US politics

Surviving McCarthy

Science writer Ehsan Masood has been searching for survivors from the McCarthy era.
Science writer Ehsan Masood has been searching for the last survivors among the writers and academics accused decades ago of plotting communist subversion within the United States in the McCarthy era. 

There are a few still living from among the tens of thousands of writers and academics fired from jobs or blacklisted following accusations that they were Communists. Many left the country voluntarily, some were deported, and others served time in prison. A tap on the shoulder from the FBI or a mention in one of the public hearings is all it took for careers to be wrecked with little opportunity for redress.

Ehsan Masood has tracked people down and researched in the libraries and archives of universities such as MIT and Harvard, whose former staff and students found their lives upended when confronted with allegations of subversive activity.

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DeRay Mckesson: Reparations are 'not a radical thing'

DeRay Mckesson: Reparations are 'not a radical thing'
Activist and author DeRay Mckesson spent 400 days on the streets as part of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2014, after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri.  

Here he talks about why America's politicians should be offering reparations for slavery - an apology and repayment to black Americans whose ancestors were forced into the slave trade - and the impact of the Black Lives Matter protests.