Dear Friends,
 
We are almost halfway through Black History Month 2020. Have you discovered any fascinating gems of the history of African heritage people in the  U.S. that you were not aware of before? Or some that you were only vaguely aware of?
 
I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts Thursday night (On The Media, an NPR/WNYC production) and they were rebroadcasting an episode from another NPR podcast that I was not familiar with, The United States of Anxiety. The U.S.A. episode they were sharing (44 minutes long; originally broadcast on January 30) is an account of how the Lesters, one family in Mississippi, acquired and maintained their own land over six generations and more than 100 years--in the face of the collapse of Reconstruction and the onslaught of Jim Crow white supremacy and terrorism. As you can well imagine, they did not do so unscathed. If you have 44 minutes to spare, check it out. (I have included below the online description of the episode posted at the U.S.A. web-page.)
 
Elbert Lester has lived his full 94 years in Quit man County, Mississippi, on land he and his family own. That's exceptional for black people in this area, and some family members even say the land came to them through "40 acres and a mule." But that's pretty unlikely, so host KIA Wright goes on a search for the truth, and uncovers a story about an old and fundamental question in American politics — one at the center of the current election: Who are the rightful owners of this country's staggering wealth? - John Willis is author of Forgotten Time - Eric Finer is author of The Second Founding - The National Memorial for Peace and Justice is located in Montgomery, Alabama. For more information about documented lynchings in Mississippi, and elsewhere, visit the Equal Justice Initiative's interactive report, Lynching in America. You can navigate to each county to learn about documented lynchings there. The United States of Anxiety's health coverage is supported in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Working to build a Culture of Health that ensures everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. More at REF.org.
 
Have a great weekend,
Yvor