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Writing Toward Freedom

How a slave savant charmed his masters even as he denied their right to own him.

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Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Fugitive

She sheltered a runaway slave. Did he help inspire a novel that shook the world?

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Struggling toward the Promised Land

Rhondda Thomas knows the power of a good story.

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Our Not-so-freeways

Ellis's new book, Changing Lanes, with coauthor Joseph F. C. DiMento, lays out the history of our freeway system as clearly as a road atlas.

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Selling soap and saving souls

How white filmmakers misread black audiences in the early days of film.

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Drive Time

Jillian Weise gets some of her best ideas when she’s driving her car. No wonder her poetry and fiction cover so much ground.

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sacred places, shattered spaces

Fist-sized chunks of lime­stone and cracked brick. Crumbled masonry and leveled columns. Shattered buttresses and pots, toys, and tools.

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Somebody had to go.

Sorry about that. Somebody had to go. Couldn’t let everybody off the hook.

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a slave’s life

You got whipped for not working fast enough. You got whipped for not admitting to a minor theft you didn’t commit. You got whipped for praying, for not obeying quickly enough, for taking a muskmelon to keep from starving. And sometimes you got whipped just for the pure sadistic hell of it.

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