2016 Reading Review – Part III

In this segment: Non-Fiction and Religion. (See the full list of my 2016 reading here.) My non-fiction reading is a bit eclectic, usually recommendations from others. This year was no different. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | This was really just a short essay. And while I like Adichie’s reading, I don’t really remember […]

On His 149th Birthday

In honor of the birthday (yesterday) of one of my intellectual heroes, I thought I’d write a few words. I first encountered W.E.B. Du Bois in a college US history survey in my second year. We read an excerpt from The Souls of Black Folk and I was moved to read the whole book that […]

On Lincoln and Our Second Founding

As a historian, the Fourth of July can be a difficult holiday. Our founding myths are full of a-historical notions about the “Founding Fathers” and the birth of freedom (while maintaining slavery). These ideas are enshrined in our national anthem. Written in during the War of 1812, its words celebrate “the land of the free” at […]

A Half History of Race Science

I recently finished Nell Irvin Painter’s A History of White People. I’d been looking forward to it for sometime but was ultimately disappointed in what I read. Painter’s book is one of the seminal texts of a cross-disciplinary field called whiteness studies, which focuses on the meaning of the racial category ‘white.’ So when I […]

Ferguson, In Context

On Friday, for our last session of class, I taught my students about contemporary inequality in America and the process of racial segregation in the Ferguson area. I’d planned this since the summer, when I learned that I would have one more day of instruction than usual. I had no idea that the grand jury’s decision […]

Meeting Dolores Huerta

Wednesday night I had the rare opportunity to meet someone I teach my students about: Dolores Huerta. She was a co-founder of the organization that would become the United Farm Workers. She has continued to work tirelessly for migrant workers, students, and workers in general, both Chicano/as and others. At 85 she’s still busy promoting these causes […]