Sex trafficking

The Complicated Reality of “Sex Trafficking”

Anthropologist Jennifer Musto looked at how the rise in concern about sex trafficking, particularly in regard to the domestic trafficking of underage girls, actually plays out in policing.
Old West Crossdressing

The Forgotten Gender Nonconformists of the Old West

In the Old West, cross-dressing was sometimes a disguise for criminals on the lam. But, one historian argues, in many cases these “cross-dressers” were probably people who we would identify as transgender today.
Alaskan woman and child

Alaska’s Unique Civil Rights Struggle

A generation before Rosa Parks, a young Eskimo-American woman was arrested for sitting in the "whites only" section of a Nome, Alaska move theater.
Nuns and cows

How Frontier Nuns Challenged Gender Norms

Scholars Carol K. Coburn and Martha Smith write that nuns were an important part of westward expansion—and in Colorado, nuns quickly learned how to use their gender to their advantage.
Women moonshiners bootleggers

How Prohibition Encouraged Women to Drink

During Prohibition, American women “made, sold, and drank liquor in unprecedented fashion,” writes historian Mary Murphy.
Nuclear test

How Nuclear Tests Spawned Environmentalism

It's been 55 years since the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The massive amounts of fallout in the decade previous to the Treaty taught us a lot about the interconnected planet we live on.
Martin Luther King in 1957

The African Roots of MLK’s Vision

“Ghana tells us that the forces of the universe are on the side of justice… An old order of colonialism, of segregation, discrimination is passing away now.”
Pequot war engraving

When Native Americans Were Slaves

Initially, Indian slavery was considered different from African slavery in the early Anglo-American colonial world, but this split did last for long.
I Am a Man

How the Memphis Sanitation Strike Changed History

How the Memphis Sanitation Strike, with its iconic “I AM A MAN” signs, helped deepen Martin Luther King, Jr.'s radicalism in the last months of his life.
Antique illustration of seance session

When Women Channeled the Dead to be Heard

Spiritualism was one of the nineteenth-century's most successful religious innovations, a movement of individuals who yearned for a religion which united mysticism and science.