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

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Do some people still believe African Americans are better off as slaves?

We all know that despite the strides made in civil rights and equality there are still countless disparities when it comes to issues of class, gender, and race. Yet despite the changes in our country since Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil War, and the 13th, some still believe that African Americans would be better off as slaves.

Cliven Bundy, a 67-year-old Nevada rancher who was in the spotlight for grazing his cattle on federal lands, made a statement last week about "the Negro":
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro...and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

You can read more about Bundy and his comments in The New York Times' "A Defiant Rancher Savors the Audience That Rallied to His Side" and MEDIAite's "Cliven Bundy Defends ‘Negro’ Comments in Incredibly Bizarre Press Conference."

What is your reaction to Bundy's statement? How do his comments reflect the continued racial disparities in America, as well as the persistence of racism? Share your reactions and comments below.

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