Articles on African Americans

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Nick Lehr/The Conversation via Wikimedia Commons

Ella Fitzgerald’s flirtation with reefer songs

Just as Fitzgerald's career was taking off, jazz was under attack for its purported connection to drug culture. If she wanted to become a mainstream superstar, she needed to make a choice.
A 1941 photograph depicts the Chicago Defender’s linotype operators. Wikimedia Commons

Can the black press stay relevant?

From the treatment of black World War II veterans to Emmett Till's murder, the black press helped lay the groundwork for the civil rights movement. What role can it play today?
Boxer Jack Johnson was relentlessly reprimanded for his arrogance and opulent lifestyle. But what was the criticism really about? Václav Soukup/flickr

The oppressive seeds of the Colin Kaepernick backlash

The controversy over Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the National Anthem isn’t a watershed moment. It's only the latest chapter in a long history of people trying to control how black people behave.
Protesters call for the arrest of an officer who shot dead unarmed motorist Terence Crutcher. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

Police shootings and race in America: Five essential reads

Protests erupted against the killing of black men by police in Tulsa and Charlotte. This roundup looks at research on racial violence and explains where there might be potential solutions.
Women line the Atlantic City boardwalk to protest the 1968 Miss America pageant. Feminist Theories & Art Practices

Miss America 1968: When civil rights and feminist activists converged on Atlantic City

For decades, the Miss America pageant had excluded minorities while celebrating a very narrow definition of womanhood. Then two separate protests – a women's liberation picket and the lesser-known Miss Black America pageant – said 'enough is enough.'

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