• Essay

    I Dream of Jetlag

    After 12 Years in the Sky, a Flight Attendant Braces for Furloughs and Adjusts to Life on the Ground

    by Cathy Torres

    Last year, a time in history I want to mark as 2019 BC—that is, Before COVID—I was at the height of my ...

  • Essay

    What Would Cicero See in American Governance Today?

    Before the Rise of Caesar, the Roman Statesman Predicted How the Spread of Lawlessness Could Destroy a Republic

    by Edward Watts

    At some point in the early summer of 54 BC, the Roman statesman Cicero set to work on his most consequential ...

New at Zócalo

Essay

What the Jewish Name Changing Narrative Gets Wrong

A Forgotten History of Antisemitic Exclusion and Isolation in Mid-20th Century New York

by Kirsten Fermaglich

In 1932, a man named Max Greenberger petitioned the City Court of the City of New York to change his last name and the last name of two of his four children, to Greene.
 Max Greenberger, a U.S.-born, middle-aged father, did not fit into any of the classic stereotypes of name-changers. He was not an immigrant coming through Ellis Island, he was not a young man seeking to escape his Old World roots, nor was he a movie star in need of a stage name. Instead, he was explicitly seeking white-collar jobs for his family members. As he laid out in his petition, “[t]he name Greenberger is a foreign sounding name and is not conducive to securing good employment as a musician”—the chosen profession of his daughter. Additionally, he noted, “the name Greenberger … is not helpful towards ...

Essay

The Incredible Legacy of Newark's Black Women Activists

Harlem Renaissance Writer Brenda Ray Moryck and a New Jersey Community’s Untold Century of Intellectualism and Artistry

by Noelle Lorraine Williams

In 1927, Brenda Ray Moryck, a 32-year-old Black American woman from Newark, New Jersey, published a manifesto in Ebony and Topaz, a prominent Harlem Renaissance anthology of prose and poetry.
  In the work, titled I, Moryck, a graduate of the predominantly white women’s college Wellesley, writes that though she has suffered from racial discrimination, she finds “honey as well as hemlock in the cup of every Negro, sunlight as well as shadow.”
  The piece conveys a profound sense of mission—even a calling—to help others: “But as a woman, what did I learn? … Work, play, and that highest opportunity, the opportunity to help and give, to mother and to heal,—are mine… I am a ...

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