Historical maps. The descendants of enslaved people. And multibillion dollar petrochemical companies. These elements converge in a story about the hidden burial grounds of Louisiana’s enslaved people, and how continued industrial development is putting the historic sites at risk.
In this video, we reveal what is hiding in plain sight: the possible burial grounds of enslaved people who were forced to work these plantations 200 years ago. Their locations have remained a mystery, until now.
During its worship service last Sunday, Transformation Church in Bixby, Okla., blessed several community members with financial gifts. The megachurch near Tulsa, which has made large donations in the past, gave away $1 million on the Juneteenth weekend, including $200,000 to each of the three remaining survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre.
In one of the largest efforts by an institution to atone for slavery, a prominent order of Catholic priests has vowed to raise $100 million to benefit the descendants of the enslaved people it once owned and to promote racial reconciliation initiatives across the United States.
The move by the leaders of the Jesuit conference of priests represents the largest effort by the Roman Catholic Church to make amends for the buying, selling and enslavement of Black people, church officials and historians said.
As the NFL and the class counsel representing former players in the league’s landmark concussion settlement program prepare for a court-ordered mediation to address concerns about race-norming, both sides appear to agree that race should no longer be a factor in determining eligibility for compensation for head injuries. The controversial practice has sparked a firestorm of criticism against the league for what critics says is a two-tiered system – one for Black players and one for white players – to calculate payouts to some former players who claim to be suffering from the lingering effects of head trauma sustained during their careers
A few weeks ago, members of the community came together on the third-floor terrace of the Pérez Art Museum Miami — outdoors and socially distanced — to embark on training that would be pivotal in establishing the city of Miami Community Police Mediation program.
Miami will be the first city in the state to augment its traditional police department’s internal affairs (IA) process with a mediation program to address lower-level community complaints, from discourtesy to improper procedure.
In 1869, the Buckingham County courthouse - and the records within it - burned to the ground. One historian says it was another blow to African Americans in the commonwealth, part of over 200 years of theft and exploitation committed by the white aristocracy, which continue today.
The cause of the fire has been debated for decades, but Dr. Lakshmi Fjord, a visiting scholar at the University of Virginia and former Buckingham County resident, believes it's quite clear what happened that night.
“Say it again!” I yelled, staring Billy T. down. Though there was a hot, prickly itching behind my eyes, they stayed dry. He chanted in a taunting schoolyard singsong.
“N**ger, N**ger, N****ggger.”
I was 11 years old in Boulder, Colorado, the only Black kid in the schoolyard. All the kids gathered around to watch me cry. Again.
A historian steps back to the 1700s and shares what's changed and what needs to change
Mississippi hoisted a new state flag without the Confederate battle emblem on Monday, just over six months after legislators retired the last state banner in the U.S. that included the divisive rebel symbol.
The new flag has a magnolia and the phrase, “In God We Trust.” Voters approved the design in November, and Gov. Tate Reeves on Monday signed a law to make it an official state symbol.
Amazon's suspension of Parler's account means that unless it can find another host, once the ban takes effect on Sunday Parler will go offline.
For all the ugliness and violence of the Capitol riot this week, the most telling aspect is what we didn't see happen to those white extremists who threw up the middle finger to our democracy.
They battered through doors and stormed the Capitol. They attacked police officers and desecrated the halls of Congress. They ransacked offices and planted homemade explosive devices near the Capitol grounds. A few insurrectionists even waved the traitor's flag — the battle flag of the Confederacy, an emblem of white supremacy — in triumph. And they did it all without being shot or beaten on sight.
The Grammy Awards will be handed out this month virtually, and there's a twist in the kids category. Three of the five acts nominated for best children's album are saying thanks, but no thanks. They're protesting the fact that the category only includes white nominees.
On the campus of the University of Richmond, there is a grassy triangle of land southeast of Westhampton Lake. Dotted with oak and pine trees, the green space extends up a hill from Richmond Way and is trimmed by two university buildings.
Some 180 years ago, the space served as a cemetery for the enslaved people who lived and worked on a plantation that used to exist there. University leaders knew about the cemetery when they bought the land in 1910. They knew it in the 1940s and again in the 1950s when the graves were discovered during construction projects.
Archaeologists have found human remains during an excavation of what researchers suspect to be a mass grave site from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre at a city cemetery.
The remains were found in an unmarked “grave shaft” more than 3 feet below the ground’s surface, according to Kary Stackelbeck, the state archaeologist for Oklahoma. The body was in a wooden coffin held together by nails, without a headstone, but a temporary marker was discovered nearby.
Samuelsson currently hosts the PBS series No Passport Required. His new book, The Rise, is a celebration of Black excellence in the culinary world — and the many Black cooks who have influenced American food, often without credit.
"When I think about American food and the Black experience, it's almost like we were written out of the food history," he says. "Just like American history in general, it's very complex, and it's not written with people of color and Black people in mind."
I still remember my reaction when I first heard what happened to Thabo. It was 2015, late in the season. Thabo and I were teammates on the Hawks, and we’d flown into New York late after a game in Atlanta. When I woke up the next morning, our team group text was going nuts. Details were still hazy, but guys were saying, Thabo hurt his leg? During an arrest ? Wait — he spent the night in jail?! Everyone was pretty upset and confused.
Well, almost everyone. My response was….. different. I’m embarrassed to admit it.
Which is why I want to share it today.
Richard and Lisa Stuart were walking beside the Potomac River when they noticed an odd rock in the riprap on the water's edge.
