Quilting has long been used as a tool of creative resistance. During the Civil War, abolitionists sold quilts to fundraise for their cause. Starting in 1965, the Alabama-based Freedom Quilting Bee Cooperative helped raise money for Black community members who lost income due to their involvement in the fight for civil rights. Today, artists like […]
A very dark place
Maintaining mental health in prison was already challenging before COVID-19 hit.
Brutal and beautiful summer
Three stories from the front lines of the 2020 protests, when the bridges went up and the statues came down
Rapper Ric Wilson pours generations of activism into “Fight Like Ida B and Marsha P”
Ric Wilson’s single arrived in the midst of this summer’s protests but carried the knowledge of uncounted protests that came before.
The front lines of police brutality
Photos from a protest where cops shot pepper spray into a kettled crowd.
Police abolitionists find fuel in the protests
As more people lose faith in the state, organizers offer alternatives.
The Reader guide to police abolition
Our reporting on envisioning and organizing a city less reliant on cops to keep us safe
Strength on the street
Masked activists take on social services titan Heartland Alliance over facilities for migrant children.
Community gardens beautify urban space, but some seek to transform urban society
Community organizers connect politics with plant care.
Lit recs to dismantle violence, both the personal and systemic
The current book obsessions of Reader staff writer Maya Dukmasova and activist Mariame Kaba.
‘Lincoln’s Undying Words’ shows how a president changed his mind about slavery
A Chicago History Museum exhibit examines Lincoln’s speeches for clues about how he changed from political moderate to the Great Emancipator.
Spare them our good intentions
Richard Huzzey’s Freedom Burning argues that abolitionism fed imperialism
The past isn’t dead, it isn’t even past
What do gay marriage and the right not to be a slave have in common?