Black Pioneers

New York Times: 'When Anti-Immigration Meant Keeping Out Black Pioneers'

September 20, 2019

By alumna fellow Anna-Lisa Cox

William Brown managed to get across the river safely, finding work in a small rural Illinois community close to the state’s border with Indiana. He would have known of the new anti-immigration laws, but must have been willing to risk breaking them for a better life. But a sheriff named John Watts soon arrested Mr. Brown for making his illegal crossing. When Mr. Brown could not pay the $50 fine the State of Illinois required of him, Sheriff Watts put him in chains on the Lawrence County courthouse steps and tried to sell him at auction to the...

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Harvard Gazette: 'Symposium celebrates career of William Julius Wilson'

September 12, 2019

To follow the career of William Julius Wilson is to trace the evolution of the national conversation on race and class in America over the past half century.

That was the overarching theme of the first full day of a three-day symposium celebrating the career of the Lewis P. and Linda L. Geyser University Professor Emeritus at the Knafel Center on Thursday.

Vineyard Gazette

Vineyard Gazette: Union Chapel Dedication Proves the Enduring Power of the Pew

August 29, 2019
On Jan. 6, 1961, U.S District Court Judge W. A. Bootle ordered the immediate admission of two black students to the University of Georgia, ending 160 years of segregation at the school. Henry Louis Gates Jr., now the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University, was 10 years old when he saw the event play out on television.
NYT op-ed

New York Times: 'Museums Need to Step Into the Future' by Darren Walker

July 26, 2019
America’s museums are more than repositories of ancient Greek statues and Renaissance paintings. They are guardians of a fading social and demographic order. On Thursday, Warren Kanders resigned from the board of the Whitney Museum of Art, after protests over his company’s sale of tear gas grenades that were reportedly used on asylum seekers. His case reveals the extent to which museums have become contested spaces in a rapidly-changing country.
Supreme Court

The Nation: 'The Supreme Court Is in Danger of Again Becoming ‘the Grave of Liberty' by Eric Foner

July 1, 2019
The Supreme Court’s recent decision refusing to interfere with extreme partisan gerrymandering not only seriously undermines our already fragile democracy; it also brings to mind the Court’s acquiescence over a century ago in laws that denied the right to vote to millions of black Southerners. In particular, it is reminiscent of the Court’s 1903 ruling in Giles v. Harris, a largely forgotten case in which the justices, as today, claimed they were not authorized to adjudicate “political” matters.
Slave Voyages 'Documenting Slave Voyages'

June 18, 2019
[W]hen Henry Louis Gates Jr. works with guests on the acclaimed PBS program “Finding Your Roots” whose family stories have been obscured by slavery, he routinely looks for clues in Emory University’s “Slave Voyages: The Transatlantic Slave Trade Database.”