By Barrington M. Salmon
Georgetown University recently apologized for owning and selling 272 slaves and introduced new measures to grant preferential admissions treatment to descendants. This historic move has rekindled the national debate about slave reparations and drawn widespread attention from the global community.
Value of U.S. Slave Labor
Slavery was the engine of the American economy during the 18th and 19th centuries. Slave labor produced the consumer goods that dominated world trade.
According to scholars at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, “By 1840, the South grew 60% of the world’s cotton and provided some 70% of the cotton consumed by the British textile industry. Thus, slavery paid for a substantial share of the capital, iron, and manufactured goods that laid the basis for American economic growth.”
The estimated value of U.S. slave labor ranges from $5.9 to $14.2 trillion dollars, according to Thomas Creamer, associate professor of public policy at the University of Connecticut. This estimate is based on calculations of the number of hours worked by all slaves, from the moment of national independence in 1776 until the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865.
More specifically, Creamer estimated the value of slave labor by multiplying the amount of time slaves worked by the average wage price at the time, and then tacked on a compounding interest rate of 3% per year. The estimated range is offered in lieu of a fixed figure because the exact number of hours worked by slaves is unknown.
Slave Reparations and Public Opinion
On the topic of slave reparations, the American public is deeply divided along racial lines. According to a poll conducted earlier this year, the vast majority (81%) of white Americans oppose reparations for African American descendants of slaves. Conversely, 68% of black Americans support reparations.
And yet, the global community, broadly, and the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent, specifically, is closely monitoring the debate. The working group has called on the U.S. government to consider reparations to descendants of slaves.
“The colonial history, the legacy of enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism, and racial inequality in the U.S. remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” according to a report from the working group.
U.S. Congressman John Conyers Jr.
John Conyers Jr., a U.S. representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district, has answered the call for slave reparations for the past 25 years. Conyers was 59 when he first introduced H.R.40, the commission to study reparation proposals for the African Americans Act. The goal of the bill was to “acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of slavery in the United States and in the 13 American colonies, between 1619 and 1865, and to establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery.”
He is now 85 and has reintroduced the bill perpetually to each congressional delegation, including the 114th in January 2015, to no avail. The bill has a 3% chance of getting past committee and a 1% chance of being enacted, according to a prognosis from GovTrack.us.
Jared Brown currently coordinates a $25 million initiative at the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) designed to cultivate the next generation of African American innovators and entrepreneurs. He awards scholarships and administers an online entrepreneurship curriculum to more than 150 undergraduate scholars representing more than 40 colleges and universities. He also serves as operations director at Black upStart, an early stage social enterprise that supports entrepreneurs through the ideation and customer validation processes. He is a leading voice in the field of black entrepreneurship with publications appearing in Black Enterprise, Generation Progress at the Center for American Progress, and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Wednesday, Sept. 21, Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04)
will announce the introduction of the “Election Infrastructure and
Security Promotion Act of 2016,” which requires the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) to designate our voting systems as critical
infrastructure and the “Election Integrity Act,” which will limit the
purchase of any new voting systems that do not provide durable
voter-verified paper ballots.
When DHS labels an asset as critical infrastructure, it heightens its
security obligations and requires DHS to provide increased support. The
bill authorizes the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to invest in new developments
in open source voting technology.
The Election Integrity Act will also establish protocols when there is
a voting system failure and calls for operational security standards for
voting systems used in federal elections.
“In the wake of the DNC server hack and well-documented efforts by
states to suppress the vote, citizens are rightly concerned,” said Rep.
Johnson. “We must work to reduce the vulnerability of our crucial voting
systems, protect the security and integrity of our electoral process,
and ensure all Americans have the opportunity to vote.”
WHO: Congressman Hank Johnson (GA-04); other members of Congress;
WHAT: Introduction of the “Election Infrastructure and Security
Promotion Act” and the “Election Integrity Act”;
WHEN: Wednesday, September 21 from 10-10:45 a.m.;
WHERE: House Triangle | In case of inclement weather: Longworth 1732.
Written by JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press
Published: 17 September 2016 –The Skanner
WASHINGTON (AP) — Black voters reacted skeptically Friday to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s admission that he now believes the nation’s first black president was indeed born in the United States. Many said the fact that Trump spent years questioning President Barack Obama’s national origin was disrespectful, and an insult to all black Americans.
Despite the fact that Obama himself said he viewed this renewed burst of commentary about his birth as “fairly typical” and not surprising, members of the Congressional Black Caucus were clearly angry. During a heated news conference Friday during the CBC’s annual legislative conference in Washington, several lawmakers denigrated Trump for perpetrating birther falsehoods for so long.
For full story click here.
