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Donald Crowhurst

Donald Crowhurst (1932–1969) was a British businessman and amateur sailor who died while competing in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a single-handed, round-the-world yacht race. Crowhurst had entered the race in hopes of winning a cash prize from The Sunday Times to aid his failing business. Instead, he encountered difficulty early in the voyage, and secretly abandoned the race while reporting false positions, in an attempt to appear to complete a circumnavigation without actually circling the world. Evidence found after his disappearance indicates that this attempt ended in insanity and suicide. (previously: 1, 2)
posted by Trurl on Nov 17, 2011 - 11 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

"“I feel more like myself when I’m out running,” Chase-Brand said. “I’m a good animal.”

"...officials warned that a woman who ran a more ambitious distance might cause her uterus to fall out." [NYTimes] On Thanksgiving Day, Dr. Julia Chase-Brand, 69, plans to run a 4.75-mile race in Manchester, Conn., where the presence of women will be plentiful and unremarkable. Fifty years ago, when she and two other women ran there the first time, it was a widely publicized act of civil disobedience that became a pioneering moment in female distance running in the United States.
posted by Fizz on Oct 26, 2011 - 58 comments

R.I.P. Professor Derrick Bell

Derrick Bell, Law Professor and Civil Rights Advocate, dies at 80. Bell was a pioneer of critical race theory and the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School. Bell was also a lover of gospel music, and hosted an annual gospel choir concert.
posted by likeatoaster on Oct 6, 2011 - 25 comments

Tacit racism and sexism

The Implicit Bias & Philosophy International Research Project brings together philosophers, psychologists, and policy professionals to study unconscious biases against members of stigmatized groups. The recommended reading page collects recent scholarly articles available for download. (Previously)
posted by painquale on Oct 4, 2011 - 10 comments

"this man has paid enough"

This week has seen a lot of discussion of the American criminal justice system and its failings, and a lot of concern about what can be done to fix it. In 1947, a working class black man looked like he was about to have the full weight of the system brought down on him for taking justice into his own hands. But after Chicago leftists - including labor unions, religious leaders, artists, civil rights activists & others - launched a movement, James Hickman was set free after an all-white jury, in a trial presided over by a white judge, failed to convict, and the DA chose not to re-try because of the magnitude of public support for Hickman. According to a review in The Nation, a new book tells the story in a way that turns the typical right-wing biases of the true crime genre on their head. [more inside]
posted by univac on Sep 22, 2011 - 11 comments

"I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free: On Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes And The Help"

"You know something very bizarre is going on in Hollywood when the movie Rise of Planet of the Apes tells more about the black experience in America than The Help." Max Gordon reflects on the truths that Hollywood can't talk about openly, and the dangers involved in sugarcoating the past.
posted by invitapriore on Sep 12, 2011 - 158 comments

I come late, and I mean to come humbly.

Deeply Embarrassed White People Talk Awkwardly About Race. 'Once I realized I was racist, it was, well, what am I going to do about it?' says Winn, a mild-mannered white guy in his 30s. 'That shifts the defensiveness.' [...] 'The test of how racist you are is not how many people of color you can count as friends,' I recall someone telling me—I can't remember who now. 'It's how many white people you're willing to talk to about racism.'
posted by shakespeherian on Sep 7, 2011 - 256 comments

We call this "dislocated polygamy".

The Tribes of Darkest Austria - or: if Africans ruled Anthropology. (slyt)
posted by divabat on Sep 2, 2011 - 43 comments

"The Civil War isn't tragic"

The Atlantic's Ta-nehisi Coates sparks months of debate with his contention that The Civil War Isn't Tragic. "The Civil War is our revolution. It ended slavery, and birthed both modern America, and modern black America. That can never be tragic to me." [more inside]
posted by Danila on Aug 25, 2011 - 116 comments

Pomobama

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 - 22 comments

Ultimately, there is no separating Vick from his circumstances: his race, parents, economics and opportunities.

What if Michael Vick were white? The cover of the September issue of ESPN The Magazine features an image of the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, but another picture might end up getting more attention. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Aug 25, 2011 - 171 comments

"I’m like, pat my hair? O.K., I guess..."

Does the TSA have "a thing" about black womens' hair?
posted by John Cohen on Aug 16, 2011 - 107 comments

The lack marriage of prospects for Black women and a different way of looking at the problem

"I'm trying to get to a point where I accept that marriage may never happen for me."

