Thursday, May 10, 2012

Who Owns History? Maybe We Do. Let's Start Fundraising to Liberate Some Slavery Artifacts from Ebay

I have received some supportive emails regarding my suggestion that we pool our modest resources in an effort to buy some of the "collectibles" from the Transatlantic Slave Trade and centuries-long slaveocracy here in the United States that are for sale on Ebay.

I am leaving the fundraising widget up for a month. Hopefully, if enough of us throw in one dollar, a quarter, fifty cents, or the like here and there, we can make a go at this on a small scale. 

Here are some thoughts to this point. 

1. A few of you suggested using Kickstarter. I will be talking to some colleagues who are activists, non-profit types, and also do grants development. If we get some interest here, it will be easier to see if we can get more parties involved. I think we have stumbled onto a cause that deserves a larger platform. We shall see how the practical side of our hopeful exercise works out.

2. I have created a fund-raising account that maxes out at 1,000 dollars. That was arbitrary. If we do not get enough money together to win an Ebay auction (I would like us to purchase the child slave manacles; there are also other items available such as slavery "tags" which are less expensive), I will donate the money to the ASPCA,  the World Wildlife Federation, or a local, Chicago based animal rescue group. 

3. I was contacted by one of the folks at the Jim Crow Museum. They made a suggestion regarding how to authenticate these objects. I will do my best to confirm that any slavery artifacts we purchase together are not reproductions or counterfeits. 

4. The account is hosted on Paypal. Once we get this up and running, I will post proof that the monies were used as promised. 

I have never requested monies here on We Are Respectable Negroes. Hopefully, we can take this great idea and develop it together towards a positive end. This is all of our history. But as I wrote earlier, there is something horribly amiss and distasteful about these sacred objects, stained with blood, memories, and the spiritual energy of the ancestors, being reduced to curiosities and kitsch. 

Please share a link to our fundraising project with friends, colleagues, and others who may be interested. If you share this on Facebook, Twitter, or your own blogs and websites (the widget can be shared by clicking on "copy") we can get the ball rolling asap.


sledge said...

Just a note for those wondering. When you make a contribution it doesn't show up on the widget.

chaunceydevega said...

@Sledge. Thanks for the generosity. I will look into that. I see the email. I don't know if it updates instantaneously--which I think it should--but will do some research.

I also donated to see what would happen. Same result.

sledge said...

I don't want people thinking it was that much, it wasn't. But you're welcome. I hope you're able to get them and find them a good home where lots of people can see them.

I know many here are personally touched because their ancestors lived through slavery. For me, it's that I hope that people can see these artifacts and relate to the evilness of slavery. Hopefully, human beings will never go down that road again.

chaunceydevega said...

@sledge. every amount matters and is welcome. remember this is all of our history together, thus my appeal. i talked to the paypal people, there is a lag when first setting thus stuff up and it takes a day or so to update.

I do see the donation here. If for whatever reason this tech stuff messes up I will make sure you get your funds back.

Anonymous said...


I didn't leave a comment there but I just made a contribution. Wishing us good luck.

chaunceydevega said...

@Sabrina. Just emailed you. Saw that. How kind. The widget thing isn't updating fast enough. I am going to give it a day and then swap it for another one if the lag doesn't correct itself.

Anonymous said...

I want to destroy these items not spend money on them to extend their legacy ...

We should destroy WMD not mothball them.

ellemarie said...

Just "chipped in." This is a great idea, and I hope many positive things come out of it. Like others, the thought of someone purchasing these artifacts for a personal collection is disgusting.