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Save the Small Sums

Justene Hill Edwards (University of Virginia)

In 1865, the Freedman’s Bank was written into law by President Lincoln to help newly freed enslaved people save money and buy land. But the bank collapsed less than 10 years after it was established – throwing many Black Americans into financial ruin. Justene Hill Edwards says the racial wealth gap can be traced back to the rise and fall of the Freedman’s Bank.

15 mins

Literacy Tests at the Voting Booth

Mark Boonshoft (Virginia Military Institute)

During Jim Crow, literacy tests at the voting booth disenfranchised many African Americans. Mark Boonshoft says lawmakers passed these literacy tests at the same time that they denied African Americans the right to education.

13 mins

The Great Migration

Janira Teague (Morehouse University)

During the Great Migration, millions of African Americans fled the Jim Crow South to more urban cities in the North and West. Black immigrants from the Caribbean also took part in the Great Migration. Janira Teague says the influx of African Americans and Caribbean immigrants to New York City created a vibrant fusion of Black ethnic diversity.

11 mins

The Silent Shore

Charles Chavis (George Mason University)

Charles Chavis is the Vice Chair of Maryland’s Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Commission started back in 2019 and is the first of its kind. It’s purpose is to uncover forgotten narratives and biographies of Maryland’s lynching victims.

13 mins

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