Ever since a bomb exploded in New York City on Saturday night, the NYPD has been on high alert and working hard to ensure the safety of the people in the city, and their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
In a touching moment caught on film, a black man named Jermaine decided to show his appreciation by bringing coffee and snacks from a local Starbucks to some NYPD officers guarding the scene of the bombing.
“I just wanted to bring you guys some coffees and pastries,” he says, handing over the coffee as well as two large bags filled with sweets.
For full post click here.
The Tulsa Police Department has released video footage in the fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher, who authorities now confirm was unarmed.
“I’m going to tell you right now, there was no gun on the suspect or in the suspect’s vehicle,” Police Chief Chuck Jordan said at a press conference Monday afternoon. “I want to assure our community and I want to assure all of you and people across the nation watching this: We will achieve justice.”
Crutcher, 40, was shot by Officer Betty Shelby, who is white, on Sept. 16 after police spotted his stalled car in the middle of the highway. Another officer, Tyler Turnbough, deployed his Taser during the encounter.
Click here for full post.
Every year, Newsweek releases their “Beating the Odds” list of schools around the country that do an excellent job of preparing their students for college, including low-income students who have to overcome economic disadvantages.
The schools are rated according to performance indicators, and college preparedness based on college acceptance, college prep tests such as SAT and ACT, and percent of students taking advanced placement (AP) courses, among other criteria.
The list includes the top 500 schools in the country, but here are just the top 10 public high schools:
#1 – Stuyvesant High School: This school in NYC has 47.3 percent at the poverty level, yet was rated 100 percent for college readiness with 99 percent of students college-bound.
#2 – Townsend Harris High School: This NYC school ranked second on the list, beating a 50.8 percent poverty rate with a graduation rate of 100 percent, and 99.7 percent are college bound.
#3 – Northside College Preparatory High School: This Chicago-based school has a poverty level of 37.5 percent, yet 99.6 percent of its students are college bound.
#4 – Brooklyn Technical High School: In spite of a 64.9 percent poverty level, this New York City school ranked 93.7 for college readiness, and 94.8 of its students are college bound.
#5 – School of Science and Engineering: This school in Dallas, Texas has a 100 percent graduation rate and a 100 percent of its students are college bound, in spite of a poverty rate of 57.9 percent.
#6 – Staten Island Technical High School: This New York city school has a 100 percent graduation rate and 99.7 percent are college bound, even though the poverty rate is 31.7 percent.
#7 – High School for Math, Science, and Engineering at the City College of New York: has both a graduation and college bound rate of 100 percent, even with a poverty rank of 51.5 percent.
#8 – Harbor Teacher Preparation Academy: This Los Angeles, California-based school ranked 100 percent in graduation and college bound, beating the odds against a poverty rate of 72.7 percent.
#9 – Early College High School: This Austin, Texas-based school has a very high poverty rate of 92.1 percent, yet they have a 100 percent graduation rate, and 94.5 percent of students are college bound.
#10 – Irma L. Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School: This school in Dallas, Texas ranks 100 percent for both graduation and college bound, in spite of a poverty rate of 87.4 percent.
See the full list at www.newsweek.com/high-schools/beating-odds-2016
By Michael Grant
Kurt Chirbas and Alexander Smith of NBC News via MSN.com
Police in Columbus, Ohio, were investigating how a 13-year-old boy wanted for questioning Wednesday night in an armed robbery ended up fatally shot by an officer.
The child — later identified by Columbus police as Tyree King — had “pulled a gun from his waistband” when officers attempted to take him and another male into custody, the Columbus Division of Police said in a statement. As the encounter unfolded, an officer shot King “multiple times.”
The weapon recovered from the scene was determined to be a BB gun with an attached laser sight, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said at news conference Thursday morning. She showed a replica image of that BB gun.
“Our officers carry a gun that looks practically identical to this weapon,” said Jacobs, adding, “It turns out not to be a firearm, but as you can see, it looks like a firearm that can kill you.”
For full story click here.
After taking a knee during the national anthem last Tuesday, Brandon Marshall lost two endorsements, but he gained a new one from Russell Simmons.
After Marshall’s protest, CenturyLink announced that it was letting him go: “We completely respect Brandon Marshall’s personal decision and right to take an action to support something in which he strongly believes. America is anchored in the right of individuals to express their beliefs. While we acknowledge Brandon’s right, we also believe that whatever issues we face, we also occasionally must stand together to show our allegiance to our common bond as a nation. In our view, the national anthem is one of those moments. For this reason, while we wish Brandon the best this season, we are politely terminating our agreement with him.”
But after reading that news, Simmons, who has long been a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, rushed in to show his support. “Rushcard is in,” Simmons wrote on Instagram. “We will find Brandon, make him an offer and make him a deal.”
For full article click here.