Race Inquiry Digest (February 21) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Feature – What it Really Means to Be Indian. By Mark Anthony Rolo / The Progressive

Through the corporate science of DNA services, Erik discovered he is also Scottish. Though this discovery has not dramatically changed his life, he did get married in a kilt. I have yet to meet an American Indian who has made similar efforts to ascertain his or her ancestry. In fact, when I ask Indians about this, they crunch their eyebrows and curl their lips in confusion. These Indians will say they were born Indian, raised Indian, and have spent their lives living as American Indians. Personally, I believe some of these Indians are afraid they will learn they are Scottish as well. Read more

Rediscovering the lives of the enslaved people who freed themselves. By Mary Niall Mitchell

What we get wrong about the roots of slavery in America. By Eric Herschthal / Wash Post

The year 1619 plays an outsized role in our historical memory, in part because it is the first year that historians have definitive records of Africans coming to an English colony in North America. But Africans were on the continent long before then. Read more

Trump keeps warning of a coup. But the only one in American history was a bloody, racist uprising. By Isaac Stanley-Becker / Wash Post

Daniel Wright, a well-known politician serving on the county’s Republican executive committee, was one of at least 60 — but possibly as many as 300 — black Americans massacred in Wilmington on Nov. 10, 1898, as bands of white supremacists used racial terrorism to destabilize the Southern port city and overthrow its multiracial government. Read more

Why Are We Still Segregating Black History in February? By Christina Proenza-Coles / The Daily Beast

Even before the U.S. was a nation, African-Americans played crucial roles in nearly every stage of history in the new world. ‘Honoring’ that history in one month is a travesty. Read more

The Missing Black Millennial. By Reniqua Allen / The New Republic

No generation has undergone such meticulous examination in recent years as the millennials. Yet our understanding of them contains a glaring gap. Read more

New York City to Ban Discrimination Based on Hair. By Stacey Stowe / NYT

Under new guidelines to be released this week by the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the targeting of people based on their hair or hairstyle, at work, school or in public spaces, will now be considered racial discrimination. Read more 

Black candidates know they have to be careful in talking about race. Here’s what the research suggests. By Christopher T. Stout / Wash Post

Until recently, social scientists suggested that African American candidates should refrain from making racial appeals. Those who argue for a deracialized campaign strategy believe that black candidates can only succeed by refraining from both overt and subtle appeals to blacks in order to attract the support of white voters. Read more

When Does Kicking Black People Off Juries Cross a Constitutional Line? By Adam Liptak / NYT

Doug Evans, a white state prosecutor in Mississippi, has worked hard to keep black people off the juries that have heard his case against Curtis Flowers, who has been tried six times — yes, six times — for the 1996 murders of four people inside a furniture store in Winona, Miss. Next month, the Supreme Court will consider whether Mr. Evans’s use of dozens of peremptory challenges — ones that do not require giving a reason — to exclude black prospective jurors violated the Constitution. Read more

When black students are beaten in school — and black educators are to blame. By Stacey Patton / Wash Post

The Chicago incident demonstrates that violence in education against black children is not just perpetrated by white teachers and administrators: Black educators have internalized the idea that black bodies deserve punishment and violence. Even though corporal punishment is illegal in public schools in Illinois, a 2009 investigation revealed hundreds of substantiated incidents of Chicago Public School students who have been beaten with belts, broomsticks — even a so-called “whipping machine.” Read more

For a Black Mathematician, What It’s Like to Be the ‘Only One.’ By Amy Harmon / NYT

Fewer than 1 percent of doctorates in math are awarded to African-Americans. Edray Goins, who earned one of them, found the upper reaches of the math world a challenging place. 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.