". . . 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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

We're Still Busy!

We're getting invitations to do things with The American Slave Coast -- one came in just today for Porter Books in Boston, for Feb. 29th (Black History Month).  Thank goodness Boston isn't buried in snow this winter. And another arrived yesterday for Revolution! a new bookstore in Harlem.  We've been invited to address a meeting of NYC's public employees' union too, among other things.

The first Christmas card,  created by Henry Cole, in Victorian London 1843.

I have made my Christmas letter, which this year is a run-down of the history of the Christmas card, which begins in Victorian England in 1843. I can't stop being a historian, evidently, even in the holidays.   Before that the tradition was to write Christmas letters (see, this isn't a contemporary phenomenon at all). The fellow who came up with the concept of the Christmas card was a fellow with too many friends: he simply couldn't write a letter to them all.

There are many illos in my Christmas letter of Christmas cards in Victorian England and the U.S., and more modern ones.  It's 6 pages long but printed on both sides, so it's only three sheets of paper. I enjoyed doing this so much that I'm even enjoying addressing the envelopes.  I even enjoyed going out to find Christmas cards into which to put the Christmas letter, even though it's 62 degrees and dark dark dark with pouring rain.

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