“I think that’s a headstone,” Richard Stuart remembers saying to his wife that day four years ago.
Once they started looking, they saw another. And another. With horror, Stuart discovered that a two-mile stretch of erosion control along the riverfront farm he had just purchased was full of grave markers.
The economic and health crisis brought on by the pandemic has struck Black Americans especially hard: from their prevalence among workers in essential high-risk fields, to their disproportionate share of deaths, to extensive job losses. But the racial disparities didn’t begin with the virus. National unemployment numbers that now seem unprecedented for workers as a whole have been a daily reality for many Black communities for decades.
You Are Here: Home » Reparations » How the Black Codes Limited African American Progress After the Civil War How the Black Codes Limited African American Progress After the Civil War The black codes effectively continued enslavement for African Americans by restricting their rights and exploiting their labor.
Sagal Ahmed, Contributing Writer
The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture kicked off its speaker series Tuesday with a discussion on race, media, and the 2020 election. Five panelists spoke in the event, moderated by VCU associate professor of journalism Aloni Hill and Robb Crocker, a podcaster, digital journalist and doctoral student in VCU’s Media, Art and Text Program.
Panelists were Kym Grinnage, Danita Rountree Green (our own co-CEO), Samantha Willis, Calvin Anthony Duncan and Elliott Robinson.
"Issues brought to the forefront by protests and racial unrest this year have created a rebirth of the civil rights movement, according to a panel of Richmond journalists and African American leaders. [including our own Coming To The Table - RVA's co-CEO Danita Rountree Green!]
The death of George Floyd brought race and racial issues to the forefront, Kym Grinnage, vice president and general manager at NBC 12, said Tuesday during an online forum hosted by the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture in the College of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University and the VCU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.
“Before the George Floyd murder, you would not hear the subject of racism talked about publically in media as well as in offices around the country and the kitchen table with different people of different races,” Grinnage said. “That was something that was pretty much taboo.”....
California became the first state to pass a law establishing a task force to study and make recommendations on reparations for Black Americans.
The landmark legislation calls for the creation of a nine-member commission to "inform Californians about slavery and explore ways the state might provide reparations," according to a statement from Gov. Gavin Newsom's office.
“There is this idea that most blacks were lynched because they did something untoward to a young woman. That’s not true. Most black men were lynched between 1890 and 1920 because whites wanted their land.”
Starting senior year in the middle of a pandemic has brought on more challenges than ever: Navigating college applications and maintaining my G.P.A. while dealing with Zoom burnout and no physical connection to my friends.
I attend Regis, the academically rigorous Catholic high school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. To those who get in, it is tuition-free, and it is regularly recognized as one of the top high schools in the country.
So it is more than a little troubling that I know I will have to deal with casual racism at such an institution. Even as classes have started remotely, the racism that many Black students like me have experienced and continue to experience in school feels more emotionally draining than ever.
U.S. fair housing laws passed in the 1960s and ‘70s were supposed to help bring racial parity to a housing market that since its beginning confined Black homebuyers to the cheapest forms of housing in the most undesirable neighborhoods. But since those laws were passed, the disparity in the appraised values between homes in majority-white and predominantly non-white neighborhoods has widened dramatically, according to a new study.
This past summer, white parents across the United States have repeatedly asked the same question: “How should I talk to my white child about race?” In response, parenting magazine writers, bloggers and newspaper columnists have framed article after article as responses to this question. Again and again, social scientists who study families have been bombarded by mainstream media requests to respond to this same query: “What advice do you have for white parents on how they can talk to their white kid about racism in America?”
The Maryland diocese of the Episcopal Church has become the latest religious institution to commit to making reparations for slavery and systemic racism, voting over the weekend to create a $1 million seed fund for programs that would benefit the African American community in Baltimore and beyond.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died Friday. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.
The court, in a statement, said Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family. She was 87.
LaToya Gray Sparks’ digital story map of how Richmond’s first master plan impacted Black residents contains a wealth of information.
And it has been recognized by the Environmental Systems Research Institute with a first place award in the institute’s 2020 Educational Map Contest.
“I thought that I was going to pass out on my floor!” says Ms. Sparks, describing her reaction to the news of her win. “I had to pinch myself to ensure that I was not dreaming. I could not believe it!”
The map is part of an interactive project, “Planned Destruction: A brief history on land ownership, valuation and development in the City of Richmond and the maps used to destroy black communities.”
The city of Louisville, Ky., announced a $12 million settlement Tuesday in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Breonna Taylor.
The settlement also includes a series of police reforms to be adopted by the Louisville Metro Police Department, including establishing a housing incentive program to encourage officers to live in low-income neighborhoods within the city.
Other changes to police tactics include creating a clearer command structure when executing warrants at multiple locations.
“I had just come off a week of furlough and was eager to begin documenting the protests again. That evening, there was a Juneteenth celebration happening at the Robert E. Lee Monument in Richmond, Virginia. The grounds of Lee Circle were busy. Most people were gathered on the south side of the monument listening to speakers. I left the crowd, circled the monument and saw the young boys playing pickup. Just then the sun peeked through the clouds and provided great evening light. The hoop was aligned perfectly with the heavily graffitied monument. I knew when I made this image I was witnessing a sea change in Richmond’s history, as a young boy wearing an ‘I Am My Ancestors’ Wildest Dreams’ shirt soared high on one of the most hallowed grounds of Confederate legacy. Only a few years earlier, I had photographed hundreds of people in the exact same spot with Confederate flags, at a Sons of Confederate Veterans Heritage Rally, so I never thought I would see this moment.”
