The Public Humanist

Tag Archives | Public Humanist

Still They Persisted: What a 105 Year Old Strike in Lawrence, MA Can Teach Us About Organization and Social Change

Suggesting that the 1912 strike started in a flash over a wage cut diminishes the contributions of the laborers—mostly women and immigrants—who built unity out of diversity.

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Time for a Tree and a Rope

Jim Crow is again in the news and in the media on a regular basis, with recent sightings on state judicial and educational perches.

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Rhetorical Shifts: Economic Liberty

John Gast’s American Progress, an allegory of Manifest Destiny that was widely disseminated in chromolithographic prints in the late 1800s.

The meanings of welfare and liberty changed significantly from the revolutionary era to the present. How did Adam Smith’s ethically-based concept of liberty come to be replaced with a no-holds-barred free market?

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Are You Ladies Alone?

Marriage

The recent trend in women choosing to marry late (or not at all) is as liberating as any movement, suffrage or sexual.

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Thinking with Arendt about Massachusetts Ballot Question 2: Revaluing the “Public” in the Fight for Public Education

Vote buttons

This November, Massachusetts voters will be deciding whether to lift the cap on charter schools in the Commonwealth, begging the question of what advocates mean by the term “public.”

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Welfare and Liberty

Founding Fathers painting

Twenty years ago, President Clinton signed into law the welfare reform act for which his presidency is widely remembered. His efforts changed our national concept of welfare. But the word used to mean something very different, as is true with many of the ideas put forth in the Constitution.

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For Equality Only, We Wish to Contend

Betty Friedan, right, and Kathryn F. Clarenbach of the University of Wisconsin at the second annual National Organization for Women (NOW) in Washington D.C. in 1967.

Massachusetts history contains many feminists who espoused full-humanity for men and women as well as equal political, educational, and occupational opportunities, including some early feminists who challenged traditional definitions of gender.

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Not Tucking Tail This Time

Phillis Wheatley

A trip to the library prompts thoughts about access to knowledge and the race-, class-, and gender-based barriers many have to surmount in order to gain access.

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Two Homelands: Identities on the Borders

Can one person inhabit two homelands simultaneously? What does it mean to each identity?

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Who are “We”?

We know rather little about the life stories of those we call “them”. More worrisome, what we claim to know often reflects a one-size-fits-all set of negative stereotypes that distances us from and reinforces a distrust and fear of those foreign born.

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