Elias Rodriques

All articles by this author

Black Church Burning

Black Church Burning

Arson and the long war on black progress

Thirty-six black churches in Mississippi burned during the Freedom Summer of 1964, a campaign to register black voters in Mississippi. That’s twelve churches every month, three every week, and one every three days. Any black person visiting a church for worship, voter registration, or other services knew they might die in a blaze.

Barbering for Freedom

Barbering for Freedom

Segregation, separatism, and the history of black barbershops

I went to that black barbershop for the reason millions like me have done so before—to feel at home. But for years, as Quincy Mills’s fascinating Cutting Across the Color Line reveals, black barbershops in America were unavailable to people of my lineage and color. Though they became a stereotypical image of a black social institution, crystallized best in Barbershop, they began as institutions of segregation and white supremacy. In the antebellum era, but also well into the period of Reconstruction, black barbershops—predominantly in the South but often in the North—only served white men.

Hands Up

Hands Up

A roundtable on police brutality

The events of the past few days weighed heavily on our minds as we assembled the final transcript below. The relative calm and humor of our conversation feels slightly dissonant with the anger and sadness we feel now. We chose to present it precisely because of this dissonance. Across the country, regular people have taken to the streets to say that we’ve had enough. We say the same. The following roundtable is the first of several we plan to publish, with the hope of continuing a dialogue we believe is vital to social accountability.

Black Church Burning

Black Church Burning

Arson and the long war on black progress

Thirty-six black churches in Mississippi burned during the Freedom Summer of 1964, a campaign to register black voters in Mississippi. That’s twelve churches every month, three every week, and one every three days. Any black person visiting a church for worship, voter registration, or other services knew they might die in a blaze.

Barbering for Freedom

Barbering for Freedom

Segregation, separatism, and the history of black barbershops

I went to that black barbershop for the reason millions like me have done so before—to feel at home. But for years, as Quincy Mills’s fascinating Cutting Across the Color Line reveals, black barbershops in America were unavailable to people of my lineage and color. Though they became a stereotypical image of a black social institution, crystallized best in Barbershop, they began as institutions of segregation and white supremacy. In the antebellum era, but also well into the period of Reconstruction, black barbershops—predominantly in the South but often in the North—only served white men.

Hands Up

Hands Up

A roundtable on police brutality

The events of the past few days weighed heavily on our minds as we assembled the final transcript below. The relative calm and humor of our conversation feels slightly dissonant with the anger and sadness we feel now. We chose to present it precisely because of this dissonance. Across the country, regular people have taken to the streets to say that we’ve had enough. We say the same. The following roundtable is the first of several we plan to publish, with the hope of continuing a dialogue we believe is vital to social accountability.