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Racist America Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joe Feagin PhD   
Sunday, 19 March 2017 18:10

Profiting from Discrimination:  White Benefits, Black Losses

The prominent Harvard law professor, Derrick Bell, once concluded that a major function of antiBlack discrimination is ''to facilitate the exploitation of Black labor, to deny us access to benefits and opportunities that otherwise would be available, and to blame all the manifestations of exclusion-bred despair on the asserted inferiority of the victims. Racial discrimination in employment often involves an exploitative relationship that enables White employers to take more of the value of the labor of workers of color than of comparable White workers.  Today, as in the past, some employers pay Black workers less because they are Black.  They do this directly, or they do it by segregating Black workers into certain job categories and setting the pay for these categories lower than for predominantly White job classifications.  The Marxist tradition has accented their way in which capitalist employers routinely take part of the value or workers' labor for their own purposes -- thus not paying workers for the full value of that work. Similarly, in numerous situations White employers have the power, because of subtly or blatantly institutionalized discrimination, to take additional value from the labor of Black workers and other workers of color, such as in the form of paying lower wages.

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The Many Costs of Racism Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Joe R. Feagin and Dr. Karyn D. McKinney   
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 00:00

A racist society is not a healthy society, for the perpetrators of racial discriminatiion as well as for the targets of that discrimination.  In an earlier book, Joe Feagin and his colleagues argued that all Americans have paid a heavy price for continuing racism:

Racist notions have brought ill-gotten resources and benefits to many white Americans. Yet few whites realize the heavy price that they, their families, and their communities have paid and will pay for this institutionalized racism. White Americans have paid greatly in the form of their ignorance and fears, in human contributions and achievements sacrified, in the failure to create a just and egalitarian society, in the resistance and lashing out of the opressed, and in the fundamental ideals and egalitarian morality thus betrayed.  In our view, U.S. society certainly cannot afford white racism in the long run, for it may well destroy this society as we know it sometime in this century.

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A Portrait of Paul Cuffee Print E-mail
Written by Ezrah Aharone   
Thursday, 04 August 2016 14:40

Then there’s the monumental but seldom-noted feats of Paul Cuffee who was born free in 1759 in Massachusetts.  His African-born father, Kofi (Cuffee) Slocum, was captured at age 10 from the Ashanti Kingdom and later freed by Quakers.  Cuffee always related to his roots, which fueled his life’s inspiration to return to Africa.  So his “both/and” correlations begin with the fact that his ancestry traces directly to the Kingdom of Ashanti, which remains today as a “constitutionally protected, sub-national traditional state in the Republic of Ghana.”i

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Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler 1831-1895: The First African-American Female Physician Print E-mail
Written by Crystal R. Emery   
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 17:26

Rebecca Lee Crumpler challenged the prejudice that prevented Black Americans form pursuing careers in medicine to become the first Black woman in the United States to earn an MD degree.  Although little has survived to tell the story of her life, Dr.  Crumpler secured her place in the historical record with her two-volume book, The Book of Medical Discourses, published in 1883.

Miss Crumpler was born a free woman of color in 1831 in Delaware.  Early in her life she moved to Pennsylvania, living with her aunt, "whose usefulness with the sick was continually sought".  At that time "I early conceived a liking for, and sought every opportunity to relieve the sufferings of others," she wrote.

By 1852 Dr.  Crumpler had moved to Charlestown, Massachusetts, where she worked as a nurse for the next eight years.  In 1860, with the help of written recommendations from the doctors she worked with, she was admitted to the New England Female Medical College.  When she graduated in 1864, Dr.  Crumpler was the first Black woman in the United States to earn an MD degree and the only Black woman to graduate from the New England Female Medical College, which closed in 1873.

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Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies and Bucks Print E-mail
Written by Dr. Arthur Lewin PhD   
Sunday, 12 July 2015 23:16

 

African American Lewis Latimer invented the filament for the light bulb that illuminates our homes and brings motion pictures to life. The first feature length film was D. W. Griffith’s Birth of A Nation (1915). Up until then movies were never more than 30 minutes. Birth Of A Nation, though, was three hours long and introduced close-ups, night photography, tinting, parallel story lines and other innovations.

Birth of A Nation was based on the novel, The Clansman, by Thomas Dixon, and presented the Ku Klux Klan as a heroic force that saved the South from the supposed ravages of Reconstruction. It claimed that Black Union soldiers, patrolling the South in the wake of the Civil War, assaulted White women and otherwise terrorized the citizenry.

The president at the time, Woodrow Wilson, who held the doctorate in history and formerly was the head of Princeton University, reportedly said, the film was “… like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” Many African Americans died at the hands of White mobs enraged by what they had seen on the screen. The film was used as a recruiting tool by the Ku Klux Klan whose ranks subsequently swelled to over 4,000,000. In 1924, 10,000 robed openly in Washington, DC. Up until the 1950s, there was strict segregation of the nation’s capital.

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