We call on the USA to prepare for and observe the 400th Anniversary of the first arrival of Africans in Jamestown in 1619. That event marked the beginning of the codification of inequality in law and custom – the absolute opposite of what we eventually wrote in our Declaration of Independence, but chillingly present in the Constitution which declared that slaves would be counted as 3/5’s of a person.
Nearly 400 years of division have created an apartheid society: we need a new social infrastructure to carry us through the challenges of climate change, decaying physical infrastructure, rapidly evolving jobs, underperforming schools, uneven access to health care and lack of affordable housing.
What we need is to move from inequality to equality, from some people being counted as 3/5’s to all being counted as 5/5s. Starting now, we can prepare for the anniversary by deepening our understanding of our history, and then building new coalitions to work across divides to define and address our common needs.
We propose that we all prepare for and observe this anniversary.
Please join us!
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