The Roundup Top Ten for May 7, 2021


The Game Is Changing for Historians of Black America

by William Sturkey

"Active racism, exclusion, and environmental injustice have destroyed whole sections of Black history. Many who gripe about “erasing history” of Confederate monuments in the South have no idea how much history has already been erased." New digital tools are a key tool for reconstructing the record of Black history.


Child Welfare Systems Have Long Harmed Black Children Like Ma’Khia Bryant

by Crystal Webster

Although the death of Ma’Khia Bryant has been discussed as yet another example of police violence against Black Americans, it's important to recognize that she was also a victim of a child and family services bureaucracy that has been shaped by racism and left Black children to fend for themselves.



What History Can Teach Banks About Making Change

by Destin Jenkins

"Celebrating Juneteenth and recruiting more Black bankers is one thing. It is quite another for financial firms to use their unique power to actively undermine the systems that perpetuate racial inequality."



Germany’s Anti-Vaccination History Is Riddled With Anti-Semitism

by Edna Bonhomme

Antisemitism has often flared during public health crises such as pandemics; it has also attached itself to suspicion of vaccination, a trend that has been disturbingly prominent among German anti-vaxxers. 



The End of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

by Pedro Cában

Puerto Rico's status as Estado Libre Asociado (Free Associated State) arose in response to American desires to control the island as a colony while nodding to the island's autonomy during the Cold War. It is not up to the challenges Puerto Ricans face today, but Congress appears unwilling to move on from a colonial relationship.



Police and the License to Kill

by Matthew D. Lassiter

The history of the Detroit Police Department shows that police reforms won't reduce killing as long as departments can set priorities that result in racially targeted and discretionary enforcement and are allowed to investigate and sanction the conduct of their own officers. 



Visions against Politics

by Eileen Boris and Annelise Orleck

Historians Eileen Boris and Annelise Orleck are the guest editors of the spring edition of the AAUP's magazine focusing on the need for a New Deal for Higher Education. This is their introductory essay. 



Except for the Miracles

by Olúfémi Táíwò

"The deciding aspect of politics over these next crucial years will turn on battles against overwhelmingly powerful foes who will try to prevent radical redistribution of resources," writes Olúfémi Táíwò. The legacy of two radicals, in Ireland and Kenya, show the value of partial victory and learning from defeat. 



A DARPA for Health? Think Again, President Biden

by Victoria A. Harden

The founder of the Office of NIH History says that the Biden Administration is right to urge a national commitment to health-related research, but shouldn't bother with creating a special task-focused agency; the best support is more and more secure funding for basic research.



The Real ‘Second-Class Citizens’ Of Academia

by Donald Earl Collins

Cornel West's complaints of being treated like a second-class citizen by Harvard may reflect disrespectful treatment. But thousands of adjunct professors experience worse as a matter of routine on the front lines of American universities. 


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