100YSS collaborates with international organizations, companies, universities and individuals including affiliate in Brussels, partnerships in Africa and Asia.

For more information, visit www.100yss.org.

Find us on social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/100YearStarship

Twitter: @100YSS

INCLUSIVE EVENT MARKS DR. MAE JEMISON’S HISTORIC SPACEFLIGHT


Jemison’s Silver Anniversary Party, 25 Strong! Celebrates Inclusion, Innovation, Science, the Arts and Social Responsibility in Los Angeles Under the Space Shuttle Endeavour at the Samuel Oschin Pavilion


Screen Shot 2017-09-06 at 10.35.04 AM

LOS ANGELES, SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 – This September is the 25th anniversary of NASA astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison’s spaceflight making history as the nation’s first African American female and the world’s first woman of color in space.  For many worldwide, Dr. Jemison’s launch changed the face of science and exploration, and was a major milestone in women’s, civil and human rights.

People from around the globe – all ages, races, ethnicities and genders—will come together to celebrate Dr. Jemison’s journey, accomplishments and commitment to the future at the 25 Strong! gala. This spectacular evening of inspiration, music, art, dance, knowledge-sharing and magic will take place under the Space Shuttle Endeavour, Samuel Oschin Pavilion at the California Science Center, 700 Exposition Park Dr., Los Angeles, on Friday, September 15, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight.

The 25 Strong! gala will kick off a yearlong anniversary of special events, one of which – an inspirational new initiative connecting individuals worldwide – will be announced that evening. 

A few of the notables attending the gala include U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters; Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols; Jill Tarter, co-Founder of the SETI Institute; George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic; Jennie Yeung, President and Founder of the Beautiful Life Development Plan Foundation, Shanghai, China; Peggy Brookins, President of the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards; Sarah Toulouse, Executive Director of the Bayer USA Foundation; and, Hugh Roome, President of Consumer and Professional Publishing at Scholastic, Inc.  25 Strong is thrilled that Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and musician Aloe Blacc will perform, as well as Kenji Williams, composer, director and founder of the award-winning space images powered earth-from-space show, Bella Gaia. Major sponsors are Bayer Corporation, Scholastic, Inc. National Geographic and Ford Motor Company.

“Dr. Jemison’s remarkable achievement has touched the lives of countless people around the world. We wanted to celebrate the inspiration she has been with an event that embodies her life philosophy: showing what is possible when we bring together the extraordinary – space exploration – with compassion, creativity and social commitment,” said Loretta Whitesides, Co-Creator of Yuri’s Night and chairperson, 25 Strong! Committee.  “It is a moment to rededicate ourselves to creating an inspiring future for humanity.”

Dr. Jemison, a physician, engineer, entrepreneur, and educator currently leads the global 100 Year Starship® initiative.  She is a pioneer and leading voice in advancing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, raising public awareness of STEM education and increasing science literacy worldwide.  Dr. Jemison was living in Los Angeles when she was selected for the astronaut program.  The celebration party will be under the Endeavour, the same shuttle she flew on in space.

“I can think of no more important responsibility to mark the past 25 years than to share what I have learned and all that we might achieve if we include and welcome everyone to benefit from and be a part of the challenge and wonder of space exploration,” Dr. Jemison said.  “We are connected and inextricably part of this Earth; yet as we push to explore space and claim a place in the greater cosmos, it will enable us to build a better home, here, for everyone.“

Individual ticket prices range from $300 – $2,000.  For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.25strong.com.

About Mae Jemison, M.D.

Audacious and pioneering, polymath Dr. Mae Jemison is a leading voice for science, social responsibility and innovation.  Jemison leads 100 Year Starship®, a global initiative that is pushing the frontiers of space exploration – ensuring human interstellar travel in 100 years.  The world’s first woman of color in space, she is committed to applying advance space technology to enhance life on Earth.  Dr. Jemison draws upon her experience as a physician, inventor, environmental studies professor, science literacy advocate, development worker in Africa and founder of two tech start-ups.  Recently, LEGO announced her as one of five Women of LEGO NASA kit.  She is the 2016-2017 Poling Chair at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business.  A member of Fortune 500 boards, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Women’s Hall of Fame, Dr. Jemison was voted one of the top seven women leaders in a presidential ballot straw poll and was the first astronaut to appear on Star Trek. Dr. Jemison lives in Houston and is still learning important life lessons from her cats.

Social Media Channels

Twitter: 

@maejemison

Dr. Mae Jemison's 25th Celebration

Women of NASA Lego Kit! You Can Make It A Reality! Vote Today!

VOTE HERE!

2562096-o_1anri7p8hmfm1oa74nc1hh5in57-full

Ladies rock outer space!

Women have played critical roles throughout the history of the U.S. space program, a.k.a. NASA or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Yet in many cases, their contributions are unknown or under-appreciated — especially as women have historically struggled to gain acceptance in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

This proposed set celebrates five notable NASA pioneers and provides an educational building experience to help young ones and adults alike learn about the history of women in STEM. The five Women of NASA are:

Margaret Hamilton, computer scientist: While working at MIT under contract with NASA in the 1960s, Hamilton developed the on-board flight software for the Apollo missions to the moon. She is known for popularizing the modern concept of software.

Katherine Johnson, mathematician and space scientist: A longtime NASA researcher, Johnson is best known for calculating and verifying trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs — including the Apollo 11 mission that first landed humans on the moon.

