Being African-American in America

These articles offer a glimpse into the lives of African-Americans in America. This should not be used to represent the "black experience". It is simply a collection of articles, written from a specific perspective. Most of the authors listed below are either African-American or are those who have delved deeply into the African-American experience through advanced studies and lived experience through relationship.

Model Minority Suicide: Five Reasons, Five Ways

model minority myth

Scot Nakagawa: The belief, that the black poor are just entitlement junkies, has negative consequences for all poor people because the tough “love” solutions this belief inspires, like cutting back on food stamps and other programs, see no color.

No Race on Noah’s Ark?


Sharon Kyle: Whether we are talking about Liz Taylor playing “Cleopatra” or Russell Crowe standing in to represent every man, the outcome is the same – disproportionately high rates of unemployment for people of color.

Targeting the Black Jobs Crisis

black job crisis

Joe Rihn: Over the last 40 years the economy as a whole has seen a shift toward low-wage and part-time jobs. As a result, 30 percent of black workers in Los Angeles County are currently making less than $12 an hour.

The Many Lives of the “Culture of Poverty”

culture of poverty

Scot Nakagawa: We criminalize and pathologize black people in order to reassure ourselves that the problem is not systemic; the system is healthy but beset by a disease we would do best to simply cut out.

Why LBJ’s Legacy Deserves Another Look


David Love: What we should know is that Johnson’s legacy in Vietnam will always be troubling. However, his record on civil rights and fighting poverty deserves a second look.

Thank God for Abortion: What’s At Stake For Black Women

Anti-Abortion Man

Sikivu Hutchinson: Then, as now, mainstream pro-choice activists ceded the moral high ground to the anti-abortion regime, wavering between whether to frame abortion as a matter of personal choice or as an inalienable right.

A Long Path to Anti-Racist Scholarship and Activism


Mark Naison: For me, anti-racism was something I wanted to live in real time and space with real people, not just pursued as an abstract principle, and I wanted my anti-racism to connect me to Black people rather than separate me from them.

Black Women Political Powerhouse, Socially Vulnerable

Black Women Voting

Nia Malika-Henderson: African American women are a powerful force at the polls, leading in voter turnout among all women but are more vulnerable to health problems and violence than other group.

Jim Crow: The Dirty Bird Flies Again


Berry Craig: What scares Republicans the most is an America that is becoming less white, less conservative and less male dominated. They fret that a more diverse and more tolerant America is potentially a more Democratic America.

In Black and White: African-Americans in the Criminal Justice System

African Americans Criminal Justice System

Justice is supposed to be color blind, especially in America. But is this really true? Blacks in the U.S. face overwhelming prejudice within the criminal justice system.

Ida B. Wells, Feminist Public Menace


Sikivu Hutchinson: There is little mainstream feminist discourse linking black women’s historical erasure with their criminalization; no women’s rights outrage over how the disfigurement of black women’s image buttresses mass incarceration.

My Brothers Keeper Initiative


Sikivu Hutchinson: Unless the District makes a concerted effort to train and staff highly qualified teachers at high-need schools and promote a culture of high expectations for African American and Latino students, the roll-out will only deepen the race/class disparities in Los Angeles.

President Obama Acknowledges Crisis of Men of Color

my brothers keeper

Manuel Criollo: It is our job as a racial and social justice movement to provide the most radical, structural, and concrete answers and policies that will be required if we have any real hope of liberating Black and Latino communities suffering the most systematic forms of economic, social, and racial oppression.

Who Wants to Be a Rocket Scientist? Race, Gender and the STEM Divide

black science students

Sikivu Hutchinson: Put bluntly, in an era in which affirmative action has been viciously discredited and all but gutted by both the Right and neo-liberal “Left”, young African Americans are less educated than older African Americans.

Murdering Black Children


Murdering Black Children: By focusing on the racism of the shootings, we may overlook less overt racism that is more insidious.

Paul Ryan Barely Speaks in Code about Black Men


Paul Ryan Racism: Ryan is berating and humiliating black men for being unemployed? And we wonder why his party has a black people problem.

Racism: The Elephant in the Living Room


Racism: Republicans blow fuses when somebody says the GOP practices dog-whistle politics to pander to white prejudice.

Abuse and Deadly Force Under the “Color of Authority”


Anthony Samad: This month’s forum features a discussion on Abuse and Deadly Force under the “Color of Authority” and/or the cover of law.

Arsenio Hall Can’t Be Dismissed


Arsenio Hall brought the “edge” to late night when a tarnished Presidential hopeful came on the show in June of 1992—wearing sunglasses .

Paula Deen Is Back, Like It or Not


Paula Deen: I suppose everyone is capable of redemption, and Paula Deen has a new chance to come up with some new recipes.

Jordan Davis Murder Mistrial: Open Season on Black Males


Jordan Davis Murder Mistrial: “Stand Your Ground” is just the latest iteration of anti-social legislation against black males.

The Privilege of My Whiteness


White Privilege in America: The privilege of having white skin is that I will be treated as any person should be treated: with respect.

Inflamed Rhetoric, Senseless Killings, Light Verdicts: Grownups, “Stand Your Ground”

Black Man

Senseless Killings: Only tiny fractions of any race or age conform to the worst stereotypes of their demographic group.

Remember When White Men Killed Black Men to “Defend” White Women? (Hint: We’re Talking About 2013)


Defending White Women: Under the guise of protecting white womanhood, black bodies hung and often burned while white onlookers cheered.

In Defense of Affirmative Action


Defending Affirmative Action: What California learned was that attempts that don’t explicitly give preference to people of color don’t work.

Black Angelinos: From Brick Block to City Hall


Black Angelinos — LA can truly be described as not only a melting pot of cultures and their influences but also as a mixed salad of people.

Sidepiece Black Tea Party Republicans

Black Republican8-tile

Black Tea Party Members — Not once have you heard a black teapublican sidepiece ever stand up to Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, or Mark Levine.

On Asian American Privilege


Asian American Privilege — The explosion of online race talk about Asian Americans lately is enough to make your head spin.

Letter from a Birmingham Jail: Reading As a Remedy for Racial Bias


Charles D. Hayes: I grew up with a sheltered worldview much in agreement with the same politics and prejudices of my community. It was a world of black-and-white notions of morality, and it was a literal interpretation of racial superiority that white was right. But reading Martin Luther King’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail changed my reality.

American Legacy of Racial Violence

Racism (4)

David A. Love: There continue to be certain inconvenient problems in America one of which is the American legacy of racial violence

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