The Black parents were disproportionately paying for white students’ beautiful new schools and the comfort in which they engaged in learning. And this phenomenon wasn’t unique to Summerton. Even though South Carolina was 40% Black in 1948, statewide, Black schools were worth $12.9 million while white schools were worth $68.4 million. If those white students succeeded in their resource-filled schools, they could go on to one of more than a dozen public institutions of higher learning in South Carolina.
But for the crowd that wants to know what players were hoping to accomplish, or what their demands are, or what solutions they’re offering up, the truth is, none of that is the players’ responsibility. Whether what happened Wednesday was a strike or an opportunity to mentally refocus, Black people have been bringing attention to the issues in this country long before anyone took a knee or sat out a playoff game. The burden shouldn’t be on Black people, or Black athletes, specifically, to continue to risk their social standing over issues others are being willfully ignorant about.
The National Basketball Association postponed Wednesday's playoff games after the Milwaukee Bucks did not take the floor for a game against the Orlando Magic in an apparent protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin.
The killing of George Floyd by a police officer sparked massive protests nationwide. Writer, teacher, and scholar Clint Smith reflects on that moment through conversation, letters, and poetry. A version of this segment was originally heard in the June episode, Clint Smith.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson says racism is an insufficient term for the systemic oppression of Black people in America. Instead, she prefers to refer to America as having a "caste" system.
Wilkerson describes caste an artificial hierarchy that helps determine standing and respect, assumptions of beauty and competence, and even who gets benefit of the doubt and access to resources.
Knowing how to respond to racist remarks from friends and relatives can be a minefield. On the one hand, you want to call them out for their misinformed bigotry but doing so can lead to an argument or awkwardness, without actually convincing them to change their view.
Adapted from: Goodman, D. (2011). "Promoting Diversity and Social Justice: Educating People from Privileged Groups."
Parishioners at Old Donation Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach were shocked — and dismayed — when their congregation’s records showed that their 383-year-old church once owned slaves.
Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski sends a message about fighting for social justice.
The Christian denomination in which I grew up was founded on the proposition that slavery could flourish alongside the gospel of Jesus Christ. Its founders believed that this arrangement was not just possible, but divinely mandated. Yet many white Christians, like myself, came of age in churches and communities where we seldom heard anything substantive or serious about the white-supremacist roots of our faith.
The first time the Rev. Lettie Moses Carr saw Jesus depicted as Black, she was in her 20s.
It felt “weird,” Rev. Carr said.
Until that moment, she’d always thought Jesus was white.
At least that’s how he appeared when she was growing up. A copy of Warner E. Sallman’s “Head of Christ” painting hung in her home, depicting a gentle Jesus with blue eyes turned heavenward and dark blond hair cascading over his shoulders in waves.The painting, which has been reproduced a billion times, came to define what the central figure of Christianity looked like for generations of Christians in the United States and beyond.
A 60-year-old chain link fence at a cemetery in Texas has just come down. And while its removal may seem unremarkable, for community members, that fence was a reminder of segregation that once existed in the town.
A metal barrier was the separation between burial areas at Cedars Memorial Gardens in Mineola, Texas, a town about 80 miles east of Dallas. Black people were buried on one side while Whites were buried on another. Each side is owned by a separate cemetery association, not by the city.
Over the past 20 years the issue of the fence had come up off and on, Mercy Rushing, Mineola city manager, told CNN. There was an effort in the past by citizens, with the help of the city, to ask the cemetery associations to consider removing this fence, but it didn't happen until recently -- on July 15.
Follow the journey of civil rights hero, congressman and human rights champion John Lewis. At the Selma March, Lewis came face-to-face with club-wielding troopers and exemplified non-violence.
For the Rev. C.T. Vivian, a jail cell was about as familiar as a police officer's fist. For his work during the height of the civil rights movement, the minister and activist was arrested more times than he cared to count and suffered several brutal beatings at the hands of officers throughout the South.
All the while, he held fast to one principle: "In no way would we allow nonviolence to be destroyed by violence," he recalled in an oral history recorded in 2011.
Breonna Taylor's death, along with George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, has intensified the calls for police reform that are at the center of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Taylor's case has also reignited conversations about centering Black women's experiences with the police and sparked the Say Her Name campaign to include Black women in the larger conversation surrounding racial justice in America.
Raphael Bostic, president and CEO of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, says racism is a danger to the health of America's economy.
In a recent opinion piece, Bostic reflected on the recent protests against police brutality that he says are fueled, in part, by economic inequalities that stem from systemic racism.
A pair of Hanover County schools will no longer be named for Confederate leaders, the Hanover School Board decided Tuesday in a split 4-3 vote.
The decision followed years of debate that again boiled over this summer following nationwide protests over racial injustice prompted by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. The board did not discuss any possible replacement names.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – In an extraordinary move, the Asheville City Council has apologized for the North Carolina city's historic role in slavery, discrimination and denial of basic liberties to Black residents and voted to provide reparations to them and their descendants.
The 7-0 vote came the night of July 14.
"Hundreds of years of black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today," said Councilman Keith Young, one of two African American members of the body and the measure's chief proponent.
"It is simply not enough to remove statutes. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature," Young said.
At the height of the civil rights protests during the 1960s, a question emerged among members of the white press who were attempting to understand Black anger and unrest: What does the Negro want?
