Category

Editors’ Choice

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History

400 years later, America still has so much to learn about its racial history

By Editors' Choice

By Lonnie Bunch, The Washington Post — In his influential treatise on race, “The Fire Next Time,” James Baldwin wrote, “To accept one’s past — one’s history — is not the same thing as drowning in it; it is learning how to use it. An invented past can never be used; it cracks and crumbles under the pressures of life like clay in a season of drought.” Baldwin’s words…

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Aesthetically, the antebellum plantations of the Old South are undeniably beautiful. But they’re built on human degradation.

Stop Getting Married On Plantations

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

Aesthetically, the antebellum plantations of the Old South are undeniably beautiful. But they’re built on human degradation. By Patricia J. Williams, The Nation — It was not a kind thought that flitted across my mind while I was waiting in the airport in Montreal. The weather was bad, my flight was late, and I was having lunch on the “American side” of the terminal, listening to a big, jovial man…

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Members of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights October 31, 2012.

International Human Rights Bodies Provide a Case for Reparations

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Justin Hansford, ACLU — It is common for nations where mass atrocities have taken place to engage in the process of reparation and repair. This process happened in Germany after the Holocaust, South Africa after apartheid, and here in the United States, forty years after the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. As a result, international human rights bodies have sought to lend their expertise to the process, often by…

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America has two economies—and they’re diverging fast.

America has two economies—and they’re diverging fast

By Editors' Choice

By Mark Muro and Jacob Whiton, Brookings — We’ve been harping for a while on the stark economic divides that define American life in the Donald Trump years. To be sure, racial and cultural resentment have been the prime factors of the Trump backlash, but it’s also clear that the two parties speak for and to dramatically different segments of the American economy. Where Republican areas of the country rely on lower-skill, lower-productivity “traditional” industries like manufacturing and…

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Underground Railroad

The Native Americans Who Assisted the Underground Railroad

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Roy E. Finkenbine — In an interview conducted in 2002, the late Helen Hornbeck Tanner, an influential historian of the Native American experience in the Midwest best known for her magisterial Atlas of Great Lakes Indian History (1987), reflected on the considerable record of “coexistence and cooperation” between African Americans and Indians in the region. According to Tanner, “[an] important example of African and Indian cooperation was the Indian-operated Underground Railroad….

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School children, school bus

What White Kids Learn About Race in School

By Editors' Choice

Sixty-five years after Brown v. Board of Education, U.S. schools remain largely segregated. This matters not only because white and black students experience very different educational outcomes, but also because school is where children form many of their ideas about race and privilege. By Erik Loomis, Boston Review — In 1954 the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that the segregation of schools was unconstitutional, but in fact schools…

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Ta-Nehisi Coates

How Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Novel Reckons With the Past

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

“The Water Dancer” comes out of a powerful examination of the legacies of slavery today. By Eric Herschthal, The New Republic — Eight years ago, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an essay in The Atlantic asking why so few black people studied the Civil War. Coates noted that he himself had only recently become an avid reader of Civil War history, and along with it, a student of the larger system that propelled it into…

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YouTube, Nazi

How Teachers Are Fighting the White Nationalists Brainwashing Their Students

By Editors' Choice

“This will get worse before it gets better.” By Tess Owen, Vice —  It used to be much easier to spot a budding Nazi in the classroom, or at least a student harboring extremist views, says Nora Flanagan, who’s been a public school teacher in Chicago for over 20 years. You’d just look out for the troubled skinhead kid, maybe wearing steel-toed boots and a swastika pin. Today, it’s more…

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Black Woman

With Reparations, We Must Demand Repair—and Heal Ourselves

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

Note: This is part two of this six-part series by YES! that explores the plurality of reparations that includes Black people’s spiritual and psychological healing. By David Ragland YES! — The first panel at the National Grassroots Reparations Convening in Ferguson, Missouri, earlier this month was titled “Spirituality, Healing and Reparations.” Facilitator Rev. Emma Jordan-Simpson, executive director at Fellowship of Reconciliation, the organization cohosting the four-day convening, opened the discussion…

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