Race Inquiry Digest (August 20) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Feature – Omarosa, Trump and the curse of being a black woman in America. “The most disrespected woman in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman.”— Malcolm X, 1962.  Omarosa Manigault Newman is good at secretly recording conversations with her employers. She’s a savvy operator who knows how to create a media splash and can trade insults with the best of them — including the president of the Untied States. But, for me, regardless of how I may feel about her reality TV antics, there’s something relatable in her increasingly contentious battle with the White House.  Read more 

If you want to know exactly what racial profiling looks like, just watch this video. This is painful and difficult to watch. Yet I’m going to ask you do just that. A local activist group, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement (ICCI), obtained and published police recordings showing a textbook example of racial bias by Des Moines Senior Police Officer Kyle Thies. Watch Video here 
Aretha Franklin—Musical Genius, Truth Teller, Freedom Fighter. Speaking of Franklin’s legacy, Angela Davis reminds us that the political contributions of artists like Franklin need not be “measured by political interventions in the conventional sense.” She goes on to say, “Her creative work helped to shape and deepen a collective consciousness anchored in a yearning for freedom.” Read more 

Aretha Franklin Was the Defining Voice of the 20th Century.  No other singer left such a definitive mark on the course of popular music—simply put, there is singing before Aretha Franklin, and there is singing after her. Her combination of technique, precision, nuance, and sheer power was approached by vanishingly few others.  Read more 

Till Victory Is Won: The Staying Power Of ‘Lift Every Voice And Sing.’ Beyoncé performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during her set at the 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. Shana Redmond, a professor at UCLA who studies music, race, and politics and author of the book Anthem: Social Movements and the Sound of Solidarity in the African Diaspora, says it’s a song about transcending difficulties — and those difficulties have never fully receded. Read more
Overlooked No More: Sissieretta Jones, a Soprano Who Shattered Racial Barriers. She was the first African-American woman to headline a concert at Carnegie Hall, but she didn’t care for her stage name, “the Black Patti,” which compared her to a white diva. “Thirty years out of slavery for African-Americans in this country, here she was on the stage of Carnegie Hall,” Jessye Norman, a great African-American diva of the late 20th century, said in an interview. Read more 

Trump has repeatedly attacked the NFL. That hasn’t stopped players from protesting. For the past several months, the NFL and the owners of its 32 teams have been locked in a debate about how to handle players protesting racial injustice before games. The tension is only exacerbated by criticism from President Donald Trump, who regularly slams the protests as unpatriotic and unnecessary. But on Thursday evening, several players continued their protest, once again calling attention to systemic racism and racial inequity. Read more 

The Next Populist Revolution Will Be Latino. Democrats are betting on a diversifying electorate to secure their party’s future, but second-generation
Latinos won’t willingly accept a deeply unequal society. The demands for decent wages and a modicum of respect will run counter to elites’ appetite for humble, disciplined workers willing to cater to their needs. Read more 

As a young reporter, I went undercover to expose the Ku Klux Klan. It was the fall of 1979, and I was a first-year reporter at The Hartford Courant when David Duke launched a recruiting effort in, of all places, Connecticut. His “Klan calling cards” and his newspaper, The Crusader, started appearing in factory parking lots, restaurants, high schools and college campuses. Read more 

Brian Kemp’s Bid for Governor Depends on Erasing the Black Vote in Georgia. On Thursday evening, the election board of Randolph County, Georgia, met to discuss a startling proposal to eliminate three-fourths of the county’s polling places months before the November election. A rural, impoverished, and predominantly black county, Randolph has just nine polling locations, all of which were open during the May primaries and July runoffsRead more 
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