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Slavery

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By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | November 11, 1997
Sophocles and slavery come together with bitter poignancy in the first play by former U.S. poet laureate Rita Dove.Dove has based her elegantly written verse drama, "The Darker Face of the Earth," on Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex," changing the setting to the antebellum South. The visually stunning, music-laden production, co-produced by New Jersey's Crossroads Theatre Company, is currently at Washington's Kennedy Center.Updating Greek classics for the stage isn't new. The most famous example is Eugene O'Neill's "Mourning Becomes Electra," which moved Aeschylus' "Oresteia" to post-Civil War New England.
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FEATURES
By Steve McKerrow and Steve McKerrow,Sun Staff Writer | March 25, 1994
Radio listeners have a fascinating opportunity tomorrow to consider America's slaveholding past from a rarely heard perspective.In "The Other Side," airing on NPR's "Weekend Edition" (8 a.m. on WJHU-FM 88.1), a New York-based print journalist from a comfortable Southern upbringing recounts his efforts to find descendants of slaves owned by his plantation forebears."To this day my motives are not clear," says writer Edward Ball early in the program. "But when I look across the rice fields where thousands of people worked, I want to hear their story told alongside my family's tale."
ENTERTAINMENT
By M. Dion Thompson and M. Dion Thompson,Sun Staff | November 23, 2003
An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America, by Henry Wiencek. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 416 pages. $26. Henry Wiencek has not come to bury George Washington, but to strip away some of the myths and let us see the Founding Father in a clearer, more sober light. There was a time when this was unthinkable. Go to Baltimore's Mount Vernon Square and you will see a monument from the Golden Age of Washington worship. He is dressed in robes, as if he were a Caesar, or a god. We now know there are no gods among us, just men and women whose faults and imperfections render them less heroic but more human.
FEATURES
By J. Wynn Rousuck and J. Wynn Rousuck,SUN THEATER CRITIC | March 20, 2000
Seven years ago, Sidney Krome, an English professor at Coppin State College, was team-teaching an interdisciplinary honors course called Literature in History, which focused on the Holocaust and slavery in America. One week he brought in a guest speaker -- Baltimorean Leo Bretholz, a Holocaust survivor who saved his life by jumping out of a train bound for Auschwitz. Krome expected the session with Bretholz to last an hour. Instead, it stretched out to four hours. "It was an incredibly intense experience," the professor recalls.
NEWS
By GILBERT A. LEWTHWAITE AND GREGORY KANE and GILBERT A. LEWTHWAITE AND GREGORY KANE,SUN STAFF | June 17, 1996
Our search for slavery brings us to this place of human misfortune and man-made misery.Here an angry old man voices the humiliation of being offered as a slave in a town square; a girl recounts her harrowing wait to learn whether her Muslim master wants her as a daughter or a concubine; a blind widow tells us she may kill herself because the 4-year-old daughter who was her "eyes" has been abducted by slave raiders.To hear these hideous tales, we have flown illegally, deep into the Sudanese interior, where the small, chartered aircraft stays on a red dirt landing strip long enough only to drop us off and pick up six war wounded.
NEWS
By MICHAEL OLESKER | March 30, 2000
IN ANNAPOLIS, Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr. wants a public apology for slavery 135 years after the fact. He is a proud and sensitive man wishing simple expression of sorrow for this cruelest act of American history. So naturally, when his bill was heard last week, by the House Committee on Commerce and Government Affairs, it failed. There were 10 votes in favor of an official apology to black people -- and 10 abstentions. "Ten abstentions," Burns was saying yesterday, chuckling mordantly. "Highly unusual, I would say."
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr | April 9, 1998
YOU'D think President Clinton had nominated Johnnie Cochran as attorney general.Instead, speaking during his recent sojourn to Africa, the president said only this: "Going back to the time before we were even a nation, European Americans received the fruits of the slave trade. And we were wrong in that."I thought it an unremarkable -- and unassailable -- statement. Silly me.Conservative observers, including George Will, Patrick Buchanan and Tom DeLay, a Texas Republican, have pronounced themselves scandalized by what they apparently see as a crucifixion of national pride on a cross of red, black and green.
NEWS
By LEONARD PITTS JR | July 28, 2008
This is how John Davis became a slave: He was walking one evening from the train depot in Goodwater, Ala., when a white man appeared in the road. "Nigger," he demanded, "have you got any money?" The white man, Robert Franklin, was a constable. He claimed Mr. Davis owed him. This was news to Mr. Davis. "I don't owe you anything," he said. But what Mr. Davis said did not matter. He was arrested that night and summarily convicted. A wealthy landowner, John Pace, paid the alleged $40 debt and a $35 fine in exchange for Mr. Davis' mark - Mr. Davis was illiterate - on a contract binding him to work 10 months at any task Mr. Pace demanded.
NEWS
By Theo Lippman Jr. and Theo Lippman Jr.,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 2, 1997
The battle over the Confederate Battle Flag goes on. The latest skirmish is taking place at Oxford, Miss., where the football coach of Ole Miss asked students and alumni to stop waving the flag at football games. It offends many people, he said, and it also makes it difficult to recruit black football players.Many blacks and not a few whites hate the flag. They say it is a symbol of the slavery the Confederate States of America were created to defend and perpetuate. Many of those critics seem unaware that the men who fought, suffered, died under that flag were fighting for many reasons.
NEWS
By Carl T. Rowan | April 2, 1998
WASHINGTON -- I have never been among those who demanded an official apology for the institution of slavery in these United States.I fear that such an apology would be only lip service and would enable millions of contemporary Americans to absolve themselves of any blame for the residuals of slavery that are still very much a part of American life.Yet, I have no quarrel with President Clinton over what he said about slavery or about U.S. neglect of Africa.In fact, I am incensed that some right-wing politicians and publications are pretending that Mr. Clinton committed heresy when he expressed his shame about slavery and U.S. inaction during times of genocide in Africa.
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