Kat Chow

Seasons greetings! Or should we say ... seasons readings? This week, we're sharing our favorite recent reads. Karen Grigsby Bates, our resident book expert, estimates that she's read more than 100 books this year. Of those, she recommends Washington Black, a novel by Esi Edugyan about an enslaved boy who works on a plantation in Barbados.

As long as the United States has existed, there's been some version of white supremacy. But over the centuries, the way white supremacy manifests has changed with the times. This includes multiple iterations of the infamous Ku Klux Klan.

According to the sociologist Kathleen Blee, the Klan first surfaced in large numbers in the 1860s in the aftermath of the Civil War, then again in the 1920s, and yet again during the civil rights era.

I'm on the phone with an associate history professor at Indiana University, Bloomington, named Ellen Wu. We're talking about skin color, identity and how people like us — Americans of East Asian descent — can describe ourselves.

Jahi McMath, the teenager who was at the center of a medical and religious debate over brain death, has died, according to her family's lawyer. She was 17.

McMath died June 22 at a hospital in New Jersey, the family's lawyer, Christopher Dolan, said in a statement. He said a hospital doctor listed the preliminary cause of death as bleeding due to liver failure.

A court in Israel has convicted a man in his late teens for making a string of bomb threats to Jewish community centers around the world, including in the United States.

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