Race Inquiry Digest (February 18) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – The black men of the Civil War were America’s original ‘dreamers.’ By Colbert King / Wash Post

Today, a wall looms large in my thoughts. It isn’t the structure President Trump has in mind for our southern border. I’m thinking of the Wall of Honor at the African American Civil War Memorial, located at Vermont Avenue and U Street NW. I think of those courageous black men as America’s original “dreamers.” Today’s dreamers are in their teens and 20s, having arrived in this country as children. King’s generation of dreamers were former slaves or descendants of slaves brought to these shores against their will. However, the black men who fought in the Civil War had the same status as today’s dreamers: noncitizens without a discernable path to citizenship. Read more

Equal-Opportunity Evil. By Rebecca Onion / Slate

A new history reveals that for female slaveholders, the business of human exploitation was just as profitable—and brutal—as it was for men. Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers opens her stunning new book, They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South, with a story about Martha Gibbs, a sawmill owner in Mississippi who also owned “a significant number of slaves.” One of them, Litt Young, described her owner as a woman in total control of her financial affairs, including the management of her enslaved workers. Read more

A photo of a uniquely American racist act dominates the news, but my photo is an act of equality. By Lucian Truscott IV / Salon

The man on the left is Shannon Lanier. He is my cousin. We are standing on our great-grandfather’s grave at Monticello. The man buried beneath that obelisk fathered two children with his wife, Martha Wayles Jefferson, and six children with his slave, Sally Hemings. Read more

How Virginia’s politicians can make a real difference on issues of race. By Mark J. Rozell / Wash Post

Even before the revelation of the racist page from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook, it was clear that Virginia faces a fundamental challenge: the need for an honest and thorough discussion of race relations in our society. And that cannot happen through our usual combative, hyperpartisan process. What Virginia needs is an independent truth and reconciliation commission to address seriously its past on race, and to point toward a better future. Read more

An editor and his newspaper helped build white supremacy in Georgia. By Kathy Roberts Forde / The Conversation

In the late 19th century, Henry W. Grady, one of the South’s most prominent editors, worked closely with powerful political and business interests to build a white supremacist political economy and social order across Georgia – and the entire South – that lasted well into the 20th century. One of his primary tools was his newspaper, The Atlanta Constitution – which merged with The Atlanta Journal in 2001 to become The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Read more

Meet Annie Turnbo Malone, the hair care entrepreneur Trump shouted out in his Black History Month proclamation. By Nadra Nittle / Vox

One of the first black women to reach millionaire status did so by launching a hair care empire — and her name wasn’t Madam C.J. Walker. Entrepreneur Annie Turnbo Malone reached this milestone at the end of World War I, and she just so happened to give beauty mogul Walker her start in the cosmetics industry. Read more

Supreme Court to decide if the Trump administration can rig the Census to favor white people. By Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress

Last month, a federal district judge held that the Trump administration repeatedly failed to comply with legally required procedures when it added a question to the 2020 Census form that is expect to discourage immigrant communities from participating in that Census. On Friday, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear an appeal directly from that district court’s decision. Read more

Kaepernick Won. The NFL Lost. By Jemele Hill / The Atlantic

Technically, Colin Kaepernick withdrew his collusion case. Technically, the NFL did not admit that it conspired to blackball Kaepernick from the league after he began taking a knee during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. But nontechnically speaking, the NFL lost. Massively. Read more

How capitalism reduced diversity to a brand. By Sean Nilling / Vox

Back in 2000, Diallo Shabazz was surprised to see himself on the cover of the University of Wisconsin admissions booklet. But there he was, cheering in the stands at a football game he never attended, just behind a group of white students.Some employees in the marketing department had decided to photoshop his face into the image; this, they thought, was a great way to project a diverse image to prospective students. Read more

Ocasio-Cortez Slams The ‘Racial Injustice’ Of The Cannabis Business As White Men Profit. By Mary Papenfuss / HuffPost

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) earned praise from “drug justice” advocates after criticizing a growing marijuana legalization and business model that is paving the way for white male investors to reap major profits after minorities spent decades in prisons for selling pot. Read more

Students Of Color Reflect On Surviving Parkland. By HuffPost Video

Black students felt ignored in the aftermath of last year’s school shooting, but they have something important to say. Watch here

Racial Disparities In Cancer Incidence And Survival Rates Are Narrowing. By Patti Neighmond / NPR

For decades, the rate of cancer incidence and deaths from the disease among African-Americans in the United States far outpaced that of whites. But the most recent analysis of national data by the American Cancer Society suggests that “cancer gap” is shrinking: In recent years, death rates from four major cancers have declined more among blacks than among whites. Read more

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