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Walter Johnson

Walter Johnson teaches history at Harvard and is a contributing editor at Boston Review. His latest book is The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States. His Boston Review essay “Guns in the Family” was included in the 2019 Best American Essays.


The McCloskeys are also only a symptom of how racism is served by private property.

Walter Johnson

St. Louis is a microcosm of American structural racism.

Colin Gordon, Walter Johnson, Jason Q. Purnell, Jamala Rogers

Designed as a bucolic working-class suburb of St. Louis, the nearly all-black town of Centreville now floods with raw sewage every time it rains.

Walter Johnson

An interview with historian Nell Irvin Painter.

Jonathan M. Square, Walter Johnson, Nell Painter

A historian and rapper reflect on their shared activism and the place they see for allies in the long struggle for racial justice.

Walter Johnson, Tef Poe, Mordecai Lyon

A childhood steeped in guns shows that toxic masculinity and racism are at the heart of U.S. gun culture.

Wallter Johnson

The spectre of Dred Scott is haunting St. Louis.

Walter Johnson

What can W. E. B. Du Bois and the black radical tradition tell us about Trump's election and radical political action today?

Walter Johnson
What if we use the history of slavery as a standpoint from which to rethink our notion of justice today?
Walter Johnson


How the history of slavery prompts us to rethink our notion of justice.

Walter Johnson

Forum Responses

Going beyond liberal notions of justice.
Walter Johnson

Can the nation-state serve social justice?

Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò leads a forum with Thea Riofrancos, Mariame Kaba & Andrea Ritchie, Ishac Diwan & Bright Simons, and others. Plus Leila Farsakh on Palestinian statehood, Astra Taylor and Leah Hunt-Hendrix on a “solidarity state,” Joshua Craze on rule by militia, and much more. 

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Our new issue asks what a just state would look like and how to get there.

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