• How Italians Became ‘White’

    by Brent Staples

    Italians who had come to the country as “free white persons” were often marked as black because they accepted “black” jobs in the Louisiana sugar fields or because they chose to live among African-Americans.

  • 400 years later, America still has so much to learn about its racial history

    by Lonnie Bunch

    Slavery was central to the country’s formation: its economy, its government, its identity, its entire way of life. Without a systemized, entrenched slave trade, America would not have grown to the extent it did. During the past 400 years, the fault lines created in our foundation by a fundamentally dehumanizing system have periodically cracked wide-open. From the Civil War to the violent backlash in response to Reconstruction; from the segregation of Jim Crow laws to persistent inequities in economic outcomes, housing policy and the criminal-justice system, the specter of 1619 continues to haunt us.