A Trailblazing Black Architect Who Helped Shape L.A.

Paul Revere Williams began designing homes and commercial buildings in the early 1920s. By the time he died in 1980, he had created some 2,500 buildings, most of them in and around Los Angeles, but also around the globe. And he did it as a pioneer: Paul Williams was African-American. He was the first black […]

Read More…

Elizabeth Eckford made history at age 15.

On September 4, 1957, nine students arrived at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas for their first day of school. They were bright students, chosen for their academic excellence to attend the most prestigious school in the state. They were there to learn—and to make history as the first Black students to attend the previously all-white […]

Read More…

Maintain Your Integrity

Many of us have to make decisions that define who we are and what we believe in. Most often, the choices we face may seem insignificant. But this doesn’t mean that they’re not essential to us: even the most minor action can have an impact on our self-respect, our integrity, and, ultimately, our reputation. Integrity […]

Read More…

Women Torched for being Female

It was not witches who burned. It was women. Women who were seen as Too beautiful Too outspoken Had too much water in the well (yes, seriously) Who had a birthmark Women who were too skilled with herbal medicine Too loud Too quiet Too much red in her hair Women who had a strong nature […]

Read More…

Hispanic Heritage Expands From a Week to a Month

From 1968 until 1988, Presidents Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan all issued the yearly proclamations, setting aside a week to honor Hispanic Americans. In 1987 U.S. Representative Esteban E. Torres of California proposed the expanding the observance to cover its current 31-day period. Torres wanted more time so that the nation could “properly observe and […]

Read More…

Sally Heming’s She was Thomas Jefferson’s slave.

Sally Heming’s She was Thomas Jefferson’s slave. Called his “mistress,” but how can you be a mistress when you were a slave, a child, and could not consent? Had absolutely no choice? She bore him 6, perhaps as many as 8 children. He kept her locked in a basement room. The room was recently unearthed, […]

Read More…

Reckoning with the theft of Native American children

Deb Haaland is investigating the history of hundreds of boarding schools that tried to “Kill the Indian, save the man.” By Fabiola Cineas   Native American girls from the Omaha tribe at Carlisle School, Pennsylvania, circa 1876. Corbis via Getty Images Support from readers like you helps keep this article free. Help us hit our goal of adding […]

Read More…

The Color of Blood

America’s national blood bank systems might operate very differently—or not at all—if not for African American surgeon, researcher, educator, and advocate Charles Richard Drew. Born in 1904, Charles Drew grew up in Washington, DC. Although the city was racially segregated at that time, it hosted a vibrant African American community, and Drew was fortunate to […]

Read More…

Yearning to breathe free

The heroic woman gazing out to sea with her torch held high invokes the longing in the human heart “to breathe free,” the longing for common life and purpose, the longing for a human embrace.  Words carved in stone give voice to the power and promise sculpted into her face and pose. “Give me your […]

Read More…