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

“Battle of Ravine-à-Couleuvres,” by Karl Girardet and Jean-Jacques Outhwaite

We owe Haiti a debt we can’t repay

By Commentaries/Opinions

Haitians carried out the first and only successful slave revolt in modern history, then repelled Napoleon’s forces, making way for the Louisiana Purchase. By Annette Gordon-Reed, NYT — When assassins killed President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti on July 7, pushing the country to the brink of chaos, it may have struck many Americans as the latest in a string of political upheavals and destabilizing disasters in an unfortunate country with…

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A South Carolinan wears the "Stars and Stripes" after the Confederate "Stars and Bars" were lowered from the flagpole

Loving your country means teaching its history honestly

By Commentaries/Opinions

What is the point of American history? David French on how teaching the positive and the negative is key to understanding this country. By David French, TIME — Why do you love the United States of America? There is no better time to ask that question than on Independence Day. The answer to that question can and should tell us a great deal about whether our love of country is…

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Dr Yosef A.A. ben Jochannan seated in the middle of legendary history scholars Dr. Ivan Van Sertima and Dr. John Henrik Clarke on Gil Noble’s talk show

The significance of the late Black Egyptologist Dr. Yosef A. A. Ben Jochannan

By Commentaries/Opinions

Dr Yosef A.A. ben Jochannan seated in the middle of legendary history scholars Dr. Ivan Van Sertima and Dr. John Henrik Clarke on Gil Noble’s talk show ‘Like It Is.’ Gil Noble was a pioneering Afrikan American journalist on ABC news in NYC. By Bashir Muhammad Akinyele — “Dr. Ben gave Kemet and Nile Valley Civilizations back to us” — Dr. Leonard Jeffries (legendary Africana Studies Professor) As I embark…

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Frederick Douglass, 1850.

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? By Frederick Douglass

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall. —— Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens: He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my…

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“The Underground Railroad” attempts to upend viewers’ notions of what it meant to be enslaved

By Commentaries/Opinions

By William Nash — Speaking on NPR’s Fresh Air, Barry Jenkins, the director of “The Underground Railroad,” noted that “before making this show … I would have said I’m the descendant of enslaved Africans.” “I think now that answer has evolved,” he continued. “I am the descendant of blacksmiths and midwives and herbalists and spiritualists.” As a scholar interested in how modern representations of enslavement shape our understanding of the past,…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Celebrating Black Women’s History: Achievements, Strengths and Struggles

By Black Women in History, Commentaries/Opinions, Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — This year’s celebration of Black History Month II: Women’s Focus comes at a time of the pandemic COVID-19 and the continuing pathology of oppression. It is also a time of resistance, rising up and raising the battle cries: Black Women Rising; Black Men Rising; Black People Rising; No Justice, No Peace; and Liberation’s Coming From A Black and Beautiful Thing. And that Black and Beautiful…

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How Black cartographers put racism on the map of America

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Derek H. Alderman, Joshua F.J. Inwood— How can maps fight racism and inequality? The work of the Black Panther Party, a 1960s- and 1970s-era Black political group featured in a new movie and a documentary, helps illustrate how cartography – the practice of making and using maps – can illuminate injustice. As these films show, the Black Panthers focused on African American empowerment and community survival, running a diverse array of programming that ranged…

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Gretta Jackson

Woman Becomes First Black Owner of an Outback Steakhouse in Detroit After Starting As a Server

By Black Women in History, News & Current Affairs

By Cedric ‘BIG CED’ Thornton — A Black woman, who started as a part-time server, is now an owner of her very own Outback Steakhouse restaurant in Michigan, less than 20 years later. According to Fox2 Detroit, Gretta Jackson took a job as a part-time server job at an Outback in Southfield almost two decades ago to put some extra money in her pocket. She worked her way up to become the…

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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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Anti-Racism Protest

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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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Living the Legacy of Our History

By Commentaries/Opinions, Dr. Maulana Karenga

Living the Legacy of Our History: Resolutions for Righteous and Relentless Struggle By Dr. Maulana Karenga— In this time of trial, tragedy and transition, let us turn inward for a sustaining strength and still wish, work and struggle for good in the world. Even though we might have made New Year’s resolutions in all honesty, the established order cultivates a climate that makes them soon lose their relevance and reality….

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