Convicts leased to harvest timber, Florida (1915).

Prison Abolition Syllabus 2.0

An updated prison syllabus in response to the national prison strike of 2018.
A worker cleans the statue of Abraham Lincoln as part of the annual cleaning of the Lincoln Memorial, 1995.

A House Still Divided

In 1858, Lincoln warned that America could not remain “half slave and half free.” The threat today is as existential as it was before the Civil War.
Anita Hill arriving at Reagan National Airport before testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee (1991).

How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right

Anita Hill suggests some ways the Senate Judiciary Committee can do better by the country than it did nearly three decades ago.
Integrated classroom at Anacostia High School, Washington, DC, 1957.

The Secret Network of Black Teachers Behind the Fight for Desegregation

African American educators became the ‘hidden provocateurs’ who spearheaded the push for racial justice in education.
A naturalization ceremony at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, June 17, 2014.

It’s Time to Fulfill the Promise of Citizenship

The rights we save may be our own.
1982 official portrait of the Supreme Court. Seated from left are Thurgood Marshall; William Brennan Jr.; Chief Justice Warren Burger, Byron White and Harry Blackmun. Standing from left, John Paul Stevens, Lewis Powell, William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O' Connor.

The Bosses' Constitution

How and why the First Amendment became a weapon for the right.
Beds in the girls dormitory at St. Joseph's Catholic Orphanage, Burlington, VT.

We Saw Nuns Kill Children: The Ghosts of St. Joseph’s Catholic Orphanage

Millions of American children were placed in orphanages. Some didn’t make it out alive.
The U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite (1888).

The Supreme Court Is Headed Back to the 19th Century

The justices again appear poised to pursue a purely theoretical liberty at the expense of the lives of people of color.
Members of the National Women's Liberation Party hold protest signs outside of the 1968 Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N.J.

How ‘No More Miss America’ Announced a Feminist Upheaval

A bold protest 50 years ago put a renewed women’s liberation movement on the public map—and offers lessons for today’s resistance.
First page of the Constitution of the United States 1787.

The Only Way to Find Out If the President Can Be Indicted

Scholars disagree on existing precedents—and the question won’t be settled until evidence leads a prosecutor to try it.
Prisoners working on the treadmill (above) at Coldbath Fields,  London, 1864.

Treadmills Were Meant to Be Atonement Machines

America’s favorite piece of workout equipment was developed as a device for forced labor in British prisons.
Richard Aoki, Bay Area academic,

Infiltrating the Left

The FBI has long tried to destroy socialist organizations, but its actions aren't limited to surveillance.