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Historians in the News

This page features brief excerpts of stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.




  • Cleveland and Chicago: Cities of Segregation

    "Berlin had a wall, but they took to it with hammers and pickaxes and tore it down. Cleveland and Chicago have walls too, but not the kind you can tear down with a pickaxe. They’ve been erected in places that are harder to reach than a river or a street: bitter, entrenched hearts and minds, both black and white, going back for generations, on either side of town."



  • Where Conspiracy Reigns

    Historians Rodrigo Patto Sá Motta and Federico Finchelstein offer insight into how the political right has used rumors of communist plots to maintain power in Brazil, and why the country's political culture today is vulnerable to fake news and conspiracy theories. 



  • Black Lives Matter But Slavery Isn’t Our Only Narrative

    by Aretha Phiri and Michelle M. Wright

    "Black folks are astonishingly diverse in their cultures, histories, languages, religions, so no single definition of Blackness is going to fit everyone. When we fail to consider this, we effectively leave many Black people out of the conversation."



  • Where Did the Term “Hispanic” Come From?

    The designation "Hispanic" came about through the desire of Mexican American civil rights organizations to gather authoritative data about the status of the group in society. The political work engaged Puerto Rican, Cuban American, and other allies, bringing distinct ethnic groups under a common identifier. 



  • When 194,000 Deaths Doesn’t Sound Like So Many

    by Rebecca Onion

    Historian Jacqueline Wernimont explains that the rise of quantification helps to obscure the human beings behind the numbers and makes the COVID-19 toll seem more acceptable. 



  • Hollywood’s Colorblind Illusion (audio)

    American Studies professor Justin Gomer, author of "White Balance: How Hollywood Shaped Colorblind Ideology and Undermined Civil Rights" discusses the political impact of Hollywood's treatment of race.