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History Shows Us

Join historian Lettie Shumate as she examines what history shows us and makes critical connections between the past and present. Lettie’s passion for history and educating about the truth can be heard and felt through her engaging discussions about racism, current events, racial justice, and politics in a time when historical background needs to meet current realities. Her perspective and delivery are unique, direct, and just what you need to hear.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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Episode 4: Lets Talk About White Privilege...and You

In this episode, I get deep into white privilege, what it is, what it isn't, its three powers, historical constructions, and how it aids in manifesting white supremacy. Often, white privilege is a two-word term that gets tossed around social media without any in depth context and understanding of the systems it perpetuates. Understanding is necessary for everyone. If you are a white person who benefits from white privilege, it is important that you know what you can do to being "doing the work" to dismantle oppressive systems. 

1hr 7mins

7 Aug 2019

Rank #1

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Episode 9: White Fragility...and You

In this episode, I discuss white fragility, what it is, and the problem with centering white feelings in conversations about racism and injustice. I also provide some questions white people can ask themselves to check themselves with their white fragility. Communication is crucial if any racial progress and change is what people really want, and if we are going to have conversations about antiracism and being antiracist (instead of just not racist).  Don't forget to subscribe, write a review, and follow me on Instagram @sincerely.lettie !

54mins

11 Sep 2019

Rank #2

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James Baldwin: A Voice That Still Resonates

This episode focuses on truth-telling, racism confronting, excerpts and quotes by James Baldwin, one of the most eloquent and quintessential black voices of the 20th century. He wrote and talked about race and social issues in America, black identity, the black experience, oppression in America, and also the saving power of honesty and truth. Though he passed away in 1987, James Baldwin's words resonate heavily today. Follow Sincerely, Lettie at @sincerelylettie.blog Subscribe to the blog at www.sincerelylettie.com Email me: sincerelylettie@gmail.com

47mins

31 Jul 2019

Rank #3

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Friday Five: Stop Doing These Things

One of this week's Friday Five is to stop telling Black people how to feel about racism. You want to hear the other four. Trust me! Follow me on Instagram @sincerely.lettie 

7mins

24 Jan 2020

Rank #4

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Your Heroes Are Not Mine: The Problematic Whitewashing of Women's Suffrage

This year is the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, but much of the history of the women's suffrage movement leaves out the racism and white supremacy that was its foundation. In this episode, I discuss the problem with inclusivity in the 19th amendment, racist rhetoric of well-known white suffragists like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Black women suffragists who need to be known, and I connect it all to social issues we see today and the lack of intersectionality. I also talk about the recent negative backlash The Honey Pot received after the Target commercial aired and white women showed all of their white fragility. Get ready! Follow me on Instagram @sincerely.lettie Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review!

47mins

4 Mar 2020

Rank #5

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Friday Five: What Are You Doing Differently?

Happy Friday! If you're saying nothing, you're saying something. The film "Just Mercy." Listening to Black voices and people of color. Appreciating those you have. Challenge yourself to do something different.

11mins

17 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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Diversity Is Not Inclusion, and Other Thoughts

In this week's episode, I discuss the popularity of the buzzwords 'diversity' and 'inclusion' and go into how they are not interchangeable. I have a more candid conversation that includes my personal experience with predominately white institutions and organizations with these words, what inclusion really looks like, and what you can do to create an inclusive environment.  Follow on Instagram @sincerely.lettie Don't forget to subscribe, rate, and review! It is really appreciated!

36mins

18 Mar 2020

Rank #7

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The ABCs of Anti-Slavery in 1846 & Teaching Actual Truth to Children Today

What if when you learned your ABCs, you also learned why slavery was horrible? The Anti-Slavery Alphabet did just that and was published in 1846. In this episode, I discuss what else was happening in America around this time (because, as I always say, history is not isolated) and I read the entire alphabet and what each letter stood for. I also talk about issues with children's books, textbooks, and curriculum that sugarcoat and don't tell the truth about history, and why educating children about slavery today is crucial for a firm foundation of not just our country, but the world we live in. Mentioned in the episode: "The Anti-Slavery Alphabet: Teaching Slavery's Evils in 1846" - from my Sincerely, Lettie blog! "When Are Children Old Enough to Learn About Slavery" - Washington Post article "Slavery, Resistance, and Reparations" - Social Justice Books (WONDERFUL source!! Elementary books all the way to adult!) Follow me on instagram @sincerley.lettie

46mins

29 Jan 2020

Rank #8

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The Jim Crow Series: Intro

This week's episode is the first of the Jim Crow series! A brief history of the origins of Jim Crow laws, where the name Jim Crow came from, what this series will include, why now, and the importance are just a few points discussed in this episode.  The Jim Crow series will take us through the next couple of months and give you an in depth view into the history of a time when "separate but equal" was really just "separate." Remember that episodes are now every other Wednesday! Follow me on Instagram @sincerely.lettie Subscribe to my blog at www.sincerelylettie.com

33mins

25 Sep 2019

Rank #9

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The Jim Crow Series: Racial Terror, Violence, & Lynching (Part 1)

