David Love: Reading 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today made me angry, not because the subject matter was brand new to me, but because it was far too familiar – not only as a black man, but also as a human rights advocate who worked with police brutality victims and their families back in the 1990s, and decided to go to law school as a result.
Berry Craig: My town — and many more like it across the South and in border states like Kentucky — was deeply divided by the color bar. I didn’t see it because it didn’t affect me. Before meeting Cecil Horton, black people were invisible to me, as in the title of Ralph Ellison’s famous novel.
Nyabingi Kuti: The Crenshaw office is one of the main reasons that Kamala is now ahead by a razor-thin margin. Over 500 volunteers of all races and ages came to Crenshaw and banged out over 25,000 calls in two weeks in support of Kamala.
Berry Craig: Of course, not all Republicans are bigots. But Paul and his pals are more proof — as if proof were needed — that the GOP is mainly what the Southern Democrats were in slavery and Jim Crow days: the white folks’ party.
David Love: From their early days at the McCain-Palin rallies during the 2008 presidential campaign, the Tea Party crowd has had an energy about them that smells of a Jim Crow type of racial intolerance, just like the 1950s and 1960s. Rand Paul’s prominence only confirms what many already knew, which is that racism under girds the Teabag movement.
David Love: I just read a pilot study that CNN released on the racial attitudes of children. And nearly 60 years after the watershed Brown v. Board of Education case – in which the Supreme Court invalidated Jim Crow school segregation – it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Berry Craig: When Reagan said he was a “states’ rights” guy, “he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon” and “tapping out the code,” Bob Herbert wrote in the New York Times in 2007. “It was understood that when politicians started chirping about ‘states’ rights’ to white people in places like Neshoba County they were saying that when it comes down to you and the blacks, we’re with you. And Reagan meant it.”
Sikivu Hutchinson: Perhaps no other book in contemporary American literature has captured the ontology of black female childhood experience and imagination as devastatingly as Toni Morrison’s 1970 novel The Bluest Eye. In the novel, Morrison’s preteen female protagonists bear fierce witness to the psychological disfigurements of racism, sexism, and segregation. They comment on the mystery of adulthood and the savagery of being dehumanized as young black girls in a culture that exalts the blue-eyed Barbie ideal. Speaking from an era in which racial progress was equated with the enfranchisement of black men, the female voices of The Bluest Eye quietly historicize the trials of black women in apartheid America.
David A. Love: Those of you who remember the televised images of angry white protestors in the 1950s and 1960s know that this is nothing new. Whenever a black child tried to integrate a school in the Jim Crow South, the teabaggers of their day were out there to show their outrage. Whenever African Americans tried to register to vote or sit at a segregated lunch counter, the same crowd was out there. They came with their fists, their vulgarity, threats of violence and spitting.
Ed Rampell: But in a country still troubled by racism, where hate crimes are on the rise — from nooses and KKK hoods at the University of California San Diego to death threats against the first African American president — any month is appropriate for this engaging interpretation of the life and death of Emmett Till, the martyr who launched the Civil Rights movement. Three months after Till’s murder, Rosa Parks stood up by sitting down in a segregated Southern bus.
Welcome to my father’s homegoing! He was a simple man with an extraordinary life, A Georgia boy, born and raised in a wooden shack in Augusta, In the heart of Jim Crow, With segregation all around, And with lynchings always waiting just around the corner, Born to a Black Mama, And his old man was [...]
The election (and now the inauguration) of Barack Obama has inspired a widespread sense of awe at the scope and scale of change in race relations in America—and more than a hint of self-congratulation. The news media just can’t seem to resist trumpeting the example of interracial marriage. When Barack Obama’s white mother married his [...]
Jailed Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi has thrust himself into history and become an international overnight celebrity. Thousands protest for his release. A Saudi businessman offers $10 million for one of his shoes. Libya nominates him for a medal. Why? Because al-Zaidi threw his shoes at President Bush, capturing a moment for which millions have yearned. [...]