The Birth of Race-Based Slavery in the American colonies…by the 17th century, America’s slave economy had eliminated the obstacle of morality. During the second half of the 17th century, a terrible transformation, the enslavement of people solely on the basis of race, occurred in the lives of African Americans living in North America. Continue reading
About E. Franklin Frazier…originally published on what-when-how…Franklin Frazier, one of the most prominent African American sociologists of the early twentieth century, studied at Howard University (BA 1916), Clark University (MA 1920), and the University of Chicago (PhD 1931). Continue reading
United Nations Memorial to Victims of Slave Trade…United Nations Unveils Stunning Memorial in New York To The Millions Who Were Killed and Sacrificed in Slave Trade To Create America’s Riches. Continue reading
Baby boomer looks at Africa…when I was in grade school, back in the nineteen fifties, most classrooms – not only in my school but all over the United States and elsewhere – had a map of the world that was large enough to command one’s attention immediately on entering. Continue reading
Will interracial marriage end racism in America? Some people say no, that the deeper causes of racism are not addressed by such unions, and that only a willingness on the part of an historically racist Caucasian majority to examine its own history with ruthless honesty will put an end to both and discrimination. Continue reading
The Light Skin Dark Skin Issue
By Allison Samuels
The Brown Paper Bag Test was a type of racial discrimination in the United States. A brown paper bag was used as a way to determine whether or not an individual could have certain privileges; only individuals with a skin color that is the same color or lighter than a brown paper bag were allowed. The test was used in the 20th century within many social institutions such as African-American sororities, fraternities, and churches. In addition, brown paper bags were used in multi-racial social events. The term is also used in reference to larger issues of class and social stratification within the African-American population.
Talk about words that sting to the core. Harry Reid’s recent comments about President Barack Obama’s light skin and acceptable non-“Negro” vocabulary and speech brought back a rush of memories that I’m sure most African-Americans would like to forget.
Slaves with darker skin were usually stuck toiling in the fields.
Since the days of slavery, skin color has been used as a tool of separation and preferential treatment within the black community. The residue of the “house” versus “field Negro” divide has long remained with us, even as we celebrated black pride in the ’70s and hip-hop culture in the ’80s.
House slaves were usually products of a relationship between a master and a female slave, so they tended to have lighter skin. The boss’s offspring would more than likely receive the special favor of doing work inside the house out of the hot sun. They’d eat better, often get taught to read and write, and enjoyed many of the liberties of non-slaves. Slaves with darker skin were usually stuck toiling in the fields. The anger over that old distinction has never quite gone away in African-American culture.
And Reid’s recent controversial and disturbing statements prove that no matter how hard we as African-Americans try to move past a racial stigma that’s haunted us for far too long, mainstream America just won’t let us let it go.
About Allison Samuels
Allison Samuels is a senior writer with Newsweek’s The Daily Beast. Her cover story, “The Meaning of Michelle,” appeared in Newsweek in December 2008. She is the author of three books as well as a former correspondent for NPR’s News & Notes, and she is a contributor to publications including Rolling Stone, Essence, Marie Claire, and O, The Oprah Magazine. She lives in Los Angeles.
This is an excerpt from an article that appeared in Newsweek on January 11th, 2010.
Britons Can Now See If Their Ancestors Were Slave Owners
Did you know that one of the ancestors of the author of Animal Farm and 1984 got rich off the enslavement of others? If you are from the U.K. you can find out, since – thanks to the prodigious efforts of University of London researchers – Britons Can Now See If Their Ancestors Were Slave Owners.
British industrial dominance rooted in slave-trade profits
In all, 13,000,000 Africans were enslaved and shipped to the New World. Although Great Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807 and made slavery illegal in most of the Empire in 1833-34, almost 3 million of all the slaves transported during the history of slavery were done so by Britain, British North America and/or the United States (slaverysite.com). It was the investment of massive sums of capital earned through the slave trade by the great merchant families of Liverpool after its abolition, in fact, that fueled the explosive growth of manufacturing in the British Midlands in the nineteenth century and set the stage for the world wide industrial dominance of Great Britain for the next 100 years.
Britons can now see if their ancestors were slave owners – like George Orwell’s.
Researchers at University College London spent three years compiling a searchable listing of thousands of people who received compensation for loss of their “possessions” when slave ownership was outlawed by Britain in 1833.
Gigantic sums of money used to reimburse slave owners
Some 46,000 people were paid a total of 20 million pounds – the equivalent of 40 percent of all annual government spending at the time – after the freeing of slaves in British colonies in the Caribbean, Mauritius, and southern Africa.
Their descendants include writers Graham Greene and George Orwell. Orwell’s real name was Eric Blair, and the trustees of his great-grandfather, Charles Blair, were paid 4,442 pounds for 218 slaves on a plantation in Jamaica.
This excerpt is part of an article that was originally posted on News One for Black America:
On Black survival in America…THE MOST ESSENTIAL QUESTION confronting me is the psychological and physical survival of the Black man in America. Continue reading