Audrey belongs to the most unmarried group of people in the U.S.: black women. Nearly 70% of black women are unmarried, and the racial gap in marriage spans the socioeconomic spectrum, from the urban poor to well-off suburban professionals.

African-American Professor of Law Ralph Richard Banks has an intriguing solution: Interracial marriage.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Aug 7, 2011 - 183 comments

But it's just so American!

AMC's Hell on Wheels is an upcoming series created by Joe and Tony Gayton, centered around the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Joe: "I think what a lot of people think of when they think about the Transcontinental Railroad is the contribution of the Chinese immigrants." "But, it’s just so American". So the show focuses on railroad construction from the East, and the Chinese laborers story? They "ended up getting excised". [more inside]
posted by cashman on Aug 6, 2011 - 69 comments

Hoop dreams

The unlevel playing field - "Contrary to popular perception, poverty and broken homes are underrepresented in the NBA, not overrepresented. ... We believe that skills always trump circumstances. But that's a myth."
posted by mrgrimm on Aug 1, 2011 - 16 comments

Africa in India

The African Presence in India: A Photo Essay : The questions we pose here are simply these: Who are the African people of India? What is their significance in the annals of history? Precisely what have they done and what are they doing now? These are extremely serious questions that warrant serious and fundamental answers. This series of articles, "The African Presence in India: An Historical Overview," is designed to provide some of those answers.
posted by infini on Jul 30, 2011 - 14 comments

20 to 1

In America, the typical black household had just $5,677 in wealth (assets minus debts) in 2009, the typical Hispanic household had $6,325 in wealth and the typical white household had $113,149. These lopsided wealth ratios are the largest since the government began publishing such data a quarter century ago. Data from the US Census: Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).
posted by cashman on Jul 27, 2011 - 167 comments

GoPro or Go Home

MeFi has seen a GoPro camera attached to a sword, but after running across a video of one attached to a Hula Hoop (it'll make you dizzy) I decided to look for more and found a trove of sports, most of which are created by GoPro and as such may come across as advertising, but some are independently shot, so put that aside if you can. I'll probably never take up any of these activities, but I get an idea of what they're like via helmet or pole-cam. There's the Base Jump; the GoPro at 80,000 feet (near space); Boogie Boarding Surf; Surfing; Racing up Pike's Peak; Mountain Biking; a Kayak Competition; Kiteboarding; Longboarding; the 2010 Highlight Reel and many more. Damn, now I want one!
posted by bwg on Jul 19, 2011 - 51 comments

mama put my guns in the ground -- I can't use them anymore

...after enrolling in public school and moving to Montana — a predominantly white state, albeit one with a decidedly hippie-ish vibe — Lamb and Lynx decided they simply no longer believed what they’d been taught. Prussian Blue, five years later. Previously, previously.
posted by gerryblog on Jul 17, 2011 - 105 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

Le Tour via steephill.tv

Forget Velonews. For years now, the best place to follow the big cycling stage races has been steephill.tv, a "bike travelogue" with stage previews, results, news articles, photos, and video curated every day of the race. This site is an obvious labor of love... with no ads! If you want to watch or listen to the Tour de France for free, steephill will helpfully tell you where to go on the web. But if you're away from your computer or don't have Versus (in the US), there's an NBC iPhone app with live video, for $14.99 (launches iTunes) [more inside]
posted by jstef on Jul 1, 2011 - 24 comments

And Justice For All?

An image showing disparity in sentencing appears in a tweet by Electronic Frontier Foundation co-founder John Perry Barlow and raises questions of its validity. Paul R. Allen is clearly a real case and Roy Brown an actual criminal but what do the differences in their sentencing say about the state of justice in America? [more inside]
posted by geekyguy on Jun 25, 2011 - 28 comments

The runners’ bibs say something different each year: SUFFERING WITHOUT A POINT; NOT ALL PAIN IS GAIN

The Immortal Horizon: Thirty-Five Runners Face Hollers and Hells, a Flooded Prison, Rats the Size of Possums, and Flesh-Flaying Briars to Test the Limits of Self-Sufficiency in a race only eight men have ever finished.
posted by The Whelk on May 7, 2011 - 37 comments

