Black and white photograph of William Still, sitting, pasted against a blue tinted backdrop of a U.S. state map

The Forgotten Father of the Underground Railroad

The author of a book about William Still unearths new details about the leading Black abolitionist—and reflects on his lost legacy.
Chalk drawing of parent holding hands with child thinking about two-parent family

The “Benevolent Terror” of the Child Welfare System

The system's roots aren't in rescuing children, but in the policing of Black, Indigenous, and poor families.
Thirteen incarcerated children at Manzanar's Children's Village.

Manzanar Children’s Village: Japanese American Orphans in a WWII Concentration Camp

In June 1942, Kenji and just over one hundred other children were taken from their parents and relocated to Manzanar.
Immigrant mother and child embracing

As American as Family Separation

Though the cruelties of the Trump administration’s “Zero Tolerance” policy were unique, they were part of an American tradition of taking children from parents.
Collage of a photograph of a boy over a photo of Castro and his entourage.

My Brother’s Keeper

Early in the Cuban Revolution, my mother made a consequential decision.

America’s Long War on Children and Families

Trump’s family separation policy belongs to a much longer history of U.S. government forces taking children from families that don't match the American ideal.
People standing in line at a detention center, watched by an enforcement officer.

America’s Long History of Imprisoning Children

Through slavery, Indian boarding schools, Japanese internment, mass incarceration, and anti-Communist wars against civilian populations in Latin America.
A circa 1830 illustration of a slave auction in America. Rischgitz/Hulton Archive—Getty Images.

'The Slaves Dread New Year's Day the Worst': The Grim History of January 1

New Year's Day used to be widely known as "Hiring Day" or "Heartbreak Day"
Elizabeth Warren at a debate podium.

Why Family Separation Is So Central to Trump’s Immigration Vision

Strengthening family ties has been key to overcoming nativism — and in 2020, it can do so again.

An Irrevocable Separation

When the government executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the welfare of their two boys was a secondary concern.

Trumpism, Realized

To preserve the political and cultural preeminence of white Americans against a tide of demographic change, the administration has settled on a policy of systemic child abuse.

The Roots of Trump’s Immigration Barbarity

The outrage over family separation creates an opportunity to reverse the bipartisan consensus that has long victimized immigrants.
Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.

Why Laura Bush Speaking Up on Separating Families Matters So Much

The language that has long been critical to covertly mobilizing activism.

Religious Groups Are Fighting Trump to Keep Families Together

But they didn’t always oppose ripping kids from their parents.
A Japanese American woman holds a baby at an internment camp.

‘At Least During the Internment …’ Are Words I Thought I’d Never Utter

I was sent to a camp at just 5 years old — but even then, they didn't separate children from families.
An "Information Wanted" advertisement from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Courtesy of the National Archives.

Last Seen: Finding Family After Slavery

Last Seen is recovering stories of families separated in the domestic slave trade. The following explains how the project engages with these family histories.
Two people hanging poster of a man looking for his family, holding a photo of himself as a child.

Searching for Guatemala’s Stolen Children

Journalist Rachel Nolan investigates tens of thousands of forced adoptions and the U.S. policy that enabled them.
Files in Guatemala’s Historical Archive of the National Police. Photo by Luis Soto.

Rachel Nolan: In the Best Interest of the Child

A new book gets inside Guatemala’s international adoption industry and the complicated context of deciding a child’s welfare.
Cuban refugee children.

When the U.S. Welcomed the ‘Pedro Pan’ Migrants of Cuba

Cold War America resettled unaccompanied minors as an anti-communist imperative. Today, the nation forgets this history.
Dorothy Roberts.

A Damning Exposé of Medical Racism and “Child Welfare”

A new book exposes effects of anti-Black myth-making and calls for an end to the family policing system.