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[…]

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[…]

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 Whistles of George Wallace in the 1968 Presidential Campaign

Wallace appeared on the national scene in the early sixties to give an unadulterated voice to feelings of anger and fear felt by whites. Abstract Gender and emotions are important factors in the rise of modern U.S. conservatism. This article examines the 1968 presidential election as a pivotal moment in the development of the New[…]

Reconstruction and Insurrection in 1898 Wilmington, North Carolina

The violent overthrow of a duly elected government by a group of white supremacists. Introduction The Wilmington insurrection of 1898, also known as the Wilmington massacre of 1898 or the Wilmington coup of 1898, occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina, on Thursday, November 10, 1898. It is considered a turning point in post-Reconstruction North Carolina politics.[…]

The Crescent City ‘White League’ and Insurrection in 1874 New Orleans

The Battle of Liberty Place was an insurrection by the Crescent City White League against the Reconstruction Era state government. Introduction The Battle of Liberty Place, or Battle of Canal Street, was an attempted insurrection and coup d’etat by the Crescent City White League against the Reconstruction Era Louisiana Republican state government on September 14,[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Josephine Baker: Iconic Entertainer, Resistance Spy, and American Hero

Josephine Baker | AP By Chauncey K. Robinson / 03.01.2018 It seems only fitting with Black History Month closing out, and Women’s History Month beginning, to highlight a Black woman who exemplified strength and resilience in the face of discrimination and oppression. Famed entertainer Josephine Baker was not only a pioneer in breaking color barriers[…]

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[…]

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[…]