Liberty Con 2018: Embracing Equity in a Global Society
Friday, March 9, 2018 – 10:00am-2:00pm & 7:00pm-8:30pm
Symbols of Hate, Power, and Prejudice
Morning and Afternoon (10am-2pm) at The Cultural Education Center / New York State Museum – 222 Madison Avenue, Albany NY 12230
After neo-Nazi and alt-right celebrations of Confederate Civil War monuments in Charlottesville, Virginia in August, cities began to remove statues commemorating segregationists and racists. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio established a special commission to recommend guidelines for what the city should do about statues and other monuments that are effectively “symbols of hate.” There is historic precedent for removing statues of people considered oppressors. During the American Revolution New Yorkers tore down a lead statue of King George III in Manhattan and melted it to make musket balls. Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the U.S. Army to change the names of streets honoring Confederate generals on a military base in Brooklyn, but also defended statues and places named after Christopher Columbus. Troy has a Columbus monument at Columbus Square at the intersection of Jacob Street, King Street and Fifth Avenue.A mural at the State Education Building in Albany depicts images of slaves. Another mural in the Capitol building shows a Southern soldier clutching a Confederate flag.
How did we arrive at this point? Whose history is preserved through public images? Whose history is dismissed? Why? How did this happen? What do we do with these images? What impact do they have? If removed, what happens to the history represented by the removed images? What changes when images are removed?
Students together with their teachers will be challenged to investigate symbols of hate, power and prejudice, their historic motivation, their impact on society, their relationship with us today, and to determine possible responses to these symbols, creating dynamic, compelling responses for personal and public edification.
Alan Singer is a professor of Teaching, Learning and Technology and the director of social studies education programs at Hofstra University. Dr. Singer is a former New York City high school social studies teacher. He is the author of Teaching Global History (Routledge, 2011), New York and Slavery: Time to Teach the Truth (SUNY Press, Excelsior Editions, 2008), Social Studies for Secondary Schools (Routledge, 3rd edition, 2008), Teaching to Learn, Learning to Teach (Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2003), and editor of a 268-page secondary school curriculum guide, New York and Slavery: Complicity and Resistance. In 2011, the Long Island Conference for the Social Studies awarded Dr. Singer the Mark Rothman Teacher Mentoring Award, for his commitment to students and continued excellence in education. He received his Masters and Doctoral degrees from Rutgers University.
Gather at the Table: The Healing Journey of a Daughter of Slavery and a Son of the Slave Trade –
Sharon Morgan and Tom DeWolf
Evening (7pm-8:30pm) – at the Cultural Education Center / New York State Museum – 222 Madison Avenue, Albany, NY 12230
Gather at the Table is the story of two everyday people from diverse backgrounds who are on a mission to overcome the trauma of America’s legacy of slavery and the lingering effects of present-day racism.
Over a three year period, the interracial pair traveled thousands of miles through twenty-seven states and overseas, building an improbable relationship. Using genealogy as an undercurrent, they visited each other’s families, ancestral towns, court houses, sites of racial terror, cemeteries, plantations and antebellum mansions, seeking to come to terms with the history out of which racism evolved.
“Together, Tom and Sharon allow us to be spectators of their story—witnesses to their discomfort, humiliation, and fear—in order to educate us and thus contribute to healing a nation in the throes of racial upheaval.”
— Joy Angela DeGruy, Ph.D., author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome
Sharon Leslie Morgan is the founder of OurBlackAncestry.com, a website devoted to helping people appreciate and explore African American family history and culture.
For more than 25 years, Sharon has been researching her family history in Lowndes County, AL and Noxubee County, MS. She is a member of several genealogical associations including the National Genealogical Society, the African American Historical and Genealogical Society and local societies in the geographic areas of her research.
Professionally, Sharon is a marketing communications consultant. A pioneer in multicultural marketing, she is a founder of the National Black Public Relations Society; worked for a multitude of Fortune 100 companies (including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Walmart); and spent many years living abroad in the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.
Sharon’s first book, My Daddy Is A Cool Dude, was published in 1975 by The Dial Press and nominated for a prestigious Caldecott Medal for children’s literature. She is also the co-author of Real Women Cook: Building Healthy Communities With Recipes that Stir the Soul.
Thomas Norman DeWolf serves as Executive Director for Coming to the Table, a non-profit organization that provides leadership, resources, and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that are rooted in the United States’ history of slavery. He is a trained STAR Practitioner. STAR is a research-supported trauma awareness and resilience training program that brings together theory and practices from neurobiology, conflict transformation, human security, spirituality, and restorative justice to address the needs of individuals, organizations, and communities dealing with the impacts of present-day or historic trauma.
Tom is the author of Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History (Beacon Press). He wrote about traveling with nine distant relatives on a life-altering journey through Rhode Island, Ghana, and Cuba to film the Emmy-nominated documentary Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, in which he is featured. An Official Selection of the Sundance Film Festival, the film premiered on national television on the acclaimed PBS series P.O.V.
Tom was born and raised in California. He’s a graduate of Northwest Christian College and the University of Oregon. Tom served on the Oregon Arts Commission for nine years and as a local elected official for eleven. His years of public service focused on the arts, literacy, children’s issues, and restorative justice.
The African American Jazz Caucus awarded Tom the 2012 Spirit of Freedom Award for Social Justice.