A new fellowship to explore White House’s history of slavery

Last month, the association announced the creation of a joint two-year fellowship with American University’s Antiracist Research & Policy Center for a graduate student to continue the work.

“The creation of this fellowship is an important opportunity to deepen our understanding of slavery’s enduring legacy in our nation’s capital.” said Stewart McLaurin, the association’s president. “The protests that have erupted this summer over issues of racial injustice are a stark reminder of how important this work is.”

Mia Owens, a first-year graduate student in AU’s public history program, was selected as the inaugural fellow. Owens, 23, grew up in Birmingham, Ala., and immersed herself in the civil rights history of her hometown. She says the opportunity to do this work at this moment in American life is crucial.

Because of the pandemic, Owens will remain in Alabama for this semester and begin her work with the association from a distance. But that isn’t diminishing her enthusiasm for the project.

“I think especially right now, when so many people are focusing and having conversations about racial injustice in the country … it is so important that we as historians also contribute to that field and look at this history that has been overlooked for so long,” Owens said.

For the past two years, the White House Historical Association has been examining the ties between the president’s home and slavery. Earlier this year, it launched “Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood,” an online exhibit that shared research about how the White House relied on labor by enslaved people from its inception through the first half of the 19th century.

The research found that more than 300 enslaved men, women and children worked in the house or on the grounds over that time as builders, cleaners, servers, cooks and gardeners. Captive and unpaid, they worked to serve the leader of a country founded on freedom as an inherent right.

The historians determined that enslaved people served in the White House under 10 presidents beginning with George Washington. They learned as well that Thomas Jefferson, who owned more enslaved people than any other president, chose to employ white servants at the White House because, as he explained to a friend in a letter, “At Washington I prefer white servants, who, when they misbehave, can be exchanged.” And they discovered that President Andrew Jackson, while in office, purchased a young enslaved girl named Emeline, 8, to work in the White House.

Acknowledging and documenting the history that was for so long ignored is an essential responsibility, said Colleen Shogan, senior vice president and director of the David Rubenstein Center for White House History. That’s especially true, she said, as the nation continues to wrestle and come to terms with its legacy of racial injustice.

“You can’t understand what has happened in this country, you can’t process these occurrences of injustice without understanding the history that led up to them,” Shogan said. “The White House plays one particular role within that larger story of American slavery and

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The Secret Garden classic has been remade and can explore the stunning film locations

For over a century, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden — about Mary Lennox, an orphan sent to live with her uncle, only to find a magical garden on his estate — has enchanted children. 

The latest film version with Colin Firth and Julie Walters will wow a new generation. 

Director Marc Munden used some of Britain’s idyllic locations to create a magical world. 

And you can visit them, too . . . 

The Laburnum Arch in Bodnant Garden, North Wales. The vibrant yellow flowers usually attract 50,000 visitors when they bloom for just three weeks each spring

The Laburnum Arch in Bodnant Garden, North Wales. The vibrant yellow flowers usually attract 50,000 visitors when they bloom for just three weeks each spring

A glorious arch of golden laburnum

Bodnant Garden, North Wales

Julie Walters and Colin Firth walk under a stunning arch of flowering laburnum in this scene filmed at Bodnant Garden.

Described by the National Trust as ‘the height of spring’, the Laburnum Arch is 180ft long and was created in 1880.

Julie Walters and Colin Firth walk under a stunning arch of flowering laburnum in this scene for The Secret Garden (2020) filmed at Bodnant Garden

Julie Walters and Colin Firth walk under a stunning arch of flowering laburnum in this scene for The Secret Garden (2020) filmed at Bodnant Garden

The vibrant yellow flowers usually attract 50,000 visitors when they bloom for just three weeks each spring. 

So while you will have to wait to see the arch in its full glory, the rest of the garden — featuring manicured lawns, flower-filled terraces, meadows and water gardens — is currently open, with adult tickets for £8 (half-price for children).

  • 01492 650460; nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden
Built in 1758, Helmsley Walled Garden in North Yorkshire has a starring role in the new film

Built in 1758, Helmsley Walled Garden in North Yorkshire has a starring role in the new film

The big star of the show

Helmsley Walled Garden, North Yorkshire

Nestled at the foot of the North York Moors and built in 1758, the walled garden has a starring role in the new film. 

It was originally designed to provide vegetables, fruit and flowers to the Feversham family, who lived at nearby Duncombe Park (which appears as Misselthwaite Manor in the film). 