Don't be evil

Andrew Norman Wilson was fired from his job at Google for investigating the working conditions of yellow badge employees misusing company equipment: [more inside]
posted by AlsoMike on Apr 30, 2011 - 167 comments

Oh Beautiful, for Super Skies

With Marvel Comics hinting that Black Panther will become "American Panther", a typical storm of controversy and speculation has occurred over the supposed Americanization of an African character. The artists over at The Temple of Cartoon Mojo on the other hand, wondered what would happen if MORE iconic characters were made patriotic. The results range from the silly, to the utterly awesome.
posted by happyroach on Apr 11, 2011 - 79 comments

A band of sisters and brothers in a circle of trust

Images of a People's Movement - more than 18 pages of photos and dozens of first-hand narratives, interviews & recollections of the 1951-1968 Southern Freedom Movement by the Civil Rights Movement Veterans. (These are just samplings - it's a deep and rich site.) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 4, 2011 - 12 comments

The New Jim Crow

“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began.” [more inside]
posted by TheGoodBlood on Mar 28, 2011 - 143 comments

L'Eroica -- A cycling classic

L'Eroica in Italy offers something truly unique: a race on ancient roads using obsolete bikes, surrounded by gorgeous scenery and fuelled by a mouth-watering selection of food and wine. [Official site]
posted by bread-eater on Mar 10, 2011 - 19 comments

Valparaiso Cerro Abajo

The Valparaiso Cerro Abajo is an increasingly popular urban downhill bike race. This is what it's like to ride it. [via]
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse on Mar 2, 2011 - 49 comments

College Scholarships Available. Only White Men Need Apply.

Colby Bohannan and a group of student friends at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX have formed the non-profit organization Former Majority Association for Equality which intends to offer college scholarships solely to white men." "'I felt excluded,' he said. 'If everyone else can find scholarships, why are we left out?'" "'To qualify for the group's scholarship, applicants have to be able to prove that they are at least 25 percent Caucasian ... We're not looking for blond-haired, blue-eyed, stereotypical white males,' he said. 'My feeling is that if you can say you're 25 percent Caucasian, you're Caucasian enough for us.'" "Bohannan, the group's president, said the name comes from the idea that 'if you're not a male, and if you're not white, you're called a minority.' However, he said, 'I'm not sure white males are the majority anymore.'"* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Feb 26, 2011 - 84 comments

VROOOOOMMMMMMM!

Jet Sprint: Jetsprint racing is a small V8-powered jet boat with a crew of two (a driver and a navigator) who must negotiate a set course through slough channels 12-15 feet wide and 3 feet deep at speeds up to 80 mph. The winners are those with the fastest times; the losers often don't even finish. [more inside]
posted by bwg on Feb 16, 2011 - 8 comments

Separate, Unequal, and Ignored

"In Chicago, we think such racial segregation is normal, but it's not." Why segregation isn't an issue in the mayoral contest in one of the most segregated cities in the US. [more inside]
posted by enn on Feb 10, 2011 - 64 comments

Craig Ferguson and Cornel West

For Black History Month, Craig Ferguson (previously) devotes almost an entire show to discussing black history and the meaning of humanity with Dr. Cornel West: (Intro) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (George Clinton performance, Outro with George Clinton and Cornel West). [more inside]
posted by kmz on Feb 4, 2011 - 40 comments

White People Rapping Poorly

White People Rapping Poorly is a tumblr blog that, in the words of the site's creator, collects a lot of videos of white people trying to rap and just failing miserably. [more inside]
posted by chrchr on Feb 3, 2011 - 44 comments

Kodak theater - whites only?

Oscars take a pass on people of color. [more inside]
posted by Baby_Balrog on Jan 26, 2011 - 193 comments

Solving A 1964 Cold Case: Mystery Of Frank Morris

In December 1964, Frank Morris' shoe shop was set ablaze in the middle of the night. Still inside at the time, Morris was severely injured; he died four days later at a nearby hospital in Ferriday, La. Like many Southern crimes against blacks in the 1960s — an era of racial strife dominated by criminal activities by the Ku Klux Klan — the incident went unsolved, despite an FBI investigation at the time.
A vast amount of research and investigation by the Civil Rights Cold Case Project (especially Stanley Nelson on this case) is described in gripping detail in the documentary David Ridgen brings us here called Murder at The Shoe Shop (MP3 download link). [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Jan 12, 2011 - 2 comments

