The 19th-Century African-American Soldier Who Fought for Filipino Liberation

Angry at the Treatment of Blacks in the US, in 1899 David Fagan Deserted His Regiment and Became a Household Name Back Home

In 1899, during a campaign on the island of Luzon to entrap the Filipino revolutionary president Emilio Aguinaldo, a 21-year-old buffalo soldier named David Fagen deserted from the American army.

He wasn’t homesick. Young Fagen decided to join the Filipino revolutionaries and quickly took up arms against his former countrymen. In time, he became a guerrilla leader of such renown that his Filipino fighters called him “General Fagen.”

For more than a century, little was known about Fagen, “the notorious renegade,” beyond the basic outlines of his story. The army had …

The Black Scholar Who Gave Up Her Family to Earn Her Ph.D.

In the Early to Mid-1900s, Historian Marion Thompson Wright Had to Contend With the Prefeminist Rules and Culture of Howard University

Marion Thompson Wright is best known as the first female African-American to earn a doctorate in history. Her 1940 dissertation, defended at Teachers College at Columbia University—The Education of Negroes …

Frederick Douglass’s Love-Hate Relationship With America

Historian David Blight Tackles the Great Abolitionist's Contradictions and His Enduring Legacy

From his youth, as a slave growing up in antebellum Maryland, Frederick Douglass saw the double-ness of American life. He recognized the gulf between the nation’s enlightened principles and its …

How UCLA Helped Break the Color Barrier in College Athletics

Jackie Robinson and Tom Bradley Were Among Sports Stars Who Proved That Integration Made Schools More Competitive

The arrival of five athletes, all African American, on the UCLA campus in the late 1930s would prove to be a moment of destiny, not just for college sports but …