Photograph: Sojourner Truth, 1860s

The Truth About Isabella Van Wagenen

Sojourner Truth’s entanglement with a dubious cult leader in New York City steadied her steps on the path for women’s rights.
Bill Russell during a basketball game

How Bill Russell Changed the Game, On and Off the Court

NBA player and coach Bill Russell was a leader and legend, fighting for civil rights even as racists harassed him from the sidelines.
The Staples Singers performing at Wattstax Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on August 20, 1972.

How Wattstax Ushered in a New Era of Black Art

Organized in the aftermath of the 1965 Watts uprising, the music festival showed that something powerful was happening in the Black community.
Earl Stewart (L) and Michael Veal (R)

The Scholars Charting Black Music’s Timeline: Earl Stewart and Michael Veal

Earl Stewart and Michael Veal explore African American music from the Civil War and the evolving sounds of the Black Atlantic.
Florestine Perrault Collins

Challenging Race and Gender Roles, One Photo at a Time

Florestine Perrault Collins escaped the bounds of prescribed gender roles and racial segregation to run a successful photography studio in 1920s New Orleans.
Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler’s Roots in Black History

The Parable books seem different yet familiar, their plots framed by a world shattered by racism, economic inequality, and climate change.
Producer John Dolphin's "Dolphin's Of Hollywood" record store on Central Avenue, 1952

The Los Angeles Renaissance

Black composers Bruce Forsythe and Claudius Wilson transcended barriers to create concert and classical music during this West Coast art movement.
Blues musician B.B. King stands on the back of a truck with other African-American men to raise money for radio station WDIA's Wheelin' On Beale March of Dimes charity for pregnancy and baby health in circa 1955 in Memphis, Tennessee.

How Black Radio Changed the Dial

Black-appeal stations were instrumental in propelling R&B into the mainstream while broadcasting news of the ever-growing civil rights movement.
Sisters of the Holy Family, New Orleans

The Hidden History of Black Catholic Nuns

The lives and roles of African-descended women who joined predominantly white Catholic convents was deliberately hidden by congregational historians.
Clockwise: Sun Ra, Betty Davis, Janelle Monáe, Erykah Badu, and Jimi Hendrix

The Scholars Who Charted Black Music’s Timeline: Tony Bolden

Tony Bolden explores the spiritual principles that inform the foundation of Afrofuturist music.