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

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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American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, circa 1855.

The History of Frederick Douglass’ Searing Independence Day Oration

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Olivia B. Waxman,Time  — After the Independence Day military parade in the nation’s capital on Thursday, President Donald Trump will give a speech at the Lincoln Memorial, the most recognizable memorial to his predecessor’s leadership during the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. And yet, alternative Fourth of July commemorations across the United States often draw attention to a different side of that story, with readings of the…

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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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The Origins of the Lost Cause Myth

The Origins of the Lost Cause Myth

By Reparations

By M. Andrew Holowchak — The two most significant issues that led to war between the North and South were, most scholars acknowledge, slavery and states’ rights. Northern states had fully abolished slavery by 1804, when New Jersey was the last Northern state to do so, and with an economy that did not depend on the labor of slaves, it demanded that the South do the same. Yet in demanding…

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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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A group portrait of the first African-American legislators in the 41st and 42nd Congress. Library of Congress

How Reconstruction Still Shapes American Racism

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Henry Lewis Gates, Jr., Times — During an interview with Chris Rock for my PBS series ­African American Lives 2, we traced the ancestry of several well-known African Americans. When I told Rock that his great-great-­grandfather Julius Caesar Tingman had served in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War — enrolling on March 7, 1865, a little more than a month after the Confederates evacuated from Charleston, S.C. —…

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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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Donald Trump and Frederick Douglass

Biographer explains the lessons of Frederick Douglass: ‘White supremacy does not die — it revives in new forms’

By Commentaries/Opinions

Biographer David Blight on Douglass’ lessons for us: “White supremacy does not die … it revives in new forms.”   By Chauncey DeVega, Salon — Black History Month, which has just concluded, was first established as Negro History Week in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. February was chosen in particular because it contained two very important dates: Feb….

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Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Elizabeth Warren backs reparations for black Americans

By News & Current Affairs, Reparations

By Ginger Gibson — WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, supports the federal government issuing reparations to black Americans who were economically affected by slavery, she said on Thursday. “We must confront the dark history of slavery and government-sanctioned discrimination in this country that has had many consequences including undermining the ability of Black families to build wealth in America for generations,”…

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