chattel slavery Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century


400 Years in Virginia. 500 Years in Slavery.

By Reparations

People of African descent have been ‘here’ longer than the English colonies By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire — In August 2018, the National Newspaper Publishers Association began a series on the transatlantic slave trade. The series started in conjunction with the annual United Nations International Day of Remembrance. With the observance of the first African landing in America, some question whether it’s the 400th or 500th anniversary. Historians point out that…

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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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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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Gayle King interviews Ralph Northam

Slavery vs Indentured Servitude: Which aids racism?

By Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

Perhaps the main reason so many people objected to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam calling the first 20 Africans to land in Virginia in 1619 indentured servants, and not slaves, is that they believe the conditions of slavery were so much harsher than those of indentured servitude, that calling these Africans indentured servants amounts to a cover-up of their reality. That is because the popular image that we have been sold…

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Freed Slaves Civil War

A Lesson on Slavery for White America

By Editors' Choice

By Paul Street — Look at the following series of tweets from the president of the United States, reflecting Thursday on the tearing down of Confederate statues in the U.S. South: Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments. You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson—who’s next, Washington, Jefferson?…

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