The NFL has effectively blackballed Colin Kaepernick

Posted in Articles, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2017-03-24 18:48Z by Steven

The NFL has effectively blackballed Colin Kaepernick

The Washington Post
2017-03-23

Kevin B. Blackistone, Visiting Professor
Philip Merrill College of Journalism
University of Maryland

A week before Christmas 1996, Craig Hodges, who twice during his 10 NBA seasons was the league’s best three-point shooter, filed a federal lawsuit against the NBA. He charged that the league colluded to end his career four seasons earlier.

Hodges contended the league was upset that he showed up at the White House with Michael Jordan and his other teammates from the 1991 NBA champion Bulls draped in a dashiki — a traditional West African tunic popularized here during the Black Power movement — and exercised utter audacity by presenting their host, President George H.W. Bush, with a two-page letter calling for the plight of people of color and the poor in this country to be prioritized in Bush’s domestic agenda.

A week into 1998, the court dismissed Hodges’s complaint. His career effectively died when the Bulls waived him following their second championship in 1992.

But Hodges’s story was revived with the advent of this NFL offseason’s free agency period. He’s been reincarnated in Colin Kaepernick. To be sure, Kaepernick managed the 17th-best quarterback rating last season among starters while coming back from injury. His touchdown percentage was 13th best, better than Washington’s Kirk Cousins, who wound up in the Pro Bowl and with a new franchise-tag contract worth $24 million next season. His interception percentage was sixth, just behind Aaron Rodgers and just ahead of MVP Matt Ryan

Read the entire article here.

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Sorry, but the Irish were always ‘white’ (and so were Italians, Jews and so on)

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2017-03-24 01:22Z by Steven

Sorry, but the Irish were always ‘white’ (and so were Italians, Jews and so on)

The Washington Post
2017-03-22

David Bernstein, George Mason University Foundation Professor
George Mason University School of Law, Arlington, Virginia


Immigrants after their arrival in Ellis Island by ship in 1902. (Ullstein Bild via Getty Images)

Whiteness studies” is all the rage these days. My friends who teach U.S. history have told me that this perspective has “completely taken over” studies of American ethnic history. I can’t vouch for that, but I do know that I constantly see people assert, as a matter of “fact,” that Irish, Italian, Jewish and other “ethnic” white American were not considered to be “white” until sometime in the mid-to-late 20th century, vouching for the fact that this understanding of American history has spread widely.

The relevant scholarly literature seems to have started with Noel Ignatiev’s book “How the Irish Became White,” and taken off from there. But what the relevant authors mean by white is ahistorical. They are referring to a stylized, sociological or anthropological understanding of “whiteness,” which means either “fully socially accepted as the equals of Americans of Anglo-Saxon and Germanic stock,” or, in the more politicized version, “an accepted part of the dominant ruling class in the United States.”

Those may be interesting sociological and anthropological angles to pursue, but it has nothing to do with whether the relevant groups were considered to be white…

Read the entire article here.

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Why You Can’t Ever Call an Enslaved Woman a “Mistress”

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States on 2017-03-05 22:16Z by Steven

Why You Can’t Ever Call an Enslaved Woman a “Mistress”

Teen Vogue
2017-02-27

Lincoln Blades

This is an important Black History Month PSA.

In the black community, many different opinions abound regarding the usefulness of Black History Month. For some, it is viewed as a necessary and critical tool for cultural celebration and propagating the importance of our collective historical achievements, which otherwise would go unnoticed. For others, it feels like a reductive display of forced lip service conducted during the shortest and coldest month of the year, in lieu of providing us with a more sustained and inclusive role in the everyday curriculum. But what we all can agree on is that presenting our history in a wholly accurate and factual manner delivered with the correct context is of the utmost importance, which is why we react so strongly to inaccurate and/or misrepresentative claims.

That irritation was inflamed this past weekend when The Washington Post published an article about a restoration that would be occurring at Monticello, the plantation of America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson, which is operated as a museum. The restoration to be completed will involve unmasking a bathroom installed in 1941 just steps from Jefferson’s bedroom to reveal what the room really was: Sally Hemings’s bedroom…

Read the entire article here.

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For decades they hid Jefferson’s relationship with her. Now Monticello is making room for Sally Hemings.

Posted in Articles, Biography, History, Media Archive, Slavery, United States, Virginia, Women on 2017-03-05 21:59Z by Steven

For decades they hid Jefferson’s relationship with her. Now Monticello is making room for Sally Hemings.

The Washington Post
2017-02-19

Krissah Thompson


By excavating and restoring areas where the slave community lived and worked, Monticello is trying to more fully integrate their stories at the historic plantation. A special focus will be placed on Sally Hemings, whose room in the house will soon be on display for the first time.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — The room where historians believe Sally Hemings slept was just steps away from Thomas Jefferson’s bedroom. But in 1941, the caretakers of Monticello turned it into a restroom.

The floor tiles and bathroom stalls covered over the story of the enslaved woman, who was owned by Jefferson and had a long-term relationship with him. Their involvement was a scandal during his life and was denied for decades by his descendants. But many historians now believe the third president of the United States was the father of her six children.

