Tag: Slavery (Historical)

‘No Slavery in Australia’? These Pacific Islanders Tell a Different Story

MACKAY, Australia — Marion Healy’s great-grandfather Kwailu was just a boy when “recruiters” took him aboard a ship on a beach in the Solomon Islands. The destination was Australia, where, for meager wages, he would do backbreaking labor planting and cutting sugar cane for white farmers. Thousands of South Pacific islanders like Kwailu were lured […]

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Why Kamala Harris Matters to Me

When I arrived in the United States in 1984, an Indian graduate student wanting to study African-American history, I was an anomaly. Most of my fellow South Asians were in STEM doctoral programs. During the Reagan years, I supported the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition and the Democratic Socialists of America in their attempt to […]

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Trump’s Census Shenanigans Have a Nefarious Purpose

Over the last few years, the Trump administration has fought to shape the 2020 census to its political benefit and the benefit of the Republican Party. In 2018, it sought to introduce a citizenship question on the census itself, to reduce response rates among immigrant communities. Then, after that was rebuffed by the Supreme Court, […]

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‘Life of a Klansman’ Tells Ugly Truths About America, Past and Present

LIFE OF A KLANSMAN A Family History in White SupremacyBy Edward Ball When his mother died in 2003, the writer Edward Ball went to New Orleans, where her family had lived for generations, to bury her and sort through her belongings. Among her papers were documents that had been collected by her late aunt, including […]

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Massachusetts Court Won’t Use Term ‘Grandfathering,’ Citing Its Racist Origins

A wine organization announced in June that it would no longer use the term “master” to refer to its high-ranking experts. This month, lawmakers in New Jersey said county elected officials should be called “commissioners” instead of “freeholders,” a word that dates to a time when only white males could own land. And on Monday, […]

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How Has the Electoral College Survived for This Long?

As our revived national conversation on race has made clear, the legacies of slavery and white supremacy run wide and deep in American society and political life. One such legacy — which is particularly noteworthy in a presidential election season — has been the survival and preservation of the Electoral College, an institution that has […]

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Colonialism Made the Modern World. Let’s Remake It.

“Decolonize this place!” “Decolonize the university!” “Decolonize the museum!” In the past few years, decolonization has gained new political currency — inside the borders of the old colonial powers. Indigenous movements have reclaimed the mantle of “decolonization” in protests like those at Standing Rock against the Dakota Access pipeline. Students from South Africa to Britain […]

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DNA Study from 23andMe Traces Violent History of American Slavery

More than one and a half centuries after the trans-Atlantic slave trade ended, a new study shows how the brutal treatment of enslaved people has shaped the DNA of their descendants. The report, which included more than 50,000 people, 30,000 of them with African ancestry, agrees with the historical record about where people were taken […]

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The Tenacity of the Franco-American Ideal

PARIS Perhaps the root of the mutual fascination that binds France and the United States is that each sees itself as an idea, a model of some kind for the rest of the world. This is an immodest but tenacious notion, bound up with the founding articles and myths of both republics. No other countries […]

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Monuments Are Falling. What Should Rise in Their Place?

“The time to honor the slave-owning founders of our imperfect union is past. The ground, which should have moved long ago, has at last shifted beneath us,” Lucian K. Truscott IV writes in his recent Opinion essay, “I’m a Direct Descendant of Thomas Jefferson. Take Down His Memorial.” The question of who — or what […]

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North Carolina City Approves Reparations for Black Residents

As Americans debate how far the country should go to make amends for slavery and other racial injustices, a conversation reawakened by the killing of George Floyd, a city in North Carolina has taken the first step: It approved reparations for Black residents. The city, Asheville, N.C., will provide funding to programs geared toward increasing […]

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