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 …

When Philadelphia’s Foul-Mouthed Cop-Turned-Mayor Invented White Identity Politics | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When Philadelphia’s Foul-Mouthed Cop-Turned-Mayor Invented White Identity Politics

From 1972 to 1980, Frank Rizzo Led a Blue-Collar Backlash Against Civil Rights—in the Guise of Law-and-Order

Philadelphia’s City Hall was the largest municipal building in the United States when it opened in 1901. Its most outstanding feature towered 548 feet above the street below: a …

fracturing American confederate flag

Today’s Battle Over the Confederate Flag Has Nothing to Do With the Civil War

Popular Well Beyond the South, It Is Now a Modern Symbol of White Grievance and Nostalgia for Crumbling Hierarchies

Three years ago, Dylann Roof murdered nine people in the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina and renewed a long-running debate about the meaning of the Confederate battle flag. …

The African American ‘Hidden Figures’ Who Desegregated the South’s Public Libraries

In Jackson, Blacks Endured Beatings and Dog Attacks to Gain Entrance, While in Birmingham They Used Sit-Ins to State Their Case

Historians of the civil rights era, between 1954 and 1968, have crafted an impressive body of literature focusing on the resolve of young black community activists who bravely resisted racial …

Suppressing Voting Rights Is as Old as the Republic—But the Tactics Keep Changing 

Discriminatory State Constitutions, Poll and Literacy Taxes, and Now Photo ID Laws All Have Been Used to Keep Ballots From the Less Powerful 

The more that efforts to suppress voting rights in America change, the more they remain the same.

From the earliest days of the republic to the present, politicians have sought to …

Why Martin Luther King Saw His Life as a Sacrifice

A Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biographer Sheds Light on the Civil Rights Icon's Spiritual Trials

David J. Garrow is the author of Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1987. Warren …