Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela - 1918-2013

Nelson Mandela in 2007Thank you, Nelson Mandela. You words changed our world.

Each day at the Stowe Center, we are inspired by Harriet Beecher Stowe and how her outrage of the injustice of her day, slavery, evolved from her indignation to a personal call to the action.  The action of writing the antislavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin is what changed the hearts and minds of many Americans; the impact of that action helping millions to see the inhumanity of the institution of slavery for the first time. Her words changed the world.

In like manner, as we owe this gratitude to Stowe, we say “Thank you, Nelson Mandela.”  Your words and actions changed the world.  Your perseverance and prevailing vision for a free, peaceful and just South Africa inspired the world. The urgent question as we remember your life, and mourn your death, is will the inspiration of your legacy become our inspiration to action?

Time Magazine journalist Robert Stengel, who knew Nelson Mandela, shared these words giving insight in those moments became Mr. Mandela’s call to action.
“I always thought that in a free and nonracial South Africa, Mandela would have been a small-town lawyer, content to be a local grandee. This great, historic revolutionary was in many ways a natural conservative. He did not believe in change for change’s sake. But one thing turned him into a revolutionary, and that was the pernicious system of racial oppression he experienced as a young man in Johannesburg. When people spat on him in buses, when shopkeepers turned him away, when whites treated him as if he could not read or write-- that changed him irrevocably. For deep in his bones was a basic sense of fairness: he simply could not abide injustice. If he, Nelson Mandela, the son of a chief, tall, handsome and educated, could be treated as subhuman, then what about the millions who had nothing like his advantages? “That is not right,” he would sometimes say to me about something as mundane as a plane flight’s being canceled or as large as a world leader’s policies, but that simple phrase — that is not right — underlay everything he did, everything he sacrificed for and everything he accomplished.” 

To learn more about Nelson Mandela, his actions and legacy, we recommend:

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