[This is] a country whose existence was predicated on the torture of black fathers, on the rape of black mothers, on the sale of black children. . . . Having been enslaved for 250 years, black people were not left to their own devices [after slavery ended]. They were terrorized. In the Deep South, a second slavery ruled. In the North, legislatures, mayors, civic associations, banks, and citizens all colluded to pin black people into ghettos, where they were overcrowded, overcharged, and undereducated. Businesses discriminated against them, awarding them the worst jobs and the worst wages. Police brutalized them in the streets. And the notion that black lives, black bodies, and black wealth were rightful targets remained deeply rooted in the broader society.
– Ta-Nehisi Coates, 2014