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This week, we’re sharing stories from Sophia Jones, Abigail Covington, Emily Raboteau, Mayukh Sen, and Barry Yeoman.

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1. A Test With No Answer

Sophia Jones | Marie Claire | October 30, 2019 | 19 minutes (4,750 words)

No procedure exists that can prove virginity, yet dangerously unscientific virginity tests occur regularly — even in the United States. Marie Claire, in partnership with the Fuller Project, investigates the controversial exams and the gray area surrounding them that endangers both patients and medical professionals.

2. What Do We Do With Robert E. Lee?

Abigail Covington | The Delacorte Review | November 4, 2019 | 27 minutes (6,750 words)

For over thirty years, Ted Delaney, a professor at Washington and Lee University, wandered in the shadows cast by Confederate monuments and statues. After Charlottesville, he was both fired up and exhausted; reluctant and motivated to finally take on the legacy of a Confederate god who’d haunted him all his life.

3. Lessons in Survival

Emily Raboteau | New York Review of Books | November 21, 2019 | 18 minutes (4,554 words)

“My grandmother was a refugee. She prized community over property. By cleaning the homes of white people — by dusting their bookshelves and scrubbing their toilets down on her knees —she was able to raise her three children in Michigan. They all lived well into old age. She ensured their survival by running. This required sacrifice, humility, strength, and faith. This is what Mabel knew, and she knew it from people like Harriet Tubman. When something is going to kill you, you run.”

4. A Comet Called Raji

Mayukh Sen | Southern Foodways Alliance | November 5, 2019 | 14 minutes (3,700 words)

“Fusion” had already become a dirty word by the time Raji Jallepalli made a name for herself. It connoted confused attempts to patch together different cooking languages under the patina of multiculturalism, as if two worlds jostled for dominance on a plate. Raji disentangled fusion from the gracelessness that the label implied.

5. Stammer Time

Barry Yeoman | The Baffler | October 5, 2019 | 15 minutes (3,864 words)

Barry Yeoman, a man with a lifelong stutter, suggests that while society mostly views a stutter as a disability, stammering really isn’t the problem at all. The real problem that needs to be cured is the assumption that those who stutter are somehow deficient.