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NEWS
December 16, 2010 | By REGINA MEDINA, medinar@phillynews.com 215-854-5985
PHILADELPHIA MADE history once again yesterday with the opening of the President's House on Independence Mall, believed to be the country's first federal commemoration of slavery. The $11.2 million project, known officially as "President's House: Freedom and Slavery in Making a New Nation," stands on the footprint of the original structure where presidents George Washington and John Adams resided from 1790 to 1800. The open-air site, at 6th and Market streets, also pays homage to the nine slaves of African descent who were owned by Washington and worked in the house: Austin, 32, Christopher Sheels, 16, Giles, 32, Hercules, 36, Joe Richardson, 26, Moll, 51, Oney Judge, 17, Paris, 16 and Richmond, 14. Hercules was Washington's chef and Oney Judge was maid to Martha Washington and her grandchildren.
NEWS
August 1, 2008
I BELIEVE I'm entitled to reparations for having to read yet another letter on slavery. At what point do some folks in the African-American community embrace the glorious possibilities of their lives today? Scott Wolf Philadelphia
NEWS
June 13, 2005 | By JEFF JACOBY
AS SOON as he learned the ugly truth, the chairman of financial-services giant Wachovia Corp. issued a remorseful nostra culpa. "We are deeply saddened by these findings," Ken Thompson said. "I apologize to all Americans, and especially to African-Americans. " Wachovia acknowledged that it "cannot change the past or atone for the harm that was done. " But it promised to make amends by subsidizing the work of organizations involved in "furthering awareness and education of African-American history.
NEWS
June 13, 2007
I THANK Michael Smerconish for spreading the word (May 31) about the archaeological dig at the President's House site at 6th and Market, where George Washington presided from 1790- 1797 with nine of his 316 enslaved Africans from Mount Vernon. Smerconish correctly noted that the dig recently uncovered partial foundations of the bow window, the prototype for today's Oval Office. But in regard to the partial foundations of the walls of the kitchen, he is incorrect in noting that the kitchen had a basement so those blacks could move between it and the main house "without going outside.
NEWS
June 14, 2005
RE COUNCILMAN Goode's response to my letter on the slavery-disclosure ordinance: I agree that it was wrong to use slaves as collateral for loans and investments. Slavery was wrong and disgraceful. But the councilman still fails to tell how these disclosures will address discrimination. What do any current discriminatory practices by these institutions have to do with what happened hundreds of years ago? Can't they be investigated for what they are doing now? If I am being investigated for embezzlement, do you also investigate my great-great-great-grandfather?
ENTERTAINMENT
February 6, 1992 | By Robert G. Seidenstein, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
From the perspective of the late 20th century, the most intriguing aspect of Abraham Lincoln's rise to political power is the combination of his eloquent moralism against the extension of slavery to the Western territories with his willingness to tolerate it in the South. In his 1861 inaugural address, for example, in an effort to save the Union, Lincoln even endorsed a constitutional amendment forbidding Congress from interfering with slavery in the states. The states that had seceded, however, were unimpressed.
NEWS
July 12, 2008
RE MINISTER Meritazon's recent op-ed on reparations: First off, sir, study your history before sticking your hand out for something no one alive today was responsible for that happened 300 years ago. The rich African war lords enslaved their own people, then figured a way to make even more money by selling them to anyone willing to pay. Second, don't you know that men, women and children are still forced into slavery every day in...
NEWS
August 15, 2002
Re "Multicultural congress pushes for slave memorial at Liberty Bell" (article Aug. 9): A memorial on Independence Mall commemorating those who were enslaved at our first president's Morris Mansion is most suitable. It will also serve as a bridge to the century of slavery in the City of Brotherly Love way before George Washington brought his menservants from Virginia to Philadelphia right after the creation of the American presidency. The truth about slavery in Philadelphia is too often buried.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
October 15, 2014 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
No punches are pulled on the top floor of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. No blinking. No turning away. Greeting the visitor are 15 life-size cement figures shackled together. Bits of twine, fabric, and stick weave through their stony skin. Men, women, and children are bound together, chained to a wooden pallet - goods ready for shipment. Visitors can wander through the silence of sculptor Stephen Hayes' installation, Cash Crop , listening to the unspoken but very visible history of slavery filling the gallery.
