With Free State of Jones, Hollywood’s Civil War Comes Closer to History’s

Pop Culture May Finally Be Ready to Surrender the Myth of a Noble, Confederate Lost Cause

The setting is the piney woods of Civil War Jones County, Mississippi. The white farmer Newt Knight leads a band of deserters against Confederate forces. An enslaved woman, Rachel, lends invaluable aid to this Knight Band. After gaining her freedom, she spends the rest of her life as Newt’s partner.

These events are a great story—and even better history. This summer, Free State of Jones will bring to movie theaters across the country a thrilling and relatively unknown tale of Civil War insurrection, romance, and interracial collaboration. The film, inspired …

America’s First ‘Indian’ TV Star Was a Black Man from Missouri

Stymied by Hollywood Racism, Korla Pandit Reinvented Himself as a Mystical Brahmin Pianist

Turning on the TV in Los Angeles in 1949, you might have come face-to-face with a young man in a jeweled turban with a dreamy gaze accentuated by dark eye …

The Sun Always Shines on the California Empire

The Golden State, Not the U.S., Is the Worthiest Successor to Britain’s Global Supremacy

The sun has set on the British Empire. Its successor, America, is showing signs of decline. But one empire still has plenty of battery life: California.

This is true even …

No City Is Immune From an Identity Crisis

Beware, Hollywood and Silicon Valley: If Bakersfield Can Lose Its Signature Industry, So Can You

Can you imagine Southern California without Hollywood? Or the Bay Area without Silicon Valley?

No? History suggests that the identities of cities and regions are more fragile, and their central industries …

Why Californians Are Such Suckers for Superheroes

From Onscreen Icons to Tech Stars, the State's Obsession With Larger-Than-Life Characters Is a Way to Avoid Inconvenient Truths

California faces a peculiar overpopulation problem: We have too many superheroes.

Missed this news in The Daily Planet? Fear not—your ignorance is understandable. California is not as closely associated with …

What My High School Taught Me About Sex

At the Clinic, Teens Learn to Grapple With Difficult Choices About Their Own Bodies

The Hollywood High School Wellness Center is tucked away, far from the famous mural painted on our auditorium, which depicts alumni such as Dorothy Dandridge, Laurence Fishburne, and Cher. My …