Hattiesburg Tells Us What America Has Lost, Gained—and Still Needs to Fix

Zócalo Book Prize Winner William Sturkey Describes What a Community Achieved Under Oppression—and How We Can Learn From Its Accomplishments Today

At a moment when community feels precious and crisis lays bare American inequalities, the title subject of the 10th annual Zócalo Public Square Book Prize Lecture felt vital: “How Do Oppressed People Build Community?”

It’s a question that the University of North Carolina historian William Sturkey, the winner of the 10th annual Zócalo Book Prize, investigated over a decade as he researched and wrote Hattiesburg: An American City in Black and White.

The book prize is typically awarded at a live, in-person event in Los Angeles that celebrates the best nonfiction book …

Your Neighbors Can Help You Battle Adversity and Disaster | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Your Neighbors Can Help You Battle Adversity and Disaster

Zócalo's First Book Prize Winner Reflects on the Power of the People Nearby to Ease Both Pandemics and Politics

My book, In the Neighborhood, published 10 years ago this spring, asked how Americans live as neighbors—and what we lose when the people next door are strangers.

These questions …

One Small California Town’s 15-Year Fight for Universal Broadband | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

One Small California Town’s 15-Year Fight for Universal Broadband

Gonzales’ Victory Is a Lesson on Power, and How Communities Can Beat the Odds

If California is really the global tech capital it claims to be, why is it so hard for the state’s small towns to get the top-notch internet broadband service they …

Why Romans Grew Nostalgic for the Deadly Plague of 165 A.D. | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Romans Grew Nostalgic for the Deadly Plague of 165 A.D.

The Empire’s Resilience to Smallpox Included Appealing to the Gods and Affirming the Power of Community to Stand Together Amidst Personal Horror

Around 165 A.D., the Anatolian town of Hierapolis erected a statue to the god Apollo Alexikakos, the Averter of Evil, so that the people might be spared from a terrible …

Historian William Sturkey Wins the 10th Annual Zócalo Book Prize  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Historian William Sturkey Wins the 10th Annual Zócalo Book Prize 

Hattiesburg, an Intimate Look at a Segregated Southern City, Delivers a ‘Finely Woven Microcosm of American Society’

Since 2011, the Zócalo Public Square Book Prize has honored the author of the U.S. nonfiction book published in the previous year that best enhances our understanding of community and …

Our Block Party Wasn’t as Bad as I Feared | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Our Block Party Wasn’t as Bad as I Feared

Californians Are Understandably Wary of Their Neighbors, but There's Value in Getting to Know Them

Is it still worth getting to know your neighbors?

I found myself wondering that on a recent Saturday afternoon as I contemplated attending a block party in my San Gabriel Valley …