Race & Ethnicity
As one blogger asked, where were you when Beyoncé’s self-titled album was dropped on December 13, 2013? The world was shell-shocked when the Beytomic bomb exploded on the musical landscape. After this initial shock and awe, fans of her music have been able to digest her masterpiece in all its glory. We can surely talk for days about her more explicit sensuality. Or her refined ratchetness. Or how this coincides with her shift in musical expression. I’d like to explore the latter of these two. And what it means for her as black woman who grew up middle class in the south. They are these intersections of race and class—not to mention gender, which has already been talked about a good bit in feminist spaces—that make Beyoncé so fascinating and, as one of my homegirls and Melissa Harris Perry (my homegirl in my head) put it, will doubtless be the album that launches a thousand woman’s studies papers....read more
Writer and activist Suey Park has sparked a cluster of conversations about race, stereotypes, feminism, privilege, intersectionality and more with the
#NotYourAsianSidekick hashtag which trended globally for over 24 hours.
Around the world, old and new media is examining the legacy of Nelson Mandela following his death aged 95.
Please link to pieces of interest you have found discussing the legacy of Madiba....read more
Many of you will have already read about Orlando student Vanessa VanDyke being threatened with expulsion from her private Christian school for wearing her hair exactly as it grows out of her head. There is the predictable pushback in online forums about how the school’s way of (not) dealing with racist bullying in their student body by body-policing the natural features of an African-American girl is not really any sort of racially discriminatory double standard – please use this thread to expound upon exactly how insulting that nonsense is....read more
The ACLU released a report on life imprisonment without the possibility of parole, and the shocking numbers of inmates who are incarcerated for the rest of their lives with no hope of getting out — for committing non-violent crimes, usually drug-related. There are money interests in keeping people incarcerated, but there are also cultural and psychological ones. Long sentences are entrenched in the law through mandatory minimums, but they’re also seeded in our national psyche as “normal”:...read more
On Saturday, Renisha McBride, a 19-year-old black woman, was in a car accident in Dearborn Heights, a wealthy, majority-white city adjacent to Detroit. She was injured, she was disoriented, her cell phone was dead, and she knocked on the wrong door looking for help....read more
Today’s must-read by Tressie MC (if you aren’t reading her blog regularly, get to it) is about the logic of poor people buying designer clothing and expensive goods. A bit:...read more
Guest Blogger @DrRubidium is an analytical chemist.
Scientist and science communicator @DNLee5 declined an offer to blog for free from biology-online.org and got called a ‘whore’. @DNLee5 posted a thoughtful response on her Scientific American’s blog ‘The Urban Scientist’. A short time later, her response vanished… ...read more
Oh Andre Perry. Oh Andre. Let me just say straight up that as a white kid from a tiny town in New Jersey, I’m, like, supremely unqualified to talk about issues in the black community. But even I can tell this is a bunch of impractical horseshit.
GOOD, PLEASE STOP publishing “pragmatic” articles that sound like they were written by a Young Republican. If you’re going to tackle the complex issues that affect black and low-income communities, the least you could do is come up with some solid bullet points that don’t make it sound like you hate poor people....read more
How does a person achieve redemption after a series of serious offenses? At what point is the process deemed to be complete? What does a person have to do to be judged appropriately sorry and allowed to stop atoning? What should we feel about a person while they’re pursuing the process? What does it say about us when we can’t or won’t let it go?
(Short answer: Don’t care.)...read more
The state of North Carolina has passed a $10 million compensation plan for victims of its eugenics program, which ran from 1929 to 1974. It’s estimated that 7,600 people were forcibly sterilized under the program; 177 have since been identified.
[Strong content note for ableism and racism]...read more
The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington got me thinking about an earlier march. It was May 17th, 1957. I was 15 and although I’d been doing activist work, it had all been near my home in NYC. My friend Pat and I had heard about the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom. Her father, an activist, was editor of the UAW magazine Ammunition. He made the connections so that we could go down on the night bus with the Jamaica (Queens) NAACP. I don’t remember sleeping much. The crowd was by far the largest I’d ever been in. We were asked to wave handkerchiefs instead of applauding the speakers because it was a religious event. The intensity of the suppressed energy of the silent applause is still with me....read more