slavery

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Book Reveals Francis Scott Key's Bigoted Side

'Star Spangled Banner' author had mixed record on race

(Newser) - Francis Scott Key, member of President Andrew Jackson's "Kitchen Cabinet" who also served as the US attorney for the District of Columbia, is probably best known for penning the lyrics to the "Star Spangled Banner" 200 years ago. (He borrowed the melody from an English tune popular... More »

SC Spot Where Slaves Entered US to Get Museum

International African American Museum to be built in Charleston

(Newser) - A $75 million International African American Museum will be built in South Carolina on Charleston Harbor where tens of thousands of slaves first set foot in the United States. "There is no better site," Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said today, standing on the waterfront tract where... More »

Dallas Votes for Slavery Reparations

Commissioners didn't quite read resolution before approving it

(Newser) - Dallas County now officially backs paying reparations for slavery—not out of a thirst to right historical wrongs, but because commissioners weren't paying attention at a meeting. John Wiley Price, the only black commissioner on the Dallas County Commissioners Court, declared that African Americans should be "satisfied with... More »

It's Time for Reparations for Black Americans

Ta-Nehisi Coates starts the conversation in the 'Atlantic'

(Newser) - Ta-Nehisi Coates argues in a lengthy cover story in the Atlantic that America must at long last take up the question of making reparations to black people. He focuses not just on slavery, however, but also on the following 150 years of systemic racism—with banks working in collusion with... More »

Found: Civil War Ship Taken by Slaves

Robert Smalls commandeered the Planter, gave it to Union

(Newser) - After the American Civil War, a storied ship was wrecked off South Carolina. Now, experts believe they've found the remains of the Planter, a Confederate supply ship commandeered by its crew of slaves and turned over to the Union, LiveScience reports. The ship's wheelsman, in charge of steering,... More »

Caribbean: It's Time for Slavery Reparations

15 countries poised to seek development aid, apology from Europe

(Newser) - Caribbean leaders say the effects of the slave trade can still be felt today, and it's time for Europe to offer reparations—and a clear apology. The leaders of 15 Caribbean countries are meeting today, and they're expected to issue a 10-point plan calling for action, the Guardian ... More »

I'm Sorry for Hosting a Plantation Retreat

Years later, Richard Eskow still bothered by event

(Newser) - After Ani DiFranco offered a belated apology for planning a songwriting retreat at a Louisiana plantation , Richard Eskow decided it was finally time to apologize for his own plantation retreat, which he helped host years ago. The retreat was a getaway for clients of Eskow's employer, and Eskow was... More »

Ani DiFranco's Plantation Show Worth Getting Mad About

Singer's apology rings false with liberal bloggers

(Newser) - On Sunday, Ani DiFranco bowed to an overwhelming tide of Internet outrage and canceled her "Righteous Retreat," a planned four-day creative getaway at Nottoway Plantation. The problem, of course, being that Nottoway was one of the largest slave plantations in the South, a fact its website positively boasts... More »

Communist Party Booted Out Alleged UK Slaveholders

So the husband started a 'Marxist-Leninist-Maoist' splinter group

(Newser) - The London couple suspected of holding three women against their will for 30 years were ... Marxist slaveholders? The two suspects, Aravindan Balakrishnan, 73, and his 67-year-old wife Chanda, had been Marxist activists in the 1970s, the BBC reports. Records from the Communist Party of England show that Balakrishnan was kicked... More »

Cops: 3 Rescued Women in London Lived in 'Collective'

They were apparently brainwashed and beaten by captor couple, say police

(Newser) - This much is clear about the case of three women alleged to have been kept against their will in a London home for more than 30 years: It's going to take a while to fully unwind what happened. But the picture emerging suggests that the women were controlled by... More »

One London Captive Spent Entire Life Imprisoned

London cops hunt for more captives—or bodies

(Newser) - Investigators piecing together the bizarre case of three women held in servitude for decades suspect there may be more victims involved, reports the Telegraph . After the arrest of a man and woman in south London, both aged 67, police are searching possible linked addresses for other slaves—or possibly bodies.... More »

3 Women Freed After 30 Years' Captivity in London

2 arrested in investigation into 'slavery, domestic servitude'

(Newser) - Police have rescued three women from a London house where they were allegedly held captive and may have been treated as slaves for 30 years or more, NBC News reports. Authorities were first contacted about the situation last month, by a domestic abuse nonprofit. The women—a 69-year-old Malaysian woman,... More »

12 Years a Slave a Film 'for the Ages'

Steve McQueen directs stark look at US slavery

(Newser) - Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave is winning widespread praise for its unflinching—and brilliantly acted—portrayal of the horrors of slavery. The film, adapted from Solomon Northup's 1853 memoir, tells the story of a free man tricked into enslavement on a Louisiana plantation.
  • "Movie audiences have
... More »

Number of Slaves on the Planet: 30M

Victims in 162 countries; half are in India

(Newser) - Slavery continues to afflict almost 30 million people across the planet—in every one of 162 countries surveyed in a new report. India is home to 13.9 million slaves, by far the largest number; relative to population, however, Mauritania has the highest rate, with 4% of the population enslaved... More »

Slave Re-Enactment at School Field Trip Enrages Parents

Parents say some students were called the n-word

(Newser) - A school in Hartford is facing backlash from parents after a controversial field trip in which students were told to perform a slavery re-enactment. Newsy reports: More »

The American Revolution Was a Failure

Historian Paul Pirie argues that the Founders fell short of their aims

(Newser) - Americans adore their revolution, but former historian Paul Pirie doesn't think it was terribly successful—at least not if you judge it against countries like Canada (from whence Pirie hails) that kept their monarchies, or by its own stated goal of advancing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.... More »

Stop Mindlessly Glorifying the Civil War

Tony Horwitz looks at the historians challenging our rose-colored recollections

(Newser) - We're coming up on the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, and odds are we'll hear a lot about heroism and that famed address, Tony Horwitz writes at the Atlantic —and almost nothing about the "unromantic slaughter" in places like Iverson's Pits, where soldiers... More »

New Hampshire Finally Frees 14 Slaves

Move comes 234 years after request

(Newser) - Fourteen slaves who petitioned the New Hampshire Legislature for their freedom during the Revolutionary War were granted posthumous emancipation today when the governor signed a largely symbolic bill that supporters hope will encourage future generations to pursue social justice. Slaves who had fought in the war submitted a petition to... More »

'Confederate Heritage Month' Is Appalling

Yes, Georgia really does celebrate this: John Avlon

(Newser) - When John Avlon heard yesterday that Georgia is celebrating Confederate Heritage and History Month, he thought it was an April Fools' joke. But no, it's real—signed into law by the governor in 2009 and celebrated by six other states—and Avlon talked to backer Ray McBerry all about... More »

New Database Tracks Slave Graveyards Across US

Fordham researcher starts project to mark sites online

(Newser) - Fordham has launched a first-of-its kind national database designed to catalog places in the US where slaves are buried. The Burial Database Project of Enslaved African Americans is the brainchild of Fordham's Sandra Arnold, whose ancestors were slaves, reports the New York Times . The site relies on visitors to... More »

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