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abolition



  • An American Conception of Justice

    by Michael Kazin

    While historians have demonstrated the racist operation of American institutions, it's important to recognize that those institutions have also been instruments for justice. 



  • Today It’s Critical Race Theory. 200 Years Ago It Was Abolitionist Literature

    In 1829, South Carolina and Georgia responded to a series of fires they assumed were set by enslaved people by banning both the abolitionist literature they blamed for inciting rebellion and the teaching of literacy to slaves. Today's battles over curriculum are likewise about ideas deemed threatening to social hierarchies.



  • Manipulating Frederick Douglass and His Historical Record

    by Kevin M. Levin

    Frederick Douglass intended his portraits as visual representations of freedom, autonomy and dignity. The author wonders if it's appropriate to take the liberty of indulging in the trendy photo animation technology with the portraits of historical figures. 



  • 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. 



  • Wishbone of The Good Lord Bird

    by Mark Lause

    "In the end, The Good Lord Bird spins a worthwhile and entertaining yarn, but each episode starts with the unfortunate and misleading words: 'All of this is true.  Most of it happened'."



  • Crowd-Sourcing the Story of a People

    Tiya Miles is professor of history and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and the new director of the Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard. She discusses the practice, teaching, and value of public history as "a boisterous, crowd-sourced endeavor."



  • 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.