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emancipation



  • The Freedman's Bank Forum Obscures the Institution's Real History

    by Justene Hill Edwards

    Vice President Kamala Harris's recent remarks at the forum enlisted the Freedman's Bank to celebrate public-private partnerships between banks and minority communities. The real history of the Freedman's Bank shows why public-private partnerships and moral uplift are inadequate to promote financial equity. 



  • Revisiting Saidiya Hartman on the Meaning of Freedom

    by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    A quarter century after publication, "Scenes of Subjection" still shows how Americans have embraced emancipation as a national expurgation of the sin of slavery, without stopping to consider the substantive meaning of freedom. 



  • Can Law be an Instrument of Black Liberation?

    by Paul Gowder

    As activists debate whether the law and courts are a dead end for the pursuit of justice, it's useful to recall Frederick Douglass's conception of the law as a basis for collective demands. 



  • Are We Witnessing a General Strike Today?

    by Nelson Lichtenstein

    DuBois's insight that enslaved people abandoning plantations during the Civil War was a form of general strike helps us understand the seemingly unorganized trend of workers quitting their jobs today as a meaningful labor action that points in the direction of economic freedom.



  • Overturning Five Myths of the Haitian Revolution

    by Julia Gaffield

    Many understandings of the Haitian Revolution, from its intellectual and political roots, to its military progress, to its political consequences, are at best half-truths. And it did not entail "white genocide." 



  • The Truth About Black Freedom

    by Daina Ramey Berry

    Observing Juneteenth shouldn't be limited to commemorating a grant of freedom by the government; the deeper history of emancipation is of Black Americans demanding and pursuing freedom for themselves. 



  • Biographies of Women and Emancipation in the Americas

    by Vanessa M. Holden

    Historian Vanessa Holden reviews a new book edited by Erica L. Ball, Tatiana Seijas and Terri L. Snyder which draws on the stories of women of African descent in the Americas to argue that such women helped bring freedom into being and defined what freedom in the world actually means.