Deep Zoom: 1836 Broadside “Slave Market of America”

Published by the American Anti-Slavery Society, this single 77 by 55 centimeter sheet tells multiple stories in both text and illustration.
Dance marathon, April 20, 1923

Dance Marathons

In the early twentieth century, dance marathons were an entire industry—and a surprisingly hazardous business.
Jackie Ormes

The Groundbreaking Work of Jackie Ormes

The first Black woman to have a regularly published comic strip, Ormes gave form to the political and social concerns of Black Americans.
Louisa Jacobson in The Gilded Age

Philanthropy and the Gilded Age

As the HBO series The Gilded Age suggests, charity allowed wealthy women to play a visible role in public life. It was also a site of inter-class animosity.
J.P. Ball's Great Daguerrian Gallery of the West

Introducing “Archives Unbound”

In her new column, Dorothy Berry offers an inside look at the work of the digital archivist, while highlighting forgotten figures in Black print culture and public life.
Donald Goines, from the back cover of an early edition of Dopefiend

Donald Goines, Detroit’s Crime Writer Par Excellence

The writer used hard-boiled fiction as a wide lens to accurately capture the widescreen disparity of Black life in the 1970s.
A typewriter on a black background

Writing Poetry in Prison as an Act of Resistance

A writer recounts her uncle's experiences writing poetry in prison and advocating for Indigenous rights. His death and his typewriter are intertwined.
Richard Wright sits in an armchair with his hand to his chin, 1950s.

The Haiku of Richard Wright

As he lay bedridden with dysentery, the author wrote an astonishing number of haiku. What inspired him?
A collage of book covers

What We’re Reading in 2020

Funk music, floating cities, poetic prose, and a return to the classics.
Diane di Prima

Diane di Prima

The Italian American poet and artist's “willingness to speak” about what was culturally unspeakable was a liberation.