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Slavery Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

“Battle of Ravine-à-Couleuvres,” by Karl Girardet and Jean-Jacques Outhwaite

We owe Haiti a debt we can’t repay

By Commentaries/Opinions

Haitians carried out the first and only successful slave revolt in modern history, then repelled Napoleon’s forces, making way for the Louisiana Purchase. By Annette Gordon-Reed, NYT — When assassins killed President Jovenel Moïse of Haiti on July 7, pushing the country to the brink of chaos, it may have struck many Americans as the latest in a string of political upheavals and destabilizing disasters in an unfortunate country with…

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Black Detroiters marching for racial justice.

Detroit City Council debates ballot initiative for reparations for Black residents

By Reparations

By Steve Neavling, Metro Times (Detroit) — Detroit City Council is weighing a proposal that would bring Black residents closer to receiving long-awaited reparations for systemic racial discrimination. If approved, the proposal, sponsored by Council President Pro Ten Mary Sheffield, would ask voters in November, “Should the City of Detroit establish a Reparations Committee to make recommendations for housing and economic development programs that address historical discrimination against the Black…

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A 1780 engraving of an Englishman selling his mistress into slavery in Barbados.

Secrets of rebel slaves in Barbados will finally be revealed

By Reparations

British Library releases vast trove of digitised 19th-century newspapers to bring stories of fugitives to life By Vanessa Thorpe, The Guardian — Little is yet known of Bussa, the man behind the largest slave revolt on Barbados in 1816, but information about his life before this uprising could well lie in the columns of contemporary island newspapers. So too may further clues about what happened to Benebah, a pregnant black woman who…

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Queen Elizabeth visiting Jamaica

Jamaica seeks billions of pounds from U.K. over slavery reparations

By Reparations

“Our African ancestors were forcibly removed from their home and suffered unparalleled atrocities in Africa to carry out forced labor to the benefit of the British Empire,” Culture Minister Olivia By Katherine Fung, Newsweek — Jamaica is seeking billions of pounds in reparations from Britain as compensation for the Atlantic slave trade during its time as a British colony. “We are hoping for reparatory justice in all forms that one…

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Jamaica plans to seek reparations from Britain over slavery

By Reparations

By Kate Chappell, Reuters — Jamaica plans to ask Britain for compensation for the Atlantic slave trade in the former British colony, a senior government official said, under a petition that could seek billions of pounds in reparations. Jamaica was a centre of the slave trade, with the Spanish, then the British, forcibly transporting Africans to work on plantations of sugar cane, bananas and other crops that created fortunes for…

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Michelle Bachelet

UN rights boss urges ‘wide range’ of reparations over racism

By Reparations

BERLIN (AP) — The U.N. human rights chief on Monday urged countries to “fully fund comprehensive processes” and take “a wide range of reparations measures” to address the legacies of slavery, colonial rule and racial discrimination. Michelle Bachelet presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council a landmark report launched after the killing of George Floyd in the United States and released last month. A year in the making, it hopes to build…

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John Quincy Adams House of Representatives Speech

Why a culture war over critical race theory?

By Commentaries/Opinions

Consider the pro-slavery congressional “Gag Rule” By Frank Palmeri and Ted Wendelin, HNN —  What is Critical Race Theory and why are Republican governors and state legislators saying such terrible things about it? If you are among the 99% of Americans who had never heard of this theory before a month or two ago, you might be forgiven for believing that it poses a grave threat to the United States…

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An enslaved African American family or families pose on the plantation of Dr. William F. Gaines in Hanover County, Virginia, 1862.

The Thorny History of Reparations in the United States

By Reparations

In the 20th century, the country issued reparations for Japanese American internment, Native land seizures, massacres and police brutality. Will slavery be next? By Erin Blakemore, History — The papers were handed out one by one to the elderly recipients—most frail, some in wheelchairs. To some, it may have looked like a run-of-the-mill governmental ceremony with the usual federal fanfare. But to Norman Mineta, a California congressman and future Secretary…

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Frederick Douglass, 1850.

What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July? By Frederick Douglass

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

On July 5, 1852, Frederick Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall. —— Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens: He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my…

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Stuyvesant Avenue (Slaveowner street names)

What would it take to strip New York City of slaveholders’ names?

By Commentaries/Opinions

Hundreds of New York City’s streets, neighborhoods, parks, schools, and other sites are odes to individuals and families who bought and sold slaves in New York. Five of the mayoral candidates have committed to changing that. Here’s how that’d work. By Caroline Spivack, Curbed — Chances are you’ve strolled through Prospect Lefferts Gardens without a second thought to the Leffertses themselves. The family was one of the wealthiest and most…

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Virginia Theological Seminary

Their ancestors were enslaved workers. Now they’re getting $2,100 a year in reparations

By Reparations

For over a century, the Virginia Theological Seminary used Black Americans for forced labor. Now it’s determined to make amends. By Faith Karimi, CNN — Linda Johnson-Thomas’ grandfather worked at the Virginia Theological Seminary for more than a decade, first as a farm laborer before moving up to head janitor. Her grandparents lived in a little white house on campus with their four children, including her mother. But until two years ago,…

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History teacher Philip Jackson teaches the history of slavery to his eighth-graders

Here’s what I tell teachers about how to teach young students about slavery

By Commentaries/Opinions

Few issues are as difficult to deal with in the classroom as slavery in the US. Here, a professor who trains teachers on how to present the topic offers some insights. By Raphael E. Rogers, The Conversation — Nervous. Concerned. Worried. Wary. Unprepared. This is how middle and high school teachers have told me they have felt over the past few years when it comes to teaching the troublesome topic…

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