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

Black American History

Clint Smith, poet, educator, and author of  How the Word is Passed, presents brief lessons in African American history on the Crash Course Youtube channel.

The Roots of Structural Racism Project: Twenty-First Century Racial Residential Segregation in the United States

In June 2021, the Othering and Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley unveiled The Roots of Structural Racism Project “after several years of investigating the persistence of racial residential segregation across the United States. Among the many components included in this project are the national segregation report which contains startling findings about the intensification of racial residential segregation in recent decades; an interactive mapping tool that illustrates the level of segregation in every city, region and neighborhood in the country; a collection of tables which list cities and metropolitan regions by various measures of segregation and political polarization; nine city profiles noteworthy for their levels of segregation or integration; and a literature review featuring dozens of local city histories.”

Deep Divisions in Americans’ Views of Nation’s Racial History – and How To Address It

According to a recent Pew Research Center poll the American “public is deeply divided over how far the nation has progressed in addressing racial inequality – and how much further it needs to go.” 

“[A] civil rights activist in the Bronx said he grew suspicious when he heard last year that politicians were prioritizing minority neighborhoods for coronavirus vaccinations. ‘Since when does America give anything good to Black people first?’ said the activist, Hawk Newsome, a 44-year-old Black Lives Matter leader who is unvaccinated. . . . In interviews, Black men and women said that much of their distrust of the coronavirus vaccine was shaped by their own experiences with discrimination or their identity as Black Americans. ‘I’m supposed to worry about getting sick when I go outside, versus getting killed by a cop or something like that?’ said Jayson Clemons, 41, the construction site safety manager from Queens.”

Retiring “Indian” School Mascots: Informing, Tracking, and Fueling a Growing National Movement

National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), as part of its Ending the Era of Harmful “Indian” Mascots initiative, has launched the State Activity Tracker.

American Schools Are Failing to Equip Students With Racial Literacy—And We’ve Seen  Firsthand How It Happens. (Time, August 13, 2021)

CHOOSE founders and former NIOT board members Winona Guo and Priya Vulchi respond to the debate over Critical Race Theory and emphasize the need for racial literacy education in schools.  Check out their latest resouce La Lucha in Puerto Rico, a history of Puerto Rico & U.S. Empire, featuring 11 stories Guo and Vulchi chose from the interviews they conducted on the island.

Setting the Record Straight at the Met  (Counterpunch, July 21, 2021)

Karl Kusserow, John Wilmerding Curator of American art at the Princeton University Art Museum, describes “an extensive effort at the Met and other museums nationwide to publicly declare the colonial basis of their existence.”  In addition to new hires, acquisitions, and signage, the Met has installed a permanent outside the main entrance with a Land Acknowledgement of its location in Lenapehoking, “homeland of the Lenape diaspora.”

The Secret Bias Hidden in Mortgage-Approval Algorithms (The Markup, August 25, 2021)

“An investigation by The Markup has found that lenders in 2019 were more likely to deny home loans to people of color than to white people with similar financial characteristics — even when we controlled for newly available financial factors that the mortgage industry has in the past said would explain racial disparities in lending.”  To see reporters methodology, click here.

Black History Road Trip Tours to Take This Fall (Travel + Leisure, August 30, 2021)

Vanessa Wilkins outlines a Civil Rights Tour Through the Southeast and a Black Culture Road Trip Up the West Coast.  In a related article, “Greenwood Rising — a Museum Dedicated to the History of the Tulsa Race Massacre — Is Now Open,” Andrea Romano describes the new free to the public Tulsa museum commemorating the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 that opened its doors on August 4, 2021.

Reckoning: Family Businesses Confront Race, Racism and Inclusion (Family Business)

Growing awareness of the roots of the Black-White wealth gap has led some in charge of family business to research their complicity.  Barbara Spector, author of the four-part series, quotes Steven S. Rogers, a Black director who serves on the board of W.S. Darley & Co., a family-owned business in Itasca, Illinois: “Every industry in this country was touched by slavery, directly or indirectly.” 

Corporate America’s $50 billion promise  (Washington Post, August 23, 2021)



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