Race Inquiry Digest (March 4) – Important Current Stories On Race In America

Featured – How Do We Counteract Othering in America Today? By Editorial Staff / The Progressive

This feature runs in our current February/March 2019 issue, which reflects on our most popular published work, James Baldwin’s 1962 essay “A Letter to My Nephew.” We turned to some of the nation’s leading thinkers and social justice leaders to ask how we must reckon with prejudice of all kinds to make a society that serves us all. Read more

Beyond slavery and the civil rights movement: Teachers should be integrating black history into their lessons. By Melinda D. Anderson / NBC News

This Black History Month has been packed with controversy, with scandals and headlines revolving around blackface dominating the national conversation. But some say the singular focus on blackface distracts from the larger issues — namely, how little is known about the nation’s deeply racist history, and what is — and isn’t — taught about the black American experience in the nation’s public schools. Read more

Inside Dearfield, a Colorado ghost town that was once a bustling all-black settlement. By Charlotte West / NBC News

The site of what was Colorado’s most successful black town highlights the role of African-Americans in the West. Read more

Wyatt Tee Walker: Chief strategist for Martin Luther King Jr. in the struggle for civil rights. By Taylor McNeilly / The Conversation

Much of the civil rights movement is remembered through the leadership of Martin Luther King Jr. There were a number of people who also made valuable contributions but aren’t known as well. Among them was Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker – hailed as “one of the keenest minds of the nonviolent revolution” by none less than King himself. Read more

Neo-Nazi Group’s New Leader is Black Man Who Vows to Dissolve It. By Michael Kunzelman / Talkingpointsmemo

One of the nation’s largest neo-Nazi groups appears to have an unlikely new leader: a black activist who has vowed to dismantle it. Court documents filed Thursday suggest James Hart Stern wants to use his new position as director and president of the National Socialist Movement to undermine the Detroit-based group’s defense against a lawsuit.. Read more

30 Years Ago, a Racist Juror Sentenced This Black Man to Death. By Nathalie Baptiste / Mother Jones

One of the white jurors on the case may have voted for the death penalty because Tharpe is black. According to court documents, Barney Gattie, a white juror, said he believed there were two types of black people: “regular black folks” and “niggers.” Now, nearly 30 years after he was first sentenced to die, the US Supreme Court is going to decide if a death penalty case tainted by racism will be reviewed by the highest court in the land. Read more

The Gay, Black Civil Rights Hero Opposed to Affirmative Action. By Coleman Hughes / NYT

Bayard Rustin was a chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and thought reparations, and even separate African-American studies departments, were a bad idea. Many of his beliefs would be antithetical to today’s social justice advocates. Read more

2020 Democrats Wrestle With A Big Question: What Are Reparations?  By Danielle Kurtzleben / NPR

Several Democratic candidates have been quick to embrace reparations recently. Bernie Sanders is more cautious. Read more

After decades of effort, African-American enrollment in medical school still lags. By Jayne O’Donnell and David Robinson / USA Today

The proportion of medical students who identified as African-American or black rose from 5.6 percent in 1980 to 7.7 percent in 2016, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. That’s a substantial increase but still short of the 13.2 percent in the general population. Read more

I’m not going to be your ‘black best friend’ today. The Cohen hearing shows why. By John Blake / CNN

“My best friend right here. I wouldn’t go anywhere without him,” the old man said in a hoarse whisper as the black man rolled his eyes and looked off in the distance. That old man was George Wallace, and that uneasy scene is captured in the 1997 Spike Lee documentary, “4 Little Girls.” Read more

Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Expansive Vision of Africa. By Hannah Giorgis / The Atlantic

In his latest film, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the actor Chiwetel Ejiofor toils with purpose. He tills flooded, and then barren, soil. The camera hovers above him as he stumbles, his knees slipping into the mire. In the Netflix production, which is also screening in select theaters, Ejiofor stars as the lead character’s father, the hardworking farmer Trywell Kamkwamba, who wrestles with both the land and with government authorities who have turned a blind eye to his village’s suffering. Read more  Also watch the trailer here

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