The Public Humanist

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Death in the Afternoon

The silver Dodge Charger that killed Heather Hayer, allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. in Charlottesville

The bravado shown by white supremacists in Charlottesville this week is supported by the symbols and images of manly Confederate heroes, the same ones that are memorialized in city landscapes and, soon, on popular television.

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Freedom Is Not Free: Examining the Abolition Process in Zanzibar

Zanzibar's Stone Town was host to one of the world's last open slave markets, now memorialized by this artwork that utilizes original slave chains.

In challenging the notion of abolition as the final chapter in a history of slavery, we illuminate the lives of those on the periphery of history whose stories and experiences often go unnoticed.

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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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What is a Terrorist?: The Difficulty in a Definition

Images via Google news

The standards by which we call someone a terrorist may be part religious and racial discrimination; hesitating to label individual or group violence as domestic terror appears wise when looking into history.

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Voice Matters in the Land of the Free and Un-free

The immediate challenge to Michelle Obama’s statement about the slaves who built the White House is a very public reminder that words spoken by an African American tongue are still considered suspect.

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The Transgender Public School Directive, Frederick Douglass, and the Rhetoric of “The Child”

Living under forms of social and political oppression in our current moment, the trans community seems to be particularly respectful of children’s capacity to make independent, self-authored personal-political claims.

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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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Arriving in the “Empire of Dreams”

Puerto Rican flags

As a contributor to the Herencia Latina series programming, City of Holyoke Councilor Jossie Valentin explores the significance of Puerto Rican migration through the story of her own arrival in western Massachusetts.

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From Pail to Parlor: Hitting it out of the Park

Viola Davis & Harriet Tubman

Viola Davis’ headline-worthy comments at the Emmys are rooted in a history of black women challenging power.

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