Hutchins Center 'Alabama abortion law holds state's tangled history up to the light' by Alumna Fellow Diane McWhorter

May 18, 2019
Some years ago, with the Confederate flag in vogue on state license tags, civic boosters in Alabama's high-tech mecca of Huntsville came up with a more dignified vanity-plate statement -- "First to the Moon," in honor of the Saturn V rocket invented there. (True, the inventors were German, Hitler's missile engineers brought to the United States after the war, but their celebrity leader Wernher von Braun liked to say, "You can see I speak with an accent -- that's because I come from Ahlahbahma.")

Now, as the Rocket City cranks up the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Apollo 11 moon...

Read more about 'Alabama abortion law holds state's tangled history up to the light' by Alumna Fellow Diane McWhorter
Robert Sampson

Harvard Gazette: 'Unpacking the power of poverty'

May 17, 2019
Social scientists have long understood that a child’s environment — in particular growing up in poverty — can have long-lasting effects on their success later in life. What’s less well understood is exactly how. A new Harvard study is beginning to pry open that black box.
Gazette group photo

Harvard Gazette: ‘Bringing art to the people it depicts’

May 6, 2019
Kasseem Dean, known in the music world as Swizz Beats, was used to seeing Gordon Parks’ photographs in meetings with business partners and at the homes of friends who were not African American. It was far more unusual to see the artwork in front of the people Parks represented.
Vision & Justice Conference

Harvard Gazette: ‘The work of culture alters our perceptions’

April 29, 2019
Launched to consider the roles of art and culture in establishing the narratives of people of color, the conference was inspired by a course taught by Sarah Lewis ’97, assistant professor of history of art and architecture and African and African American studies, who also moderated parts of the event.
Stony the Road

New Yorker: 'How the South Won the Civil War'

April 8, 2019
Not so long ago, the Civil War was taken to be this country’s central moral drama. Now we think that the aftermath—the confrontation not of blue and gray but of white and black, and the reimposition of apartheid through terror—is what has left the deepest mark on American history. Instead of arguing about whether the war could have turned out any other way, we argue about whether the postwar could have turned out any other way.
Stony the Road

NPR: 'In 'Stony The Road,' Henry Louis Gates Jr. Looks At The Period After Reconstruction'

April 3, 2019
Gates' book is a fascinating social and intellectual history of the time between Reconstruction and the rise of the Jim Crow period of American history. It's an absorbing and necessary look at an era in which the hard-fought gains of African-Americans were rolled back by embittered Southern whites — an era that, in some ways, has never really ended.