Category: Race & Ethnicity

Day of Thanksgiving/Mourning

Tomorrow, many people in the U.S. will gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, a sanitized version of a fictionalized account of an encounter between English settlers and the Wampanoag people already living on the land that was being “settled” that was the beginning of centuries of murder, abuse, and outright genocide. And while being thankful for what you have is good, celebrating it by dressing children up in construction-paper feathers and decorating with dried “maize” is a not-good, and in fact bad, way of doing it. Tomorrow in Plymouth, Massachusetts — home of that first cross-cultural dinner party — a National Day of Mourning, organized by the United American Indians of New England, will draw attention to historical and current attitudes, treatments, and issues facing Native Americans.

Color me unsympathetic

Wealth therapy. I kid you not. Here are some choice quotations from the therapists in question: Often, I use an analogy with my clients that coming out to people about their wealth is similar to coming out of the closet…

Disappeared children

Tomorrow is Columbus Day in the United States. Christopher Columbus was a sadistic, murderous slaver, and that’s all I have to say about him. I’d like instead to talk about the women, the Grandmothers and Mothers of the Plaza de…

Interview with Debbie Reese

After I did my last post, about representation in children’s literature and Debbie Reese’s blog, American Indians in Children’s Literature, it occurred to me…why not interview Debbie? She’s incredibly smart and well-read and knows what she’s talking about in ways…

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…

Quick link

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.