Golfers in Minnesota in the 1940s

Fairness on the Fairway: Public Golf Courses and Civil Rights

Organized movements to bring racial equality to the golf course have been part of the sport since the early 1900s.

Liberation on the Dance Floor

Motown’s foray into gay liberation music may have been short-lived, but it made an outsized impact on queer culture.
Florestine Perrault Collins

Challenging Race and Gender Roles, One Photo at a Time

Florestine Perrault Collins escaped the bounds of prescribed gender roles and racial segregation to run a successful photography studio in 1920s New Orleans.
Chuck Berry does the splits as he plays his Gibson hollowbody electric guitar in circa 1968.

Race, Rock, and Breaking Barriers

The rock music industry brought more than a little racism to the radio, but a few artists pushed beyond the boundaries imposed by white audiences.
Producer John Dolphin's "Dolphin's Of Hollywood" record store on Central Avenue, 1952

The Los Angeles Renaissance

Black composers Bruce Forsythe and Claudius Wilson transcended barriers to create concert and classical music during this West Coast art movement.
Althea Gibson of the United States plays during Wimbledon in 1956

Serving Goodwill: US Women’s Tennis and Cold War Diplomacy

By dispatching women tennis players on world tours, the US Department of State hoped to garner approval for the American way of life.
Photograph of the Tomato Girls Club in Jackson, Miss. in 1914

Like Tomatoes? Join the Club

Organizers of girls’ tomato clubs hoped that members would learn not only how to grow tomatoes, but how to build a better future for themselves.
Blues musician B.B. King stands on the back of a truck with other African-American men to raise money for radio station WDIA's Wheelin' On Beale March of Dimes charity for pregnancy and baby health in circa 1955 in Memphis, Tennessee.

How Black Radio Changed the Dial

Black-appeal stations were instrumental in propelling R&B into the mainstream while broadcasting news of the ever-growing civil rights movement.
A sprint at a U.S. Naval Academy field day, between 1890 and 1901

Professional Running: the Nineteenth Century’s Dirtiest Sport

American racers earned a reputation for deception, and Cuckoo Collins led the pack with an outsize talent for cheating.
Clockwise: Sun Ra, Betty Davis, Janelle Monáe, Erykah Badu, and Jimi Hendrix

The Scholars Who Charted Black Music’s Timeline: Tony Bolden

Tony Bolden explores the spiritual principles that inform the foundation of Afrofuturist music.