Tag Archives: South Carolina Progressive Network

Uncle Tom’s Cabin Reading Marathon

The Uncle Tom’s Cabin  reading marathon will be held on April 12 beginning at 8:00 am at the The Modjeska Monteith Simkins House at 2025 Marion Street in Columbia and will run until the entire novel has been read.
 
The event is being held on April 12th  in response to the many Civil War “commemorations” going on across the South and nation this year. April 12th is  the 150th anniversary of the start-up date of the Civil War.   The date is also significant in that the Confederate flag was first placed atop the SC Statehouse dome in 1962 during the centennial observances of the Civil War.
 
Since many of those commemorating and celebrating the “Lost Cause” want to write African enslavement out as a core reason for the war, many of us feel that it’s important to set the record straight in a historically connected way.
 
We want to tell the enslaved Africans and abolitionists’ side of the story. 
 
Why This Book?  When Abraham Lincoln met the Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1862 he is said to have remarked, “So you’re the little woman who wrote the book that started this great war.”

Though slave narratives were immensely popular, Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin reached the broadest audience prior to the Civil War.  Stowe’s anti-slavery message was less threatening to white audiences than were ex-enslaved Africans.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin had a tremendous impact.  Most blacks responded positively to Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Frederick Douglass was a friend of Stowe’s; she had consulted him on some sections of the book, and he praised the book in his writings.  Most black abolitionists saw it as a tremendous help to their cause.  Some opposed the book, seeing Uncle Tom’s character as being too submissive and criticized Stowe for having her strongest black characters emigrate to Liberia.

The character Uncle Tom is an enslaved African who retains his integrity and refuses to betray his fellow slaves at the cost of his life.  His firm Christian principles in the face of his brutal treatment made him a hero to whites.  In contrast, his tormenter Simon Legree, the Northern slave-dealer turned plantation owner, enraged them with his cruelty. Stowe convinced readers that the institution of slavery itself was evil, because it supported people like Legree and enslaved people like Uncle Tom. Because of her work, thousands rallied to the anti-slavery cause.

Only 5,000 copies of the first edition were printed. They were sold in two days. By the end of the first year, 300,000 copies had been sold in America alone; in England 200,000 copies were sold.  Southerners were outraged, and declared the work to be criminal, slanderous, and utterly false. A bookseller in Mobile, Alabama, was forced out of town for selling copies. Stowe received threatening letters and a package containing the dismembered ear of a black person. Southerners also reacted by writing their own novels depicting the happy lives of slaves, and often contrasted them with the miserable existences of Northern white workers.
 
Individual participants will read for 10 minutes. Slots are filling up but we are still asking fraternities and sororities, high school and college english classes, churches, social groups, politicians, theater people, kids, etc., to get involved.
 
The event is being sponsored by the Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project, the Columbia Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and the South Carolina Progressive Network.

Partial List of Participants: Vanzell Haire, Rev. Sandy Jones, Rev. David Edmonds, Tom Clements, Bill Roberson, Hi Bedford Roberson, Kevin Alexander Gray, Scott West, Frances Close, Eva Moore, Tom Turnipseed, Lyn Phillips, Don Frierson, Cassandra Fralix, Gerald Rudolph, Mattie Haynes, Roland Haynes, Becci Robbins, Marjorie Hammock, Michael Watts, Brett A. Bursey, Efia Nwangaza, Catherine Fleming-Bruce, Meryl Truesdale, William Felder, Patricia Daniels, Guy Fowler, Marjorie Trifon, Camille Gray-Felder and many others.
 
For more information and press inquiries call 803.386.4759 or email Kevin Gray @ kevinagray57@gmail.com.
 
http://uncletomscabin.clarity-dev.com/

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Filed under Abolitionism and Civil War, Actions, Actions | Events, American History, American Politics, American Progressive Politics, Black Culture | United States, Black Politics, Civil Rights, Events, Famous South Carolinians, Harriet Tubman Freedom House Project, Pan Africanism | Afrocentrism | Africana Studies, South Carolina, South Carolina Politics, Special Events, white supremacy

Rally called by SC Organizing for America, March 24, has been cancelled.

From the Columbia Progressive Network

Friends,
The rally called by Organizing for America, March 24, has been cancelled.

The organizers, whose work is an extension of the Obama campaign,
felt that the anti-Sanford sentiment in SC was too negative for their
national program to support Obama's stimulus program.

While the SC Progressive Network appreciates their concern, we feel
that there is a need for South Carolinians to express their
displeasure with Sanford's notion that social welfare is not a
government concern.

We are also concerned that the loudest voices the president is
hearing regarding the stimulus plans are from the financial industry.

Accordingly, we are considering organizing a protest that would
address both Sanford's and the Obama Administration's approach to
addressing peoples needs in these difficult economic times. We believe
that the president's ability to speak up for working people is
predicated on our willingness to speak out.

We need to hear from you if you are on board for a rally at the state
house that would address working people's needs in the federal
stimulus program.

An example of our concerns is exemplified in the recent three day
mortgage counseling event in Columbia, hosted by a nonprofit
organization. They saw 20,000 people, and left thousands standing
outside. This counseling was able to reduce some peoples mortgage
payments 50% and reduce interest payments. Why can't the stimulus
money be used to provide this service to everyone?

Reply to this email if you are willing to participate and promote a
rally for some of the trillions of dollars in stimulus money going to
help working people.
--
South Carolina Progressive Network
POB 8325 Columbia SC 29202
803-808-3384 * fax: 803-808-3781

E-mail: network@scpronet.com
Web: <http://www.scpronet.com> www.scpronet.com
Blog: <http://www.scpronet.com/wordpress/> www.scpronet.com/wordpress
YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/scpronet

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Filed under Actions | Events, American Politics, Obama Administration, South Carolina Politics