64 posts tagged with race and Black.
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reading comprehension and good-old scene analysis

Playwright Katori Hall responds to a production of her play, The Mountaintop where the role of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been double-cast the role of King with a black actor and a white one.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Nov 10, 2015 - 18 comments

"This is not a comfortable conversation."

Michael Twitty is becoming one of the most transformative figures in the world of food. Reinterrogating and recreating African-American history in the context of American culinary history through his blog Afroculinaria, Twitty argues for "culinary justice" in food writing and the conversation on food history. His project (and forthcoming book of the same name) The Cooking Gene is in part a product of his Southern Discomfort Tour, a journey retracing the preservation and transmission of culinary knowledge before, during and beyond slavery. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Oct 11, 2015 - 8 comments

How black reporters report on black deaths

"[W]e don't stop being black people when we're working as black reporters." "Over the past month, I've talked to a dozen other black reporters who've covered race and policing since Michael Brown's death — or even further back, since Oscar Grant or Ramarley Graham — and it's been a relief to learn that I'm not the only one."
posted by theorique on Aug 19, 2015 - 8 comments

On becoming African-American

I knew that my sister was smarter than her husband; I also knew that she knew this. But I also knew that her husband thought little of women, and nothing of their intelligence. Yet, here he was losing a shouting match on his home court. He was embarrassed. After seeing how the French language had betrayed him, a bittersweet subtlety slipped from his lips like licorice. In plain-vanilla English he said, “This is exactly why I shouldn’t have married a black girl.”
--Coming to America
posted by almostmanda on Aug 14, 2015 - 58 comments

“It’s not quite what it was... it’s more sophisticated now.”

A Dream Undone: Inside the 50-year campaign to roll back the Voting Rights Act.
posted by zarq on Aug 4, 2015 - 17 comments

I deserve not to worry

Only a few weeks after becoming an independent media company, This American Life covers "The Problem We All Live With" -- namely, why desegregation is still the only proven way to improve bad schools, and what happens when one school district accidentally has to attempt it.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 4, 2015 - 59 comments

Letter to My Son

Letter to My Son, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, July 4, 2015: "I came to understand that my country was a galaxy, and this galaxy stretched from the pandemonium of West Baltimore to the happy hunting grounds of Mr. Belvedere. I obsessed over the distance between that other sector of space and my own. I knew that my portion of the American galaxy, where bodies were enslaved by a tenacious gravity, was black and that the other, liberated portion was not... And I felt in this a cosmic injustice, a profound cruelty, which infused an abiding, irrepressible desire to unshackle my body and achieve the velocity of escape."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 5, 2015 - 31 comments

I will what I want.

Misty Copeland has been promoted to principal dancer of the American Ballet Theater, making the thirty-two year old the first Black dancer to hold such a position. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 30, 2015 - 17 comments

Not everyone defines “black” the same way.

What does it mean to be black if you're a cop? Or Lupita Nyong’o? Or in the STEM fields? Or in the UK? Or China? Or simply black-ish?
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jun 16, 2015 - 29 comments


Flâner is a series by Cecile Emeke (nyt) about blackness in France: episode 1; episode 2; episode 3.
posted by - on May 22, 2015 - 3 comments

African-American migrants to the Soviet Union

"My father felt that the U.S.S.R. treated him better than America. He was happy here."
posted by the hot hot side of randy on May 3, 2015 - 24 comments

Nobody is free until everybody is free.

Unsung Heroines provides bite-sized biographies of Black women who changed the world, and is a great way to learn history you were deliberately not taught in school. Women profiled include Fannie Lou Hamer, the civil rights hero who first said "I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired;" Mary Church Terrell, an early advocate for civil rights and the suffrage movement; Melba Roy Mouton, a NASA mathmatician; as well as: [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on Apr 9, 2015 - 6 comments

Black Friday

Today, March 6, is Blackout Day, "a day where black people post, share, reblog, like, and distribute other photos of black people on social media. This includes Tumblr, Instagram, the petri dish known as Facebook, Vine, Twitter, and any other site that allows you to share photos." (FAQ, official master post)
posted by Jacqueline on Mar 6, 2015 - 20 comments

It’s like living your life as a job interview. Forever.

