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Jim Crow Laws Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Sonia Pruitt

A Message on Policing Respectability

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Sonia Pruitt (Chair of the National Black Police Association) — Yesterday morning, I received a text message from a friend, who is also in law enforcement. The text contained a link to a news story, and the lede read “William Barr Says Those Who Don’t Show More Respect to Cops May Not Get Police Protection.” The next text from my friend read, “How horrible is this….” After I read the story, I felt…

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Ben & Jerry's Stands in Support of H.R. 40 and Reparations for African Americans

Ben & Jerry’s Stands in Support of H.R. 40 and Reparations for African Americans

By Reparations

Statement by Ben & Jerry’s — Four hundred years ago, the first enslaved Africans were brought to North America in Jamestown, Virginia. As all of us acknowledge and observe this anniversary, we, as a company, believe it’s important to take a decisive stand in support of reparations. That is why we back H.R. 40, a bill before Congress that would create a commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination…

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Slave Patrol

Slavery and the Origins of the American Police State

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

From the beginning, some Americans have been able to move more freely than others. By Ben Fountain, Medium — They were called patrollers or, variously, “paterollers,” “paddyrollers,” or “patterolls,” and they were meant to be part of the solution to Colonial America’s biggest problem, labor. Unlike Great Britain, which had a large, basically immobile peasant class that could be forced to work for subsistence wages, there weren’t enough cheap bodies…

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American Slave Statue

Why Reparations from 1619 to Now

By Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

By Rev. Irene Monroe, LA Progressive — A year before the Mayflower arrived in 1620, the first group of enslaved Africans depicted as “20 and odd Negroes” arrived sometime during the final week of August to the Virginia colony of Jamestown. The fact that the exact date cannot be pinpointed assists in obfuscating the origins of slavery in the United States. What is incontrovertible is the fact that this month…

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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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Civil rights advocates carry placards during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in Washington

Truth and Reconciliation: Addressing Systematic Racism in the United States

By Commentaries/Opinions, Editors' Choice

By Danyelle Solomon — 2019 marks the 400th anniversary of Africans sold into bondage arriving on Virginia’s shores. It has been 156 years since the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, 55 years since the end of Jim Crow, and 51 years since the civil rights movement. All of these moments in U.S. history represent crossroads—moments where the country made a choice or where people demanded that the words on the pages of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights became more than words; that policies and practices were equitably distributed among all people, not just a select few…

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Lawmakers on Wednesday held the first congressional hearing in more than a decade on reparations, spotlighting the debate over whether the United States should consider compensation for the descendants of slaves in the United States. (June 19) AP

‘Poison of America’: Bill on slavery reparations gains backing from Sen. Chuck Schumer

By HR 40 Congressional Hearing, News & Current Affairs, Reparations

By Nicholas Wu and Deborah Barfield Berry, USA Today — WASHINGTON – Calling racism the “poison of America,” Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer gave his support Tuesday to a bill to set up a commission to study reparations. “The disparities in race affect everything, not just the obvious things, but the non-obvious things” like pollution and climate change, Schumer explained. The bill, proposed by Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Texas…

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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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Commentary, Articles and Essays by Dr. Maulana Karenga

Resisting the Ethical Imperative of Reparations: Seeking Artificial Refuge in Dishonest Denial

By Dr. Maulana Karenga, HR 40 Congressional Hearing, Reparations

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — The recent hearing in the House of Representatives on reparations marks an important step on the long struggle for justice for Black people and accountability from the larger society for the horrendous and harrowing history of enslavement, Jim Crowism and racist oppression of varied kinds. However, in the spirit and speech of Amilcar Cabral, we know we must “mask no difficulties, tell no lies and…

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Black Lives Matter Poster

The Racist Roots of American Policing: from Slave Patrols to Traffic Stops

By Commentaries/Opinions

But the persistence of racially biased policing means that unless American policing reckons with its racist roots, it is likely to keep repeating mistakes of the past. Connie Hassett-Walker, The Conversation — Outrage over racial profiling and the killing of African Americans by police officers and vigilantes in recent years helped give rise to the Black Lives Matter movement. But tensions between the police and black communities are nothing new. There are many precedents to the Ferguson,…

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