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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
My blackness | Aeon
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Biography and memoir

My blackness

At times I’ve tried to escape it. Other times I’ve embraced it. But at all times, people have attempted to define me by it

Colin Grant

Five years after the war | Aeon
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Gender and identity

Timothée built his identity around his absent father. What happens when they meet?

17 minutes

Nubia Way | Aeon
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Cities

Inside the unique London community built by residents to defy housing discrimination

21 minutes

Breakfast with the Panthers | Aeon
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Human rights and justice

Breakfast with the Panthers

It wasn’t all young men and guns: the Black Panther Party’s programs fed more hungry kids than the state of California

Suzanne Cope

Blackness in antiquity | Aeon
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History of ideas

Blackness in antiquity

To truly see black people in ancient art we need to look beyond the historically recent trope of ‘Blackness = inferiority’

Sarah Derbew

The Black cop: a villain, a victim and a hero | Aeon
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Gender and identity

What happened when a gay Black man joined the Metropolitan Police in London

25 minutes

EXCLUSIVEStreet angel | Aeon
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Race and ethnicity

Seeking authenticity in a Chinatown built for tourists and Hollywood movies

23 minutes

Being Persian | Aeon
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Nations and empires

Being Persian

To be Persian before nationalism was to belong to a generous, plural identity woven through language, kin and manners

Mana Kia

The South African model | Aeon
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Human rights and justice

The South African model

What the United States and other settler societies can learn from South Africa’s push to create a nonracial democracy

Mahmood Mamdani

The whitewashing of Rome | Aeon
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The ancient world

The whitewashing of Rome

White supremacists fetishise ancient Rome – but antiquity was more diverse and polychromatic than racists will admit

Jamie Mackay

Enlisted, enslaved, enthroned | Aeon
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Nations and empires

Enlisted, enslaved, enthroned

Vandals, Goths, Alemanni, Sueves… the Romans grappled endlessly with the status of ethnic peoples in their vast empire

Douglas Boin

The necessity of Kripke | Aeon
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Thinkers and theories

The necessity of Kripke

No one with an interest in philosophy or debates about identity can afford to be ignorant of the work of Saul Kripke

Stephen Law

EXCLUSIVEMy name is Anik | Aeon
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Family life

It’s a clash of cultures when Anik’s granddaughter comes home to learn Kurdish

17 minutes

Empire of fantasy | Aeon
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Stories and literature

Empire of fantasy

By conquering young minds, the writing of J R R Tolkien and C S Lewis worked to recapture a world that was swiftly ebbing away

Maria Sachiko Cecire

Sociology’s race problem | Aeon
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Race and ethnicity

Sociology’s race problem

Urban ethnographers do more harm than good in speaking for Black communities. They see only suffering, not diversity or joy

Robyn Autry

The genes we’re dealt | Aeon
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Genetics

The genes we’re dealt

The new field of social genomics can be used by progressives to combat racial inequality or by conservatives to excuse it

Erik Parens

Philosophy’s systemic racism | Aeon
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History of ideas

Philosophy’s systemic racism

It’s not just that Hegel and Rousseau were racists. Racism was baked into the very structure of their dialectical philosophy

Avram Alpert

The king of Haiti’s dream | Aeon
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Nations and empires

The king of Haiti’s dream

How a utopian vision of Black freedom and self-government was undone in a world still in thrall to slavery and racism

Marlene L Daut

The fight for ‘Anglo-Saxon’ | Aeon
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Archaeology

The fight for ‘Anglo-Saxon’

Racists use it to bolster their ethnohistorical myths, but historians and archaeologists should not abandon the term

Howard Williams

Ming | Aeon
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Gender and identity

Mind racing, body still – for Ming, being a nude figure model is emotionally fraught work

3 minutes

Indian removal | Aeon
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Nations and empires

Indian removal

One of the first mass deportations in the modern world, administered by state bureaucrats, took place on American soil

Claudio Saunt

Identifying Einstein | Aeon
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Race and ethnicity

Identifying Einstein

For Albert Einstein, being Jewish and German were not questions of identity but rather mutable matters of identification

Michael D Gordin

Is ‘race’ modern? | Aeon
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Race and ethnicity

Is ‘race’ modern?

To counter racism, scholars must trace the idea of ‘race’ to its origins, but asking the right questions is half the battle

Adam Hochman

Black sheep | Aeon
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Social psychology

What ultranationalism offers working-class teens in England’s north

16 minutes