"So I'm literally walking around and talking to people, "Is there a black-owned restaurant, or a black-owned dry cleaner?" and folks are looking at me like I'm insane. And if I didn't know this, I'm sure that folks outside the black community don't have this as part of their reality or part of their picture for black America. When we talk about black people, the black situation, problems in the black community, you know, we start with, "Black kids are least likely to graduate from school; black unemployment is four times higher than the national average," all these numbers. But why can't we include that over 90 percent of businesses in the black community are not owned by black people or local residents? If we were to add that to the conversation, maybe folks would say, "Oh, well no wonder things are so bad there," and start thinking about things in a different way instead of allowing those awful numbers to be a reflection of our propensities. Why is it that my people are just supposed to be the perpetual consumer class, and everyone else is supposed to benefit from our money?"
posted by empath
on Feb 23, 2012 -
The Other Mad Men.
It's been accepted more or less as a truism that black people didn't work on Madison Avenue in the 1960s. But facts are stubborn things. There were black people in advertising even then, some (a few) in high places. Contrary to the popular assumption, blacks in that era met with success and challenges on Madison Avenue, like everywhere else.
posted by sweetkid
on Sep 19, 2011 -
Categories as fundamental as fact and fiction, news and entertainment, gender and sexuality, have eroded away. In literature and architecture, in cuisine, in music, in fashion and furnishings, everywhere, everything—it’s fusion and mix.
Barack Obama emerged as a literal embodiment of this age. To educated people, especially younger people with generally progressive views, other candidates suddenly looked parochial by comparison—or simply outdated. In his ethnicity and biography and in his personality and politics, Obama, the conciliator, was above all a combiner. Because he was from virtually everywhere—Kenya, Indonesia, Honolulu, Harvard, Chicago’s South Side—he was also from nowhere. The pastiche of his persona made him “his own man” in a new sense of the term.
On the Politics of Pastiche and Depthless Intensities: The Case of Barack Obama
posted by Rumple
on Aug 25, 2011 -
On June 15th, 1920 in Duluth, Minnesota, three young, black circus workers, Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson and Issac McGhie, were lynched. The Minnesota Historical Society has a great site devoted to the terrible event, Duluth Lynchings Online Resource
. I'd especially like to point out the Oral Histories
section, which has short interviews with African-Americans who lived through the event. In 2001 Minnesota Public Radio covered the story
, inspired by a campaign to build a memorial to the three men, which was dedicated in October of 2003. The Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial has a fine website
which is well worth visiting.
posted by Kattullus
on Sep 10, 2010 -
In 1865, after the end of the Civil War, Col. P. H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave, Jourdon Anderson, asking him to return to work for him. In reply, Jourdon Anderson told Colonel Anderson exactly where he could stick his offer
. This letter was part of The Freedmen's Book (full download in many different formats
) which was distributed to those freed after and during the Civil War, so that they would know stories of other freedmen who had done well, including Touissant L'Ouverture, Phillis Wheatley and Frederick Douglass. The book was put together and published by Lydia Maria Child, abolitionist, women's rights activist, Indian rights campaigner and all around awesome person. She became famous in her own time for her cookbook The Frugal Housewife
, but today her best known work is Over the River and Through the Woods. The Freedmen's Book was part of an effort by abolitionists after the war to educate freed slaves. The American Antiquarian Society has a great website about that movement, Northern Visions of Race, Region and Reform
, which has plenty of primary sources
and images galore.
posted by Kattullus
on Apr 22, 2010 -
"Mr. President, pardon Papa Jack"
In 1908 a former Texas dockworker
named Jack Johnson became the first African American boxer to ever win the world heavyweight title
. His victory sparked race riots
and prompted a search for a "great white hope"
(writer Jack London asked white fighters to "wipe that smirk off Johnson's face"
). But then Johnson defeated two "white hopes", one of whom was the legendary Jim Jeffries. In 1912, authorities went after Johnson
in court. His crime? Messin' with the white woman. Charges were brought against him for violating the Mann Act
, a federal law that made it a crime to transport a woman across state lines
for "immoral purposes." He married the woman, but he was sentenced to a year in prison anyway. Johnson fled the country, living in Europe as a fugitive for seven years, losing his title Havana in 1915
to a much younger white opponent after a 26-round fight
in 100-degree-plus heat (Johnson possibly threw the fight in exchange for leniency that he never received). He returned to the U.S. in 1920, surrendered and served a year. He never again was given a chance to reclaim the title
. When he died in poverty aged 68
in a car crash, not one boxer attended his funeral. Now a group of US Senators
(among them Hatch and McCain), prominent African Americans (Samuel L. Jackson, Jesse Jackson, many others) and boxing writers seek a posthumous Presidential pardon
for "Papa Jack". (more inside)
posted by matteo
on Jul 22, 2004 -
'Come Out To Vote On November 6th'
In Baltimore, Republicans are accusing Democrats of paying people to canvass African-American neighborhoods on Tuesday. Democrats are accusing Republicans of intimidating minority voters by planning to use members of the Fraternal Order of Police to serve as GOP poll workers. Meanwhile, a flyer being circulated in African-American communities
'reminds' readers to vote on November 6th
- but only if all outstanding tickets, warrants, and outstanding rent payments have been paid.
posted by tpoh.org
on Nov 4, 2002 -
Reverse discrimination? Kathleen Carter, who is white, says that when she became chairman of the education department at historically black Delaware State University in 1995, she was told that she was usurping blacks' right to govern themselves and that whites in the department were trying to make blacks look bad.
posted by Rastafari
on Mar 22, 2002 -
Review of Nissan Car Loans Finds That Blacks Pay More
A statistical study of more than 300,000 car loans arranged through Nissan dealers from March 1993 to last September — believed by experts to be the largest pool of car loan data ever analyzed for racial patterns — shows that black customers in 33 states consistently paid more than white customers, regardless of their credit histories.
(Need free sign up access to NYTimes.com
posted by Rastafari
on Jul 3, 2001 -
This article about the stereotyped Black man
offered up by nearly every reality TV show broadcast in the US ends just as it's getting to the essence: why is this the "reality" the networks -- and damningly the audiences -- are choosing?
posted by sudama
on Feb 20, 2001 -