Airs Sunday, February 10 at 6 p.m. How could a nation founded on a Declaration that proclaimed "all men are created equal" permit slavery? Nowhere was this contradiction more stark than in federal courts. In this one-hour Humankind special, we'll consider several historical flashpoints, which forced the judicial issues. In one case, historians, legal scholars and actors re-create the fugitive slave trial of Anthony Burns, a teenager born a slave in Virginia who escaped to freedom in Boston. The federal court proceedings that followed his arrest and court-ordered return to slavery provoked the largest abolitionist protest the nation had ever seen. We also look in-depth at the most controversial ruling in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court -- the Dred Scott case, which held that blacks had "no rights which the white man was bound to respect." We examine how these cases aggravated tensions before the Civil War, stirred up abolitionist sentiment and harmed the legitimacy of the courts. With historians including Columbia University’s Eric Foner, who won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for his book, ‘The Fiery Trial – Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery’, we examine the pre-Civil War role that U.S. federal courts played in upholding slavery. We consider the notorious Dred Scott ruling, in which the Supreme Court held that blacks have no rights that whites must respect, as well as a historic fugitive slave case in Boston that triggered the largest anti-slavery protest the nation had ever seen (includes dramatizations).
Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 1:25 pm
At church on Sundays, African-American students are hearing a possibly unexpected pitch alongside the familiar sermon: Come to Cal State University.
Officials from the California State University system have been pioneering a program of seeking new prospective African-American students in church pews — a program that's serving as a model for similar efforts elsewhere.
Blacks make up about 6.6 percent of California's population, according to 2011 census data. Jorge Haynes, a Cal State spokesman, said the university system's African-American population is 5 percent.
In Philadelphia in 1972, an immigrant couple of Kalmyk origin gave birth to a boy they named Erdne. A few years later, the Dalai Lama renamed him Telo Tulku Rinpoche and identified him as one in a long line of reincarnations of an ancient Buddhist saint. The boy was then taken to a monastery in the mountains of southern India to learn the teachings of the Buddha.
Telo Rinpoche was one of the first of his kind: someone from the West learning thousand-year-old traditions a world away from his family.