Meet Historian

James Brewer Stewart

Jim Stewart, Macalester College, began teaching and writing the history of slavery, white supremacy and antiracism in 1965 and retired in 2002. Since then he has been developing approaches to antiracist activism that are grounded in historical knowledge and perspective.
James Brewer Stewart

Published Works

He has published biographies of four leading American abolitionists, a best-selling collegiate classroom text on the history of the American abolitionist movement and over 100 essays and reviews. He has written scripts for and has been filmed in two PBS historical documentaries on the struggle to abolish slavery and has founded/ directed Historians Against Slavery, an international network of historians and social justice activists .He has also developed a series of antiracist historical mini-lectures available on You Tube.

AHHA! Artists Talk Back (sometimes Smack) to American History

AHHA! Artwork is deeply rooted in Black people’s historical memories. Click in our interactive gallery and discover for yourself why AHHA! artists teach eye-opening history.

Left: “I AM NOT A CRIME” – Kennedy Simpson (2020)
Right: “Wet Nurse” (1855) and “Auctioning Children” (1847)

We associate childhood with innocence and vulnerability and parenthood with loving, supporting, protecting.

How do these pictures interact with Simpson’s image to link past with present?

Left: “Hattitude – Cello Lady” – Beverly Hammond (2002)
Middle: “High Styling” (1889)
Right: “I Aspires Too Much” – Edward W. Clay (1834)

Hammond celebrates Black women today dressing to express empowerment –133 years ago so did that “High Stylin” woman — 186 years ago a white racist satirized “Hattitude” as ridiculous: CAPTION: Black Man: “How you like the wedder Miz Chloie? : Black Woman: “Jus’ fine mister Ceaser, but I aspires too much.”

How do these pictures link past and present?

Left: “MANIFEST DESTINY” – John Gage (1872)
Right: “THE CONSTITUTION”, Donald Walker (2022)

Walker, today, holds that our Constitution upheld white supremacy— John Gage, back then (1872), captures the spirit of white supremacy in action creating the Republic of the United States

How do these images link past and present?

Left: “Not Tonight” – Drew Hammond (2002)
Middle: “Insurrection By The Enslaved” (1846)
Right: “Kill Them and Collect the Insurance (1807)

TWO JARRINGLY CONTRASTING IMAGES OF 1) The successful self-liberation by 53 enslaved Africans on the slave ship Amistad (1846) and 2) the drowning of 32 enslaved people so that their murders could collect the insurance value (1807).

How do these pictures interact with Hammond’s image to link past with present??