A 19th-century engraving depicting an Arab slave-trading caravan transporting black African slaves across the Sahara.

What Was the Zanj Rebellion?

A remarkable episode of Medieval Islamic history that often goes untold.
1837 Merchant's Exchange Hard Times Token

“Hard Times Tokens” Were Not One Cent

The counterfeit currencies issued in response to 1837’s coin shortage were worthless—or were they?
From a movie ad for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, 1917

The Shark-Fighting Brothers behind 20,000 Leagues under the Sea

In 1916, the Williamson brothers used their father's underwater photography device to film a fight with a shark, piquing Universal Pictures' interest.
A still from The Private Life of Cats

The Private Life of a Cat

Maya Deren was a fringe filmmaker who existed far outside the Hollywood machine, but she often borrowed its tactics to promote herself and her movies.
Drawing of the funeral procession of Elizabeth I of England

Her Majesty’s Kidnappers

In the 17th century, Nathaniel Giles had the right to conscript young singers into the British royal children’s choir. He and a business partner went a step further.
Johnny Cash poses for a portrait for a publicity shot for his movie debut in "Door-to-Door Maniac" aka "Five Minutes To Live" on Auust 3, 1960 in Los Angeles, California.

The Complications of “Outlaw Country”

Johnny Cash grappled with the many facets of the outlaw archetype in his feature acting debut, Five Minutes to Live.
Yellow Jacobins

Our Long-Running Love Affair with Pigeons

Through crazes of pigeon-fancying, these birds have been reshaped into a dizzying variety of forms.
George Padmore, ca. 1950

Black Americans in the Popular Front against Fascism

The era of anti-fascist struggle was a crucial moment for Black radicals of all stripes.
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Night_Of_The_Living_Dead_trailer_screenshot.jpg

The D-I-Y Origins of Night of the Living Dead

Night of the Living Dead’s production story reads like a means to an end: a rag-tag group of creatives makes a movie on nothing to get noticed.