Anne Bailey, professor of history at Binghamton University, has been featured by publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Diverse Education and more. Her research interests include African-American history; African and African Diaspora studies; history and memory; oral history; and civil rights. She writes and speaks about a variety of topics related to these research areas, including race, slavery, immigration, refugees, diasporas, faith and history and human rights.
The Senate has unanimously passed a bill to establish Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, as a federal holiday. This is an historic moment and an opportunity to create a “new America,” 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.
“We are in what I am calling, ‘The Age of Repair,’ This is a moment for us to look back and look forward to creating a new America-- one that is more equitable and lives up to its stated ideals,” said Bailey.
Bailey said that there are so many people on the grassroots level to thank for their commitment to making this a reality, including the late Dr. Ronald Myers, who led early efforts to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
“This Juneteenth holiday is a reminder that we must put people over profit and seek to repair the inequities and disparities that have arisen as a result of almost 250 years of slavery in the United States of America,” said Bailey.
Slavery reparations could help United States reclaim moral leadership
The House Judiciary Committee today plans to review and vote on House Resolution 40, or the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. Reparations could drastically improve the United States’ international standing and serve as an example to other nations on how to deal with past inequities, according to Anne C. Bailey, Slavery and Reparations expert, professor of history and director of the Harriet Tubman Center for the Study of Freedom and Equity at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
According to Bailey, the renewed focus on reparations comes at a pivotal time in recent U.S. history.
“Long considered, rightly or wrongly, as a beacon of democracy and freedom, the U.S. has in the past four years presented a different face to the world amid a retreat into “America first” policy,” said Bailey.
“Meanwhile, the recent attack on the Capitol, the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police and racial disparities highlighted in the pandemic have raised concerns about the fragility of American democracy and have put the lasting legacies of structural racism in the U.S. on full display.
“Paying reparations to Americans of African descent could, I believe, help the U.S. reclaim some moral leadership on the global stage. The U.S. is not the only country in the world with human rights abuses then or now, but it can be one of the few countries in the world that truly addresses these wrongs.”
For information on the Tubman Center's recent press on reparations and associated issues, visit https://www.binghamton.edu/centers/harriet-tubman/press.html.