“Introduction of negro slavery into Virginia.” (1877)

A Symbol of Slavery — and Survival

Angela’s arrival in Jamestown in 1619 marked the beginning of a subjugation that left millions in chains.
Jamestown Fort.

Learning from Jamestown

The violent catastrophe of the Virginia colonists is the best founding parable of American history.

Why We Need a New Civil War Documentary

The success and brilliance of the new PBS series on Reconstruction is a reminder of the missed opportunity facing the nation.
Photograph of Ethel Waters, age 12, n.d.

A Book of Necessary, Speculative Narratives for the Anonymous Black Women of History

Unearthing the beauty in the wayward, the fiction in the facts, and the thriving existence in the face of a blanked out history.
Abraham Lincoln impersonators at the annual Association of Lincoln Presenters Conference, April 12, 2019.

Inside an Annual Gathering of Abraham Lincoln Impersonators

There were 22 Abrahams at the event, which began in 1990.
Neo-Nazis hold flags during a National Socialist Movement rally at Greenville Street Park in Newnan, Georgia, on April 21, 2018.

Kathleen Belew on the Rise of “White Power”

The author of a book on paramilitary white supremacy discusses the methods and ethics of researching racial violence.
Lincoln Memorial.

So What if Lincoln Was Gay?

Reflections from the author of a novel that does not shy away from the question of Lincoln's sexuality.
Alcmene giving birth to Hercules: Juno, jealous of the child, attempts to delay the childbirth.

The (Historical) Body in Pain

How can we understand the physical pain of others?
President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, and his wife Brigitte Macron tour Mount Vernon (2018).

Trump’s ‘Truly Bizarre’ Visit to Mt. Vernon

The 45th president, no student of history, marveled at the first president's failure to name his historic compound after himself.
Political scientist Francis Fukuyama at Stanford University, October 20, 2018.

The End of the End of History

What does it mean to live in a world in which history has rusted under the monstrous weight of the permanent now?
Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, VA (2005).

When Slavery Is Erased From Plantations

Some historical sites have struggled to reconcile founding-era exceptionalism with the true story of America’s original sin.
A New Orleans city worker measures the Jefferson Davis monument in New Orleans in preparation for removing it on May 4, 2017.

Are Museums the Rightful Home for Confederate Monuments?

As museums formulate their approach to re-contextualization, they must also recognize their own histories of complicity.