My black friends call it Murderland. My white friends call it Charm City, a town of trendy cafés. I just call it home.
Tomorrow, is the 60th Anniversary
of the Supreme Court's decision
(pdf) in Brown v. Board of Education [more inside]
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]
You probably know of Paul Dini
as the guy who, over the past 20 years brought to television Batman, the beloved DC's animated universe
(with Bruce Timm) and Duck Dodgers (among many other things).
He's now working at Marvel after 20 years with Warner Brothers.
Speaking recently on Kevin Smith's podcast
he claimed that executives are spurning female viewers because they believe girls and women don't buy superhero show related toys
, which may go some way to explaining the Wonder Woman decision (previously
Dini's comments come at a time
when many feel
that the gender segregation
of toys is regaining strength.
76 Years Later, Maryland Tries To Right A College Football Wrong
(SLDeadspin) In October 1937, Maryland administrators threatened to cancel a game with Syracuse unless the then-Orangemen benched their offensive star, Wilmeth Sidat-Singh. The problem, as Maryland saw it, was that he wasn't the right type of colored boy.
The civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery,
as described in the New Yorker by Renata Adler in 1965. [more inside]
"Not a lot of rushees get awesome scores," the Tri Delta member said. "Sometimes sisters [of active members] don’t get that. [She] got excellent scores. The only thing that kept her back was the color of her skin in Tri Delt. She would have been a dog fight between all the sororities if she were white."
The University of Alabama's student newspaper reports on all-white sorority chapters' rejection of black applicants
, including members' claims that the decisions came not from them but were handed down by alumnae.
[Further coverage in the New York Times.
The racial wage gap in the United States — the gap in salary between whites and blacks with similar levels of education and experience — is shaped by geography, according to new social science research.
"The average racial gap [in wages] in metropolitan areas of around 1 million people — and you can think of a place like Tulsa, Okla. — is about 20 percent smaller than the gap in the nation's largest metro areas of Chicago, L.A. and New York," Ananat says.
suggests that the racial gap is not directly the result of prejudice or, at least, prejudice conventionally defined. Rather, it has to do with patterns of social interactions that are shaped by race — and a phenomenon that economists call spillovers
“What would happen if some of those ‘priests’ in white robes started chasing you at 60 miles an hour?” Frank asked. “What would you do?” And Sammy answered, “Seventy.” The Moulin Rouge: The Vegas Hotspot That Broke All The Rules
. Smithsonian Magazine on the brief life but long-lasting legacy of Las Vegas' first racially integrated casino.
In the 19th century, in Roermond, The Netherlands, lived a man who was Colonel of Cavalry, and a Protestant. He married a Catholic noblewoman (likely quite a scandal in a country which was heavily segregated along religious lines at the time). The husband died in 1880 and was buried on the Protestant side of the cemetery. When his wife died eight years later, she could not be buried next to him, as a wall separated the Catholic and Protestant sides. A novel, and rather touching, solution was found
Wilcox County High School
is a small, rural school, located three hours south of Atlanta. Recently, in a school district that serves some 1,300 students in total. The high school has been in the news for it's continued tradition of holding segregated proms, and for the efforts of some of the local students to raise funds to hold the first officially integrated prom in the community's history
. Though, most students were welcome to the "black prom,"
the first officially integrated prom happened this past Saturday. So many donors came forward, from around the world, that the students say they have money left over to help local families in need
. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean an end to the community's history of segregated proms, as the "white prom" was still held, but a week earlier
in Fitzgerald, Georgia, less than 10 miles south of the Wilcox County border. [more inside]
Chicago's WBEZ has created an interactive map
of the city and where its various gangs operate, using data provided by the Chicago Police Department. Chicagoist
considers the map and its implications while Progress Illinois
discusses the changing nature of gang violence.
With six homicides, Saturday August 18th tied with an unseasonably warm February day for the dubious honor of Chicago's deadliest day
, bringing the year's death total to over 340. Chicago is now one of the world's deadliest cities
, much worse than the more populous NYC
, even earning comparisons to Kabul.
