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Reparations for Descendants of the Slave Trade Emerges as Democrats’ Campaign Platform

NNPA NEWSWIRE — “In this context, new organizations such as ADOS (American Descendants of Slavery) also emerged and certainly contributed to the visibility of the debate on reparations,” Dr. Araujo said. “Unlike previous movements, ADOS gained more visibility through the presence of its founders on social media that helped disseminating the #ADOS hashtag,” said Dr. Ana Lucia Araujo, who authored the groundbreaking 2017 book, “Reparations for Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Transnational and Comparative History.”

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Part 13 of The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) global news feature series on the history, contemporary realities and implications of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
(Read the entire series: 
Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5, Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9, Part 10Part 11, Part 12

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent
@StacyBrownMedia

Reparations have fast become a major platform for Democrats seeking the 2020 presidential nomination.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke joined that movement at the recent National Action Network convention when he said he’d support legislation for a slavery reparations commission if he were to win the White House next year.

Senators Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro have also raised the topic of reparations in this early phase of their presidential campaigns.

“Not only do I support it, but I have legislation that actually does it,” Booker said earlier this month during a Town Hall. “In fact, I’ve got the only legislation, I think, in the entire Congress that Columbia University says would virtually eliminate the racial wealth gap in our country,” Booker said of his so-called “Baby Bonds” proposal.

Slavery and the Atlantic slave trade are among the most heinous crimes against humanity committed in the modern era, yet no one-time slave society in the Americas has paid reparations to former slaves or their descendants, notes historian, author and history professor Dr. Ana Lucia Araujo, who authored the groundbreaking 2017 book, “Reparations for Slavery and the Slave Trade: A Transnational and Comparative History.”

At 288 pages, Araujo’s book counts as arguably the most in-depth and carefully researched material on the subject of reparations.

Reviewers have given it more acclaim.

James Walvin, Professor of History Emeritus at the University of York in the United Kingdom, noted the trans-Atlantic debate about reparations for slavery has long needed a serious historical explanation.

In Dr. Araujo’s book, “We have the answer,” Walvin said, adding that the book is a “sweeping study, grounded in meticulous research, [which] explains how and why reparations have become so pressing a modern-day issue.”

“It is essential reading for everyone concerned – whatever their viewpoint,” Walvin added.

A history professor at Howard University, Dr. Araujo looks at slavery reparations movements that reaches across time and space and she considers enslavement, emancipation, and the continued refusal of every single slave-owning society in the Atlantic world-the USA, Britain, France, Brazil, Portugal, and Spain, especially to address the centuries of theft that made them wealthy and built the modern global political economy.

“The [presidential] candidates did not start addressing the issue suddenly. But there is now a momentum,” Dr. Araujo said.

“We know that the history of demands of reparations is an old one. When in March 2014 CARICOM released its 10-point plan demanding reparations to European nations, it had an immediate impact on the United States public sphere,” she said.

Two months later, Ta-Nehisi Coates published his essay “The Case for Reparations,” and other newspapers also covered the debate.

“Since then the debate has been evolving more intensely,” Dr. Araujo said.

“Also, in those years and up to now we see a true avalanche of news related to the slave past in Europe, Africa, and the Americas, especially in the United States,” she said.

Dr. Araujo continued:

“Remember that Bernie Sanders was asked about his support to reparations in 2016, to which he answered the issue was too divisive.

“Very probably he understood reparations as payments to African Americans. [Hillary] Clinton did not even consider the issue.”

With only two frontrunners [in the 2016 presidential election] that would succeed the first black president of the United States, the issue of reparations could not become a central element in the debate, Dr. Araujo explained.

Now, with several candidates running for the Democratic Party presidential primaries bringing this discussion back can certainly attract black voters, she said.

“[Another Democratic presidential candidate] Marianne Williamson was the first to bring the issue of reparations, that emerges within a religious framework such as atonement and amendments,” Dr. Araujo said.

“She proposes a $100 billion dollar plan to be paid over 10 years to African Americans.  Later on, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris also declared they supported reparations but were rather vague regarding what that would mean,” she said.

Sebastian Hunt, author of “Black Diets Matter,” said he still found it odd that candidates are speaking up now.

While slavery devastated African Americans, the War on Drugs would later decimate blacks and the old Homestead Act disproportionately benefitted white Americans, Hunt said.

“If you can dole out free land disproportionately to whites and move the goalposts all of the time with the types of insidious policies discussed in ‘The New Jim Crow’ then, yes, reparations are due,” he said.

For the 2020 presidential candidates, it not an expensive proposition for them to make statements about reparations because very often what those running mean by the term reparations is broad and vague, Dr. Araujo said.

However, in a campaign loaded with candidates, those who embrace the issue of reparations perhaps have more chances of attracting African American voters, she said.

“In this context, new organizations such as ADOS (American Descendants of Slavery) also emerged and certainly contributed to the visibility of the debate on reparations,” Dr. Araujo said. “Unlike previous movements, ADOS gained more visibility through the presence of its founders on social media that helped disseminating the #ADOS hashtag,” she said.

