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Civil Rights Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Defiant: Jesse Owens after winning the 100m at the Berlin Olympics, August 1936

The Hitlers in Our Own Country

By Commentaries/Opinions

How the Nazi persecution of Jews shaped the African-American freedom struggle. By Clive Webb, History Today — Martin Luther King delivered his celebrated ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on 28 August 1963 at the March on Washington. Less well known is that one of the other speakers that day was Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a political émigré who had fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s. His presence at the march demonstrated…

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Toni Morrison

A Documentary That Shows Another Side of Toni Morrison

By Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

This moving and profound portrait serves as a fitting biographical tribute as well as a piercing, often painful recount of African American history from slavery and the Civil War to the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights movement and beyond. By Syreeta McFadden, The Atlantic — One of my white teachers in high school insisted that Toni Morrison would be confusing to me as a reader. So I approached the…

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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 It had been replaced by a sense of disillusionment, a sense of urgency that America was about to lose the last chance to have its soul.”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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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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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Beyond the Bondage of Plantation Politics: Crafting Our Own Presidential Platform — Part 1

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

Part. 1. By Dr. Maulana Karenga — During both the Holocaust of enslavement and the era of segregation, leaving the plantation was a metaphor, mental process and actual practice of freedom. It was a freeing oneself mentally and physically, thinking freedom and then acting in ways that led to its achievement as did Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Fannie Lou Hamer, Messenger Muhammad and countless others in their rejection of and resistance to…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Beyond the Bondage of Plantation Politics: Crafting Our Own Presidential Platform — Part 2

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

Part. 2. By Dr. Maulana Karenga — The insistence on calling our righteous and relentless struggle by its rightful name, The Black Freedom Movement, instead of the Civil Rights Movement, is no minor matter.  For it speaks to our commitment to freedom itself and reflects in a real way how we understand ourselves and our initiative and history in the world. Indeed, it reveals our resistance to plantation politics that…

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Buildings at Princeton University’s Princeton Theological Seminary are pictured in Princeton, N.J. Last year, the university released a report on the school’s role in American bondage. Although the seminary did not own slaves and slave labor was not used on constructing the school, slave owners were major donors and responsible for as much as 40 percent of the seminary’s revenue.

‘We are therefore demanding …’ : Reparations in the Christian church

By Editors' Choice, News & Current Affairs

By Wyatt Massey, Frederick News Post — The Rev. Dr. Ernest Campbell said no, James Forman could not speak at his church service the next day. Campbell was the senior pastor at Riverside Church, a predominantly white church on the west side of Manhattan. Forman, a black civil rights leader, wanted to read something to the congregation at the next day’s service on May 4, 1969, according to a history…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

The Compelling Need and Notion of Freedom: Retrieving Our Expansive Concept of Struggle

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — As we celebrate each year our strivings and struggles through history, the Black Freedom Movement is always a central focus. But we may not call it by its rightful name, because it has been renamed by the established order as the Civil Rights Movement and this has implications for us in terms of self-determination and how we define our goals, what we count as victory,…

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Cashing in on King - MLK Day Sales

Cashing in on King

By Commentaries/Opinions

Get your credit card and check books ready for this year’s King Holiday. By Earl Ofari Hutchinson — Here’s what The Gap Clothing retailer blazoned in an ad, “Over 500 styles MLK Event Huge Savings! Up to 50% off on items.” Macy’s quickly joined in and announced its MLK Day sale noting “20 percent off sitewide with free shipping on qualifying orders. Further details are expected to be announced over the weekend.”…

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