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Articles on African Americans

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Republican politicians have championed legislation to limit the teaching of material exploring how race and racism influence American politics, culture and law. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

Lawsuits over bans on teaching critical race theory are coming – here’s what won’t work, and what might

New state laws in the US banning teaching about systemic racism raise the question: Does the Constitution protect public school teachers’ right to choose how and what to teach?
President Lyndon Johnson signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which aimed to do away with racial discrimination in the law. But discrimination persisted. AP file photo

Critical race theory: What it is and what it isn’t

A scholar of race and racism explains what critical race theory is – and how many people get it wrong.
Each headstone in Minneapollis’ ‘Say Their Names’ cemetery represents a Black American killed by police – deaths that create a ripple effect of pain felt in Black communities nationwide. Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Pain of police killings ripples outward to traumatize Black people and communities across US

Evidence shows that many Black Americans experience police killings of unarmed Black people – even those they do not know – as traumatic events, causing acute physical and emotional distress.
Medical workers hold signs during a rally in Central Park in New York City by White Coats for Black Lives after the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Maria Khrenova/TASS via Getty Images

Declaring racism a public health crisis brings more attention to solving long-ignored racial gaps in health

Black Americans have worse health outcomes by many measures. To draw attention to that fact, the CDC and communities across the country have called racism a public health threat.
A demonstration outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on March 29, 2021, the day Derek Chauvin’s trial began on charges he murdered George Floyd. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Derek Chauvin trial: 3 questions America needs to ask about seeking racial justice in a court of law

There’s a divergence in how a trial is conducted, what rules govern it – and the larger issue of racial justice. That divergence affects the legitimacy of any verdict.
View of the Friendship 9 students who protested against racial discrimination and were put in prison, Rock Hill, South Carolina, February 1961. Afro American Newspapers/Gado via Getty Images

‘Our ultimate choice is desegregation or disintegration’ – recovering the lost words of a jailed civil rights strategist

A long-lost letter from prison by a civil rights activist provides a window on the pivotal role protesters in South Carolina played in fighting segregation.
An abolitionist lithograph of the slave trade in Washington, D.C., with the U.S. Capitol in the background. Library of Congress

White mobs rioted in Washington in 1848 to defend slaveholders’ rights after 76 Black enslaved people staged an unsuccessful mass escape on a boat

Riots by proslavery forces raged for three days in the nation’s capital after the capture of a ship bearing fugitive enslaved people. The president, a slaveowner himself, tried to calm the city.

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