washington races

Thank you to all those people marching for equality today.


Oshun Afrique is getting her 35th tattoo.

She has come to the Pinz-N-Needlez tattoo shop in Washington, D.C., where practically every inch of wall space is covered in artwork. While Afrique lounges on the sofa at the front of the small, quaint shop, owner Christopher Mensah sits at his desk and sketches her tattoo design.

Afrique came to the store after seeing Mensah’s work in her Facebook news feed. She and Mensah both agree that anyone looking to get tattooed should scour online portfolios to find the right artist.

But in addition to considering the artistry, Afrique has one other requirement: She won’t get work done by artists who have no black people featured in their portfolios. She wants to see people with skin the color of hers, a deep, reddish brown.

For Tattoo Artists, Race Is In the Mix When Ink Meets Skin

Photos: Raquel Zaldivar/NPR


Children’s book portrays Washington’s slaves as happy 

Former journalist Ramin Ganeshram’s children’s book A Birthday Cake for George Washington is stirring a batter of controversy online. Critics have slammed Ganeshram for writing an unsettling and sanitized version of slavery, for children. Rather than accept the criticism, Ganeshram is pushing back and defending her work.

In his new book, ‘Between the World and Me,’ Ta-Nehisi Coates observes that 'in America, it is traditional to destroy the black body—it is heritage.’ It’s traditional, too, for community journalists to cover the contours of that violent project—think of Ida B. Wells and her dispatches on the barbarities of the Jim Crow age—as well as to save ink for the parts of people’s lives that exist outside and beyond it. Milton found her place in that latter tradition. 'She took on topics that other people didn’t think were important,’ Francine told me. 'And they just became important, because she wrote about them.’
—  Sarah Stillman remembers Charnice Milton, a young black journalist killed in Washington, D.C., on her way home from an assignment.  

Ever wonder what happens in the National Archives when it’s closed to the public? The Racing Presidents of the Washington Nationals baseball team showed up at 6 am on Wednesday morning! They filmed a special opening sequence that will be shown at the Nats ballpark before the mascots’ famous race after the 4th inning. Our staff had a great time hosting them–and we can’t wait to see the video this summer!