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public history



  • A Black Nurse Saved Lives. Today She May Save Art

    Graduate student Laura Voisin George discovered an image of Biddy Mason, a Black woman born in slavery who became a founding figure in Los Angeles's African American history, in a set of WPA murals in an auditorium at the University of California-San Francisco. The discovery may help preserve the murals. 



  • Taking My Children to See Frederick Douglass

    by Clint Smith

    “It is always a fact of some importance to know where a man is born, if, indeed, it be important to know anything about him.” So wrote Frederick Douglass in his 1855 autobiography, My Bondage and My Freedom. It was with these reflections and Douglass’s words in mind that, on Juneteenth, I got in the car with my family and drove from our home, outside Washington, D.C., to Talbot County, Maryland, where Frederick Douglass was born.



  • What Should We Do With Plantations?

    by Tiya Miles

    The lavish estates where Black people were enslaved usually whitewash their history. Here's how these places might begin to redeem themselves.



  • Faneuil Hall Name Change Needed

    by Marty Blatt and David J. Harris

    We might well ask whether Peter Faneuil actually paid for the building or whether it was purchased by the lives and freedom of those he transported and sold.



  • Setting the Lost Cause on Fire

    by Karen L. Cox

    Once revered by their communities, the United Daughters of the Confederacy today are simply out of step with change sweeping the South and the nation.



  • Confederate Monument Defaced in Downtown Huntsville

    Both the Madison County Commission, which has jurisdiction over the statue, and the Huntsville City Council have passed resolutions calling for the statue to be moved to the city-owned Maple Hill Cemetery.



  • Dropping ‘Pettus’ Is a Bridge Too Far

    by Jonathan Zimmerman

    Advocates of renaming the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma for John Lewis are disregarding Lewis's published thoughts on the subject.