Friday, March 31, 2006

1/4 review of Kindred

A few years ago I watched pro- & anti- Lincoln debaters at the Independent Institute argue over whether Lincoln was a good guy or not. Concerning slavery, Thomas DiLorenzo, the anti-Lincoln presenter, stated:
...the rest of the world did find a way. It wouldn't have happened immediately, but England did it in six years. It took six years to end slavery in the British Empire. And, as I said, I think, African-Americans didn't really achieve justice in this country until 30 or 40 years ago, in my opinion, and that would have come much, much sooner had we done what England did.

I've heard a similar argument from the Ginger Haired Yank's old boss as well - slavery would have gone away within another generation in the US of its own accord. Still hard for me to believe given how long it took for blacks to gain equal rights in the states, and how accepted slavery was for millennia, but that would make for an interesting "what if..." What if a modern black female went back in time to New York and became an outspoken abolitionist in 1815 & married a white man and helped for a peaceful elimination of slavery? That's not the novel I'm reading, but it would be a novel riff on the theme of alternate histories.

In Kindred, we find out that the protagonist's husband is white - easy assumption to make that he'd be black since even now black women married to white men aren't that common - and by grabbing hold of her as she was dissapirating, he goes back in time along with her, so helps provide some protection for her. Instead of being presumed runaway, she's now the property of her white owner - miscegenation being outlawed in Maryland back in that day - and runs little risk of being beaten and possibly raped as happened to her when she went back to save her ancestor from accidental self-immolation.

No inkling of how she's dragged back-and-forth through time-space, and her female ancestor doesn't show up in this reel.

Tape 3 posting may have to wait until Monday's commute...oh, DiLorenzo's argument how life today would be better for blacks if they had remained slaves for another 30 or so years was not especially cogent. It's pretty dang easier to make that comment in a debate in Oakland, but he should try living the lifestyle before making that argument again.

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