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History Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Plaque depicting warrior and attendants (16th-17th century), Edo peoples, Benin kingdom, Nigeria.

Liberating the precolonial history of Africa

By Editors' Choice

The West focuses only on slavery, but the history of Africa is so much more than a footnote to European imperialism. By Toby Green / Edited by Sam Haselby, Aeon — To understand the complexity and significance of West African history, there is no better thing to do than to go to Freetown. Sierra Leone’s capital is sited in the lee of the ‘lion-shaped’ mountain that gives the country its…

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‘Unfortunately for us, there is no William Monroe Trotter in 2020. Nor is there a Boston Guardian demanding that the black press “hold a mirror up to nature”.’

The radical black newspaper that declared ‘none are free unless all are free’

By Editors' Choice

In 1901, William Trotter founded an other Guardian – the Boston Guardian – to ‘hold a mirror up to nature’. We could use something similar today, writes Kerri Greenidge. By Kerri Greenidge — In 1901, William Monroe Trotter founded the Guardian newspaper in Boston. At that time, the more famous Guardian – the one you’re now reading – was published in Manchester, and Trotter had never traveled further than Chillicothe, Ohio.…

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Slavery

Blacks Were Enslaved Well into the 1960s

By Reparations

More than 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, there were black people in the Deep South who had no idea they were free. These people were forced to work, violently tortured, and raped. By Antoinette Harrell; as told to Justin Fornal, Vice — Historian and genealogist Antoinette Harrell has uncovered cases of African Americans still living as slaves 100 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The 57-year-old Louisiana…

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A circa 1830 illustration of a slave auction in America.

‘The Slaves Dread New Year’s Day the Worst’: The Grim History of January 1

By Reparations

The Dark History of New Year’s Day in American Slavery “Of all days in the year, the slaves dread New Year’s Day the worst of any,” one 1842 account explained. Here’s why. By Olivia B. Waxman, Times — Americans are likely to think of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as a time to celebrate the fresh start that a new year represents, but there is also a troubling…

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“Colfax Massacre” in Louisiana.

‘The War of Races’: How a hateful ideology echoes through American history

By Editors' Choice

From slavery to Reconstruction to Dylann Roof, the idea of “race war” has a long and bloody legacy in the United States. By Michael E. Miller, The Washington Post — It was high noon on Easter 1873 when the white mob came riding into Colfax. Five months earlier, Louisiana had held its second election since the end of the Civil War and the beginning of black male suffrage. But some…

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The Four Races of Man

Douchebag: The White Racial Slur We’ve All Been Waiting For

By Commentaries/Opinions

“The white folks had sure brought their white to work with them that morning.” Chester Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go. By Michael Mark Cohen — On Shouting White Racial Slurs in Public I am a white, middle class male professor at a big, public university, and every year I get up in front of a hundred and fifty to two hundred undergraduates in a class on the history…

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Norse chessmen, from a Viking hoard, Isle of Lewis, Scotland.

White Supremacists Have Weaponized an Imaginary Viking Past. It’s Time to Reclaim the Real History

By Editors' Choice

Real Viking society was multicultural and multiracial. So where does the white supremacist vision of their genealogy come from? By Dorothy Kim, Times — After New Zealand passed new gun laws this week, most automatic and semi-automatic weapons have become outlawed there as of Friday — a swift response to the March 15 shootings in Christchurch that left 50 Muslim men, women and children dead at the hands of an alleged white supremacist terrorist….

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School Books

Why Colleges Need a Required Class in African American History

By Editors' Choice

By David Barber, HNN — Just before the Thanksgiving break, flyers appeared on the University of Tennessee at Martin campus asking if students were “PROUD TO BE WHITE?” and suggesting that if they were, they should “Contact Like-Minded People” – giving a website address. A second flyer read, “HEY, WHITE MAN … JUST WHAT IS IT GONNA TAKE TO GET YOU TO FIGHTBACK?” Under this headline the flyer depicted in…

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Sydney Labat, 24, and 14 of her Tulane University classmates posed at the Whitney Plantation in Wallace, La.

Med students send message with plantation photo: We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams

By Editors' Choice

More than a dozen medical students from Tulane University posed at the former slave quarters in the hopes of inspiring others. By Mohammed Syed and Suzanne Ciechalski — It wasn’t by chance that more than a dozen black medical students dressed in white coats and posed outside the slave quarters of a Louisiana plantation. Russell Ledet and classmates from Tulane University planned the trip and photos at the Whitney Plantation…

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President Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which granted reparations to Japanese Americans

Another way to look at reparations

By Reparations

By Edna Whittier, The Roanoke Times — In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act to compensate Japanese Americans who were in internment camps during World War II. Offering a formal apology it paid $20,000 to each surviving victim and their heirs. In 2004, the State of Virginia established the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship fund setting aside $1 million (with another $1 million contributed by philanthropist John…

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