“Stings for Our Enemies—Honey for Our Friends”: The Washington Bee (D.C.)

A weekly African American newspaper, the Washington Bee was often the boldest of the several dozen papers published in the District of Columbia in the decades before and after the turn of the 20th century. The Bee’s slogan was “Stings for Our Enemies—Honey for Our Friends.”

Throughout its nearly 40 years in publication, it was edited by African-American lawyer-journalist William Calvin Chase. Despite the Bee’s alignment with Republican Party views, Chase did not hesitate to criticize GOP leaders when he thought they were on the wrong side of an issue. Among the Bee’s daring editorial stands was Chase’s criticism of Booker T. Washington’s conservative positions on black racial progress.

The Bee focused much of its editorial coverage on the activities of the city’s African Americans, and its society page paid special attention to events at local black churches. The paper also covered national issues using its own correspondents as well as wire services. Financial troubles brought an end to the paper in 1922, a year after Chase’s death.

African American Newspapers, 1827-1998, features 1,926 issues of the Bee published between 1882 and 1922. These digitized issues may be browsed by way of the “Newspaper Titles” tab, and searches can be restricted to this newspaper by limiting results to the Washington Bee.

“Stings for Our Enemies—Honey for Our Friends”: The Washington Bee (D.C.)

A Star Reporter in the Making: Carl Bernstein’s Washington Star Memoir Announced

NPR has reported that Carl Bernstein, the investigative journalist renowned for his work with Bob Woodward in uncovering the Watergate scandal, will be publishing a memoir about his formative years at the Washington Evening Star

“My understanding of journalism, and the world I've covered and written about, and the life I've led, crystallized in those five incomparable years at a uniquely great newspaper,” Bernstein wrote in a recent press release. 

A Star Reporter in the Making: Carl Bernstein’s Washington Star Memoir Announced

Scholarly Fights for the Souls of Black Folk: Recent Highlights from Afro-Americana Imprints

African-American intellectual life, vibrant despite the odds against it, is notable among the themes of the works in the September 2013 release of Afro-Americana Imprints. Frederick Douglass makes a reasoned academic argument against racial pseudoscience. W.E.B. Du Bois undertakes careful sociological studies, from which he drew much that became The Souls of Black Folk.

The achievements of these thinkers, another imprint reminds us, are all the more impressive in the context of a Southern society so threatened by the prospect of literate African Americans that even Southern women could be jailed for the crime of teaching free Black children to read.

A few titles of interest found in last month’s release: 

The claims of the Negro, ethnologically considered. An address, before the literary societies of Western Reserve College, at commencement, July 12, 1854. By Frederick Douglass (1854)
This was the first commencement speech by an African-American at a major American University. In it, Douglass takes aim at the notion that Negroes are a separate species from Caucasians - a major underpinning of the then-emerging scientific racism used to defend slavery.

Scholarly Fights for the Souls of Black Folk: Recent Highlights from Afro-Americana Imprints

Webinar: The Value of Foreign Intelligence Collections for Academic Research

Readex provides digital access to the principal historical record of open-source intelligence gathered by the United States for more than half a century. Spanning Africa, Asia and the Pacific, China, Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and the Soviet Union, this intelligence—obtained from publicly available media and translated into English—includes reports from radio and television broadcasts, journals and newspapers, monographs, reports and other sources.

Readex Product Director Brett Kolcun will offer a live presentation on November 7 for librarians, faculty and students. This in-depth webinar will explore the content, features and functionality of these two Readex collections:

Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1941-1996
Translated broadcasts and news from every region of the world
"A crucial resource for those seeking to understand events from other countries' standpoints.”
— Julie Linden, Center for Science and Social Science Information, Yale University

Webinar: The Value of Foreign Intelligence Collections for Academic Research

The Chairman Goes for a Swim

It was worldwide news when Chairman Mao Tse-tung, “the great leader of the Chinese people,” went for a swim in the Yangtze River on July 16, 1966. According to Peking NCNA International Service in English on July 25, 1966, as captured by the U.S. Foreign Broadcast Information Service for dissemination to American leaders, he “was relaxed and easy… braving winds and waves. He stayed in the water a full 65 minutes, covering a total distance of almost 15 kilometers.” (That’s slightly over nine miles, for those less familiar with the metric system.)

In June of 1956 Chairman Mao had come to Wuhan and swum across the river three times. He “later wrote the poem full of brilliancy and boldness: ‘Swimming—To the Melody Shui Tiao Ke Tou.’ In his latest swim, too, as he put it in this poem, ‘I care not that the wind blows and the waves beat; it is better than idly strolling in a courtyard.’”

The Chairman Goes for a Swim

If your vision of Caribbean history has Captain Jack Sparrow in the foreground, think again…

While pirates form a colorful facet to the history of the West Indies, it is a small facet of a complex world that now looms larger than ever in the minds of historians. The reasons for this interest in the islands and colonies of the Caribbean Sea are also complex, but a few facts may suffice as a start: 

Between 1640 and 1660, the majority of English colonists to the Americas went to the Caribbean, not to North America. English colonists to the Caribbean during this period numbered 44,000; colonists to New England numbered 23,000; colonists to the Chesapeake Bay area numbered 12,000.

If your vision of Caribbean history has Captain Jack Sparrow in the foreground, think again…

Attend a Webinar on African American Studies

Readex will offer a live webinar on Oct. 24 for librarians, faculty and students who have an interest in African American studies. This in-depth session will explore the content, features and functionality of three acclaimed Archive of Americana collections:

The webinar will highlight the rich content within these collections and its importance for student and faculty research in African American studies. In addition, Readex product director Brett Kolcun will demonstrate the diverse ways these collections support the teaching of African American history, literature and related disciplines in the classroom.

Webinar participants will receive authoritative product knowledge, robust sample search demonstrations, and background and context for a diverse selection of key documents. Time will be also provided for your questions.

Attend a Webinar on African American Studies

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