It was originally designed to provide vegetables, fruit and flowers to the Feversham family, who lived at nearby Duncombe Park (which appears as Misselthwaite Manor in the film). Pictured: Filming at Helmsley Walled garden for The Secret Garden

It was originally designed to provide vegetables, fruit and flowers to the Feversham family, who lived at nearby Duncombe Park (which appears as Misselthwaite Manor in the film). Pictured: Filming at Helmsley Walled garden for The Secret Garden

Tickets for the garden cost from £7, children go free. It’s open from Thursday to Sunday.

  • 01439 772314; helmsley walledgarden.org.uk
Triffid-like Elephant’s Rhubarb plants tower over two children at Trebah Gardens, Cornwall

Triffid-like Elephant’s Rhubarb plants tower over two children at Trebah Gardens, Cornwall

Fun among giant triffids 

Trebah Gardens, Cornwall 

Actress Dixie Egerickx (who plays Mary Lennox) peers through the twilight world of Gunnera Passage at Trebah Gardens.

Actress Dixie Egerickx (who plays Mary Lennox) peers through the twilight world of Gunnera Passage at Trebah Gardens

Actress Dixie Egerickx (who plays Mary Lennox) peers through the twilight world of Gunnera Passage at Trebah Gardens

Its huge, Triffid-like Elephant’s Rhubarb plants are native to the mountains of south-east Brazil, with leaves up to 2.5m wide and stems as thick as a man’s wrist. 

Open Saturdays to Wednesdays, tickets from £11.

  • 01326 252200; trebahgarden.co.uk
Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire was established by monks almost 900 years ago

Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire was established by monks almost 900 years ago

Today, the atmospheric ruins provide the backdrop to elegant water gardens with mirror-like lakes and ponds. Pictured: A still from the latest film version of The Secret Garden

Today, the atmospheric ruins provide the backdrop to elegant water gardens with mirror-like lakes and ponds. Pictured: A still from

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Explore the Unique Features of Solid Wood Bathroom Vanity

Even though MDF or medium-density fiberboard appears economical solutions for kitchen or bathroom cabinet, when it comes to the question of durability, especially as you consider them to use in humid bathroom atmosphere, they're most likely to contract, swell or deform in due course. Even though, marketers claim them highly enduring, however, the fact file shows that millions of homeowners are disappointed regarding the performance of MDF, so long they're used as a bathroom vanity.

Instead, think of investing in solid wood bathroom vanity that makes you feel warm and welcoming with its timeless natural look, unrivaled beauty, and ease of customization. Make sure that the solid wood vanity that you buy is made from most durable hardwood that is collected from wooden materials like oak, pine, maple, and cherry. Remarkably, buyers today are more inclined to procure reclaimed wood vanities that are nothing but highly seasoned hardwood collected with due care and come with their unique knots, imperfections and holes creating them natural, stunning, and antique collection for your bath space.

Solid Wood Bathroom Vanity Pros

Enduring

The solid wood bathroom vanity is engineered with wood pieces gathered from old barn houses, warehouses, beams of dilapidated houses, railroad ties, etc. The highly weather-beaten woods are less vulnerable to shrink or deform in a common wet bathroom setting. They've fully dried out species and already 'aged' to sustain any kind of extreme climatic condition.

Visual Appeal

With their background and age, you may find solid wood bathroom vanity online that characterizes differently not only among their models but also in each piece of woods used in a particular vanity. The visual of natural wear marks, nail splits, and deep texture of vanity sections are carefully kept as it is without using any toxic solutions for makeup usually done in the finishing of furniture. The marks on cabinet doors, storage unit closers or the top make the end product a distinct work of art.

Exotic and Rare

With recycled wood, you can experience the inimitability of rare, exotic, and history-driven vanity collection. While these woods are collected in huge and odd sizes due to the nature of the source, expert technicians of solid wood bathroom vanity disassemble and separate every part, cut them down in ideal sizes as per necessity and use only harmless adhesive wherever necessary.

Customizable

Working with specialist companies come in handy since you enjoy the scope of making your vanity customized as per the layout of your bathroom. While you can explore the varieties online, it is not mandatory to buy vanities off-the-rack out. Call the experts at your home and let them take necessary measurements and suggest you for fitting wood vanity considering the available space of your bath.

Affordable

Whether you go for new generation MDF or high-class plywood, as you cannot reach the level of hardness that you get out of reclaimed solid wood bathroom vanity, given that they're salvaged class of woods, you can get your priceless collection in budget -oriented price too. …

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