Category: Race & Ethnicity

Racism, Representation, and Children’s Literature

I teach children’s literature, specifically Golden Age children’s literature (1865-1926), aka Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to Winnie-the-Pooh), and you might notice that those dates in the parentheses coincide with the height of the power of the British Empire. So while…

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A great article at Al Jazeera by Treva Lindsey on state violence against black women and girls.

Women’s suffrage (on paper)

On this day in history, 95 years ago, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed a proclamation amending the U.S. Constitution to guarantee a woman’s right to vote — after a fashion — with the signing of the Susan B. Anthony Amendment, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. But let’s not forget that Alice Paul’s statement that “all women must feel a great sense of triumph” wasn’t necessarily accurate.

Black Girls and the School to Prison Pipeline

If I say “school-to-prison pipeline,” you may think of the criminalization of African-American boys, almost always for behavior that would merit their white counterparts at most detention. But what about the girls? Just as racist police brutality does not give…

In which, God help me, I find myself defending the Alpha Phi video

For young men and women in the Greek system in U.S. colleges, the end of summer means the start of rush season. It’s the time when they start recruiting hard for people to beg to join their fraternity or sorority, so they can reject most of them a couple of months from now. It’s a practice seen by many but understood by few outside of the tightly insulated system, and most non-Greeks are okay with that, but sometimes the curtain gets pulled back and you see, for instance, this summer’s recruiting video from Alpha Phi sorority at the University of Alabama.

Confederate battle flags are coming down — in some places

In the wake of last week’s shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, one theme has come up repeatedly: that white supremacist terrorist Dylann Roof often surrounded himself with the Confederate battle flag, that even the license plate on his getaway car had the emblem, and that as he murdered nine people, the flag flew in a place of honor next to South Carolina’s state house.

White supremacist murders nine people at Emanuel AME Church in an act of terrorism

On Wednesday, a shooter entered Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and killed nine people during a weekly Bible study. Emanuel, like so many other black churches, has been the target of racial violence in the past — most famously, it was burned to the ground in 1822 in retribution for a planned slave revolt — and no matter what people might like to convince themselves, it was again this week. It wasn’t about religion, it wasn’t about politics. It wasn’t, to any extent that authorities can determine, about any one individual. It was about hatred. The alleged killer, known and open white supremacist Dylann Roof, sat with his victims for an hour that night in Bible study, and then stood up and opened fire, saying to one man, “No, you’ve raped our women, and you are taking over the country … I have to do what I have to do.” And then killed him.

Links: In, around, and about Baltimore (Updated 5/1)

In the wake of Freddie Gray’s death from injuries mysteriously sustained while in police custody two weeks ago, and following his funeral yesterday, people in Baltimore have protested — some of it peaceful, much of it, as of Monday afternoon, violent, and with staggering consequence. Now, as the community comes back out into their neighborhoods, peaceful protesters continue to gather to voice their frustrations, and a lot of other people have things to say, too.

So apparently this is a thing: wearing a hijab for Lent

ICYDK: Lent is the six-week period between Ash Wednesday (the day after Mardi Gras, which is of course the last day of debauchery and excess before the start of Lent) and Easter in many wings of Christianity. It’s supposed to be a time of prayer and repentance in preparation for the Big E, and many Christians commit to fasting and/or the sacrifice of certain luxuries to better appreciate the temptation and the suffering of Jesus and his sacrifice (or something. Stories vary). This can come in the form of giving up alcohol or a favorite snack food, kicking a bad habit, praying more, doing volunteer work, or, for one woman, wearing a hijab for 40 days.

You’re a lesbian? Prove it.

TRIGGER WARNING: VIOLENT HOMOPHOBIA, XENOPHOBIA, PROBABLY RACISM That’s what you have to do if you’re seeking asylum in the UK. Perhaps your family and your partner of 20 years have been killed. Perhaps you’re sentenced to stoning in your country…