Time, and perhaps shame, erased all physical evidence of her presence at Jefferson’s home here, a building so famous that it is depicted on the back of the nickel.

Now the floor tiles have been pulled up and the room is under restoration — and Hemings’s life is poised to become a larger part of the story told at Monticello…

Read the entire article here.

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‘Hidden’ no more: Katherine Johnson, a black NASA pioneer, finds acclaim at 98

Posted in Articles, Biography, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2017-02-03 15:02Z by Steven

‘Hidden’ no more: Katherine Johnson, a black NASA pioneer, finds acclaim at 98

The Washington Post
2017-01-27

Victoria St. Martin

Fame has finally found Katherine Johnson — and it only took a half-century, six manned moon landings, a best-selling book and an Oscar-nominated movie.

For more than 30 years, Johnson worked as a NASA mathematician at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., where she played an unseen but pivotal role in the country’s space missions. That she was an African American woman in an almost all-male and white workforce made her career even more remarkable.

Now, three decades after retiring from the agency, Johnson is portrayed by actress Taraji P. Henson in “Hidden Figures,” a film based on a book of the same name. The movie tells how a group of black women — world-class mathematicians all — helped provide NASA with data crucial to the success of the agency’s early spaceflights. “Hidden Figures” was nominated Tuesday for an Academy Award for best picture.

Suddenly Johnson, who will turn 99 in August, finds herself inundated with interview requests, award banquet invitations and people who just want to stop by and shake her hand.

“I’m glad that I’m young enough still to be living and that they are, so they can look and see, ‘That’s who that is,’ ” she said. “And they are as excited as I am.”

For many people, especially African Americans, her tale of overcoming racism and sexism is inspirational…

Read the entire article here.

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In stark farewell, Obama warns of threat to U. S. democracy

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-01-13 18:31Z by Steven

In stark farewell, Obama warns of threat to U. S. democracy

The Washington Post
2017-01-10

Juliet Eilperin, White House Bureau Chief

Greg Jaffe, Reporter

CHICAGOPresident Obama used his farewell speech here on Tuesday to outline the gathering threats to American democracy and press a more optimistic vision for a country that seems more politically divided than ever.

Obama said goodbye to the nation against the backdrop of one of the most corrosive elections in U.S. history and a deep sense that the poisonous political environment has pitted Americans against each other.

“America, we weaken those ties when we allow our political dialogue to become so corrosive that people of good character aren’t even willing to enter public service; so coarse with rancor that Americans with whom we disagree are not just misguided, but malevolent,” Obama said. “We weaken those ties when we define some of us as more American than others; when we write off the whole system as inevitably corrupt, and blame the leaders we elect without examining our own role in electing them.”

Obama fretted about anti-immigrant sentiment, racism and economic inequality.

“If every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard-working white middle class and an undeserving minority, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves,” Obama warned in an not-so-subtle jab at his successor, President-elect Donald Trump.

Obama, the first African American president, acknowledged the continuing difficulty of race relations in America.

“After my election, there was talk of a post-racial America. Such a vision, however well-intended, was never realistic,” he said. “For race remains a potent and often divisive force in our society. Now, I’ve lived long enough to know that race relations are better than they were 10, or 20, or 30 years ago — you can see it not just in statistics, but in the attitudes of young Americans across the political spectrum. But we’re not where we need to be.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Three movies this year show Virginia’s racial history. In short, it’s complicated.

Posted in Articles, Communications/Media Studies, History, Media Archive, United States, Virginia on 2016-12-22 19:27Z by Steven

Three movies this year show Virginia’s racial history. In short, it’s complicated.

The Washington Post
2016-12-22

Stephanie Merry, Reporter


Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as Mildred and Richard Loving in the movie “Loving.” (Ben Rothstein/Focus Features)

Loving” shows Virginia at its most romantic and picturesque. Toward the beginning of the drama, a man takes his pregnant wife-to-be to an empty field and tells her in a slow drawl, “I’m going to build you a house right here.”

The couple stand on a patchy, tree-lined stretch of grass, the rhythmic buzzing of cicadas pulsing around them. Low-hanging clouds pass languidly overhead, and the grass flutters in the breeze; humidity practically radiates off the screen.

In the movie, Virginia is the place where these sweethearts, played by Golden Globe nominees Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, meet and fall for each other in the mid-1950s. But it’s also the place where a white man and his wife, who’s black and Native American, would get arrested for the crime of cohabitating. Virginia forced Richard and Mildred Loving to go to jail or leave the state they loved, and they spent nearly a decade in Washington, D.C., trying to return.

Virginia showed up in three major movies this year, all based on true stories. “The Birth of a Nation,” a drama about the 1831 slave uprising led by Nat Turner, takes place in Southampton County, not far from the setting of “Hidden Figures,” which opens Sunday and tells the story of black female mathematicians working for NASA during the space race.

These dramas capture the conflicted nature of the commonwealth — the way progress and resistance are in constant battle, with some citizens rejecting the status quo just as forcefully as others cling to it…

Read the entire article here.