The End of Black Respectability Politics (SL TPM)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Feb 20, 2015 - 27 comments

Where’s the new TALES FROM THE HOOD?

Horror’s scariest trend is the nonexistent black filmmaker. Via Joe Dante.
posted by brundlefly on Feb 13, 2015 - 33 comments

The Color Line Murders

The Equal Justice Initiative has released a report (pdf) on the history of lynchings in the United States, the result of five years of research. The authors compiled an inventory of 3,959 victims of “racial terror lynchings” in 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950 -- documenting more than 700 additional victims, which places the number of murders more than 20 percent higher than previously reported. "The process is intended... to force people to reckon with the narrative through-line of the country’s vicious racial history, rather than thinking of that history in a short-range, piecemeal way." Map. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 11, 2015 - 58 comments

“I’m sorry, I’m just so happy to see another brown person at Fest!”

Pilot Viruet writes about being black and punk. [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on Jan 27, 2015 - 14 comments

I don’t think I was born white. I think white children are manufactured.

Quinn Norton: The White Problem & How White People Got Made [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 5, 2014 - 24 comments

The One Crime the Media Won't Blame on Black Men

Among other common myths and misconceptions regarding serial murder in America, one curious myth bears closer examination: the idea, propagated heavily in the media, that serial killers are almost always white men. This fascinating (though weirdly formatted) essay discusses this phenomenon, and suggests possible reasons for the anonymity of African-American serial killers, including historical racial bias, stereotypical media portrayals of African-Americans, and the FBI’s promotion of static ethnocentric criminal profiling. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 7, 2014 - 32 comments

What Can a White Man Say About a Black Woman’s Hair?

Jenée Desmond-Harris, associate editor of features for The Root, answers a reader who wrote in wondering if his compliment of a stranger's Afro was out of line. Though acknowledging that some women won't want to hear a compliment, regardless, Desmond-Harris elucidates three points on how to compliment a black woman's hair without being a jerk: 1) Hands to yourself. 2) Compliment, don't query. 3) Consider the context.
posted by girlmightlive on Aug 14, 2014 - 136 comments

"I look like her, and she looks like me."

Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins is an animated children's show about 6-year-old Dottie McStuffins, who wants to be a doctor like her mother, and pretends to be a doctor to her toys. Doc McStuffins has done well as a TV show, but it's as a doll that Doc's success has been stratospheric, with over $500 million in sales last year. “'When little white girls embrace Doc McStuffins, for them Doc McStuffins is a girl, and Doc McStuffins is powerful,' Dr. [Margaret Beale] Spencer said. 'For a little black girl, it may be all of those things, but also that she’s black.'”
posted by ocherdraco on Jul 31, 2014 - 37 comments

Black France

A three-part series looking at the history of France's black community and their long struggle for recognition. French President Francois Hollande ran on a platform promising to eliminate the word 'race' from France’s constitution. But critics were quick to point out the disparity between constitutional reform and actual practice. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jul 16, 2014 - 6 comments

flipping the script

A viral video series uses role reversal to humorously highlight casual insensitivities & stereotyping: If Asians Said The Stuff White People Say - If Black People Said The Stuff White People Say - If Latinos Said The Stuff White People Say (YouTube; each video ~2 min.) [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 16, 2014 - 205 comments

Who owns a gesture?

On July 8, the Daily Mississippian published Sierra Mannie's Op-Ed, "Dear white gays", which was then picked up by Time Magazine, and has spurred discussion on whether white gay men are stealing the culture of black women.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 12, 2014 - 163 comments

"A Subtlety" & We Are Here

Why I Yelled at the Kara Walker Exhibit: "Anger shot up my body like a hot thermometer. Face flushed, I walked to the Mammy sphinx. Couples posed in front of it, smiling as others took their photos. So here it was, an artwork about how Black people’s pain was transformed into money was a tourist attraction for them... Something snapped... I yelled that this was our history and that many of us were angry and sad that it was a site of pornographic jokes." [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 2, 2014 - 170 comments

Did black people own slaves?

