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Author: Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson: Why I Don’t Celebrate Columbus Day

The things Americans don’t know about Columbus explains to me why the nation celebrates Columbus Day. We all learned the same story of Columbus “sailing the ocean blue and discovering America.” For the most part, our schools still teach this story. To those who know better, the story is obviously not accurate. To begin with, it is not possible to discover a place where millions of people already live. Is Columbus responsible for the genocide of the indigenous population? The answer to this question depends on whom you ask. Once again, for those who know better the answer is...

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Reggie Jackson: My family’s story of being enslaved and our forced migration

“As enslaved people had children and the enslaved population grew, slaveholders in areas that had once seen massive in-migration of enslaved people through migration and purchase – upcountry South Carolina, central Kentucky, through central Tennessee into northern Alabama, the Natchez District of Mississippi, parts of Georgia and Alabama – found themselves in possession of “surplus” labor. Slaveholders thus enriched themselves not just through slaves’ production of cotton but through their reproduction. This agonizing and traumatic experience of uprooting and separation from families through the domestic slave trade crossed the American South in complicated and ever-changing patterns.” – The Forced...

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Reggie Jackson: On the Horror of America’s History of Racial Violence

“Eight negroes lynched since last issue of the Free Speech one at Little Rock, Arkansas, last Saturday morning where the citizens broke into the penitentiary and got their man; three near Anniston, Ala., one near New Orleans; and three at Clarksville, Ga., the last three for killing a white man, and five on the same old racket – the new alarm about raping white women. The same programme of hanging, then shooting bullets into the lifeless bodies was carried out to the letter.” – Memphis Free Speech May 21, 1892 None of us who were around will forget the...

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Reggie Jackson: On the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the First Enslaved Africans

As we approach the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans enslaved in what would become the United States, most Americans know very little about the institution that was one of the core foundational pieces of our nation. The fact that we know so little is not accidental. The history of 246 years of enslavement is not taught to any of us with a level of detail that will allow us to understand its importance. Why is this the case? Is it because white people are ashamed or guilty about this history? I don’t think so. I...

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Massacre in El Paso: With blood on his hands, Trump cannot be absolved of anti-Latino hate speech

“They are not our friend, believe me. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” – Donald Trump, disparaging Mexicans in 2016 After several mass shooting incidents in a few short weeks, I find it incredibly difficult to wrap my head around the current state of mind of the United States. Much of what will be written in the coming days and weeks will be about gun control in the wake of these tragedies. I believe there is a deeper structural issue that continues to go unaddressed. Racism and hatred are being...

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