Tuesday, May 5, 2009

African American generations - Ira Berlin at Gilder Lehrmann

The Gilder Lehrmann Institute for American History has relatively recently begun to podcast their lectures. These lectures, though stand alone, seem to come frequently in series. I see that the initial lectures were all related to President Lincoln and currently all the lectures are around the subject of Slavery.

The first in the series was a lecture by Philip Morgan which I also reviewed (see below). As pointed out then, this series coincides with the podcast Forgotten Classics' reading of Uncle Tom's Cabin and it enhances the thinking about slavery and the abolition of it. I will write again about that show soon, but first this one.

Another great lecture in the Gilder Lehrmann series is by Ira Berlin. After a lengthy introduction about the institute, Berlin comes to the subject which describes the history of African Americans in the US and identifies the different phases these people went through. Berlin calls them generations and he aims to show how each generation had a different drive and a different relationship with the Europeans. It is fascinating to see how never Black completely comes to fall together with Slave. In fact, where it comes closest, abolition kicks in. It makes me wonder about the lingering racism. This surely must be discussed in consecutive lectures and this is also going to be the subject of my review about Uncle Tom's Cabin.

More Gilder Lehrmann:
Theodore Roosevelt (Patrica O'Toole),
Slave Culture (Philip Morgan).

More Uncle Tom:
Uncle Tom's Cabin revisited.

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