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The enslaved black people of the 1960s who did not know slavery had ended | Face2Face Africa

The Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 which changed the status of over 3.5 million enslaved African Americans in the South from slave to free, did not emancipate some hundreds who were slaves through to the 1960s. This was revealed by historian and genealogist Antoinette Harrell who unearthed shocking stories of slaves in Southern states like Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Florida over hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation. She told Justin Fornal that her 1994 journey of historical truth revealed the stories of many 20th century slaves who came forth in New Orleans when they heard that she was using genealogy to […]

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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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A look at the Casual Killing Act of 1669 that made it legal to kill a slave at will | Face2Face Africa

What escapes many people is that the whimsical killing of enslaved Blacks in the U.S. during slavery, and even after by white folks without punitive consequence is based on laws passed by white politicians, who happened to be plantation owners as well. One such devious law is the Casual Killing Act of 1669 which declared it legal to kill a slave while correcting because malice could not be presumed. The “casual killing of slaves” says that if a slave dies while resisting his master, the act will not be presumed to have occurred with “prepensed malice.” The men of the […]

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$27 Million for Reparations Over Slave Ties Pledged by Seminary | The New York Times

The Princeton Theological Seminary said it was committed to “telling the truth” about its ties to slavery. Black students don’t think it goes far enough. A New Jersey seminary has pledged to spend $27 million on scholarships and other initiatives to address its historical ties to slavery, in what appears to be the biggest effort of its kind. The announcement, by the Princeton Theological Seminary on Friday, came about a year after an internal report detailed the findings of a two-year investigation that showed slavery’s deep roots in the school’s past. The move put the seminary at the heart of […]

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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 1872. In those first few years after emancipation, however, the Bureau built […]

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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 […]

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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 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 […]

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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 […]

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