The New Orleans Creoles Who Challenged Racism by Challenging Race Itself 

Alongside Homer Plessy, Mixed-Race Activists Used a Unique Legal Arsenal to Attack White Supremacy

It took years of research for me to track down a photograph of the mysterious New Orleanian E. Arnold Bertonneau. Born in 1834, this Civil War-era civil rights pioneer was famous in his day but somehow has disappeared from the national consciousness. In 1864, Bertonneau lobbied President Lincoln in the White House for African American voting rights. In 1877, he filed the first-ever federal case challenging school segregation, Bertonneau vs. Board of Directors of City Schools, on behalf of his two school-age sons, who had been excluded from a whites-only …

How Horace Greeley Invented the Persona of the Crusading Journalist | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Horace Greeley Invented the Persona of the Crusading Journalist

The 19th-Century Publisher Made Reform-Minded, Opinion-Driven Journalism Commercially Viable

December 3, 1840, a Thursday. A bank president in New Jersey goes missing in broad daylight, leaving his office in New Brunswick around 10 a.m. He is never again seen …

Why Was Baseball Legend Oscar Charleston Forgotten? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Was Baseball Legend Oscar Charleston Forgotten?

The Pathbreaking Player, Scout, and Manager Was Part of a Black Baseball Tradition That Is Still Obscured

History, more often than we would like, is an unjust judge. Consider the case of Oscar Charleston, a baseball player who for nearly 40 years was one of the most …

America’s Hidden History of Conquest and the Meaning of the West | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

America’s Hidden History of Conquest and the Meaning of the West

Historian Patricia Nelson Limerick on How Invaders Came to See Themselves as Victims, Then Romanticized the Native Americans They Displaced

Patricia Nelson Limerick is a leading scholar of the American West, and the faculty director and chair of the board of the Center of the American West at the University …

How Jamestown Abandoned a Utopian Vision and Embraced Slavery | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Jamestown Abandoned a Utopian Vision and Embraced Slavery

In 1619, Wealthy Investors Overthrew the Charter That Guaranteed Land for Everyone

In the summer of 1619, some of England’s first American colonists were carving up land seized from the Powhatan empire along the James River in Virginia. While the first settlers …