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Op-Ed: California’s forgotten slave history | Los Angeles Times

Separated by just 60 miles along the I-10, Los Angeles and San Bernardino feel worlds apart. The former boasts some of the richest urban developments and residential pockets in the nation. The latter — a “broken city,” as this newspaper put it in 2015 — struggled through five years of bankruptcy and municipal dysfunction. But their roles in this California tale of two cities were once reversed. Before the Civil War, San Bernardino was the most prosperous and fastest-growing settlement in Southern California. San Bernardino’s early success rested on a pair of seemingly incongruous forces: Mormonism and slavery. In 1851, […]

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Born Into Slavery, This Centenarian Learned to Read at 116, Becoming the Nation’s Oldest Student | Black Enterprise

Despite being born into slavery and enduring over a century of discrimination, Mary Hardway Walker managed to accomplish an extraordinary feat. At 116 years old, she learned to read. Walker was born in Union Springs, Alabama, in 1848 and lived in bondage until she was freed at the age of 15 following the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. By age 20, she was married and had her first child. By age 68, she had worked several jobs, including cooking, cleaning, babysitting, and selling sandwiches to raise money for her church. Then in 1917, Walker and her family moved […]

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America Has Tried Reparations Before. Here Is How It Went. | The New York Times

With a renewed focus on reparations for slavery, what lessons can be drawn from payments to victims of other historical injustices in America? Ever since a Union Army general announced in Galveston, Tex., that “all slaves are free” on June 19, 1865 — a day now commemorated as Juneteenth — the question of how to compensate the country’s formerly enslaved people has hung over the United States. Lawmakers in Washington addressed reparations for slavery for the first time in more than 10 years on Wednesday. A House Judiciary subcommittee discussed a bill to create a commission that would make recommendations […]

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When Portland banned blacks: Oregon’s shameful history as an ‘all-white’ state | The Washington Post

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. reside online and are fully searchable Those who refused to leave could be severely whipped, the provisional government law declared, by “not less than twenty or more than thirty-nine stripes” to be repeated every six months until they left. Oregon Country’s provisional government, which was led by Peter Burnett, a former slaver holder who came west from Missouri by wagon train, passed the law in 1844 — 15 years before Oregon […]

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What Martin Luther King Sr. Wrote About His Son’s Death | Time

In April 1968, my sons went to Memphis to help organize a struggle by the city’s sanitation workers to achieve better wages and working conditions. I wondered about M.L.’s involvement in this, whether or not he was spreading his concerns and his energies too thin. But again he was right. reside online and are fully searchable There could be no real separation between exploiting a man because of his color and taking advantage of his economic condition to control him politically. Exploitation didn’t need to be seen only in terms of segregation. It involved all people, white and black, in […]

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Exploding Myths About ‘Black Power, Jewish Politics’ | NPR

Many Americans tell the story of Black-Jewish political relations like this: First, there was the Civil Rights movement, where the two groups got along great. This was the mid-1950s to the mid-60s — picture Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. marching arm-in-arm from Selma to Montgomery. And James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, murdered while organizing to register black voters in Mississippi. Then, the story goes, there was a shift. In the mid-’60s, with the rise of black nationalism (and what some describe as black anti-Semitism), “the once wonderful alliance dissolved and split. And since […]

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Pardons for the Wilmington 10 | The New York Times

Before leaving office next month, Gov. Bev Perdue of North Carolina should finally pardon the Wilmington 10, a group of civil rights activists who were falsely convicted and imprisoned in connection with a racial disturbance in the city of Wilmington more than 40 years ago. The convictions, based on flimsy evidence and perjured testimony, were overturned by a federal court in 1980. But by then, the lives of the convicted had been broken on the wheel of Jim Crow justice. Wilmington was experiencing a bitter civil rights struggle in 1971 when a white-owned grocery store in a black neighborhood was […]

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The Magnolia House used to be a decades-old passion project for one man. Now, someone else shares that dream — his daughter. | Greensboro.com

GREENSBORO — Natalie Pass Miller loved her life in Atlanta working for the corporate sector. While on a visit back home in 2018, a casual conversation with her dad changed everything. Sam Pass, at one time a fire and safety specialist at Duke University, had spent the past two decades of his off time meticulously restoring the Historic Magnolia House Motel. The segregation-era place was a beacon to African Americans looking for a night’s sleep between Atlanta and Richmond, Va. Ike and Tina Turner, Ray Charles, Lena Horne, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama and baseball greats Jackie Robinson and […]

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‘The Slaves Dread New Year’s Day the Worst’: The Grim History of January 1 | Time

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. In the African-American community, New Year’s Day used to be widely known as “Hiring Day” — or “Heartbreak Day,” as the African-American abolitionist journalist William Cooper Nell described it — because enslaved people spent New Year’s Eve […]

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The Norfolk 17 face a hostile reception as schools reopen | The Virginian-Pilot

Three weeks later than originally scheduled, Norfolk schools were finally ready to open. Well, most of them. On Sept. 29, 1958, 48 of Norfolk’s schools welcomed students – but the doors of six were padlocked and under police guard. Maury, Norview and Granby high schools and Northside, Norview and Blair junior highs remained closed under a state order designed to fight integration. The 17 Negro students assigned to those schools started tutoring sessions at First Baptist Church Norfolk on Bute Street. They took classes in core subjects and Spanish, and were taught to brace themselves for the abuse sure to […]

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