Possible culprits include failed urban policies
, concentrated poverty
, and gangs
(and counterintuitively, the fact that some are fractured and poorly run
When Cullen Jones
competes in London at the end of this month, he'll be only the third African-American to represent the US on an Olympic swimming team- and he'll continue to challenge the stereotype that black people don't swim
. [more inside]
"You, too, can get to the promised land. [...] Perhaps greater lies have been told in the past century, but they can be counted on one hand. Racial caste is alive and well in America." The New Jim Crow
by Michelle Alexander
"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]
On MLK Day, Some Thoughts on Segregated Schools, Arne Duncan, and President Obama
"American schools are more segregated by race and class today than they were on the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, 43 years ago. The average white child in America attends a school that is 77 percent white, and where just 32 percent of the student body lives in poverty. The average black child attends a school that is 59 percent poor but only 29 percent white. The typical Latino kid is similarly segregated; his school is 57 percent poor and 27 percent white."
On January 6, 1961
, the University of Georgia was desegregated when Charlayne Hunter
and Hamilton Holmes
were admitted to the University of Georgia, with the ruling issued by U.S. District Court Judge William Bootle
. The process had taken lengthy legal battles, following their applications to attend the school starting in the fall of 1959. With the 50th anniversary of that ruling, NPR has two interviews
with Charlayne Hunter-Gault
(née Charlayne Hunter). [more inside]
The next day, Sunday, I spent almost nine hours immersed in Robert Lepage’s marathon play, Lipsynch, at the Bluma Appel Theatre, which was part of Luminato. You tell people you’ve just spent nine hours watching a play conducted in four languages (with projected sur-titles) and they think you’ve undergone an endurance test, made a heroic sacrifice for art. On the contrary. There was no suffering(5 minutes of [enthusiastic] standing and clapping)
. The time flew by. It was like taking your brain on a luxurious cruise. Or spending the day in an art spa, basking in mind massages and sensory wraps. Maybe it was high art but the ascent was effortless: because Lepage did all the work for you, it was experienced as pure entertainment. [more inside]
Saudi Clerics Advocate Adult Breast Feeding
to circumvent the hanbali law
in Saudi Arabia enforcing strict segregation of the sexes. There is some confusion between the clerics regarding whether women should pump or allow adult men to suckle directly from the breast. Such fatwas emanating from Saudi Arabia provide insight into the mentality
of the powerful clergy that has been instrumental in spreading Wahhabi thought
the Muslim world.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) has proclaimed April to be Confederate History Month in his state
, without referencing slavery or civil rights. The move has angered civil rights leaders
and revived a controversy
that has lain dormant for eight years
. FireDogLake is reporting that the neo-confederate group which lobbied Governor McDonnell to make the proclamation has ties to white supremacists
. [more inside]
Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story
: "People were told to read it
, memorize it, and destroy it because if they were caught with it, they could be killed." The story of this influential comic book
, which helped inspire the 1960 Woolworth's sit-in
, is the subject of a new exhibition at Pittsburgh's Toonseum
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]
We're all anticipating the future right now, but don't forget to remember the past
, as well. [more inside]
Through a Lens Darkly
- on September 4, 1957, when 15-year-old Elizabeth Eckford tried to enter Little Rock Central High, she was blocked by the National Guard and surrounded by a screaming mob of 250: "Lynch her! Lynch her!" "No nigger bitch is going to get in our school! Get out of here!" "Go back to where you came from!" Looking for a friendly face, she turned to an old woman, who spat on her
. Dramatic news footage
. Ernest Green, another of the Little Rock 9 recalls
the first day of school. [more inside]
Under the ole shade tree...
Welcome to Jena, LA -- mix high school segregation, racism, nooses, fights, ineffective school administration, attempted-murder charges, shotguns, and a town in upheaval--a "racial powder keg"
. Much more here,
including links to help.
The Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission
was created in 1956 by the Mississippi Legislature in the wake of the Brown v. Board of Education
decision. The Commission's express purpose was to "do and perform any and all acts and things deemed necessary and proper to protect the sovereignty of the state of Mississippi, and her sister states." In other words, it was an official tax-funded agency to combat the activities of the Civil Rights Movement. Their records are now online
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, American public schools are now twelve years into the process of continuous resegregation
. The desegregation of black students, which increased continuously from the 1950s to the late 1980s, has now receded to levels not seen in three decades. *** The word "segregation" is used while describing the contentious changes of the 1960s, the Civil Rights movement, and the America of the past. It is also a word that is now gone from the American social and political landscape. In actuality, however, the word segregation continues to characterize the present lives of many minorities in America
. *** I asked how many white kids she had taught in the South Bronx in her career. “I’ve been at this school for 18 years,” she said. “This is the first white student I have ever taught.”
Survivor: Cook Islands'
20 castaways will be grouped by race, with competitors divided into four tribes consisting of whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics. If your reaction is "oof," you are not alone
. But host Jeff Probst says
, "I found it to be one of the freshest ideas we’ve had going back to the beginning of this show."
Dr. Schelling's neighborhood.
Is segregation the holdover of a racist past or an inevitable result of simple mathematical processes? After you've read the theory
, try it for yourself here
. Dr. Thomas Schelling won the 2005 Nobel Prize in Economics
for developing these ideas, but not everybody agrees
that he deserved to.
Beyond the Playing Field:
Jackie Robinson, Civil Rights Advocate. (more inside)
Founded in the core belief that segregation is, was and has always been wrong, this campaign is intended to make people stop, think and perhaps get a little uncomfortable in the process of realizing the modern day importance of Dr. King's life.
Secret information concerning the Black American Troops. We must prevent the rise of any pronounced degree of intimacy between French officers and black officers. We may be courteous and amiable with these last, but we cannot deal with them on the same plane as with the white American officers without deeply wounding the latter
. In August 1918, the French liaison officer at the American Expeditionary Force Headquarters gave his fellow officers a primer in US-style racial segregation, urging the military and civil authorities to implement similar procedures on French soil, as the local populations were felt by US authorities to be much too friendly towards American Black troops (PDF, page 13)
(see also the first chapter of Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light
). This memorandum, however, was never distributed
and other similar leaflets were eventually destroyed by the French government. One soldier of the 93rd Division
wrote his mother: These French people don't bother with no color line business. They treat us so good that the only time I ever know I'm colored is when I look in the glass
Still Separate, Still Unequal:
America's Educational Apartheid, by Jonathon Kozol
, from the September issue of Harper's
. Even if you're familiar with a big-city public-school system , it's an eye-opener. (Also, if (like I might be on a worse day) you're miffed by yet another Harper's cover story FPP, what do you think about the posting site's Fair Use application? I've never seen that before. No more inside.)
"Approximately 250,000 persons viewed and passed by the bier of little Emmett Till. All were shocked, some horrified and appalled. Many prayed, scores fainted and practically all, men, women and children wept". Chicago Defender, September 1, 1955.
Federal officials this morning erected a white tent over the grave of Emmett Till
, Ill., in preparation to exhume the body
to shed light on the Chicago teenager's death
50 years ago.
Till, 14 years old at the time, was killed in a hate crime
in Money, Miss., that sparked the Civil Rights movement
. (previous Emmett Till MeFi threads here
"Black Like me"
: the notion of "Race" is know known to be scientifically meaningless
, but now roll back the clock to 1959 : "...John Howard Griffin (1920-1980) was a true Renaissance man. Having fought in the French Resistance and been a solo observer on an island in the South Pacific during World War II, he became a critically-acclaimed novelist and essayist, a remarkable photographer and musicologist, and a dynamic lecturer and teacher. On October 28, 1959, after a decade of blindness and a remarkable and inexplicable recovery, John Howard Griffin dyed himself black and began an odyssey of discovery through the segregated American South. The result was Black Like Me, arguably the single most important documentation of 20th century American racism ever written....Because of Black Like Me, Griffin was personally vilified, hanged in effigy in his hometown, and threatened with death for the rest of his life."
