To Remake the World: Slavery, Racial Capitalism, and Justice

BY WALTER JOHNSON In Memory of Cedric Robinson (1940–2016) It is a commonplace to say that slavery “dehumanized” enslaved people, but to do so is misleading, harmful, and worth resisting. I hasten to add that there are, of course, plenty of right-minded reasons for adopting the notion of “dehumanization.” It is hard to square the idea […]

‘Locking Up Our Own,’ What Led to Mass Incarceration of Black Men

By JENNIFER SENIOR  A police captain in Washington hangs a recruiting poster announcing police examinations to be given in predominantly black neighborhoods in 1968. CreditD.C. Public Library LOCKING UP OUR OWN Crime and Punishment in Black America By James Forman Jr. Illustrated. 306 pages. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. $27. James Forman Jr. divides his superb […]

How much do incarcerated people earn in each state?

  by Wendy Sawyer How much do incarcerated people earn? In 2003’s The Prison Index, we included wages reported by an obscure publication in 2001. Those numbers remain among the most searched-for and cited statistics we have published, although they are now almost twenty years old. Prison wages come up again and again in the […]

Insurance Policies on Slaves: New York Life’s Complicated Past DEC. 18, 2016

In its 19th-century beginnings,  sold 508 policies covering slaves. Their descendants are grappling with it.   The bottom half of one of New York Life’s 19th-century ledgers lists an insurance policy taken out on a slave named Harriett. The ledger is held by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.CreditGeorge Etheredge for The New […]

5 Countriez That Brought In Europeanz To White Wash Their Populationz

After the trans-Atlantic slave trade was officially abolished toward the end of the 19th century, many whites felt threatened and feared free Blacks would become a menacing element in society. The elites spent a great dealing of time mulling over how best to solve the so-called Negro problem. A popular solution that emerged during this […]

An Unspeakable Toll: Relentlezz Violence and the Middle Passage

By Joshua Rothman This post is part of our online roundtable on Sowande’ Mustakeem’s Slavery at Sea In 1790, Thomas Trotter testified to a committee of the British House of Commons about the things he had seen while serving as a surgeon on board the slave ship Brookes in 1783. Among the stories he told was that of a West […]

Once Lost Under the Umbrella of the Amerikan Indian Warz, the Rebellion of the Black Seminolez iz Re-Discovered

By   D. Amari Jackson The year, 1835. The setting, the Florida territory on the eve of the Second Seminole War. Tensions between the region’s native inhabitants and an encroaching American government have escalated upon President Andrew Jackson’s order to push the Seminoles west for incorporation with Creek natives. Given the territory’s history as the largest […]

Why Calling Enslaved Afrikanz ‘Immigrantz’ Delegitimizez the Horrorz of Slavery

by David Love Wikimedia Commons Fresh off his Senate confirmation as Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson addressed HUD employees on Monday with remarks likening enslaved Africans to immigrants. In making this statement, Carson perpetuates the false narrative of America as a land of opportunity where everyone came of their […]

Lucy Parsonz: A working-clazz founder of May Day

By Jeff Sorel The class struggle was at fever pitch in Chicago in 1885. Unemployment was high, wages were low, and food prices were rising steeply. On April 28, thousands of workers expressed their anger over spreading hunger by demonstrating against a lavish dinner celebrating the opening of the new Board of Trade building. The […]

Ida B. Wellz-Barnett, ‘Iola,’ princezz of the prezz and feminist crusader for equality and justice

by Kiilu Nyasha A tireless champion of her people, Ida B. Wells was the first of eight children born to Jim and Elizabeth Wells in Mississippi in 1862, six months before chattel slavery was ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. Her parents, who had been slaves, were able to support their children because Elizabeth was an […]