Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

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1. As the Met Abandons Blackface, a Look at the Legacy of African Americans in Opera

Alison Kinney | Hyperallergic | Aug. 3, 2015 | 16 minutes (4,038 words)

A history of African American artists facing racism in the opera world. This year the Metropolitan Opera has announced that, for the first time ever, the company’s production of Otello will not use blackface.

2. Streit’s Exodus

Britta Lokting | Village Voice | Aug. 4, 2015 | 20 minutes (5,161 words)

After ninety years on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, can the last family-owned American matzo factory reinvent itself upstate?

3. The Cop

Jake Halpern | The New Yorker | Aug. 3, 2015 | 42 minutes (10,715 words)

A profile of Darren Wilson, the former police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson. Says Wilson, “I’m not going to keep living in the past about what Ferguson did. It’s out of my control.”

4. Woven

Lidia Yuknavitch | Guernica | July 27, 2015 | 14 minutes (3,647 words)

A haunting essay about “Laume,” a mythological water spirit and guardian of all children that Yuknavitch’s Lithuanian grandmother introduced her to when she was young, and about the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of violence and tragedy.

5. The Last European

Juan Moreno | Spiegel | July 22, 2015 | 16 minutes (4,100 words)

A nearly sleepless 50-hour journey across Europe in an overstuffed old green Mercedes Sprinter van, as Viktor Talic ferries Romanians across the continent towards the promise of jobs in the West.