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

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 …

When Sewers Were New, Clean, and Amazing | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When Sewers Were New, Clean, and Amazing

Archival Photographs Reveal an Engineered Labyrinth of Civic Optimism

Below our city streets lies an ad-hoc world of subterranean tunnels and pipes. The oldest are brick and concrete sewers that once carried waste streams in one direction, rainfall overflow …

How Our Grandmothers Disappeared Into History

A Historian Turned Novelist Ponders the Absence of Women From America's Historical Archives

I recently Googled my grandmother’s name. I wanted to know the date she died, so I could better place a childhood memory. In the 21st century, embarrassingly, the internet has …