734 posts tagged with race.
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Maybe White People Really Don't See Race — Maybe That's The Problem

For the majority of white people, race is something that happens to other people. Whiteness is a default that needs no name — all deviations must be categorized and given a "race." If race is always something that happens to other people, how are you able to see the part you play in the system?
An essay by Ijeoma Oluo (previously, previouslier) for Scenarios USA. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jul 9, 2015 - 73 comments

Rihanna Unchained

"[I]t is her flipping of masculinist scripts—the reclaiming of chauvinistic language, the cartoonish and flippant treatment of violence, her insistence on getting paid for her labor, and her reenactment of machismo through her hyper-feminine fashionista presentation (replete with an all-girl posse)—that makes the BBHMM video [NSFW] much more layered than a simple woman-hating narrative, as some have labeled it." [more inside]
posted by melissasaurus on Jul 9, 2015 - 108 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

Run time: 8 seconds

Every Single Word Spoken by a Person of Color in [Film title].
posted by You Should See the Other Guy on Jul 3, 2015 - 80 comments

Farewell to America

Foreign correspondents posted to America talk about the future, and the past.
posted by grubby on Jul 1, 2015 - 20 comments

China Girls, Color TV, And Racial Bias

The Atlantic covers the fight over color TV, the women who helped push it, and how racial bias influenced the evolution of the technology. Of note is the history of bias influencing all sorts of imaging technologies, pushing towards fidelity of reproducing lighter skin tones at the expense of darker ones.
posted by NoxAeternum on Jun 30, 2015 - 9 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

The faces that run Facebook

"..Research also shows that diverse teams are better at solving complex problems and enjoy more dynamic workplaces. So at Facebook we’re serious about building a workplace that reflects a broad range of experience, thought, geography, age, background, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture and many other characteristics.” Facebook only hired seven black people in latest diversity count.
posted by latkes on Jun 26, 2015 - 40 comments

Tragedy at Emanuel AME...again.

At least nine people are dead in a shooting at Charleston, South Carolina's historic Emanuel AME church. Among the victims is Clementa Pinckney, church pastor and SC state senator. The gunman sat with the church for a while before shooting, and told a survivor that he was letting her live so she could tell the story. [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias on Jun 18, 2015 - 1170 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

I'm Not Ready

"Readiness has also become the slogan of the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Rather than a galvanizing declaration of devotion, the slogan is a queasy-making line in the sand. When the legitimacy of the system the president presides over is in question, as racial oppression, capitalism, and police brutality are discussed on a global scale, choosing a president isn’t a royal crowning. The conflation of being “Ready for Hillary” with feminist allegiance brings the worst problems of political fandom, racism, and poor civic awareness to the forefront. Secretary Clinton is portrayed as a fulfillment of a progressive checklist or schedule rather than an individual candidate."
posted by HumanComplex on Jun 15, 2015 - 125 comments

Black lives matter in elections

If black lives were as long lived as those of whites, some major elections may have turned out differently. From the article: "The unspoken suggestion is that Republicans know this and will oppose programs that increase Black health and decrease Black poverty in part for the same reasons that they have favored incarceration and permanent disenfranchisement of people convicted of felonies."
posted by batbat on Jun 15, 2015 - 37 comments

"but was that really murder, though?" "was that really assault?"

This is hard, this divided attention. But it isn't just an emotional and intellectual focus divided by half. This is no mere doubled consciousness. Race in this country, with each successive generation, with every historical echo, and for all our technological advancement, has become a prism. This new racial prism — this 24-hour access to every horrible, three-dimensional detail of black trauma, requires constant, multiplicitous division. I can anticipate occasional euphoria, but I will always do so with the understanding that injustice will disrupt my joy. That is its own kind of violence, a forced splintering of identity, intellect, and emotion.
On the second day of her successfully crowdfunded trip to the THREAD at Yale program, stacia l. brown wrote an essay on race, consciousness, and black trauma in America as viewed through The Racial Prism. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jun 10, 2015 - 7 comments

Kehinde Wiley, turning traditional portraitists into contemporary art

Brooklyn Republic recently closed the exhibition Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic, a mid-career retrospective, going back 14 years, from Kehinde's early styles to the more well-known mix of young black men in casual attire, recreating traditional portrait scenes, with a backdrop of vivid patterns, as seen in the National Portrait Gallery, among other settings. More recently, he has expanded his street-casting to include African American women, as captured in the PBS Arts documentary, Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace. More videos and critical commentary below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 8, 2015 - 8 comments

🎶 Stand by your woman 🎶

"So last week, when country radio promoter Keith Hill controversially suggested that stations should stop playing songs by female artists, it’s easy to label his actions another example of misogynistic, conservative politics.

