Integrating the FBI

One of the first African American Special Agents for the FBI, and a veteran of the bureau’s Hoover years, reflects on the past and future of law enforcement’s engagement with minority communities. “The practice of community policing has, I believe, been a factor in the improvement of relations, but there is still a continuing battle to establish trust,” says retired agent Wayne Davis.

Ferguson in Focus

On August 9, 2014, people had worried that Michael Brown would be forgotten. By September of that same year, it was clear no one would ever forget Brown, but what legacy his death would leave was in question.

Mr. Rifleman & Mr. Machine Gun

The demise of the formal French and British Empires in the second half of the 20th century obscures that reality that imperial methods and practices still have practical value to those who seek to control different people.

“The Hidden Hands”

“In the end, the reason an officer arrests someone really doesn’t matter. What matters is that the officer has the “magic pen.” Officers know that, ultimately, what is written in a report will more than likely be accepted and believed because that officer controls the information that the prosecuting attorney and public will see.”

Most Recent: “Searching For Yogi Berra”

Yogi Berra did not think twice about spending several hours in the middle of the afternoon speaking to a rookie journalist from a local magazine he had probably never head of. I realized Yogi was right. You can observe a lot just by watching.

Most Popular: “Anatomy of a Protest”

Last year’s Peabody Energy protest showed that the legacy of student activism is not necessarily its ability to negotiate solutions, but the ways it tests free speech. Students, in particular, enjoy a remarkable abundance of media attention that remains elusive for members of many other demographics.

“From Memphis to New Orleans”

A journey down the Mississippi River shows that our search for authenticity recedes forever. Like the horizon at the end of the mind, it is always just around the bend in the river.

The Requirements of Southern Journalism

”If it could be established, a fearlessly edited press is one of the crying necessities of the hour. Such a journal, edited in the midst of such conditions as exist in the South, can better give the facts, than out of it, or than the press dispatches will do. True, such a one might have to be on the hop, skip and jump but the seed planted even though the sower might not tarry to watch its growth, can never die. At present only one side of the atrocities against a defenceless people is given, and with all the smoothing over is a bad enough showing.”

Hearn’s “Memphis To New Orleans”

The Common Reader’s inaugural essay by Lafcadio Hearn, one of the most acclaimed journalists of the 19th century. Born 1850 in Lefkada, Greece, Hearn became most famous for his writings about Japan. Before that, however, he was a well-known New Orleans journalist.

Carver’s Food Movement

Carver’s significance should not solely be accounted for by his creation of multiple new uses for agricultural crops. In a nation today roiled by debates over genetically modified organisms (GMO food crops), Carver’s “old fashioned” methods of composting, kitchen gardens, and conscious eating seem simultaneously quaint and prescient. He should rightly be lauded him as an avatar of responsible land stewardship and healthy eating.