How a Black-Owned 19th-Century Tavern Became the Birthplace of a Beloved Cookie

HERE IS WHAT HISTORIANS HAVE been able to piece together about the lives of tavern-keepers Joseph and Lucretia Thomas Brown. Lucretia Thomas was born in 1772 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, a rough-and-tumble seaport just south of Salem. She was most likely born free, but her parents had been previously enslaved by Continental Navy Captain Samuel Tucker. When LucretiaContinue reading “How a Black-Owned 19th-Century Tavern Became the Birthplace of a Beloved Cookie”

In Canada, Gold Rush-Era Garbage Reveals a History of Chinese Immigrant Cuisine

DAWN AINSLEY, STAFF ARCHAEOLOGIST AT Canada’s Gold-Rush-era Barkerville historic town and park, was overseeing the installation of a new sewer line in 2012 when diggers struck a different kind of gold: garbage. “Every time we hit a garbage dump we had to stop and monitor it,” says Ainsley of the dig. The site of a largelyContinue reading “In Canada, Gold Rush-Era Garbage Reveals a History of Chinese Immigrant Cuisine”

How to Become an Ally in Our Intimate Lives

Often, we find a vision of a better world when we’re most in crisis. I was a young, queer woman in an abusive relationship with a partner who was marginalized in different ways than me. I needed help, but none of the institutions supposedly built for survivors—police, anti-harassment committees, even mainstream anti-violence orgs—spoke to my experience,Continue reading “How to Become an Ally in Our Intimate Lives”

Mental Wellness and the Black Lives Matter Movement

“I felt a little guilty about not being on the front lines,” said Ammie K. Brooks, LSW, a therapist with the Black women-centered Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness. When we spoke, the uprising against racist police violence, sparked by the killing of George Floyd, had been raging for more than a week. Brooks had beenContinue reading “Mental Wellness and the Black Lives Matter Movement”

Black Lives Matter: How White People Can Get Educated and Stay Grounded

As Black Americans’ righteous resistance to racism and police brutality fills social media and the streets, many white Americans are in a period of reevaluation. We may find ourselves wondering what our role is in perpetuating systemic, anti-Black racism, and how we can take action that is actively anti-racist. This self-introspection is a fundamental startingContinue reading “Black Lives Matter: How White People Can Get Educated and Stay Grounded”

The State of Our Society

Obari Cartman’s work begins with stories. “I start with an individual and I say, ‘Tell me how you got here,’” said Dr. Cartman, a trauma-focused clinician and restorative justice coach who primarily works with young Black men in Chicago. “A lot of my work straddles that fence between individual therapy, and community advocacy and organizing.” WhenContinue reading “The State of Our Society”

The Culinary Legacy of Brooklyn’s First Free Black Community

SOMETIMES, WE CAN ONLY UNDERSTAND history from above. That, anyway, seemed to be the outlook of historian James Hurley and pilot Joseph Hays when, in 1968, they flew a plane over Brooklyn. They were looking for the remnants of a village founded 130 years earlier, the free Black community of Weeksville. Read more at Atlas Obscura. FeaturedContinue reading “The Culinary Legacy of Brooklyn’s First Free Black Community”

The Japanese Ghost Town Buried Deep in a Canadian Forest

AT FIRST, IT DIDN’T LOOK like much: a clearing about an hour’s walk into the dense forest of British Columbia’s Seymour Valley, with some rusted cans scattered among the dank leaves and moldy tree trunks. It was 2004, and Bob Muckle, an archaeologist and anthropology instructor at Capilano University, was looking for a site to teachContinue reading “The Japanese Ghost Town Buried Deep in a Canadian Forest”

Why Are We Still Debating Whether Trump is Racist?

Defining things as racist is like that exercise swim instructors do, where they tell kids to swim to them but keep walking backwards so the goal is never actually reached. Except in this exercise, the American public is trying to agree on whether something is racist or not, and the swim instructor is the ever-receding standard forContinue reading “Why Are We Still Debating Whether Trump is Racist?”