Kansas City Artist Shane Evans, Co-Author Taye Diggs Demystify Mixed-Race Families In New Book

Posted in Articles, Audio, Family/Parenting, Interviews, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-05 17:01Z by Steven

Kansas City Artist Shane Evans, Co-Author Taye Diggs Demystify Mixed-Race Families In New Book

KCUR 89.3
Kansas City, Missouri

Laura Ziegler, Special Correspondent

Shane Evans at KCUR studios to talk about illustrating new children’s book (Laura Ziegler KCUR)

Kansas City artist Shane Evans was raised by a mother and father whose racial and cultural backgrounds were different from one another. But to Evans they were just mom and dad. He’s also raising a mixed-race daughter.

That’s why Evans was eager to collaborate with his friend, actor Taye Diggs, on a children’s book that takes on the complex issues of growing up in a mixed-race household. Diggs has a six-year-old son with actress and singer Idina Menzel, who is white.

The book, Mixed Me, came out in October. Evans is the illustrator…

Listen to the interview (00:30:46) here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

What Happened in Missouri Puts the Nation on Notice

Posted in Articles, Campus Life, Media Archive, United States on 2015-11-16 02:56Z by Steven

What Happened in Missouri Puts the Nation on Notice


Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., William S. Tod Professor of Religion and African-American Studies
Princeton University

Imagine what could happen at Ohio State or UCLA or any other major university. The activists already have.

What happened at the University of Missouri has sent shockwaves throughout this country: A startling coalition of students and faculty just forced the top leadership of the University to resign. The students had had enough. A swastika drawn with human feces on a residential dorm was the latest incident in a long list of ugly incidents, which made it clear that some people believed that black students did not belong at the University of Missouri. The image and the medium spoke volumes about those who composed it.

President Wolfe’s tepid response sealed his fate, but as with every other issue involving race in America, change is never given; it must always be won. And the student protests, Jonathan Butler’s hunger strike, the faculty’s threat of a walk out, and the strike among black football students announced that a new wave of campus activism has arrived, armed with the power to bring real change. The nation has been put on notice.

We have seen something like this before. In 1968 and 1969, black students organized protests across some two hundred campuses in the United States. These were among the first significant wave of black students on predominantly white campuses, and they brought with them the energy and expectation of the black freedom movement—particularly the militancy of Black Power. They pushed for the hiring of black faculty, argued for an increase in financial aid for African American students, and pressed administrators to support black living spaces. In short, they challenge the whiteness of American universities and colleges…

…What we saw in Columbia, Missouri, was something different. There was nothing nostalgic about it. The protests were decidedly of this moment. These students are shaped by the startling contrast of the nation’s first black president and the black lives matter movement. They have seen the viral videos of police brutality, and many have watched family and friends struggle to recover from the economic devastation that has left their lives in shambles. They have witnessed, some even participated in, the convulsions of Ferguson and Baltimore

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

We have not moved beyond race.

Posted in Excerpts/Quotes on 2015-09-15 15:31Z by Steven

We have not moved beyond race.

St. Louis does not have a proud history on this topic, and we are still suffering the consequences of decisions made by our predecessors.

However, it’s important to understand that racial inequity in our region is not the same as individual racism. We are not pointing fingers and calling individual people racist. We are not even suggesting that institutions or existing systems intend to be racist.

What we are pointing out is that the data suggests, time and again, that our institutions and existing systems are not equal, and that this has racial repercussions. Black people in the region feel those repercussions when it comes to law enforcement, the justice system, housing, health, education, and income.

Rev. Starsky Wilson, Rich McClure, et. al., “Forward Through Ferguson: A Path Toward Racial Equity,” The Ferguson Commission, September 14, 2015. 7. http://forwardthroughferguson.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/FergusonCommissionReport_091415.pdf.

Tags: , , , ,

The Nine Lives Of Dianne White

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2015-05-09 21:03Z by Steven

The Nine Lives Of Dianne White

St. Louis Magazine
August 2005

Nancy Larson

Photograph by Katherine Bish

“‘Old what’s-her-face–is she still alive?’ About half of you folks thought I was pushing daisies. Well, surprise, surprise–I’m still here.”

That’s the way Dianne White Clatto imagines that fans from her Channel 5 days think about her–if they think about her at all. Still strikingly attractive at 66, the celebrity best known as Dianne White is a living contradiction: accomplished yet self-deprecating, engaging yet shy, religious yet irreverent.

Her career is a study in firsts: White was one of the first African-American students at the University of Missouri. Before the age of 21, she was the first black model for a major St. Louis department store, working for both Stix, Baer & Fuller and Saks Fifth Avenue. Only a few years later, she became the first full-time African-American weathercaster in the nation, at what was then KSD-TV. From the weather map to the anchor desk to live news, reporting from the field, there were few positions she didn’t try during her 26-year television stint.

She’s also enjoyed a semiprofessional singing career with the Russ David Orchestra, helped raise bonds to build the Arch and opened 11 Girls Clubs–all while raising a son, marrying three times and maintaining an enviable social life. Her past also includes a bank scandal that resulted in a federal larceny conviction.