In fact, the question had been answered 100 years before, at the end of the Civil War, when Union General William T. Sherman and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton traveled to Savannah, Georgia, and asked Rev. Garrison Frazier, a native of Granville County, what he and other freedmen would need to sustain themselves.
“Land,” Frazier replied. “The way we can best take care of ourselves is to have land and turn and till it by our own labor. …We want to be placed on land until we are able to buy it and make it our own.”
Learning about the dangers of systemic racism often leads people to ask: What can I do personally to make a difference?
Layla Saad, an East African, Arab, British, Black, Muslim woman living in Qatar, came up with an impressive answer — a 28-day process that she calls a "personal anti-racism tool" designed to teach those with white privilege how systemic racism works and how they can stop contributing to white supremacy in the world.
Dana Canedy has spent her career working with the written word.
"My son calls me 'word nerd,' because I'm obsessed with words and books," she says. "I've been writing since I was 12 years old. And my mother asked me in high school, 'If you don't become a writer, what's your Plan B?' And I said 'There is no Plan B.'"
Plan A worked.
After a good deal of legal wrangling, an incendiary book by President Trump's niece is beginning to come to light. A slew of excerpts surfaced publicly Tuesday, ahead of the expected release of Mary Trump's book next week.
"Honest work was never demanded of him, and no matter how badly he failed, he was rewarded in ways that are almost unfathomable. He continues to be protected from his own disasters in the White House," Mary Trump writes in Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man.
July 4th is U.S. Independence Day. But D.L. Hughley, the comedian and author, suggests in his new book that all U.S. holidays "be put on a probationary period to ascertain their relevance and value to All Americans, acknowledging that days off are nice and that mattress sales must occur ..."
His book, co-written with Doug Moe of the Upright Citizens Brigade, is Surrender, White People! Our Unconditional Terms for Peace.
Slavery has been upgraded to the primary cause in the curriculum, however states’ rights and sectionalism will still be taught as “contributing factors”
Irene Amos Morgan Kirkaldy was a civil rights activist who won her 1946 U.S. Supreme Court case in Irene Morgan v. Commonwealth of Virginia, which declared interstate transport racial segregation to be unconstitutional, nearly a decade before the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The Antelope Valley's decades of entrenched racism have helped fuel the outcry over the death of 24-year-old Robert Fuller, a Black man found hanging from a tree in Palmdale, Calif., earlier this month.
Many locals are skeptical that Fuller's death was a suicide — the initial explanation that the L.A. County Sheriff's Department issued and then retracted days later.
Some call it a lynching. Thousands have poured into Palmdale's streets, at times shutting down traffic. They're demanding an independent investigation by California's attorney general.
Lawmakers in Mississippi voted to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the state flag on Sunday, clearing the way for Republican Gov. Tate Reeves to sign the measure into law.
The state House and Senate both approved legislation to remove the 126-year-old current flag and to form a commission to redesign it.
Over the past weeks, thousands of protesters of different races, ages and backgrounds have taken to the streets of Richmond to protest police brutality.
An often repeated chant is the call to “Defund the police.” That demand has led to a nationwide conversation about the role of policing in communities, and has even drawn the attention of two Richmond City Council members.
On June 22, 2020, Black youth organizers announced it was time to #ReclaimRVA by renaming the space known as Richmond City Hall as Reclamation Square. Youth and allies held the space for over 7 hours until the Richmond Police Department and Virginia State Police approached the sit-in where a movie was about to begin in riot gear. The police then started tear gassing and shooting rubber bullets directly at the protestors.
If you're white, you may not think of yourself as racist. Maybe you hardly think about race at all. But Robin DiAngelo, the author of White Fragility, says white people need to think about how they fit into racist systems if they want to be anti-racist. She calls for a more nuanced and informed understanding of racism so white people can take accountability for the ways they benefit from these structures:
"The simplistic idea that racism is limited to individual intentional acts committed by unkind people is at the root of virtually all white defensiveness on this topic," writes DiAngelo in White Fragility.
You’ve probably seen this phrase floating around a lot lately: It is not enough to be not racist, we must be antiracist.
It's a term that has been made most prominent by Ibram X. Kendi, an author and the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University, and there are a lot of different facets to the concept. By and large, it's about tearing down the racist ideas — and the policies that protect those ideas — that have been actively stymying the growth of Black America throughout the country's history. In Kendi's best-selling book, How to Be an Antiracist, he writes, “When racist ideas resound, denials that those ideas are racist typically follow.”
Part of tearing down those impeding policies, specifically in an economic sense, is actually putting your money where your mouth is. That means instead of getting all of your goods through Amazon and other big-name retailers, you should try to spend your money at Black-owned businesses; preferably local ones.
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A group of former Henrico County students has created a social media page aimed at sharing anonymous stories of racism and inequality within the school system.
An Instagram account called “Black At HCPS” was created two days ago and now more than 50 personal stories have been posted, drawing more than 1,000 followers.
The death of George Floyd and resulting protests across the U.S. have prompted many leaders to urgently condemn racism within their organizations.
These public statements are a beginning, but to foster truly authentic dialogue and actual change, business leaders first need to turn inward and assess how prepared they are to lead these conversations, said Ashleigh Shelby Rosette, professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Our public entities should no longer play a role in distorting history by honoring a secessionist government that waged war against the United States to preserve white supremacy and the enslavement of millions of people.
It’s past time for the South – and the rest of the nation – to bury the myth of the Lost Cause once and for all.
Juneteenth recognizes the day in 1865 when Union Gen. Gordon Granger read the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas, signaling to slaves living in the farthest reaching U.S. state at the time that they were freed.
