race

Courts
8:24 am
Fri October 4, 2013

A Look at the East Haven Civil Rights Trial

East Haven police officer Dennis Spaulding and his wife leave court in late September in Hartford.
Credit Melanie Stengel / The New Haven Register

WNPR News talked with Evan Lips, a reporter for The New Haven Register who has been covering the trial in East Haven of two police officers accused of violating the civil rights of several Latinos during arrests. The officers are David Cari and Dennis Spaulding, who were charged with conspiracy to violate civil rights. Spaulding was also charged with excessive force. Lips shared his observations about the early stages of the trial.

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Host's Diary
4:50 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being (on SNL)

Kyle Mooney in one of his roles.
Credit Wikipedia

"Saturday Night Live" returned for a new season on last weekend. There are six new "featured players," the biggest cast turnover in recent memory. Five white men and one white woman. 

I brought up SNL with Eric Deggans on a recent show, and before the question was all the way out of my mouth he was planting his palm on his face and moaning, "I know what you're going to say."

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Tue September 24, 2013

The Latino Influence in Politics, and a Radiolab Preview

Credit Chion Wolf

In the 2012 election, Latino voters accounted for ten percent of all voters nationwide - a large margin, which will only increase as the Latino population does. Between now and 2030, 40 million Hispanics will be eligible to vote.

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Here & Now
7:36 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Almost 200 Years Later, Slave Gets Proper Burial

About 60 people gathered at the Connecticut State Capitol to pay respects to an 18th-century Connecticut slave known as Mr. Fortune. (Chion Wolf/WNPR)

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 4:21 pm

Slavery is an accepted part of the history of the American South. But it was also practiced throughout the North.

Around the time of the American Revolution, Connecticut had more than 6,000 slaves, the most in New England.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Diane Orson of WNPR brings us the story of an 18th century Connecticut slave whose remains were recently laid to rest, more than 200 years after his death.

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Education
2:54 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

What Did Your Parents Tell You About Race?

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 6:48 pm

Earlier this week, a school in Hartford, Conn., made headlines after parents complained about its, uh, novel approach at making America's racial history resonate with seventh graders.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:39 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

A Conversation with Eric Deggans on Race & Media

Eric Deggans, the author of Race-baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation, and NPR's new television critic.
Credit Chion Wolf

You can read a lot into media depictions of minorities.

Richard Pryor was  hilarious at it. One time he said he had just seen a movie called "Logan's Run." It was set in the future, and there were no black characters in it. "That means white folks ain't planning for us to be there," he said.

Media critic Eric Deggans joins us today, and one of his major theses is that extremism and division make for a bad public discourse and great television. Big media, says Deggans, thrive on division and tension, whether it's on cable news shows or reality TV.

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Public Education
8:49 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Report Cites Persistent Achievement Gap in Connecticut

The report provides data such as this graph, showing that low-income students score half as well as their non-low-income peers, as early as the 3rd grade and across all subjects tested.
Credit Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement

A new report from the Connecticut Council for Education Reform praises Connecticut's efforts to overhaul its public education system, but warns more needs to be done to close the state's achievement gap between low-income students and wealthier students. The statewide nonprofit organization, made up of business and civic leaders, released the report Tuesday.

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New Haven
1:01 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

New Haven Native Nominated for Posthumous Congressional Gold Medal

Constance Baker Motley in 1988.
Credit Columbia Law School

Constance Baker Motley, a New Haven native, has been nominated for a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal. Motley was born in 1921 to a family that emigrated to New Haven from the West Indies. She was a pioneer as a civil rights lawyer, lawmaker and judge.

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Race
7:48 am
Sun September 15, 2013

50 Years After The Bombing, Birmingham Still Subtly Divided

Investigators work outside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., following an explosion that killed four young girls. Three Ku Klux Klansmen were convicted in the bombing years later.
AP

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 1:18 pm

Fifty years ago Sunday, a Ku Klux Klan bomb at a Baptist church in Birmingham, Ala., killed four black girls and sent shock waves throughout the country.

In Birmingham, the tragedy laid bare a deep rift.

Carolyn McKinstry, standing on the sidewalk outside 16th Street Baptist Church, remembers arriving for worship 50 years ago.

"It was Youth Day," she says. "We were excited because that meant we got to do everything. We sang, we ushered, we did everything."

Some of her Sunday school classmates had gone to the ladies' room to freshen up.

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Race
2:05 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

A Conversation on Race

After getting heckled at a disastrous performance in Hartford, comedian Dave Chappelle walked off stage, and later joked about “nuking” the city. But he also raised a lot of questions about race and racism in Hartford and Connecticut - a “liberal” state that in many ways considers itself “post-racial.”

