12 March 2015

Feminism has a crucial role to play in modern life, but I sometimes wish it would leave our fairy tales alone. The results of its revisionist meddling are too often unconvincing and unsatisfying.

Remember last year’s ...

Young woman wearing an old-fashioned hoop dress dancing with the beast, hairy man in a suit
18 March 2017

Because I’m attracted to tales of romance or redemption, it’s not surprising that I love Beauty and the Beast. It is, after all, a fairy tale that combines both romance and redemption.

But that doesn’t mean I love every...

Black man and white woman dancing
01 March 2017

Even though its subject matter is completely different, I can’t help comparing A United Kingdom to 2016’s Hidden Figures.

Both films uncover an obscure chapter in the history of racial injustice. And both films are fascinating...

Black and white photo of protest in streets from 50s with sign saying something about race mixing
31 January 2017

Do you prefer to have your cinematic guilt and grief delivered with a Boston accent? If so, you might enjoy the Oscar-nominated Manchester by the Sea. (Well, maybe “enjoy” is the wrong verb, since Jimmy Fallon accurately described it as...

Book cover
22 January 2017

I constantly remind the students in my African American history classes that if you are poor and white in America, especially if you are rural or southern, the only difference is that you are not black. We have long known that poor...

Book cover
16 January 2017

Most Americans never learned that there was slavery in the northern United States. Half of all slave voyages docked in tiny Rhode Island, and slave owner James DeWolf of Bristol, Rhode Island was said to be the second...

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