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Slavery Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Ta-Nehisi Coates

As Reform Jews, we must consider reparations for American slavery

By Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

By Jonah Pesner, Chicago Tribune — Americans in general and faith groups in particular increasingly find ourselves reckoning with our nation’s bigoted history and struggling with how to dismantle the racist systems and structures that persist to this day. As the largest Jewish denomination in the United States, it’s time for the Reform movement to join this conversation. It’s time for us to talk reparations. When I first read Ta-Nehisi…

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Historian Hans Fässler, the spokesman for SCORES

Swiss launch committee on slavery reparations

By News & Current Affairs, Reparations

A Swiss historian backed by dozens of public figures has launched a committee that makes the case for slavery reparations in the context of Switzerland. The supporters of the Swiss Committee on Slavery Reparations (SCORES) believe that reparations must be negotiated through dialogue between those who benefited from the transatlantic slave trade and the descendants of the victims. “The centuries-old human crime of slavery within the framework of the exploitation of the American colonies by Europe demands

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Fund for Reparations Now

White activist and group of progressives launch FFRN! initiative to support NAARC

By NAARC Posts, News & Current Affairs, Press Releases / Statements, Reparations

White Activist and Group of Progressives Launch “Fund for Reparations Now” Will Support the National African American Reparations Commission. Los Angeles, CA — As support for reparations for the descendants of enslaved Africans in America continues to build momentum across the country, David Gardinier, a Los Angeles-based racial justice activist, has assembled a group of like-minded White progressives to launch the Fund for Reparations Now (FFRN). The objective of this…

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A portrait from 1868 of abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Faith made Harriet Tubman fearless as she rescued slaves

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Robert Gudmestad — Millions of people voted in an online poll in 2015 to have the face of Harriet Tubman on the US$20 bill. But many might not have known the story of her life as chronicled in a recent film, “Harriet.” Harriet Tubman worked as a slave, spy and eventually as an abolitionist. What I find most fascinating, as a historian of American slavery, is how belief in God helped Tubman…

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Idina Menzel, left, and Kristen Bell at the premiere of “Frozen II” in Los Angeles.

Frozen II isn’t just a cartoon. It’s a brilliant critique of imperialism

By Commentaries/Opinions

We must atone for the sins of imperialism By Priya Satia, Washington Post — Every Thanksgiving, Americans trot out the self-congratulatory myth that colonization was a harmonious, bloodless affair — that native peoples practically gifted their lands to America and then served up a feast. We forget the aggressive colonial practices (including kidnapping and enslavement) that actually surrounded the holiday’s roots. This year, however, Thanksgiving also brought us Disney’s “Frozen II,” a…

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Dr. E. Faye Williams

Reparations: America’s Unfinished Business

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq. — Whenever Black people bring up the subject of white Americans acting to cure years of discriminatory acts against Black people when our ancestors were forced to work without compensation, they usually pivot to the term “reverse discrimination” or they question whether reparations would be constitutional. My good friend, Gloria Dulan Wilson, responded to the constitutional argument by saying, “It was once constitutional to beat,…

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Myths about physical racial differences were used to justify slavery — and are still believed by doctors today.

How false beliefs in physical racial difference still live in medicine today

By Reparations

Myths about physical racial differences were used to justify slavery — and are still believed by doctors today. By Linda Villarosa, New York Times — The excruciatingly painful medical experiments went on until his body was disfigured by a network of scars. John Brown, an enslaved man on a Baldwin County, Ga., plantation in the 1820s and ’30s, was lent to a physician, Dr. Thomas Hamilton, who was obsessed with proving that…

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New Jersey Democrats Consider Slavery Reparations

New Jersey Democrats Consider Slavery Reparations

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By Shore News Network — “New Jersey Reparations Task Force.” The task force would conduct research and develop proposals and recommendations to address the generational harms caused by the state’s role in the institution of slavery and its legacy of systemic racial discrimination. “The existence and history of slavery in the United States is the greatest evil our country ever committed. The continuation of systemic and institutional racism spanning from…

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Harriet Tubman

Uplifting the Liberator, Harriet Tubman: Unmasking the Imposter, Harriet of Hollywood

By Dr. Maulana Karenga

By Dr. Maulana Karenga — Part 1. The conversations and controversy surrounding the movie “Harriet” of Hollywood seems, at first sight, to be simply about Harriet Tubman, the liberator, the Harriet Tubman of history. But in a larger sense, it is about Black people, about: how we see ourselves; how we see our heroes and heroines; how we understand and honor our history, especially the history of the Holocaust of…

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Former enslaved people in a Southern town shortly after the end of the Civil War, circa 1865.

American Slavery and ‘the Relentless Unforeseen’

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

This essay is an adaptation of the fourth annual Philip Roth Lecture, delivered at the Newark Public Library on November 4, 2019. The lecture began with an appreciation of Roth’s merging of fiction and history. An admirer of great historical writing, Roth understood that, to be truly great, it had to grapple with what he called, in The Plot Against America, “the relentless unfolding of the unforeseen.” Flipped on its…

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