Reine Duell Bethany - Author and Illustrator
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Discussion of Race Relations Without Accusation

Jan. 26, 2020 --My research into Hempstead continues. I finished writing my novel, The Day America Turned Black, and am revising it while looking for agent representation. Meanwhile, as my research progresses, I get  insight into the murky part of racisim: people believing that they are not racist, but not realizing the racist matrix in which they live.
     I found an article from 1935 commending the Hempstead Harriet Tubman Club for setting up a home where up to 12 needy young Negresses could be housed. Negresses! Can you imagine such a term in use today? But back then, it was a term of respect. The white people of Hempstead seemed more concerned than in surrounding communities about the welfare of their Negro population. (Nobody says "Negro" anymore, either -- but back in 1935, it was, like Negress, a term of respect.) Hempstead' whites went to a lot of trouble to commend and aid efforts like the Harriet Tubman Club. The question is, were the nice white people doing anything like what the Harriet Tubman Club decided to do? 

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