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American History Archives - Page 11 of 14 - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

The main port on the island of Goree a major point of embarkation during the slave trade.

How The Idea Of Reparations For Black Americans Is Coming Closer To Reality

By Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

Main port on the island of Goree a major point of embarkation during the slave trade. By John Torpey, Forbes — The issue of reparations for African-Americans is back in the news, with a number of candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination endorsing the idea in one form or another. Much of the support involves endorsement of a bill creating a study commission that has been introduced unsuccessfully since 1989….

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Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, 1968

The Language of the Unheard: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Social Democracy

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Robert Greene II, The Nation — Gone was the optimism of 1963. It had been replaced by a sense of disillusionment, a sense of urgency that America was about to lose the last chance to have its soul.” This was how Jet magazine described the climax of the Poor People’s Campaign, which reached Washington, DC, in the tumultuous summer of 1968. For Jet and for many early civil-rights activists, the Poor People’s Campaign…

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Lonnie Bunch is director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.

How Lonnie Bunch came to lead the Museum of African American History

By News & Current Affairs

By Susannah Hutcheson, USA Today — Our series “How I became a …” digs into the stories of accomplished and influential people, finding out how they got to where they are in their careers. As the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., Lonnie Bunch spends his days helping Americans understand history that has both brought us together and divided us. The founding…

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Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va

Historian works to ‘humanize those enslaved’ at Fort Monroe

By News & Current Affairs

By Lisa Vernon Sparks, Daily Press — HAMPTON, Va. (AP) — A trove of historical records tells us Fort Monroe in Hampton was built on the backs of thousands of African slaves. But little was known about their identities or who they were — until now. Meet Amos Henley, 23. Skilled, but unpaid for his efforts, Henley was among hundreds leased out by slave owners to the Army — and…

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Sojourner Truth

The History of Black Women Championing Demands for Reparations

By Editors' Choice

Ana Lucia Araujo is a historian and professor at Howard University. Her latest book Reparations for Slavery and the Atlantic Slave Trade: A Transnational and Comparative History was published in 2017. By Ana Lucia Araujo — The American media has paid increasing attention to the legacies of slavery. The new National Museum of African American History and Culture features a huge exhibition on the history of slavery. Many US universities…

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Frederick Douglass

Slavery and the Family Tree

By Reparations

By Whitney Stewart, Black Perspectives — How do you make a family tree when you may not know your family history? Beyond the very real physical and emotional toll on enslaved individuals, slavery’s violence also lay in its determination to erase or prevent the creation of family histories. As Frederick Douglass asserted in his 1855 autobiography, “Genealogical trees do not flourish among slaves.” In other words, the constraints of slavery made assembling and representing…

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Campaign poster of 1856 Republican Candidates for President and Vice President John C. Frémont and William D. Dayton. US Senate

Antislavery Wasn’t Mainstream, Until It Was

By Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

After Republicans lost their first election in 1856, the nineteenth-century Nate Silvers were happy to declare the antislavery movement a radical, fringe idea. Four years later, Abraham Lincoln won on a radical program of change. By Matt Karp, Jacobin — In 1856, the new Republican Party ran its first candidate for President, the western explorer John C. Fremont. He was an unusual leader for an unusual party. The Republicans’ aggressive…

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Visitors and performers at Brazil’s ‘Confederate Party,’ held each April in São Paulo state.

Brazil’s long, strange love affair with the Confederacy ignites racial tension

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Jordan Brasher, The Conversation — The aroma of fried chicken and biscuits roused my appetite as the country sounds of Alison Krauss, Alan Jackson and Johnny Cash played over the loudspeakers. This might have been a county fair back home in Tennessee, but it wasn’t. I was in a cemetery in rural Brazil, at the “Festa Confederada” – the “Confederate Party” – an annual celebration of southern U.S. heritage held each April in Santa Bárbara…

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Redlining: The Origin Story of Institutional Racism

Redlining: The Origin Story of Institutional Racism

By Editors' Choice

 By Michael Harriot, The Root — Money is a social construct. We accept the idea that a dollar issued by the U.S. government is worth more than Monopoly money. Even if our currency were backed by gold, the precious metal is only valuable because we have collectively agreed to its worth. The American idea of race, specifically whiteness, is an economic construct. From the beginning, it has existed in…

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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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