NEWS
June 19, 2014
READERS respond to Stu Bykofsky's "Race to a faulty solution" column (June 9). Slavery in the U.S. was for the most part an element of a colonial economy run by "planters" in the South. While politically part of the U.S., the planters' economy was really a colonial enterprise beholden to mill owners in Britain and, to a smaller extent, New England. By denying freedoms to, in some cases, half or more of their populations, slave-owning societies stymied their own economic development and have yet, more than a century later, to catch up with the rest of the country.
NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Kevin Riordan, Inquirer Columnist
A handsome historical marker titled "Slavery in Haddon Heights" is missing, and a related marker has been removed from the Camden County park that runs through the heart of the borough. The disagreement over the two interpretive markers, involving a state judge, the county parks department, borough officials, and local historians and residents, is a testament to how readily the shameful wound of America's slave-owning past can be reopened. It also touches on matters of privacy, process, and politics.
NEWS
June 10, 2014
SEVERAL weeks back, Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic magazine's national correspondent, wrote a long piece, "The Case for Reparations," which seemed designed to ignite a discussion about compensation to African-Americans that we never had. Except for a few corners of the Internet, it quickly evaporated. I think I know why. First, the Atlantic indulged Coates with 16,000 words to present a catalog of crimes against black Americans from slavery (mostly in the South) to redlining (mostly in the North)
ENTERTAINMENT
May 28, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
More than 21 million men, women, and children around the world are forced to work against their will - as industrial or farm laborers, domestic servants, or sex slaves. In a report released last week, the United Nations' International Labor Organization said the trade in human slavery generates $150 billion in profits a year. That's up from an estimated $44 billion in 2005, proving that despite international laws against the practice, slavery is bigger than ever. The story of the Jews in ancient Egypt and of African slaves in the Americas may have had triumphant endings, but the reality today gives the lie to the idea that humans have outgrown slavery, said investigative reporter E. Benjamin Skinner, author of the shocking 2008 exposé A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face With Modern-Day Slavery . Skinner has clocked more than a million flight miles to record the stories of slaves, survivors, traffickers, and their customers across four continents.
NEWS
April 15, 2014 | By Edward Colimore, Inquirer Staff Writer
Henry Bibb was just 10 the first time he ran away. In the antebellum South, Bibb fled slavery many more times, eventually finding his freedom and becoming an author and abolitionist. "Believe me when I say that no tongue, nor pen ever has or can express the horrors of American Slavery," he wrote in 1849. "I despair in finding language to express adequately the deep feeling of my soul as I contemplate the past history of my life. " His story - one of thousands of surviving slave narratives - is part of research by Rutgers-Camden associate professor Keith Green, who uses it to help dissect and expand the meaning of slavery.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 9, 2014 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
A life-size bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson sits at the visual heart of the new National Constitution Center exhibition exploring slavery and the eloquent advocate of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. " Behind the third president, inscribed on an enormous curving red wall, are more than 600 names - from "Abby" to "Zachary" and 11 labeled simply "name unknown. " These are the enslaved people owned by Jefferson and held at Monticello, his Virginia plantation, over the course of a lifetime.
NEWS
October 21, 2013 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Columnist
Steve McQueen , the London- born artist and filmmaker, has lived in Amsterdam since the mid-1990s. One of the Dutch capital's top tourist attractions is the house where Anne Frank lived during World War II until her hiding place was revealed and she was sent to a concentration camp. Her diary, published posthumously and adapted to stage and screen, is required reading in schools around the world. McQueen wants the book that served as the basis of his powerful new film, 12 Years a Slave , to similarly be read by millions.
NEWS
October 13, 2013 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Larry Robin, the renowned Philadelphia literary maven, stood Saturday by the gravesite of a woman whose greatness he said is too little known. Quaker Lucretia Coffin Mott was a leader in the anti-slavery and women's rights movement at a time when wives were expected to stand quietly behind their husbands. Mott - a Philadelphia-area mother of six who hid slaves, led conventions and spoke before Congress - was "97 pounds, polite and unstoppable" said Robin, 70. That is the portrait Robin painted as about 20 people gathered at Historic Fair Hill Burial Ground in North Philadelphia to celebrate and promote Mott's achievements.
NEWS
April 15, 2013
America's first abolitionist organization was founded in 1775, when a group of Quakers met at the Rising Sun Tavern in Philadelphia. The Quakers had been anti-slavery proponents for some time, having banned its members from enslaving African Americans by the 1770s. From this meeting was borne the Pennsylvania Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage. The society was devoted not only to the abolition of slavery, but also to the social and economic improvement of African Americans.
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