History Archives

In what’s become something of  a yearly tradition here at PB, we’re re-running this fantastic post by Friend of the Blog Ari Kelman, a history professor in California who blogs over at Edge of The American West. Kelman looks at the sterilization of King’s image, who was never the saintly, beloved man in life that Read More

Last week, a friend of my grandmother’s passed away, after a brief struggle with pancreatic cancer. She was chic, impeccably styled and coiffed, well-traveled, well-read, highly educated, and within three months of her diagnosis, she was gone. For my grandmother, the loss is primary. Her memories with Miss Edna span decades. And in her late Read More

I’ve a piece in The Root about the Morehouse dress code and Aliya S. King’s Vibe article. As I’ve indicated before, I’m squarely in the camp of people who believe that expressions of gender identity are far more fluid than what one wears or how one behaves. But I dug a little deeper and talked Read More

The website RaceBox.org has compiled a list of census forms stretching back to the country’s infancy, and it offers a fascinating look at how ideas about racial classification have evolved over time. [via MetaFilter.]

In my more militant youth, I used to argue that May 19 should have been a national holiday. And if it couldn’t be one, then at the least I could sacrifice a day of school or work to commemorate Malcolm X’s birthday. In retrospect, that was stupid (maybe immature is the better word) because if Read More

Adam Serwer is a little uncomfortable with President Obama’s ‘predator drones” joke at this weekend’s White House Correspondents Dinner: So you have to wonder why in the world the president’s speech writers would think it was a good idea to throw a joke about predator drones into the president’s speech during the White House Correspondent’s Read More

Today, much has been said about Dr. Dorothy Height’s life and legacy. I don’t have much to add, aside from saying that she was highly revered by many of my classmates at Howard University. The WaPo has a great slideshow up now. I know some people are partial to her hats and sequins, but I’m Read More

Ta-Nehisi says that Malcolm is his heart and King is his brain. I’d never really had the Malcolm obsession that seemed to enthrall so many of the folks I grew up with, particularly around the time that Spike Lee’s biopic dropped. (In the perhaps unavoidable commodification of Malcolm’s image, every other person in Philly seemed Read More

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