Jessie Maple (left) and Louise Tiranoff (right)

Black Camerawoman Jessie Maple’s Fight to Join a Union

Her climb into filmmaking began with programs designed to train African Americans. But to succeed, she needed to break into a mostly white male union.
From the cover of Volume 12, Issue 7 of Muhammad Speaks

Muhammad Speaks for Freedom, Justice, and Equality

The official newspaper of the Nation of Islam—published from 1960-1975—combined investigative journalism and Black Nationalist views on racial uplift.
Terracotta memorial portrait (nsodie) of an Akan ruler from present-day southern Ghana

The “Deviant” African Genders That Colonialism Condemned

European travellers and anthropologists found that their gendered worldview didn’t easily map onto the societies they encountered.
Adolph Reed Jr.

Adolph Reed Jr.: The Perils of Race Reductionism

The political scientist Adolph Reed Jr. on the Black Lives Matter movement, the “rich peoples’ wealth gap,” and his Marxism.
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?
Matt Robinson (as Gordon) and Loretta Long (as Susan) lean on a brick wall and speak with Roosevelt Franklin, 1970

Who Was Sesame Street’s First Black Muppet?

Since the beginning, the children's show has tried to represent the diversity of the nation. But Roosevelt Franklin was controversial.
A woman picking vegetables

How the Black Labor Movement Envisioned Liberty

To Reconstruction-era Black republicans, the key to preserving the country’s character was stopping the rise of a wage economy.
Statue of Benkos Biohó in San Basilio de Palenque, Colombia

Black Conquistadors and Black Maroons

Some formerly enslaved Blacks and freedmen accompanied the Spanish invaders; others formed their own communities.
Four books published by Kitchen Table Press

How Kitchen Table Press Changed Publishing

Founded by and for women of color, the press issued such revolutionary works as This Bridge Called My Back.
Illustration from the cover of Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower

How Octavia E. Butler Became a Legend

The early inspiration and experiences that shaped the visionary science fiction storyteller.