So Benedict Cumberbatch's Ancestors Were Slave Owners. Now What?

In Barbados, there's a property called the Cleland Plantation. These days it's a place for tourists to go horseback riding, but back in 1728, it was a prosperous sugar cane farm known for being a place of cruelty and brutality, where slaves were literally worked to death. It was owned by Abraham Cumberbatch, the… » 2/03/14 12:40pm 2/03/14 12:40pm

Nevada Assemblyman Would Vote for Slavery If Constituents Wanted It

Ahhh, the GOP, the party of hard work, strong values, and totally never ever ever being racist and HOW DARE YOU EVEN SUGGEST SUCH A THING. If there's one thing I know about the GOP, it's that they would certainly never abandon their extremely strong and heartfelt convictions in order to pander to uneducated bigots and… » 10/29/13 10:20am 10/29/13 10:20am

12 Years A Slave: Rage, Privilege, Black Women and White Women

Going insane was a luxury. It’s the going, that’s the treat. Going suggests travel, moving. There was no going. The madness was constant and still, sitting there, like a place on a map. It was where they lived, where they were from, born and bred into viscously mundane inescapable crazy. The women in the beautifully… » 10/28/13 11:30am 10/28/13 11:30am

Black Students Forced to Pretend to be Slaves During School Trip

If you grow up attending east coast public schools and you manage to make it through the early years of elementary school, you are often rewarded with an educational overnight trip with all your classmates. On that trip, you learn about different types of plants and the exhausting reality of what it's like to be… » 9/19/13 6:30pm 9/19/13 6:30pm

How to Feel About Ariel Castro's Suicide

Last night, just a month and change into serving his life + 1,000-year sentence for kidnapping three Cleveland women and keeping them captive under hellish conditions for a decade, Ariel Castro committed suicide in jail. After I heard the news, I felt a range of awful, base emotions, none of which made me feel good… » 9/04/13 11:30am 9/04/13 11:30am

'Ask a Slave' Makes Depressingly Stupid Tourist Questions Hilarious

Actress and comedian Azie Mira Dungey used to work as a historical re-enactor at Mount Vernon. And 1- because George Washington's old stomping grounds are staffed with people acting out roles they might have had during the George Washington days and 2- Dungey is black, she played the role of a slave named Lizzy Mae.… » 9/03/13 1:10pm 9/03/13 1:10pm

CPAC Panelist Manages to Reserve Most of His Criticism for a Female…

In a surprise turn of blame-giving, CPAC panelist K. Carl Smith, a representative from the Frederick Douglass Republicans who unfortunately ceded the floor to an anthropomorphized pile of racist vacuum cleaner gatherings during the panel discussion, managed somehow to reserve most of his criticism for a female… » 3/17/13 5:00pm 3/17/13 5:00pm

How to Be a 'Reverse-Racist': An Actual Step-by-Step List for…

White people who are confronted with their white privilege and the white supremacist acts they perpetuate have been known to cry, "You're being a reverse-racist!" That is completely true: people of color have the power and control to create, perpetuate, and maintain brutal systematic reverse-racism that oppresses… » 6/29/12 1:50pm 6/29/12 1:50pm

Paula Deen 'Shocked' to Learn Her Family Owned Slaves

On the season finale of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are, Paula Deen discovered that her great great great great-grandfather, John Batts, was a slave owner. Deen, who was born, raised and still lives in Georgia, found that Batts, a politician and plantation owner, was very wealthy — and a hefty portion of his assets… » 5/21/12 12:20pm 5/21/12 12:20pm

When Prejudice Is Sexy: Inside the Kinky World of Race-Play

A bitchy white woman belittling her black maid. A Latino man being tied up and called racial slurs. A black woman being offered for sale at a slave auction. All of these are awful in reality, but for people who are into race-play — or racialized sexual situations — they can be extremely hot. I talked to two people… » 3/14/12 1:45pm 3/14/12 1:45pm

Police Terribly Sorry About Not Discovering Sex Torture Dungeon

Police in Luoyang, Henan province, China have discovered an underground dungeon where a man forced women to have sex for money and perform in pornographic movies. In all, six women were enslaved for periods of 2 to 21 months, and two of them were eventually murdered. The operation went on for two years without police… » 9/25/11 2:30pm 9/25/11 2:30pm

The Truth About Those Allegedly Intact Slave Families

The language about slavery and marriage in the far-right pledge signed by Michele Bachmann wasn't just wildly offensive, it was also just plain wrong, as historian Tera W. Hunter explains in a Times op-ed today. Ignoring how slavery actually tore apart families is, she writes, "part of a broad and deliberate amnesia"… » 8/02/11 12:05pm 8/02/11 12:05pm