Race Inquiry Digest (February 7) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – State of the Union 2019: A Stacey Abrams essay you should read. By Zack Beauchamp / Vox

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams delivered the Democratic response to Trump’s State of the Union on Tuesday — and did an impressive job. State of the Union speeches are typically boring afterthoughts; Abrams’s showed why so many in the Democratic Party see her as a rising star. But what does Abrams really stand for, and what does she really think? To get a sense, it’s worth reading an essay by her published last Friday defending one of the most controversial ideas in American public life: identity politics. Read more

The Empty Quarters of U.S. Politics. By Paul Krugman / NYT

There are two great absences in American political life. One is the absence of socially liberal, economically conservative voters. These were the people Howard Schultz thought he could appeal to; but basically they don’t exist, accounting for only around, yes, 4 percent of the electorate. The other is the absence of economically liberal, socially conservative politicians — let’s be blunt and just say “racist populists.” Read more

African-Americans’ economic setbacks from the Great Recession are ongoing – and could be repeated. By Vincent Adejumo / The Conversation

The financial crisis of 2009, the worst since the Great Depression, was hard on all Americans. But arguably no group felt its sting more than African-Americans, who were already the most economically and financially vulnerable segment of the population going into it. Even today, a decade since the Great Recession hit, blacks still haven’t fully recovered and remain in a precarious financial condition. What’s worse, Wall Street and policymakers are beginning to worry another downturn may be on the horizon. Read more

Cleaner Classrooms and Rising Scores: With Tighter Oversight, Head Start Shows Gains. By Jason DeParle / NYT

More than a decade after Congress imposed new standards on Head Start, a third of its partners have been forced to compete for funding that was once virtually automatic, and the share of classrooms ranked good or excellent has risen more than fourfold. With a $10 billion budget and nearly 900,000 low-income students, Head Start is a behemoth force in early education, in an age when brain science puts ever more emphasis on early learning. Read more

Dying while black: Perpetual gaps exist in health care for African-Americans. By Yolanda Wilson / The Conversation

It is well documented that African-Americans experience excess mortality, or deaths beyond the expected mortality rate. Black patients generally receive worse pain management in primary care environments and emergency rooms. Even black children are not treated for their pain to the extent that white children are. One groundbreaking study revealed that physicians generally interact less – both verbally and nonverbally – with black patients who are dying than with white patients who are dying. Read more

Black America Knows White Avengers Like Liam Neeson All Too Well. Roland S. Martin / The Daily Beast

When actor Liam Neeson admitted during a recent interview while promoting a new movie that he once went looking for an anonymous black man to kill as a way of seeking revenge for a white female friend of his being raped, it shocked the sensibilities of some. But all Neeson was doing was revealing what has been the white man’s longtime rage: protecting his precious white woman from those savage, black brutes. It is the story of the black man in America. Read more

When the Suffrage Movement Sold Out to White Supremacy. By Brent Staples / NYT

African-American women were written out of the history of the woman suffrage movement. As the centennial of the 19th Amendment approaches, it’s time for a new look at the past. Read more

Brian Flores, Chris Grier and the need to succeed in Miami. By Jason Reid / The Undefeated

The only minority to become an NFL head coach during this season’s hiring cycle was introduced Monday by the league’s only African-American general manager. Let that sink in. Read more

Teddy Pendergrass Doc to Premiere on Showtime This Month. By Jon Blisten / Rolling Stone

A new documentary about seminal soul singer Teddy Pendergrass, If You Don’t Know Me, will premiere February 8th at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. Olivia Lichtenstein directed the film, which will feature rare archival footage of Pendergrass, as well as interviews with the singer’s friends, family and music industry colleagues like Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. Pendergrass’ famed former manager, Shep Gordon, served as one of the film’s executive producers. Read more

“American Soul,” Reviewed: “Soul Train” and the Making of a Mogul. By Troy Petterson / The New Yorker

Sinqua Walls as Don Cornelius in the BET series “American Soul.”It renders Don Cornelius (Sinqua Walls), the creator and host of “the hippest trip in America,” as an archetypal entrepreneur, and pushes the existential overtones of his striving to the front of the mix.  Watch the trailer 

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