Press Enter / Return to begin your search.

The Names of 1.8 Million Emancipated Slaves Are Now Searchable in the World’s Largest Genealogical Database, Helping African Americans Find Lost Ancestors | Open Culture

The successes of the Freedman’s Bureau, initiated by Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and first administered under Oliver Howard’s War Department, are all the more remarkable considering the intense popular and political opposition to the agency. Under Lincoln’s successor, impeached Southern Democrat Andrew Johnson, the Bureau at times became a hostile entity to the very people it was meant to aid and protect—the formerly enslaved, especially, but also poor whites devastated by the war. After years of defunding, understaffing, and violent insurgency the Freedman’s Bureau was officially dissolved in 1972. In those first few years after emancipation, however, the Bureau built […]

Read More

What everyone should know about Reconstruction 150 years after the 15th Amendment’s ratification | The Conversation

I’ll never forget a student’s response when I asked during a middle school social studies class what they knew about black history: “Martin Luther King freed the slaves.” Martin Luther King Jr. was born in 1929, more than six decades after the time of enslavement. To me, this comment underscored how closely Americans associate black history with slavery. While shocked, I knew this mistaken belief reflected the lack of time, depth and breadth schools devote to black history. Most students get limited information and context about what African Americans have experienced since our ancestors arrived here four centuries ago. Without […]

Read More

‘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 […]

Read More

The story of Breffu, a female slave from Ghana who led a massive slave revolt to take over the West Indies in 1733 | Face2Face Africa

Many rebellions took place during the peak of the slave trade. The reasons for the uprising are simple; enslaved Africans were tired of being abused, misused and mistreated. They were also tired of seeing each other die and living in stark poverty all their lives. Enslaved Africans were not allowed to voice out their troubles and problems; this led to the act of rebelling against their masters and fleeing to freedom, their only way of being heard. In 1733, one such revolt against the Danes in the West Indies happened. Known as the 1733 slave insurrection on St John, it […]

Read More

Danny Glover, national activists converge on Evanston as city funds reparations with cannabis tax | Chicago Sun Times

The north suburb, with its historic passage last month of legislation creating a $10 million reparations fund seeded by cannabis sales, drew activists and scholars to a “Reparations Town Hall” Wednesday night, keynoted by actor Danny Glover. Actor Danny Glover told an Evanston town hall Wednesday night the Chicago suburb will go down in history as having led the way in the reparations movement with its groundbreaking legislation funding amends for African Americans with a cannabis sales tax. On Nov. 25, the Evanston City Council passed a proposal by Ald. Robin Rue Simmons establishing a $10 million reparations fund making […]

Read More

Which black Americans should get reparations? | The Washington Post

Wesley Lowery, The Washington Post ‘Dramatic Social Change Requires Imagination’ – Prof. William “Sandy” Darity. Featured Image URHAM, N.C. — 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 — […]

Read More

Despite pushback, Charleston historic sites expand their interpretation of slavery | The Post and Courier

Cedric ‘BIG CED’ Thornton, The Post and Courier A row of enslaved people’s homes are still present on McLeod Plantation Historic Site on Monday Aug. 26, 2019, in Charleston. Gavin McIntyre/ Staff. By Gavin McIntyre [email protected] Featured Image recent years, Charleston-area historic sites have dramatically increased their interpretation of slavery and its vital role in the area’s early history. And some visitors have pushed back, uneasy with hearing a story many feel reflects poorly on their ancestors. The feedback can be particularly harsh with the relative anonymity of social media and a political moment where racism is debated almost daily […]

Read More

How an accidental encounter brought slavery to the United States | USA Today

Rick Hampson, USA TODAY, USA Today SOURCE slavevoyages.org. Featured Image our hundred years ago this summer, a few weeks and 35 miles apart, two epochal events occurred. One was the inaugural meeting of the General Assembly of the Virginia colony – the first elective representative body of its kind in North America. The other was the first recorded arrival of enslaved Africans in mainland English America. Slavery alongside democracy; oppression amidst freedom. The contradiction would shape the nation that emerged from the Virginia colony. How and why slavery, America’s original sin, came to these shores and took hold is a […]

Read More

The founding family you’ve never heard of: The black Tuckers of Hampton, Virginia | USA Today

HAMPTON, Va. – As Walter Jones walks his family’s ancient cemetery, shovel in hand, he wonders about those who rest there. The gravestones date back as far as the 1800s. Some bear the names of folks Walter knew; some have faded to illegibility; some are in pieces. And, under the brush he’s cleared away and the ground he’s leveled, there are burial sites unmarked by any stone. The cemetery means so much to Walter because his extended family – the Tuckers of Tidewater, Virginia – believe they are as much an American founding family as any from the Mayflower. They […]

Read More