Sunday, February 28, 2010

a little somethin' somethin' i didn't know about

p.t. barnum

sure he exploited people BUT he didn't base that on color. he exploited EVERYONE equally!

all kidding aside, this is very interesting

Experts: Barnum about more than showbiz

Like most Bridgeporters, Yohuru Williams grew up surrounded by the name P.T. Barnum.

Indeed, the name of the one-time Bridgeport mayor and circus impresario is seemingly everywhere in the city -- Barnum Avenue, the Barnum Museum, P.T. Barnum Apartments, etc. But, given the ubiquity of his moniker, Barnum remained something of a mystery to Williams, who knew him primarily as a slick entertainer and promoter.

"When you think about P.T. Barnum, he still kind of comes off as a slimy showman," said Williams, also vice president for history education at the American Institute for History Education in Swedesboro, N.J. "He has this rogue element about him."

Yet, upon doing research on Barnum for an upcoming book on teaching history, Williams discovered another, seldom discussed aspect to Barnum's personality: that of a passionate advocate for civil rights and against slavery.................

pic: The first image from the Barnum Museum is of Joice Heth, a slave Barnum bought – and emancipated – in 1835. She was purported to be the 161-year-old nursemaid to George Washington. Photo: Contributed Photo / Connecticut Post Contributed

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