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6 myths about the history of Black people in America | Vox

Six historians weigh in on the biggest misconceptions about black history, including the Tuskegee experiment and enslaved people’s finances. To study American history is often an exercise in learning partial truths and patriotic fables. Textbooks and curricula throughout the country continue to center the white experience, with Black people often quarantined to a short section about slavery and quotes by Martin Luther King Jr. Many walk away from their high school history class — and through the world — with a severe lack of understanding of the history and perspective of Black people in America. Last summer, the New York […]

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Don’t pit slavery descendants against black immigrants. Racism doesn’t know the difference. | USA Today

An anti-African, anti-black-immigrant stance is shortsighted. As we celebrate Black History Month, we should not divide the black community. Should African American/black identity be defined by descendants of slavery, or by African ancestry? This increasingly bitter debate in the black community is undermining the spirit of Black History Month. At the center of the conflict is the social movement referred to as ADOS, or the American Descendants of Slavery. Co-founded in 2016, ADOS is a political and social movement whose purpose is to advocate for reparations — compensating those who have been wronged — on behalf of black Americans. The […]

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Ten “Must Watch” Black History Documentaries | PBS

Documentaries can open windows to our past. Through the lens of talented filmmakers, we can re-live iconic moments in history like the 1963 March on Washington or climb aboard a Greyhound bus to join the Freedom Riders on their journey through the Jim Crow South. Documentaries offer rich insight into our society and culture, connect us to some of our proudest and most shameful moments in American history, and remind us of how far we’ve come. What follows is a list of powerful documentaries exploring Black history and culture in America. The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross This Emmy […]

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Nearly 100 Years After Tulsa Massacre, City Plans to Search Cemetery for Victims | The New York Times

In one of the worst instances of racist violence in American history, a group of white people slaughtered black residents of Tulsa. For decades, city leaders rarely acknowledged it in public. Archaeologists plan to excavate part of a cemetery in Tulsa, Okla., to see if it holds the remains of black residents slaughtered by white mobs during a massacre in 1921. The mayor said Wednesday it was an “unprecedented” step to address one of the worst instances of racist violence in American history, an episode that for decades was rarely acknowledged in public by city leaders. The archaeologists plan to […]

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Who Really Killed Malcolm X? | The New York Times

Fifty-five years later, the case may be reopened. For more than half a century, scholars have maintained that prosecutors convicted the wrong men in the assassination of Malcolm X. Now, 55 years after that bloody afternoon in February 1965, the Manhattan district attorney’s office is reviewing whether to reinvestigate the murder. Some new evidence comes from a six-part documentary called “Who Killed Malcolm X?,” streaming on Netflix Feb. 7, which posits that two of the men convicted could not have been at the scene that day. Instead it points the finger at four members of a Nation of Islam mosque […]

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LGBTQ Rights Icon Bayard Rustin Granted Posthumous Pardon In California | HuffPost

Rustin, who co-organized the March on Washington in 1963, was jailed for having gay sex nearly 70 years ago. SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s governor announced Wednesday that he is posthumously pardoning a gay civil rights leader while creating a new pardon process for others convicted under outdated laws punishing homosexual activity. Bayard Rustin was a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a key organizer of the March on Washington in 1963. He also helped plan other nonviolent protests and boycotts to end racial discrimination. Gov. Gavin Newsom pardoned Rustin for his arrest in 1953 when he was […]

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Biography of William Still, Father of the Underground Railroad | ThoughtCo.

Magical realism meets real life in the acclaimed journalist’s debut novel about American slaves escaping to the north William Still (October 7, 1821–July 14, 1902) was a prominent abolitionist who coined the term Underground Railroad and, as one of the chief “conductors” in Pennsylvania helped thousands of people get free and settled away from slavery. Throughout his life, Still fought not only to abolish slavery, but also to provide African-Americans in northern enclaves with civil rights. Still’s work with runaways is documented in his seminal text, “The Underground Rail Road.” Still believed that the book could “encourage the race in […]

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8 black composers who changed the course of classical music history | Classic FM

From Scott Joplin to Florence Price, the music of these brilliant composers has too long been neglected in Western classical music tradition. We’re celebrating the most famous and influential black composers in classical music history. Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745 – 1799) Dubbed ‘le Mozart noir’ (‘Black Mozart’), the Chevalier de Saint-Georges is remembered as the first classical composer of African origins. Born to a wealthy plantation owner and his African slave, Saint-Georges was a prolific composer who wrote string quartets, symphonies and concertos in the late 18th century. He also led one of the best orchestras in Europe […]

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Louis Allen Murdered in Liberty, Mississippi | EJI

On January 31, 1964, the night before he was set to move to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Louis Allen was ambushed outside his property in Liberty, Mississippi and shot twice in the face with a shotgun. He died almost instantly. Mr. Allen was the victim of racially motivated violence in a system where he was offered no protection by the rule of law. Several years before, in September 1961, a local white state legislator named E.H. Hurst had shot and killed Herbert Lee in an Amite County, Mississippi, cotton gin in front of several eyewitnesses. Mr. Lee was a member of the […]

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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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