Percy Fawcett’s Search for a Lost Amazon Civilization

A man digging up stones looking for a lost Amazon civilization.

What is the “City of Z”? Why led Percy Fawcett to believe in its existence? How did he fund his expeditions? In the late 1800s/early 1900s, a British explorer named Percy Fawcett was convinced that there was a lost Amazon civilization, and he was determined to find it. However, he struggled to secure the funds for his expedition due to skepticism and rivals. Here’s why Fawcett believed the City of Z existed and how he funded his expeditions, according to The City of Z by David Grann.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Black American Identity

Depiction of Black American identity through painting, artist

What does it mean to be Black in America? How can African Americans embrace and enjoy shared culture? Black American identity is complex in that Black Americans are still marginalized today, requiring resilience from members of the community—but there are still avenues for celebration, joy, and beloved traditions. In fact, this joy can be the very basis of resilience. Read on to see how Ta-Nehisi Coates describes his own experience of forming Black American identity in his book Between the World and Me.

Understanding the Consequences of Slavery and Segregation

Understanding the consequences of slavery, depiction of early members of government when slavery was rampant, slave owners in government

What have been the consequences of slavery and segregation in America? How has this violence against African Americans impacted the Black community today? The consequences of slavery and segregation include enduring violence against Black Americans and racial discrimination. This includes discrimination by police and judicial systems. Here’s more on how racism manifests today, from the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

The Upcoming Solar Eclipse—Everything You Need to Know

A family of three watching the upcoming solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

When is the upcoming solar eclipse? What is a total solar eclipse? How can you safely view the eclipse without causing damage to your eyes? When a total solar eclipse occurs, our planet, our moon, and the sun align to enable the tiny moon to block out the giant sun. While partial solar eclipses aren’t super rare, total solar eclipses are much less common. Here’s what you need to know about the upcoming solar eclipse.

Verbal Judo for Law Enforcement: Using Words, Not Force

A police officer talks calmly and compassionately with a troubled man, illustrating Verbal Judo for law enforcement

How is Verbal Judo applied to law enforcement? What happens when police officers practice empathy? Law enforcement trainer and English professor George Thompson wrote Verbal Judo to explain how to handle any tense situation calmly. He argues that, in a high-pressure situation, it’s most effective to act as if you’re practicing judo. Keep reading to learn about Verbal Judo for law enforcement.

Odysseus Moon Landing & the Future of Space Exploration

A photo of the Odysseus moon landing taken by Intuitive Machines

What does the Odysseus moon landing mean for the future of space travel? How can the space industry sustain its growth and maximize its impact on the economy? The February Odysseus moon landing, funded by private investment, has reignited global interest in space. Private companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic will play a pivotal role in the evolution of the space economy, fostering innovation, competition, and space exploration. Keep reading to learn about Odysseus and its implications.

A Kind of Revolution: Howard Zinn on the War for Independence

soldiers and flags in a city street during the American Revolution ("A Kind of Revolution") or the War for Independence

What economic issues did American elites face in the years leading up to the American Revolution, and how did the war allow them to address these problems? How did poor whites, slaves, and American Indians respond to the war? Howard Zinn titled Chapter 5 of A People’s History of the United States “A Kind of Revolution.” He characterizes America’s war for independence as a conflict between British and American elites rather than an uprising of the masses. Continue reading to get Zinn’s take on the American Revolutionary War and the formation of the United States.

A History of Slaves in America: Persons of Mean and Vile Condition

A Black male slave working in a field on a farm in nineteenth-century US, representing the history of slaves in America

Why did American colonial elites fear slaves? What role did slaves play in the Revolutionary War and Civil War? In A People’s History of the United States, Howard Zinn includes a history of slaves in America. He explores their experience during colonial times, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War. He also takes a look at freed slaves during the Reconstruction era. Keep reading to learn about life for these so-called “persons of mean and vile condition.”

Drawing the Color Line: Howard Zinn on Colonial American Classes

a poor enslaved black man looking up at a wealthy white man in Colonial America (Harold Zinn's "Drawing the Color Line")

In what ways did enslaved Africans resist oppression within the American colonial system? How did the exploitation of poor whites serve the interests of the colonial elites? The class system in colonial America was hierarchical, with wealthy elites exploiting enslaved Africans, poor whites, and women. Despite facing challenges, these groups resisted oppression and fought for equality within the colonial society. Read more to learn about “drawing the color line” in colonial America, according to Howard Zinn in A People’s History of the United States.

A People’s History of the Formation of the United States

Founding fathers oversee the formation of the United States and draft the Constitution in Philadelphia's Independence Hall

What led to class tensions after the American Revolution? How did the drafting of the US Constitution aim to balance power among different classes in society? The formation of the United States in 1776, following the expulsion of Britain, resulted in persistent class tensions. The US Constitution, drafted by elite white men, aimed to protect their interests and restrict democratic influence, favoring elite control. Read more to get Howard Zinn’s take on the formation of the United States.