slavery

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Affleck's Slave-Owning Ancestor Also Named Ben

He comes clean about Georgia forebear Benjamin Cole

(Newser) - Ben Affleck has named the slave-owning ancestor he was too "embarrassed" to have revealed by PBS' Finding Your Roots, and in an unfortunate coincidence, they share a name. "His name was Benjamin Cole—lived in Georgia on my Mom's side about six generations back," the actor... More »

NYC to Finally Recognize It Was Home to a Slave Market

It could hold roughly 50 men at a time

(Newser) - One tends to think of slavery as an evil that gripped the American South, but New York City is getting ready to acknowledge its own past in the human trade: For more than half of the 18th century, the Big Apple was home to a slave market, a fact the... More »

Confederate Flag on Texas Plates Heads to High Court

Supreme Court to decide if state has right to ban what some see as offensive

(Newser) - The Supreme Court today considers whether Texans should have the right, as folks in nine other states do, to drive around with a license plate bearing the Confederate flag. The Sons of Confederate Veterans—a "heritage organization," as per spokesman Ben Jones, and "not a bunch of... More »

How Slave Skeletons Were Finally Traced to Their Home

Tiny bits of DNA extracted from tooth roots helped identify 3 slaves

(Newser) - Though upward of 12 million Africans were enslaved and shipped to the Americas between 1500 and 1850, tracing their roots back home has been famously difficult—with poor record-keeping and poorly-preserved DNA samples partly to blame. Now researchers from Stanford University and the University of Copenhagen report in the Proceedings ... More »

Report: North Korea Sends 'Slaves' Abroad

State steals wages to combat sanctions, says NK Watch

(Newser) - Though most North Koreans will never leave their isolated country, an estimated 100,000 work long hours abroad to earn hard currency for the state. As sanctions against North Korea continue to take a toll, a program of sending contract workers to build monuments in Africa, fish off Fiji, dig... More »

Obama Tells Christians to Get Off 'High Horse'

Critics rail president's statements about slavery, Crusades at prayer breakfast

(Newser) - It's not terribly surprising that President Obama brought up Jesus Christ during yesterday's National Prayer Breakfast in DC—but for some, it's an outrage how he brought up the son of God. During his speech, Obama recognized the challenges faced by the global community in dealing with... More »

Civil War Vet's Son, Among the Last, Dead at 97

Luke Martin Jr. was a local hero in North Carolina

(Newser) - Luke Martin Jr. was born to a former Civil War soldier in 1917, when the father was in his 80s. Now, at 97, Martin has died, meaning the world has lost one of the last surviving sons of a Civil War veteran; only eight remain, according to a roster . His... More »

In Southern Genes, 'Black' and 'White' Get a Little Gray

Many white people have black ancestry, vice versa

(Newser) - A simple cheek swab can reveal a lot about your DNA, and for 6 million Americans who identify as white, mostly in the South, that swab has revealed African ancestry hidden in their genes, the Washington Post reports. One in 10 Southerners have at least 1% African origins, and the... More »

Piece of America's Slavery History Uncovered

Dig finds timbers from Gadsden's Wharf

(Newser) - Over the course of just a few decades at the turn of the 19th century, some 100,000 slaves arrived in the US at Gadsden's Wharf, in Charleston, South Carolina. With a new African American Museum set to begin construction at the site in 2016, researchers decided to launch... More »

Global Slavery at All-Time High

There are nearly 36m slaves worldwide, rights group says

(Newser) - The latest report from a rights group drives home the disturbing fact that the peak of slavery in human history wasn't during the Roman Empire or some other distant time—it's happening right now. Nearly 36 million people around the world (more than ever before) are slaves, according... More »

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 »

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