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What does it mean to be “black enough?” Three women explore their racial identities

Posted in Articles, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, United States on 2016-12-18 23:48Z by Steven

What does it mean to be “black enough?” Three women explore their racial identities

The Washington Post
2016-12-11

On “Historically Black,” our podcast about black history, narrator Roxane Gay introduces three new voices.

“What are you?”

“Are you adopted?”

“What are you mixed with?”

Many photos and stories submitted to “Historically Black,” The Washington Post Tumblr project, have touched on what it means to identify as a particular race and ethnic background. Throughout this project, multiple stories surfaced a theme that pointed to an ongoing internal and external conflict based on the societal criteria that deemed a person “black.” These stories identified the struggle to understand the judgment — by both black and non-black communities — based on the way one dresses, speaks and acts.

This has led to a hard, and conflicting, question: What does it mean to be “black enough” in modern America?

That’s the question Marcelle Hutchins faced ever since she, her twin sister and their mother emigrated from Cameroon to Portland, Maine. Hutchins’s mother married a white man, and together they settled in as a family. But as early as the third grade, Hutchins faced the harsh reality of integrating into American society.

“Growing up, I really struggled with my identity in America. For a long time, I often questioned, you know, who I was in this world. And I was told by a variety of different people that I didn’t fit my birthright, that I didn’t act the way I should act or the way black people should act, and because of my mannerisms I was too white,” Hutchins said.

According to Jelani Cobb, a historian and writer at the New Yorker, defining “blackness” is inherently complicated — because race is an invented category dating back to slavery, and the category can encompass a range of identities and cultures. People identify as black, African American, African, Muslim, Native American, biracial and sometimes more.

“The most kind of basic understanding is the one-drop rule, wherein people said if a person had any drop of blood, black blood, they were black. And the purposes of that were to present whiteness as a category of purity and that any tincture of African ancestry would irrevocably taint a person and remove them from the, you know, pure category of whiteness,” Cobb said. “There’s a wide range of ancestries that are included within the category of black, and so the category itself is amorphous.”…

Read the entire article here.

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What was the source of Krazy Kat’s comic genius?

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2016-12-12 16:52Z by Steven

What was the source of Krazy Kat’s comic genius?

The Washington Post
2016-12-06

Glen David Gold

Michael Tisserand, Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White (New York: HarperCollins, 2016)

Genius is simplicity. A dog, who is a policeman, loves a cat, who loves a mouse. The mouse throws bricks at the cat, and the policeman jails him. Some aspect of this, more or less every day, for more or less 30 years, was the comic strip Krazy Kat. In isolation it seems as though it dropped out of the sky, and when its creator died in 1944, to the sky it returned. It has since been recognized as one of the greatest American comic strips, a mix of surrealism, Socratic dialogue, low-rent vaudeville, jazz improvisation, Native American motifs and, as it turns out, a subtle — so subtle no one seems to have noticed at the time — commentary on the peculiar notion of race.

Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White,” by Michael Tisserand, skillfully returns context to “Krazy Kat,” revealing that it could have come from no other time or place than during the accelerated rise of the American media empire. To his peers, Herriman claimed to be French or Greek, among other things, to explain away his kinky hair and dark skin. But his New Orleans birth certificate called him “colored,” and Tisserand is especially good at parsing the politics of passé blanc, or “passively passing for white” in Creole culture.

Herriman had a longer apprenticeship than most, working on dozens of strips that never caught fire during the spectacular publication battles between Hearst and Pulitzer that led to the birth of full-color comics such as “The Yellow Kid” and “Little Nemo. ” He was learning his form at the same time that jazz, animation and slapstick comedy were likewise getting their cultural feet under them. Also boxing. Boxing had obeyed “the color line” until 1910, when, in defiance of racist attitudes, the country demanded that black Jack Johnson and white Jim Jeffries finally take the ring. (It’s of course ironic that overcoming racism involved allowing people of different races to beat each other up, but such is our way.)…

Read the entire review here.

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Black U.K. beauty magazine accidentally put a white model on its cover. Apologies followed.

Posted in Articles, Arts, Media Archive, Passing, United Kingdom on 2016-11-24 01:28Z by Steven

Black U.K. beauty magazine accidentally put a white model on its cover. Apologies followed.

The Washington Post
2016-11-22

Travis M. Andrews, Staff Writer

Emily Bador is a white woman. She is not, therefore, a black woman. Normally, that wouldn’t be news worth reporting, mostly because it isn’t news.

But her race came into play recently due to the new cover of Blackhair magazine, a British glossy that bills itself as “an international bi-monthly magazine for the style conscious black woman. Packed with 100’s of hair inspirations, fashion, lifestyle and celebrity interviews, we are one of the leading publications for women of colour in Europe.”

The magazine, which generally if not always features black or mixed-race models, used her photograph for the cover of its December/January issue. The editors have admitted they didn’t know she was white…

…According to Blackhair’s editor, Keysha Davis, who wrote a note on the magazine’s Facebook page, the publication runs photographs they receive from PR companies and salons. They specifically request that these photographs be of black or mixed-race women…

Read the entire article here.

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