Though the proclamation was signed two years earlier, many slaves had not been formally informed of the news because networks of communication were slow-moving at the time, Neal said.
Even people with the best intentions are influenced by these hidden attitudes, behaving in ways that can create disparities in hiring practices, student evaluations, law enforcement, criminal proceedings — pretty much anywhere people are making decisions that affect others. Such disparities can result from bias against certain groups, or favoritism toward other ones. Today, implicit bias is widely understood to be a cause of unintended discrimination that leads to racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and other inequalities.
In 1921, the “proud, rich, black” community in Tulsa suffered a brutal massacre — up to 300 black Tulsans were murdered by white residents, and a thriving neighborhood of that Oklahoma city burned to the ground.
As the Civil War came to a close in 1865, a number of people remained enslaved, especially in remote areas. Word of slavery’s end traveled slowly, and for those who were largely isolated from Union armies, life continued as if freedom did not exist.
This was especially the case in Texas, where thousands of slaves were not made aware of freedom until June 19, 1865, when Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued an order officially freeing them. Their celebration would serve as the basis of June 19 — or Juneteenth — a holiday celebrating emancipation in the US.
When I was in Junior High School, I had a history teacher tell me during a class lecture on the Civil War era, that black slaves were “cared for and treated as family.” I raised my hand and protested, “but they were still slaves, right?” I was then asked to go sit in the hall for being obnoxious.
These kinds of arguments, that dismiss or excuse the original sins of America is a tired expression of white supremacy and privilege. It is the height of absurdity to insist that people who were considered chattel were “treated well.” And amazingly when confronted with the realities of history, too many White folks want to try and find a “silver lining” in the horrors of our heritage.
The global anti-racism movement is forcing a reckoning with symbols of white supremacy. In the U.S., that means reopening an all-too-familiar conversation about Confederate monuments.
Real-estate developers used the statues on Monument Avenue to draw white buyers to a neighborhood where houses could not be sold “to any person of African descent.”
The movement to defund the police in the United States is gaining unprecedented momentum as protests continue across the globe.
In this discussion, Ruth Wilson Gilmore offers a sweeping and detailed analysis of the relentless expansion and funding of police and prisons, and how locking people in cages has become central to the American project.
America recently passed the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first captive Africans brought to what would become the United States. September 2019 was chosen as an imperfect but significant date to mark the start of American slavery and the systems of inequality perpetuated by the nation’s original sin.
Activists across the country are calling for radical reforms to policing in the U.S., including abolishing the police entirely.
Camden, N.J., took its own big step in 2013. The city was in a public safety crisis, with murder rates 18 times the national average and scores of excessive-force complaints, when the mayor and City Council dissolved the existing police department and created a countywide force in its place.
A quiet Friday night on the couch between a now-former Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees member and his wife went awry when a private conversation was broadcast to hundreds.
While Scott Bethmann, 63, and his wife, Nancy, were watching the news, they started discussing the Black Lives Matter movement, making racist comments and using slurs in a video that was accidentally streamed on Facebook Live.
It's easy to sight the obvious racism such as using race-based slurs or threats. But there's a more subtle and insidious form of racist stereotyping that can be hard to pin down.
These stereotypes often come in the form of microaggressions — brief and commonplace verbal, behavioral or environmental indignities, said Beverly Daniel Tatum, a psychologist and former Spelman College president, in a previous interview with CNN. Tatum is also author of the classic books "Can We Talk About Race?" and "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?"
I just witnessed the lynching of a black man, but don’t worry Ted, I’ll have those deliverables to you end of day.
Workers removed a statue of Philadelphia's controversial former Mayor Frank Rizzo from its place of honor across from City Hall early Wednesday morning, finishing a job that protesters attempted to accomplish during recent demonstrations against police brutality.
In the 1970s, Rizzo famously told Philadelphia voters to "vote white." But on Wednesday, the City of Brotherly Love took down a memorial to a man who exploited its divisions.
Piece by piece, authorities overnight began pulling down a five-story-tall monument to Confederate troops that has stood for more than a century in Birmingham, Ala.
By the time the workers paused Tuesday morning, little was left of a spire that had become a lightning rod for controversy in recent years and a focal point for local protesters outraged by George Floyd's death last week in Minneapolis.
The Confederate statue “Appomattox,” which depicts a southern-facing Civil War soldier and has stood in an Alexandria intersection for 131 years, was removed Tuesday morning, a month earlier than planned.
Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson (D) said the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which owns the statue, opted to remove the memorial a month ahead of schedule because of demonstrations nationwide in which segregation-era statues have been vandalized.
Police officers in Virginia’s capital city are facing disciplinary action after they were filmed using tear gas on a group of peaceful protesters.
As protests over George Floyd's death continue nationwide, several doctors' groups -- the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association and American College of Physicians -- are emphasizing that racism is a public health issue and they're calling for police brutality to stop.
At approximately 7:37 p.m. on Monday police used tear gas to disperse protesters around the Lee statue on Monument Avenue in Richmond.
The mood in the Museum District was curiously carefree on the sun-kissed afternoon following a night of arson and destruction.
Bubbles blew from a machine on the balcony of an apartment on Arthur Ashe Boulevard, across from the scorched United Daughters of the Confederacy building, where the message “BUILT ON OUR BACKS” was scrawled on the exterior.
Fifty years ago, Richmond annexed 23 square miles of Chesterfield County and 47,000 mostly white residents.
