The National Abolition Hall of Fame and Museum is following its February Black History Matters series with 15 March days of “Jim Stewart’s Historical Tonic for Fragile White Folks.” Beginning March 1, Dr. James Brewer Stewart, professor emeritus at Macalester College in Minnesota, will address white supremacy after the Civil War.
Stewart will present 16 mini-lectures from “Historical Tonic for Fragile White Folks” that are six to 15 minutes long in a casual talk style. Stewart sees his videos as a way to challenge the “historical amnesia” that exists about white supremacy.
“Each of the videos describes wrenching developments that usually get glossed over in the history textbooks, but that’s precisely why it’s so essential to know about them,” Stewart said.
He intends to help people see this neglected history as it truly was and to own that history. Stewart wants ‘Historical Tonic’ to be shared free. He is inviting the public to join him and videographer, Dan Rippl, in a high-impact YouTube video campaign to mobilize resistance against white supremacist perversions of American history and assaults against people of color.
“To maximize the ‘Tonic’ impact, it must be promoted as widely as possible,” Stewart said.
He encourages viewers to recommend the videos to family, friends and colleagues, and he wants folks to know that he is available to collaborate on programming with church groups, civic organizations and classrooms.
Stewart will introduce his program Monday, March 1, 2021, and in the first week present “Where Diving Deep Takes Us,” “Black Reconstruction: The Unfinished Revolution,” “White Reconstruction the Unfinished Revolution,” “Violence is as American as Apple Pie 1660-1990,” “Lynching 1880 to 1950” and “Simple Amusements.” Sunday, March 7. Videos will be available each day at 2 p.m.
Stewart has written extensively on the history of the American abolitionist movement, including several books on individual abolitionists. He is the founder of Historians Against Slavery and founder and director of the Celebrate American Heroes Project.
NAHOF, which honors antislavery abolitionists, their work to end slavery and the legacy of that struggle, is chartered by the Board of Regents/state Education Department and strives to complete the second and ongoing abolition: the moral conviction to end racism. NAHOF is located in historic Peterboro in the 200-year-old building in which state abolitionists held the inaugural meeting of the New York State Antislavery Society in 1835. The Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark is an Underground Railroad site just down the street.
NAHOF hopes that the public joins Stewart for his chats. For more information and to access daily releases of “Jim Stewart’s Historical Tonic for Fragile White Folks,” visit nationalabolitionhalloffameandmuseum.org/events.html, Twitter @PeterboroNY, Facebook @NationalAbolitionHallOfFameAndMuseum or Instagram @NationalAbolitionHallOfFame.