race

The Colin McEnroe Show
5:15 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Live From Watkinson School: Can a Song Change the World?

Credit Jim The Photographer / Flickr Creative Commons

If you want to reach people, sing to them, and make them sing. Experience tells us that singing changes people's relationships to reality, maybe even getting them ready to experience pain in a protest march.

Here's a term that was new to me anyway: "Collective Effervescence". It was coined by the sociologist Emile Durkheim to describe a lot of things, including the state we might achieve if we all got together and sang a song about our political aims. You see this in times of protest, from the streets of Ferguson to the streets around Tahrir Square. When people sing, or hear someone else sing, it activates them.

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Remembering Dr. King
7:44 am
Mon January 19, 2015

King's Last March

Martin Luther King Jr. speaking to black sanitation workers in Memphis

On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, WNPR's Where We Live presents a documentary special from American RadioWorks, "King's Last March." It explores the final year of King's life.

On April 4, 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a landmark speech from the pulpit of Riverside Church in New York. He called for an end to the Vietnam War.

Exactly one year later, King was assassinated in Memphis. He was 39 years old. King’s speech in New York set the tone for the last year of his life. 

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MLK Day
3:35 am
Mon January 19, 2015

What Does Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy Look Like To A 5-Year-Old?

Elspeth Ventresca, center, and the rest of Carolyn Barnhardt's prekindergarten class at John Eaton Elementary School wear the crowns they made to celebrate Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 12:07 pm

It's morning meeting time. "When Dr. King was little, he learned a golden rule," sings a class of 4- and 5-year-olds with their teacher, Carolyn Barnhardt.

John Eaton Elementary School, a public school in Washington, D.C., is unusual. It sits in one of the District's wealthiest neighborhoods, but the majority of students hail from different parts of the city, making it one of the most racially and economically diverse elementary schools in the nation's capital.

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Code Switch
12:30 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

Hawaii As 'Racial Paradise'? Bid For Obama Library Invokes A Complex Past

University of Hawaii students sit together to show the ethnic differences of Hawaii's population in 1948.
Eliot Elisofon The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 3:36 pm

Sometime in March, Barack Obama is expected to announce his choice of the institution that will hold his presidential archive. Vying for the honor (and the money that comes with it) are the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University in New York, and the University of Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language spelling of the state's name).

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu January 8, 2015

"Toxic Communities" and the Fight for Environmental Justice

Dorceta Taylor.
University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment Creative Commons

Dorceta Taylor’s most recent book, Toxic Communities, takes a magnifying glass to the modern environmental justice movement. In it, she provides an in-depth analysis of some of the biggest environmental issues facing low-income and minority communities across the U.S. 

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Net Worth
1:21 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Wealth Gap Between Races Widened During Recession, Study Says

Occupy Wall Street protesters join a labor union rally in Foley Square before marching on Zuccotti Park in New York's Financial District in 2011. A new report shows that wealth inequality between whites and nonwhites grew during the Great Recession.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 3:50 pm

The Great Recession has widened the wealth gap among white, black and Hispanic Americans, with median net worth in white households increasing to 13 times that for African-Americans, a new Pew Research Center study shows.

The study also shows that from 2007 to 2013, the wealth of white households has grown to 10 times that of Hispanic households.

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Police Diversity
6:15 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Why Police Departments Have A Hard Time Recruiting Blacks

Police wearing riot gear walk toward a man with his hands raised Aug. 11 in Ferguson, Mo. Renewed calls for police departments to hire more minorities have followed the shooting there of a black man by a white police officer.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 3:16 pm

Since the Ferguson, Mo., shooting, there have been renewed calls for police departments to hire more minority officers, but it turns out it's not that simple.

Police in the U.S. are more diverse than they were a generation ago. In the 1980s, 1 in 6 officers belonged to an ethnic or racial minority. Now it's about 1 in 4. The challenge these days is finding enough recruits to keep that trend going.

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White House
4:12 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Obama Administration Unveils New Limits On Racial Profiling

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 5:44 pm

The Obama administration released new guidelines today to ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement officers. The guidelines replace ones adopted by the Bush administration in 2003.

The new rules prohibit profiling based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion or sexual orientation and apply to federal officers, such as the FBI and Secret Service and any local law enforcement that work with them on task forces.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

The Scramble: Journalism Gone Awry, and Northern Racism

Rolling Stone and The New Republic are in crisis mode this week.
Credit Ken Hawkins / Creative Commons

The Scramble reacts to new developments in the University of Virginia case of alleged sexual assault and Rolling Stone’s concern about some its reporting. 

Then there's a second magazine story: what’s behind the mass -- and we do mean mass -- resignations at The New Republic. Most of its full-time staff and stable of contributing editors quit on the same day. Why?

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Racial Integration
9:21 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Changing Racial Demographics Complicate Hartford Desegregation

Students at the University High School of Science and Engineering in Hartford speak at an event with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in May.
U.S. Department of Education

State education officials are currently negotiating changes to Connecticut's landmark school desegregation settlement. 

