Inequality Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century


My church will replace our Black Lives Matter sign. Will America replace its racist myth?

By Editors' Choice

By William H. Lamar IV— The Rev. William H. Lamar IV is the pastor of the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington. Do you hear what I hear? I hear the imperial American myth in the throes of its own death rattle. And I hear a people clamoring for a story by which to order their lives. The United States does not like to call itself an empire. But…

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free men, women, and children in Richmond, Va., 1865

Calling on white Americans: Reparations for slavery are due

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

The legacy of slavery is far from resolved. It persists every day and everywhere. By David Gardinier and Karen Hilfman, The Boston Globe — Since the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a white police officer, and the resounding anti-racist uprisings around the world, the concept of reparations has picked up momentum in national conversations and has sparked new public curiosity and interest. Among Black people and their ancestors,…

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Healthcare workers walk out for Black Lives, 1199SEIU

Strike for Black Lives; Unions and Racial Justice

By News & Current Affairs

SEIU, the Teamsters, AFT, CWA, UFCW, UNITE HERE, ATU and the UFW joined dozens of other labor and community organizations in a national Strike for Black Lives. Meanwhile, unions are pushing the fight for racial justice beyond resolutions. By Martin Belam; Stephanie Luce — From Resolutions to Transformation: How Unions Are Organizing for Racial Justice Tens of thousands of Americans strike in protest over racial inequality 1 Tens of thousands…

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Steven Perry as Henry Temple in “The Big Tall Wish,” a Season 1 episode of The Twilight Zone

Tele-visionary Blackness

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Brandy Monk-Payton, Public Books — I. CHANNELING FREEDOM DREAMS A Black boy presses his forehead and cheek against the television. He shuts his eyes, clasps his hands together, and mutters fervently. It is a scene from “The Big Tall Wish,” a Season 1 episode of The Twilight Zone. The episode, which was released in 1960, follows Bolie Jackson (Ivan Dixon), a washed-up prizefighter who has lost all confidence in his…

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Bill Clinton golfing with his wealthy friends on August 5, 2000, in Martha's Vineyard, MA.

The Racial Wealth Gap Is About the Upper Classes

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Matt Bruenig, Jacobin — In light of the recent resurgence of Black Lives Matter protests, there has been renewed discussion of the racial wealth gap and how to close it (Nikole Hannah-Jones, Annie Lowrey). I have written on this topic many times in the past (I, II, III, IV). One thing I have tried to emphasize over the years, which I will do again here in a different way, is that due to…

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Five generations of a slave family.

American slavery: Separating fact from myth

By Reparations

By Daina Ramey Berry — People think they know everything about slavery in the United States, but they don’t. They think the majority of African slaves came to the American colonies, but they didn’t. They talk about 400 years of slavery, but it wasn’t. They claim all Southerners owned slaves, but they didn’t. Some argue it was all a long time ago, but it wasn’t. Slavery has been in the…

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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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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Madcapping and Conning with Trump: Feeding Americans Addiction to Illusions

By COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — The current and seemingly consensual wisdom is that this pandemic has exposed the fault lines of injustice and inequality in society. But it has also added in the problematic person of Trump another blow to the racist conception of Whiteness, its claims of superiority in leadership, salvational power, divine election and a perfect union. At the risk of seeming racially insensitive to White people, it…

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Homeless in NYC Subway

Inequality and the Coronavirus, Or How to Destroy American Society From the Top Down

By Commentaries/Opinions, COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

By Liz Theoharis — My mom contracted polio when she was 14. She survived and learned to walk again, but my life was deeply affected by that virus. Today, as our larger society attempts to self-distance and self-isolate, my family has texted about the polio quarantine my mom was put under: how my grandma fearfully checked my aunt’s temperature every night because she shared a bedroom with my mom; how they…

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A New York MTA worker wears personal protective equipment at the Grand Army Plaza subway station in Brooklyn.

The pathology of American racism is making the pathology of the coronavirus worse

By Commentaries/Opinions, COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Covid-19 is disproportionately killing black people because the whole system is worse for us. By Stacey Patton, The Washington Post — Black America is ground zero for covid-19. Alarming health department statistics from cities and counties in the Carolinas, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin show that black people are getting sicker and dying at higher rates from the novel coronavirus than white people. Although the federal government hasn’t yet released data on the pandemic and race, the…

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