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

Civil rights advocates carry placards during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in Washington

Truth and Reconciliation: Addressing Systematic Racism in the United States

By Commentaries/Opinions, Editors' Choice

By Danyelle Solomon — 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of Africans sold into bondage arriving on Virginia’s shores. It has been 156 years since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, 55 years since the end of Jim Crow, and 51 years since the civil rights movement. All of these moments in U.S. history represent crossroads—moments where the country made a choice or where people demanded that the words on the pages of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights became more than words; that policies and practices were equitably distributed among all people, not just a select few…

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What is White Supremacy?

White Supremacy Goes Prime Time

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Chandra Muzaffar — A number of commentators have linked the killing of 20 people at a Walmart store in El Paso in the United States of America on Saturday 3rd August 2019 to the rising tide of White Supremacism. White Supremacism is a belief that whites are superior to others and therefore have a right to dominate them. There were elements of such thinking in a “manifesto” posted online…

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Brazil Slave Plantation

A History of Slavery in the United States

By Reparations

By Calvin Schermerhorn, African American Intellectual History Society — This is an excerpt from Calvin Schermerhorn’s Unrequited Toil: A History of United States Slavery (Cambridge University Press, 2018). This excerpt has been reprinted with permission. African-descended Americans bore the social costs of slavery. They paid several times over, in fact. They paid at the point of sale when children were stolen by strangers, when parents were snatched up by slave traders,…

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'This Is Us': In Wake of El Paso, Eddie Glaude Delivers 'Incredibly Powerful' Statement on US History of Racism and Violence—And You Can't Just Blame Trump

‘This Is Us’: In Wake of El Paso, Eddie Glaude on US History of Racism and Violence

By News & Current Affairs

‘This Is Us’: In Wake of El Paso, Eddie Glaude Delivers ‘Incredibly Powerful’ Statement on US History of Racism and Violence—And You Can’t Just Blame Trump By Jon Queally — Princeton University professor Eddie Glaude received praise overnight for comments made on MSNBC Monday as he called on the American people to acknowledge that while blaming President Donald Trump might be easy to do—especially given the available evidence—for the racist-inspired massacre at…

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The Storied History of the NAACP

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire — The NAACP plans to highlight 110 years of civil rights history, and the current fight for voting rights, criminal justice reform, economic opportunity and education quality during its 110th national convention now happening in Detroit. The five-day event which began on Saturday, July 20, will also include a session on the 2020 Census, a presidential roundtable, CEO Roundtable, and LGBTQ and legislative workshops….

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A man representing the Freedman's Bureau stands between armed groups of Euro-Americans and Afro-Americans in this illustration from 1868.Alfred R. Waud, Harper's Weekly

The US Gave Slavers Their Land Back. What About Black Folks’ Reparations?

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

H.R. 40, the bill for a commission to study reparations, can help fulfill the promise of “40 acres and a mule.” By Taru Taylor, Truthout — The U.S. government was on the wrong side of history when they reneged their promise of “40 acres and a mule” to formerly enslaved Black Americans in 1865. Exactly 154 years later, let’s pass H.R. 40, the bill for a commission to study reparations, and…

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Mary Turner and the Lynching Rampage of 1918

No More Mary Turners

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Julianne Malveaux — Mary Turner was lynched on May 19. 1918 because she dared raise her voice. Her husband, Hayes Turner, was among 13 people lynched in two weeks in and around Valdosta, Georgia. The lynchings took place because one brutal white man, who was known to abuse workers so severely that he was only able to attract workers by getting them through the convict labor system, beat the…

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Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) sponsored HR 40, legislation to form a commission to study slavery reparations for African Americans.

Germany paid Holocaust reparations. Will the U.S. do the same for slavery?

By Commentaries/Opinions, HR 40 Congressional Hearing, Reparations

By Susan Neiman, Los Angeles Times — Born as a white girl in the segregated South, I’ve spent most of my adulthood as a Jewish woman in Berlin. This double perspective has fueled my resolve to explore America’s fraught relationship with its history. It is easy to point to the differences between the Holocaust and the enslavement and abuse of millions of Africans. When examining possible responses to these crimes,…

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Confederate Statue Nathan Bedford Forrest

Tennessee Just Showed That White Supremacy Is Alive and Well

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Keisha N. Blain, The Washington Post — Honoring a former Confederate general and KKK grand wizard in 2019 is outrageous An obscure Tennessee law required Gov. Bill Lee to declare this past Saturday “Nathan Bedford Forrest Day” to commemorate the Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader. But Lee went further, admitting he had not even considered whether the law should be changed. His actions drew sharp criticism from politicians throughout…

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Beto O'Rourke

Beto O’Rourke reveals family’s slave owner ancestry

By News & Current Affairs, Reparations

Beto O’Rourke says he is descended from slave owners, supports reparations to unite ‘two Americas’. By Vandana Ravikumar, USA Today — The former House representative from El Paso, Texas, published a Medium blog post named after two slaves, Rose and Eliza, who he says his ancestors left to others in their will. “Something that we’ve been thinking about and talking about in town hall meetings and out on the campaign — the legacy of…

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