"One of the most vexing questions in African-American history is whether free African Americans themselves owned slaves. The short answer to this question, as you might suspect, is yes, of course … For me, the really fascinating questions about black slave-owning are how many black "masters" were involved, how many slaves did they own and why did they own slaves?" Henry Louis Gates Jr. on black slave owners.
posted by klangklangston on Jun 26, 2014 - 56 comments

“Before I came to America, I didn’t know I was black.”

To be gay, Christian and black in Harlem West African asylum seekers face a new kind of discrimination in the US
posted by infini on Jun 7, 2014 - 7 comments

Resegregation in the American South

The most recent story in ProPublica's Living Apart: Examining America's Racial Divide series is "Segregation Now," which focuses on the Tuscaloosa, Alabama, city school district "and its fleeting experience with the challenges and virtues of integration." But beyond Tuscaloosa, "almost everywhere in the United States, the gains of integration have been eroded. And nowhere has that been more powerfully and disturbingly true than in the South – once home to both the worst of segregation and the greatest triumphs of integration. Freed from the federal oversight that produced integration, schools districts across the 11 former states of the Confederacy have effectively re-instituted segregation for large numbers of black students, in practical terms if not in law." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 17, 2014 - 90 comments

The First Black Graduate of the University of Vermont

For a while, the first African American graduate of the University of Vermont was George Washington Henderson, who would become the first black inductee to Phi Beta Kappa. Except he wasn't the first black graduate... [more inside]
posted by papayaninja on Mar 16, 2014 - 8 comments

"'You aren't black on the inside' - childhood friends"

I, Too, Am Harvard. A photo campaign highlighting the faces and voices of black students at Harvard College. 63 students participated, sharing their experiences with ignorance and racism. "Our voices often go unheard on this campus, our experiences are devalued, our presence is questioned-- this project is our way of speaking back, of claiming this campus, of standing up to say: We are here. This place is ours. We, TOO, are Harvard." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 5, 2014 - 38 comments

The Logic of Stupid Poor People

"If you are poor, why do you spend money on useless status symbols like handbags and belts and clothes and shoes and televisions and cars? One thing I’ve learned is that one person’s illogical belief is another person’s survival skill."
posted by parudox on Oct 29, 2013 - 393 comments

The Talk: how to de-escalate a situation, for young people of color

"It's a lesson that many of us got from out folks at some point, often before we got that other uncomfortable parent-child conversation about the birds and the bees. Don't move suddenly. Answer questions clearly, and with yes, sir and no, sir. Don't raise your voice. If you're handcuffed, don't say anything until we [your parents] get there. The details differed depending on where you lived and your parents' particular concerns, but the point was for us to get through any encounter with the police without incident." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 15, 2013 - 52 comments

"I will never straighten out my wrist."

Navigating Masculinity as a Black Transman.
posted by klangklangston on Apr 5, 2013 - 30 comments

"The American Revolution is not a story just for white people."

"We’ve coined a term," said Katrinah Lewis, the actress who typically interprets Lydia. "Post-traumautic slave syndrome." The Washington Post reports on African American actors who interpret the lives of slaves at Colonial Williamsburg.
posted by Snarl Furillo on Mar 11, 2013 - 38 comments

"I am a prime example of American unacceptablility."

Civil Rights is a slam poem performed at last year's Brave New Voices festival. There's a transcript here, though it's worth noting that the page gets the poem's title wrong.

Written and performed by Shanita Jackson and Dakota Oder, it becomes even more impressive when you realize that both women are still teenagers...and from the looks of it, Jackson was only fourteen at the time.
posted by MeghanC on Mar 7, 2013 - 5 comments

Hey, you've got your black people in my American TV show!

