Book cover of "Before the Movement" by Dylan C. Penningroth

What the Conventional Narrative Gets Wrong About the Civil Rights Movement

A new book illuminates how Black Americans used property ownership, common law and other methods to assert their rights.
U.S. sailors stand among wrecked airplanes during the Pearl Harbor Attack

Pearl Harbor was the Site of Black Heroism and Protests Against Racism

The history of segregation in the Navy — and its abolition — show how to combat institutionalized bigotry.
Linotype operators of the Chicago Defender

Reading Langston Hughes’s Wartime Reporting From the Spanish Civil War

Several years before the United States officially entered World War II, Black Americans were tracking the international spread of fascism.
Group of seated Black soldiers listening to staff sergeant explain G.I. Bill of Rights

How a Hostile America Undermined Its Black World War II Veterans

Service members were attacked, discredited, and shortchanged on GI benefits—with lasting implications.
Painting of a stylized explosion and the silhouettes of African American soldiers.

A Deadly World War II Explosion Sparked Black Soldiers to Fight for Equal Treatment

After the deadliest home-front disaster of the war, African Americans throughout the military took action to transform the nation's armed forces.

Why the Confederate Flag Flew During World War II

As white, southern troops raised the battle flag, they showed that they were fighting for change abroad—but the status quo at home.

Changing Hearts and Minds Won’t Stop Police Violence

The way Americans have long discussed racism is a huge part of the problem.

10 Experts on Where the George Floyd Protests Fit Into American History

Many are looking to history for clues about how to understand the evolving moment. Here's what to know.

How School Desegregation Became the Third Rail of Democratic Politics

White liberals opposed segregation in the South, but fought tooth-and-nail to keep it in the North.

How Jackie Robinson Helped Defeat a Trump-Like Candidate

The baseball great warned of lasting repercussion for black voters during Barry Goldwater's presidential campaign.
Cover of "Why Busing Failed," depicting anti-busing protestors surrounding a school bus.

Why Busing Failed

Getting the history of “busing” right enables us to see more clearly how school segregation and educational inequality continued in the decades after Brown.
Protestors walking with pro-integration posters

"Jim Crow Must Go"

Thousands of New York City students staged a one-day boycott to protest segregation – and it barely made the history books.