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

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Racism is behind anti-Asian American violence, even when it’s not a hate crime

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Pawan Dhingra — Over the past year, attacks on Asian Americans have increased more than 150% over the previous year, including the March 16 murders of eight people, including six Asian American women, in Atlanta. Some of these attacks may be classified as hate crimes. But whether they meet that legal definition or not, they all fit a long history of viewing Asian Americans in particular ways that make discrimination and violence…

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Movement for Black Lives opposes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

By News & Current Affairs

By The Associated Press — DETROIT (AP) — The Movement for Black Lives is opposing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, arguing the bill doubles down on reform strategies that have historically failed to center marginalized communities and address police violence nationwide, according to a blistering letter to congressional leaders, first shared with The Associated Press. The movement, which was formed in 2014, is a coalition of 150 organizations…

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The American Century Ends Early

By Editors' Choice

By Tom Engelhardt — How the USS Enterprise Was Transformed into the USS Roach Like Gregor Samsa, the never-to-be-forgotten character in Franz Kafka’s story “The Metamorphosis,” we awoke on January 7th to discover that we, too, were “a giant insect” with “a domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments” and numerous “pitifully thin” legs that “waved helplessly” before our eyes. If you prefer, though, you can just say it:…

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Isn’t 400 Years Enough?

By Editors' Choice

The failure to appreciate Black history leaves our nation incomplete. By Jonathan Holloway— Many of the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 were driven by a belief that they were acting in accord with the principles fashioned at the birth of this country, that their protest embodied America’s long history of patriotic rhetoric about freedom and citizenship. And in this, they are at least partly right: Such rhetoric…

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The progressive turn of Black elected officials

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Sundiata Cha-Jua— The key to African American advancement and eventual liberation is the strength of the Black liberation movement. When the movement operates at high tide, it elevates all aspects of Black life. It carries culture, religion, media and electoral politics. The movement establishes the context in which Black entertainers and sports figures acquire the space to stand up and advocate for their people. A movement upsurge pressures politicians…

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White People Are Cashing In On The Black Struggle for Equality

By Commentaries/Opinions, News & Current Affairs

By Anthony Quinones— Many historically marginalized groups have the ability to address the atrocities done to them. For example, Jewish people are still talking about the Holocaust. The Nazis killed millions of Jews from 1941-1945. Nobody should ever forget that. All races, ethnicities, and cultures should remember their past to avoid a repeat of the horrible events. All groups have this ability–except Black people. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd,…

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So is critical race theory poisonous or illuminating?

By Commentaries/Opinions

By The Unitimes Reporter— Twice during last year’s American presidential election campaign, the US president attacked Critical Race Theory (CRT). The first time, on Constitution Day in September, Donald Trump called the critical school that developed from Critical Legal Theory in the late 1980s “ideological poison” because it foregrounded the racial aspects of American history in the school curriculum. The 1619 Project developed by scholars and the New York Times was “radical”,…

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Adopting a Politics of Love and Liberation in Our Schools Can Save Our Democracy

By Editors' Choice

By Teresa Ann Willis— On January 6, 2021, mobs of mostly white Trump supporters stormed the United States Capitol building armed with weapons, outrage and what they believed to be the truth about a Donald Trump victory in the November 2020 presidential election. Despite election results that recorded a 306 to 232 electoral college win for Biden, many who backed the president believed, without any evidence to support their beliefs,…

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While the G.I. Bill and other post-World War II policies helped to build a strong middle class, many of those benefits were not extended to black families—just one factor that led to the racial wealth gap seen today. (Photo: @LadyLSpeaks/Twitter)

1619, 1776, and Family Separation: How We Move Child Welfare Forward with Equity

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Dr. Sharon McDaniel— Dear President Biden and Vice President Harris, During the campaign, I saw your signs touting the phrase, “Our best days still lie ahead.” But what do “best days” look like for our children and families? As CEO of a nationally recognized kinship care service agency, a Black mother and a former child of the foster care system, I can say issues of racism remain problematic in child welfare services. I’ve dealt with the…

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Living in the Age of the White Mob

By Editors' Choice

By Victor Luckerson— For most of the hundred and fifty-six years since the Civil War, white mobs have had free rein over American society. They burned Black schools during Reconstruction, strung Black bodies from trees during the lynching era, and harassed Black students during the civil-rights movement. These were acts of racism, but they were also flexes of political power—murderous demands that the legal and cultural norms of the rioters’…

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Biden’s Inauguration Gives Us New Hope and New Energy

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Jesse Jackson— There should be no reluctance to work with Biden to help pass critical reforms, but at the same time, the pressure for outside must continue to build for there to be any hope of change. On Monday, we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s 91st birthday; on Wednesday, Joe Biden will be inaugurated as president, promising change after a dark period of division. Dr. King’s relationship with John…

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Why the West is morally bound to offer reparations for slavery

By Editors' Choice, News & Current Affairs

By Rhoda E. Howard Hassmann— The 20th anniversary of the UN World Conference on Racism, held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001, will be celebrated this August. There was much discussion at the conference about reparations to Africa for the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in which millions of Africans were captured to provide free labour in North and South America and the Caribbean for over four and a half centuries. Unfortunately, the conference was…

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