An illustration from the Bantam edition of Graham Greene's The Quiet American

When the CIA Was Everywhere—Except on Screen

Hollywood was just fine avoiding all portrayals of the Central Intelligence Agency for years after the agency's founding in 1947.
The cover of the February 1949 issue of Ebony Magazine

Black Images and the Politics of Beauty

How Black-owned charm schools and modeling agencies challenged stereotypes of African American women after World War II.
Children walk along the tracks in what remains of their community along Buffalo Creek on Feb. 27, 1972.

The Tragedy at Buffalo Creek

The historic Buffalo Creek flood tore through a region often exploited by industry—and stereotyped by outsiders.
Alexander Hamilton by John Trumbull

The Erotic Appeal of Alexander Hamilton

The handsome Founding Father has always had a robust fandom—even before the ten-dollar bill, or a certain musical.
Buster Keaton putting his ear to cannon in a scene from the film 'The General', 1926

What Drove Buster Keaton to Try a Civil War Comedy?

“Someone should have told Buster that it is difficult to derive laughter from the sight of men being killed in battle.”
View from Balcony of Woman's Building at the World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893

The World’s Fair That Ignored More Than Half the World

The spectacle of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 was unrivaled in its time. But it hardly represented the "world" of women and African-Americans.
Oil refinery

What Comes After Oil Culture?

Almost everything about our culture today is built on oil. Can we imagine a world built on a different energy infrastructure?
Meet John Doe

“Meet John Doe” Shows the Darkness of American Democracy

Meet John Doe, Frank Capra’s 1941 drama, carries forward the populist themes of his other movies, only with a much darker premise.
a Turkish harem interior

Style Tips from the Harem

When 19th-century American women visited Turkish harems, they came home with very different impressions than their male counterparts.
Whitman at about fifty

Should Walt Whitman Be #Cancelled?

Black America talks back to "The Good Gray Poet" at 200.