African/American History: The Potholes and Detours
African American history is American history untold, which erupts periodically into news headlines of protests to address persistent racial/societal and political problems never resolved after the Civil War in 1865 and after legal Jim Crow ended in 1964. These seminars will focus on what gave White people the moral authority to enslave and dehumanize an entire race, the uniqueness of American slavery and the rules of it that became the operating instructions for white supremacy. The persistent rules that survive to this day affecting every aspect of the lives of African Americans’ and our fortunes and the tactics African Americans have used to lessen their grip. What is the current state of African American progress on the long road to a more perfect union.
THERESIA A. CRISLER - About the presenter in her own words.
I was born in Meriden Mississippi in 1948 and migrated to Minnesota with my parents and 3 siblings in 1952. I attended Minneapolis North High School and the University of Minnesota where I graduated with a Bachelor Degree in History, Magna Cum Laude in June 1973. I attended Northwestern University Law School in Chicago Illinois graduating in 1976.
I have been practicing law as a solo practitioner in the Twin Cities area since 1977.
During the years of my practice, I have been a consulting lecturer in Civil Practice for the Legal Services Corporation, Washington D.C. and an Adjunct Law Professor at William Mitchel College of Law in St. Paul Minnesota. I have taught African American history for the Minneapolis Public School Adult and Youth program for 10 years, where I continue to teach.
Over the years I have nurtured my love and curiosity about the past by studying and travelling to historical sites. In doing this I realized how little I had been taught about African Americans in the United States during my formal education along with the contributions of people of color to the building of the United States. After taking a 5 day historical tour trip of Civil War battle fields in 2010, I became disheartened to find that there
were few if any references to the African-Americans who lived in the area or fought in those battles. I began reading historical novels of the period, including biographies of African American men and women who had lived before and during the Civil War and several of the Slave Narratives which chronicled the lives of men and women who had been slaves along with compiled histories about Black people in North America. I decided that the knowledge and information I had acquired in my research, including African American participation in the ‘settling’ of the western United States before and after the Civil War and how America views itself through the ‘myth of the West’, should be shared. During my research I learned about the historical close connection between Indigenous peoples and African Americans which supported the survival and adjustment of African Americans in North America. I believed and still do believe, that by sharing this information, we will all gain a more realistic understanding of African Americans and their contributions to the United States and thereby create a more perfect union.