• University Finds 18th-Century Schoolhouse Where Black Children Learned to Read

    The discovery of a 260-year-old structure with such a deep connection to a little-known chapter of the history of Colonial Williamsburg, when the population was more than 50 percent Black and teaching slaves to read was legal, is especially significant, said history professor Jody Lynn Allen. 

  • A Chapter In U.S. History Often Ignored: The Flight Of Runaway Slaves To Mexico

    USC Historian Alice Baumgartner's book examines the stream of enslaved people who fled to Mexico between the 1830s and Emancipation, and the role of Mexico in international debates about abolition. Roseann Bacha-Garza of UT-Rio Grande Valley is an expert on the local networks of abolitionists and allies on the route.

  • After the Riot, What’s the Future of Art in the Capitol?

    Art Historian Sarah Lewis suggests that damage to the artworks in the Capitol during the rioting presents an opportunity to rethink what subjects are included in a collection that signals inclusion in the national narrative. 

  • It's Time to Stop Calling Slavery America's 'Original Sin'

    by James Goodman

    The theological origins of "original sin" mean that the metaphor portrays slavery, racism, and the dispossession of Native American lands as evils foisted upon Americans, rather than as social and political products of choices made by them. 

  • A Forgotten Black Founding Father

    by Danielle Allen

    The figure of Black abolitionist Prince Hall has been discussed for his advocacy for abolition in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but there remains a deeper work of historical reconstruction to understand his connections to family, community and civil society in the founding era. 

  • John C. Calhoun: Protector of Minorities?

    by Andrew Delbanco

    Robert Elder's biography of Calhoun examines the racist and pro-slavery thought of the legislator and his political afterlife. 

  • Stories of Slavery, From Those Who Survived It

    by Clint Smith

    "The Federal Writers’ Project ex-slave narratives produced tens of thousands of pages of interviews and hundreds of photographs—the largest, and perhaps the most important, archive of testimony from formerly enslaved people in history."

  • For American Racism, Slavery was Only the Beginning

    by James Brewer Stewart

    The Abolitionist Wendell Phillips would tell Americans today to cease arguing about the role of slavery in the founding and confront contemporary inequality as a product of ongoing political choices. 

  • Misremember the Alamo

    by Douglas Sackman

    Like most Americans, when Trump tries to "remember the Alamo," he gets it all wrong. His recent visit to Alamo, Texas was 240 miles south of the mission so holy to many Texans, but it was closer in spirit than Trump probably realized. 

  • Review: Was the Constitution a Pro-Slavery Document?

    by Gordon S. Wood

    Gordon Wood says James Oakes's new book examines the dialectical relationship between 19th century interpretations of the Constitution as a pro-slavery and anti-slavery document and argues that that debate steered Lincoln toward a commitment to racial equality as inextricable from abolition.