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Virginia Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Stewart's Canal in Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument

Harriet Tubman and a National Legacy of Midnight Skies and Silent Stars

By Commentaries/Opinions, News & Current Affairs, Reparations

By Todd Lookingbill, HNN — Cynthia Erivo, who is nominated for best actress in a leading role in this weekend’s Oscars, stars in the gripping biopic “Harriet.” The movie, which tells the story of abolitionist Harriet Tubman, captures the miraculous physical, emotional, and spiritual journey of Harriet Tubman as she escapes from slavery to become an American icon. Of course, the horrors of slavery and the courage of the enslaved heroes that…

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For decades, structures such as Rosenwald schools were deemed insignificant.

The Fight to Preserve African-American History

By Editors' Choice

Activists and preservationists are changing the kinds of places that are protected—and what it means to preserve them. By Casey Cep, The New Yorker — No one knows what happened to Gabriel’s body. Born into slavery the year his country declared its freedom, he trained as a plantation blacksmith and was hired out to foundries in Richmond, Virginia, where he befriended other enslaved people. Together, they absorbed, from the revolutionary…

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President Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which granted reparations to Japanese Americans

Another way to look at reparations

By Reparations

By Edna Whittier, The Roanoke Times — In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act to compensate Japanese Americans who were in internment camps during World War II. Offering a formal apology it paid $20,000 to each surviving victim and their heirs. In 2004, the State of Virginia established the Brown v. Board of Education Scholarship fund setting aside $1 million (with another $1 million contributed by philanthropist John…

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Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk across the South Lawn.

15 American landmarks that were built by slaves

By Editors' Choice, Reparations

By James Pasley, Business Insider — In 2016, former first lady Michelle Obama declared as a sign of how far the nation has come: “I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.” She was talking about the White House. And as the first African American first lady speaking to the Democratic National Convention, she struck a chord. Some fact checkers and political pundits may have raced…

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Princeton Theological Seminary.

Princeton Theological Seminary approves reparations

By News & Current Affairs, Reparations

By Omar Farah, The Daily Princetonian — On Oct. 18, Princeton Theological Seminary announced its plans to finance reparations, making it the second theological institution in the nation, after Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., to do so. The decision, unanimously approved by the Seminary’s trustees, comes as an official response to a historical audit, commissioned in 2016, which examined the Seminary’s historical participation in the institutions of American slavery. Since the report…

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The statue depicts Roosevelt on horseback, with a Native American man and an African man

How Do We Address a Statue of President Roosevelt That Affirms Racist Hierarchies?

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Nick Mirzoeff, Hyperallergic — Almost two years after the 2017 fascist rally at Charlottesville around a mediocre statue of Robert E. Lee, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) opened its exhibition Addressing the Statue for an unspecified run. The statue in question is James Earle Fraser’s massive “Theodore Roosevelt Equestrian Memorial,” situated outside the Museum’s main entrance, depicting Roosevelt flanked by his gun carriers, a stereotyped Plains Indian and a generic African. It…

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Virginia Theological Seminary

Virginia Theological Seminary’s reparations effort is part of a larger movement in higher education

By News & Current Affairs, Reparations

A growing number of schools have started to look into reparations and restitution for descendants of the enslaved. But most of these schools have stopped short of supporting actual funds to provide compensation, instead launching studies to better understand how they profited or otherwise benefitted from the use of enslaved labor. These efforts have led to initiatives like Universities Studying Slavery, a University of Virginia-led consortium of roughly 50 schools that…

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FBI agents walk past a memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh

Inside the White Supremacist Movement

By Editors' Choice

Michael German, a former federal agent, spent years infiltrating white supremacist groups. Here’s what he has to say about what’s going on now. By Joe Sexton, ProPublica — Late in 2017, ProPublica began writing about a California white supremacist group called the Rise Above Movement. Its members had been involved in violent clashes at rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, and several cities in California. They were proud of their violent handiwork,…

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Slavery

400 Years in Virginia. 500 Years in Slavery.

By Reparations

People of African descent have been ‘here’ longer than the English colonies By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire — In August 2018, the National Newspaper Publishers Association began a series on the transatlantic slave trade. The series started in conjunction with the annual United Nations International Day of Remembrance. With the observance of the first African landing in America, some question whether it’s the 400th or 500th anniversary. Historians point out that…

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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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