Alana Semuels, The Atlantic

Alana Semuels

The Atlantic

New York, NY, United States

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Past articles by Alana:

The Utter Inadequacy of America’s Efforts to Desegregate Schools

In 1966, a group of Boston-area parents and administrators created a busing program called METCO to help desegregate schools. They thought of it as a quick fix to a passing problem. But the problem hasn’t passed, and METCO isn’t enough to fix it. → Read More

When Wall Street Is Your Landlord

With help from the federal government, institutional investors became major players in the rental market. They promised to return profits to their investors and convenience to their tenants. Investors are happy. Tenants are not. → Read More

Jeff Bezos Brings The Receipts

The Amazon founder claims the publisher of the newspaper was trying to silence his criticism. → Read More

Why People Still Don’t Buy Groceries Online

We shop online for almost everything. Why not food? → Read More

Football and the NFL Are Facing White Flight

Parents know that the sport comes with a risk of brain damage. But many black families feel that playing football is still the best option for their kids. → Read More

How to Lose Tens of Thousands of Dollars on Amazon

A growing number of self-proclaimed experts promise they can teach anyone how to make a passive income selling cheap Chinese goods in the internet's largest store. Not everyone’s getting rich quick. → Read More

When Elon Musk Tunnels Under Your Home

The billionaire is drilling for futuristic transit under Los Angeles. He didn’t have to ask the neighbors first. → Read More

Amazon’s HQ2 Will Only Worsen America’s ‘Great Divergence’

In today’s economy, well-off people live in big cities, while everyone else gets pushed out. Bringing new Amazon offices to Virginia and New York could hasten the process. → Read More

The Online Gig Economy’s ‘Race to the Bottom’

How digital platforms are increasing competition for lots of different types of work. → Read More

Online Shopping Is Making Us Accumulate More Junk

How online shopping and cheap prices turned Americans into hoarders → Read More

Can Philanthropy Save a City?

The cash-strapped city of Stockton is hoping so, courting millions of dollars from private investors to solve a whole host of social problems. → Read More

I Delivered Packages for Amazon and It Was a Nightmare

Amazon Flex pays drivers to deliver packages from their own vehicles. But is it a good deal for workers? → Read More

The Radical Preacher of Palo Alto

A pastor who resigned after tweeting scathing criticisms of liberals in Silicon Valley proved too leftist even for California. → Read More

Reverse Migration Might Turn Georgia Blue

More black people from the Northeast and Midwest are moving to Atlanta. That could help elect the nation’s first black female governor. → Read More

The Hidden Costs of Buying Cheap Stuff From China

Sites like are taking out the middleman in retail. Will customers like this new dynamic? → Read More

The 'Black Hole' That Sucks Up Silicon Valley's Money

A fast-growing type of charitable account gets big tax breaks but little oversight. → Read More

Free Shipping Isn't Hurting Amazon

Sending packages is expensive. But the retailer isn’t afraid to spend. → Read More

Amazon May Have a Counterfeit Problem

The company is facing multiple lawsuits from brands who say it does not do enough to prevent fakes from being listed on its website. → Read More

A House You Can Buy, But Never Own

African Americans in the same neighborhoods decimated by subprime lending are now being targeted with new predatory loan offerings, a lawsuit argues. → Read More

Trump’s Complaints About Amazon Have a Historical Precedent

To make money on every package, the Postal Service would likely have to stop serving the rural communities Congress said it had to serve by package delivery in 1912. → Read More