Before We Were White – Episode 9: How Lovely Are Thy Branches

Do the mass media and film industry reflect popular culture, or create it?

Where do we get our shared history, our national story, our traditions and identity?

Follow us as we explore the origins of Christmas in America, while attempting to discover what connects Hollywood, Abraham Lincoln, and, um, Lebanon?

#BeforeWeWereWhite #history #hollywood #christmas #SantaClaus #BingCrosby

Before We Were White – Episode 8: The Witch in the Tent Grave

Appalachia has no shortage of murder ballads and murder tales.

And Appalachia certainly has no shortage of folklore dealing with “haints” and witches.

But sometimes all of it becomes so entangled that separating folklore from fact is almost impossible.

Why are so many Appalachian “witches” buried under strange “tent graves”?

Did the old-time communities of Middle Tennessee harbor secrets now lost in the mists of time?

Follow us into a dark, moss-covered tent grave cemetery to find out…

#BeforeWeWereWhite #history #appalachia #witch #folklore #murder #graveyard

Before We Were White – Episode 7: My Little Runaway

Josie and Celia both ran away from home as teenagers – one before the age of 15.

Between them, these girls would travel thousands of miles to meet their similar destinies.

Both would end up working as underage “sporting girls” on the 19th century American frontier, and both would become consort to a man still celebrated today in American film and folklore.

One would survive her ordeals by forgetting.

The other could never forget..

#BeforeWeWereWhite #history #WildWest #WyattEarp #prostitution

Before We Were White – Episode 6: Sun Bonnets and Bootstraps

It is often said that we live in “post-truth” times, as if misinformation and disinformation are an innovation of the internet age.

The people who bend reality to fit ideology have been around for decades – for centuries – and they play the long game.

One of the most popular and long-running TV series in US history premiered in 1974.

Little House on the Prairie was a big slice of sweet American apple pie.

But sometimes sugar is for covering-up something rotten…

#BeforeWeWereWhite #history #LittleHouseOnThePrairie #whitewashing #libertarianism

Before We Were White – Episode 5: Charleston Reshuffle

On 4 April 2015, an unarmed man was unlawfully shot dead on the streets of Charleston, South Carolina by a police officer.

The local chief of police would be called to testify in the subsequent murder trial, amid national media interest and widespread community unrest.

The public interpretation of events was largely divided along the usual American socio-ethnic and political faultlines.

But Charleston is one of the oldest towns in the American South, with many secrets buried deep underneath the weight of centuries – and nothing is ever quite as it seems.

And the people now living on different sides of the tracks might have a lot more in common than they could possibly imagine…

#BeforeWeWereWhite #history #LatinxAmericanHistory #PoliceShootings

Before We Were White – Episode 4: Strangers for Dinner

November 1620.

Aboard a freezing ship anchored off Cape Cod, Massachusetts…

A mutual cooperation agreement is signed by a group of men representing 101 passengers who had survived a perilous north Atlantic crossing, hoping to found a colony in the “New World”.

This agreement would be important, because some of these passengers were members of a religious sect calling themselves “Saints”.

The other two-thirds of the Mayflower passengers were not self-declared “Saints”.

These “Saints” – later known to history as “The Pilgrims” – called the people who outnumbered them “Strangers”.

Take a deep dive into America’s forgotten history with this special length post-pandemic episode.

#BeforeWeWereWhite #history #thanksgiving #pilgrims #mayflower

Before We Were White – Episode 3: Matrimony and Mayhem

Between the founding of Jamestown in 1607, and the end of the Anglo-Powhatan Wars in 1644, there were a mere eight years of relative peace between the rightful inhabitants of Tsenacomoco and English colonisers.

Those few years of peace were largely the result of one marriage between two people from utterly different worlds.

The descendants of Pocahontas and John Rolfe are still here today, like seeds scattered before a whirlwind.

#BeforeWeWereWhite #history #pocahontas #jamestown