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African American history



  • Beyond the Myth of Malcolm X (review essay)

    A new biography of Malcolm X sets his political thought in the context of the midcentury Black communities where he lived and how his Black contemporaries saw him. 


  • My Memories of Voter Suppression

    by Lawrence Wittner

    After witnessing firsthand the depth of struggle needed to secure the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the author says the 2013 Supreme Court decision to gut the VRA and subsequent acts by state governments to suppress the vote "betray the most basic principle of democracy."



  • The Nobility of Mobility: A Road Trip Through Racism

    Historian Chris West notes that “driving in a racist society” persists as a “gut-wrenching horror" in a new PBS documentary "Driving While Black: Race, Space and Mobility in America."



  • Remembering Wilma Rudolph, the “Queen of the Olympics”

    by Scott N. Brooks and Aram Goudsouzian

    "Maybe most important, Rudolph was a real Black woman, not a stereotype. The Olympics lent her a special platform at a unique moment in American history, and Rudolph capitalized upon it with grace."



  • On Long Island, a Beachfront Haven for Black Families

    An examination of the centuries-old Black community in and around Sag Harbor on Long Island, first a working port, then a vacation destination for the Black elite during segregation, to a historic enclave threatened by redevelopment.



  • D.C. Statehood Is Good for the Democrats, Good for Democracy

    by George Derek Musgrove and Chris Myers Asch

    DC statehood will secure the citizenship rights of the city's residents and begin to repair the crisis of legitimacy caused by the gross imbalance of political representation in the U.S. Senate. 



  • The forgotten alliance between Black activists and China

    by Chang Che

    Black activists have long leveraged American desires for international legitimacy to forge antiracist alliances with China. Today, the Black Lives Matter movement has received support from Beijing, but must consider the costs of an alliance with a regime with its own human rights issues. 



  • The Persistence of Segregation in South Carolina

    The Supreme Court's artful directive to desegregate with "all deliberate speed" invited many school districts to do so as slowly as possible. Historian Millicent Brown was the first Black student to integrate a white high school in Charleston, South Carolina and has researched a book about the experiences of similar students. 



  • Why Supermarkets Are Powerful Flash Points In Racial Politics

    by Tracey Deutsch and James McElroy

    In addition to selling food, grocery stores have also preserved a social order that treats shoppers of different races differently, dispensing hierarchy along with food — and, in fact, creating it.



  • How the Black Vote Became a Monolith

    by Theodore R. Johnson

    Despite the political diversity within Black America, the political system's accommodation of bigotry and the political utility of appeals to white identity have pushed the overwhelming majority of Black voters to cast ballots for the same party.