How Samoans Resisted Coconut Colonialism

In the Early 20th Century, the Fruit’s Farmers Sowed the Seeds of Today’s Global Labor Struggle

Coconuts are everywhere. If you walk into a grocery store pretty much anywhere in the United States, you’ll find a cornucopia of coconut products: coconut water, coconut oil, coconut macaroons, and, of course, husked coconuts themselves.

Most consumers spend little time thinking about where the coconuts in this “coco craze” come from. But according to a Samoan proverb, “The coconut is sweet, but it was husked with the teeth.”

For the Samoan farmers and workers of the early coconut industry, these sweet treats were a site of struggle against colonial rule and …

What the GOP Gets Wrong About the Puritans

Reagan and Pence Invoked Them as Inspiration, But a True Reckoning With Their History Provides a Different Vision of the Nation’s Future

During the first Republican presidential primary debate, on August 23, former Vice President Mike Pence spoke of founders of the nation conquering the American “wilderness.” It was one …

A corset store

Bringing Down the Bra

Since the 19th Century, Women Have Abandoned Restrictive Undergarments While Pursuing Social and Political Freedom

In a recent Instagram conversation with fans, actress Gillian Anderson articulated what many women are thinking these days: “I’m not wearing a bra anymore … it’s just too f**king uncomfortable.”

The …

This Radical, Revolutionary Nation of Immigrants | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

This Radical, Revolutionary Nation of Immigrants

Zócalo Book Prize Winner Jia Lynn Yang Chronicles the Changing Tides of American Identity

The 2021 Zócalo Public Square Book and Poetry Prize winners, Jia Lynn Yang and Angelica Esquivel, are creators of works that find the humanity in two of Zócalo’s favorite subjects: …

The Enslaved Chefs Who Invented Southern Hospitality

Black Cooks Created the Feasts that Gave the South Its Reputation for Gracious Living 

“We need to forget about this so we can heal,” said an elderly white woman, as she left my lecture on the history of enslaved cooks and their influence on …

The 41-Volume Government Report That Turned Immigration Into a Problem

In 1911, the Dillingham Commission Set a Half-Century Precedent for Screening Out ‘Undesirable’ Newcomers

The Dillingham Commission is today little known. But a century ago, it stood at the center of a transformation in immigration policy, exemplifying Americans’ simultaneous feelings of fascination and fear …