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 37-foot-tall statue of William Penn, keeping watch over the city he founded. For most of the 20th century, the tip of Penn’s cap was the tallest point in what once was the fourth largest city in the country.

The grand building, with its elaborate stonework, also provided a fitting home for a man two local journalists called “the cop who …

Can the North Acknowledge Its Own Role in American Slavery?

Historians and Activists Pushed Philadelphia and New York to Commemorate Places Where Enslaved People Lived and Died

Soon after the American Revolution, Philadelphia was the temporary capital of the United States. From 1790-97, President George Washington lived in a large house a block from Independence Hall, in …

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 …

A Punk Rock Tour Across Europe Gave Me Hope for Philly’s Revival

Photographing My Hometown’s Urban Neglect Captures the Hidden Potential in a City’s Ruins

Growing up in Philadelphia, I played and photographed in the ruins of buildings—some noble, even ones designated as important national historic landmarks. I wasn’t really cognizant of their importance in …