“The Yellow Rose of Texas”: The Ironic Origins of a Popular Song

While many Americans are familiar with the song, “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” few know the story of Emily West, the African American woman who was the inspiration for its creation.  In the excerpt below from a longer article that first appeared in 1996, University … Read More“The Yellow Rose of Texas”: The Ironic Origins of a Popular Song

From Opera, Minstrelsy and Ragtime to Social Justice: An Overview of African American Performers at Carnegie Hall, 1892-1943

Sissieretta Jones “It is probable that this hall will intertwine itself with the history of our country,” said Andrew Carnegie in 1890, when he laid the cornerstone of the building that would become Carnegie Hall.  In keeping with Carnegie’s firm belief in egalitarianism and meritocracy, … Read MoreFrom Opera, Minstrelsy and Ragtime to Social Justice: An Overview of African American Performers at Carnegie Hall, 1892-1943

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: A Brief History

In the account that follows, Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr., the President and CEO of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute describes the museum’s origins in the powerful and poignant story of the struggle for racial justice in Alabama’s largest city in the 1960s. In the late … Read MoreThe Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: A Brief History

Gentrification, Integration or Displacement?: The Seattle Story

In the following article, Henry W. McGee, Jr., a Seattle University Professor of Law and Central District resident, discusses the recent dramatic transformation of the area from a predominately working class African American community into an area of high income white, Asian American and African … Read MoreGentrification, Integration or Displacement?: The Seattle Story

Defending Nikkei: Hugh MacBeth and the Japanese American Internment

In the account below University of Quebec at Montreal historian Greg Robinson describes the activies of Hugh MacBeth, a black Los Angeles attorney, on behalf of the Japanese American citizens and resident aliens incarcerated during World War II.  Hugh MacBeth, Sr., an African American attorney … Read MoreDefending Nikkei: Hugh MacBeth and the Japanese American Internment

Eyewitness to Terror: The Lynching of a Black Man in Obion County, Tennessee in 1931

In 1931 twelve year old Thomas J. Pressly witnessed the lynching of George Smith in Union City, the county seat of Obion County, Tennessee.  Now a University of Washington historian and Professor Emeritus, Dr. Pressley describes that lynching in the article below.   When I was … Read MoreEyewitness to Terror: The Lynching of a Black Man in Obion County, Tennessee in 1931

Remembering Brown: Silence, Loss, Rage, and Hope, 1954

In the following article, James A. Banks, the Kerry and Linda Killinger Professor and Director of the Center for Multicultural Education at the University of Washington, Seattle, describes his Arkansas community’s reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision when it … Read MoreRemembering Brown: Silence, Loss, Rage, and Hope, 1954