Grand procession of Wide-Awakes in New York, October 3, 1860

Abolitionist “Wide Awakes” Were Woke Before “Woke”

“Now the old men are folding their arms and going to sleep,” said William H. Seward while campaigning for Lincoln, “and the young men are Wide Awake.”
Boris Sidis

How Jewish Immigrants Changed American Psychology

Secular Jewish psychologists like Boris Sidis criticized the positive optimism of Protestant-centered psychology.
Anthony Benezet

The Undercover Abolitionists of the 18th Century

Since many people considered them an off-putting radical sect, some Quaker abolitionists worked behind the scenes to eradicate slavery.
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.
A family poses for a portrait in front of a fabric backdrop on the veranda of their home, in the early 1900s.

What the Reconstruction Meant for Women

Southern legal codes included parallel language pairing “master and slave” and “husband and wife.”
A 19th-century advertisement for Hood's Tooth Powder

How the Ban on Medical Advertising Hurt Women Doctors

Intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous quackery, a nineteenth-century ban on medical advertising proved to be a double-edged sword.
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.
The Indian's Vespers by Asher Brown Durand, 1847

Subscription Art for the 19th-Century Set

How the American Art-Union brought fine art to the people, via a subscription service, in the 1840s.
A social security card on a plain surface.

When Big Business Backed Social Security

Contemporary conservatives call for the U.S. government to ditch Social Security in favor of private savings. But it wasn't always this way.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby, 2013

What The Great Gatsby Reveals About The Jazz Age

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel embraced jazz, while also falling prey to the racist caricatures associated with it.