Race Inquiry Digest (January 28) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – Trump’s Wall of Shame.  It would stand as a lasting reminder of the white racial hostility surging through this moment in American history. By Jamelle Bouie / NYT

The wall of Donald Trump’s campaign and presidency has always operated both as a discrete proposal — an actual structure to be built under his leadership — and as a symbol with a clear meaning. Whether praised by its supporters or condemned by its opponents, the wall is a stand-in for the larger promise of broad racial (and religious) exclusion and domination. It’s no surprise, then, that some Americans use “Build the wall” as a racist chant, much like the way they invoke the president’s name. Read more

Naomi Osaka Of Japan Secures Her Second Grand Slam Title With Australian Open Victory. By Francesca Paris / NPR

Naomi Osaka walked off the court at the Australian Open with her second consecutive Grand Slam victory, cementing her rise to the top of the women’s tennis world. Read more Also see, Naomi Osaka’s Father, Leonard Francois, Taught Her to Play Like Serena. Also see, Japanese company acknowledges ‘whitewashing’ Naomi Osaka in ads.

Patriotic or racist? Trump’s Make America Great Again hats have become a hot-button issue. By Kristen Jordan Shamus / Detroit Free Press

Many, including actress and activist Alyssa Milano, now are calling the baseball caps the modern-day white hoods of the Ku Klux Klan, representing a white nationalist ideology pushed by the president. Read more

In Julián Castro’s presidential bid, Latinos see one of their own, defying stereotypes. By Suzanne Gamboa / NBC News

Should he be the nominee, the Ivy League-educated former Cabinet secretary — and self-identified Chicano — would run against the man who called Mexicans rapists and criminals. Read more

Warriors skip the White House, meet with former president Barack Obama instead. By Matt Bonesteel / Wash Post

The Golden State Warriors knew they would not be visiting the White House to celebrate their 2018 NBA title on their annual trip to Washington this week. Instead, the Warriors this week met with the White House’s previous resident, on Thursday paying a visit to former president Barack Obama at his Washington office ahead of their game that night against the Wizards. Read more

LGBT Navajos Discover Unexpected Champions: Their Grandparents. By Laurel Morales / NPR

Returning to understandings that predate colonialism has helped the families of LGBT Navajos. Traditionalists believe that the “two spirited,” as they’re sometimes called, are powerful and that not all humans can be classified as male or female. Read more

Florida Secretary of State resigns after reveal of blackface photos. By Caroline Kelly / CNN

Florida Secretary of State Michael Ertel resigned Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office confirmed, on the same day that photos of him in blackface at a party nearly 15 years ago were publicly revealed. Read more

The Ku Klux Klan Is Growing—in Germany. By Kelly Weill and Josephine Huetlin / The Daily Beast

They have white hoods, Ku Klux Klan badges, and stockpiles of weapons. But these Klansmen aren’t in America—they’re in Germany, where a new wave of far-right extremism is taking cues from the U.S. Read more  

Driving While Black – African Americans on the Road in the Era of Jim Crow. By Ric Burns / Steeplechase Films

Driving While Black, a feature-length documentary film directed by Ric Burns slated for broadcast on PBS during the 2019-2020 season, explores the role of the automobile in the lives of African Americans in the early twentieth century.  The film chronicles a crucial and transformative period in American racial, cultural, and social history. Watch the trailer 

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Reaffirms Award for Angela Davis. By Democracy Now 

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute board has voted to reaffirm leading activist and scholar Angela Davis as the recipient of its Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award, after previously rescinding the award over her activism for Palestinian rights. Read more

Native Son is an imperfect but mesmerizing adaptation of Richard Wright’s classic novel. By Alissa Wilkinson / Vox

What’s most startling and devastating, is that Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks didn’t have to change much about Wright’s nearly 80-year-old story to set it in a contemporary Chicago. Conceptual artist Rashid Johnson directed Parks’s adapted screenplay, and the resulting film was selected to open the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. Read more

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