I lived in Brooklyn for almost exactly five years--from December, 2012 to December, 2017. Eric Adams, the likely winner of the 2021 New York City mayoral race, became Borough President shortly after I moved there.
I never liked Eric Adams. There was something about him I found deeply off-putting. However, as Borough President is largely a ceremonial position, I basically ignored the feeling (and Adams). And, after I went back to Manhattan, I never thought about Adams at all.
However, when Adams announced his run for mayor of New York City, I felt obligated to determine the source of my…
The Civil Rights Act of 1871 destroyed the first incarnation of the KKK.
Every American over the age of ten know the abbreviation KKK stands for Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist group founded in Tennessee by a former Confederates in 1865. Starting off as secret fraternal organization, the KKK morphed into a paramilitary organization that murdered and intimidated African-Americans and their white Republican allies throughout the American South. …
One hundred and sixty years ago today, the first battle of the American Civil War began.
One hundred and sixty years ago today, members of the South Carolina militia attacked Fort Sumter, a sea fort situated in Charleston harbor. In December of the previous year, South Carolina had become the first state to secede from the United States. After six more states followed suit, the nascent Confederacy began seizing federal property in its respective states. …
A million people lost their lives during the one hundred day Rwandan Genocide.
(CW: Rape, murder, extreme violence)
Twenty-seven years ago today, a genocide officially began. By the time this genocide wound down, upwards of a million people had been killed, their bodies discarded in mass graves in a small African nation that few in the West had heard of previously. In 1994, Rwanda descended into bloody chaos as its citizens, whipped into an ethnocentric frenzy, beat, raped, and killed their own neighbors with machetes over a period of one hundred days.
A law that made marriage equality a reality in the Netherlands goes into effect.
Shortly after midnight on April 1, 2001, the mayor of Amsterdam officiated the weddings of four same-sex couples. The law that made the unions legal had just gone into effect. Passage of the aforementioned law the year before made The Netherlands the first country in the world to grant marriage equality to its citizens.
The Netherlands already had a well-established reputation as gay-friendly. Sodomy laws were struck down in the early nineteenth century. In the 1970s, anti-LGBTQ discrimination was banned in the military. By the nineties…
The 40th President of the United States was nearly felled by an assassin’s bullet forty years ago today.
On March 30, 1981, I was four years old. I was at my grandmother’s house with my mother and two younger brothers. We may have still been living with my grandparents at the time or maybe we were there visiting shortly after we’d moved into our own home. Anyway, my grandmother and mother were in my grandmother’s living room talking while the television droned in the background.
Suddenly, CBS broke away from its regularly scheduled programming for a Special Report. The newscaster…
The ratification of the Twenty-Third Amendment to the Constitution granted the residents of Washington, DC the right to vote in presidential elections.
Last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a hearing on Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton’s bill on DC statehood. If passed, Washington, DC would become America’s fifty-first state. Residents of the city overwhelmingly support statehood; in 2016, nearly eighty percent of voters voted in favor of an advisory referendum on the issue.
The very first woman to be selected as a running mate for a major party presidential candidate dies of cancer.
“History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes.” I often heard this statement in my head after then-Senator Kamala Harris was selected as Joe Biden’s running mate back in August 2020. Although Senator Harris was the very first woman to actually be elected Vice President of the United States, two other women had been selected as running mates to major party presidential tickets before Harris’ election. The most recent one was Sarah Palin, then-Governor of Alaska. The first, a member…
Enslaved blacks may have plotted to burn down the City of New York in the early 18th century.
Imagine the following scene: The date is March 18, 1741. The place is New York City, which has a population of approximately ten thousand people, the third largest city in the British colonies. The governor’s complex, located within Fort George, is burning. Within the next few weeks, nine more serious fires will break out, leading many to speculate that they are being deliberately set.
Author of "Former First Lady" and "Memoir of a Royal Consort." Twitter provocateur, aspiring shut-in, and newly minted Roosevelt Islander.