Humanities Moments
The Mini Page

A Personal Perspective on Journalism in the 20th Century

Betty Debnam, journalist and founder of the Mini Page

Betty Debnam created and edited the Mini Page, a nationally syndicated newspaper supplement that ran from 1969 to 2007. Inducted into the North Carolina Journalism Hall of Fame in 1999, her journalistic efforts introduced children to forms of news and ignited their curiosity. In this Humanities Moment, Debnam reflects on both her familial ties to the…
Fishing Camp

Resilience, Humility, and Picnics

Matthew Booker, associate professor of American environmental history, North Carolina State University

I like picnics. Picnics take us outside, to share food with people we like. Those are my three favorite things, and picnics offer all three with a minimum of fuss or cost. Every picnic is a special occasion. But one stands out because it showed me how much we can learn from deeply observing the world around us. Such observation joins us to the…
African American Park Ranger Sylvester Putman and Maggie Laura Walker Lewis at the July 14, 1985 opening ceremony for Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site

The Only Person of Color in the Room

Betty Reid Soskin

At 95, Betty Reid Soskin is the oldest active U.S. Park Ranger. Having lived through wars, racial segregation, and other turbulent times in our history, she says empathy and world peace are possible through the humanities. To celebrate its 40th year anniversary of grant making, programming, and partnerships that connect Californians to each other,…
Tesla Roadster orbiting Earth

The world we live in isn't as big as you may think

George, 21, student

On Tuesday February 6th of 2018, I watched SpaceX launch Falcon Heavy and successfully land two of its boosters. This launch was inspiring to many people because it was the first rocket launched capable of reaching Mars. The fact that Musk choose to launch his personal Tesla Roadster as a deadweight payload was a truly remarkable sight. The world was…
How to Get U.S. Citizenship (2nd edition)

How to Get U.S. Citizenship and the American Dream

Teresa Kim, History teacher in Vista, California

When I was 8 years old, I found hidden in a drawer a little, brown book. It was a well-worn copy of, "How to Get U.S. Citizenship," which my mother had used to prepare for her U.S. citizenship exam. When I asked her about it, she explained that it was one of the items packed into her small suitcase along with a few articles of carefully selected…

About Humanities Moments

The humanities are everywhere — so deeply woven into our daily lives that we often miss them. Sometimes, though, the humanities can surprise you. A book you can’t put down. A photograph that haunts you. A song you can’t get out of your head. And from that moment on, you find yourself changed. The Humanities Moments Project was created to collect personal stories about encounters with the humanities. The stories on this site are presented as submitted, capturing the experiences of those who've shared them in their own words — reflecting their individual views, interpretations, and conclusions. Together, they highlight the diverse and powerful ways the humanities are able to teach, inspire, and enrich our lives.

The humanities are everywhere. But they are so interwoven into our daily lives that we often miss them. Sometimes, though, they surprise you. A book you can’t put down. A photograph that haunts you. A song you can’t get out of your head. The Humanities Moments Project was created to collect stories about how the humanities touch us, inspire us, and enrich our lives.

Read More About the Project

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