Whitewashing "A Christmas Story": The Lost Black Actors in a New Holiday Classic

Whitewashing "A Christmas Story": The Lost Black Actors in a New Holiday Classic
posted by ShooBoo on Dec 25, 2010 - 21 comments

A chit for a bang-bang

In the 1920's, there was a series of race cars developed by Count Louis Zborowski, Chitty Bang Bang I through IV. Though in the film version of Ian Fleming's book the name came from the sound the cars made, there is some conjecture that the name is based on a bawdy WWI song. Zborowski died before finishing Chitty Bang Bang 4, (also known as the Higham Special). The car killed its next owner in a particularly grisly fashion and was buried on the spot by his horrified friends. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag on Dec 18, 2010 - 19 comments

Where we are. Who we are.

The New York Times presents an interactive map of America's population separated by race, income, and education, according to census data from 2005 to 2009. One dot for every 50 people. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by schmod on Dec 15, 2010 - 80 comments

Classified X

Melvin Van Peebles made a documentary called Classified X in 1998, about the portrayal of black people throughout the history of American cinema. You can see it on YT in six parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Apologies for the low video quality.
posted by Dim Siawns on Nov 30, 2010 - 19 comments

The limits of adhesion

The Hunter Valley Steamfest in New South Wales, Australia holds a Great Steam Train race every so often. [more inside]
posted by pjern on Oct 30, 2010 - 7 comments

Fix The Economy, Health Care, Watch This Link

Baracka Flacka Flames - "Head of The State" (NSFW language) (Con text) [more inside]
posted by StopMakingSense on Oct 29, 2010 - 21 comments

White Flight and Federal Policy: Tipping Points, Self-Sorting, or Federally Sorted?

"The history of greater St. Louis, is bound up in a tangle of local, state, and federal policies that explicitly and decisively sorted the City’s growing population by race." Mapping Decline visually connects and tracks the history of laws, zoning, urban renewal projects, and their effect on white flight in St. Louis.
posted by stratastar on Oct 23, 2010 - 48 comments

Nah, we straight.

Code-switching is using different languages or language varieties in different contexts. Ta-Nehisi Coates does it. Jay-Z does it. The President does it. But, for African Americans, is code-switching necessary to escape poverty, an element of race as performed or neither?
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Oct 22, 2010 - 63 comments

"They told me their God was 'Aqua Buddha'"

Jack Conway, a candidate for United States Senate, is catching flak from Democrats and Tea-Partiers alike, for airing an attack ad against his opponent, Rand Paul that brings up some bizarre dirt published in GQ a few months back. At a debate between the two candidates Sunday, Paul refused to shake Conway's hand at the end. Today, the National Republican Senatorial Committee released a response to the Aqua Buddha ad. [more inside]
posted by krysalist on Oct 20, 2010 - 68 comments

Waiting for John Frum

Two examinations of the Tanna island prophet known as John Frum. Both with very unusual points of view. God is American parts 1, 2, 3, & 4, and Nate DiMeo's Memory Palace podcast. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Oct 17, 2010 - 14 comments

Great Sports Calls, chosen by Posnanski

Greatest calls in sports is a selection of 32 great calls in broadcast sports, chosen by Joe Posnanski, obviously US-centric but featuring some good choices. Want some elation this Friday? [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten on Oct 15, 2010 - 47 comments

I'm Saying Being White is Way Better

Monica Potts on Louis CK and privilege: "For the most part, people of color are the ones who initiate serious discussions about race and privilege in the public sphere -- and in the world of comedy ... Some white comedians, like Sarah Silverman, tend to joke about racism, making fun of white people and their ignorance in ways that shock and offend. ... But Louis' comedy is about being a white man -- and about how others view white men. He doesn't accept ignorance as a point of view. Moreover, this isn't the occasional stand-up bit; a significant number of his jokes are about race, class, and gender." [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Oct 15, 2010 - 75 comments

The black man's CNN

What if the Tea Party was Black? Jasiri X raps about radicalism and racism. Inflammatory and simplistic, maybe, but the best rap polemic since George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People. Jasiri X responds to critics here.
posted by klangklangston on Oct 13, 2010 - 138 comments

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