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

Featured – 58 Jazz Giants in One Immortal Image. By John Leland / NYT

In 1958, these jazz soloists heeded a highly un-jazzlike 10 a.m. call to a stoop in Harlem for a photograph celebrating the music’s collective moment. Jazz, as Ralph Ellison wrote, “is an art of individual assertion within and against the group.” Each soloist breaks out against the ensemble, and each break enhances both the other players’ individual freedom and the cohesion of the group. Read more  Also see, Nancy Wilson, Singer Who Bridged Jazz and Pop, Is Dead at 81 

It’s time to face the facts: Racism is a national security issue. By Gwen Ifill / Wash Post

Two newly released reports from the Senate Intelligence Committee about Russian interference in the 2016 election have been nothing short of revelatory. Both studies — one produced by researchers at Oxford University, the other by the cybersecurity firm New Knowledge — describe in granular detail how the Russian government tried to sow discord and confusion among American voters. And both conclude that Russia’s campaign included a massive effort to deceive and co-opt African Americans. Read more

Russia and Republicans attempt to suppress black vote, but Russians are slicker. By Joe Davidson / Wash Post

One difference between Russian and Republican efforts to quash the black vote: The Russians are more sophisticated, insidious and slick. In fact, the Russians were devoted to supporting the Republican presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, undermining Democrat Hillary Clinton and using black voters as the main vehicle. Read more

Senate Passes Bipartisan Criminal Justice Bill. By Nicholas Fandos / NYT

The Senate overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday the most substantial changes in a generation to the tough-on-crime prison and sentencing laws that ballooned the federal prison population and created a criminal justice system that many conservatives and liberals view as costly and unfair. Read more

Meet New York’s Letitia James: Why Donald Trump’s worst legal nightmare is not Robert Mueller. By Alex Henderson / AlterNet

The blue wave that came with the 2018 midterms was bad for President Donald Trump not only because Democrats obtained a majority in the House of Representatives (with a net gain of 40 seats) and picked up more than 350 seats in state legislatures around the United States—they were also bad for the president because of a Brooklyn native named Letitia James. On November 6, the 60-year-old Democrat was elected attorney general for New York State. Read more

The Quiet Crisis Killing Black Women. By Mellissa Jeltsen / HuffPost

Sharon Jefferson holds her grandson, Rayray. Police say her pregnant daughter, Delashon, was fatally shot by her boyfriend in September.  In the U.S., black women face higher rates of domestic violence than do women of all other races, except Native women. In Dallas County, the most likely type of person to be killed by a romantic partner is a black woman, age 20 to 29, just like Delashon. Read more  

The State Where Black Women Are Twice as Likely to Die of Cervical Cancer as White Women. By Michelle Chen / HuffPost

In Alabama’s Black Belt, being a black woman can put your life at extraordinary risk. The region faces a tragic rate of cervical cancer death, at a time when no woman should have to die of the disease, reflecting a painful legacy of racial segregation and inequity across the health-care system. Read more 

What was Michelle Obama thinking after Trump’s inauguration? ‘Bye, Felicia.’ By Allyson Chiu / Wash Post

On Tuesday, Jimmy Fallon had a question for the former first lady about the moment she and her husband waved goodbye for the final time at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on that overcast January day. Obama was on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” to promote her best-selling memoir “Becoming.” Read more

Steven Spielberg on Storytelling’s Power to Fight Hate. By Adam Popescu / NYT

While the foundation continues to archive stories from victims of anti-Semitism, and advocate on their behalf, it is also collecting what Mr. Spielberg calls “living testimony” from modern genocide victims. The Holocaust cannot stand alone,” he said with conviction. “We decided to send our videographers into Rwanda to get testimony. From there we went to Cambodia, Armenia — we’re doing a critical study in the Central African Republic, Guatemala, the Nanjing massacre. Read more

Roma Is Only the Latest Movie From a Latin American Director About His Family’s Domestic Worker. By Inkoo Kang / Slate

According to Alfonso Cuarón, Roma is the movie he was always meant to make, and most critics (including Slate’s own) agree. The story of a live-in housekeeper based on the writer-director’s childhood nanny, Roma is intensely, even obsessively, personal. Roma is on Netflix, and also released in theaters. Read more

Visit our home page for more articles. And at the top of this page register your email to receive notification of new editions of Race Inquiry Digest.  Click here for earlier Digests.