Harriet Tubman

The Emily Howland photo album containing the portrait of Tubman, (above: detail, ca. 1868) was unveiled this week at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. (NMAAHC, Library of Congress) I have added the photo above to the post from this morning: UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. Harriet Tubman would have been about 36 years old. … Continue reading Harriet Tubman


I was reading The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. In a blurb on the back cover, Oprah Whinfrey urges people to buy a second copy for a friend "because you are definitely going to want to talk about it." Someone asked me to be that friend. This fantasy fiction details real atrocities committed against African … Continue reading UNDERGROUND RAILROAD


Dystopias extrapolate the fears of the day while utopias project our dearest hopes and ideals. Science fiction writers from the Golden Age of post-WW2, for example, often address the disastrous impact of the potential for nuclear powers to obliterate the planet. They were concerned about global and intergalactic peace and the trade-off in freedom resulting … Continue reading A BETTER WORLD