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Popol Vuh

Lives of the K'iche People
"This is the Account, here it is: Now it still ripples, now it still murmurs, ripples, it still sighs, still hums, and it is empty under the sky...There is not yet one person, one animal, bird, fish, crab, tree, rock, hollow, canyon, meadow, forest. Only the sky alone is there..." (Popol Vuh, Book I)

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Lesser Known Giants

Women of the Beat Generation
"[A] woman from the audience asks; 'Why are there so few women on this panel? Why are there so few women in this whole week's program? Why were there so few women among the Beat writers?' and [Gregory] Corso, suddenly utterly serious, leans forward and says: 'There were women, they were there, I knew them, their families put them in institutions, they were given electric shock. In the '50s if you were male you could be a rebel, but if you were female your families had you locked up. There were cases, I knew them, someday someone will write about them.'"

—from Stephen Scobie's account of the Naropa Institute tribute to Ginsberg, July 1994 (Women of the Beat Generation p. 141)
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Rhythm and Words

Jazz Poetry
In a June 23, 1926, essay "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain” published in The Nation, Langston Hughes, perhaps the first true jazz poet wrote, 

... jazz to me is one of the inherent expressions of Negro life in America: the eternal tom-tom beating in the Negro soul–the tom-tom of revolt against weariness in a white world, a world of subway trains, and work, work, work; the tom-tom of joy and laughter, and pain swallowed in a smile.

In its origin, jazz was much more than music to enjoy in leisure time. To many African-Americans, it was a bastion against the ills of a country mired in racism and the residue of slavery.

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The Land Belongs to Those Who Work it

Emiliano Zapata and the Mexican Revolution
By 1911, Mexican President Porfirio Diaz had ruled Mexico for three decades. According to members of the business class, foreign investors, and his close allies, Diaz had ruled Mexico well. He maintained general peace in a turbulent time, and he had succeeded in industrializing Mexico, garnering more money for the wealthy. But the working class and farmers led lives of worsening strife with lower wages, famines due to poor land reforms, and increased oppression from the Diaz regime.

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In the Spirit

Shinto and Animism
For thousands of years, people have taken comfort in various forms of a higher power. In many religions, these superior powers revolve around the ideas of worship, purity, and morality.

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Broadening Horizons

History of the U.S. Peace Corps
“Indeed, we’re strongest when the face of America isn’t only a soldier carrying a gun, but also a diplomat negotiating peace,” said former United States National Security Advisor, Colin Powell about the positive impact U.S. Peace Corps volunteers have on people worldwide. 

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In Focus

Ansel Adams
Decades after his dramatic black and white landscape photographs emerged, American photographer and conservationist Ansel Adams’ compelling images continue to be widely reproduced. They appear on art prints, tabletop books, posters, calendars, and other items. 

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History by Design

Arts & Crafts Movement
The Arts and Crafts movement was an international movement in decorative and fine arts. Although the period lasted from 1880 to 1920, its influence continues today with artists, craft makers, designers, and other visionaries creating architecture, furniture, and home furnishings in this aesthetic. 

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Cowboys and Indians

False Histories of American Folklore
Early film, folklore, and certainly literature romanticize and fictionalize the histories of cowboys and (the incorrectly named) Indians. Charming and bold, or, uncivilized and dangerous, the early idea of the cowboy and the early idea of the Indian create concepts of what should be and what isn’t genuinely American.   

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