0 posts categorized "History" Feed

By Kyle T. Mays | Since the racial reckoning in the summer of 2020, reparations have become a greater part of the national consciousness and discourse. Municipalities across the US implemented some form of reparations programs; two states, including California and New York, have implemented task forces to study the possibility of it. There is no consensus on reparations and cash payments, though. The recent discussions and debates on reparations for Black Americans remain controversial across racial and party lines. Read more →


By Dara Baldwin | This June 22, we celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the historic civil rights Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) case Olmstead v. Lois Curtis. In 1999, SCOTUS “upheld the unjustified segregation of people with disabilities.” Many people are unaware of this significant civil rights case and its significance to the lives of disabled people. But even more egregious is the erasure from history of its lead plaintiff: a Black disabled woman. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | Rainbow season is in full, fierce bloom, honeys! Take to the streets with your most fabulous fans and clack them with pride! Clack them to reflect, empower, and unite for queerness in all its joys and liberation! Clack back to the haters intimidated by queerness! Because this is your month. They all are, really. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | This Sunday, it’s dad’s turn to be given his flowers—or tie or power tool or gift card. You get the idea. Our flowers come in the form of books, some of which are written by fathers. Books for the daddies and zaddies on their muscle-bound journey. For the House fathers taking the rejected queer kids under their wing. For the feminist dads who don’t want to go the way of the Kens in “Barbie.” For the fathers living from hustle to hustle to keep a roof over their loved ones’ heads. Read more →


By Philip C. Winslow | In February 2021, Myanmar’s long-dominant military overthrew the elected government and set about to crush the shoots of democracy once and for all. Some years before that, I traveled parts of the country: across Yangon, Bago and Mandalay divisions, through northern Kachin and the Shan states; through the plains, down south through Kayin and Mon states and back again. This was initial research for a planned book on the Irrawaddy River, which I was not able to finish. Read more →


By Philip C. Winslow | Sierra Leone’s civil war ran from 1991 to 2002. I reported it occasionally, in 1994 and 1995, mainly about a group of South African mercenaries hired by the Freetown government. (The same mercenaries had also worked in Angola.) In 1999-2000, I worked there again, not as a journalist, but with UNAMSIL, the United Nations peacekeeping mission, with 17,500 troops then the world’s largest. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | “How do you teach a kindergartener about the histories and contemporary legacies of race and racism in a way that affirms her humanity and agency?” Dr. OiYan Poon poses herself this question in the introduction of “Asian American Is Not a Color: Conversations on Race, Affirmative Action, and Family” after her three-year-old daughter Té Té broaches the topic of race. An answer to her question could be found by turning to this year’s theme for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Read more →


By Philip C. Winslow | I reported from Angola 1993-1995 as the Southern Africa radio correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, and later on my own. The war took a terrible toll on civilians, mostly through the use of landmines, but also through murder and various forms of coercion. For a time, the civil war, extravagantly fueled by the US and the Soviet Union, with help from South Africa and Cuba, was known as “the worst war in the world.” Although that title has passed to other conflicts, Angola’s forty-one years of war remain a distinct chapter in the annals of human destruction. Read more →


By Howard Bryant | Americans have shown they can only discuss race within two frameworks: Things are better than they were or Get over it. So what exactly happened to the Heritage in the 1970s that began a nearly half-century slide into dormancy, when protest was transformed from noble to toxic? O. J. Simpson happened to it. Read more →


A Q&A with Amy Caldwell and Perpetua Charles | I’d worked with Ra Page, Atef Abu Saif’s editor at Comma Press in the UK, on a previous book, The Drone Eats with Me, which chronicled Abu Saif’s experiences on the ground in Gaza during the 2012 Israeli incursion. And then last fall, after the post-Oct 7 Israeli campaign and invasion of Gaza began, Ra reached out. I didn’t know Atef had been visiting Gaza on October 7, and it was, of course, distressing to hear. Read more →


By Frederick S. Lane | The name “Anthony Comstock” has been in the news a lot over the last few weeks. That’s really something of a surprise, given that Comstock died almost 109 years ago in his Summit, NJ, home. But he left behind a legacy of legislative and cultural activism that increasingly resonates with the country’s growing Christian nationalist movement.  Read more →


By Mei Su Bailey | This year, Beacon Press is taking part in the nationwide celebration of James Baldwin’s hundredth birthday with the release of the James Baldwin Centennial Series! Originally published in “Notes of a Native Son,” these essay collections commemorate Baldwin’s legacy as an artist, an activist, a social critic, and a gifted writer. Read more →


A Q&A with Jaclyn Moyer | I wasn’t intending to write about the history of the organic farming movement when I started this project, but as I began to uncover my family’s past, I discovered that the origins of the organic movement, the development of modern wheat, and my own personal history intersected. And all three were bound up with colonialism. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | Sometimes it happens by trailblazing a path in a testosterone-choked arena. Sometimes it happens through organizing to demand the end of bias and discrimination from our lives and institutions. Sometimes it happens in the quiet of her personal life. And, of course, it happens through her writing. These are some of the ways empowered women empower women through history and today. Read more →


By Nancy Rubin Stuart | Who can predict the afterlife of a book? Marketing committees, like the one at Beacon Press, try to assess that before deciding to buy a manuscript. In contrast, authors often write books because we are excited about our subjects and want to share them with others. Naturally, we want to attract a wide readership, but given the large number of books published each year, we rarely expect our books to remain popular beyond the first few years of publication. Read more →


A Q&A with Yashica Dutt | The research process for the book was fairly typical. I spent a ton of time in libraries and archives, extracting material around the historical details that have gone into shaping this book. I was most surprised to learn how different those details were from the narrative of history that we have been given for decades. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | Remember when Janelle Monáe said Black women aren’t a monolith? Same goes for the Black diaspora, and yet the Grammys love plugging their ears and going La la la la laaaaa. This year, they did Black artists dirty yet again, snubbing them in the award for Album of the Year. Jay-Z is far from the first to call out their snubbery at the ceremony. They’ve also been called out for confining Black artist nominations in the rap/hip hop and R&B categories. Read more →


By Jim Morris | Not long after I became a journalist in 1978—as I was working at a newspaper in Galveston, Texas—I felt the rumblings of what would become a career-long obsession: Explaining the ghastly effects of toxic chemicals on humans—in particular, blue-collar workers. These were the people, mostly men, who did the dirty, dangerous work most of us avoid, in places like Texas City, Texas, and Lake Charles, Louisiana. I detected little sympathy for them when they were burned, gassed, maimed, or soaked with chemicals in the course of their work. Read more →


A Q&A with Alicia Kennedy | My awareness of all the ways in which eating meat intersects with systems and outcomes that I don’t agree with unfolded gradually. It was a very instinctual, spiritual conviction that made giving up meat feel both enticing (at first) and necessary (at last), and then the more cerebral reasons for why I was drawn to it came into focus. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | When loved ones perch at the table together for holiday gatherings, it’s not just the star protein with fixings that gets served. Whether it’s on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other occasion for feel-good feasting in big company, those mashed potatoes and greens come with a side of divergent viewpoints on touchy, real-life subjects. Sometimes they’re served respectfully, sometimes with vitriol, but on many occasions, they stir up tough conversations, and the meals become so ideologically fraught that digestion seems out of the question. Read more →