For More Than 100 Years, Historians Doubted the Autobiographies of SlavesHenry Louis Gates joins the Academy to discuss slave narratives—what they’ve taught us and why scholars used to ignore them.
Who Should Tell the Story of Slavery?Read a transcript of Henry Louis Gates’ appearance on the History of American Slavery, a Slate Academy.
The Family Life of Enslaved PeopleHistory of American Slavery, Episode 4: What happened when Thomas Jefferson and other slaveholders tore apart the families they owned.
The Confederate Flag Doesn’t Belong in a MuseumFinding the proper home for this symbol of oppression isn’t as simple as politicians keep saying it is.
What Was “Gradual Emancipation”?Even in the Northern states, slavery’s abolition arrived slowly after America’s Revolution.
Why White Terrorists Attack Black ChurchesSanctuaries like Charleston’s AME Church aren’t just places of worship—they’re political institutions that threaten white power.
A Living LandmarkCharleston’s Emanuel AME Church isn’t just a church. It is a historic symbol of black resistance to slavery and racism.
“Born Free and Equal”The cases of Quok Walker and Elizabeth Freeman set a benchmark for freedom in the revolutionary North.
The Middle Passage and British Abolition: Episode 2 TranscriptRead a transcript of Episode 2 of The History of American Slavery, a Slate Academy.
Hands That Itch to Hold the SpoonAmerica’s distaste for public breast-feeding has its roots in midcentury racism and the rise of the commercial food industry.
The Mysteries of the MasonsIn 1826, a shadowy cabal kidnapped a man who had threatened to expose the rites of the secretive brotherhood. American politics were never the same again.
Double GenocideLithuania wants to erase its ugly history of Nazi collaboration—by accusing Jewish partisans who fought the Germans of war crimes.
The Unsung HemingsesHistorians have long objectified Sally Hemings, but the Hemings family’s experiences at Monticello offer a unique glimpse into the lives of “privileged” slaves.
The Landscape of Civil War CommemorationHow, when, and where the North and South memorialize the conflict.
“Richmond Reoccupied by Men Who Wore the Gray” In 1890, the former Confederate capital erected a monument to Robert E. Lee—and reasserted white supremacy.
The First Attack on Charleston’s AME ChurchIn 1822, white residents burned the predecessor to today’s church, fearing an insurrection by the city’s black majority.
Centuries of ViolenceFor black Americans, it is impossible to separate the massacre in Charleston from hundreds of years of vicious attacks on our churches and communities.
The Deadly History of “They’re Raping Our Women”Racists have long used rape to defend their worst racist violence.
The Hypocrisy of America’s RevolutionHistory of American Slavery, Episode 3: Slavery during the Revolutionary War and Elizabeth Freeman’s groundbreaking “freedom suit.”
The Surprising Demographics of American SlaveryNew research and new resources are changing our view of how slavery worked in early America.
Inside the Slave ShipHistory of American Slavery, Ep 2: The Atlantic slave trade during its heyday and the remarkable life of Olaudah Equiano.
BoyhoodAn astounding, one-of-a-kind trove of stories and drawings reveals what life was like for young men growing up in rural 19th-century America.
Stranded in TehranWhile spymaster Tony Mendez helped six American diplomats escape Iran, a seventh American and alleged CIA agent was still behind enemy lines—my father.
“I Realized It Was Dishonest Not to Include Myself”How do you tell the story of gayness? J. Bryan Lowder and his editor John Swansburg discuss.