Heritage


Mary Lou’s Sacred Jazz

Commentary: Mary Lou Williams inspired Duke Ellington and a generation of future jazz legends. But it’s her sacred jazz, and journey of faith, that captivated my spirit. 

Let America be America again

An uncompromising voice for social justice, Langston Hughes is heralded as one of America’s greatest poets. It wasn’t always this way.

The power of a song in a strange land

Spirituals were created out of the experience of enslaved people in the US. They weren’t songs of anger – but of an abiding belief in the victory of good over evil.

How African American folklore saved the cultural memory and history of slaves

All over the world, community stories, customs, and beliefs have been passed down from generation to generation. This folklore is used by elders to teach family and friends about their collective cultural past. And for African Americans, folklore has played a particularly important part in documenting history too.

What Everyone Should Know About Reconstruction

COMMENTARY: Based on my experience teaching social studies and my current work preparing social studies educators, I consider understanding what happened during the Reconstruction essential for exploring black power, resilience, and excellence.

Reform Jews call for reparations for slavery

Delegates to the Union for Reform Judaism’s biennial meeting in Chicago on Friday (Dec. 13) voted overwhelmingly to advocate for the creation of a federal commission to study and develop proposals for reparations to African Americans for slavery.

100-Year Anniversary of the Red Summer of 1919

Many people died during the summer and fall of 1919 because of race riots in cities across the country that occurred in more than three dozen cities, including Chicago and a rural county near Elaine, AK.

Alabama heralds ‘last slave ship’ discovery; ponders future

Dives into murky water, painstaking examinations of relics and technical data and rigorous peer review led historians and archaeologists to confirm last week that wreckage found in the Mobile River in 2018 was indeed the Clotilda, the last known ship to bring enslaved Africans to the United States.

COBA Dancers: Passion through Performance, Education, and Research

The Toronto-based Collective of Black Artists (COBA) has been working to introduce audiences to African and Caribbean dances for 25 years. Keeping stories alive through dance and drumming provides connection and memory for the things we leave behind either by choice or urgency.

‘Bloody Sunday’ altered history of a horrified nation

  The images of that day in 1965 were quickly seared into the American consciousness: helmeted Alabama state troopers and mounted sheriff’s possemen beating peaceful civil rights marchers in Selma, Ala., as clouds of tear gas wafted around the Edmund Pettus Bridge. On...