Legacies links for December 7, 2022: Recent Scholarship on the Afterlives of Slavery

Normally, we post the weekly links on Mondays. The schedule may be a little erratic for the next few weeks, thanks to the holidays and CIC’s upcoming Presidents Institute. As always, we encourage you to share this post. A link here does not imply agreement or endorsement by the Council of Independent Colleges.

Black scholars past and present/future: literary research at the Schomburg Collection in 1938 and STEM research at Centenary College of Louisiana in 2022. photo sources: NYPL and LocalToday.
  • Julie Zauzmer Weil, “Their wealth was built on slavery. Now a new fortune lies underground.,” Washington Post (December 1, 2022): LINK. What do the descendants of enslavers owe the descendants of their enslaved laborers when the old plantation becomes a valuable uranium mine?
  • Christopher Rhodes, “In America, racism is in the water,” Al Jazeera (December 1, 2022): LINK. Traces the history of “water racism” from slavery through the Jim Crow era to today, as manifested in everything from segregated water fountains and swimming pools to flood-prone Black neighborhoods and tainted municipal water supplies.
  • Lynette Hazelton and Oscar Perry Abello, “Paying a Premium: What’s a Black life Worth to Insurance Companies?,” Philadelphia Inquirer (November 29, 2022): LINK. Persistent racial disparities in life insurance (and thus, intergenerational wealth) have a business history rooted in redlining and slaveholders’ antebellum insurance policies.
  • Peter Barker, “Undergraduate student in African and African American Studies presents at conference,” LocalToday: Louisiana News (November 28, 2022): LINK. Highlights the participation of Ani-ya Beasley (University of Arkansas) at the regional conference on slavery, race, and contemporary health hosted by Legacies Partner Centenary College of Louisiana. Her presentation focused on the medical knowledge accrued by “early maroon communities… [who] used the environment as a source of resistance and survival.”

Some recent scholarship of interest:

  • Caroline M. Bailey, “The Evolution of Anti-Blackness in the American South: How Slavery and Segregation Perpetuates the Victimization of Black People,” Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency (September 7, 2022): https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00224278221120811. Drawing on a number of data sources, the authors conclude that “[histories of] both slavery and racial segregation are significantly associated with increases in [recent] anti-Black hate crimes. Moreover, the relationship between slavery and anti-Black hate crimes in amplified by racial segregation.”
  • William A. Darity, et al., “The Cumulative Costs of Racism and the Bill for Black Reparations,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 36:2 (Spring 2022): https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/jep.36.2.99. “Two major procedures for establishing the monetary value of a plan for reparations for Black American descendants of US slavery are considered in this paper.”
  • Ashley V. Reichelmann and Matthew O. Hunt, “White Americans’ Attitudes Toward Reparations for Slavery: Definitions and Determinants,” Race and Social Problems 14 (2022), pp. 269-281: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12552-021-09348-x. A deep dive into the results of an online survey of white Americans conducted in 2016, examining “levels of opposition to a range of different race-targeted government actions” (with policy recommendations for the future).
  • Melissa Rubio-Ramos, “From Plantations to Prisons: The Race Gap in Incarceration After the Abolition of Slavery in the U.S.,” ECONtribute Discussion Paper No. 195 (August 2022): LINK. “This paper documents the emergence of a race gap in incarceration after the abolition of slavery in the U.S. Counties that relied more on slave labor incarcerated more African Americans, with no comparable effects for whites. An increase of slave reliance by 10% increases Black incarceration rates by 1.8-per-1,000.”
  • Erica J. Wilkins, et. al., “Residual Effects of Slavery: A Delphi Study,” Contemporary Family Therapy 44 (2022), pp. 234-243: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10591-022-09636-7. The authors used a “modified Delphi methodology [i.e., a group consultation with leading experts in the field of family therapy] to explore the residual effects of slavery on African Americans and to determine resultant clinical implications.”