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 discrimination at lunch counters, on buses, and in countless other public venues throughout the Jim Crow South. But one particular site of their valor has remained largely hidden in the historical record: public libraries. Ubiquitous civic agencies that for nearly a century had justified local taxpayer support as valued educational institutions because they were “free to all,” libraries remained segregated …

How India’s Nonviolent Resistance Became a Shifting Global Movement

From Gandhi to MLK to the Arab Spring, Nonviolence Is Portable, but Can It Still Persuade?

Early in the 20th century, M.K. Gandhi began to experiment with a novel form of political action, which he termed satyagraha. Gandhi first used satyagraha to protect the rights of …