The Bizarre Theories of the American School of Evolution

The paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope condemned women's suffrage and Black Americans through an evolutionary lens.
An illustration of a voodoo dance, 1883

Racism and the Fear of “Voodoo”

During Reconstruction, lurid tales of African-derived religious practices in Louisiana made news all over the country—especially when worshipers included white women.
Marian Anderson with Harold L. Ickes (Secretary of the Interior)

Marian Anderson Photo Archives

The African American opera singer made history with a stirring concert at the Lincoln Memorial. But there was much more to Marian Anderson.
Taylor Swift at the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards

The Linguistic Evolution of Taylor Swift

If Taylor Swift shifts her accent in her transition from country to pop, does she lose the personal authenticity important to country music?
The cover of a music book for the musical "He's Up Against The Real Thing Now," starring Bert Williams and George Walker, 1898

When Black Celebrities Wore Blackface

A Black Bohemia flourished in New York before the Harlem Renaissance and with it a new type of self-determined, contradictory Black celebrity.
Charles Mingus

The Newport Rebels and Jazz as Protest

In 1960 a group of jazz musicians organized an alternative to the Newport Jazz Festival, which they saw as too pop and too white.
Saturday Evening Post cover, Jan 14, 1956

How DIY Home Repair Became a Hobby for Men

It was only in the 20th century that toolboxes became staples in the homes of middle-class men.
The title page of Life and confession of Ann Walters, the female murderess

How “Female Fiends” Challenged Victorian Ideals

At a time when questions about women's rights in marriage roiled society, women readers took to the pages of cheap books about husband-murdering wives.
Mexican seasonal labor contracted for by planters, picking cotton on Knowlton Plantation, Perthshire, Mississippi Delta, Mississippi

Early Mexican Immigrants Blurred Color Lines in the Southern U.S.

In the 1920s, Mexican immigrants to the United States challenged the country's notions of who was white and who was not.
A camper van parked beside some trees in the fog

The New Nomads of #VanLife Reflect an Enduring Divide

A distinctly American restlessness is inspiring some to abandon the idea of a permanent home, while others are displaced by harsh realities.