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White Supremacy

George Wallace blocking a federal agent from entering the University of Alabama to enroll Black students, 1963.

Is Freedom White?

By Editors' Choice

In a political season of dog whistles, we must be attentive to how talk of American freedom has long been connected to the presumed right of whites to dominate everyone else. By Jefferson Cowie, Boston Review — “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!” Alabama governor George Wallace’s most famous sentence fired through the frigid air on the coldest day anyone in the state could remember. His 1963 inaugural address—written by a…

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Donald Yacovone

How Textbooks Taught White Supremacy

By Commentaries/Opinions

A historian steps back to the 1700s and shares what’s changed and what needs to change. By Liz Mineo, The Harvard Gazaette — Historian Donald Yacovone, an associate at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research and a 2013 winner of the W.E.B. Du Bois medal, was researching a book on the legacy of the antislavery movement when he came across some old history school textbooks that stopped him cold —…

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Theodore Roosevelt was one of many U.S. presidents who was racist.

Presidents have a long history of condescension, indifference and outright racism towards Black Americans

By Editors' Choice

President Woodrow Wilson told Black leaders, ‘Segregation is not a humiliation but a benefit, and ought to be so regarded by you gentlemen.’ He was one in a long line of racist American presidents. By Stephen A. Jones and Eric Freedman — The fury over racial injustice that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s killing has forced Americans to confront their history. That’s unfamiliar territory for most Americans, whose…

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In Wilkerson’s view, racism is only the visible manifestation of something deeper, a hidden system of social domination.

Isabel Wilkerson’s World-Historical Theory of Race and Caste

By Editors' Choice

By comparing white supremacy in the U.S. to the caste system in India, her new book at once illuminates and collapses a complex history. By Sunil Khilnani, The New Yorker — As the summer of 1958 was coming to an end, Martin Luther King, Jr., was newly famous and exhausted. All of twenty-nine years old, he had been travelling across the country for weeks promoting his first book, “Stride Toward…

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Painting depicting transfiguration of Jesus, a story in the New Testament when Jesus becomes radiant upon a mountain.

The long history of how Jesus came to resemble a white European

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Anna Swartwood House — The portrayal of Jesus as a white, European man has come under renewed scrutiny during this period of introspection over the legacy of racism in society. As protesters called for the removal of Confederate statues in the U.S., activist Shaun King went further, suggesting that murals and artwork depicting “white Jesus” should “come down.” His concerns about the depiction of Christ and how it is used to…

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