• The Conspiracy Theories That Fueled the Civil War

    The most powerful people and institutions in the South spread paranoia and fear to protect slavery, leading the country to war, as historians Matthew J. Clavin and Manisha Sinha explain. 

  • Reparations – Has the Time Finally Come?

    ACLU Senior Policy Analyst Nkechi Taifa discusses the history of the movement for African American reparations and how it has moved from the radical fringe to mainstream debate.

  • Baltimore Was a Key Place For Trump, If He Only Knew

    by Jamie Stiehm

    It's odd that Trump could give a speech about Francis Scott Key with nearly all the facts wrong; the slaveowner was a key adviser to Andrew Jackson, the model for Trump's brand of white reactionary populism.

  • America’s First Connoisseur

    James Hemings, one of Thomas Jefferson's slaves, taught his fellow slaves at Monticello everything he knew about food, transmitting his influence down the generations, onto the tables of Virginia’s social elite.

  • Is Capitalism Racist?

    Nicholas Lemann considers Walter Johnson's new book The Broken Heart of America in light of recent debates among historians about the relationship of slavery, capitalism and racism.

  • We’re Still Living and Dying in the Slaveholders’ Republic

    by Ibram X. Kendi

    The kind of freedom southern secessionists demanded in 1860--freedom to enslave and exploit--are echoed by the individualist idea of freedom proclaimed by anti-shutdown protesters today. Both ignore equally important communal definitions of freedom.

  • W. Caleb McDaniel Wins the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in History

    The Pulitzer committee described McDaniel’s work as “A masterfully researched meditation on reparations based on the remarkable story of a 19th century woman who survived kidnapping and re-enslavement to sue her captor.”

  • "An Honest Reckoning"

    Hundreds of people were once enslaved at the opulent  Hampton estate, but for decades after the site became part of the National Park System, their stories remained hidden.  That is changing. 

  • Neglected Gems: Richard Wade And Lisa Tolbert

    by Richard Harris

    For Americanists, the slave experience and its legacy has always been a major concern, but even here the specific impact of the urban environment, and urban size, has not always been well-appreciated.