News

Editorial: Kamala Harris made history. Let’s celebrate that.

By The Editorial Board | November 12, 2020

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Kamala Harris made history — the kind of history that should make all Americans proud, whether they voted for her and Joe Biden or not. When she is sworn in as vice president on Jan. 20, Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican father and Indian mother, will become the first woman, the first Black person and first South Asian to hold that office. This is a moment to be savored, a sign of hope for a nation scarred by slavery and still grappling with deeply embedded racial injustice and other-ism directed at immigrants and their families. Read more....

Stacey Abrams and Other Georgia Organizers Are Part of a Long—But Often Overlooked—Tradition of Black Women Working for the Vote

by Olivia B. Waxman | November 10, 2020

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When the count of Georgia votes for former Vice President Joe Biden overtook those for incumbent President Donald Trump on Friday, Nov. 6, the congratulations that began rolling in weren’t directed at Biden’s camp alone. They also went to Stacey Abrams, the former Minority Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives who, after a failed race as a Democratic gubernatorial candidate in 2018, began a massive voter registration effort in a state that’s been voting for Republican presidential candidates for nearly three decades. Read more....

‘Harris Has the Potential To Change the Face of U.S. Politics’

By POLITICO MAGAZINE | November 7, 2020

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When Kamala Harris takes the oath of office on January 20, 2021, more than one ceiling will shatter: America will have its first female vice president, as well as its first Black and South Asian-American vice president. She will be second in line for the most powerful office in the world.

Once the presidential election was called for Joe Biden on Saturday, social media—and streets—erupted with enthusiasm from people who were even more thrilled about his running mate. These are Americans who now see new doors open for their daughters, their immigrant families, themselves. Read more...

Slavery Was Integral to Texas’s Transition From Republic to Statehood, but This Textbook Doesn’t Tell the Full Story

by Emily McCullar | November 6, 2020

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For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been looking into the fourth-grade history textbook We Are Texas to see how the state-approved educational material presents the origin story of Texas and the role that slavery played within it. We’ve looked at the anglicized Texas myth, the period of Anglo settlement, as well as the time just before and during the Texas Revolution. We know that the institution of slavery was extremely important to many of the early settlers, including their leaders, and that one of the biggest reasons Texians decided to break from Mexico was because Mexico was threatening to emancipate their slaves. We also know that when Texas declared its independence, the state’s leaders doubled down on their racism, drafting a constitution that went so far as to require free Black Texans to obtain the permission of legislators if they wanted to live in the state. But this is not the story presented in We Are Texas. Read more....

How One State History Textbook Erases the Stories of Black and Hispanic Texans

By Emily McCullar | October 22, 2020

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Illustration by Molly Snee

The version of Texas history I learned in school was woefully incomplete. And according to two historians, this 2016 textbook is too.
No one grows up in Texas without internalizing the myth of our state’s exceptionalism in some way. I say “myth,” but that doesn’t mean that Texas is not, in fact, exceptional. I grew up here, and I’ll never not believe with my whole heart that Texas—even with all its contradictions and hypocrisy—is the best, coolest, toughest, most interesting state in all the USA. But as I got older, it became obvious that the legends upon which this initial belief was built—stories about the Old Three Hundred, the Texas Revolution, and the Republic of Texas that I learned in the state history courses we were required to take in fourth and seventh grade—were watered-down and Anglo-cized. Sometimes they were simply untrue. Read More...

The NYPL’s Essential Reads on Feminism

posted by Jason Kottke | October 21, 2020

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To mark the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that made some women eligible to vote in the United States, the New York Public Library is sharing its picks for Essential Reads on Feminism.

The list includes first-hand accounts and histories of the suffrage movement that chronicle both its successes and its limitations — particularly for women of color — as well as contemporary essays on how feminism intersects with race, class, education, and LGBTQ+ activism. From personal memoirs to historical overviews, featuring writing by seminal figures and lesser-known pioneers, the list traces the development of the feminist ideas that have powered the campaign for gender equality, in all its complexity and boldness. While far from complete, the list nevertheless provides a starting point for learning about the history of feminism and for exploring the issues and challenges that many women face today.

They’ve split the list into three main sections according to reader age: kids, teens, and adults. Read the list here...

‘For the Future Benefit of My Whole Race': How Black Women Fought for the Vote Before and After 19th Amendment

By Cathy Rainone and Noreen O'Donnell | August 17, 2020

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As the U.S. marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, it is a chance to publicly recognize the work of Ida B. Wells and thousands of other African American women who fought fiercely for its passage but did not gain the same benefit as white women after its ratification on Aug. 18, 1920. Read more...

6 essential memorials that tell America’s story

by Amy Thomas | August 11, 2020

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Monuments are under scrutiny throughout the United States. Dozens of contentious statues—including those depicting Christopher Columbus, founding fathers such as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and Confederate soldiers—have been removed by local governments or torn down by protesters since George Floyd’s death in May sparked a national reckoning on race. Read more...

Historian Daina Ramey Berry on Injustice: People Are ‘Fed Up'

by Sarah Glover | July 23, 2020

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This is the eleventh part of a series where civil rights leaders, cultural influencers, advocates and critical thinkers explain race relations, societal change, community protest and the political awakening happening in the United States following the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black Americans. The group, including NAACP President Derrick Johnson and #OscarsSoWhite Creator April Reign, pose their thoughts on race relations during the summer of 2020 and how America may move forward less divided. Read more...