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History Archives - Page 3 of 29 - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Enslaved Africans serving in Nieu Amsterdam

North America’s First Freed Black Settlement Right in our NYC Neighborhood

By Reparations

By Sarah Bean Apmann, GVSHP — According to historian Christopher Moore, the first legally emancipated community of people of African descent in North America was found in Lower Manhattan, comprising much of present-day Greenwich Village and the South Village, and parts of the Lower East Side and East Village. This settlement was comprised of individual landholdings, many of which belonged to former “company slaves” of the Dutch West India Company. These former slaves, both men…

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Lorraine Hansberry at an NAACP rally in New York City, 1959.

Lorraine Hansberry’s Radical Imagination

By Commentaries/Opinions

For the playwright and activist, neither liberal reform nor countercultural art were enough. The very foundations of American democracy needed to be transformed. By Elias Rodriques, The Nation — In October of 1964, three months after the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Lorraine Hansberry’s play The Sign in Sidney Brustein’s Window opened on Broadway. At the time, Hansberry was already famous for A Raisin in the Sun, but the intervening years had…

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Black community on a plantation in Beaufort, South Carolina, 1862

‘A White Man Took Her’: Trauma, Loss, and Grief among the Enslaved

By Reparations

By Tyler Parry, AAIHS — In November 1864, a formerly enslaved man named Peter Bumper and his fiance Bucinda Nelson had their marriage registered with the federal government. Long denied access to a legally-recognized, protected union, Bumper and Nelson pursued a path to freedom taken by many formerly enslaved people during the Civil War era. Their heroism in escaping Confederate-controlled territory and finding a Union minister is compelling enough, but the…

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Black Like Who? Image by Bee Harris for NPR

Black Like Who?

By Reparations

Reparations And The Elusive Definition of Black Identity By Gene Bemby, NPR — Black folks have officially been categorized by the government as a bunch of different things, depending on the political moment. During the very first U.S. census back in 1790, it was simply “slaves.” In 1840, it was “free colored males and females” and, of course, slaves. What was “black,” “mulatto,” “quadroon” and “octoroon” in 1890…

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Verene A. Shepherd

Fighting On Arrival: Gold Coast Chiefs In The Battle For Jamaican Freedom

By Editors' Choice

By Verene A. Shepherd — Jamaican History is replete with stories of heroic men and women who at one time or another placed themselves on the frontline of battles for freedom. Such was the case in the war for African liberty in 1760 in St. Mary, led by “Gold Coast Africans” Chief Takyi and Chief Jamaica, who knew enslaved people’s entrapment in “Babylon” was a violation of their right to…

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Celebration of the Abolition of Slavery in the District of Columbia by the Colored People, in Washington, April 19, 1866,”

Since Emancipation, the United States Has Refused to Make Reparations for Slavery

By Reparations

But in 1862, the federal government doled out the 2020 equivalent of $23 million – NOT to the formerly enslaved but to their white enslavers. By Kali Holloway, The Nation — In 1870 a black woman named Henrietta Wood sued the white deputy sheriff who, nearly two decades earlier, kidnapped her from the free state of Ohio, illegally transported her to slaveholding Kentucky, and sold her into a life of enslavement that…

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“Departure of the Pilgrim Fathers From Delfshaven” (1620) by Adam Willaerts from the Rose-Marie and Eijk de Mol van Otterloo collection.

A Fresh Take on the Mayflower’s History

By Reparations

On the 400th anniversary of the ship’s landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the commemoration will be more inclusive than in the past. By Tanya Mohn, NYT — This article is part of our latest Museums special section, which focuses on the intersection of art and politics. Paula Peters remembers the last major anniversary of the historic voyage in 1620 of the Mayflower from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Mass. It was in 1970….

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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Julianne Malveaux

Sisters in STEM — Challenges and Triumphs

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux — Few in these United States had heard of Katherine Johnson, the gifted mathematician who finished high school and college at 18. How could we know when scientists are often stereotyped as old white men wearing white lab coats, with glasses sliding down their noses? You might not have known unless you’d picked up Margot Lee Shetterly’s book (2015), Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American…

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Two men

Historian points out this startling fact about the current racial divisions in the Trump era

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Donne Levy, AlterNet — America is a deeply divided nation. That fact may be the only thing that Americans of all racial, ethnic, and political groups can agree about. A Washington Post-University of Maryland poll conducted in late 2017 indicated that 70 percent of the American people think the country is “as divided as during the Vietnam War.” This division manifests itself in political ways exemplified by the partisan impeachment proceedings and gridlock. The Democratic-led…

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