". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Friday, February 4, 2011

Numbers, Plus Squirrels

According to Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade (2010), Yale University Press:

"Out of perhaps twelve and a half million (a number that has been revised upward from ten million) Africans brought to America, say Eltis and Richardson, only an estimated 389,000 came to the territory that became the United States, broken down as 129,000 to the Chesapeake, 211,000 to the Low Country, 27,000 to the middle territories and New England, and 22,000 to the Gulf Coast.[1] "
[1] Eltis and Richardson, 18

The Gulf region, including Florida and Louisiana, received about 22,000 Africans in total, and these people largely came in three periods - some 6,000 arriving in the 1720s, another 2,000 in the 1770s and another 10,000 in the first two decades of the nineteenth century (after the Louisiana Purchase by the U.S.), despite legal abolition of the slave trade from Africa after 1808.  Recall these numbers are ONLY for those brought to what became the United States directly FROM Africa.  These numbers are not imports from Cuba, other parts of the Caribbean or anywhere else.

Through the kitchen window this morning:  Did squirrel tails provide the inspiration for semaphore communications? Sycamore Squirrel Complains and Signals Via Tail:

There were nuts here.
I found nuts here.
I ate the nuts that were here.
Surely there are nuts here now.
Where are the freakin' nuts?!!!?!!!?!!!

Sycamore Squirrel & Nuts Update: he found new nut largess spread on the patio and already buried them. It took only minutes, because it's mulch in which he digs. He's now sitting in imitation of statue on one of the backyard storm-downed branches, tail silent.

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