But White never planned to be famous, infamous or even a pioneer. She says every opportunity she had–good or bad–came looking for her. Now a special assistant to Mayor Francis Slay, she begins each morning by telling herself: “This is going to be the most wonderful day!” Laughing, she adds, “which is a bunch of beans and potatoes. But I’m on the right track–I’m trying, right?” Wild optimism, quickly blunted by down-home realism, is an attitude White cultivated growing up as an only child in a poor St. Louis family in the 1940s…

…White was soon ready for her first weathercast, but the question loomed: Was St. Louis in 1962 ready to accept, much less embrace, a black woman on the air?

“How are we going to do this Dianne White thing?” she remembers the station’s decisionmakers wondering. “Were they going to offend the people, or the ones the station was more concerned about than the people–the advertisers?” Even as management debated the impact of her on-air presence, White refused to be stereotyped.

“The application at Channel 5 still had all those boxes about races and what color you are. I checked all the boxes; then, on the back, I wrote ‘G-u-e-s-s!’ I am African American, but I am also Irish and American Indian.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Dianne White Clatto, Weathercaster Who Broke a Color Barrier, Dies at 76

Posted in Articles, Biography, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2015-05-09 18:31Z by Steven

Dianne White Clatto, Weathercaster Who Broke a Color Barrier, Dies at 76

The New York Times

Sam Roberts, Urban Affairs Correspondent (@samrob12)

Dianne White Clatto, in 1967, giving the weather report on KSD-TV. Credit St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Twelve years before Al Roker started as a weather anchor for a CBS affiliate in Syracuse, Dianne White Clatto made broadcasting history in St. Louis. In 1962, according to industry colleagues, she became the first full-time black television weathercaster in the country.

Ms. Clatto, who died at 76 on Monday at a retirement center in St. Louis, broke into television by way of radio. She was a manager for Avon, the cosmetics company, and hosted a live radio show when Russ David, a bandleader with whom she sang in an impromptu performance on the air, referred her to an executive of KSD-TV in St. Louis. She was hired as a $75-a-week “weathergirl” in 1962.

“What am I supposed to do?” she recalled asking her new bosses, in an interview with the Weather Channel. “They said to me, ‘This is called television.’ They said to me, ‘When those two red lights come on, start talking.’ And I said, ‘About what?’ And they said, ‘Preferably something about the weather.’ ”

Dianne Elizabeth Johnson was born in St. Louis on Dec. 28, 1938, the daughter of Milton and Nettie Johnson and a descendant of a Civil War general’s slave mistress. She was among the first black students to enroll at the University of Missouri at Columbia…

Read the entire obituary here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Multiracial Community Organizations Response to #Ferguson

Posted in My Articles/Point of View/Activities, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, Statements, United States on 2015-03-05 02:09Z by Steven

Multiracial Community Organizations Response to #Ferguson


As members of the multiracial community, we want to express our concern and compassion for the family of Michael Brown Jr. We are connected to these events and stand in solidarity with the many individuals and communities that have been harmed by the legacies of white supremacy, privilege, and racism. As community organizers, scholars, activists, writers, and artists, we remain resolute in dismantling racism through our work and actions.


Critical Mixed Race Studies
Loving Day
Mixed Roots Stories
Mixed Race Studies
Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC)
Multiracial Asian Families
National Association of Mixed Student Organizations (NAMSO)
Kaily Heitz

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Being Mixed Race in Racially Divided America

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-08 21:23Z by Steven

Being Mixed Race in Racially Divided America

Japan Sociology

Lourdes Fritts

This blog explores life in Japan from a sociological perspective. It is produced by Robert Moorehead and his students at Ritsumeikan University‘s College of International Relations, in Kyoto, Japan.

Much like the way some people do not care about their local sports team, I do not give much thought to my racial identity. This is mostly due to the fact that if I gave my race anymore thought than the occasional ponder, I would be in a constant state of identity crisis. My mother is Japanese-Korean raised in Japan, and my Father is Irish-German-Mexican raised in America. Thus I have christened myself as an “Euro-Mexi-Asian-American”. Fortunately I have been privileged enough in life where I was never made particularly conscious of my race; I have never let my race define me and very few people I’ve met have defined me by it. However, due to recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, I have become unusually conscious of my ethnic background…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Professor Jared Ball on Ferguson and the Media

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, History, Interviews, Law, Media Archive, Social Science, United States on 2015-01-03 17:02Z by Steven

Professor Jared Ball on Ferguson and the Media


Dan Falcone

At the recent “Shrouded Narrative teach-in” at American University, Dan Falcone met Jared A. Ball, a professor of communication studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, who discussed, “Propaganda and Media.” In this interview, father and husband, author of I MiX What I Like: A MiXtape Manifesto and coeditor of A Lie of Reinvention: Correcting Manning Marable’s Malcolm X, Ball talks about the construction of Black identity, colonialism and what is needed to stop the police killings of a Black person every 28 hours.