However, Hill’s comments are actually indicative of something much bigger and far more troubling: the consolidation of an entire genre of music, and the type of environment this can create. In the case of country, it’s allowed for the repurposing of the genre’s history, and the exclusion of certain individuals."
The Conversation's Clifford Murphy, on why [country radio promoter] Keith Hill’s comments about women in country music cut far deeper than misogyny [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A on Jun 8, 2015 - 106 comments

New color theory: now with more 6-year-old!

"Have you ever turned white?"
"Will I ever-?"
"Daddy's already white."
"But was he always?"
37 Impossible Questions From My Mixed-Race Son (SLBuzzfeed)
posted by Metroid Baby on Jun 8, 2015 - 44 comments

'Twelve officers responded to the incident, Conley said.'

"Police responding to reported disturbance at a community pool in McKinney, Texas, are seen in a video posted to YouTube aggressively subduing black teenagers and, at one point, pulling a gun on them."
Scott Neuman, NPR [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jun 7, 2015 - 642 comments

"The practice is called "pay or stay" — pay the fine or stay in jail."

Supreme Court Ruling Not Enough To Prevent Debtors Prisons Judge Robert Swisher, a Superior Court judge in Benton County, says he'll make judgments based on how people present themselves in court. "They come in wearing expensive jackets," he says referring to defendants who wear NFL football team jackets, "or maybe a thousand dollars' worth of tattoos on their arms. And they say, 'I'm just living on handouts.' " If the jacket or tattoos were a gift, he tells the defendants they should have asked the giver for the cash to pay their court fees instead.
[more inside] posted by sio42 on Jun 4, 2015 - 54 comments

Whose heroes are these? Not mine.

Cyborg isn’t just an emasculated man, but an emasculated black man, and as one of comics’ higher profile black superheroes — starring in his own movie in distant 2020 — the unspoken fact of his castration is demeaning. The racist narrative of black man as sexual threat is served by the idea of a character who is rendered heroic in the same event that symbolically renders him sexually unthreatening. (Genitals do not define gender or sexual power, but they are often tied to an individual’s relationship with their sexual, gender, and cultural identities.) The Re-Masculation of Cyborg asserts that DC Comics may be correcting the problems that blogger Robert Jones Jr. identified in his essay Humanity Not Included: DC’s Cyborg and the Mechanization of the Black Body.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jun 3, 2015 - 31 comments

Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide

The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting by police in 2015, as well as of every officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty.
Overall, blacks were killed at three times the rate of whites or other minorities when adjusting by the population of the census tracts where the shootings occurred.
posted by Little Dawn on May 31, 2015 - 74 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

Breaking Ranks with the Unexamined Silences of Their Parents

"To all these ends, the third- , fourth- , and fifth-graders at Lower were to be divided once a week for five weeks into small groups according to their race. In 45-minute sessions, children would talk about what it was like to be a member of that race; they would discuss what they had in common with each other and how they were different, how other people perceived them, rightly or wrongly, based on appearance. Disinhibited by the company of racially different peers, the children would, the school hoped, feel free to raise questions and make observations that in mixed company might be considered impolite. The bigger goal was to initiate a cultural upheaval, one that would finally give students of color a sense of equal owner­ship in the community. Once the smaller race groups had broken up, the children would gather in a mixed-race setting to share, and discuss, the insights they had gained."

The story of one private school's attempt to teach children about race and the reactions of the parents and children involved in the pilot year.
posted by Eyebrows McGee on May 20, 2015 - 26 comments

"My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you."

Michelle Obama's painful discussion of America's racial inequality and deep misogyny exists, for many, on the same spectrum as [Saida] Grundy's blunt remarks about race, power and privilege. Where the first lady used her commencement speech at one of the nation's premier HBCUs to deliver a seminar on institutional racism and our nation's anti-black culture, Grundy's social media commentary dispensed with complexity to deliver screams, sometimes angry, other times humorous, that reflect equally important truths about contemporary race relations, black women's activism and the limits of freedom of expression in the 21st century.
Peniel E. Joseph for The Root: What Happens to Black Women Who Boldly Speak Truth About Racial Inequality [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on May 19, 2015 - 24 comments

Breaking Bread: A Food Critic's Take on Restaurants' Racial Divide

"I have a day job in Washington, D.C., as a food critic. I’ve done it for ten years. During that time, the city has become bigger and more cosmopolitan, the restaurant scene has evolved from that of a steak & potatoes town to that of a vibrant metropolis, and people now talk excitedly about going out to eat. But what no one talks about is the almost total absence of black faces in that scene." Todd Kliman's "Coding and Decoding Dinner" explores the racial divide in D.C. dining for the Oxford American.
posted by MonkeyToes on May 15, 2015 - 43 comments

Her legacy is rooted in resisting the foundation of American capitalism.

