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The Wild Life of “Bricktop” Smith (Smithsonian Magazine)
by Tamara J. Walker
Singer Ada “Bricktop” Smith left the Jim Crow South and spent decades at the center of artistic and intellectual expat life in Paris, Mexico City, and Rome. Black and white visitors found an atmosphere at her nightclubs unlike anything in the States.

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How to Tame a Fungus (Knowable Magazine)
by Rachel Ehrenberg
One kind of mold has brought the world fermented delicacies including soy sauce and sake. A close relative is a poisoner of humans and a destroyer of crops. The difference lies in a shift thousands of years ago, paralleling humans’ domestication of crops and animals.

A Network Powered by Fountain Pens (Big Think)
by Frank Jacobs
Scholars of the European Enlightenment shared their experiences and ideas through letters. Mapping the senders and receivers can show us how ideas moved between countries long before the internet—and how limited many writers’ horizons were.

Detroit Communities vs. Gun Violence (Vox)
by Marin Cogan
Crime is falling around the country, but Detroit stands out for especially effective violence-prevention efforts. The reasons go far beyond policing, involving intense community engagement with the small percentage of people who are most likely to be victims or perpetrators of gun violence.

Student Protest Then and Now (The Conversation)
Stefan M. Bradley
The recent takeover of a Columbia University building by student protestors echoed events of 1968. What did those protests accomplish? And what can they tell us about the potential effects of campus activism today?

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