Racism

This year's titles include I Was Better Last Night, Accidental Ecosystem and Winslow Homer: American Passage.

The Best Books of 2022

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2022

This wide-ranging list offers context for our rapidly changing world

This year's picks include Half American, Saving Yellowstone and River of the Gods.

The Best Books of 2022

The Ten Best History Books of 2022

Our favorite titles of the year resurrect forgotten histories and illuminate how the nation ended up where it is today

Felton advocated lynching Black men accused of raping white women—“a thousand times a week if necessary,” as she said in an infamous 1897 speech.

The Nation's First Woman Senator Was a Virulent White Supremacist

In 1922, Rebecca Latimer Felton, a Georgia women's rights activist and lynching proponent, temporarily filled a dead man's Senate seat

Japanese American National Museum volunteer Barbara Keimi stamps the Ireichō.

The First-Ever List of Japanese Americans Forced Into Incarceration Camps Is 1,000 Pages Long

The Ireichō contains 125,284 names—and a new exhibition invites the public to honor them

Harvard's Peabody Museum received the collection of 700 Native American hair samples as a donation in 1935.

Harvard Museum Pledges to Return Hair Samples of 700 Native American Children

The samples come from students who were forced to attend government-run boarding schools

The silver-screen version of Namor has a reimagined backstory, reigning over Talokan, a Mesoamerican-inspired underwater civilization, instead of the legendary Atlantis. 

The Mesoamerican Influences Behind Namor From 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'

The sequel to the 2018 Marvel blockbuster features a Maya-inspired antihero played by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta

Civil rights activists Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King in 1964

When Julia Roberts Was Born, Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King Paid the Hospital Bill

The Roberts family had previously welcomed the Kings' children to their theater school

Protesters attend a rally in support of affirmative action in college admissions on October 31, 2022.

History of Now

The Origins of the Term 'Affirmative Action'

The phrase was first used in early 20th-century employment laws

Twentieth-century porcelain dolls made by German company Armand Marseille

How Porcelain Dolls Became the Ultimate Victorian Status Symbol

Class-obsessed consumers found the cold, hard and highly breakable figurines irresistible

Emmett Lewis' ancestor Cudjo Lewis was one of the last survivors of the Clotilda.

These Descendants Never Forgot the Story of the Last American Slave Ship

A new Netflix documentary follows the families of the "Clotilda" captives as they grapple with how their past informs their future

Divers examine an iron anchor believed to come from the British antislavery patrol ship H.M.S. Nimble, which ran afoul of the Florida Keys' sharp reefs in 1827 while chasing the illegal Spanish slaver the Guerrero.

What a Spanish Shipwreck Reveals About the Final Years of the Slave Trade

Forty-one of the 561 enslaved Africans on board the "Guerrero" died when the illegal slave ship sank off the Florida Keys in 1827

Jalyn Hall (left) as Emmett Till and Danielle Deadwyler (right) as Mamie Till-Mobley in Till, a new movie directed by Chinonye Chukwu

Women Who Shaped History

How Emmett Till's Mother Galvanized the Civil Rights Movement

A new film dramatizes the life of Mamie Till-Mobley, who forced America to confront the brutality of her son's 1955 murder

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) headquarters in Washington, D.C, on June 29, 2022. The EPA announced the launch of an office for advancing environmental justice and civil rights on Saturday. 

EPA Creates National Office for Environmental Justice and Civil Rights

It will distribute $3 billion in climate and environmental justice grants to underserved communities

Advocacy groups played a major role in the bans that took place during the 2021-22 school year, according to PEN America.

Over 1,600 Books Were Banned During the Past School Year

A new PEN America report finds that targeted campaigns by advocacy groups are behind the increasing bans

Florence Pugh (left) stars in Don't Worry Darling as Alice, a 1950s housewife who resides in an idyllic California community with her husband, Jack (Harry Styles, right).

The Feminist Inspiration Behind 'Don't Worry Darling'

Director Olivia Wilde dubbed the new film "'The Feminine Mystique' on acid"

Misty Copeland at the BET Black Girls Rock show in in Newark, New Jersey, in 2013

Misty Copeland Is Introducing Black and Latino Children to Ballet

The renowned dancer's BE BOLD program will provide free dance classes to hundreds of students

Paula, Sam and Sol Messinger aboard the M.S. St. Louis in May 1939. The U.S. denied the ship entry, forcing its 937 passengers to return to Europe. More than a quarter of these refugees were later killed in the Holocaust.

Untold Stories of American History

Why Was America So Reluctant to Take Action on the Holocaust?

A new Ken Burns documentary examines the U.S.' complex, often shameful response to the rise of Nazism and the plight of Jewish refugees

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall

Gwendolyn Midlo Hall, Whose Database Identified Thousands of Enslaved Laborers, Has Died at 93

Searching through forgotten records, she collected data on more than 100,000 individuals

Sixty unnamed schools are piloting an A.P. African American studies class, which covers 400 years of history.

A.P. African American Studies Is Coming to U.S. High Schools

The course covers everything from slavery to civil rights to pop culture

Many of the children who survived Hurricane Katrina are still healing from the trauma of their experiences.

The Black Children of Hurricane Katrina Finally Tell Their Stories

A new documentary, 'Katrina Babies,' spotlights the disaster's youngest survivors

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