Category

Reparations

The Capitol stands in the background of this 1830 engraving.

When Slaveowners Got Reparations

By | Reparations

Lincoln signed a bill in 1862 that paid up to $300 for every enslaved person freed. By Tera W. Hunter, New York Times — On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill emancipating enslaved people in Washington, the end of a long struggle. But to ease slaveowners’ pain, the District of Columbia Emancipation Act paid those loyal to the Union up to $300 for every enslaved person freed. That’s right, slaveowners got…

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Hans Sloane collected this specimen of cacao in Jamaica in the 1680s. Sloane often collected on or near slave plantations, taking advantage of slavery’s infrastructure to advance his science.

Historians Expose Early Scientists’ Debt to the Slave Trade

By | Editors' Choice, Reparations

By examining scientific papers, correspondence between naturalists, and the records of slaving companies, historians are now seeing new connections between science and slavery and piecing together just how deeply intertwined they were. By Sam Kean, Science Magazine — At the dawn of the 1700s, European science seemed poised to conquer all of nature. Isaac Newton had recently published his monumental theory of gravity. Telescopes were opening up the heavens to…

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Sen. Cory Booker

Booker to introduce bill to form study commission on reparations

By | News & Current Affairs, Reparations

By Jordain Carney, The Hill — Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said on Monday that he will introduce legislation creating a commission to study the issue of granting reparations to African-Americans. “This bill is a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country. It will bring together the best minds to study the issue and propose solutions that will finally begin to…

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Turbulent history … Tamara Lawrance in the BBC adaptation of Andrea Levy’s The Long Song.

‘We’re still living with slavery’

By | Reparations

From prize-winners Esi Edugyan and Marlon James to debut novelists such as Sara Collins, a new generation of novelists is exploring a painful past. By Colin Grant, The Guardian — Two hundred years ago, slave narratives seemed one of the few routes to publication for black writers on both sides of the Atlantic. Autobiographical accounts written by former slaves such as Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass proved enormously popular with readers, who…

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Making Good on the Broken Promise of Reparations

By | Reparations

By Katherine Franke, NYR Daily — A bill calling for the federal government to “study and consider” how to provide reparations to African Americans for slavery has been introduced into every session of the US Congress for the last thirty years. The bill’s aim is “to address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the thirteen American colonies between 1619 and 1865.” Representative John Conyers, the primary sponsor…

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Harvard University Sued Over Earliest Photos of American Slaves

By | News & Current Affairs, Reparations

Harvard University sued over allegedly profiting from what are believed to be the earliest photos of American slaves. By Joey Garrison, USA Today — Video — A lawyer says Harvard University has the opportunity to “remove the stain from its legacy” by honoring a Connecticut woman’s request to turn over photos of two South Carolina slaves she says are her ancestors. (March 20) AP, AP BOSTON – In 1850, a…

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Tamara Lanier is suing Harvard University for ownership of daguerreotypes of slaves who she says are her ancestors.

Who Should Own Photos of Slaves? The Descendants, not Harvard, a Lawsuit Says

By | News & Current Affairs, Reparations

By Anemona Hartocollis, The New York Times — NORWICH, Conn. — The two slaves, a father and daughter, were stripped to the waist and positioned for frontal and side views. Then, like subjects in contemporary mug shots, their pictures were taken, as part of a racist study arguing that black people were an inferior race. Almost 170 years later, they are at the center of a dispute over who should…

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Prince Charles and Camilla Duchess of Cornwall with Mia Mottley, the prime minister of Barbados, 19 March 2019.

What if the Caribbean refused royal visits until reparations were paid?

By | Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

Charles and Camilla are the latest to arrive and help whitewash the injustices of slavery and empire. By Nalini Mohabir, The Guardian — Once upon a time monarchs ruled by divine right, then later with charismatic authority. The future king Prince Charles (#NotMyPrince) has neither. Yet Caribbean governments are paying for Prince Charles and Camilla’s royal tour of the Caribbean which began on Sunday and continues for 12 days, to…

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Abraham Lincoln

One Way to Make Reparations Work

By | Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Noah Smith, Bloomberg — The issue of reparations for African Americans is, of course, full of more moral and historical issues than one column, even by someone with much greater understanding and deeper knowledge than me, could ever resolve. But since the proposal is now being taken seriously, it’s worth thinking about the economics of how it could and should work. The idea of compensating the descendants of American…

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