Press Box Red
For 50 years, Lester Rodney
was a forgotten footnote in perhaps the most controversial
American sports story
of the 20th century: Jackie Robinson
and the breaking
's color barrier
. Now, the 93-year-old Rodney is getting his due. In the decade before Robinson debuted
with the Brooklyn Dodgers
, Rodney was the sports editor
of the Daily
Worker, a newspaper (the FBI files
on .pdf) better known as the house organ
of the American Communist Party
. With strident editorials and feature stories about what he dubbed "The Crime of the Big Leagues
," Rodney was an early, often lonely voice in the struggle to end segregation in baseball.
But Rodney's contribution was never acknowledged, because of that "sickening Red tinge
". Many baseball historians were staunchly anti-communist, and didn't want to acknowledge the contributions of the Communist Party. So Rodney's role (.pdf file)
was left out of the official story. With the publication of his biography
, Rodney's place in baseball's epochal story has introduced him to a new generation of admirers. "I wanted that ban to end because it was so unfair; I saw the tragedy of these great black ballplayers, like the catcher Josh Gibson
, who didn't get a chance to play. It's unimaginable today, but look at Barry Bonds: Imagine if he had been born earlier and been unable to play."
(login details for LATimes story in the main link: sparklebottom/sparklebottom)
Brown v Board of Education
50 years after a "landmark" decision not a lot seems to have changed in old Milwaukee.Via The Guardian
Red vs. Blue and Political Self-Segregation:
“Republicans and Democrats joke these days that they can’t understand each other, that they feel as though they live on different planets. It’s no joke. They do. One of the reasons American politics is so bitter is that Republicans and Democrats are less likely today to live in the same community than at any time in the last 55 years.”
The Austin-American Statesman’s
Bill Bishop begins
a series of articles
on the increasing political
segregation across the US—a variety of segregation that has surprisingly increased while others (for example, racial
) have declined. Timothy Noah of Slate
has some thoughts
. For background, it’s been discussed elsewhere
that the traditional 2000 election red vs. blue state map
is misleading and that a gradated county map might be more enlightening. Here’s one
. Here’s an analysis
with a different take on the data. And here are some other interesting cartograms
of that election’s results.
[Alternative Links Inside]
Third World Transition Program.
It's not a relief effort for resettled refugees - it's Brown University's pre-orientation forum "primarily for students of color." Brown President Ruth Simmons will apparently order TWTP to desegregate,
but the organization will continue to invite only "students of color"
- apparently self-identified from application forms - to participate. According to one student, the admittance of whites to TWTP "would change the level of comfort that's established." Another argued that whites would "compromise the program's integrity and mission." "I can't help laughing when a white person tells me that they understand and experience racism," adds
a Brown Daily Herald columnist. But many TWTP alumni are also its harshest critics. "We were given advice on how to 'deal' with a white roommate," writes
one student. "It fostered an 'us vs. them' mentality with white students on campus and directly and indirectly encouraged minority students to seek out friendships with students of color before white students arrived on campus." Another
reports that him TWTP peers shunned him when he began reaching out to other campus groups because he "found people who I had more in common with than an ethnic background." When TWTP was founded 30 years ago, it certainly served a valuable purpose in a tumultuous and changing social environment. But how do mainstream folks wrest the debate from both the far left and far right, convince the organization that its harm outweighs its good, and urge it to reform itself from within and help unify rather than segregate the student body?
Wages of hate - anti-gay attitudes damage the economy
- conversely, Gay-tolerant societies prosper
. Will GOP anti-elitism and the US religious right make the U.S. a 3rd world country? Paul Craig Roberts
argues that we're on the fast track, and a Carnegie Mellon study (title link) shows that culturally repressive attitudes in America are driving away the "Creative" class. Virginia Postrel
defines this class differently (manicurists and stone cutters) but in Richard Florida's "Creative Class War
on Metafilter), "America is no long attracting creative workers from abroad because it is seen as an intolerant society"
. More than artists and programmers are shunning the US - scientists are staying away too
. In the US, meanwhile, a bifurcation - Americans are geographically self-segregating
, choosing to live with those who hold similar beliefs and values.
Welcome to 2003.
A quiet Southern high school south of Atlanta once again holds seperate white and black proms. "I cried," said McCrary, who is black. "The black juniors said, 'Our prom is open to everyone. If you want to come, come.'"