'I'm a White Girl': Why 'Girls' Won't Ever Overcome Its Racial Problem-an article from The Atlantic with several interesting links on the larger issue of including (or not) black characters into American television.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 23, 2013 - 189 comments

Coronet Instructional Films

From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2012 - 41 comments

Peeling Back the Labels: Survey paints portrait of black women in America

Results of a new survey by the Washington post and Kaiser sheds some light on black women in America in a way that some others have failed to do. 2011 saw a record number of articles, books and shows dedicated to analyzing the "plight' of black women in America. Naturally, most of it devolved into popular tropes about black women being undesirable, ugly, angry, and lonely. This new survey shows that for some black women, the path to happiness doesn't necessarily have to be through companionship with a mate.
posted by RedShrek on Jan 23, 2012 - 34 comments


Shit White Girls Say...to Black Girls (SLYT)
posted by overeducated_alligator on Jan 4, 2012 - 251 comments

Black Girl In Suburbia Documentary Trailer

A trailer for a documentary about the experiences of black girls growing up in the suburbs
posted by RedShrek on Oct 28, 2011 - 14 comments

"Don't think you'll ever be cast as Eponine or Cosette."

Patrina Miller sings "Random Black Girl", a song about the one black girl in the musical's chorus. [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on Jul 5, 2011 - 22 comments

Swimming, or the lack of, in the Black American community

A recent drowning tragedy in Shreveport, Louisiana has brought to light a startling statistic in America: a majority of black youth can not swim. [more inside]
posted by nomadicink on Aug 11, 2010 - 207 comments

Black people tweet like THIS

How do black people use Twitter? Why is Twitter more popular with black people? (The Root asks, "Really?") What were black people talking about on Twitter last night? [more inside]
posted by desjardins on Aug 10, 2010 - 95 comments

Survey says Whhhhhhaaaaaaaat?

The Pentagon is currently surveying the troops to gauge their opinion towards gays and the repeal of Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell.  It has recently come to light that previous surveys were done about the fighting man's opinion of 'blacks' and 'jews'. [more inside]
posted by rzklkng on Jul 22, 2010 - 71 comments

Somebody bawl fo' Beulah

The backstory to The Beulah Show. "After Beulah was cancelled, the three networks and independent television producers, fearful of being accused of perpetuating racial stereotypes, stopped casting Blacks in their shows almost entirely for the next fifteen years."
posted by unliteral on Jun 14, 2010 - 15 comments

Putting Race in a Box

Racebox.org A history of racial classification on the U.S. Census from 1790 to 2010.
posted by jonp72 on May 28, 2010 - 43 comments

What is race in the Obama age?

What is race in the Obama age? Some blacks say there are two black races, one poor and one rich. Does that mean Obama is from the rich black race? Some wonder if he's black enough or too black. Or do we have to choose among four options: "a) black or b) white or c) half-black and half-white or d) an American and who-gives-a-damn about his ethnicity"? Or is he multiracial? All I know for sure is he's the president.
posted by shetterly on Jan 20, 2009 - 47 comments

The Dream is Alive

Happy Birthday Dr. King. Today is Martin Luther King Day. He was born 80 years ago, on January 15th, 1929. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just thirty-nine years old. Tomorrow, more than four decades after Dr. King’s death, Barack Obama will take his oath of office to become the 44th president of the United States and the first African American president in US history. The Reverend Joseph Lowery, a civil rights icon who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr, King, will deliver the benediction at the inauguration ceremony. Obama accepted the Democratic party nomination on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, arguably his most famous address. While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People"s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic US foreign policy and the Vietnam War. [more inside]
posted by caddis on Jan 19, 2009 - 30 comments

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, the Black Panther Party's Minister of Culture from 1967 to 1979. Douglas is still alive and making posters for the cause, in this case the San Francisco 8, who were arrested earlier this year for the murder of a police officer in 1971 -- despite the fact that evidence was thrown out of federal court in 1976 because "officers stripped the men, blindfolded them, beat them and covered them in blankets soaked in boiling water," and "used electric prods on their genitals." The SF Weekly published a detailed 5-page story about the case in November 2006.
posted by mediareport on Dec 14, 2007 - 19 comments

Fantasies in black and white

If even most African-Americans believe the black poor are primarily responsible for their own plight, does that make it true?
posted by shotgunbooty on Nov 27, 2007 - 79 comments

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