Victorian-era, middle-class black women who loved to read and write didn’t have many role models.
When biographer Gretchen Gerzina came across an old British newspaper article calling Sarah E. Farro "the first negro novelist," she wondered: who was Farro, and why had she been lost to history?
Obama arrives in Japan.
Some are calling on the president to issue an apology when he visits Hiroshima. But an East Asia expert says his visit will focus on remembrance, and explains why that is enough.
Eastman Johnson’s ‘A Ride for Liberty’ (ca. 1862) depicts a family of slaves galloping for the safety of the North in the early morning light.
With Freedom on the Move, historians hope to reveal patterns of escape and capture, while giving anyone the chance to learn about the individual heroism of runaway slaves.
The anti-Trump groundswell is forcing many Republicans to wonder if there’s another option.
Some Republican leaders are hunting for an orthodox, credible candidate to save them from Donald Trump. They probably can't win.
Nixon would have baulked at some of Trump’s tactics.
The 1968 presidential election saw belligerent, race-baiting populism in full flower. Sound familiar?
Half Dome, Yosemite National Park.
John Muir, born on April 21, 1838, was one of America's first great conservation advocates. His letters and diaries convey the emotions Muir felt in Yosemite Valley, his 'sanctum sanctorum.'
What would a 19th-century American think of Donald Trump’s hair?
Christian, criminal or cowardly? People once thought your hair could hold the answer.
Nick Lehr/The Conversation
The prosperity gospel – a uniquely American strand of Christian theology – creates a dilemma for its adherents.
Sunrise on Angel’s Window, North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park.
National Park Service/Wikimedia
Why do Americans revere the Grand Canyon? It taught us to look at nature in a new way, and to respect iconic places by leaving them alone.
Like any other player, Robinson needed to earn his spot on the Montreal Royals’ roster.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation
Much has been written about Robinson’s first major league game. Far less is known about the first integrated spring training game in Florida.
The US's seventh president was a populist the establishment tried to lock out of the White House. Sound familiar?
The dreaded CSS Alabama.
McMullen via Wikimedia Commons
If Liverpool hadn't supplied it with warships, the South might not have been able to put up much of a fight against the Union.
A Harper’s Weekly cartoon of German emigrants boarding a steamer in Hamburg, Germany, 1874.
Anti-migrant rhetoric is running high in the US – but its star proponent would do well to think about his German roots.
Joe Louis and Neil Scott help Isaac Woodard up a set a stairs soon after a beating left him blind.
Ossie Leviness/New York Daily News
Seventy years ago, a horrific beating left a black World War II vet blind. His determined fight for justice would earn the support of Orson Welles, Woody Guthrie – and even the president.
Protector in chief: Theodore Roosevelt with conservationist John Muir at Yosemite in 1906.
U.S. Library of Congress
Historically, environmental causes enjoyed bipartisan support but gains by NGOs and the emergence of climate change as a social issue have created a sharp political divide.
The problems of diversity are deeply rooted, extending beyond an annual awards show.
'Oscar' via www.shutterstock.com
Underneath the sheen of the Oscars is an arcane organization that's historically sought to consolidate power.
In the late 19th century, three brothers from New Hampshire drew uniforms for the military troops of their imaginary world.
One historian is plumbing the oft-discarded works of kids – from shipwreck tales to diary entries – to augment our understanding of U.S. history.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah.
Behind the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon lie decades of controversy over federal control of public land in western states.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was often referred to as the Bureau of Livestock and Mining in the 19th century.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
What explains the anger behind the Malheur occupation in Oregon, and why does the BLM own so much land in the West?
Miller achieved a public voice even before she had the vote.
Alice Duer Miller's analysis of contemporary politics not only made anti-suffragist politicians look stupid. It also made her (and women like her) look completely capable of participating in the political sphere.