In this week's episode, I explain why and how black Americans were victims of racial violence, terror, and lynching. I start with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. This is part 1 of 2 and I decided to do it this way because setting the scene and understanding the 'why' is important when looking at the political and social atmosphere of the time. Get ready for all the knowledge in this episode! After the Civil War, black Americans were targets of racial terror and violence because of white supremacy and racism. This happened in both the North and the South, though Southern states were notorious for such evil. The federal government's involvement and complicity, loopholes to amendments in the Constitution, Confederate leaders in public offices, and much more, show how and why racial violence and terror happened, and also why over 4,000 [documented] racial terror lynchings occurred in Southern states between 1877 and 1950, and over 300 racial terror lynchings in other states during this same time.  To read more about racial terror lynchings in the United States, the Equal Justice Initiative is a phenomenal source.  Follow me on Instagram @sincerely.lettie

1hr 14mins

20 Nov 2019

Rank #10

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Episode 5: "Wow, you speak so well!": Tone Policing & Microaggressions

This week's episode looks at how people derail discussions with tone policing and how microaggressions are oppressive in nature. Communication is important when it comes to racial and social issues, and allowing space for black people, brown people, and other marginalized groups is crucial. I give examples of both tone policing and microaggressions, and explain how they are branches on the white supremacy culture tree.  I also mention Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham Jail and make an interesting connection for you to consider. 

47mins

14 Aug 2019

Rank #11

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The Jim Crow Series: Laws, Racism, & Miscegenation

Episode 2 of the Jim Crow Series is all Jim Crow laws and etiquette that kept races divided, beginning in 1877 after the Reconstruction era. I also discuss miscegenation laws, which were laws that banned interracial marriages, and how these laws went along with the idea of "unnatural" relationships and symbolized white purity.  Under Jim Crow, African Americans were given the status of second-class citizens and Jim Crow represented the legitimization of racism. Ensuring white supremacy prevailed was of utmost importance in America, and in this episode, I connect the dots for you to see how this history must be acknowledged today. Books/sources mentioned in this episode (there are countless others available as well): What Comes Naturally: Miscegenation Law and the Making of Race in America by Peggy Pascoe The Age of Jim Crow by Jane Dailey The New York Public Library's Digital Archive Smithsonian Institute Follow me on Instagram @sincerely.lettie

1hr 8mins

9 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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The Jim Crow Series: Traveling While Black

Traveling in Jim Crow America was met with annoyances, inconveniences, and dangers, if you were black. In this episode, I discuss laws that enforced segregation on public transportation, cars and what they symbolized, the Green Book, sundown towns, and the persistence and resilience of black Americans as they faced racism and discrimination while trying to enjoy their freedom. Mobility and autonomy in Jim Crow America were not available for everyone.  Follow me on Instagram @sincerely.lettie

54mins

23 Oct 2019

Rank #13

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Words for 2020, Watch Night, & the History of New Year's Day

Happy New Year! In this first episode of 2020, and season 3, I discuss what New Year's Eve and Day meant for enslaved people and why this grim history puts things into perspective. Knowing this history, and the separation of families on a day we now celebrate joyfully, is important when viewing what is currently happening in our country. I also share my two words for this year and why I chose them. Harriet Jacobs book I mention in this episode: Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Instagram: @sincerely.lettie Email: sincerelylettie@gmail.com

34mins

1 Jan 2020

Rank #14

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Friday Five: Said By Nina Simone

In this week's Friday Five episode, I share my five favorite quotes by Nina Simone and provide a little background on her.

5mins

21 Feb 2020

Rank #15

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Episode 8: The Color Blind Problem, "Difficult" Names, & Invalidating Identities

This week, I talk about the problem with people saying, "I don't see color" and how this and other colorblind-related phrases invalidate racist experiences and more. I also discuss why names aren't "hard", why and how incorrectly or correctly pronouncing someone's name has deeper roots, and how both colorblindness and names are important when recognizing identity.  (Don't forget to subscribe and also follow me on Instagram @sincerely.lettie !)

35mins

4 Sep 2019

Rank #16

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The Jim Crow Series: The Activism of Wells, Du Bois, & More

This week, I give a glimpse of what activism in Jim Crow America was by discussing Ida B. Wells, W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, the NAACP, and the Harlem Renaissance. Anti-lynching campaigns, black consciousness, black nationalism, and cultural expression were forms of activism and resistance that paved the way for later years of movements for freedom in our country.  Follow me on Instagram: @sincerely.lettie Rodney Reed Information Ida B. Wells' "Lynch Law In All Its Phases"  W. E. B. Du Bois' Race-Conflict Theory "I, Too" by Langston Hughes

58mins

6 Nov 2019

Rank #17

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The Jim Crow Series: Racial Terror, Violence, & Lynching (Part 2)

Public spectacle lynchings. The black body as souvenir. I read lynching accounts and, I warn you, a few of them are graphic. The legacy of lynching as capital punishment. I discuss all of that and more in this episode. It's a heavy one, but oh so necessary.  If you haven't listened to part 1 of this episode, please do so!  Subscribe, rate, and review! I really appreciate it.  Also, please email me at sincerelylettie@gmail.com 

52mins

4 Dec 2019

Rank #18

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My Visit to the Lynching Memorial & the Legacy Museum in Montgomery

I had the opportunity to go on a Legacy Trip this past weekend to visit Montgomery, Alabama and go to The National Memorial for Peace & Justice and the Legacy Museum. In this episode, I discuss this amazing trip, how it moved me in so many ways, and why it is important that everyone also visit to bear witness to this history. Follow me on Instagram @sincerely.lettie

35mins

19 Feb 2020

Rank #19

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Friday Five: Nathaniel Woods

Alabama executed an innocent Black man last night, Nathaniel Woods. My stream of conscious thoughts are in this episode.

12mins

6 Mar 2020

Rank #20