Online archives, galleries, and libraries offer Vegas-sized buffets for the senses (well two of them, anyway). All the art and photography your eyes can take in, all the music and spoken word recordings your ears can handle.[...]
“This is what we did. How did it happen? How could we?” –Dorothea Lange
The idea sounds counterintuitive given the violence we read about daily, but it is perhaps possible that human societies are slowly outgrowing xenophobia and war, as Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker has argued extensively.
Can you spell “conceive”?
Of course you can! All it takes is a device with a built-in spelling app, an innovation of which no eighth grader in the far western reaches of bluegrass area Kentucky could have conceived back in 1912.
Ta-Nehisi Coates has been riding a wave so high these past few years that most honest writers would confess to at least some small degree of envy. And yet anyone—writer or reader—who appreciates Coates’ rigorous scholarship, stylistic mastery, and enthralling personal voice must also admit that the accolades are well-earned.[...]
Image courtesy of National Burial Database of Enslaved Americans
The stories are infrequent but deeply compelling: one recent news item in the AP’s The Big Story describes the bones of 14 people from the 18th or early 19th century, discovered in Albany, NY, “wrapped in shrouds, buried in pine boxes and—over centuries—forgotten.
From the figureheads of ships to cigar store statues to the caricature mascots of various sports teams…. Unfortunate or denigrating images of Native American peoples have persisted in popular culture, folk symbols of what Elisabeth W. Russell refers to in her history of the cigar store Indian as “The Vanishing American.[...]
In 1900, Thomas Edison traveled to Paris to document the many wonders of the Exposition Universelle, and the city itself.
You may never have heard of Oscar Micheaux, but out of his “impoverished consciousness-raising exploitation potboilers,” writes critic Dave Kehr, “the American black cinema was born.[...]
In December 1931, having just embarked on a 40-stop lecture tour of the United States, Winston Churchill was running late to dine with financier Bernard Baruch on New York City’s Upper East Side.[...]
The affinities between England and Japan go far beyond the fact that both are tea-loving nations with a devotion to gardens; far beyond the fact that both drive on the left, are the world’s leading overseas investors, and are rainy islands studded with green villages.[...]