KSrelief Concludes Anti-Blindness Campaign in Garoua, Cameroon, by Conducting 423 Surgeries    KSrelief Dispatches Over 100 Relief Trucks to Yemen Through Al-Wadiah Land Port    Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Congratulates President of Mozambique on Anniversary of his Country's Independence Day    HRH Crown Prince Tour of Egypt, Jordan & Turkiye is not Just a Protocol One, Says Saudi Press    FIFA Accredits Saudi Football Association Among Expert Federations in VAR Tech    Saudi Arabia reaffirms commitment to women empowerment Economic participation by Saudi females up 94% in 3 years    Two killed as electric car falls from third floor of Shanghai office building    US Senate passes first gun control bill in decades    Talking to the Taliban 'only way forward' in Afghanistan    Monkeypox: Amid uncertainty, global situation cannot be ignored, says WHO chief    Saudi Ambassador to Tunisia Takes Part in Tunisia Forum for Investment    10-year jail, SR10m fine for distributing adulterated food among pilgrims    Al-Hilal one win away from 3rd SPL title in a row    Anthony Joshua defends Saudi Arabia when asked about 'sportswashing'    Saudi Arabia, Djibouti Sign Joint Cooperation Agreement on Maritime Transport    Blood transfusion at IMC for patient with complex condition qualifies him for surgery    GCC Food Safety Committee Holds its Sixth Meeting    Flyadeal Launches First Direct Flight to Khartoum    Saudi Stock Market Index Ends Down at Level of 11310.67 Points    Energy security crucial to growth of nations, Saudi minister says    Al-Khorayef visits London Metal Exchange    NEOM launches program to develop next generation of Saudi football talent    Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Visits London Metal Exchange    Belgian blogger: Saudi Arabia is safer than America and Europe    Alfanar partners to sponsor the 'Global Innovation Award in Water Desalination'    KAPSARC, SAEE join hands to increase local participation in the 44th IAEE Conference    'Runaway' status can be rectified without employer's consent: MHRSD    US swimmer Anita Alvarez rescued by coach after fainting in pool American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was rescued from the bottom of the pool by her coach after fainting at the World Aquatics Championships.    Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall are to split: US media    SFDA Extends Period for Submitting Requests for Compliance Forms for Food Transportation during Hajj    GASTAT: Saudi Arabia's overall merchandise exports increased by 98.0% in April 2022    CITC Publishes Public Consultation on Regulatory Framework for NTN, Information Document for NTN Spectrum Auction    UN agencies rush to aid Afghanistan following deadly quake    Celebrating the union of body and soul: UN marks International Yoga Day    Jeddah is Set to Host the Finals of World Boxing in August, Organizers Announce    President of AFC Congratulates Saudi Olympic Team on Winning Asia Cup U23    Saudi National Olympic Team Crowned AFC U23 Asian Cup    Samrat Prithviraj: Why did a Bollywood film on a popular Hindu king fail?    Saudi Film "The Journey" Wins Best Experimental Film at Dutch Septimius Awards    ALECSO Director: Islamic Arts Biennale Is Extension of Saudi Arabia's Cultural Movement    Saudi Council of Senior Scholars slams Indian ruling party leader's remarks against Prophet    Diriyah Biennale Foundation Announces Hajj Terminal in Jeddah as Location for First-ever Islamic Arts Biennale    Drug charges dropped against Shah Rukh Khan's son    Shoura members propose equal blood money for men and women, Muslim and non-Muslim    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques addresses citizens and all Muslims on the occasion of the Holy month of Ramadan    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers at Arafat Holy Site    Council of Senior Scholars: Muslim Brothers' Group Don't Represent Method of Islam, rather only Follows its Partisan Objectives, Violating our Graceful Religion    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



Slave trade reparations 'essential', 1619 Project founder says
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 02 - 04 - 2022

