Ida B. Wells-Barnett

The Alpha Suffrage Club and Black Women’s Fight for the Vote

Black women's experiences in the suffrage movement show that the Nineteenth Amendment marked one event in the fight for the vote, not an endpoint.
Bayard Rustin, 1965

Who Was Bayard Rustin?

And why is he left out of the history of the civil rights movement?
Ulysses S. Grant between 1860 and 1865

Why Ulysses S. Grant Was More Important Than You Think

Grant’s presidency is often overlooked, but his accomplishments around civil rights are getting more consideration from historians.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Why MLK Believed Jazz Was the Perfect Soundtrack for Civil Rights

Jazz, King declared, was the ability to take the “hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph.”
Student in a Black Studies class in a west side Chicago classroom, 1973

African American Studies: Foundations and Key Concepts

This non-exhaustive list of readings in African American Studies highlights the vibrant history of the discipline and introduces the field.
An advertisement for Fry's Chocolate

How Chocolate Came to Europe

Pre-Colombian cultures valued chocolate highly as a drink, and often served it at important events. It wasn't made into a solid candy until 1847.

Fixing the Grassroots of the American Lawn

A citizen scientist bred low-mow, slow-grow grass that needs little water and fertilizer.
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.”
Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison on Race

Ralph Ellison believed fiercely in the American project and in the centrality of black people to it.
Dance hall illustration

Jane Addams’s Crusade Against Victorian “Dancing Girls”

Jane Addams, a leading Victorian-era reformer, believed dance halls were “one of the great pitfalls of the city.”