Signing the marriage contract by George Sheridan Knowles, 1905

Why Covenant Marriage Failed to Take Off

Three states have legalized covenant marriage, which makes divorce difficult. Why didn't it stick among communities preoccupied with family values?
Kimpa Vita and a map of Kongo

Did Kongolese Catholicism Lead to Slave Revolutions?

The legacy of Kimpa Vita, a Kongolese Catholic mystic, was felt from the U.S. to Haiti.
Photo by _HealthyMond . on Unsplash

Autism Education, “Silent Sam,” and Regulating TV

New books and scholarship from UNC Press, The University of Texas Press, and Oxford University Press.
Alex Haley Roots

How Alex Haley Popularized Ancestral Searching

Today it's easy to have DNA tested. But before that technology was available, Alex Haley's Roots inspired generations to trace their families' histories.
Arlington Confederate Monument

The History of the History of American Slavery

In an age when the White House is being asked if slavery was a good or bad thing, perhaps we should take a look at the history of the history of slavery.
Ralph Ellison

Ralph Ellison on Race

Ralph Ellison believed fiercely in the American project and in the centrality of black people to it.
Granger poster

What’s So Bad About A Monopoly?

Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods has drawn the ire of a new antitrust movement, which argues against the dangers of industry monopoly.
Birmingham trainyard

A Precedent for Today’s Political Violence

Illegal violence has always been a political tool, often serving the interests of the powerful. A historian looks at the case of 1930s Birmingham, Alabama.
Cotton gin

Automation in the 1940s Cotton Fields

Automation is a bit of a Rorschach test for anyone interested in workers’ rights. In the 1940s, the mechanization of cotton farming changed the US economy.
Ayuba Suleiman Diallo

The Lost History of Early Muslim Americans

 Islam in America is clearly nothing new.