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11 charts that track the progress America has made in racial equality — and all the visceral ways we still have left to go | Business Insider

February is Black History Month, when Americans celebrate the achievements of well-known black figures and the progress that has been made so far for the US black population. There have been improvements in different areas of living (such as black employment and earnings) since the 1960s, when many of the government tools tracking racial disparities were launched. For example, the number of black students earning a college degree has risen dramatically in the last several decades. Still, inequality persists. For instance, change in overall household wealth has been minimal for black families compared to their white neighbors. The following 11 […]

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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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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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The 15th Amendment Was Ratified 150 Years Ago, but the Fight to Protect Black Voters Continues | Teen Vogue

OG History is a Teen Vogue series where we unearth history not told through a white, cis-hetero-patriarchal lens. In this edition, Jameelah Nasheed explains how the fight for Black voters’ rights has changed in the 150 years since the 15th Amendment was ratified. On February 3, 1870 — 150 years ago today — African American men were given the right to vote with the ratification of the 15th Amendment, which declared that the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, […]

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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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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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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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