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Slavery Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

The Capitol stands in the background of this 1830 engraving.

When Slaveowners Got Reparations

By | Reparations

Lincoln signed a bill in 1862 that paid up to $300 for every enslaved person freed. By Tera W. Hunter, New York Times — On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill emancipating enslaved people in Washington, the end of a long struggle. But to ease slaveowners’ pain, the District of Columbia Emancipation Act paid those loyal to the Union up to $300 for every enslaved person freed. That’s right, slaveowners got…

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Supporters of American slavery reparations in Washington in 2002.CreditCreditManny Ceneta/Getty Images

Reparations: A Conversation Worth Having

By | Commentaries/Opinions

The debate on when it is relevant to apologize and pay reparations for misdeeds and human rights violations tells us that the past is never dead. By Jorge G. Castañeda, The New York Times — MEXICO CITY — Three weeks ago and 500 years after the arrival of Hernán Cortés in Veracruz, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico sent a letter to the king of Spain. In it, he…

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Georgetown students vote overwhelming in favor of $27 fee for slavery reparations

Georgetown students vote overwhelming in favor of $27 fee for slavery reparations

By | News & Current Affairs

The school still needs to approve the referendum before it could take effect. By Beatrice Peterson, Rachel Scott, Erica Y King and Christen Hill, ABC News — Georgetown University could become the first college in the nation to mandate a fee to benefit descendants of slaves sold by the university nearly 200 years ago — a debate that takes place against the backdrop of a broader political conversation unfolding on the 2020 presidential campaign…

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Hans Sloane collected this specimen of cacao in Jamaica in the 1680s. Sloane often collected on or near slave plantations, taking advantage of slavery’s infrastructure to advance his science.

Historians Expose Early Scientists’ Debt to the Slave Trade

By | Editors' Choice, Reparations

By examining scientific papers, correspondence between naturalists, and the records of slaving companies, historians are now seeing new connections between science and slavery and piecing together just how deeply intertwined they were. By Sam Kean, Science Magazine — At the dawn of the 1700s, European science seemed poised to conquer all of nature. Isaac Newton had recently published his monumental theory of gravity. Telescopes were opening up the heavens to…

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Sen. Cory Booker

Booker to introduce bill to form study commission on reparations

By | News & Current Affairs, Reparations

By Jordain Carney, The Hill — Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) said on Monday that he will introduce legislation creating a commission to study the issue of granting reparations to African-Americans. “This bill is a way of addressing head-on the persistence of racism, white supremacy, and implicit racial bias in our country. It will bring together the best minds to study the issue and propose solutions that will finally begin to…

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Turbulent history … Tamara Lawrance in the BBC adaptation of Andrea Levy’s The Long Song.

‘We’re still living with slavery’

By | Reparations

From prize-winners Esi Edugyan and Marlon James to debut novelists such as Sara Collins, a new generation of novelists is exploring a painful past. By Colin Grant, The Guardian — Two hundred years ago, slave narratives seemed one of the few routes to publication for black writers on both sides of the Atlantic. Autobiographical accounts written by former slaves such as Olaudah Equiano, Harriet Jacobs and Frederick Douglass proved enormously popular with readers, who…

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Le Marron Inconnu (Nèg Mawon), The Unknown Slave (Maroon Man), Haiti.

Remembering Slavery: The Power of the Arts for Justice

By | News & Current Affairs

By the Centre for Reparations Research — St. Andrew, Jamaica. The 2019 International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade under the theme “Remembering Slavery: The Power of the Arts for Justice” is geared towards bringing attention to the many forms of artistic expression that have been used to remember the history and the consequence in the trans-Atlantic trade in Enslaved Africans. Those expressions include memorials…

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Making Good on the Broken Promise of Reparations

By | Reparations

By Katherine Franke, NYR Daily — A bill calling for the federal government to “study and consider” how to provide reparations to African Americans for slavery has been introduced into every session of the US Congress for the last thirty years. The bill’s aim is “to address the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and the thirteen American colonies between 1619 and 1865.” Representative John Conyers, the primary sponsor…

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Harvard University Sued Over Earliest Photos of American Slaves

By | News & Current Affairs, Reparations

Harvard University sued over allegedly profiting from what are believed to be the earliest photos of American slaves. By Joey Garrison, USA Today — Video — A lawyer says Harvard University has the opportunity to “remove the stain from its legacy” by honoring a Connecticut woman’s request to turn over photos of two South Carolina slaves she says are her ancestors. (March 20) AP, AP BOSTON – In 1850, a…

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Tamara Lanier is suing Harvard University for ownership of daguerreotypes of slaves who she says are her ancestors.

Who Should Own Photos of Slaves? The Descendants, not Harvard, a Lawsuit Says

By | News & Current Affairs, Reparations

By Anemona Hartocollis, The New York Times — NORWICH, Conn. — The two slaves, a father and daughter, were stripped to the waist and positioned for frontal and side views. Then, like subjects in contemporary mug shots, their pictures were taken, as part of a racist study arguing that black people were an inferior race. Almost 170 years later, they are at the center of a dispute over who should…

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