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Athletes and Protest
2:22 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

A Brief History Of Racial Protest In Sports

Members of the St. Louis Rams raise their arms in a "hands up, don't shoot" pose as they walk onto the field before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders.
L.G. Patterson AP

On Sunday, five St. Louis Rams players jogged onto the field with their arms raised by their heads, a stream of fog behind them: hands up, don't shoot.

The players — Tavon Austin, Kenny Britt, Jared Cook, Chris Givens and Stedman Bailey — were invoking the gesture that's been widely used in protesting the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson. This followed the announcement that a grand jury would not indict Wilson in Brown's death, and the release of a hefty batch of evidence shown to the jury by St. Louis prosecutor Robert McCullough.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

The Scramble: Athletes Who Don't Stick To Sports; Wally Lamb Enters TV; and Twitter Philosphy

A march in Ferguson, featuring the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" pose that members of the St. Louis Rams did before Sunday's NFL game.
Credit Jamelle Bouie / Creative Commons

First and foremost, we're really sorry about the Wally Lamb cell phone connection. Do not adjust your radio (or streaming device).

It's the usual three-ring circus on the Scramble today starting with the five players for the St. Louis Rams who put their hands up in a "Don't Shoot" gesture during their introductions for Sunday's game. That gesture, of course, has become part of the iconography of the Ferguson Missouri story, and we talk to ESPN the Magazine's Howard Bryant about the role athletes play in raising consciousness and defying conventional news narratives.

Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 26, 2014

The Wheelhouse: After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision, What's Next?

Memorial to Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.
Jamelle Bouie Creative Commons

As the nation tries to better understand the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will discuss what comes next. With widespread calls for change in the judicial system, how does that happen?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Policing the Black Community

LaResse Harvey, A Better Way Foundation
Chion Wolf

On Monday, a grand jury did not indict Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for any crimes related to the death in August of the unarmed teen Michael Brown. That death touched off a series of protests and conversations about race relations between police and the black community.

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Civil Rights
6:48 am
Wed November 12, 2014

John Doar Remembered As A Civil Rights Pioneer

John Doar in Oxford, Miss., in 1966.
AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 10:59 am

The news of attorney John Doar's death at 92 on Tuesday sent a wave of solemnity through the country, prompting multiple obituaries detailing his extensive work fighting discrimination and working for racial equality during the 1960s and '70s.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:49 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Hangings in America: The Past and Present of The Noose

Professor Lawrence Goodheart is a professor of history at the University of Connecticut, and the author of many books, including "The Solemn Sentence of Death: Capital Punishment" in Connecticut
Chion Wolf WNPR

From Nathan Hale to John Brown to lynchings to executions of accused witches, the hangman's noose has played a grim role in American history.

While its usage has declined and changed over time, just in the past week, articles have surfaced about a political flier using a noose as the background that was circulated in a church parking lot in South Carolina, and nooses hanging in rival high schools in California. A police officer in the latter article, Sgt. Martin Acosta, stated, "A noose in itself is not making any correlation to anything." Is that true? Isn't a noose in 2014 an explicit evocation of lynching?

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
5:15 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Six Words: 'Must We Forget Our Confederate Ancestors?'

Waverly Adcock, a sergeant and founder of the West Augusta Guard, prepares his company for inspection and battle at a Civil War re-enactment in Virginia. Sara Smith, whose great-great-grandfather was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, holds the Confederate battle flag.
Courtesy of Jesse Dukes

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:55 am

NPR continues a series of conversations from The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words.

Jesse Dukes does not have Confederate ancestors. But in the time he has spent writing about Civil War re-enactors, he has met many who say they do.

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Code Switch
11:24 am
Mon October 20, 2014

The Boston Herald's Missed 'Cartoongate' Lessons

The Boston Herald published this cartoon earlier this month.
The Boston Herald

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 10:38 am

The worst fate of all may be to make a terrible mistake and then learn the wrong lessons from the experience.

That's the thought I had reading a heartfelt column about the Boston Herald's unfortunate decision to publish a cartoon featuring a White House gate-crasher asking the nation's first black president if he had "tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste."

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Civic Science
3:19 am
Mon October 13, 2014

What's In A Name? It Could Matter If You're Writing To Your Lawmaker

And so continues Code Switch's battle with illustrating studies about the subtle biases that inflict our email outboxes.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 9:42 am

In recent years, social scientists have tried to find out whether important decisions are shaped by subtle biases. They've studied recruiters as they decide whom to hire. They've studied teachers, deciding which students to help at school. And they've studied doctors, figuring out what treatments to give patients. Now, researchers have trained their attention on a new group of influential people — state legislators.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri October 3, 2014

The Nose: Slasher Films by Principals, "Post-Racial America," and Bummer TV

Credit MarLeah Cole / Creative Commons

One way to think of this is, a middle school principal should not be making blood-spattered slasher films. Another way is, it's kind of amazing that every middle school principal doesn't go home and make blood-spattered slasher films.

