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African American history



  • Unearthing New Histories of Black Appalachia (Review)

    by Jillean McCommons

    Tension between Black and white memory of the founding of Liberia, South Carolina drives John M. Coggeshall’s study, which adds significant insight to the history of Black Appalachia.



  • A Black Nurse Saved Lives. Today She May Save Art

    Graduate student Laura Voisin George discovered an image of Biddy Mason, a Black woman born in slavery who became a founding figure in Los Angeles's African American history, in a set of WPA murals in an auditorium at the University of California-San Francisco. The discovery may help preserve the murals. 



  • He’s Sharing the History of Black New York, One Tweet at a Time

    Oluwanisola “Sola” Olosunde is an urban planning graduate student whose Twitter feed is a chronicle of the everyday life of Black New York. He helped bring to light a recent viral video of white Queens residents yelling racist abuse at young Black girls during a period of resistance to desegregation in the 1970s.



  • Why Kamala Harris Matters to Me

    by Manisha Sinha

    Despite well-deserved criticism from the left of some of their policies, Mr. Obama and Ms. Harris represent the cosmopolitan, interracial democracy that a majority of Americans aspire to live in today. 



  • Taking My Children to See Frederick Douglass

    by Clint Smith

    “It is always a fact of some importance to know where a man is born, if, indeed, it be important to know anything about him.” So wrote Frederick Douglass in his 1855 autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom. It was with these reflections and Douglass’s words in mind that, on Juneteenth, I got in the car with my family and drove from our home, outside Washington, D.C., to Talbot County, Maryland, where Frederick Douglass was born.



  • A Song That Changed Music Forever

    by David Hajdu

    With “Crazy Blues,” Mamie Smith opened the door to a surge of powerfully voiced female singers who defied the conventions of singerly gentility to make the blues a popular phenomenon in the 1920s.