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

Ta-Nehisi Coates

How Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Novel Reckons With the Past

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

“The Water Dancer” comes out of a powerful examination of the legacies of slavery today. By Eric Herschthal, The New Republic — Eight years ago, Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote an essay in The Atlantic asking why so few black people studied the Civil War. Coates noted that he himself had only recently become an avid reader of Civil War history, and along with it, a student of the larger system that propelled it into…

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What Happened to Abraham Lincoln’s Missing Slavery Speech?

What Happened to Abraham Lincoln’s Missing Slavery Speech?

By Reparations

By Allison McNearney, The Daily Beast — On the skills section of Abraham Lincoln’s resume, badass orator ranks near the top. During the course of his career, the 16th president excelled at giving profound, rousing, and memorable speeches that have been engraved on the soul of the country. But while schools across the U.S. instill their students with the historic lines from the Gettysburg Address, while politicians quote his second inaugural address in…

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What Reparations for Slavery Might Look Like in 2019

What Reparations for Slavery Might Look Like in 2019

By Reparations

The idea of economic amends for past injustices and persistent disparities is getting renewed attention. Here are some formulas for achieving the aim. By Patricia Cohen, The New York Times — If you’re surprised that the issue of reparations for black Americans has taken so long to resolve, blame the president. President Andrew Johnson. As the Civil War wound down in 1865, Gen. William T. Sherman made the promise that would come to be…

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L. Prang & Co. print of the painting Hancock at Gettysburg by Thure de Thulstrup, showing Pickett's Charge.

The Diaries Left Behind by Confederate Soldiers Reveal the True Role of Enslaved Labor at Gettysburg

By Reparations

Even as some enslaved men escaped North, the retreat by the Army of Northern Virginia would have been disastrous without the support of its camp servants. By Kevin M. Levin, Smithsonian —  Walking the Gettysburg battlefield today, it’s easy to imagine the Union and Confederate armies dueling for control of the Pennsylvania town and its surrounding picturesque fields and rocky hills for three days in July 1863. For many tourists,…

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Georgia Democrats embrace slavery reparations proposal - HR 40

Georgia Democrats embrace slavery reparations proposal

By News & Current Affairs, Reparations

U.S. Senate candidates, Ga. officials voice support for bill to study options. By Tamar Hallerman, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution — Two of the top Democrats seeking Georgia’s U.S. Senate seat in 2020 are embracing a proposal to examine reparations for the descendants of slaves, a concept senior members of the party shied away from in previous elections. Former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson and Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry have both voiced support…

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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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