"Reconstruction was a mysterious blank period between Lincoln’s assassination and Edison’s light bulb. Congress impeached Andrew Johnson for some reason, the transcontinental railroad got built, corruption scandals engulfed the Grant administration, and Custer lost at Little Big Horn. But none of it seemed to have much to do with present-day events. And oh, those blacks Lincoln emancipated? Except for Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver, they vanished like the Lost Tribes of Israel. They wouldn’t re-enter history until the 1950s, when for some reason they still weren’t free. Here’s what my teachers’ should have told me: 'Reconstruction was the second phase of the Civil War. It lasted until 1877, when the Confederates won.' I think that would have gotten my attention. It wasn’t just that Confederates wanted to continue the war. They did continue it, and they ultimately prevailed. They weren’t crazy, they were just stubborn."
"18-year-old Michael Brown was gunned down on Saturday by a Ferguson police officer in St. Louis. Witnesses say Brown had his hands in the air as he was shot from 35 feet away. As a black person in America, it's getting exhausting to still have to explain, in the year 2014, your right to exist in this country. To explain that you are a human being whose value sits no lower than anyone else's. To explain our basic humanity. And perhaps worst of all, to explain exactly why we are outraged."