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confederacy Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

View of the Confederate memorial, with an added Confederate flag made out of flowers, Jasper, Alabama, 2010.

White America’s “hidden wound” threatens to destroy the country — and not for the first time

By News & Current Affairs

Half a century ago, writer Wendell Berry saw this coming: What white people can’t talk about is destroying them. By Kirk Swearingen, Salon — Words matter; poetry has power. It’s not for nothing that authoritarians first go after the intellectuals, the journalists, the poets. Consider these well-wrought statements: All men are created equal Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Liberté, égalité, fraternité Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice…

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Why confederate lies live on - Image by Paul Spella

Why Confederate Lies Live On

By Reparations

For some Americans, history isn’t the story of what actually happened; it’s the story they want to believe. By Clint Smith, The Atlantic Most of the people who come to Blandford Cemetery, in Petersburg, Virginia, come for the windows—masterpieces of Tiffany glass in the cemetery’s deconsecrated church. One morning before the pandemic, I took a tour of the church along with two other visitors and our tour guide, Ken. When my…

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The Whole Story in a Single Photo

By Editors' Choice

An image from the Capitol captures the distance between who we purport to be and who we have actually been. By Clint Smith— On Wednesday afternoon, as insurrectionists assaulted the Capitol, a man wearing a brown vest over a black sweatshirt walked through the halls of Congress with the Confederate battle flag hanging over his shoulder. One widely circulated photo, taken by Mike Theiler of Reuters, captured him mid-stride, part…

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d-c-riot-washington-riots-confederate-flag-910x512

‘Vintage white rage’: Why the riots were about the perceived loss of white power

By Editors' Choice

By Char Adams— A far-right, pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol with Confederate flags and weapons in an attempt to stop members of Congress The response by both law enforcement and political leaders is still being parsed out, but activists and scholars say there is a deeper, underlying issue that must be considered: Violent expressions of white power are the norm when white anger and resentment rooted in racism exists. from counting…

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How the Black Codes Limited African American Progress After the Civil War

How the Black Codes Limited African American Progress After the Civil War

By Reparations

The black codes effectively continued enslavement for African Americans by restricting their rights and exploiting their labor. By Nadra Kareem Nittle — When slavery ended in the United States, freedom still eluded African Americans who were contending with the repressive set of laws known as the black codes. Widely enacted throughout the South following the Civil War—a period called Reconstruction—these laws both limited the rights of Black people and exploited them as a…

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Taking Down Flags and Tearing Down Walls: Some Seriously Needed Distinctions

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — This is a revisiting of an ongoing conversation beginning in 2015 about taking down symbols of oppression, especially Confederate flags, but also statues, murals and all public signs, symbols and celebrations of our domination, deprivation and degradation as a people and other people of color. My argument here, as then, is that these acts are necessary, but not sufficient, an important start, but not the end of the long, difficult and…

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Folk dancers gather before performing at the 2018 Confederate Festival in Santa Bárbara d’Oeste, Brazil. Each of their dresses is embroidered with the name of a state in the U.S. Confederacy.

They lost the Civil War and fled to Brazil. Their descendants refuse to take down the Confederate flag

By News & Current Affairs

Brazil’s confederados gather in Sao Paulo state each year to celebrate all things Dixie. As in the United States, calls are growing for a reassessment. By Terrence McCoy — To Marina Lee Colbachini, it was a family tradition. Each spring, she would join the throngs who descended on a nondescript city in southern Brazil, don a 19th-century hoop skirt and square dance to country music. The theme of the annual…

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Be Careful What Monuments You Go After

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson — I recently called for Long Beach, California school officials to re-examine having the name of former President Woodrow Wilson on one of its schools. A day later a reporter doing a story on the controversy asked, “I wonder in response to those who say changing school names is going too far…” It was a fair question. My answer as far as Wilson was concerned was easy….

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Symbols, Statues, and Substance

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Julianne Malveaux — Socially isolated and alone in my home, I lifted my fist into the air when I learned that the Mississippi legislature voted to remove the Confederate stars and bars from their flag. As NACCP President Derrick Jackson said, “it’s been a long time coming.”  A long time since the songstress Nina Simone put it out there with Mississippi G—damn. A long time since Emmitt Till was…

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Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass Statue Torn Down on Anniversary of Famous July 4 Speech

By News & Current Affairs

The landmark 1852 speech by the Black abolitionist was titled, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” By Chris Walker, Truthout — A statue of Frederick Douglass, a formerly enslaved Black abolitionist in the mid-1800s who helped to transport other enslaved people seeking freedom on the Underground Railroad, was removed from its pedestal in a park in Rochester, New York, by vandals over the weekend. The statue was…

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Robert E. Lee

Robert E. Lee Wasn’t a Hero, He Was a Traitor

By Reparations

By Michael McLean, HNN — There’s a fabled moment from the Battle of Fredericksburg, a gruesome Civil War battle that extinguished several thousand lives, when the commander of a rebel army looked down upon the carnage and said, “It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it.” That commander, of course, was Robert Lee. The moment is the stuff of legend. It captures Lee’s…

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The statue depicts Roosevelt on horseback, with a Native American man and an African man

How Do We Address a Statue of President Roosevelt That Affirms Racist Hierarchies?

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Nick Mirzoeff, Hyperallergic — Almost two years after the 2017 fascist rally at Charlottesville around a mediocre statue of Robert E. Lee, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) opened its exhibition Addressing the Statue for an unspecified run. The statue in question is James Earle Fraser’s massive “Theodore Roosevelt Equestrian Memorial,” situated outside the Museum’s main entrance, depicting Roosevelt flanked by his gun carriers, a stereotyped Plains Indian and a generic African. It…

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