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American History Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Dr. Carter G. Woodson

Remembering and Re-Reading Woodson: Envisioning an Emancipatory Education

By | Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — Clearly, in this important month and historical moment of celebrating Black History thru reflective remembrance and recommitment to ever-deeper study and emancipatory practice, our minds easily turn to the writings and life work of the father of Black History Month, Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875–1950). For it is Dr. Woodson who framed and laid the foundation for our celebration of Black History Month, having given…

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Donna Brazile speaks at the inauguration of New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell in New Orleans on May 7, 2018.

Brazile: We Need ‘Some Reconciliation’ for African-Americans in U.S.; Follow South Africa Model

By | Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Nicholas Ballasy, PJ Media — WASHINGTON – CNN political analyst April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, said past U.S. presidents like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush refused to formally “apologize for slavery” because it would lead to some form of reparations for descendants of slaves. “In my first book, I tackled the issue of reparations as a healing, as a possible healing, asking people……

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The Library of Congress has acquired “The Life of Omar ibn Said,” the only known memoir written in Arabic by an African enslaved in the United States

When few enslaved people in the United States could write, one man wrote his memoir in Arabic

By | Commentaries/Opinions

The 1831 narrative by Omar ibn Said is the only known surviving slave account of its kind. By Michael E. Ruane, The Washington Post — As a slave, he was called “Morro” or “Uncle Moreau.” A dignified man in his 60s, he was small in stature, unfit for hard work and had been enslaved for almost a quarter-century. He spoke limited English. But his real name was Omar ibn Said….

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Martin Luther King

The Big Lie About Race and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By | Commentaries/Opinions

By Nkechi Taifa and Mark Osler — As politicians and office-holders trot out their annual tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., beware of a big lie that has too often been front and center in these speeches. In short, it is this: That there was racism in America, that Dr. King came and solved the problem, and now we are lucky to live in a post-racial America. This narrative…

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Selma marchers in 1965

Voting Rights in America — Two Centuries of Struggle

By | Editors' Choice

By Bruce Hartford, Civil Right Movement Veterans — Note: This brief time-line describes an American history of oppression, persecution, and discrimination in regards to voting rights. But in all of the events described here, those affected were not submissive or passive victims, – rather they fought for their rights with whatever means they had. Similarly, much of this short summary consists of legislative and legal milestones. But those laws and…

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Five nations in the Indian Territory - the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole - kept back slaves for decades

How Native Americans adopted slavery from white settlers

By | Reparations

And how black people in Indian Territory were denied their rights even after their emancipation. By Alaina E Roberts, Al Jazeera — Last week marked the 153rd anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution in 1865. Rightly celebrated as a milestone for the black American community, the 13th Amendment led to the eventual liberation of all African Americans enslaved in the United States of the late…

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White supremacists gather under a statue of Robert E. Lee during a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 2017.

America’s Original Sin

By | Editors' Choice

Slavery and the Legacy of White Supremacy. By Annette Gordon-Reed, Foreign Affairs — The documents most closely associated with the creation of the United States—the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution—present a problem with which Americans have been contending from the country’s beginning: how to reconcile the values espoused in those texts with the United States’ original sin of slavery, the flaw that marred the country’s creation, warped its prospects, and eventually…

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Left: Joe Stewart and Patricia Bayonne-Johnson, both descendants of people sold as slaves by Georgetown University, arrive to hear about moves aimed at acknowledging and encouraging dialogue about the Jesuit-run university's ties to slavery in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 1, 2016

UN panel says the U.S. owes reparations to African-Americans

By | Reparations

By Eugene Mason, PBS — The United States owes African-Americans reparations for slavery, a recent report by a United Nations-affiliated group said. The UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent said that compensation is necessary to combat the disadvantages caused by 245 years of legally allowing the sale of people based on the color of their skin. The U.N. group warned that the U.S. has not confronted its legacy of “racial terrorism.”…

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