While officials publicly said the annexation was about economic development, some of them admitted secretly that it was about maintaining white control over the majority-black city. Much of what we know about this event comes from a book published in 1982 called “The Politics of Annexation.” Long out of print, the book was just re-released in a free digital format by U of R and VCU.
A contentious federal civil rights trial is slated to begin Monday that will determine whether hundreds of thousands of people with felony convictions will be able to vote this fall in the swing state of Florida.
On one side of the case is Florida, along with a slew of other states supporting it from the sidelines.
On the other, hundreds of thousands of people who have completed their sentences but currently can't vote because of one thing they lack: money.
The last thing Martin Luther King Jr. ever wanted to do was get arrested.
So on Oct. 19, 1960, when he and dozens of young protesters were arrested in downtown Atlanta for participating in a sit-in demonstration at Rich’s department store, setting off a series of historic events, he was devastated.
A new documentary, Black Patriots: Heroes of the Revolution, introduces us to heroes of the American Revolution who aren't typically found in history books. They are a writer, a double agent, a martyr and a soldier — and they are all black.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the executive producer. He is a Hall of Fame basketball player, writer, activist, and in 2016 the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
VCU, UR and other academic institutions probe their roles in perpetuating slavery and racial discrimination
The stolen bodies of men, women and children were cut apart for medical study, discarded in a 19th-century well and forgotten for more than 100 years. In late 2019, a ceremony marked the return of their remains to the medical campus at Virginia Commonwealth University after being stored at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History for 25 years.
Slavery reparations may be the single most divisive idea in American politics. Advocates have spent decades calling on the U.S. government to assess how such a policy could be implemented and to enact a law that might offer financial restitution to the descendants of enslaved people. But minds are made up — according to a recent Associated Press poll, 74 percent of African Americans now favor reparation payments, while 85 percent of whites oppose them — and Congress seems unlikely to take up the matter. A 30-year-old bill that would study the issue, H.R. 40, has never reached a vote. Hearings this past June brought Ta-Nehisi Coates, Danny Glover and other leading proponents to Capitol Hill, and every Democratic presidential candidate except Mike Bloomberg has backed at least studying the idea. The public remains unmoved.
Gwen Ifill didn't want it to be a big deal.
The legendary journalist knew she'd served as a trailblazer for women and especially a beacon of what is professionally possible for women of color. But in an interview with The New York Times, she said she was eager for the days when it would not seem "like any breakthrough at all" for a black woman to be anchoring a national news program.
And yet, more than three years after her death, Ifill is still making breakthroughs. This time, on a stamp.
When Vanessa Nakate addressed a tweet to the Associated Press asking why she had been cropped out of a photo, it was out of curiosity. She didn’t think her question would ignite a firestorm of criticism and spark an international conversation on erasure and diversity within the environmental movement.
“When I saw the photo, I only saw part of my jacket. I was not on the list of participants. None of my comments from the press conference were included,” she said. “It was like I wasn’t even there.”
Between 1949 and 1954, Jacob Lawrence made countless trips from his home in Brooklyn to the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library, where he scoured history books, letters, military reports and other documents for hidden stories that had shaped American history. By this point in time, Lawrence was “the most celebrated African American painter in America,” having risen to fame in the 1940s with multiple acclaimed series depicting black historical figures, the Great Migration and everyday life in Harlem. In May 1954, just as the Supreme Court ruled to desegregate public schools, the artist finally finished his research. He was ready to paint.
Long before Navajo code talkers in World War II and the advent of secured phone lines and encrypted emails, some say, American slaves used quilts hung from windowsills and clotheslines as a signal to others to help them escape to the North for freedom.
These quilts contained symbols sewn into them. For instance, the North Star signaled for a slave to go north, a sailboat represented safe passage and bear claws told slaves to follow the bear trails into the mountains.
PHOENIX – This week in Arizona, a descendant of slaves came face-to-face with a descendant of the family who enslaved her ancestors.
The takeaway? Before improvements can be made in race relations, we must understand the historically different experiences of white and black Americans.
"Not understanding ... what it means to live as an African American in this country was me. ... That's the experience for a lot of white people," said Pam Tucker, the descendant of a white Virginia slave owner.
On Thursday, Pam took the stage with Wanda Tucker, a descendant of a black slave family, at Rio Salado College in the Phoenix area.
Rather than give a classic speech as part of a lecture series she was asked to speak at in 2016, Genevieve Siegel-Hawley decided to share a personal reflection.
She wrote a letter to her daughter, Posey, about school desegregation, its history and its impacts today, an issue Siegel-Hawley got interested in as a Richmond student and teacher.
In cities around the country, if you want to understand the history of a neighborhood, you might want to do the same thing you'd do to measure human health: Check its temperature.
That's what a group of researchers did, and they found that neighborhoods with higher temperatures were often the same ones subjected to discriminatory, race-based housing practices nearly a century ago.
On a Sunday morning in May 1969, as clergy processed into the sanctuary of New York’s august Riverside Church, civil rights activist James Forman vaulted into the pulpit to demand $500 million in reparations for the mistreatment of African-Americans from white churches and synagogues.
A group of Richmond high school students are trying to make a difference for the children who will follow them.
Asia Goode is one of the students who on Wednesday evening called for state lawmakers to help improve school learning conditions.
"We're pushing for equitable funding for schools," Goode said.
Americans are likely to think of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day as a time to celebrate the fresh start that a new year represents, but there is also a troubling side to the holiday’s history. In the years before the Civil War, the first day of the new year was often a heartbreaking one for enslaved people in the United States.