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Television
9:42 am
Mon September 22, 2014

The Only One: A Talk With Shonda Rhimes

Shonda Rhimes speaks onstage at the How to Get Away with Murder panel during the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 2:02 pm

I saw Shonda Rhimes at a panel presentation at the Television Critics Association press tour this summer where she helped introduce How to Get Away with Murder, the new ABC drama she helps produce but did not create. I found her pleasantly (and a little amusingly) transparent in not loving some of the questions she was asked (including one about whether she was worried that #HTGAWM, which was printed on the promotional cookies ABC handed out, was an unwieldy hashtag), and I thought, "She is an interview for which you would want to be on your toes."

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Civil Rights
8:19 am
Sat September 20, 2014

On 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act, What Have We Accomplished?

Panelists talk at the University of Hartford about education and health care access disparities.
Lorraine Greenfield

All week, the University of Hartford hosted events marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The programs were designed to encourage reflection on what was accomplished back then, as a way to ask ourselves, “What can we do now?”

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Code Switch
11:47 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Is Corporal Punishment Abuse? Why That's A Loaded Question

Adrian Peterson (right) was ordered to stay away from his team, the Minnesota Vikings, while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Sat September 20, 2014 1:10 pm

Over the past week, Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings' all-world running back and one of the NFL's biggest stars, has become the face of corporal punishment in America. Peterson turned himself in to police over the weekend on charges of child abuse after he allegedly hit his son with a switch that left welts on his body.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Racial Profiling and Diversity in Police Departments

Shafiq Abdussabur.
Chion Wolf WNPR

A new report from the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at Central Connecticut State University takes a closer look at racial profiling in Connecticut. This hour, we hear from one of the authors of that report. 

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Code Switch
5:40 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Why Michael Che's New Role Could Change More Than 'SNL'

Daily Show correspondent Michael Che will become the first black co-anchor of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update.
Paul Marotta Courtesy of Michael Che

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 1:27 pm

It seems some TV networks have gotten the message on late-night diversity and others have not.

Friday's news — that Saturday Night Live hired comic Michael Che to join Colin Jost behind the anchor desk on its popular "Weekend Update" segment — shows NBC's venerated late night comedy franchise may, finally, stand among those in the first group.

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Racial Profiling
10:51 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Traffic Stop Data Opens Dialogue About Racial Profiling in Connecticut

Steve Lyon Creative Commons

A new report reveals a disparity between the frequency of traffic stops among white drivers and drivers of color in Connecticut.

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Missouri Police Shooting
5:02 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

One Month Later: Michael Brown's Family Calls For Arrest

Michael Brown's parents Lesley McSpadden (left) and Michael Brown Sr. (right) flank attorney Anthony Gray as he speaks at a news conference held Tuesday, one month after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 6:16 pm

The family of Michael Brown issued a new call for the police officer who shot and killed the 18-year-old to be arrested Tuesday. Supporters of the family held a news conference in Ferguson, Mo., where Officer Darren Wilson had a fatal confrontation with the unarmed Brown one month ago today.

From St. Louis Public Radio, Emanuele Berry reports:

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Basketball
3:36 pm
Mon September 8, 2014

Hawks Seek Buyer After NBA Team's Owner Reveals Racially Charged Email

Bruce Levenson, seen at an Atlanta Hawks game on Dec. 4, 2013, in Atlanta, announced Sunday that he was selling his stake in the team because of a racially charged email he sent in 2012.
John Bazemore AP

Originally published on Mon September 8, 2014 3:44 pm

The co-owner and CEO of the Atlanta Hawks says multiple people have reached out to him to buy the NBA franchise following the announcement by controlling owner Bruce Levenson that he would sell his stake in the team because of a racially charged email he sent two years ago.

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Code Switch
9:35 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Plea To Ferguson's Leaders: To Help Heal, Acknowledge Our Hurt

The Rev. Willis Johnson (left), pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, speaks to the Rev. Michele Shumake-Keller after the panel discussion in Ferguson, Mo., on Thursday. Johnson said he hoped the event would be a step to healing a "community in trauma."
Whitney Curtis for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 12:13 pm

(Editor's Note: NPR's Michel Martin was invited by St. Louis Public Radio to moderate a community conversation on Thursday around race, police tactics and leadership following the shooting death of Michael Brown. The following story is based on what happened at the event.)

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Missouri
7:35 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

Zero-Tolerance Policing Is Not Racism, Say St. Louis-Area Cops

Police arrest a woman in Ferguson, Mo., protesting the shooting death of Michael Brown. Most officers in Ferguson and nearby Jennings are white, but the neighborhoods they police are predominantly African-American.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 28, 2014 11:57 pm

The protests that followed the shooting death this month of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., have rekindled long-standing complaints about racist policing, especially in the St Louis area.

Many male African-American residents there say police scrutinize them unfairly. "Every time you see a cop, it's like, 'OK, am I going to get messed with?' " says Anthony Ross. "You feel that every single time you get behind your car. Every time."

Now, police officers in and around St. Louis are becoming more vocal about defending themselves against the charges of bias.

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