Making abortion a crime does not stop it. In many cases a pregnant woman will take the desperate step of getting an illegal abortion, and in many cases it kills her. That’s what happened to a young woman in a small New England town in 1935. She was my aunt Frances.
Prissy, the enslaved Black woman who squeals, “I don’t know nothin’ ‘bout birthin’ babies!” has long been considered a cringe-worthy character. But she may have provided one of the most authentic moments in Gone With the Wind.
In the Great Migration, millions of Black Americans left the South for other parts of the country. Millions of white people migrated in the same patterns and at the same time, but their experiences were very different. Two of those white migrants were my grandparents.
All of a sudden we have a new national holiday: Juneteenth. Most states recognized the holiday before that, but until this week, most white Americans knew little or nothing about it. We might want to listen and learn for a while before we decide how to celebrate.
Voter fraud has been with us since the early days of the republic. It supported a century’s worth of political machines. It’s still with us, although it's harder to do and there's less of it. But it's still an excuse for voter suppression.
Stories of voter fraud, machine politics, and other forms of political skullduggery have been a prominent feature of the American story since the country’s founding. When I was much younger, I did some low-level work investigating suspected fraud. Thinking about that has helped me see how things have changed.
Most of us white Americans learned an American history that was all about us, white people. The stories, the statues, the books, the museums, even the songs are all about us. State songs that honor the heritage of each state are usually about us, too. And maybe what they say isn't something to be proud of.
Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours is based on the true story of a woman who stole hundreds of children to sell to wealthy families for adoption. The true story of those children is horrific, thanks to the crimes of Georgia Tann.
It was a journey of just seven miles. It took Robert Smalls from slavery to freedom and into the history books. His hero's journey continued long after that, and continues even today.
Free Africans were much more important in the 16th century voyages of discovery and exploration than history has recognized. They played several crucial parts in Francis Drake’s voyage around the world