Race and the White Elephant War of 1884

P. T. Barnum’s white elephant Toung Taloung, featured in an extra supplement to the Illustrated London News, January 26th 1884 / Wikimedia Commons Feuding impresarios, a white-but-not-white-enough elephant, and racist ads for soap — Ross Bullen on how a bizarre episode in circus history became an unlikely forum for discussing 19th-century theories of race, and inadvertently[…]

American Slavery: Separating Fact from Myth

Five generations of a slave family / Shutterstock By Dr. Daina Ramey Berry / 06.19.2017 Associate Professor of History and African American Diaspora Studies University of Texas at Austin People think they know everything about slavery in the United States, but they don’t. They think the majority of African slaves came to the American colonies,[…]

What Japanese Internment Taught Us About Standing Up for Our Neighbors

Artwork by Steve Gardner at the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial in Washington state. The memorial wall is 276 feet long—one foot for every Japanese person who lived in that community in 1942. First, we must demand justice for ourselves. Second, those who have privilege and power must intervene for those without. By Tracy Matsue Loeffelholz[…]

Slavery in the Americas

  Edited by Dr. AnaMaria Seglie / 01.18.2011 Professor of English Rice University Transported Labor, Indentured Servitude, and Slavery in the Americas: A Comparative Approach[1] While slave labor comprised the majority of the plantation workforce across the Americas, it was never the sole labor system in use. Historical records now show that slaves often worked[…]

The Story of Anna May Wong, Internationally Acclaimed Actress

Anna May Wong was the first Chinese-American movie star and the first Asian-American actress to gain international fame. She used her fame and influence to talk about and protest the racist practices in Hollywood, protesting against racist depictions of Chinese characters, and opening up more significant and starring roles for herself and many actors of[…]

An Early Attempt to Build an African-American Museum in 1907

By Dr. Eric S. Hintz / 09.15.2016 Historian and Fellowship Coordinator Lemelson Center for the Study of Innovation and Invention Smithsonian National Museum of American History Vista of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, from Constitution Avenue, looking across the north lawn to the Washington Monument, 2016. Photo credit: Alan Karchmer/NMAAHC. On September[…]

How Black Americans Protected Fleeing Slaves before the Civil War

Slave shackles in a display case at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.. Kevin Lamarque/Reuters By Dr. Barbara Krauthamer / 02.06.2017 Associate Professor of History University of Massachusetts, Amherst Opposition between federal authorities and local communities is hardly new. As a scholar of slavery and emancipation, I have studied[…]

The Dawn of Freedom: Events Leading to the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War

Photo of Frederick Douglass, by George Kendall Warren, c. 1879 / National Archives By Dr. Jonathan Holloway / 01.11.2010 Edmund S. Morgan Professor of African American Studies, History, and American Studies Yale University Frederick Douglass’ Speech, Delivered to Abolitionist Friends in 1852 From Frederick Douglass’s speech, delivered in Rochester, New York to abolitionist friends on[…]

‘With an Even Hand’: Brown v. Board of Education – Before, During, and After

When one undertakes to administer justice, it must be with an even hand, and by rule; what is done for one, must be done for everyone in equal degree. Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, 1803 Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.06.2017 Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Ruby Bridges, 1960. Gelatin silver print. New York World-Telegram and Sun[…]

Martin Luther King, Jr. in Dialogue with the Ancient Greeks

Martin Luther King Jr. statue. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters By Dr. Timothy Joseph / 02.01.2016 Associate Professor of Classics College of the Holy Cross In “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” the soaring and chilling speech he delivered the day before his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr. ponders the thought of life in other places and times. Among[…]

African Passages, Lowcountry Adaptations

Captives being brought on board a slave ship on the West Coast of Africa (Slave Coast), c1880. Although Britain outlawed slavery in 1833 and it was abolished in the USA after the defeat of the Confederacy in the Civil War in 1865, the transatlantic trade in African slaves continued. The main market for the slaves[…]

Richard Spencer’s Host at Texas A&M is the Country’s ‘Strongest Skinhead’

Preston Wiginton, right, during a celebration of Second Amendment Day he organized on the Texas A&M University campus in 2013. Courtesy The Battalion The man bringing Richard Spencer to speak at Texas A&M University next week is himself a white nationalist who has been inviting incendiary guests to College Station for years. By Matthew Watkins[…]

The Beauty of Human Skin in Every Color (VIDEO)

By cataloging every conceivable human skin tone, Angélica Dass illustrates that skin color and race are more complex than they might appear at first glance. Angélica Dass Artist and Photographer Angélica Dass’s photography challenges how we think about skin color and ethnic identity. In this personal talk, hear about the inspiration behind her portrait project,[…]

Machine Bias

Bernard Parker, left, was rated high risk; Dylan Fugett was rated low risk. (Josh Ritchie for ProPublica) There’s software used across the country to predict future criminals. And it’s biased against blacks. By Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu and Lauren Kirchner / 05.23.2016 On a spring afternoon in 2014, Brisha Borden was running late to[…]

Cross-cultural Research, Evolutionary Psychology, and Racialism: Problems and Prospects

debate.org By Dr. John P. Jackson Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Roy R. Charles Center for Academic Excellence College of William and Mary Abstract Philosophers defending evolutionary/cognitive accounts of racialism argue that cross-cultural psychological research has discovered similar patterns of racial reasoning around the globe. Such research, they hold, simultaneously supports the existence of an underlying[…]

An Artist’s Unflinching Look at Racial Violence (VIDEO)

Sanford Biggers creates art that upends traditional narratives about topics ranging from hip hop to Buddhism to American history. Sanford Biggers Conceptual Artist Conceptual artist and TED Fellow Sanford Biggers uses painting, sculpture, video and performance to spark challenging conversations about the history and trauma of black America. Join him as he details two compelling[…]

5 Japanese-American Women Activists Left Out of U.S. History Books

A herstory lesson about five women whose World War II internment inspired them to action. By Nina Wallace / 04.27.2016 This article was adapted from a previous version published by Densho. From African American activists critical to the 1963 March on Washington to the Japanese American women among the 120,000 wrongly imprisoned by a panic-stricken and—let’s[…]

Mob Economics and Lynching Narratives

By Dr. Jason Morgan Ward Associate Professor of History Mississippi State University African American Intellectual History Society On May 5, 1919, an estimated 2,500 attendees descended on New York City’s Carnegie Hall for the National Conference on Lynching. Organized by the NAACP, the gathering was interracial, interregional, and bipartisan—speakers included 1916 Republican presidential nominee Charles[…]

Gateway to Inclusion

Courtesy of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development St. Louis’ notorious Pruitt-Igoe housing project was demolished less than two decades after it was built. This week, the GSD hosts urban planners and others from St. Louis to discuss how such design failures marginalized African-Americans. St. Louis planners and activists talk to one another, ponder[…]

African-American Student Assaults White Student for ‘Cultural Appropriation’ (VIDEO)

By Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.30.2016: An African-American college student employee at San Francisco State University, Bonita Tindle, harassed and physically assaulted a white student, Cory Goldstein, for “cultural appropriation” because he had dreadlocks. See video from Nicholas Silvera: Goldstein has declined to file charges against Tindle, as has the person operating the phone camera[…]