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Nat Turner's Descendants to Be Reunited With His Skull

Whether the skull is actually Turner's has yet to be confirmed

(Newser) - A skull thought to be that of Nat Turner, the controversial rebel leader whose slave revolt in Virginia in 1831 left about 60 white people dead, including women and children, will finally be presented to Turner's descendants Friday. Former Gary, Ind., mayor Richard Hatcher was given the skull by... More »

Blacks Should Get Reparations From US: UN Panel

Experts say it's only right after history of 'racial terrorism'

(Newser) - While officials in Barcelona lobby to replace what they say is a symbol of oppression and slavery , a United Nations panel is calling on the United States to offer reparations to black people for the country's history of "racial terrorism," per the Washington Post . In a nonbinding... More »

John Legend: National Anthem Is 'Weak' Anyway

And it celebrates slavery, he tweets

(Newser) - John Legend is backing Colin Kaepernick in his national anthem protest : In fact, Legend says, the "Star-Spangled Banner" shouldn't even be our anthem. "For those defending the current anthem, do you really truly love that song? I don't and I'm very good at singing it.... More »

Slave Descendants Go to Front of Georgetown Admissions Line

Slave descendants to receive preference

(Newser) - Georgetown University will give admissions preference to the descendants of slaves owned by the Maryland Jesuits as part of its effort to atone for profiting from the sale of enslaved people, the AP reports. Georgetown President John DeGioia told news outlets that the university in Washington, DC, will implement the... More »

Snoop Dogg: Don't Watch Roots

He's sick of seeing depictions of slavery

(Newser) - To Snoop Dogg, Roots, 12 Years a Slave, Underground, and other depictions of slavery apparently aren't important history lessons, but attempts to rub black people's faces in the oppression they suffered centuries ago. In an expletive-filled Instagram video , the rapper urges fans to steer clear of the History... More »

Sinn Fein Leader: N-Word Tweet Was Meant to Be 'Ironic'

Gerry Adams posted offending tweet after watching 'Django Unchained'

(Newser) - Gerry Adams caught a viewing of Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained on Sunday and was perhaps a little too enthusiastic in sharing his thoughts on it. The leader of Ireland's Sinn Fein party posted in a now-deleted tweet: "Watching Django Unchained - A Ballymurphy [N-word]!" Cue the... More »

Slavery Connection Likely Dooms Harvard Law's Shield

Commission says it doesn't 'represent the values' of the school

(Newser) - In all likelihood, Harvard Law School's 80-year-old crest will soon be history due to its connection to a slaveholding family. The Guardian reports a 12-member commission of faculty and students officially recommending doing away with the shield on Friday. “We believe that if the law school is to... More »

US to Finally Close Slavery Loophole From 1930

1930 Tariff Act still allows imports produced by slaves

(Newser) - A mere 153 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, the US is set to ban the import of goods produced by slaves in other countries. A loophole in the 1930 Tariff Act—which allows the import of goods made by convict, forced, or indentured labor when domestic production doesn't meet... More »

Harvard Students Won't Call Faculty 'Master' Anymore

Association with slavery leads faculty to seek a new name for the '21st century'

(Newser) - House "masters"—the faculty member attached to each of Harvard's undergrad residences—will soon be no more after a unanimous vote by the 12 people who currently hold the title, the Harvard Crimson reports. Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana made the announcement at Tuesday's monthly meeting... More »

Ben Carson: Woman Having Abortion Like a Slave Owner

Presidential candidate appears on 'Meet the Press'

(Newser) - Ben Carson said today that he opposed abortion even in cases of rape and incest—and compared women seeking abortions to slave-owners mistreating their slaves, the New York Times reports. On Meet the Press, discussing women impregnated by rape or incest, Carson referred to "the many stories of people... More »

Texas Textbook Describes African Slaves as 'Workers'

McGraw-Hill will make changes after mom's post goes viral

(Newser) - Roni Dean-Burren was incensed when she got a text message from son Coby of a page in his ninth-grade geography textbook. "The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations," read a... More »

Enslaved Fisherman Shares Brutal Story

'It was like our lives were already over'

(Newser) - A 25-year-old fisherman from Mynamar who found himself enslaved thousands of miles from home for five years was rescued—along with thousands of others like him—earlier this year. Now he's telling his story. "Who could stand working continuously without taking a rest?" asks Myo Aung, describing the... More »

New England Church Faces Huge Role in Slave Trade

Episcopalian diocese does some soul-searching

(Newser) - Rhode Island was so enmeshed in slavery that it's been dubbed "the Deep North." Now the state's Episcopal diocese is owning up to its involvement with public forums, repentant services, and a new museum—in an old Cathedral that was shuttered due to lack of funds,... More »

New Texas Texts: Slavery Was 'Side Issue' of Civil War

It was mainly states' rights that was war's impetus, per state education standards

(Newser) - About 5 million Texas schoolchildren will get their hands on brand-new social studies textbooks when school starts up again, the Houston Chronicle reports—textbooks that USA Today says are "misleading, racially prejudiced, and, at times, flat-out false." The beef with the new primers: They're in keeping with... More »

Historic Church Has Risen From Other Tragedies

Emanuel AME has long 'represented black freedom'

(Newser) - Wednesday night's massacre was just the latest tragedy for one of the most historic black churches in America—and members of Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church say they will once again emerge stronger, CNN reports. The first AME church in the South was founded in 1816, and... More »

Documents Show Affleck Ancestor Didn't Own Slaves

But other ancestors did, and great-great-great-grandpa was still involved in slavery

(Newser) - Turns out Ben Affleck's newly controversial great-great-great-grandfather probably didn't own slaves after all—though other Affleck ancestors did, and the great-great-great-grandpa in question was the executor of slave-owning estates, meaning he was still involved in that world. The Daily Beast looked at Georgia tax and census records to... More »

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 »

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