Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Christer Petley: How slaveholders in the Caribbean maintained control

It is no surprise that the whip is synonymous with New World slavery: its continual crack remained an audible threat to enslaved workers to keep at their work, reminding them … Continue reading

March 13, 2019 · Leave a comment

Equal Justice Initiative: What was the Red Summer of 1919?

African American veterans returned home from World War I eager to continue the fight for freedom at home. Many black soldiers returned from the war with a newfound determination to … Continue reading

February 24, 2019 · 1 Comment

Video: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — The danger of a single story

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

February 17, 2019 · 1 Comment

Jose Padua: Home Sorrow and the Million Ways We Make It Through the World

That weekend was one of those that reminded us of what we love about living in the northern Shenandoah Valley—namely, events like the performance in Castleton, Virginia, some twenty-five miles … Continue reading

February 17, 2019 · Leave a comment

Claude McKay: If We Must Die

If we must die, let it not be like hogsHunted and penned in an inglorious spot,While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,Making their mock at our accursèd lot.If … Continue reading

February 1, 2019 · Leave a comment

Medea Benjamin: 10 Good Things About 2018

Yes, you could say I’m trying to put lipstick on a pig. 2018 was a year of whiplash, a never-ending series of assaults on our environment, immigrants, people of color, … Continue reading

December 30, 2018 · 1 Comment

Henry Giroux: Trump’s fascist efforts to demolish democracy

Fascist politics is once again on the rise in the United States, Europe and Latin America.  As an echo from the past, its principles and attitudes are re-emerging in a populist … Continue reading

December 2, 2018 · 3 Comments

Jill Richardson: The White House Desperately Wants this Election to be ‘Us’ Vs. ‘Them’

As the midterms approach, the administration is ratcheting up its attacks on anyone who isn’t a straight, white, native-born Christian. In the days leading up to the election, the news … Continue reading

November 3, 2018 · 2 Comments

John Atcheson: A Tragedy in Three Parts — Corporations, Coups, and Crazies

The silent coup and the roots of corporate tyranny. Nearly 40 years ago, in his first inaugural address, Ronald Reagan said, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution … Continue reading

November 2, 2018 · Leave a comment

Jose Padua: And Sunbeams Fell Lightly Upon the Edge of the Grocery Store Parking Lot

Yesterday on the parking lot of the Martin’s grocery store here in Front Royal a woman nearly ran me over after I dropped off my shopping cart in the corral. … Continue reading

October 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

Abby Zimet: On the Migrant “Army” of Poor Brown People — This Comes From Hunger

The caravan passes by sympathetic Mexicans. Photo by Moises Castillo/AP . As a battered procession of up to 7,000 hungry, thirsty, blistered, desperate Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty continues … Continue reading

October 24, 2018 · Leave a comment

Reginald Andrade: I Was Reported to Police as an ‘Agitated Black Male’ — for Simply Walking to Work

Last month, I walked across the campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst to get to work. It was an ordinary stroll. But to a bystander, the sight of an … Continue reading

October 17, 2018 · 1 Comment

Zenobia Jeffries: A Way to Talk About Race, 6 Words at a Time

The Race Card Project eases people into conversations around the uneasy topic of race and racism. . If you were asked to sum up your thoughts about race in six … Continue reading

September 27, 2018 · Leave a comment

Robert Reich: Why I’m Betting on Millennials, This November 6th

In my thirty-five years of teaching college students, I’ve not encountered a generation as dedicated to making the nation better as this one. Millennials (and their younger siblings, generation Z’s) … Continue reading

September 26, 2018 · 1 Comment

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