Protests against racism have erupted around the globe in recent weeks, sparked by the murder of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer in Minnesota, in the United States. This act of racial violence serves as a timely reminder of the racial inequalities that persist for black people around the world, African diasporas being no exception.
In June, the United States House of Representatives held a debate about reparations to African-Americans. One of the questions in this discussion is why Japanese-Americans received reparations for their internment by the U.S. federal government during the Second World War, yet African-Americans have yet to receive reparations for their ancestors’ enslavement or for other crimes committed against them.
In 2017, a three-member United Nations expert panel recommended the Government of Canada “issue an apology and consider providing reparations to African Canadians for enslavement and historical injustices.”
Paper documents are still priceless records of the past, even in a digital world. Primary sources stored in local archives throughout Latin America, for example, describe a centuries-old multiethnic society grappling with questions of race, class and religion.
The peerless novelist and cultural commentator Toni Morrison, who has died aged 88, never accepted the received wisdom about anything. In a writing career that spanned half a century – from the appearance of the first of her 11 novels, The Bluest Eye, in 1970, to that of her last essay collection, Mouth Full of Blood, in February 2019 – she unfailingly cast in new light both aspects of human experience and moments in American history that, in our complacency, we thought we already knew.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday June 6, 2019 – If Justice Minister Delroy Chuck has his way, the practice of Obeah which was made illegal by slave masters and placed on the books in 1898, may soon be removed from the books.