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U.S. Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

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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Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates Is an Optimist Now A conversation about race and 2020

By | Editors' Choice

By Eric Levitz, New York Magazine — In recent days, as Democrats debated the definition of “reparations,”Joe Biden rationalized his opposition to integration, and socialist congresswomen started demanding the rebirth of a nation, inquiring minds wanted to know: What would Ta-Nehisi say? Throughout the Obama years, Ta-Nehisi Coates provided politics-watchers with a regular source of historically grounded, bracingly well-written punditry and reporting. But since 2016, the writer’s ambitions have led him off of…

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The 2020 Democratic primary debate over reparations, explained

The 2020 Democratic primary debate over reparations, explained

By | Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

Openly talking about reparations for the descendants of enslaved men and women is a notable shift for Democrats. But the conversation still lacks substance. By P.R. Lockhart, VOX — A new 2020 litmus test has arrived for Democrats running for president: Do they support reparations? It marks a turn in a primary contest in which black voters are expected to play a significant role. That the attention to reparations has become so prominent speaks…

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Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota

The Fight Over Ilhan Omar Is a Fight Over the Identity of the Democratic Party

By | Commentaries/Opinions

A House vote on bigotry underscored powerful changes in the party’s coalition, including among young Muslims. By Emma Green, The Atlantic — The U.S. House of Representatives voted on Thursday to condemn anti-Semitism, along with a litany of bigotries against Muslims, immigrants, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, LGBT people, and members of other religious minorities. The resolution followed a week of drama in the Democratic Party, with members clashing over…

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Gayle King interviews Ralph Northam

Slavery vs Indentured Servitude: Which aids racism?

By | Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

Perhaps the main reason so many people objected to Virginia Governor Ralph Northam calling the first 20 Africans to land in Virginia in 1619 indentured servants, and not slaves, is that they believe the conditions of slavery were so much harsher than those of indentured servitude, that calling these Africans indentured servants amounts to a cover-up of their reality. That is because the popular image that we have been sold…

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Sens. Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders, seen at a South Carolina NAACP march in January, are two of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates pressed on the issue of reparations this week.,

We Absolutely Could Give Reparations To Black People. Here’s How.

By | Editors' Choice

By Julia Craven, Huffington Post — Let’s say you’re driving down the street and someone rear-ends you. You get out of your car to assess the damage. The person who hit your vehicle gets out of his car, apologizes for the damage and calls his insurance company. Eventually, you receive a check for the harm done. Now, let’s say that for years, if not generations, your family and families like…

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Lotte Dula shows her great-great grandfather's slave ledger.

Denver activists make reparations hoping for racial justice and reconciliation

By | Editors' Choice, Reparations

By: Micah Smith, The Denver Channel — DENVER — Throughout Denver, there’s a growing racial justice movement focused on reparations and reconciliation. Most of those involved in this push to bridge the racial divide have been encouraged to do so after discovering a dark part of their family history. While going through some old family records, retired financial strategist Lotte Lieb Dula discovered her great-great grandfather’s leather-bound notebook that held a…

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Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), a 2020 presidential candidate, poses for a photograph with attendees during a campaign stop in Des Moines.

Democratic candidates are backing reparations for African Americans. That could be politically risky.

By | Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

By Eugene Scott, The Washington Post — Over the past few days, several Democratic contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination have come out in favor of reparations for people descended from slaves. It is an idea that is popular among African Americans, but one that poses political risks. On Monday, former housing and urban development secretary Julián Castro spoke out in favor of reparations on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” “It is interesting…

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren

What Americans Think About Reparations And Other Race-Related Questions

By | Commentaries/Opinions, Reparations

By Perry Bacon Jr., FiveThirtyEight — The New York Times published a story last week about how some Democratic presidential candidates — notably Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris — had said that they are open to the idea of the government paying reparations to black Americans as a restitution for slavery. The two candidates were cautious in their statements on the issue — both to the Times and in a subsequent Washington…

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