Irish Slaves in America

Irish Slaves in America

…originally published in the Daily Kos as The Slaves That Time Forgot

by gjohnsit

Irish Slaves in America

We’ve all been taught the horror’s of the African slave trade. It’s in all the school books and in plenty of Hollywood movies. But for some reason the largest group of slaves in the British Colonies in the 17th Century doesn’t get mentioned at all: the Irish. Continue reading

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Birth of Race-Based Slavery in the American Colonies

Slave Ship Diagram

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

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About E. Franklin Frazier

About E. Franklin Frazier

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

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United Nations Memorial to Victims of Slave Trade


slave trade

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

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A Baby Boomer Looks at Africa

Africa Map

Baby Boomer Looks at Africa

When I was in grade school, back in the nineteen fifties, most classrooms…not only in my school, one may presume, but all over the United States…had a large, hanging world map usually displayed in the front of the room.

Two colors stood out on these maps: red and green.The red represented the British Empire, and green that of the French. In both cases, these colors were most prevalent on that part of the map which represented Africa.


Sub-Saharan Africa a Mythical Place

Africa – especially the sub-Saharan portion – was, for us, a mythical place; filled with lions and leopards; elephants and rhinos and giant herds of herbivores whose appearance at the nearest watering hole often meant lunch was served to and for the canine-toothed predators who knew the weaknesses and foibles of their non-carnivorous neighbors.. Continue reading

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Will Interracial Marriage End Racism in America?

Interracial marriage

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.

Racism runs deep

Others believe that deep-seated racism can be cured only by love; the kind of love that leads to marriage and children. According to this school of thought, this is the only way in which this centuries-long history of discrimination and exclusion can be corrected. There are, however common objections to this viewpoint.

the longevity of White racism and its hydra-headed complexity.

One such objection emphasizes both the longevity of White racism and its hydra-headed complexity. According to this outlook, interracial unions – even if they are confirmed by a marriage license and produce offspring – cannot undo the suffering that comes with centuries of slavery, race hatred and government-sanctioned discrimination. As powerful as erotic and Agape love are, they may not be powerful enough to do away with the critical mass of oppression that has come about during four hundred years of calculated contempt and the most heinous forms of oppression. What is needed, to the contrary, to achieve this is a Herculean effort…and all-out effort on the part of White Americans to redeem their racist past by owning up to it; an undertaking that requires an all out commitment on a national scale to drill deep into every nook and cranny of American history in a search for the “who, what, where, when  – and perhaps most importantly – “why” of their (at best) less than admirable record of ill treatment of their African-American brethren. The rationale behind this approach is that only this kind of all-embracing commitment to the historical facts, starting with the advent of slavery in 17th century Virginia and including such present day forms of this hardiest of viruses as “water cooler prejudice” and the more subtle flavors of middle class and genteel discrimination, would or could result in the change of heart that will bring about America’s transformation from a racist society to a truly egalitarian one.

Is interracial marriage a form of medicine for the treatment of racism?

In short, interracial love/marriage in America today may have a secondary role as a palliative for American racism both past and present, and may be the most effective means of ending racism in future. As to its ability to do so without being reinforced by the most earnest society-wide campaign of self-change on the part of America’s non-Black majority, only time will tell if this is indeed possible.

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The Light Skin Dark Skin Issue is Still Alive in America

Black Woman

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.[1] 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.

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Britons Can Now See If Their Ancestors Were Slave Owners

slave ship

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 ( 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:


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On Black Survival in America

MLK marching

On Black survival in America…

On Black survival in America…by Lawrence Neal
From Negro Digest, October 1966

Lawrence P. Neal, a graduate of Lincoln University, was arts editor of Liberator magazine. Neal (1937-1981) worked as a critic, poet, folklorist, playwright, filmmaker, editor, teacher, and administrator. He was a founder of the Black Arts movement, which saw his people’s art as unique and race-based.

THE MOST ESSENTIAL QUESTION confronting me is the psychological and physical survival of the Black man in America. I believe that it is impossible for me to separate myself from the collective survival of my people. Continue reading

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