SOURCE: Boston Review
The Democratic Possibilities of Cruising
by Jack Parlett
As a practice, cruising exemplifies the possibilities of urban culture by bringing people into contact with strangers and enabling them to recognize common desires. The history of crusing shows it's not just about sex, but about democracy.
The History of Saloons Helps Understand the Social Harm of the Pandemic
"In the century and a half after the founding, saloons continued to be a key social institution, places of business, leisure, and community for many men—until Prohibition wiped them out, destroying in one fell stroke the cultural and economic infrastructure they had long provided."
SOURCE: Bloomberg CityLab
Where Did the Public Toilets Go?
Peter Baldwin offers context for how American cities haltingly adopted and quickly abandoned public toilets, a story that encompasses the racial, gender and class politics of how people interact in urban space.
History Matters: Debates About Monuments Reflect Current Divisions
How should local governments approach the question of memorials? Historians can advise about the significance or meaning of historical figures, but community values and state laws are subject to partisan politics.
Let America Be America Again
by Ed Simon
Outpourings of joy on November 7 when it became apparent Joe Biden had defeated Donald Trump don't mean that the nation's problems are solved, but spontaneous, collective celebration means people still have the capability to recognize our shared fate and work together.
SOURCE: The Conversation
New York Opens Traffic-Clogged Streets to People During Pandemic, the City’s Latest Redesign in Times of Dramatic Change
by Amy D. Finstein
The COVID-19 pandemic presents large cities with an opportunity to remake public space around different priorities, putting people before automobiles.
SOURCE: Washington Post
‘This Invokes a History of Terror’: Central Park Incident Between White Woman and Black Man is Part of a Fraught Legacy
by Errin Haines
Scholars including Ibram X. Kendi, Robin DiAngelo, and Stephanie Jones-Rogers describe the historical phenomenon that real or imagined threats to white women's safety has justified repression against black men.
SOURCE: New York Daily News
’A Black Man in a White Space’: America has a Long and Troubled History of Segregated Public Parks
by Victoria W. Wolcott
Public spaces are infused with the power of history: the legacy of segregation, police brutality, and white supremacy. If there was ever a time that called for compassion in our shared spaces, it is now.
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