However, Dr. Araujo said what shouldn’t be forgotten is that present-day movements draw from the long history paved by the associations of ex-slaves demanding pensions at the end of the 19th century.

They also draw from others like Queen Audley Moore – whose activism among others promoted a Pan-African consciousness –, James Forman’s Black Manifesto, and the Republic of New Africa and NCOBRA – National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, she said.

“All of these movements, some of which gathered thousands of members, were largely repressed,” Dr. Araujo said.

“Then if history teaches one something about the movements of reparations is that like abolition of slavery, reparations will never be a gift given by one individual to African Americans or individuals who identify as descendants of slaves,” she said.

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FILM: Top 10 Must-See Black documentaries

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Below you will find a list of documentaries, based on the roots of African American culture, compiled by Word in Black partner, The Houston Defender. From “I Am Not Your Negro” to “High on the Hog,” each film offers up the origin stories of our most important activists, artists, athletes and traditions.
The post FILM: Top 10 Must-See Black documentaries first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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By The Houston Defender | Word in Black

The AFRO’s October Special Edition is all about the roots of our culture, our family lineage and the return to old ways and traditions. Below you will find a list of documentaries, based on the roots of African American culture, compiled by our Word in Black partner, The Houston Defender. From I Am Not Your Negro to High on the Hog, each film offers up the origin stories of our most important activists, artists, athletes and traditions.

#10: Attica (2021) 

In September 1971, Attica Prison became the location of one of the largest prison riots in US history, taking place just weeks after revolutionary activist George Jackson was murdered by prison guards at Rikers Island, an act that initiated the birth of Black August and the prison reform movement. The constant abject cruelty and inhumane treatment doled out to the incarcerated (who were overwhelmingly Black and Latinx) by Attica guards (all White) created the context. The riot itself, and its aftermath, are something all human beings should be required to reckon with.

#9: Quincy (2018) 

If you’re Black, it literally doesn’t matter when you were born, what generation you’re a part of, or where you’re from. You’ve been impacted by the genius of Quincy Jones. We’ve all been influenced by the genius of Quincy Jones. The music he made, the albums he produced, the artists he developed, the movies he scored, and about a gazillion other things Jones did, means, as I’ve already said, if you’re Black, Quincy has had a hand in your life. Don’t believe me. What Black person do you know who isn’t a Michael Jackson fan, who hasn’t seen The Wiz, or who doesn’t have a family member who worships jazz music? Quincy Jones had his hand in all that and so much more. Directed by one of his daughters, actress Rashida Jones, this doc is most definitely a must see.

#8: Four Little Girls (1997) 

On Sept. 15, 1963, just 18 short days after the much-celebrated March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was bombed by four members of a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated racist group. Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, four African American girls between the ages of 11 and 14 who had been attending the church’s Sunday school, were killed in the blast, an act of White domestic terrorism that served as a horrific and sober reminder that Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was not enough to end the hold the myth of White supremacy had on so many. Director Spike Lee tells this powerfully compelling and important story as only he can.

#7: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke (2019) 

For generations that came after the Baby Boomers, it’s hard for us to fully fathom how big a star Sam Cooke was. Think of the biggest singer of any generation. That was Sam Cooke in his heyday. And not only was he hyper-talented, but not only did he call some of the biggest names in Black history his personal friends (Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X just to name a few), Cooke was a man of the people. And he was heavily invested in the Civil Rights Movement and an advocate for Black self-determination and Black ownership. Cooke even pulled a “Prince” long before Prince—gaining ownership of his own music, something that was as rare then as it is today. This documentary chronicles Cooke’s life, rise to fame, and eventual end, though his influence never died.

#6: Thunder Soul (2010) 

Here’s a hometown entry. Thunder Soul spotlights the extraordinary alumni from Houston’s storied Kashmere High School Stage Band which the iconic Conrad Johnson led. These alums return home after 35 years to play a tribute concert for the 92-year-old ‘Prof’, their beloved band leader who transformed the schools struggling jazz band into a world-class funk powerhouse in the early 1970s. This one will have you out of your seat and dancing in the streets. Check it out.

#5: Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (2021)  

In this documentary, criminal defense/civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson “draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America.” It’s that simple, and yet that complex. And it goes without saying; it’s a must see.

#4: Jeen-Yuhs (2022) 

No matter where you score on the Love Ye / Hate Ye scale, this 2022 documentary about his rise to superstardom is beyond compelling. I mean, who thinks to chronicle their every move from the moment they start pursuing their dream until they either give up on it or see it to fruition and beyond? Who does that? No one but this negro Kanye. He may be the only human being with an ego big enough to conceive of such a project. And believe me, the scope and scale of this documentary match that galaxy-sized self-obsession brahman has that make him both insanely talented and just plain insane at the same time.

#3: I Am Not Your Negro (2016) 

This documentary by Raoul Peck, director of Exterminate All the Brutes (2021) which made the first list of must-see documentaries, introduced the brilliance and unabashed Black of James Baldwin to a whole new generation. Described as a work that imagines the completion of Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript, Remember This House (about Baldwin’s personal reflections on and recollections of three of his personal friends who were killed during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), I Am Not Your Negro is about so much more.

