A map of Illinois from 1894

The Meaning of Racist Place Names

In one river town in central Illinois, a wetlands called N— Lake was scapegoated for destructive flooding.
African Phantasy : Awakening by Winold Reiss

The New Negro and the Dawn of the Harlem Renaissance

In 1925, an anthology of Black creative work heralded the arrival of a movement that had been years in the making.
Steve Biko

The Death of Steve Biko, Revisited

Like the death of George Floyd, the South African activist Steve Biko’s death galvanized a global movement against racism.
Shayla Lawson

Shayla Lawson: All of Us Came from the Same Root

The poet and essayist Shayla Lawson, author of This Is Major, talks about the meaning of race, Black History Month, and her love for Lizzo.
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.
Austin Community College Fall 2017 Commencement ceremonies on Thursday, December 14, 2017 at the Frank Erwin Center.

Affirmative Action: Foundations and Key Concepts

This non-exhaustive reading list discusses the origins of affirmative action, the question of race vs. class, and the effects of meritocracy.
A person standing between bookshelves in a university library.

What Makes a Fair College Admissions Process?

In the wake of the college admissions scandal, scholars go back to the drawing board to answer this most central question.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at Duke University on November 13, 1964

Colleges’ Reluctant Embrace of MLK Day

The push for a national Martin Luther King holiday prompted a fierce political tug-of-war, on campus and off.
Seymour Hersh

Seymour Hersh on the Future of American Journalism

Hersh talks about his career as an investigative reporter, the fate of online media, and feeble responses to Trump.
Obama commencement speeches

Who Gets to Make Commencement Speeches (and Why)?

Why are battles over just who gets the honor of toasting new graduates—and what they say—always so heated?