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Teacher Placed on Leave for Holding Mock Slave Auction

'These teaching methods are not to be used,' superintendent in Massachusetts says

(Newser) - "Holding a mock slave auction is unacceptable," a school district superintendent in central Massachusetts said in a letter to parents after a fifth-grade teacher was placed on leave. Superintendent Gregory Martineau said the teacher at Margaret Neary Elementary School in Southborough held "an impromptu mock slave auction"...

Nikki Haley Quickly Clarifies Civil War Answer

'Of course the Civil War was about slavery,' she says after criticism of town hall answer

(Newser) - Nikki Haley isn't wasting much time trying to blunt a wave of criticism over her comments about the Civil War on Wednesday night. "Of course the Civil War was about slavery," she told The Pulse radio show in New Hampshire Thursday morning, reports Politico . "We know...

Voter Finds Haley's Answer on Civil War Question 'Astonishing'

She discussed 'economic freedom' but made no mention of slavery

(Newser) - A voter at a town hall event in New Hampshire on Wednesday asked Nikki Haley about the cause of the Civil War—and he was not satisfied with the Republican candidate's answer, which did not mention slavery. "I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how...

Inmates Sue Alabama Over 'Modern-Day Slavery'

Current and former prisoners say the state is illegally profiting from their work

(Newser) - Current and former inmates announced a lawsuit this week challenging Alabama's prison labor program as a type of "modern-day slavery," saying prisoners are forced to work for little or no pay in jobs that benefit government entities or private companies. The class-action lawsuit also accuses the state...

New Find in Pompeii: a Bakery-Prison for Slaves
New Find in Pompeii:
a Bakery-Prison for Slaves

New Find in Pompeii: a Bakery-Prison for Slaves

Enslaved people ground grain in cramped room with barred windows, say experts

(Newser) - The discovery of a cramped room with barred windows in Pompeii has revealed what one expert describes as a "most shocking side of ancient slavery." Archaeologists, who found the room in the working quarters of a large house whose living quarters were lavishly decorated with frescoes and marble...

Possible Descendant Wants Harvard's Early Slave Photos

Tamara Lanier sued university unsuccessfully to reclaim images she believes depict her family

(Newser) - Thirteen years ago, Tamara Lanier underwent a quest to understand her lineage, resulting in a lawsuit to reclaim photos from a Harvard museum that she believes depict her enslaved ancestors. ProPublica unfolds the moving story that begins with an African-born, enslaved man named Renty. Harvard professor Louis Agassiz, who subscribed...

Floridians Vent About Black History Policy

Education commissioner behind new standards skips public forum

(Newser) - Leaders of a forum on Florida's new standards for teaching Black history encouraged parents to let their discontent be heard by showing up at local school board meetings, sending feedback to the state's Department of Education, and voting. Hundreds of lawmakers, teachers, and parents crowded into Antioch Baptist...

Harris on Debate With DeSantis: Not Happening

VP tells Orlando crowd she won't accept Florida governor's invite to chat about curriculum, slavery

(Newser) - Last month, Kamala Harris visited Florida to speak up against the state's new educational standards. Those controversial guidelines mandate that public school students be taught how enslaved people developed skills that "in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit." Now, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has...

College Board Speaks Out on Florida Slavery Lesson

Slavery was in no way 'a beneficial, productive, or useful experience for African Americans'

(Newser) - The College Board has spoken out against Florida's new African American history standards , which have been strongly criticized for suggesting some Black people benefited from being enslaved. "We resolutely disagree with the notion that enslavement was in any way a beneficial, productive, or useful experience for African Americans,...

Some Slaves Cited by Florida as Beneficiaries Weren't Slaves

Historic sources conflict with examples cited in defense of state's new school policy

(Newser) - The day after approving a new requirement that middle school students be taught that some enslaved people learned skills to their personal benefit, Florida's Board of Education issued a statement in its defense. The board listed the names of 16 historical figures it said were helped by the "...

In Florida, Harris Condemns Slavery Lesson

DeSantis says Democrats are lying

(Newser) - Vice President Kamala Harris went to Florida on Friday to denounce the state's new educational standards that mandate teaching middle school students that some Black people benefited from being enslaved . "It is not only misleading, it is false and pushing propaganda—pushing propaganda on our children," Harris...

Florida Students to Learn a 'Personal Benefit' of Slavery

New policy mandates teaching that enslaved people developed skills

(Newser) - Florida education officials have changed state standards, in keeping with Gov. Ron DeSantis' policies, to mandate teaching public school students that some Black people benefited from being enslaved because they learned useful skills. The state Board of Education immediately defended the policy, unanimously approved Wednesday, by saying lessons will still...

An Emotional King Apologizes for Dutch Role in Slave Trade

King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands' ancestors got very rich off the trade

(Newser) - King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands apologized Saturday for his country's role in slavery and asked for forgiveness during a historic speech greeted by cheers and whoops at an event to commemorate the anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Dutch colonies, per the AP . The king's speech followed...

Juneteenth Is in Full Swing. Do You Know What It Means?

An AP primer on the federal holiday's roots, meaning, and evolution

(Newser) - Many Americans are celebrating Juneteenth, marking the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the United States learned they were free. For generations, Black Americans have recognized the end of one of the darkest chapters in US history with joy, in the form of parades, street festivals, musical...

DeSantis Boycotts NBC Over Andrea Mitchell's 'Blatant Lie'

Florida governor's office says he won't work with NBC, affiliates until Andrea Mitchell apologizes

(Newser) - Ron DeSantis is fielding multiple apologies these days, but he's not buying at least one of them. The Florida governor has taken a lot of heat over his opposition to content in the College Board's new AP African-American course—and his threats to quash it , and all AP...

This Pompeii Home Stands Out From the Rest

House of the Vettii fully reopens to public after 20 years of restoration work

(Newser) - Two men freed from enslavement came to live a life of luxury in ancient Pompeii. Now their ornate home, dubbed "Pompeii's Sistine Chapel," has fully opened to the public for the first time in 20 years. The House of the Vettii—built in the second century BC,...

In 5 States, Slavery Was on the Ballot

And amendments to ban it and forced labor in prisons didn't pass everywhere

(Newser) - Voters in three states approved ballot measures that will change their state constitutions to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for crime, while those in a fourth state rejected the move. The measures approved Tuesday curtail the use of prison labor in Alabama, Tennessee, and Vermont. In Oregon, "...

Descendants of Man Behind Last Slave Ship Confront Legacy

Family calls actions of ancestor 'evil and unforgivable'

(Newser) - Descendants of the Alabama steamship owner responsible for illegally bringing 110 African captives to America aboard the last US slave ship have ended generations of public silence, calling his actions more than 160 years ago "evil and unforgivable." In a statement released to NBC News, members of Timothy...

America's 'Last Direct Link to Slavery' Has Died at 90

Civil rights activist Daniel Smith's father told family about the horrors of slavery

(Newser) - Daniel Smith, who may have been the last surviving child of an American born into slavery, has died at age 90 after a life so remarkable that a friend joked that he was the "Black Forrest Gump." Smith's father was born on a plantation in Virginia in...

Man Buys Home, Finds Out Ancestors Were Slaves There
Man Buys Old Virginia Home,
Makes 'Heart-Wrenching' Find

Man Buys Old Virginia Home, Makes 'Heart-Wrenching' Find

Frederick Miller discovered that his ancestors had been enslaved there in Virginia

(Newser) - A California resident who bought an old home in southern Virginia looked into its history and discovered that it was a property his ancestors would have been all too familiar with. Fredrick Miller found out the home he bought on a 10 1/2-acre property in Pittsylvania County was once on...

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