As Henry Louis Gates Jr., the [Reconstruction] documentary’s host, makes plain throughout the series, this shameful chapter in American history is no antiquarian set piece in the age of Trump. Indeed, the same day that Reconstruction debuted, the House Judiciary Committee convened a hearing on the resurgence of white nationalist violence.
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...
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.
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.
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, has announced the 2019-2020 class of fellows.
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.
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.
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.