A young Black girl picking cotton.

Rings of Fire

Arsenic cycles through racism and empire in the Americas.
A man walking down an unpaved street in an impoverished Appalachian neighborhood.

What the Best Places in America Have in Common

The Index of Deep Disadvantage reflects a more holistic view of how we can define "poverty."
A photograph of James Eads How superimposed over a photograph of vagrant workers at a train station.

St. Louis' Wealthy "King of the Hobos"

Labeled a local eccentric, millionaire James Eads How used his inherited wealth to support vagrant communities.
Farmers working in an orchard.

The Unlikely Supporters of a Bill That Would Increase Guest Workers

The history of guest worker programs should give pause to supporters of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act.
Khalifa International Stadium near Doha, Qatar.

Qatar, the World Cup & the Echoes of History

How stadiums in Qatar connect to a bridge in Kentucky and a dam in West Virginia.
Cover of "The Deportation Express"

How American Deportation Trains Represent a Century of American Immigration Policy

"The Deportation Express: A History of America through Forced Removal" traces the historical roots and spatial routes of systemic denial, arrest, and removal from the United States.
Harvesting on a Louisiana sugar plantation, 1875; an overseer monitors laborers in the field, while a factory billows smoke in the background.

Making Sugar, Making ‘Coolies’

Chinese laborers toiled alongside Black workers on 19th-century Louisiana plantations.
Tarred as a “coolie race,” the Chinese were cast as a threat to free white labor. Train with fire around it and a face in the back.

America Was Eager for Chinese Immigrants. What Happened?

In the gold-rush era, ceremonial greetings swiftly gave way to bigotry and violence.
A Border Patrol agent stands by an opening in the U.S. Mexico Border wall.

Trump’s Border Wall Belongs to Biden Now

A border policy divorced from history can’t do what policymakers want.
Drawing of head of lettuce

The Lettuce Workers Strike of 1930

Uniting for better wages and working conditions, a remarkably diverse coalition of laborers faced off against agribusiness.
A picture of a man and a graffiti wall

The Origins of an Early School-to-Deportation Pipeline

Appeals to childhood innocence helped enshrine undocumented kids’ access to education. But this has also inadvertently reinforced criminalization.

Things as They Are

Dorothea Lange created a vast archive of the twentieth century’s crises in America. For years her work was censored, misused, impounded, or simply rejected.
A violinist and a guitarist play at a square dance in Mcintosh County, Oklahoma.

Government Song Women

The Resettlement Administration was one of the New Deal’s most radical, far-reaching, and highly criticized programs, and it lasted just two years.
A private security guard throws a soccer ball back inside the Tornillo detention camp for migrant teens in Tornillo, Texas, Dec. 13, 2018.

A Historian on How Trump’s Wall Rhetoric Changes Lives in Mexico

The U.S. did not always find it necessary to lock up people seeking asylum.

The Making of an Iconic Photograph: Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother

The complex backstory of one of the most famous images of the Great Depression.

Before Black Lung, the Hawks Nest Tunnel Disaster Killed Hundreds

A forgotten example of the dangers of silica, the toxic dust behind the modern black lung epidemic in Appalachia.

How Not to Build a “Great, Great Wall”

A timeline of border fortification, from 1945 to the Trump Era.
Trump looks at border wall construction prototypes.

The Hole in Donald Trump’s Wall

As long as Americans continue to flood into Mexico, the wall will do little to deter crossings.

When The U.S. Government Tried To Replace Migrant Farmworkers With High Schoolers

When the blazing sun came up on the teenagers' first day of work, "everyone looked at each other, and said, 'What did we do?'"

Piecing Together a Border’s History, One Love Letter at a Time

Finding a puzzle from the past in a family member’s basement.