Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Black in Latin America

Black in Latin America is the third of a trilogy that began in 1999 with the broadcast of Professor Henry Louis Gates’ first series for public television, Wonders of the African World, an exploration of the relationship between Africa and the New World, a story he continued in 2004 with America Beyond the Color Line, a report on the lives of modern-day African Americans. Black In Latin America, premiering nationally Tuesdays; April 19, 26 and May 3, 10, 2011 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS, examines how Africa and Europe came together to create the rich cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Haiti & The Dominican Republic: An Island Divided
In the Dominican Republic, Professor Gates explores how race has been socially constructed in a society whose people reflect centuries of inter-marriage, and how the country’s troubled history with Haiti informs notions about racial classification. In Haiti, Professor Gates tells the story of the birth of the first-ever black republic, and finds out how the slaves’s hard fought liberation over Napoleon Bonaparte’s French Empire became a double-edged sword.

Cuba: The Next Revolution
In Cuba Professor Gates finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this island are inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959.

Brazil: A Racial Paradise?
In Brazil, Professor Gates delves behind the fa├žade of Carnival to discover how this ‘rainbow nation’ is waking up to its legacy as the world’s largest slave economy.

Mexico & Peru: A Hidden Race
In Mexico and Peru Professor Gates explores the almost unknown history of the significant numbers of black people—the two countries together received far more slaves than did the United States —brought to these countries as early as the 16th and 17th centuries, and the worlds of culture that their descendants have created in Vera Cruz on the Gulf of Mexico, the Costa Chica region on the Pacific, and in and around Lima, Peru.

NPR Talk of the Nation
Series Explores Being 'Black In Latin America'
April 18, 2011

Excerpt from Transcript:


Oh, it was fundamental. Like many people - remember, I was raised in the '50s and '60s. I'm 60 years old. And like many people my age, I thought that slavery, race, the African experience in the New World, really was about us, about our ancestors here in the Continental United States.

But the most astonishing fact in this whole series, and the most astonishing fact which I think that the Transatlantic Slave Trade database has produced is the following: Between 1502 and 1867, 11.2 million Africans survived the Middle Passage and landed in the New World. And of that 11.2 million, as you said, only 450,000 came to the United States.

All the rest, Neal, went to places, as it were, south of Miami, south of our borders. The real African-American experience, as it were, just in terms of numbers alone, unfolded in the Caribbean and throughout Latin America.

And so I wanted to do a series bringing this lost or hidden black world to light, both to Americans and to many of the black descendents, the Afro descendents, throughout Latin America themselves."

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database has information on almost 35,000 slaving voyages that forcibly embarked over 10 million Africans for transport to the Americas between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. It offers researchers, students and the general public a chance to rediscover the reality of one of the largest forced movements of peoples in world history.

Overview of Slave Trade 1500-1900
The Voyages website provides the most comprehensive source of data currently available on the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Forming its core is the Voyages Database, originally published as the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: A Database -on CD-ROM by Cambridge University Press (1999), and this data-file is provided here in 
an expanded and continually growing form. The Voyages Database contains records of nearly 35,000 separate slaving voyages between 1514 and 1866, gleaned from original documents and historical publications located in archives, libraries, and other institutions throughout the world. Data from these historical records were collected over many decades and will continue to be updated as new documents are discovered. Individuals will be able to contribute their own research to this collaborative resource. Each record in the Voyages Database offers information on a single slaving voyage; some of the details include the country of origin, the individual(s) who sponsored it, the voyage itself (its itinerary, dates of travel, and outcome), captains and crew members, slaves transported, and the sources providing this voyage information.

Volume and Direction of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
from All African to All American Regions

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Artificial Leaves Produce Hydrogen Fuel from Water

A Greener 'Artificial Leaf'
New device offers distinct advantages over previous attempts to improve upon natural photosynthesis.
MIT Technology Review
April 7, 2011

Growing The Technology For Artificial Leaves
NPR Talk of the Nation, Science Friday
April 8, 2011

"Researchers are developing practical, low-cost materials that can use energy from sunlight to break water into oxygen and hydrogen. Daniel Nocera of MIT explains the science of "artificial photosynthesis," and describes his plan to create distributed power generation systems in developing countries."

Friday, April 01, 2011

NOVA: Japan's Killer Quake

NOVA: Japan's Killer Quake

An eyewitness account and investigation of the epic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis.
Aired March 30, 2011 on PBS

In its worst crisis since World War II, Japan faces disaster on an epic scale: a death toll likely in the tens of thousands, massive destruction of homes and businesses, shortages of water and power, and the specter of nuclear meltdown. With exclusive footage, NOVA captures the unfolding human drama and offers a clear-headed investigation of what triggered the earthquake, tsunami, and subsequent nuclear crisis. Can science and technology ever prevent devastation in the face of overwhelmingly powerful forces of nature?

Watch below 53:07 (only available online in the U.S., I had to access it via a U.S. proxy server to view it)

Watch the full episode. See more NOVA.