By Alina Scott 2020 is a significant moment in the history of the United States. As some locations begin the process of opening up in the midst of the Covid19 pandemic, the country is now collectively mourning and joining in protests against police brutality in the wake of the murder of George Floyd at the […]
If we understand Alvarez’s decision to tattoo as a direct response to the soldiers’ threats, his story elucidates the limits of state power. Where death squads in Guatemala repeatedly executed civilians and deprived their families of closure, Alvarez’s tattoo might have thwarted such efforts had he died. If the army killed him, or Felipe, or Alberto, their markings might have rendered them more recognizable to their families regardless of the military’s brutality. Their mothers and fathers could then recite the Lord’s Prayer and give them a proper burial. In this sense, Alvarez’s tattoo embodies rebellion against the Guatemalan government’s authority to deprive families of the ability to grieve. His indelible ink, even in death, may have prevented the state from terrorizing his people and denying them this right.
There are roughly one million practicing physicians in the US and less than 6 percent of those physicians are African-American. Meaning that for the 44 million black residents of the U.S., there are about 60,000 black practicing physicians. That is one black doctor for every 700 black patients. This is not to say that only African-American physicians can treat African-American patients, but distrust in healthcare institutions could potentially be alleviated by having providers be of the same ethnicity as the patient…One way to understand the causes of racial health disparities, and the role of women in health care, inside and outside of black churches, is through oral histories, such as the interviews I conducted among lower-income women from a small congregation in southeast Texas.
by Carolyn Pouncy Everyone loves to be proven right, but novelists don’t often expect it—especially five hundred years after the period where their books are set. After all, that’s half the fun of writing and reading fiction: filling in the gaps left by the historical record. So to have a set of novels that explore […]
By Megan Raby This essay is adapted from Dr. Raby’s remarks at a symposium to honor Al Crosby that was sponsored by the Institute for Historical Studies at UT Austin on February 4, 2019. Alfred Crosby’s work has been with me for a long time––actually longer than I can remember. I routinely assign Ecological Imperialism […]
“I was into a kind of heavy philosophy thing when I was 16 years old, and I wanted a truism about cutting through the lies and all that.”
By Tania Sammons This essay is reproduced from the book we are featuring this month, Slavery and Freedom in Savannah, edited by Daina Ramey Berry and Leslie Harris. If you would like to know more about the book and especially about the sidebars that feature short essays on interesting figures and events related to the […]
Today — September 29 — is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War battle of Chaffin’s Farm. The battle is significant because Milton Holland, a mixed race native of Texas was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.
by Andrew Villalon In 2014, we enter the centennial of one of history’s most terrible conflicts. Originally (and quite appropriately) named The Great War, the four-year conflict claimed roughly eight and a half to nine and a half million lives on the battlefield, not to mention millions of civilian war deaths as well as many […]
In July 1835, after two years in Mexico, part of that time confined to a jail cell, Stephen F. Austin received a passport issued by the Mexican government. Austin had gone to Mexico on a diplomatic mission, when Texas was still under Mexican rule, but set off to return home to Texas, where the political climate had shifted and tolerance for Mexican rule had deteriorated. On his way back, he spent time in New Orleans, purchasing several books that might provide clues to his state of mind.