Today's Where We Live conversation on race prompted a huge response from our listeners. (Some listeners may find the audio in the excerpt below offensive.)

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Where We Live
1:48 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

A New England Kind of Racism

Tiffani Jones
Chion Wolf

We all heard the story. Dave Chappelle had a bad night in Hartford. He got heckled, he walked offstage. He later called the audience “evil”.... “an arena full of suburban torturers” and “young, white alcoholics” as he joked about North Korea dropping a bomb on the Capital City.

We may be a laugh line for Chappelle, but does Hartford deserve the bad press? The label as a place filled with racists?

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News
12:11 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Ceremony Held for 18th Century Connecticut Slave

Chion Wolf

About 60 people gathered at the Capitol today to pay respects to an 18th-century Connecticut slave. This morning, a ceremony was held as the remains of the slave known as Mr. Fortune lied in state.

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News
8:21 am
Tue September 3, 2013

200 Years After His Death, A Connecticut Slave Will Be Buried

Fortune, a Connecticut slave during the 18th century.
Credit Courtesy of the Mattatuck Museum.

More than 200 years after his death, the remains of an 18th century Connecticut slave will soon receive a proper burial.  

The slave is known as Fortune. He, his wife, and three children were owned by a doctor whose medical practice was in Waterbury. 

After Fortune died, the doctor used his skeleton as a teaching tool for students. Later, it was donated to the Mattatuck Museum and put on display. The skeleton was called “Larry." After the display was removed in the 1980s, researchers  determined that the bones were, in fact, those of the slave,  Fortune.

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March on Washington
1:55 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Speaking At The Lincoln Memorial, Obama Assesses 'The Dream'

Former President Bill Clinton tells the crowd that Americans today owe a tremendous debt to "those people who came here 50 years ago." Millions of us, he said, have lived the dream King talked about.
Shawn Thew EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu August 29, 2013 12:05 pm

Thousands gathered under gray skies in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

They gathered in the exact same spot where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech, and many of the same themes — equality, dignity, unity — echoed through the crowd.

President Obama was joined by the King family and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

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March on Washington
3:40 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Two Officers, Black And White, On Walking The '63 March Beat

Joseph Burden (third row, third from right) with his graduating class at Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department training academy in 1960. Every officer on the force was required to work the day of the March on Washington.
Courtesy of Joseph Burden

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 9:58 am

For the month of August, Morning Edition and The Race Card Project are looking back at a seminal moment in civil rights history: the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream Speech" Aug. 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people descended on the nation's capital from all over the country for the mass demonstration.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:50 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

The Nose: Rodeo Clowns, Why Americans Want to Drive Less and Abolish Tipping

Chion Wolf

This week a rodeo clown made news when he wore an Obama mask for a routine that straddled the line between permissible lampooning of a president and unsettling evocations of a lone black man being chased and menaced while a white crowd cheered and jeered. How do we resolve those two strains at the moment? There's our belief in loud, lusty rebuke to people in power and our sense that some depictions of black and white kick historical tripwires and throw us back to 1861.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:49 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Jury Duty

pds209 on Flickr Creative Commons

The American jury system is a great leveler. Rich and powerful men such as Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling of Enron, suddenly find their fates in the hands of very average Americans who earn and possess a tiny fraction of what they have. Most of the news we get about juries concerns cases in which an unusual and possibly controversial verdict was reached.

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Art & Design
1:31 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

Stories Of Race In America Captured On Quilt And Canvas

As a black, female artist in the 1960s, Ringgold says there were "a lot of people trying to get in my way and keep me from doing what I was doing." Above, a 1965 self portrait.
Jim Frank On loan from Elizabeth A. Sackler

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:31 pm

Artist Faith Ringgold is best known for what she calls her story quilts — large canvases made in the 1980s, on which she painted scenes of African-American life: sunbathing on a tar roof, a mother and her children, a quilting bee. She frames the canvases in strips of quilted fabric, carrying out an old African, and African-American quilt-making tradition.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington is showing an earlier aspect of Ringgold's art: big, strong, vivid paintings from the 1960s that reflect the violence and social upheaval of that time.

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Code Switch
4:56 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Key Witness Against Emmett Till's Killers Led A Quiet Life

Willie Reed (right) testified against the men accused of murdering 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955. He changed his last name to Louis after fleeing to Chicago and hardly spoke of the trial.
Charles Knoblock AP

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 5:43 pm

Willie Louis may be one of the most celebrated but least-known figures in a pivotal point in American history: He testified against the men accused of kidnapping and murdering 14-year-old Emmett Till. He died July 18, but his wife, Juliet, announced his death this week.

