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

‘Unfortunately for us, there is no William Monroe Trotter in 2020. Nor is there a Boston Guardian demanding that the black press “hold a mirror up to nature”.’

The radical black newspaper that declared ‘none are free unless all are free’

By Editors' Choice

In 1901, William Trotter founded an other Guardian – the Boston Guardian – to ‘hold a mirror up to nature’. We could use something similar today, writes Kerri Greenidge. By Kerri Greenidge — In 1901, William Monroe Trotter founded the Guardian newspaper in Boston. At that time, the more famous Guardian – the one you’re now reading – was published in Manchester, and Trotter had never traveled further than Chillicothe, Ohio.…

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A circa 1830 illustration of a slave auction in America.

‘The Slaves Dread New Year’s Day the Worst’: The Grim History of January 1

By Reparations

The Dark History of New Year’s Day in American Slavery “Of all days in the year, the slaves dread New Year’s Day the worst of any,” one 1842 account explained. Here’s why. By Olivia B. Waxman, Times — Americans are likely to think of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as a time to celebrate the fresh start that a new year represents, but there is also a troubling…

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“Colfax Massacre” in Louisiana.

‘The War of Races’: How a hateful ideology echoes through American history

By Editors' Choice

From slavery to Reconstruction to Dylann Roof, the idea of “race war” has a long and bloody legacy in the United States. By Michael E. Miller, The Washington Post — It was high noon on Easter 1873 when the white mob came riding into Colfax. Five months earlier, Louisiana had held its second election since the end of the Civil War and the beginning of black male suffrage. But some…

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The Four Races of Man

Douchebag: The White Racial Slur We’ve All Been Waiting For

By Commentaries/Opinions

“The white folks had sure brought their white to work with them that morning.” Chester Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go. By Michael Mark Cohen — On Shouting White Racial Slurs in Public I am a white, middle class male professor at a big, public university, and every year I get up in front of a hundred and fifty to two hundred undergraduates in a class on the history…

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School Books

Why Colleges Need a Required Class in African American History

By Editors' Choice

By David Barber, HNN — Just before the Thanksgiving break, flyers appeared on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus asking if students were “PROUD TO BE WHITE?” and suggesting that if they were, they should “Contact Like-Minded People” – giving a website address. A second flyer read, “HEY, WHITE MAN … JUST WHAT IS IT GONNA TAKE TO GET YOU TO FIGHTBACK?” Under this headline the flyer depicted in…

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Sydney Labat, 24, and 14 of her Tulane University classmates posed at the Whitney Plantation in Wallace, La.

Med students send message with plantation photo: We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams

By Editors' Choice

More than a dozen medical students from Tulane University posed at the former slave quarters in the hopes of inspiring others. By Mohammed Syed and Suzanne Ciechalski — It wasn’t by chance that more than a dozen black medical students dressed in white coats and posed outside the slave quarters of a Louisiana plantation. Russell Ledet and classmates from Tulane University planned the trip and photos at the Whitney Plantation…

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President Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which granted reparations to Japanese Americans

Another way to look at reparations

By Reparations

By Edna Whittier, The Roanoke Times — In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act to compensate Japanese Americans who were in internment camps during World War II. Offering a formal apology it paid $20,000 to each surviving victim and their heirs. In 2004, the State of Virginia established the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship fund setting aside $1 million (with another $1 million contributed by philanthropist John…

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Watchmen

‘Watchmen’ Was Fantasy, But Here’s Why The Need To Discuss Reparations Is Very Real

By Reparations

The perils facing Blacks in Tulsa, Oklahoma didn’t end with the show’s season finale. By Dreisen Heath, Human Rights Watch, Co-written by Kristi Williams, The Real Black Wall Street Tour Company — Watchmen may have been snubbed by the Golden Globes, but the season finale left many viewers in awe. As Black women who hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma — where the Watchmen plot plays out — we hope the season’s biggest legacy will…

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William Monroe Trotter.

The Legacy of a Radical Black Newspaperman

By Editors' Choice

William Monroe Trotter rejected the view that racial equality could come in stages. By Casey Cep, The New Yorker — The mustache had to go. A classic nineteenth-century handlebar, it was far too recognizable, so William Monroe Trotter shaved it off. In addition to the disguise, he arranged to take a cooking class in his boarding house, evincing a sudden interest that would have surprised his wife, mother, and two…

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President Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson Was Impeached for Being a Racist Demagogue

By Commentaries/Opinions

America’s first impeachment proved it’s hard to impeach for behavior alone. By Dahlia Lithwick, Slate — On this week’s Amicus, Dahlia Lithwick spoke with Kate Shaw, a professor of law at Cardozo Law School and co-director of the Floersheimer Center for Constitutional Democracy. The two discussed impeachment (what else) and assessed what impeachment inquiry is the best comparison for the current investigation—along with what the founders meant when they decided to…

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