This history of African Americans is a quintessentially American history. It presents the perspective of a people who have been among the most eloquent voices for and embodiments of America's cherished ideals of the essential liberty and equality of all people, the right to self-determination and the pursuit of happiness, the sanctity of individual life, and equality before the law.
Today is the 150th anniversary
of the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, which began the U.S. Civil War. In a
fascinating entry from the New York Times "Disunion" series, which has been "covering"
the war since last fall, Adam Goodheart describes how Maj.
When Washington Post writer Colbert King invited readers to respond to the idea of paying reparations to the descendants of African-American slaves, he got a mailbox full of opinions. “I’m all for reparations for blacks,” said one. “By the way, as a descendant of Anglo-Saxons, I’ve been deeply traumatized by what the Normans did to us in 1066. How about some for me too?”
In 1969, I dropped out of college, moved to Racine, Wisconsin, and worked for a community action program and then for a welfare rights organization. The focus of my work was tenants’ rights—helping tenants negotiate with landlords over things like rent and housing violations. Among my many indelible memories from that year was the situation of a family with six children.
Toni Morrison’s novel A Mercy begins with a Sophie’s Choice moment for a slave woman living in Barbados in the late 17th century. Her master owes a debt to a trader, and he offers the woman’s infant son as collateral. She pushes her preadolescent daughter toward the trader and begs him to take the girl instead.
Continuing its efforts to address a practice some members call “a stain on the church,” the Episcopal Church will hold a “Day of Repentance” to publicly apologize for its involvement in the slave trade.
The ceremony, mandated by a 2006 resolution at the church’s General Convention, will take place October 3-4 in Philadelphia.
Those who want to make lots of money and don’t care about breaking the law to do it have three main options: they can deal in drugs, deal in guns or deal in humans beings. Of these dubious but lucrative businesses, trafficking in humans is the fastest growing.
Just about every marketing card seems to be stacked against Amazing Grace. It’s not just that the film is a costume drama set in England at the turn of the 19th century, or that there are no big-name American actors in the cast. The real obstacle is the setting: it’s a movie about British politicians, in wigs, and the inner maneuverings of the British Parliament. Moreover, Amazing Grace speaks openly of Christian faith and the Bible’s demands for justice for all people—not a recipe for a blockbuster. Yet the film is genuinely inspiring.