Dan Falcone for Truthout.org: Professor Ball, could you tell the readers about your teaching, academic interests, and how they relate to activism and democratic participation?

Jared Ball: Thank you. My academic interests and teaching are very much tied to my personal political passions – all of which revolve around Black or Africana studies, political struggles, cultural production and how that all intersects or interacts with the political and “libidinal” (thanks to the work of Frank Wilderson and Jared Sexton) economies of media, communication and journalism.

This primarily works out to be a focus on the political function of mass media within the context of ongoing power (national, racial, class) struggles. I generally look to extend or tailor deep traditions of radical political, economic and cultural analyses and media criticism to our time and hope that I can make them relevant to students today. To better connect traditions of political activism to the immediate work of my classes, I’ve increasingly infused the work of political prisoners into our own course work, which allows me to tap an almost endless reservoir of knowledge and experience – while exposing students to a more realistic political context for our own studies.

Additionally, this approach infuses into our classes, ideas of political struggle and activism while challenging the limitations of conventional approaches to such study, including notions of “American democracy.”…

Read the entire interview here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Outspoken about Ferguson, Jesse Williams may be this generation’s Harry Belafonte

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-12-28 03:01Z by Steven

Outspoken about Ferguson, Jesse Williams may be this generation’s Harry Belafonte

The Washington Post

Soraya Nadia McDonald

Harry Belafonte, left. (NBC via AP) Jesse Williams, right. (Christian Alminana/AP)

There are many ways to get celebrity activism wrong when it comes to a situation like the one that has emerged in Ferguson, Mo.

Appearing to be uninformed is a huge no-no, as is calling for a plan when you don’t have one — sorry Nelly. But if one can offer fiery rhetoric absent sanctimony and full of razor-sharp opinions, well, people take notice.

Enter Jesse Williams, the actor who plays the hunky Dr. Jackson Avery on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy.” Williams appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. Clad in a hoodie, he may have looked like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, but once he opened his mouth, he sounded like Harry Belafonte.

Yes, radical, Occupy Wall Street protester-supporting, Fidel Castro-befriending, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice-shunning Harry Belafonte.

“Police have been beating the hell out of black people for a very, very, very long time, before the advent of the video camera,” said Williams, who also spoke out after the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis. “And despite the advent of the video camera, there’s still an incredible trend of police brutality and killing in the street.”

So far, Williams, 33, seems best suited to continue the legacy of black Hollywood activism associated with Belafonte. In his memoir, “My Song,” Belafonte wrote, “I wasn’t an artist who’d become an activist. I was an activist who’d become an artist.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Obama’s message of hope and change is all but lost amid the chaos of Ferguson

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2014-12-21 22:14Z by Steven

Obama’s message of hope and change is all but lost amid the chaos of Ferguson

The Guardian

Patricia Williams, James L. Dohr Professor of Law
Columbia University, New York, New York

The president is being pressed to take sides in a personal, political and structural tragedy in a divided nation

In 2008, the year that Barack Obama became president of the United States, the New York-based artist Carrie Mae Weems created a video installation in which Obama’s face melts from one thing to another: model citizen, communist infiltrator, immigrant, foreigner, friend, black Jesus, brown Hitler, American dream, chicken, monkey, zebra, joker, minstrel. As Weems’s voiceover describes it: “A reason to hope, a reason to change, a reason to reason …”

Of course, Obama has always been somewhat shape-shifting in his symbolism – it’s probably what got him elected to begin with. The “hope and change” that became his trademark was more than mere slogan; the very idea of a first black president became a mirror for whatever people wanted to see in him.

Now we come to a situation all too familiar in America with the death of Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. Obama is being pressed to take one of two sides in a layered personal, political, and structural tragedy for which carelessly drawn lines in the sand could not be more unhelpful. The last two weeks of anguish in Ferguson cap a difficult season for Obama. Already besieged by the situations in Ukraine, Iraq, Gaza, Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he has had to manoeuvre his way through attacks at home from every side. From Congressional Republicans threatening to sue him for trying to implement healthcare reform to the snarkily undermining comments of Hillary Clinton – this summer has been a season of confrontation. Is Obama too aggressive in his exercise of executive power? Or too chicken to invade? Is he passive on immigration? Too intemperate with Congress? Rarely has a president been so buffeted by such a variety of inconsistently projected personality traits…

…With a nation so divided, Obama wades into the debate not so much as president or as constitutional law professor or as chief executive of the Justice Department. In many people’s minds, he is fixed as exclusively African American rather than “really” American. That symbolism puts him in something of a no-win situation: anything he says or does will be heard as siding. While the crowds of protesters in Ferguson and other cities around the country are actually quite diverse, they have become singularly monolithic in many media representations. Except for the journalists who have been assaulted and a 90-year-old Holocaust survivor who was arrested, protesters have been portrayed as representing all African Americans everywhere – noisy “agitators” who make police and honest white citizens “fear for their lives” and who “reflect badly” on the greatness of our republic…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,