On October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown led an interracial group of men on a raid on the armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Brown hoped to arm slaves and instigate a slave rebellion. The mission failed, and Brown became a villain in the South, but his trial and execution for treason made him a martyr in the North and inspired one of the United States’ most enduring national hymns.
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Policymakers and societal norms interpret the presence of animals in the home and on the street differently for groups along the axes of class and race, even when the motivations for pet keeping are the same. The wide variety of decisions and experiences surrounding pet ownership in the black community reflect the many ways that they have negotiated with belonging and citizenship, negotiating with animals as family members, tools of white supremacy, and markers of respectability.
Comedy Hour’s political and antiwar content made it too controversial for primetime. Despite their abrupt firing, the Smothers Brothers left behind an important legacy. In just three seasons, their show challenged television norms and opened the door for other television shows to wade into political commentary.