A man in a uniform holding a camel

The U.S. Army’s Remarkable Camel Corps of the 1850s

Imported from Mediterranean ports, the marvelous pack animals served to great acclaim in the military.
An African-American miner poses with a shovel in Auburn Ravine during the Gold Rush, California, 1852.

Slavery in a Free State: The Case of California

California came into the Union as a free state in 1850, but proslavery politicians held considerable sway there.
Photograph: Muhammad Ali, 1966

Source: Getty

How Muhammad Ali Prevailed as a Conscientious Objector

The heavyweight champion lost his title when he refused induction into the military during the Vietnam War.
Annie Lee Moss

How Annie Lee Moss Survived McCarthyism

Moss, a Black government employee with activist experience, was hauled in front of Congress on suspicion of being a Communist.
A cowgirl participates in the barrel race competition at the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo on April 1, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Black Cowboys and the History of the Rodeo

Long overlooked in histories of the West, African-American rodeo stars also faced discrimination and erasure in that sport, too.
Claude McKay, 1920

Black Caribbeans in the Harlem Renaissance

The "Capital of Black America" was also a world capital, thanks to the influence of West Indian–born artists and writers like Claude McKay.
Fredi Washington and Louise Beavers in a scene from Imitation of Life

Why Didn’t Movies about Passing Cast Black Actors?

"Social problem" films were all the rage after World War II. So how could movies about racism be so conservative?
A map of Illinois from 1894

The Meaning of Racist Place Names

In one river town in central Illinois, a wetlands called N— Lake was scapegoated for destructive flooding.
New York, 1855

How One Household Avoided Emancipation Laws

The Volunbruns enslaved twenty people and moved relentlessly between empires and states as more jurisdictions outlawed slavery.
A man displays a Ku Klux Klan cross tattooed onto his arm

How White Supremacy Is Like a Drug

Four researchers found that identifying with a hate group can produce pleasurable sensations in the brain.