Keep Harriet Tubman – and all women – off the $20 bill. "Harriet Tubman did not fight for capitalism, free trade, or competitive markets." [more inside]
posted by NoraReed on May 14, 2015 - 66 comments

How Gentrification Happens

"They don’t know — here he lowers his voice — that even if they get the money and they left, they could always come back. They don’t know that part. And it’s so scary sometimes because they could come up in the middle of construction and say, “It’s my property, I didn’t understand what I was signing, and I want to come back.” -- DW Gibson interviews a Brooklyn landlord about how they push poor black residents out in favor of affluent whites.
posted by The Whelk on May 12, 2015 - 56 comments

Our Thing

“African Americans,” he wrote in one of his section introductions for Hokum, “like any other Americans, are an angry people with fragile egos. Humor is vengeance. Sometimes you laugh to keep from crying. Sometimes you laugh to keep from shooting … black folk are mad at everybody, so duck, because you’re bound to be in someone’s line of fire.” Paul Beatty on Satire, Racism and Writing for "Weirdos", from the Paris Review.
posted by chavenet on May 9, 2015 - 6 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

“Detroit turned out to be heaven, but it also turned out to be hell.”

1967 NBC News Special Report: "Summer of '67"[YouTube]
The 1967 Detroit riot, also known as the 12th Street riot, was a violent public disorder that turned into a civil disturbance in Detroit, Michigan. It began on a Saturday night in the early morning hours of July 23, 1967. The precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar then known as a blind pig, on the corner of 12th (today Rosa Parks Boulevard) and Clairmount streets on the city's Near West Side. Police confrontations with patrons and observers on the street evolved into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in United States history, lasting five days and surpassing the violence and property destruction of Detroit's 1943 race riot. [Wiki]
posted by Fizz on Apr 30, 2015 - 16 comments

How Photography Was Optimized For White Skin

"the lighter you were, the more likely it was that the camera got your likeness right.” "In film photography, color balance has a lot to do with the chemical composition of the film. For many decades, color film in the United States was calibrated to highlight Caucasian skin tones. This was the most fundamental problem. With an unusual degree of skill and attention, a photographer could compensate for the biases in most stages of production. But there was nothing they could do about the film’s color balance. When the famous New Wave filmmaker Jean Luc Godard was commissioned to make a film about Mozambique, he reportedly refused to use Kodachrome film -- the most popular color film at the time. He complained the film, developed for a predominantly white market, was 'racist.'"
posted by minhrootloop on Apr 28, 2015 - 58 comments

The Skin I'm In

"I’ve been interrogated by police more than 50 times—all because I’m black." Desmond Cole writes in Toronto Life about his experiences with being carded and harassed by police.
posted by orange swan on Apr 21, 2015 - 82 comments

1.5 Million Missing Black Men

For every 100 black women not in jail, there are only 83 black men. The remaining men – 1.5 million of them – are, in a sense, missing. Among whites, the equivalent number is 99, nearly parity.
posted by OmieWise on Apr 21, 2015 - 52 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

Wheel turning round and round

A South Carolina police officer shot at an unarmed, fleeing 50-year-old Walter Scott 8 times on Saturday, killing him. Officer Michael Slager claimed that Scott wrestled his taser away and he "felt threatened". But this time there was video of the incident, and Slager has been charged with Murder. [more inside]
posted by cashman on Apr 7, 2015 - 748 comments

White Women, Black Hairstyles

It almost sounds like the opening line to a joke: A young black woman takes a bunch of middle-aged white women who she doesn’t know in Woodstock, N.Y., to a black salon, gives them a new “black” hairdo, and then takes their portrait.
posted by DirtyOldTown on Mar 29, 2015 - 26 comments

Half is Not Enough

Ariana Miyamoto is the first biracial winner of Miss Universe Japan in the nation's history. Born to a Japanese mother and an African-American father and raised in Nagasaki, she is considered "hafu" within her native Japan. [more inside]
posted by PearlRose on Mar 23, 2015 - 43 comments

Our Complicity With Excess

"[In] the face of a culture that would deny them, it becomes necessary for an artist of color in the west to defiantly announce to the world: I am a fact." In April 2014, at the first ever Yale Asian Alumni Reunion, Vijay Iyer delivered a powerful speech "on two intertwined issues: the role of Asian Americans as upwardly mobile minorities and the role of the artist as a potential transgressor within elite institutions."
posted by Errant on Mar 23, 2015 - 3 comments

What makes an expat an expat?

