New Jersey recently became the first Northern state to issue an apology for slavery, which claimed the lives of millions of African people “imported” to North America since the 17th century. In 1865, when slavery was abolished with the victory of the United States of America over the slaveholder-controlled Confederate States of America in the Civil War, there were nearly 4 million people in bondage.
CHICAGO — “Bush offered nothing in his State of the Union talk that will make a damned bit of difference in my life,” declared Sarah Smith, a mother of two who works for minimum wage as a cashier at the Halsted Foods supermarket in this city’s Bridgeport neighborhood. “Any rebate I would get has to go to pay medical bills I owe on my credit card. That might stimulate the bank but it won’t do a thing for my kids and me.
In late January, a Mississippi man was arrested for a 1965 killing of two Black teenagers, who were tied to trees, whipped and drowned. Seale’s arrest, and others like it, shows that the nation is still struggling to come to grips with its violent history around the treatment of Blacks and the Civil Rights Movement.