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Michael Bilow

Emancipation Day in PVD, Aug 1

Slavery ended throughout the British Empire on “Emancipation Day,” August 1, 1834, when the Slavery Abolition Act came into force. Free Blacks in the United States began celebrating the anniversary as many had personal and community connections with the former slaves of the British West Indies, the Caribbean Islands (including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, […]

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Providence Plantations: The Real History

“Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” has been the official full name of the state since the colonial era, created by the unification of the original “four towns,” which in order of their dates of founding were Providence (1636), Pocasset/Portsmouth (1638), Newport (1639), and Shawomet/Warwick (1642). In 1643/1644, the towns were combined under their current name […]

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RI COVID-19 Exposure: Surprisingly low, but highly disproportionate by race

Only 2.2% of Rhode Island residents have antibodies in their blood, known as “sero-prevalence,” against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Brown University Professor Philip Chan, MD, the consultant medical director for the Division of Preparedness, Response, Infectious Disease, and EMS at the RI Department of Health (RIDoH), announced this morning on a press conference […]

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You Say You Want a Revolution: Police brutality was the spark but economic inequality is the fuel for racial conflagration

It’s 3 o’clock in the morning as I begin writing this, having just spent the last few hours watching Providence finally get the violent riot it had been lucky to avoid. I can’t sleep, not because of anxiety or psychological distress, but because, having tried to formulate the words for the past week, I need […]

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Governor Raimondo Addressed the Protests Against Police Brutality: She praised Rhode Islanders’ weekend demonstration and expressed hope for the next generation

Gov. Gina Raimondo praised Rhode Island protesters she described as “99.9% peaceful” in a special press conference at 10:30am today, saying that she supported their underlying demands for equality and empathized with their concerns, noting that the participants were observing COVID-19 pandemic precautions such as staying socially distant and wearing face coverings. Nationwide protests sparked […]

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RI Enters Phase 1 of Reopening: The rules are clear, but poorly communicated

RI Gov. Gina Raimondo allowed her stay-at-home executive order to expire March 8, the next day beginning “Phase 1” of at least three such phases, each expected to last at least two weeks. On April 27, she laid out six specific criteria that all had to be met before any of the phased reopening could […]

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A Toast!: RKO Army Raises $4,100 for RI Pride Food Drive

“The Rocky Horror Stay-at-Home Show” was an online event on May 8 that raised more than $4,100 for the RI Pride Emergency Supply Drive, a COVID-19 relief program that provides boxes containing a one-week supply of food and hygiene supplies to those in need. After The Rocky Horror Picture Show film was released in 1975 […]

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Smoothing the Curve: Recent data display from the gov is more artistic than mathematic

RI Gov. Gina Raimondo at her press conference on Saturday, May 2, displayed a chart showing new hospitalizations per day from March 13 to April 26. The point of the chart, the governor claimed, was to illustrate discontinuities on April 1, “Two weeks after first closures,” and April 13, “Two weeks after stay at home […]

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