How Mahjong Laid Tiles for Chinese America

The Popular Game Helped Forge a New Identity as it Crossed Classes, Genders, and Generations

The rumble of shuffling mahjong tiles filled the air in Chinatowns across the United States in the 1920s. Before even seeing the game, you could hear it being played in apartment buildings, association halls, and back rooms of general stores. You might assume that most Chinese Americans were already familiar with mahjong long before the colorful, complex tile game hooked the broader American public, but the opposite is true: Before the early 20th century, mahjong was not a widespread part of Chinese culture, particularly in the regions from which most …

Does America Really Want to Be a Nation of Immigrants? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Journalist Jia Lynn Yang Wins the 11th Annual Zócalo Book Prize

One Mighty and Irresistible Tide Challenges the Well-Worn American Immigration Narrative

Jia Lynn Yang, national editor at the New York Times, is the winner of the 11th annual Zócalo Book Prize for her debut book, One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic …

The Notorious, Mixed-Race New Orleans Madam Who Turned Her Identity Into a Brand

By Repackaging the Myths of the Tragic Octoroon and the Self-Made Woman, Lulu White Crafted a Persona That Haunts Beyoncé's "Formation"

In 2016, music and pop-culture idol Beyoncé released the album Lemonade to rapturous reviews. As a historian of New Orleans, I was especially intrigued by the video for one of …

Why the Enigmatic ‘Turks’ of South Carolina Still Struggle to Belong in America

For Generations, a Mysterious Ethnic Group Was Shunned, but New Research Sheds Light on Its Revolutionary War Origins

Sumter County is located in South Carolina’s midlands, about an hour and a half from the Atlantic coastline in one direction and from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the other. …

Europe Has a Problem With Immigrants, Not With Islam

Reforming Schools and Labor Laws Would Help a Lot More Than Fixating on Religion

In Germany last month, the debate over Europe’s growing Muslim population reached a fever pitch. More than 100 robberies and sexual assaults were reported in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, …