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Guests throw flower petals Saturday during the African Landing Commemorative Ceremony to honor Africans who died at sea during the Atlantic slave trade. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) signed Saturday an order to review educational standards for teaching black history, as the state marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans to the region with a series of events this weekend.

Why it matters: The arrival of a ship carrying "20 and odd" Africans from Angola to what was then the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619 is considered a pivotal point in what became a system of race-based slavery, per AP. The commemorations come at a time when white nationalism is a growing danger in the U.S.

The big picture: Northam said as he announced the review at the 2019 African Landing Commemorative Ceremony at Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, "We are a state that for too long has told a false story of ourselves." He said action must be taken to address such issues.

  • Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.), who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus and attended the event, told AP it was important to hear the truth about the nation’s past, "not just the parts that make us feel good, but the difficult parts as well."
  • In his speech, Northam — who was embroiled in a blackface photo scandal this year— said he had confronted "some painful truths" after meeting with Virginians over the past several months to listen to views about inequities that still exist — including his own "incomplete understanding regarding race and equity."

Go deeper: 2020 Democrats propose new approaches to slavery reparations

Go deeper

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Kaine, Collins pitch Senate colleagues on censuring Trump

Sen. Tim Kaine speaks with Sen. Susan Collins. Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine and Susan Collins are privately pitching their colleagues on a bipartisan resolution censuring former President Trump, three sources familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction in his second impeachment.