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urban history



  • Riots Long Ago, Luxury Living Today

    High-end development has transformed some Black neighborhoods decades after they were scarred by unrest. And not by coincidence.


  • Centuries of Protest at City Hall Park

    by Marika Plater

    Closed gates around City Hall Park in New York not only restrict access to the park as a site for protest, but ignore the site's history as a theater for political expression. 



  • The Best Histories of U.S. Policing, According to Experts

    A panel of experts including historians Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Simon Balto, Max Felker-Kantor, Carl Suddler, Stuart Schrader and Melanie Newport assemble a reading list for understanding policing and its relationship to racism and social class in the US. 



  • Building The Chicago Police State: A Review Of Occupied Territory

    by Davarian L. Baldwin

    "With scrupulous archival detail and sharp analytic focus, Occupied Territory shows how Chicago’s “powerful carceral machinery,” which present-day Black communities condemns for its under-protection and over-policing, was built in the early twentieth century." 



  • Don’t Be Fooled by Seattle’s Police-Free Zone

    by Margaret O'Mara

    Protest is forcing our city to reckon with truths that can and should make white citizens like me uncomfortable, and that remind us just how much Seattle is like the rest of America: impossibly divided, and impossibly full of hope.



  • Donald Trump’s Message is Falling Flat Because it is Outdated

    by A. K. Sandoval-Strausz

    Our cities and suburbs look and feel very different than they did in the depths of the urban crisis in the late 1960s. That’s one reason Trump’s attempt to revive the law-and-order playbook of that era has fallen flat.



  • When Crime Photography Started to See Color

    A new book of crime photographs by the late Gordon Parks reveals the photographer's art and his efforts to fight back against dominant and frequently racist ways of depicting crime and law enforcement.



  • The End of Black Politics

    by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

    The 1960s generation of Black protest demanded a stronger presence in local government. The current protest movement recognizes that presence isn't enough; leaders must advance an agenda that serves their least advantaged constituents.