Anne Bailey, Binghamton University Professor of History and Director of the Harriet Tubman Center for the Study of Freedom and Equity, is available to discuss a variety of issues in relation to the George Floyd protests and race in America. She can address the current situation and topics including:

  • Expanding curriculum on structural and systemic racism in high schools

  • How the issue of slavery reparations need to be addressed in order to heal racial divisions 

  • The constant fear that Black mothers have that their sons will be killed

  • The role of the church now and in civil rights history 

  • History of protests in the civil rights movement

Colleges, high schools should teach about structural and systemic racism

High schools and colleges should include discussions of structural and systemic racism in their curriculum, according to Anne Bailey, professor of history at Binghamton University, State University of New York and director of the Harriet Tubman Center for the Study of Freedom and Equity. 

"For 14 years now, I've been hearing students say, 'I never learned that in school, I wish I learned this in school,” says Bailey. "Before you get to college, that's when your opinions and your ideas about things are beginning to be formed. If they haven't been formed with information, they really feel cheated," said Bailey. 

"I think sometimes students are understandably a little uncomfortable with the period of slavery because of the way we teach it. We teach it as if it was this time of oppression, and of course it was, but at the end of the day, people of African descent contributed to the building up of American society."

We should not be afraid to discuss reparations for slavery

The issue of slavery reparations needs to be addressed in order to heal racial divisions today, according to Anne C. Bailey, professor of history at Binghamton University, State University of New York, civil rights scholar and contributor to the prize-winning New York Times 1619 Project.

“Many of us have kept our views to ourselves and have not dared to say what we think and feel. Around the dining room table or with our intimate friends, we may say a word, but otherwise, we are silent,” says Bailey. “The question is: Has this silence helped to heal our racial divisions? And is this silence and subsequent inaction at the root of our current crisis today?”

Bailey has made the case for reparations in African Voices of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Beyond the Silence and the Shame which was originally published in 2005 (Beacon Press) and also in her most recent book, The Weeping Time: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History. (Cambridge University Press, 2017).

Civil rights scholar: “I fear for my Black son every day”

In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, whose last words were “Momma, I’m through,” civil rights scholar and Binghamton University Professof of History Anne C. Bailey discusses the constant fear that Black mothers hold for their sons. 

“As a scholar and a writer on slavery and civil rights, I rarely write about my personal experience as a Black mother, but was particularly moved to do so when I heard on that devastating video George Floyd calling out “Momma, I’m through” with his last breath,” says Bailey. “I am not sure what was more devastating: Derek Chauvin’s torture and killing of a man in plain daylight; the begging of an interracial group of people for Floyd’s life; or Floyd, a grown, 46-year-old man begging for his mother – who in fact had passed away 2 years ago. 

“I would like to share the plight of Black mothers like myself who live daily with this fear for our Black sons—almost from birth – for as soon as they pass from the baby stage, our justifiable fears increase.”

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