Category

Editors’ Choice

Robin Rue Simmons

How the long fight for slavery reparations is slowly being won

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

In a suburb of Chicago, the world’s first government-funded slavery reparations programme is beginning. Robin Rue Simmons helped make it happen – but her victory has been more than 200 years in the making By Kris Manjapra, The Guardian — It began with an email. On an especially cold day in Evanston, Illinois, in February 2019, Robin Rue Simmons, 43 years old and two years into her first term as…

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George Wallace blocking a federal agent from entering the University of Alabama to enroll Black students, 1963.

Is Freedom White?

By Editors' Choice

In a political season of dog whistles, we must be attentive to how talk of American freedom has long been connected to the presumed right of whites to dominate everyone else. By Jefferson Cowie, Boston Review — “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” Alabama governor George Wallace’s most famous sentence fired through the frigid air on the coldest day anyone in the state could remember. His 1963 inaugural address—written by a…

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Newark Mayor Ken Gibson

Police Power and the Election of Newark’s First Black Mayor

By Editors' Choice

By Andrew Grim, AAIHS — Fifty years ago, Newark, New Jersey, elected its first Black mayor—Kenneth Gibson—at a moment when there was an urgency to address police violence. Three years earlier, the 1967 Newark Rebellion, which began in response to the police beating of a Black cab driver, resulted in dozens of deaths—including two children—at the hands of police and the National Guard. Police violence was nothing new for Black Newarkers….

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Voting

The right way to woo Black and Latino voters

By Editors' Choice

By Ryan Cooper, The Week — The Democrats have long portrayed themselves as the party of racial justice in modern times, given that they were the main force behind the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and elected the first Black president. (The actual history is considerably more complicated.) Race has also been a central political concern this year with the “Great Awokening” of white liberals and the nationwide protests…

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Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Great Chicago Fire

By Editors' Choice

“Whiteness thrives in darkness,” Coates writes. “So it was with the slave narrative. So it is with the cell phone.” By Ta-Nehisi Coates, Vanity Fair — Last year Chicago poet Eve L. Ewing published 1919, a volume that channels her city’s Red Summer into blues. It is a magical work. The voices of house-keepers and stockyard hands are summoned. The thoughts of trains carrying black people north are conjured up. The doom of…

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Didier William: Dancing, Pouring, Crackling and Mourning, 201

Mourning in Place

By Editors' Choice

By Edwidge Danticat, NYREV — My neighbor died recently. I saw the ambulance arrive. The red and blue strobes bounced off every glass surface on both sides of our block. She was eighty years old, and ambulances had come for her before. There was that time she broke her arm in her backyard, and already accustomed to osteoporotic and arthritic pain, she treated herself until her movements led to other…

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Robert Reich

Racism Is Profitable

By Editors' Choice

By Robert Reich – Since the first colonizers arrived in the United States to this very moment, wealthy elites have used the tools of theft, exclusion, and exploitation to expand their wealth and power at the detriment of Black, Latinx, Indigenous people, and marginalized people of color. It all boils down to this simple truth: Racism is profitable. The profitability of racism sparks a vicious cycle called the Oppression Economy:…

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Screaming

How Systemic Racism Adapts and Evolves

By Editors' Choice

By Tom Hall, LA Progressive – Where do we go from here? We’ve had a long hot summer of mostly peaceful demonstrations. This is a great contrast to the pre-election summer of 1968, in which Tricky Dick Nixon road a wave of violence to electoral victory. But this is also a summer of demonstrations against police violence, and that repeats both the pattern of 1968 and of decades back through…

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Black Panthers, Chicago, 1969

The Wages of Whiteness

By Editors' Choice

By Hari Kunzru, NYREV — In 1981 members of a revolutionary group called the Black Liberation Army robbed a Brink’s armored van at the Nanuet Mall in Rockland County, just outside New York City. In the robbery and a subsequent shootout with police, a guard and two police officers were killed. Assisting this Black Nationalist “expropriation” operation were four white Communists, members of a faction of the Weather Underground called…

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