Race and Ethnicity

Adam W. McKinney dances in front of a former KKK headquarters in Fort Worth. 

Past Imperfect

Texas Artists Are Taking Over—and Transforming—a Former KKK Building

Those once terrorized by the Klan will decide on the center's events and programming

Black soldiers during World War II

History of Now

Nine Army Bases Honoring Confederate Leaders Could Soon Have New Names

Proposed by a government panel, the suggested title changes honor several women and people of color

Early efforts to sow hibiscus on the mainland had mixed success. Today it grows in many states; in the South, hibiscus used in punch is known as “Florida Cranberry.”

Race in America

A Brief History of Red Drink

The obscure roots of a centuries-old beverage that’s now a Juneteenth fixture

After his shooting, a hospitalized Wallace holds up a newspaper touting his victories in the Maryland and Michigan Democratic presidential primaries.

How a Failed Assassination Attempt Pushed George Wallace to Reconsider His Segregationist Views

Fifty years ago, a fame-seeker shot the polarizing politician five times, paralyzing him from the waist down

The only available photograph of America Newton, a formerly enslaved woman who ran a laundry business out of her cabin in Julian, California, dates to around 1910.

The Trailblazing Black Entrepreneurs Who Shaped a 19th-Century California Boomtown

Though founded by Confederates, Julian became a place of opportunity for people of color—and a model for what the U.S. could look like after the Civil War

Denver's apology for an 1880 anti-Chinese riot comes during a surge of racially motivated violence and discrimination toward Asian Americans. 

Denver Apologizes for Anti-Chinese Riot of 1880

A white mob terrorized residents and murdered a man, but the city never punished the perpetrators

A 19th-century illustration of two yellow fever victims in New Orleans

Race in America

How Yellow Fever Intensified Racial Inequality in 19th-Century New Orleans

A new book explores how immunity to the disease created opportunities for white, but not Black, people

Researchers at the University of Montana find that wealthier, white campers are more likely to make online reservations for campsites at United States national parks. 

Does the National Park Service’s Reservation System Shut Out Non-White, Low-Income Campers?

The federal website excludes some would-be adventurers, a University of Montana study suggests

The Commemorative at St. Mary's College of Maryland honors the enslaved people who once lived and worked there.

Good News

National Park Service Adds 16 New Underground Railroad Sites to Commemorative Network

The recognitions honor the resistance and bravery of freedom seekers and their allies who risked their lives to resist slavery

To many people, Henrietta Lacks, painted by Kadir Nelson in 2017, symbolizes inequity in medicine. Lacks died from cervical cancer in 1951, but her tumor cells— used in research without her permission—would enable medical advances, including the polio vaccine.

Race in America

The Historical Roots of Racial Disparities in American Health Care

A new documentary from the Smithsonian Channel, 'The Color of Care,' produced by Oprah Winfrey, shines a light on medicine’s biases

The Queen's Ball, a ticketed experience from Netflix tied to the second season of "Bridgerton," is just one example of modern audiences' enthusiasm for the Regency era.

Based on a True Story

Why Are Regency-Era Shows Like 'Bridgerton' So Popular?

An Austen expert and a period drama TV critic reflect on the enduring appeal of romance series set in turn-of-the-19th-century England

A wooden trestle bridge near Terrace, Utah. The state has more intact miles of original railroad grade than any other in the West.

What Archaeologists Are Learning About the Lives of the Chinese Immigrants Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

In the sparse Utah desert, the vital contributions of these 19th-century laborers are finally coming to light

The former Aunt Fanny's Cabin in Smyrna, Georgia, will be demolished if no one comes forward with money to move it.

The Complex Legacy of an Anti-Black Restaurant Slated for Demolition

Locals in Smyrna, Georgia, are rallying to preserve Aunt Fanny’s Cabin as a tribute to eponymous Black cook Fanny Williams

Pruitt took roughly 88,000 photographs of life in and around Columbus, Mississippi, between 1916 and 1960. Pictured: a Black baptismal group on the bank of the Tombigbee River, circa 1930s

Chronicling the Triumphs—and Tragedies—of Life in the Deep South

A new book and traveling exhibition highlight the work of Mississippi photographer O.N. Pruitt

The new Netflix series imagines what would have happened if Harald Hardrada (played by Leo Suter) were best buddies with Norse explorer Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett) and the lover of Leif’s sister, Freydís Eiríksdóttir (Frida Gustavsson).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Netflix's 'Vikings: Valhalla'

A spin-off of the long-running series "Vikings," the show follows a fictionalized version of Norwegian king Harald Hardrada

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Women Who Shaped History

Constance Baker Motley Taught the Nation How to Win Justice

The pathbreaking lawyer and “Civil Rights Queen” was the first Black woman to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court

A mob of white students and locals tarred and feathered brothers Samuel and Roger Courtney in April 1919. Newspaper coverage of the attack was limited.

In 1919, a Mob in Maine Tarred and Feathered Two Black College Students

The brutal attack took place during the Red Summer, a nationwide wave of violence against Black Americans

Activists in London hold signs urging the BBC to boycott the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The Beijing Winter Olympics

Is China Committing Genocide Against the Uyghurs?

The Muslim minority group faces mass detention and sterilization—human rights abuses that sparked the U.S.' diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics

Dozens of Smithsonian Institution professionals share their favorite reads from this year.

The Best Books of 2021

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2021

The writings of many fine authors support the research and ambitious undertakings of an Institution rising to the challenges ahead

Muhammad Aziz (center) stands outside of a New York City courthouse with members of his family and lawyers on November 18, 2021.

History of Now

Two Men Wrongfully Convicted of Killing Malcolm X Are Exonerated After 55 Years

Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam, who each served more than 20 years of a life sentence, had always maintained their innocence

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