Category archives for: BHM Special: Remembering Our Heroes & Sheroes

Tracing Charleston’s History of Slavery, From a Burial Ground to a DNA Swab

A quest to find living descendants of 36 enslaved people has transformed into a project that gives Black residents new clues to their ancestry, wherever it may lead. CAROLINE GUTMAN & EMILY COCHRANE When Edward Lee heard about a project collecting DNA from Black residents like him in Charleston, S.C., he had reason to be […]

Jack Cudjo


Cudjo versus Cudjo

Excerpts from the book: Jack Cudjo. Newark’s Revolutionary Soldier & First Black Businessman “This is a riveting historical account of an early enslaved African in New Jersey on par with the narrative of Olaudah Equiano. Cudjo, or Banquante, is an extraordinary person who enters our history in this book with a much fuller portrait and […]

Their wealth was built on slavery. Now a new fortune lies underground.

In Virginia, the land still owned by the Coles family could yield billions from uranium. Does any of that wealth belong to the descendants of the enslaved? JULIE ZAUZMER WEIL The land came first, 5,557 acres of forest purchased two years after the Revolutionary War by a Virginia slaveholder and future congressman. The mansion came […]

Developers Found Graves in the Virginia Woods. Authorities Then Helped Erase the Historic Black Cemetery

SETH FREED WESSLER The cemetery’s disappearance cleared the way for the expansion of a Microsoft data center, despite layers of federal and state regulations nominally intended to protect culturally significant sites. Nobody working to bring a $346 million Microsoft project to rural Virginia expected to find graves in the woods. But in a cluster of […]

‘I Don’t Want to Die’: Fighting Maternal Mortality Among Black Women

A St. Louis doula program, part of a nonprofit that received funding in the $1.7 trillion federal budget bill, looks for solutions in a benefit largely associated with affluent white women. ERICA L. GREEN Tara Ervin will never forget the week her sister Kelly died. It was July 1996 and Kelly, 34 weeks pregnant, was […]

How an AP reporter broke the Tuskegee syphilis story

ALLEN G. BREED Jean Heller was toiling away on the floor of the Miami Beach Convention Center when an Associated Press colleague from the opposite end of the country walked into her workspace behind the event stage and handed her a thin manila envelope. “I’m not an investigative reporter,” Edith Lederer told the 29-year-old Heller […]

Middle Passage

Continuing our series on the book: Jack Cudjo. Newark’s Revolutionary Soldier & 1st Black Businessman Slavery in the Gold Coast was not effectively abolished until after the British‐Asante War of 1874. Historians of African slavery usually glossed over a minor yet important practice of slavery. There were instances that stubborn members of family, royals inclusive, […]

What’s in a Name?

The late Newark City historian and Director of Special Collections at Newark Public Library, Charles F. Cummings researched Newark’s Jack Cudjo’s life for over twenty years and concluded that his other name Banquante was either of African or Caribbean origin. Elsewhere, Jack Cudjo was purported to have been named for an African‐Caribbean hero that was […]

Celebrating Gordon Chavunduka, famed Zimbabwean traditional healer and independence hero

Gordon Lloyd Chavunduka was a Zimbabwean Politician who played a role in the fight for the country’s independence. Aside from his involvement in politics, the very versatile Dr Chavunduka was also a traditional healer, sociologist, author and academic who contributed to each of these sectors in huge ways. Dr Gordon Lloyd Chavunduka was born on August 16, […]