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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 →


A Q&A with Dr. OiYan Poon | I have been trying to write a book on Asian Americans and affirmative action since at least 2012. Each time I started, I couldn’t figure out who my intended audience was. As a result, my writing process kept stalling out. I was accustomed to writing for scholarly and technical audiences but had a hard time explaining things to wider audiences—people who are intelligent, curious, and civically engaged. Like many toddlers, my daughter started to ask a lot of questions when she became verbal. Read more →


Since I was little, books have been my favorite place of solace. Once I found out that there are people who work on books for a living and are a part of a little thing known as the publishing industry, I knew I had to make my way there. In my sophomore year of college, I was lucky enough to gain an internship with Books & Books in Miami, FL, a local bookstore chain. There, I started off as an intern and made my way to part-time marketing and events assistant. Read more →


A Q&A with Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma | At a conscious level, when I’m in the process of writing, I don’t necessarily think about these things at all but I certainly do when I take a step back to look at the larger piece and revise and polish it. Then all the ways I’ve learned to read and all the things I’ve read offer themselves as exemplars and guideposts as I bring the work to its final form. 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 →


By Alana Lopez | One of the first ideas taught in my Literature of the Harlem Renaissance course last semester at Boston University was the concept of Harlem as a haven. In Claude McKay’s “Home to Harlem,” it was, as its name suggests, a motivating factor for its main character, like that of Ithaca for Odysseus. It was a hub of inventive and unorthodox expressions of self as shown by Louis Armstrong’s jazz or Gladys Bentley’s blues. For Rudolph Fisher, Harlem’s culture is familiar and, though often written off as a fad, rich with history and ultimately timeless in “The Caucasian Storms Harlem.” To James Baldwin, it is home and birthplace as well and, much like him, I’ve come to find that “home” and “haven” are vastly different things. 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 Frederick S. Lane | For millennia, childless couples were told that their nurseries were empty because of “God's will,” or that it was “all in God’s plan.” Similarly, empty condolences were offered when infants or children died of preventable diseases, unsanitary conditions, unhealthy foods, or foreseeable negligence. Read more →


By Jonathan Rosenblum | Three years of rank-and-file Starbucks worker organizing has produced a historic union breakthrough: a commitment by the implacably anti-union company to bargain a national contract for 10,000 workers and negotiate a process for additional workers to organize. Remarkably, though, this victory came about in part because of a serendipitous boost from the Palestine justice movement. It’s proof of the power—and indeed, necessity—of international working-class solidarity in taking on today’s leading fights against the giants of capitalism. Read more →


By Shenequa Golding | I get why so many Black women are divorcing themselves from the “strong Black woman” trope. The world measures our strength by how much deliberate mistreatment and neglect we accept. We’re expected to pour ourselves into others so much that it’s positioned as an “honor” to die empty. Black women deserve so much more than to live as everyone else's mule and then go to our graves depleted. 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 →


By Lauren Michele Jackson | The art world, according to itself, does not have a race problem. The art world does not allow itself to have a race problem. Were any one entity within the network of museums, galleries, shows, curators, schools, artists, press, and millions upon hundreds of millions of dollars that make up capital A Art to allow for race as a topic of debate, the whole enterprise might collapse into so much dust. For the art world to admit it has a race problem, it would have to account for its centuries-long history in which peoples of color have been regularly pushed from the frame of what constitutes artistic enterprise; meanwhile, their creations have long inspired European and white American artists who deviate from the norm. 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 Feminista Jones | Over the years, I have been approached by several brands, retailers, and television networks and film companies to support their marketing efforts. I may be asked to curate a live-tweet chat or event to build viewership for a television show or film, or to promote a product or service of some sort. My experience is not unique, by far, but it is interesting in the sense that I did not start out as, nor did I ever aspire to be, an “influencer” in this sense. Read more →