Daily Archives: December 9, 2018

The Atlantic Trade and Africa: The Portuguese, the Spanish & the Dutch – Parts 1 & 2 | EV & N – 294 & 295

Part 1



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The first two hundred years of the African slave trade were dominated by the Portuguese, the Spanish and the Dutch.  While the Portuguese initiated the trade around the Cape of Good Hope to Asia, the Dutch came to dominate the spice trade to the East and the slave trade in West Africa and the Americas over the course of the 16th, 17th and early 18th centuries.  At first the trade in African slaves was conducted through Iberian ports, but after 1530 that began to change, and the “triangular” trade from African directly to the western hemisphere began to become established.

Part 2



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In Africa the Portuguese had reached southwards along to African coast with official encouragement from Prince Henry “the navigator.”  They reached the Gold Coast by 1471 and built the Castle São Jorge da Mina (St. George of the Mine) on the shore by 1482.   Known today as Elmina Castle this structure represents the first trading post built on the Gulf of Guinea, and it still stands today as the oldest European building in existence south of the Sahara.  In subsequent decades and centuries it represented a major trading entrepôt on the Gold Coast.  In 1637 the Dutch seized it from the Portuguese and added to their possessions all the other Portuguese posts on the Gold Coast by 1642.

Further research on the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch trading practices during the first two hundred years of the Atlantic trade system is now needed and would add significantly to an emerging international understanding of the slave trade.  A detailed study of digitized maps from the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch sources could be combined with an in-depth study of the historical ethno-botany of this early trading period to learn about the provisioning of ships for the Middle Passage.  These studies could be combined with a systematic research program for the selective forensic archaeology of the slave castles themselves to yield rich new understandings of this important early phase of the Atlantic slave trade.

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Some Notes from the Yale Class of 1968

Hamlet: “Good my lord, will you see the players well bestowed? Do you hear, let them be well used, for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time. After your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.”

Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2

The events of 1968 and the actions of those in the Yale Class of 1968 have had a notable, enduring and indelible impact on the lives of many within the Yale community, the country as a whole and the wider world.  Both feature films and documentary studies are now becoming available that trace the enduring legacies of the behavior of the members of the Class of 1968.

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Bill McKibben | How the Iconic 1968 Earthrise Photo Changed Our Relationship to the Planet

By Bill McKibben, Reader Supported News

8 December 18

Nineteen sixty-eight was a crazy year, its events moving at a horrific pace. The Tet Offensive. The My Lai Massacre. Bobby Kennedy announcing the news that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated. Bobby Kennedy’s assassination. Riots across urban America and outside the Democratic National Convention. The human drama seemed out of control in a way it hasn’t in the years since ― till now, of course.

Which is why it’s both heartening and sad to think of the event that brought 1968 to a close and opened a new set of possibilities. Apollo 8 was orbiting the moon, its astronauts busy photographing landing zones for future missions. On the fourth orbit, Commander Frank Borman needed a navigational fix and decided to roll the craft away from the moon, tilting its windows toward the horizon. The shift gave him a sudden view of the Earth rising.

“Oh, my God,” he said. “Here’s the Earth coming up.”

Crew member Bill Anders turned the camera away from its lunar chores and pointed it homeward, snapping what may be the most iconic image ever taken. Borman said later that it was “the most beautiful, heart-catching sight of my life, one that sent a torrent of nostalgia, of sheer homesickness, surging through me. It was the only thing in space that had any color to it. Everything else was simply black or white. But not the Earth.”

Back on Earth, the seeds of the modern environmental movement had already been planted. Rachel Carson had written Silent Spring earlier in the decade, beginning the process of wiping some of the shine off modernity. David Brower had led the Sierra Club through the great fight to save the Grand Canyon, turning it in the process into the first great green group. And soon there would be a major oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, and the Cuyahoga River would burst into flames. People were beginning to realize that there were limits to the abuse nature could take at the hands of growth.

But suddenly those limits were visible. Everything we had was there before us: a blue-and-white shimmering egg hanging in the monochrome void. You could see it aswirl with the motion of clouds, gloriously alive in the midst of the endless vacuum.

When we think of the Apollo missions, we often herald NASA’s accomplishments as technical. We put a man in orbit, and then we landed more on the moon. And yet one of the most important achievements of the decades of space exploration was artistic — this one photograph taken 50 years ago this month that showed us nothing about the rest of the galaxy and everything about our home.

It explained, I think, the tenor of the first Earth Day, which followed about 15 months later. Organized as a “national environmental teach-in” by Democratic Sen. Gaylord Nelson and Republican Rep. Pete McCloskey, the day used an image of Earth from space as its unofficial flag. The event drew 20 million Americans into the streets ― a tenth of the population at the time, probably the largest day of political action in American history.


…(read more).

Eisenhower Farewell Address (Best Quality) – ‘Military Industrial Complex’ WARNING

Published on May 17, 2015

All other versions of this video that I have seen have scratchy audio or bad video, so I decided to put together this one with the best quality of both. Jump to Ike’s warning about the “unwarranted influence… by the Military-Industrial Complex”: 8:41 Speech date: January 17, 1961