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Juneteenth: Race? Slavery?

Juneteenth celebrates the announcement of emancipation in Texas on June 19, 1865.

source: jessamyn's photostream

Its 145th anniversary prompts reflection on how race and slavery got entangled early in American history. In those days, being black and being a slave did not necessarily go together. That association developed and then tightened over several generations.

The almost accidental entanglement of African origin and slavery has shaped our understanding of race ever since. And now the two are being disentangled, which raises tricky questions such as: What explains the disadvantages of African Americans?; Who should benefit from affirmative action?; and Is Barack Obama is really “black”?
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