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Education Reform
7:56 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Incentivizing School Desegregation

Connecticut’s final 2013 budget includes more money for suburban school districts that accept urban students through the Open Choice program.  Open Choice is seen as an important way for the state to meet its desegregation goals in the long-running Sheff vs. O’Neill case.

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From Street Art to Elite Art
11:14 am
Sun June 16, 2013

Has Graffiti Lost Its Edge?

Credit Zoetnet on Flickr Creative Common

Does graffiti still have the power to turn our heads? We might check out a new design or a bold stroke of color--but not because we're shocked.

Since early artists first sprayed their frustrations across the subway cars and city walls of 1960's Philadelphia and New York, graffiti has gone from the street to the elite, from the public to the private, from vandalism to fine art,  as likely to be in a gallery as on the side of a garage...but it hasn't always been that way.

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Where We Live
10:44 am
Fri June 7, 2013

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration In The Age Of Colorblindness

Samaia Hernandez

Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness has been an unlikely and controversial best seller.

In it, Alexander makes the case that the prison system we have long filled with a disproportionate number of young black men is not just a byproduct of policy decisions, but an intentional effort to undo the civil rights movement.

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Where We Live
11:51 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Connecticut's Indigenous People

Chion Wolf

Lucianne Lavin is out to dispel some myths about Connecticut’s native peoples. They didn't all move west or die out from war or disease, she says. Those who remain don’t all have claim to the land or the heritage.

In her comprehensive book, Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples, she explores this lineage through archeology, history and oral traditions.

It takes us up to present day New England, where “native American tribe” is synonymous to many with “tribal casino.”

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News
3:11 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

New Agreement Reached In The Sheff v. O'Neill Saga

The Connecticut Department of Education has reached a new agreement with the plaintiffs in the decades long Sheff v. O'Neill case.

The lawsuit is meant to ease the racial disparity between students in Hartford Public Schools and neighboring school districts.

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Confronting Stereotypes
9:21 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Asians and the "Model Minority" Myth

Asian Americans have been dealing with the "model minority" myth for decades. And it's playing a role in high suicide rates. The idea of Asians as a model minority dates back to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Scholars began publishing articles that argued against themes of social reform.

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Where We Live
10:41 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Changing Health Outcomes

Chion Wolf

A few weeks ago, the Greater New Haven Branch of the NAACP released a report showing significant health, economic, and educational disparities between White and minority populations....so significant that they’re calling it a modern day “urban apartheid.”

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:55 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

The Nose: 'Accidental Racist' Ignites Controversy, Weiner's Post-Scandal Playbook

Flickr Creative Commons, Tony Fischer Photography

We had a big menu of things we could talk about on The Nose this week, but there was no possibility we weren't going to tackle "Accidental Racist,' the collaboration between country star Brad Paisely and rap star LL Cool J, mainly because of all the heat and light this song as generated among journalists and critics. 

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History
3:48 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

“A NOBLE AND PRECIOUS LIFE”

A handful of maps of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, published in Philadelphia during the early 1850s, bear the name of E. M. Woodford. Edgar M. Woodford was born April 15, 1824,  in Avon, Connecticut, where his family had a farm. Self-taught as a civil engineer, Woodford became county surveyor for the County of Hartford. A nephew recalled his Uncle Edgar as “a great strapping man,” who would come “over the hills with his [surveying] instruments over his shoulder, crying for fear his work would not come out right.”

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Where We Live
10:28 am
Mon March 11, 2013

The Epidemic of Mass Incarceration

James Cridland, Creative Commons

For the first time in a long time, observers of the phenomenon of mass incarceration in America have seen some good news. The rate of African Americans in prison has dropped sharply over a decade - a trend that pushes back against a historical disproportionality of blacks in our prison system.  These numbers come from The Sentencing Project.

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Where We Live
10:25 am
Mon February 25, 2013

The Search for "Lost White Tribes"

Creative Commons

Today we’ll talk with our exploration expert, Michael Robinson of the University of Hartford. He’s written about the great arctic explorers of the past, but his new book has him on his own voyage to the tops of giant mountains in Uganda, searching for a fabled “Lost White Tribe.” His book Lost White Tribe: Explorers, Scientists and a Theory of Race that Changed Africa will be out in 2015.    

Robinson will be speaking about his research Monday February 25th at 1:30PM. 

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