Slavery

On October 21, some 60,000 pilgrims descend on the town of Portobelo, Panama, to celebrate the Festival del Cristo Negro.

Panama

Panama's Black Christ Festival Stirs Up Sorrow and a Sense of Survival

For Afro-Panamanians, October offers a chance to celebrate Catholicism and their Blackness

The Woman King tells the story of the Agojie, an elite, all-woman army in the West African kingdom of Dahomey.

Based on a True Story

The Real Warriors Behind 'The Woman King'

A new film stars Viola Davis as the leader of the Agojie, the all-woman army of the African kingdom of Dahomey

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

In the not-so-distant past, the Russian and American governments talked up the shared crucibles of their two mid-19th century leaders as a way of improving diplomatic relations.

Before Lincoln Issued the Emancipation Proclamation, This Russian Czar Freed 20 Million Serfs

The parallels between the U.S. president and Alexander II, both of whom fought to end servitude in their nations, are striking

A monument of civil rights pioneer Elizabeth Freeman in Sheffield, Massachusetts

Untold Stories of American History

How an Enslaved Woman Took Her Freedom to Court

A new statue honors Elizabeth Freeman, who argued against slavery in a Massachusetts legal case

Designer Samantha Black created three special-edition outfits for Claudie.

New American Girl Doll Celebrates Black Joy During the Harlem Renaissance

Nine-year-old Claudie Wells' story unfolds in 1920s New York

“The Great Divide” explores how ideas that came to the fore during the Enlightenment at once blurred social hierarchies and reinforced them, particularly along lines of gender and race. 

These 18th-Century Shoes Underscore the Contradictions of the Age of Enlightenment

An exhibition at Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum examines fashion's role in supporting social hierarchies that emerged during the landmark intellectual movement

Divers from AllenX examines the debris trail of the Maravillas, which sank in the Bahamas in 1656.

Cool Finds

The Race to Preserve Treasures From a Legendary 17th-Century Shipwreck

The new Bahamas Maritime Museum will feature finds from the "Maravillas," a Spanish galleon that sank in 1656 with a cargo of gold, silver and gems

By March 1862, Judith Henry's Virginia home had been reduced to rubble.

Untold Stories of American History

The Civil War's First Civilian Casualty Was an Elderly Widow From Virginia

Union gunfire killed 85-year-old Judith Carter Henry on July 21, 1861—the day of the First Battle of Bull Run

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How One Historian Located Liberia’s Elusive Founding Document

The piece of paper went missing for nearly 200 years, leaving some scholars to question whether it even existed

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Untold Stories of American History

The Southbound Underground Railroad Brought Thousands of Enslaved Americans to Mexico

Rather than head north, many of those in bondage made a different treacherous journey in a bold quest for freedom that historians are now unearthing

As of June 15, the World Health Organization had recorded a total of 2,103 confirmed monkeypox cases in 42 countries. Pictured: a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox virus particles (green) cultivated and purified from cell culture

History of Now

What You Need to Know About the History of Monkeypox

Mired in misconception, the poxvirus is endemic in certain African countries but was rarely reported in Europe and the U.S. until recently

Rendering of the International African American Museum

A Museum Exploring the African American Experience Is Coming to Charleston

Slated to open early next year, the space will explore the legacy and contributions of enslaved people and their descendants

Located alongside New Jersey’s southernmost point, Cape May is a stunning Victorian shore community that once played a role in guiding Black enslaved laborers to freedom.

The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2022

From the alleged birthplace of Paul Bunyan to the original gateway to Yellowstone, these towns are buzzing with activity

Hassinger's video (above: Birthright by Maren Hassinger, 2005) is a powerful history of seven orphaned children, a story of stolen labor and stolen lives, a family chronicle “that came out of being enslaved, the aftermath of slavery,” says the artist.

Join in a Meditation on the Twists of Memories Handed Down From One Generation to Another

A new commission, based on the acclaimed video 'Birthright' by artist Maren Hassenger, explores the legacy of slavery in family history

According to author Christopher A. Thomas, the dedication "was a microcosm of the strained race relations of its day, marked by the rhetoric of good intentions and the behavior of bigotry."

A Century Ago, the Lincoln Memorial's Dedication Underscored the Nation's Racial Divide

Seating was segregated, and the ceremony's only Black speaker was forced to drastically revise his speech to avoid spreading "propaganda"

The Clotilda has been at the bottom of the Mobile River since 1860, when the captain burned and sank the vessel that was used illegally to bring enslaved individuals from West Africa to Alabama. 

Unlocking the Secrets of the 'Clotilda,' the Last Known Slave Ship

Archaeological divers spent 10 days evaluating the sunken ship in the Mobile River, and took samples for possible traces of DNA

As recent archival finds and reappraisals of well-known documents show, Liss forged her own path to freedom—and may have even spied on the British while doing so.

Untold Stories of American History

Did an Enslaved Woman Try to Warn the Americans of Benedict Arnold's Treason?

New research sheds light on Liss, who was enslaved by the family of a Culper Spy Ring leader and had ties to British spymaster John André

On the island of Dejima, European traders could interact with the Japanese, but with a few (carefully escorted) exceptions, they were barred from continuing on to mainland Japan.

The Wild West Outpost of Japan's Isolationist Era

For two centuries, an extreme protectionist policy barred foreigners from setting foot in Japan—except for one tiny island

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