The season of holiday cheer and giving can be especially difficult for people going through loss, illness or other challenges that come with being human.
Atlanta-based poet, author and playwright Jon Goode is a close observer of how people make their way through the world. You may have seen him on HBO's Def Comedy Jam or CNN's Black in America. He's also host of the StorySLAM events at The Moth in Atlanta.
The unveiling of Richmond’s new progressive face at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was never going to come off without a hitch, even if that cover had cooperated in parting company with its monument.
You don’t sweep away 400 years of grimy history with the tug of a string. In Virginia, the birthplace of Massive Resistance, the past concedes nothing to the present or future without putting up a fight.
Nearly a century after the last Confederate statue was erected on Monument Avenue, a crowd massed Tuesday beneath gray skies and drizzle at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for New York-based artist Kehinde Wiley's response: a muscular, triumphant African American astride a horse, looking defiantly toward the sky.
Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11) joined Reps. Cedric Richmond (LA-02), Barbara Lee (CA-13), and Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) in introducing the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act to ban hair discrimination. The CROWN Act clarifies that discrimination based on natural and protective hairstyles associated with people of African descent, including hair that is tightly coiled or tightly curled, locs, cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots, and Afros, is a prohibited form of racial or national origin discrimination. Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced companion legislation in the Senate.
Fans of African-American history will be offered an all-day feast of information about Shockoe Bottom on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad St.
From 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 22 historians, researchers, authors, museum officials and other experts will be offering their views at “Truth and Conciliation in the 400th Year: A Shockoe Bottom Public History Symposium,” it has been announced.
Be one of the first in Richmond to see Kehinde Wiley’s Rumors of War at its unveiling at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
A trail of white petals lined East Marshall Street on Monday as drums and bells welcomed home the remains of 53 people, mainly of African descent, whose first resting place had been a 19th-century well on what is now the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.
I interviewed dozens of black mothers about how they help their kids navigate schools where they might be perceived as threats or made to feel unwelcome.
On November 16, 1871, a group of unknown singers — all but two of them former slaves and many of them still in their teens -- arrived at Oberlin College in Ohio to perform before a national convention of influential ministers. After a few standard ballads, the chorus began to sing spirituals -- "Steal Away" and other songs" associated with slavery and the dark past, sacred to our parents," as soprano Ella Sheppard recalled. It was one of the first public performances of the secret music African Americans had sung in fields and behind closed doors.
Author and Maryland native Ta-Nehisi Coates visited Richmond last week to discuss emancipation and to promote his New York Times best-seller, “The Water Dancer.”
The book is set in Virginia, but his work isn’t the only connection to the Old Dominion. Mr. Coates recently found out that one of his ancestors was enslaved outside of Petersburg.
Among elite U.S. universities, Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Georgetown have all admitted in recent years that at one time they benefited financially from the slave trade. But two Protestant seminaries have now gone a step further, saying that in recognition of their own connections to racism they have a Christian duty to pay reparations.
The King family stepped carefully up the concrete steps, through the narrow doorway and into a two-story log cabin with a painful past. Inside, they examined every inch. The low ceiling. The peeling chestnut walls. Then, the second floor, a tiny space under a pitched cedar-shake roof, where sunlight slips through small windows onto uneven oak floorboards.
The highly-anticipated movie ‘Harriet’ — filmed in Central Virginia — hits theaters next week. The feature film depicts abolitionist Harriet Tubman’s journey of freeing hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad and becoming an American freedom fighter.
Bryan Stephens, president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Chamber, said diversity, equity and inclusion in business is more than just a program, it is an imperative.
“If you are in business today and you want to be successful, you have to have a diverse and inclusive workforce,” Stephens said at the Chamber’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum on Oct. 22 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott..
Alabama steamship owner Timothy Meaher financed the last slave vessel that brought African captives to the United States, and he came out of the Civil War a wealthy man.
His descendants, with land worth millions, are still part of Mobile society's upper crust.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture has announced the expansion of its Early Childhood Education Initiative (ECEI) with a $1.5 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The sculpture, of an African-American man in streetwear and mounted on a horse, was unveiled Friday and will eventually move to Richmond, Va., home to a number of Confederate memorials.
White students in my race and ethnicity class often learn the most, but few sign up to take it. All colleges should require a course like this to graduate.
The Scott family, from Mound Bayou, Mississippi, can trace their land ownership back to 1938, when the family’s agriculturally gifted patriarch began amassing more than 1,000 acres. By the late ‘80s, the Scotts had all but lost their land entirely. What happened in those intervening years is a complex story of systematic discrimination that’s emblematic of the experience of many black families in America.
From the colonial era to today, the bitter legacy of bondage and racial oppression has sparked demands for compensation, with some successes and many broken promises.
He’s been one of academia’s leading authorities on American racial inequity for years, in high demand by Democratic presidential candidates who hope he’ll endorse their proposals to close the “racial wealth gap” — a term that his research helped popularize.
But as William “Sandy” Darity shuffles through papers in his second-floor office at Duke University, the gray-haired economist explained that he was hard at work on his own proposal, one that could be the most sweeping of his career — a concrete plan for paying monetary reparations to the descendants of slaves.
Fifty years after 14 black football players were kicked off the University of Wyoming football team for seeking to wear armbands to protest racism, eight of them returned to the Laramie campus to commemorate the anniversary as the school takes another step toward reconciliation.
A work crew blasted through solid clay, dug two holes and poured concrete to prep the site. The next morning, they returned and installed a plaque DeKalb County officials say tells the real history of the Confederate monument in Decatur Square.