Sally Ride, astronaut, physicist, and educator: A physicist by training, Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983. After retiring as a NASA astronaut, she founded an educational company focusing on encouraging children — especially girls — to pursue the sciences.

Nancy Grace Roman, astronomer: One of the first female executives at NASA, Roman is known to many as the “Mother of Hubble” for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope. She also developed NASA’s astronomy research program.

Mae Jemison, astronaut, physician, and entrepreneur: Trained as a medical doctor, Jemison became the first African-American woman in space in 1992. After retiring from NASA, Jemison established a company that develops new technologies and encourages students in the sciences.

In addition to a desktop frame that displays these five minifigures and their names, the set includes vignettes depicting: a famous photo of the reams of code that landed astronauts on the moon in 1969; instruments used to calculate and verify trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo missions; a microscale Hubble Space Telescope and display; and a mini space shuttle, complete with external tank and solid rocket boosters.

Thanks in advance for your support! For updates and shareable images, follow here on Lego Ideas and at:

Flickr — https://flic.kr/s/aHskxkW1UK
Twitter — https://twitter.com/LegoNASAWomen
Facebook — https://facebook.com/legonasawomen
Instagram — https://instagram.com/scitweeps

Cheers,
Maia Weinstock (@20tauri) | Twitter, Instagram, Flickr

P.S. If you like this set, you may also enjoy my other Ideas proposals: Legal Justice Team, celebrating women in law | The Bioneers, celebrating women in biological engineering.

 

VOTE HERE!

[Featured Artist] – Jacqueline Green

J-Green_Aileydancers_0263

Confidence and grace are the Ailey dancer’s trademarks.

Screen%20shot%202013-06-04%20at%202_18_29%20PM

Changing dynamics: Green has learned from Ailey veterans like Matthew Rushing. 

Photo by Eduardo Patino, Courtesy AAADT.

Last December, Jacqueline Green’s performance as a flirty working girl out on the town in Another Night, Kyle Abraham’s new work for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, was a lesson in technical strength and stage presence. Fluid but precise, she moved with feline self-possession across the New York City Center stage. Later, in Ailey’s trademark Revelations, her unabashed joy, attention to detail, and regal steadiness carried her through with a maturity rare in a relative newcomer.

 

Robert Battle, Ailey’s artistic director, says all these qualities caught his eye when Green danced in Ailey II. “What struck me about Jacqueline was not only her obvious physical prowess, but her ability to transmit emotion without having to step on the gas fully,” he says. “It seemed natural for her to exude confidence and daring. It’s just her being.”

 

After moving to the main company two years ago, Green, 23, has been increasingly featured. “She’s a hard worker, driven and versatile,” says Battle. “She has the ability to do it all—brilliantly.”

 

Green grew up in Baltimore, and did not begin dancing until she reached her teens. Though she simply had been looking for a high school with good academics, her mother encouraged her to audition for the Baltimore School of the Arts, hoping to see her daughter live out one of her own dreams by discovering dance. Green, 13, was accepted, and fell in love with dance her first week there. “I was introverted as a child,” says Green. “But when we were in dance class, where you had to project and express yourself, it was a release. Somewhere along the way I realized I loved being able to step out of my shell.”

 

At the School of the Arts, she made ballet her focus, creating a strong technical foundation. “I liked how delicate ballet was,” she says. “It felt special and unique.” Applying for college, Green thought dance would be a path to scholarships, although she was not yet sure that it would be her career. But at the Ailey/Fordham BFA program, she became convinced. “My freshman year, I saw Ailey live for the first time,” she remembers. “I returned to see them at least 20 times. I was in awe! I realized I wanted to be a professional dancer—with Ailey.”

 

Though it was difficult to balance academics and dance, a summer at Jacob’s Pillow fast-tracked Green’s career. “While I was there, Milton Myers asked me if I wanted to be in Ailey II. I said yes, of course,” she recalls. Myers spoke with Sylvia Waters, then the second company’s director, and Green was invited to apprentice with the company during her junior year. Soon she joined the second company; the job security made Green’s final year of school considerably less anxiety-ridden.

 

After a year with Ailey II, she auditioned for the main company. When she got through all the cuts and realized she had made it, she remembers, “I just went silent and my mouth dropped.” She soon discovered she had only two weeks to learn the repertoire before her first full-company tour.

 

Among the most fulfilling aspects of her job has been learning from veteran company members. “Renee Robinson has taught me how to be a character onstage, how to research, develop, and commit to a story,” she says. “Matthew Rushing has taught me how to change dynamics—how an artistic choice can transform the same choreography.”

 

Green welcomes the chance to perform new work like Another Night, but she has a special love of Alvin Ailey’s choreography, especially Revelations. “It’s the theater of it, the dynamics,” she says. “It’s perfection structurally and it’s deep in the body, so if you just do the movement you will feel the feeling.” A jazz fan, she also singles out the sassy lead in Ailey’s Pas de Duke, which she danced recently, as one of her dream roles. “It’s like jazz: spontaneous, groovy, and smooth.”

 

While Green wants to take voice lessons and explore musical theater eventually, right now she’s thrilled to dance with Ailey, and hopes to grow there. Battle says Green’s focus and fierce talent should lead to many more opportunities. “In the rehearsal room, she’s quiet and observant, deconstructing the information in her mind,” he says. “There’s never a sense that something is too difficult for her: She will make it work for her body, and do so with grace. She can write her own ticket.”

 

 

Lauren Kay is a NYC-based dancer and writer.

On the Rise: Jacqueline Green

xxxx-1-590x310

Jacqueline-Green3_690