Journal of Anthropological and Archaeological Sciences
Remembering over 400 Years of Black Racial Trauma and Asking Where Do We Go from Here? Volume 1 - Issue 5
Associate professor of sociology and African American Studies at the University of Illinois, USA
Received: February 21, 2020 Published: February 28, 2020
Corresponding author: Ruby Mendenhall, Associate professor of sociology and African American Studies at the University of Illinois and Assistant Dean of the Carle Illinois College of Medicine, Illinois, USA
In 2019, many Americans commemorated 400 years of Black racial trauma. We retold and re-enacted the history of inhumanity and brutality starting with the arrival of over 20 Africans in August 1619 in Jamestown, Virginia.
We reflected on the legacy of slavery and its aftermath and revisited American ideologies and practices that allowed the institution of slavery to flourish and cast tentacles of oppression 400 years into the future. Take housing inequality, which historian Richard Rothstein calls a relic of slavery in The Color of Law, which the Civil Rights Act of 1866 sought to address by banning discriminatory actions that made blacks second-class citizens. In 1968, the Supreme Court “recognized the validity of the 1866 Civil Rights Act’s declaration that housing discrimination was a residue of slave status that the 13th Amendment empowered Congress to eliminate,” according to Rothstein.