And now, that historical marker is receiving praise from afar for its truth-telling about the “lost cause” movement and the factual history of the Civil War.
An Episcopal seminary in Virginia says it has set aside $1.7 million to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves who worked on its campus, putting the small school at the vanguard of colleges and universities who have been grappling with their roles in slavery and ways of making amends.
CHARLOTTESVILLE — Earlier this summer, a Monticello tour guide was explaining how enslaved people built, planted and tended a terrace of vegetables at Thomas Jefferson’s estate, when a woman interrupted to share her annoyance.
“Why are you talking about that?” she demanded, according to Gary Sandling, vice president of Monticello’s visitor programs and services. “You should be talking about the plants.”
Why did Charlottesville’s white citizens choose to erect a statue to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in 1924 – nearly 60 years after the Civil War? One clue can be found in the personal papers of Judge R.T.W. Duke Jr., held at the University of Virginia’s Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.
For generations, children have been spared the whole, terrible reality about slavery’s place in U.S. history, but some schools are beginning to strip away the deception and evasions
Our democracy’s founding ideals were false when they were written. Black Americans have fought to make them true.
The future of an antebellum era Black burial ground in Richmond sparks a fight to preserve the city’s desecrated and nearly erased histories.
The legacy of Jim Crow continues to loom large in the United States. But nowhere is it arguably more evident than in Louisiana. In 1898, a constitutional convention successfully codified a slew of Jim Crow laws in a flagrant effort to disenfranchise black voters and otherwise infringe on their rights. “Our mission was to establish the supremacy of the white race in this State to the extent to which it could be legally and constitutionally done,” wrote Judiciary Committee Chairman Thomas Semmes.
Current U.S. politicians are considering paying reparations to black descendants of American slavery at a level they haven’t since the Reconstruction Era. And a Duke professor is at the helm of the discussion.
If people are saying they want to fix racism or fix this issue in our country, then they need to put their money where their mouth is,” says the Rev. Robert W. Lee IV.
"Seeing stacks of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” set aside for easy grabbing at the local bookstore is a sign that school is out for the summer. The 1960 novel is a perennial reading assignment for many students — when it’s not being banned — and has been a fixture in American consciousness for decades, lauded for its examination of racial injustice."
As politicians adopt ideas he's researched for decades, the economist patiently stays the course.
“We’re pushing back against these systems telling us we should feel guilty for laying down and taking a nap.”
Lincoln signed a bill in 1862 that paid up to $300 for every enslaved person freed.
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 reparations. Enslaved African-Americans got nothing for their generations of stolen bodies, snatched children and expropriated labor other than their mere release from legal bondage.
During an interview with Chris Rock for my PBS series African American Lives 2, we traced the ancestry of several well-known African Americans. When I told Rock that his great-great-grandfather Julius Caesar Tingman had served in the U.S. Colored Troops during the Civil War — enrolling on March 7, 1865, a little more than a month after the Confederates evacuated from Charleston, S.C. — he was brought to tears. I explained that seven years later, while still a young man in his mid-20s, this same ancestor was elected to the South Carolina house of representatives as part of that state’s Reconstruction government. Rock was flabbergasted, his pride in his ancestor rivaled only by gratitude that Julius’ story had been revealed at last. “It’s sad that all this stuff was kind of buried and that I went through a whole childhood and most of my adulthood not knowing,” Rock said. “How in the world could I not know this?”
A list of Institutionalized white privileges that baked wealth inequity into America.
In 1957, Fred Eichelman began teaching seventh-grade history in Roanoke County. He was using a shiny new state-commissioned textbook. It wasn't long before Eichelman and even some students noticed some peculiarities
How we present race matters. I hear from readers that National Geographic provided their first look at the world. Our explorers, scientists, photographers, and writers havetaken people to places they’d never even imagined; it’s a tradition that still drives our coverage and of which we’re rightly proud. And it means we have a duty, in every story, to present accurate and authentic depictions—a duty heightened when we cover fraught issues such as race.
We asked John Edwin Mason to help with this examination. Mason is well positioned for the task: He’s a University of
Virginia professor specializing in the history of photography and the history of Africa, a frequent crossroads of our storytelling. He dived into our archives.
What Mason found in short was that until the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of color who lived in the
United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers. Meanwhile it pictured “natives” elsewhere
as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages—every type of cliché. - Excerpt found in "A Letter From the Editor" by Susan Goldberg, editor in chief. April 2018, National Geographic magazine. The Race Issue
The five affirmations that frame the Risking Peace report come out of a discernment process begun in 2010 that involved about 100 congregations and presbyteries. The affirmations increase the PCUSA’s teaching of nonviolence for social transformation, while also recognizing how implicated most US citizens are in structural violence (the “isms”) and the violence of several long-term wars. The report includes a careful reassessment of Jesus’ nonviolence in relation to the Reformed tradition, Just War, and Just Peacemaking approaches.
A 1963 protest placard in the Smithsonian collections could almost be mistaken for any of the Black Lives Matter marches of today.
In 1844, all black people were ordered to get out of Oregon Country, the expansive territory under American rule that stretched from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains.
The Things That Make for Peace is a five-week adult study for small or large groups to be used during A Season of Peace or any time of the year. It focuses on the inner and outer path to peace as foundational to faithful discipleship. Each session has a “dig deeper” section for study through the week.
The meaning of the Confederate flag is best discerned in the words of those who bore it.