slavery

KENNETH LEMOINE / Courtesy

Miami-Dade commissioners unanimously approved renaming the county’s “Dixie” highways after Harriet Tubman, replacing a name branded as celebrating a racist legacy with the name of a legendary liberator of Americans subjected to slavery.

The resolution by Commissioner Dennis Moss officially creates Harriet Tubman Highway out of stretches of road currently named Old Dixie Highway in South Dade and West Dixie Highway in Northeast Dade.

The third Monday in January is a U.S. federal holiday honoring the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., but two Southern states — Alabama and Mississippi — also use the day to celebrate Gen. Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate forces during the Civil War.

Among elite U.S. universities, Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Georgetown have all admitted in recent years that at one time they benefited financially from the slave trade. But two Protestant seminaries have now gone a step further, saying that in recognition of their own connections to racism they have a Christian duty to pay reparations.

Human Rights First

COMMENTARY

When lawyers were asking the Supreme Court this week to extend federal anti-discrimination protection to the LGBTQ community, I wish someone would have brought up Jamaica.

Long a homophobia hotbed, the Caribbean island was starting to look more LGBTQ tolerant in recent years. But last month Jamaica, or at least the beach resort city of Montego Bay, reminded us that homosexuality is still a crime in that country.

A researcher has discovered the identity of the last-known survivor of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the United States.

Redoshi, later given the slave name Sally Smith, was kidnapped at the age of 12 from Benin in West Africa, in 1860. She was sold into slavery, making the journey to Alabama on the Clotilde, the last-known slave ship to arrive in the U.S.

July Fourth is a day when America celebrates its independence.

But this July Fourth, I am reflecting on another part of the American experience — the enslavement of my fellow Africans. That's because I have just finished reading Barracoon, the book in which Zora Neale Hurston presents the story of Cudjo Lewis, who was on the last ship that brought slaves across the Atlantic. It took 60 years for her book to be published. Now it is a best-seller.

Atlas Obscura

Zora Neale Hurston, one of the best known writers of the Harlem Renaissance — and the author of Their Eyes Were Watching God — has a new book. Well, that's not quite right; it's actually an old book that is only now being published. It's called Barracoon, and it's based on a series of conversations Hurston had with Cudjo Lewis, who was brought to this country aboard the last ship that carried slaves across the Atlantic. 

Do Florida politicians really want to create a "sanctuary state," as the speaker of the state House claims? And did slaves really help build the "old" state Capitol in Tallahassee? PolitiFact Florida answers these claims by politicians.

"In the ways that we teach and learn about the history of American slavery," write the authors of a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), "the nation needs an intervention."

WLRN

Author Ta Nehisi Coates didn't hold back on his stinging criticisms of President Donald Trump during a recent visit to Miami. Coates, a writer for the Atlantic, has written extensively on race in America. The event was put on by Miami's Book Fair and Books & Books. It was held at the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus on Thursday, Jan. 11. 

We'll go back to that event and listen to a large portion of the conversation between Coates and WLRN's Nadege Green, who was the moderator of the event.

More than fifty years after her death, a new work by Zora Neale Hurston will hit the presses. Barracoon is her account of the last known survivor of America’s Transatlantic slave trade. The Florida anthropologist and author is known for her celebration of black life and culture in the rural South. This latest manuscript will reinforce that legacy.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Monroe County announced this week plans to reconfigure a dog park in Key West believed to be above the graves of Africans who were rescued from the slave trade in 1860.

The dog playground is across the street from an area already recognized as a burial yard.

While slavery was still legal in the U.S. in 1860, importing them was outlawed in 1807.

“But people kept doing it, especially Americans,” said Corey Malcom, director of archaeology for the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West.

Rohulamin Quander's ancestors were slaves.

However, unlike a majority of the enslaved population, Sucky Bay and Nancy Carter Quander served George and Martha Washington, the first First Family, and worked on their Mount Vernon farms.

Now, hundreds of years after they worked as spinners on the estate's River Farm, Sucky Bay, Carter Quander and the rest of the 317 slaves who inhabited Mount Vernon are receiving the recognition they deserve.

Miami Herald Staff

Signs about human trafficking are going up in places like airports and strips clubs in the new year. The public awareness campaign is now required by Florida law.

Human trafficking is considered to be a form of modern-day slavery. The signs encourage victims who are being exploited for sex or labor to contact a national hotline.

The new law requires the signs to be posted in a wide range of places including highway rest stops, rail stations, and emergency rooms.

The information must be displayed in English and Spanish - and meet size requirements.

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