New at Zócalo

Essay

How My Southern Georgia Community Came Together Around the Memory of a Century-Old Mass Murder

Through the Mary Turner Project, Blacks and Whites Confronted and Consecrated Our Violent Past

By Mark Patrick George

    The Little River snakes its slow-flowing black water along the boundary between Georgia’s Brooks and Lowndes Counties.
    It is a place that has been dear to my family for generations. This was the river where my grandmother, the wife of a “white trash” sharecropper, fished for most of her 80 years. It is the place I learned to savor nature. I have swum, camped, fished, and canoed there for much of my life.
    It is also the site of one of the most horrible lynchings in U.S. history, which took the life of a young, black, pregnant Mary Turner in May 1918.
    Mary Turner was killed by local whites because she publicly objected to the lynching of her husband Hayes, which had occurred just days before. Their deaths were part of a weeklong “lynching ...

The Takeaway

The Couple Who Went Searching for America's Future in Its Small Towns

James Fallows and Deborah Fallows Logged 100,000 Miles Through a Nation Divided Politically but Cooperating Locally

By Reed Johnson

The mass-media storyline is that America is a country split between prosperous liberal coastal elites and struggling, resentful conservative heartlanders, spewing vitriol at each other across an unbridgeable partisan gulf.
    But don’t tell that to James Fallows and Deborah Fallows. In their just-published book, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America, the couple lay out a road map of a much more complex, contradictory, and hopeful nation, where residents of a number of small towns and mid-size cities are working together to solve civic problems and improve their quality of life—and whether you voted for Donald or Hillary matters less than you might think.
    Before a packed audience at The RedZone at Gensler in downtown Los Angeles, the couple shared some of their stories about this largely overlooked America in a Zócalo Public Square event titled “Are Small Towns Reinventing America?” ...

Connecting California Joe Mathews

  • Here's Your California Democracy. Would You Like Fries With That?

    My Trip to a Wendy's in Colton Shows Why the Golden State Treats Law-Making Like Fast Food

        One recent Sunday night, I stopped by a Wendy’s in Colton, a gritty San Bernardino County logistics crossroads (pop. 52,000) best known as home to one of America’s oldest and busiest railroad crossings. ...

  • O Ye of Little Faith in Los Angeles! Eric Garcetti Has a Message For You.

    If the Mayor of the City of Angels Wants to Be President, His Campaign Should Be a Moral Crusade

    Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is being coy about whether he’s running for president. But he doesn’t fool me. I’ve already written the speech, or perhaps I should say sermon, that he should give when ...

  • Video Highlights

    Leni Riefenstahl and D.W. Griffith were cinematic geniuses who churned out racist propaganda. The Renaissance master Caravaggio was a murderous rogue. Then there’s the growing list of Hollywood auteurs and actors whose behavior has spawned lawsuits, police charges, and the #MeToo movement. ...