Apr/May 2018

e c l e c t i c a
s a l o n


(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

A Second Reconstruction: What Would Real Reparations Look like for African Americans?

In the South, African bodies were valuable commodities in a way Indian or even white laborers' bodies were not in any part of the country. Most of the wealth of the antebellum South was vested in its slaves, especially in the boom years in the decade before the Civil War. By that time Virginia, no longer the center of the South's economy, had become a breeder of African bodies to be sold at high prices to planters in the Cotton Belt and sugar country. There they were used like any farm animal, except that few horses and no mule had the productive or cash value of a young fit male slave. Only half the human property in the South were held in the big slave-labor camps which even we in the north still refer to with unconscious euphemism as "plantations." The rest were owned by small landowners and used much like hired hands, though not of course treated as such. But the half kept in the camps numbered in the millions, and their worth, even in those days, was calculated in billions of dollars.

Thomas J. Hubschman


Lenten Triptych

I have neglected to prepare the soil for certain flowers,
and yet, they bloom with every step taken.

Stanley Jenkins