Reflecting on 2019

This year, as the nation attempts to address the history and experiences of Americans of African descent, the focus has been primarily on healing and commemoration. On June 19th, there was a call for a national day of healing and drumming, a scheduled Congressional hearing on reparations, and a rally to declare Juneteenth a national holiday.  Later this summer, in August, activities are centered on marking the 400th anniversary of Read More

Black Enslavement and Emancipation – How Long

In an address given on August 23, 2015, to an audience gathered at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, for an ancestral remembrance ceremony to commemorate enslaved Africans, Massachusetts State Representative Byron Rushing made a remark that struck a chord – that sanctioned enslavement existed in the United States over a longer period than there has been emancipation. In his speech, Rushing marked 1619 as the starting point, but to be Read More

Reparations: A Can of Worms?

What a sensitive subject the idea of reparations has become! Related to the transatlantic slave trade, making amends for imposing slavery is a concept that embroils class, race, and involves social, political, and economic issues across the board. Suddenly conversations become emotionally charged. People who reject the concept outright line themselves against those demanding repayment. The different approaches can be bitter and deep – and even among those who think Read More