Selections to Read, Watch, Listen, Learn about Race, Racism, and Anti-Racism from July, 2021

On July 4, recognize the Black and Indigenous soldiers who helped win the Revolutionary War (Washington Post, July 3, 2021)

In her Washington Post op ed, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman stresses the need to present a full history of the American Revolution that includes the critical service of Black and Indigenous troops.

Breaking the color barrier: The forgotten story of the first Black coach at Rutgers (NJ.com, July 4, 2021)

Sandra “Sandee” Petway, who founded Rutgers’ women’s track and field program almost fifty years ago, “was the first Black head coach in Rutgers history, but that fact is nowhere to be found on the school’s official website.”

The international swimming federation just gave Black swimmers everywhere a wet slap in the face (Washington Post, July 3)

Karen Attiah takes FINA ( Fédération Internationale De Natation), the official international federation that administers international competitions in water sports, to task for banning Soul Cap, a swimming cap designed to accommodate natural afro-hair, in the upcoming Olympics, because they do not “ ‘fit the natural form of the head.’ . . . . In response to the backlash, FINA released a statement saying that the body is ‘currently reviewing the situation with regards to ‘Soul Cap’ and similar products.’ ” 

The bronze statues of Confederate Generals were removed on Saturday, July 10, 2021 (City of Charlottesville press release, July 9)

The City of Charlottesville announced its plan to remove and put into temporary storage Confederate statues of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson from the site that in 2017 saw a Unite the Right Rally, which resulted in the death of counter-protestor, Heather Heyer.

‘The real damage’ (Washington Post, June 11, 2021)

Hannah Dreier reports on why FEMA is denying disaster aid to Black families that have lived for generations in the Deep South.  “More than a third of Black-owned land in the South is passed down informally, rather than through deeds and wills, according to land use experts. It’s a custom that dates to the Jim Crow era, when Black people were excluded from the Southern legal system. When land is handed down like this, it becomes heirs’ property, a form of ownership in which families hold property collectively, without clear title. . . . the Department of Agriculture has found that heirs’ property is ‘the leading cause of Black involuntary land loss.’ Without formal deeds, families are cut off from federal loans and grants, including from FEMA, which requires that disaster survivors prove they own their property before they can get help rebuilding.”

Systemic Discrimination Among Large U.S. Employers

A National Bureau of Economic Research “experiment sending more than 83,000 fictitious applications with randomized characteristics to geographically dispersed jobs posted by 108 of the largest U.S. employers” found that “[d]istinctively Black names reduce the probability of employer contact by 2.1 percentage points relative to distinctively white names.”

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