3 boys hanging out outside laughing

Black English Matters

People who criticize African American Vernacular English don't see that it shares grammatical structures with more "prestigious" languages.
A moustachioed young man and a girl in long braids dance the 'original polka' on page one of 'Jullien's Celebrated Polkas', dedicated to Mr E Coulon.

The Rebellious, Scandalous Origins of Polka

The dance is often associated with the traditions of immigrant communities in America. But it emerged in Europe during a time of radicalism.
Photograph: Anya Taylor-Joy in the 2020 film Emma

Source: Focus Features

Is Emma Really the Heroine of Emma?

Jane Austen gave her character Emma Woodhouse plenty of off-putting qualities. So does she even deserve her popularity?
A protest of Gone With the Wind organized by the D.C. chapter of the National Negro Congress

White Hollywood’s Romance with the N-Word

It would have been easy for censors to just ban the racist epithet during the classical era of film. Here's why it didn't happen.
A 17th century standing cup

These Bizarre Ivory Cups Were Carved by Princes

The royal houses of Europe felt that it would be good for their sons to learn a manual trade. Artisans taught nobles to carve ivory on a lathe.
Kanye West performs Sunday Service during the 2019 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival in 2019

The Gospel According to Kanye West

On the making of gospel music, from Gospel Pearls to Jesus Is King.
Lloyd Corrigan (left) and José Ferrer in Cyrano de Bergerac

McCarthyism at the Oscars

As José Ferrer was being handed his Oscar—making him the first Latino actor to win—he was being investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee.

How to Write Great True Crime

Hint: Branch out from serial killers coming through the window.
An exhibition of Damage Control by John Baldessari

Why John Baldessari Burned His Own Art

The artist's "Cremation Project" of 1970 marked a liberation from the tradition of painting and a step toward a more encompassing vision.
Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury on War, Recycling, and Artificial Intelligence

As the 21st century unravels, Ray Bradbury remains a fundamental figure of the sci-fi genre.