Editor's note

The jockeys at today’s 143rd Kentucky Derby hail from Louisiana, Mexico, Nebraska and France. None are African-American. Historian Katherine Mooney tells the story of the 19th century black jockeys and trainers who became nationwide celebrities, winning more than half of the first 25 Kentucky Derbys. So why, at the turn of the 20th century, did they vanish?

Worried about “fake news” and “echo chambers” distorting politics? A new survey of Americans and residents of six European countries finds people look for information on news and current events by going to search engines more often than through social media. Michigan State media scholar William Dutton explains why that’s good news.

And on the eve of French voters going to the polls to choose their next president, a round up of the latest Conversation coverage from around the world on the election that’s been dubbed a “battle for France’s heart and soul.”

Nick Lehr

Editor, Arts and Culture

Top story

From 1921 to 2000, no black jockeys competed. Wikimedia Commons

How African-Americans disappeared from the Kentucky Derby

Katherine Mooney, Florida State University

Black jockeys won more than half of the first 25 runnings of the Kentucky Derby. Then they started losing their jobs.

Science + Technology

Ethics + Religion

  • Blasphemy isn't just a problem in the Muslim world

    Steve Pinkerton, Case Western Reserve University

    Many in the West treat blasphemy as an obsolete concept. A scholar argues that blasphemy laws in the West suggest otherwise, while also sharing common features with such laws in the Muslim world.

  • Who are Jehovah's Witnesses?

    Mathew Schmalz, College of the Holy Cross

    There are over eight million Jehovah's Witnesses in 240 countries worldwide. They have no political affiliations and they renounce violence. However, they have been easy targets for many governments.

Politics + Society


Economy + Business

Arts + Culture

Environment + Energy

Health + Medicine

Who Will be France's Next President?


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