Mychal Denzel Smith, author of Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, discusses his new book: "We have to be willing to let go of the things that we think that we like about ourselves because if they are things that deny others access to respect and dignity and humanity, then they're not things worth having. So we have to be willing to let go." (MDS: previously) [more inside]
A Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice. (Platform, Downloads/Briefing)
Seattle-based artist Natasha Marin has started a project called Reparations, intended to go through the end of the year, in which people of color make requests and white-identified people volunteer to fulfill them or make offers of their own. [more inside]
"More than a dozen universities — including Brown, Columbia, Harvard and the University of Virginia — have publicly recognized their ties to slavery and the slave trade. But the 1838 slave sale organized by the Jesuits, who founded and ran Georgetown, stands out for its sheer size, historians say." (slnyt)
An Open Letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates and the Liberals Who Love Him "I was once a Coates fan", writes Cedric Johnson in Jacobin. Johnson criticizes Coates for his black nationalism at the expense of class based identification.
In his latest essay for The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates (previously) examines "The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration." [more inside]
"To celebrate freedom and democracy while forgetting America’s origins in a slavery economy is patriotism à la carte." Slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation both de jure and de facto--Ta-Nehisi Coates on The Case for Reparations.
Many have pointed to the debilitating payments that Haiti had to make to France to compensate slave owners at the begining of the country's history as the key reason why it has been mired in poverty ever since - in stark contrast to it's neighbour the Domican Republic. Now there are calls for France to repay $23 Billion via an open letter. Of course, the US has had it's own debate over this sensitive issue for a while now.
Many Americans' understanding of the idea of reparations for African slavery in the U.S. stems from Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's field order that slaves made refugees by his march through the South be given parcels of Charleston's former sea island plantations and one of a surplus of Army mules. [more inside]
San Francisco's Black Exodus. Since the last report in 1990, San Francisco’s Black population has dropped by 40 percent, faster than any other major city in the country. In an effort to reverse the loss, Mayor Gavin Newsom started the African American Out-Migration Task force in 2007. [more inside]
Slavery Ended in the 1960s, not the 1860s The Civil War made slavery illegal, but that didn't wipe it out completely. White farmer, John Williams, forced his black overseer to murder 11 slaves in the wake of a 1921 federal investigation. The Dial Brothers were also convicted by the Justice Department for "African slavery" in the 1940s. In another case, a black genealogist found a 104-year-old man who claims he and his family were enslaved until the 1960s. It's not necessary to rehash the entire reparations debate to realize that some of these post-Civil War slavery cases may finally have a day in court.
Recipient of largest slavery reparations claim sentanced to 3 years in jail and her father, the accountant who did the paperwork to get the refund received 13 years in jail. The article goes on to report that the IRS estimates the fraudulent reparations payout to be apporx $2.7B. "It was unjust because we are supposed to get reparations as black people -- just like the Jews got it. What do we get? Jail time," said family friend Margaret Roach What do you think?
The TRILLIAN dollar question. Will the Saudi Royal family recieve diplomatic immunity for helping finance Osama and Al Qaeda all these years? A lawsuit filed by 9/11 victims last year which demands reparations from the Saudis will come to a close next week. Background story here: Evidently there's precedent for pay-out.
Chicago moves toward reparations: When vying for city contracts, companies must search their records and disclose whether they've profited from slavery.
The other reparations movement. According to this article, Jack Kershaw, of Memphis, Tennessee wants to file a lawsuit which seeks redress for grievances with the federal government for gross violation of international law during the War Between the States, especially during Sherman's March to the Sea (some call it a myth). Kershaw is a board member of the League of the South, a non-racial Southern secessionist movement located in Alabama). Can a small secession movement which publishes a magazine called the Southern Patriot and sports a Confederate flag everywhere be taken seriously by mainstream America? I personally don't think Kershaw has a snowball's chance in hell of winning such a suit, but the idea is interesting, especially if one is trying to trace the origins of America's practice of ignoring international law and just conduct in war, which seemed to start with the un-Civil War. What do you think?
There has been alot in the news about Slave Reperations lately. Friday while at the store, the register clerk started to ask me about my family history and then accused me of being a descendant of her ancestor's slave master and told me i owed her. What type of scam is this?
Reparations Sought From U.S. Firms for Slavery. Big U.S. companies were named in a lawsuit on Tuesday filed on behalf of black Americans descended from slaves, the first-ever class action seeking reparations from firms for profiting from slavery. Is this really sensible?
Reparations activists are going after corporations who may have had ties to or profited from the slave trade to seek financial compensation. "So far, the reparations legal team has publicly identified five companies it says have slave ties: insurers Aetna, New York Life and AIG and financial giants J.P. Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank and FleetBoston Financial Group." Of course, the article (or the sidebar) doesn't cite anyone who may be against the whole notion - which is possibly bias of some sort, and seeing Johnnie Cochran on the list of people involved doesn't exactly warm one's heart either. (here are several other related "background" articles)
Did you know about the "African-American Slavery Reparations" tax credit? (Neither did I.)
Japan's turn for reparations? Rosen vs. the people of Japan filed in Chicago is asking for 1 trillion! in reparations. Its headed by POW Melvin H Rosen, a Bataan death march survivor.
Mexicans sue for U.S. farm work reparations from WWII Another group suing for reparations. This time, Mexicans who worked as farm help during World War II....a just claim or hopping on reparations bandwagon?
Reparations for Dixie?! A Southern nationalist group is demanding reparations for "atrocities" committed against Southerners during the Civil War.
Two survivors of the Auschwitz death camp are suing the American government for not bombing the death camp and are seeking $40 billion in damages. (via Fark)
Here's your reparations money, now shut up! Another POV in the slavery reparations debate: From the conservative National Review, an argument that paying off black Americans would be worth it "if they could no longer play the race card."
Tulsa Race Riots of 1921: Who pays? I don't think Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating's pledge to fundraise for a memorial/museum will suffice as a remedy -- or cut much mustard with survivors and their families. (Background info here.)