New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, best know for the 1619 Project, which frames slavery as one of the core elements of the history of the United States, addressed the UN General Assembly during a commemoration of the transatlantic slave trade on Tuesday. She explained to UN News how the Project came about.
Nikole Hannah-Jones The 1619 Project is a book that commemorates the 400th anniversary of the first ship that brought the first Africans to the British colony of Virginia. We mark that as the real beginning of American slavery in the original 13 colonies that would form the United States.
And what the project tries to do, through a series of essays, is to enter slavery as a foundational American institution and to place the contributions of black Americans really at the center of the American story.
But more than that, to also show the way that the 250-year legacy of slavery in the United States still shapes so much of our society today. It's not just about the past, but it's about what has happened right now.
But slavery is critical. You cannot understand the United States, you cannot understand the Atlantic world, you cannot understand what has happened on the continent of Africa, and you certainly can't understand the great wealth of the Western colonial powers if you don't understand slavery and its legacy.
UN News: What would you tell those who say "I didn't participate in slavery, why should you still be telling me about slavery"?
A: The first thing I would say is that, it is illogical to believe that a system that lasted for 400 years, that reshaped the complexion of the world, that enriched the European colonial powers, that laid the foundation for the economic prosperity of the United States, somehow does not shape the society that we live in any longer.
For instance, in the United States, we've had slavery longer than we had freedom, and African descended people remain at the bottom of all indicators of well-being and all of the former slave societies.
If people read the 1619 project, they will see that every single essay is not about something that happened a long time ago. It's about the way what happened a long time ago still shapes and corrupts so much of society today.
None of us were alive when the Constitution was written. And yet we understand that that is our legacy. You cannot only claim the parts of your history that you think makes you look good or that you think are uplifting.
UN News: Were you surprised by the pushback in some political circles?
A: I'm not surprised.
The United States in particular has been in a great denial about the institution of slavery and its legacy. We are a nation founded on ideals of God-given liberty. We believe we are the freest, most exceptional nation in the world. And slavery and its legacy gives lie to that right.
Slavery is a glaring hypocrisy in a nation that wants to believe that it is the pinnacle of freedom for the world.
But I would be lying if I didn't say the way the project has been weaponized and politicized, three years after its initial publication, has been actually quite astounding.
And what that tells you is that history in many ways is about power. It is about who gets to shape our collective understanding, who gets to shape our collective memory. And that power does not want us to understand the history that delegitimizes that power.
And that's what the 1619 does. It takes the people who have been treated as marginal, it takes the global crime against humanity that was slavery, and says that was just as important to the United States and to the Atlantic world as these ideals of liberty. And that is something that's very, very scary for certain powerful people.
UN News: What is your response to those who say that you are exposing a wound, rather than healing it?
A: Well, clearly, the wound is still festering. Whether we want to take the bandage off and figure out why or not.
Just two years ago, we had the largest protest for black lives in the history of the world because a black man, George Floyd, was killed by a white police officer, who compressed the oxygen out of this man for eight minutes.
Those who say that if we talk about this, we make it worse, are clearly not the people who are living and suffering under the conditions of this history. I personally believe that light is the best disinfectant that we have, to acknowledge and tell the truth about our history. And then we can begin to repair it.
UN News: What would you like Africans to take away from the 1619 Project?
A: That's a profound and complicated question because we know that African peoples, particularly in western and Central Africa, also engaged in the slave trade. I think that an acknowledgement of what happened is also necessary on the African continent to move towards reconciliation.
Nothing can be done to change the history. But what we can do is acknowledge what happened and then try to build relationships together.
I think black Americans would love to be able to have citizenship on the continent and to be able to build these relationships across that that bridge. I think that that reconciliation can be so powerful for all of us.
UN News: During your address to the General Assembly, you highlighted slave resistance and reparations. Why are these pillars critical to moving forward in a constructive way from the legacy of slavery?
A: I am so grateful that the United Nations is focusing this year on resistance, because the way that we are commonly taught this history is that somehow black people, African people submitted to their enslavement, and this it is used as a justification for slavery.
It also, to me, takes away our humanity, because it is not natural to not fight against slavery. Even the story of abolition is centered around white people in a way that robs us of our agency.
It is not the case that, one day, Britain, which was the greatest slave-trading nation in the world, simply decided "we don't want to do this anymore because it's wrong." It is the mutinies and the revolt of enslaved people that made it untenable for the British Empire to continue importing Africans into its colonies.
And then when it decided that it couldn't do it anymore, it also clearly didn't want other countries to do it, because they would have a competitive advantage. That is how we got to the bans on the international slave trade.
UN News: You suggested in your address that this resistance continued well into the Twentieth Century.
A: We think of the United States as a magnet for oppressed people in other places who come to the United States. What we don't talk about is how black people in this country were denied democracy, were denied the same rights that white Europeans could immediately get when they came.
There was another migration, not just of immigrants coming to the US, but of black people in the South. Six million, the largest migration in the history of the United States, left the South, often under the cover of darkness because they were forced to labor down there, and the white people who were exploiting their labor did not want them to leave.
They decided that they were going to be refugees in their own land, and move to the north to search for a better life and better opportunities.
I feel that, if more people across the globe understood the story of the Great Migration, they would see themselves, their own immigrant story in the story of black Americans, as opposed to wanting to say, "Why are you not doing better in this country, a great bounty? Why are you not using your opportunity?"
Regarding reparations, I don't think we can have conversations about one of the greatest crimes against humanity, and not talk about reparations.
I notice that, at the General Assembly, the spokesperson for the Western European countries seemed to prefer to talk about modern day slavery, which, of course, is a great scourge, and that all of us should be fighting.
It is easier to talk about slavery elsewhere than to deal with that original crime. We must have reparations, and I believe in financial reparations across the Atlantic world. And there's a separate conversation about reparations for colonialism as well.
Black people in America, for instance, have one tenth of the wealth of white Americans. A black person with a child has one hundredth of the wealth of white Americans.
And it is not because somehow black Americans are lazy, don't want an education, don't want quality housing, don't want to work. We know that that is not true. In fact, I don't understand how the people who were forced to labor for other people can be considered lazy.
Look at Haiti, a place that was forced to pay reparations to white enslavers because they liberated themselves. And in the United States, the only group of people who ever received reparations for slavery were white enslavers in Washington, D.C.
UN News: What should the UN be doing to support the 1619 Project?
A: I commend the UN as a body for putting out reports on racism in the United States and being willing to challenge the hypocrisy of the country in ways that you don't often see.
But there certainly has to be more forceful work on the issue of reparations.
There is also an issue regarding representation in the General Assembly. We can look at many of the nations in the Atlantic world that were former slave-holding nations, and we do not see the African diaspora reflected in who gets to be in spaces like this.
I think there is much to do. But I do also believe that the UN has led in some very important areas. It has been a surreal experience to be here and to be able to address the General Assembly.
I told the story of my grandmother, who had a fourth grade education, who was born on a cotton plantation, who worked as a janitor until she retired, and she could never have imagined that all of her sacrifice would allow me to speak on behalf of our people in our ancestors in this way.
I'm leaving today feeling very grateful, and very honored, and I feel the presence of our ancestors around us. — UN News


Clic here to read the story from its source.