Miscegenation: The Birth, and Life, of a Word

The contents of this booklet, released in 1864, quickly became a focal point of campaign oratory. By Ralph KeyesAuthor, Speaker, and Teacher During the presidential campaign of 1864, a seventy-two-page booklet appeared on the streets of Manhattan. This publication was titled Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man[…]

1968 as Living History in the Black Freedom Struggle

Unresolved race matters from the past intersect with twenty-first century activism to counter the continued devaluation of black lives. Abstract New questions about the legacies of 1968 and the 1960s in general are presenting themselves to us, as scholars and as citizens, ever more urgently. This is particularly true of race and racial struggle, as[…]

The History and Legacy of ‘Black Wall Street’

Before 1921, most of Tulsa’s 10,000 African American residents lived in the vibrant district with flourishing Black-owned businesses. By Dora Mekouar Until recently, many Americans had never heard of the Greenwood District of the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the largest, most prosperous Black communities in the United States that was destroyed in 1921 during what the Oklahoma[…]

The Story of Caesar, an Enslaved Chef and Chocolatier in Colonial Virginia

In a bittersweet history, the story of enslaved chocolatier Caesar shows the oppression that lay behind the elite’s culinary treat. Introduction The holidays are approaching, and among the many treats of the season are chocolate and hot cocoa. While these traditions provide a hefty dose of sugar, there’s a bittersweet side to chocolate’s history, too.[…]

A Successful White Supremacist Coup in 1898 Amplified by Lies

A successful violent coup perpetrated and fueled by white supremacist ideology spread happened in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1898. Introduction While experts debate whether the U.S. Capitol siege was an attempted coup, there is no debate that what happened in 1898 in Wilmington, North Carolina, was a coup – and its consequences were tragic. These[…]

The Revolutionary Summer of 1862: How Congress Abolished Slavery

Secession and the Civil War were about slavery and race. Introduction In his second inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln recalled, “All knew that” the “peculiar and powerful interest” in slaves “was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even[…]

Citizens’ Councils, Conservatism, and White Supremacy in Louisiana, 1964-1972

White supremacist resistance against the civil rights movement transformed its rhetoric while seeking to align with the conservatism. This article examines the development of Massive Resistance, in particular Citizens’ Councils, in Louisiana after the council movement in the South had passed its zenith when being unable to prevent the passage of federal civil rights and[…]

The End of Apartheid: Valuable Lessons in a Turbulent Age

Anti-Apartheid protest in the 1980s are mere snapshots of time in the long journey towards equality, paved by the sweat and blood of those in the African National Congress and beyond. Paul Weinberg/Wikicommons Understanding the impact of Apartheid requires looking beyond Nelson Mandela’s achievements to the bloody struggles of the African National Congress and international forces prolonging the violence. By Dr. David Robinson / 10.10.2018 Lecturer of[…]

The African Union Society of Rhode Island, 1780-1824

The first separate black church in Newport was the Union Colored Church and Society The society is considered one of the first formal organizations founded by free blacks in the United States. By Michael J. Barga Board Member Catholic Social Workers’ National Association Background Mutual aid societies were created by free blacks in the early[…]

A Brief History of Jim Crow Laws and Racial Segregation

Convict labor at the State Lime Grinding Plant, Virginia / From Virginia; Its Agricultural and Industrial Resources, 1914 Immediately following the Civil War and adoption of the 13th Amendment, most states of the former Confederacy adopted “Black Codes”, laws modeled on former slave laws. Introduction Immediately following the Civil War and adoption of the 13th Amendment,[…]

Who Was Emmett Till?

A 1950s photograph of Emmett Till and his mother Mamie Till Mobley, during a visit to Jackson, Miss. AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis Most Mississippi civil rights history leads back to the widespread outrage over the Till case in the summer of 1955. By Dr. Davis W. Houck / 07.13.2018 Professor of Communications Florida State University The U.S.[…]

Government Reopens Case of Emmett Till

This undated photo shows Emmett Louis Till, a 14-year-old Black Chicago boy, who was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in 1955 in Mississippi. The federal government has reopened its investigation into his slaying. | AP The federal government has reopened its investigation into the slaying of Emmett Till. By Jay Reeves / 07.12.2018 The federal government[…]

An Investigation of Black Figures in Classical Greek Art

Pitcher (Oinochoe) in the Form of the Head of an African, about 510 B.C., attributed to Class B bis: Class of Louvre H 62. Terracotta, 8 7/16 in. high. The J. Paul Getty Museum, 83.AE.229. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program Ancient Greece’s visual heritage included representations of black people that nimbly[…]

The History of Jim Crow Segregation

By Dr. Katherine Mellon Charron Associate Professor of History North Carolina State University Introduction Segregation contradicts what most students have learned about American freedom and democracy. Textbooks locate segregation’s origins in Southern disenfranchisement laws of the 1890s and highlight the Supreme Court’s 1896 “separate but equal” ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson. The majority of African Americans still lived[…]

The Hidden Influence of Langston Hughes on MLK

Martin Luther King Jr.‘s dream – which alternated between shattered and hopeful – can be traced back to Hughes’ poetry. AP Photo In order to avoid being labeled a communist sympathizer, King needed to publicly distance himself from the controversial poet. Privately, King found ways to channel Hughes’ prose. By Dr. Jason Miller / 03.30.2018 Professor[…]

Race, Difference, and Religion: Is There a Universal Humanity?

A review of Theodore Vial’s Modern Religion, Modern Race By Dr. Ruth Jackson / 03.16.2018 Research Fellow Sidney Sussex College University of Cambridge In an episode from the third season of Mad Men, which is set in the early 1960s and follows a fictional advertising firm on Madison Avenue, a young and forthright accounts man proposes a marketing strategy[…]

The Malvina Hoffman Papers and the ‘Races of Mankind’

Detail from “How to Tell Your Friends from the Japs,” Time magazine, December 22, 1941 (Vol. XXXVIII, No. 25), p. 33. Digital image: Tristan Bravinder Archival research reveals how perceptions of Malvina Hoffman’s sculptures were distorted by racial bias. By Dr. Linda Kim / 01.31.2018 Associate Professor of American and African Art Westphal College of Media Arts &[…]

Meet the Theologian Who Helped MLK See the Value of Nonviolence

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , chats with African-Americans during a door-to-door campaign in 1964. AP Photo/JAB By Dr. Paul Harvey / 01.11.2018 Professor of American History University of Colorado After this last tumultuous year of political rancor and racial animus, many people could well be asking what can sustain them over the next coming days: How do they[…]