• Harvard President and Dean: Slavery Shaped the University

    by Lawrence S. Bacow and Tomiko Brown-Nagin

    Harvard's financial, infrastructural and intellectual legacies are unavoidably entangled with slavery. A new report is meant to signal the university's efforts at reckoning and reconciliation. 

  • Montpelier Descendants Call Foul on Board over Firings

    The firing of three senior staff members who support the involvement of the Montpelier Descendants Committee in the public presentation of James Madison's estate, and the slavery practiced there, has raised questions about whether Montpelier is committed to historical honesty. 

  • National Trust Condemns Actions Against Staff at Montpelier

    "The National Trust strongly condemns these actions against highly regarded and nationally recognized professionals, which will impede the effective stewardship of Montpelier and diminish important public programming at this highly significant historic site."  

  • Cuba and the US: Necessary Mirrors

    by Geraldo Cadava

    How much more could the 1619 Project have accomplished if it considered the broader connections of slavery, racism and power in the Caribbean? 

  • Lies We Teach to Kids about the Reconstruction Era

    by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca

    "The narrative of Reconstruction perpetuated by many state social studies standards is part of a longer and larger struggle over the past, the latest episode of which can be seen in a rash of new restrictions on what teachers can tell young people about our nation’s history.

  • Madison's Montpelier Board Strips Power from Enslaved Descendants' Group

    "Matt Reeves, the director of archaeology said he fears the effort to cut off the committee is aimed at undoing years of progress in conveying a more honest and complete view of history. 'They really want a narrative that’s restricted to nothing that’s negative about James Madison'.”

  • Montpelier Board Abandons Promises to Descendants of Enslaved

    by Montpelier Descendants Committee

    Montpelier Descendants' Committee founder James French contends that the group "will not be deterred from our mission to contribute to uniting the country by telling a more complete and truthful history of our founding, including the full role of its indispensable ‘invisible founders'.”

  • A Brief History of Violence in the Capitol

    Historian Joanne Freeman explains that the threat of violence has been a useful tool for minority factions in the government to thwart opposition, both in the pre-Civil War era and today.   

  • The Story of Adeline Henson

    by Martha S. Jones

    Adeline Henson's story shows the necessity of digging beneath the surface of documentary sources to uncover the humanity of enslaved people. 

  • Did George Washington Have an Enslaved Son?

    West Ford founded the freedmen's town of Gum Springs near Mount Vernon in 1833. Today a preservation effort to protect the town is tied to a bitter conflict with Mount Vernon over whether West Ford was also the unacknowledged son of George Washington.