#2: The Last Dance (2020) 

You don’t have to be a basketball fan to get caught up in the chronicling of the last run at an NBA championship by the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls who had been told before the season began that the team would be broken up. The doc not only takes you on that 1996 Bulls’ championship ride, but it also digs deep into the past of players, coaches, and family members, spotlighting triumphs and tragedies that are part of the human story, not just the story of professional athletes.

#1: High on the Hog 

How African American Cuisine Transformed America (2021)

If you know me, you know I’m a sucker for anything that celebrates our history, especially those things that connect us to our African roots and our Pan-African family. This documentary does all that and more. Because the main character is food. Our food. The stuff we grew up on. The meals many of us are eating right now, and never stopped eating since our youth. This beautifully filmed, beautifully narrated piece of art is full of both the familiar and the foreign; or rather, things we’ve come to believe are foreign to us, but are really part of our story and our heritage. And the okra on top? High on the Hog has a powerful H-Town connection. A few, in fact.

This list of documentaries based on the roots of African American culture was compiled by Word In Black.

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

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Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades

NNPA NEWSWIRE — According to internal VA data obtained by the Washington Post, Black applicants seeking disability benefits were denied 30 percent of the time from 2002 to 2020. White applicants were denied 24 percent of the time.
The post Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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Black Information Network | Atlanta Daily World

A new lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) alleges that the U.S. government discriminated against Black veterans for decades.

On Monday (November 28), the suit was filed by Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic (VLSC) on behalf of Vietnam War veteran Conley Monk Jr, whose applications for education, housing, and disability benefits have been denied since he returned home from the war, per The Hill.

According to the suit, discrimination by the VA has left Black veterans without benefits more frequently than their white counterparts.

Yale’s VLSC said the lawsuit could “provide a legal pathway for Black veterans to seek reparations from the VA.”

“This lawsuit seeks to hold the VA accountable for years of discriminatory conduct,” Adam Henderson, a law student working with the VLSC on the case, said in a statement, per the Hill.

“VA leaders knew, or should have known, that they were administering benefits in a discriminatory manner, yet they failed to address this unlawful bias,” Henderson added. “Mr. Monk — and thousands of Black veterans like him — deserve redress for the harms caused by these negligently administered programs.”

According to internal VA data obtained by the Washington Post, Black applicants seeking disability benefits were denied 30 percent of the time from 2002 to 2020. White applicants were denied 24 percent of the time.

VA press secretary Terrence Hayes said the agency is working to combat “institutional racism.”

“Throughout history, there have been unacceptable disparities in both VA benefits decisions and military discharge status due to racism, which have wrongly left Black veterans without access to VA care and benefits,” Hayes said. “We are actively working to right these wrongs.”

The post U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans For Decades: Lawsuit appeared first on Atlanta Daily World.

The post Lawsuit Alleges U.S. Government Discriminated Against Black Veterans for Decades first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book

NNPA NEWSWIRE — Through colorful pictures with vibrant imagery, young readers will easily get drawn into the exciting adventures of Bennett Mayco Wilson’s fictional yet exciting world and learn valuable childhood lessons together, when Bennet gets a basketball as a present from his father on his fourth birthday.
The post BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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‘A Basketball Hero is Born’ is a part of The Hero Book Series by Jerald LeVon Hoover, which aims to inspire youth to make a positive change in their communities and the world in general

Widely celebrated African American author, Jerald LeVon Hoover, is once again inspiring young people to make a positive change in their communities with the launch of a new children’s book. Titled A Basketball Hero is Born, the new children’s reading book contains colorful pictures that warm the heart and keep young readers glued to its pages.

The plot follows the exciting adventures of Bennett Mayco Wilson who gets a basketball as a present from his father on his fourth birthday. Affectionately naming the new basketball “Lucky,” the story unfolds as young Bennett tries to take his new best friend everywhere, including the dinner table, to school, and to bed when it is time for sleep.

Jerald L. Hoover

Jerald L. Hoover

Through colorful pictures with vibrant imagery, young readers will easily get drawn into Bennett’s fictional yet exciting world and learn valuable childhood lessons together. Currently available for purchase on Amazon, A Basketball Hero is Born is a part of The Hero Book Series by Jerald LeVon Hoover, which emphasizes instilling a love of sports and friendship in young readers.

About The Author

Jerald L. Hoover is a multi-talented individual with countless accomplishments in the creative, literary, and entertainment worlds. After winning an award for “The Best New Male Writer of the Year” for his fictional novel, My Friend, My Hero Jerald went on to be listed from 1994 – 1996 as a best-selling author among young Black writers in various African American publications. In 1995, he was awarded the Writers Corp Award by then-President Bill Clinton. In 1998, Jerald was inducted into the Mount Vernon Boy’s and Girl’s Club Hall of Fame. Since then, Jerald has won several other awards and is also an in-demand motivational speaker who overcame a childhood speech impediment.

The post BOOKS: Jerald LeVon Hoover Blends a Love of Sport & Friendship into New Children’s Book first appeared on BlackPressUSA.

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