Why are white people expats when everyone else is an immigrant?
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 20, 2015 - 58 comments

Bisland v. Bly: A Race Around the World

In 1889, Elizabeth Bisland’s boss sent her on a trip around the world. Her goal: to beat Phileas Fogg’s record of going Around the World in 80 Days. She was not thrilled at the prospect, and even less happy to learn she would be chasing Nellie Bly, who had left that morning on the same journey. But sure enough, she was on a train that evening. [more inside]
posted by julen on Mar 19, 2015 - 6 comments

Lighten Up

Lighten Up (NSFW), a short comic about coloring and race in comics by Ronald Wimberly.
posted by dinty_moore on Mar 18, 2015 - 15 comments

Who will win the race?

Starbucks announced a new campaign to start conversations about racial issues by inviting baristas to pen the words Race Together on the sides of their ubiquitous cups. Unsure how to talk to your baristas about race? Jezebel has you covered. Of course, some people are less than thrilled with the campaign.
posted by jaksemas on Mar 17, 2015 - 172 comments

“Jesus. Call the police”.

Why I didn't call the police when I saw two black boys with guns next door. [The Guardian]
"My husband’s instinct was to call law enforcement, but that didn't seem like the solution. Especially after Tamir Rice."
posted by Fizz on Mar 16, 2015 - 94 comments

The First Chinese-American Movie Star

Anna May Wong was the first Chinese-American movie star, first appearing as an extra in 1919. Her first leading role came in 1922's Toll of the Sea, the first color feature made in Hollywood. She continued appearing in films until 1960, the year prior to her death. [more inside]
posted by Blue Jello Elf on Mar 12, 2015 - 5 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

People do not naturally assume that my family is a family.

Friends often try to assure me that people mean well, urging me to go easy on them, to be gracious, to give people the benefit of the doubt. "People don't mean to be offensive," they tell me. "They just don't know how to say it without coming across that way."

What these friends don't understand is that when the act of defining your family structure becomes an expected part of every day of your entire life, you grow tired of being gracious. It's exhausting to have strangers view your life as an up-for-grabs educational experience. For my kid, it's to constantly hear the underlying message: "Your life, your family, doesn't make sense to me. Someone needs to explain it to me. You owe me an explanation."

It's the people who live comfortably inside majorities who tend to discount any sort of commentary from minorities as being "overly sensitive." And I imagine that it's hard to step back and grasp the fact that when the world you occupy is built to accommodate you, you fit inside the boxes. You make sense. You are expected.
Nishta Mehra writes about her family's experience with learning how to navigate the landscape of interracial adoption in a "post-racial" America: Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair.
posted by divined by radio on Mar 4, 2015 - 51 comments

"A Pattern or Practice of Unlawful Conduct"

Today, the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division released its report on the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department, whose officer, Darren Wilson, shot and killed Michael Brown in August 2014, prompting large-scale, nationwide protests, which only increased following a grand jury's choice not to indict Wilson for the killing. [more inside]
posted by sallybrown on Mar 4, 2015 - 200 comments

"Everyone will land, but some people fly first class"

Ronson’s argument is essentially a reactionary liberalism taking shelter in the privilege of the status quo: while the ideals of twitter shaming campaigns are well-founded, their application, in practice, is problematic. They go too far. Innocents have suffered. His rhetorical appeal, therefore, is like the many liberals who have written books and essays and memoirs about how they joined the communist party (or Occupy, or whatever) only to discover that it didn’t instantly solve everything painlessly and precisely, who find fault with every activist who isn’t literally the saintliest fantasy of MLK and Gandhi rolled into one. The theory is (still) good, they always say, but the practice leaves something to be desired. I’m all for anti-racism, but you know what, I can’t get on board with disrupting people’s commute.
Aaron Bady: On Landings, Soft and Otherwise, and Aggressive Lacks of Proportion.
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 4, 2015 - 52 comments

The Unlost Generation

The White Negro, Norman Mailer, 1957.
It is on this bleak scene that a phenomenon has appeared: the American existentialist—the hipster, the man who knows that if our collective condition is to live with instant death by atomic war, relatively quick death by the State as l’univers concentrationnaire, or with a slow death by conformity with every creative and rebellious instinct stifled (at what damage to the mind and the heart and the liver and the nerves no research foundation for cancer will discover in a hurry) , if the fate of twentieth century man is to live with death from adolescence to premature senescence, why then the only life-giving answer is to accept the terms of death, to live with death as immediate danger, to divorce oneself from society, to exist without roots, to set out on that uncharted journey into the rebellious imperatives of the self.
[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns on Mar 3, 2015 - 16 comments

If you’ve never needed the welfare system, consider yourself lucky

A View from Inside the Welfare System.
posted by cashman on Mar 2, 2015 - 33 comments

“Humans are the dominant race of Thedas,”

Dragon Age's Post-Racial (High) Fantasy
posted by Fizz on Feb 27, 2015 - 47 comments

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