History

  • [Opinion] We Really Still Need Howard Zinn

    Monday, Jan 13, 2020
    Howard Zinn wrote one of the most popular books on American history ever. A People’s History of the United States has sold an astonishing two million copies since its first publication in 1980. The success of the book can also be measured by the way that it spawned a new genre of “people-centered” renditions of history. Zinn’s approach to history essentially inverted the traditional approach that placed the rich and powerful, along with the institutions they governed, as the central motors in the development of society. It was history told from above. Alternatively, Zinn championed an approach to history from the bottom up or from the perspective of “the people.”
  • Donald Goines and the Birth of Black Pulp Fiction

    Thursday, May 23, 2019
    Donald Joseph Goines was born on December 15, 1936, in Chicago. Father Joseph and mother Myrtle were hardworking migrants from the South who had managed to open up their own cleaning store. Around 1940 the family, which included older sister Marie, relocated to Detroit and resumed the cleaning business. It was in the Motor City that, ac­cording to biographer Eddie B. Allen Jr., Goines started down a dark path.
  • What is Tamil for Loss? Remembering the Sri Lankan Civil War

    Thursday, May 23, 2019
    My grandmother always reminds me: you have lost your mother-tongue. When I return to Sri Lanka for brief visits, she tells me how I used to understand her. Like my nephews and nieces do now when I was a child, I would listen to spoken Tamil and reply in English. There is nothing I can say to her accusation except to agree. Yes, I have lost my mother tongue, the words, the sounds, the rhythms of speaking to which I was born. I willfully lost this language, after we moved to Australia where my voice, my skin, my body continually marked me as foreign, different, other. As we all know, primary school children can be cruel: losing my mother-tongue was a way to survive.
  • New Directions in Caribbean History

    Friday, Feb 1, 2019
    The catastrophic 2017 hurricane season, which included two category 5 storms, briefly thrust the islands of the Caribbean to the forefront of the U.S. news cycle. The deadly hurricanes highlighted the Caribbean’s heightened vulnerability to weather-related disasters and the devastating effects of climate change.
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