• Taking My Children to See Frederick Douglass

    by Clint Smith

    “It is always a fact of some importance to know where a man is born, if, indeed, it be important to know anything about him.” So wrote Frederick Douglass in his 1855 autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom. It was with these reflections and Douglass’s words in mind that, on Juneteenth, I got in the car with my family and drove from our home, outside Washington, D.C., to Talbot County, Maryland, where Frederick Douglass was born.

  • What Should We Do With Plantations?

    by Tiya Miles

    The lavish estates where Black people were enslaved usually whitewash their history. Here's how these places might begin to redeem themselves.

  • Faneuil Hall Name Change Needed

    by Marty Blatt and David J. Harris

    We might well ask whether Peter Faneuil actually paid for the building or whether it was purchased by the lives and freedom of those he transported and sold.

  • The Reconciliation Must Be Televised

    by Wesley Morris

    The United States has flirted with truth and reconciliation. But it abandoned Reconstruction and failed to act on the warnings of the 1968 Kerner Commission. Most of all, these failures reflect the vain hope that overcoming the country's racist past can be done quickly. 

  • Yes, Even George Washington Can Be Redeemed

    by Richard Lim

    While we cannot ignore Washingon's participation in slavery, we shouldn’t discount his remarkable transformation into someone who wished for its abolition and took steps personally to make things right, becoming the only major founder to free his slaves.

  • Large DNA Study Traces Violent History of American Slavery

    Historian Alondra Nelson praised the application of genetics to narrating the history of the slave trade, but cautioned that historians should be an integral part of any project making claims about human ancestry.