Race | KERA News

Race

KERA is covering the impact of race on a rapidly diversifying region – in education, poverty, the arts, the criminal justice system, health care, voting rights and other areas. We're also exploring the intersections between race, class, gender and identity.

Other coverage of race by KERA:

Here are the latest stories on race from KERA, the Texas Station Collaborative and NPR:

Today, ethnic studies is an accepted part of academia. Many if not most college students have taken a course or two. But 50 years ago, studying the history and culture of any people who were not white and Western was considered radical. Then came the longest student strike in U.S. history, at San Francisco State College, which changed everything.

The groundwork was laid for the strike a couple of years before, when black students organized to press for a black studies department and the admission of more black students.

Beto O’Rourke is running for the Democratic presidential nomination among a field of candidates that includes six women and five people of color, so far.

The enslaved man's name was Renty. His image adorns the cover of a Harvard publication that the university sells for $40.

Tamara Lanier says "Papa Renty" is the patriarch of her family. And in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, she says Harvard is using those photos without permission — and in so doing, profiting from photos taken by a racist professor determined to prove the inferiority of black people.

The U.S. Supreme Court signaled strongly on Wednesday that it is likely to rule for a death row inmate in Mississippi who was prosecuted six times for the same crime by a prosecutor with a history of racial bias in jury selection.

The arguments, more passionate and fact-filled than usual, also had a surprise ending when Justice Clarence Thomas posed a question — the first time in three years.

A group of civil rights and faith leaders are demanding a meeting with FBI Director Christopher Wray in the wake of the New Zealand terror attacks that killed at least 50 people as they prayed in mosques. The killer was a white nationalist who named President Trump as an inspiration in his online racist screed.

The groups want the FBI to address "the threat to public safety" and to their communities "by white nationalist violence."

Charlottesville city government was upended after a woman was killed and others injured in a car attack by a white supremacist in 2017. White nationalists had targeted Charlottesville for a "Unite The Right Rally" after the Virginia town decided to take down a Confederate statue, part of its reckoning with a fraught racial history.

Updated at 3:57 p.m. ET

After years of criticism and multiple lawsuits alleging that Facebook engaged in discrimination by allowing advertisers to select which users could see their ads, the social media giant announced it will make changes to its ad platform by the end of the year.

Authorities are looking into whether the suspect in last week's terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand was inspired by an emerging, European-based breed of white nationalism. The identitarian movement, formed in France in 2016, broadly believes that white people in Europe and North America are being displaced by non-European immigrants.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says that it has fired Morris Dees, one of its founders. The civil rights nonprofit, based in Montgomery, Ala., is well-known for its tracking of hate groups and its Teaching Tolerance program.

Dees co-founded the SPLC in 1971. The organization had $450 million in assets in 2017, according to a tax filing.

Two lawmakers who engaged in a heated exchange that included accusations of racist behavior during a Wednesday committee hearing hugged it out on the House floor on Thursday.

"It was a very good conversation," Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., told reporters after. Meadows approached Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., on the House floor where they engaged in a brief conversation and embraced. "I just wanted her to know there is no animosity or hard feelings at all and she said the same and it was a very good moment."

In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that segregated public schools are unconstitutional.

In 2018, on the 64th anniversary of that ruling, a lawsuit filed in New Jersey claimed that state's schools are some of the most segregated in the nation. That's because, the lawsuit alleged, New Jersey school district borders are drawn along municipality lines that reflect years of residential segregation.

The publisher of a small local newspaper in Alabama penned an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to "ride again." After massive outcry, he's stepped down, and a black woman has taken the job.

The new publisher and editor of The Democrat-Reporter, Elecia R. Dexter, took the reins on Thursday, after Goodloe Sutton doubled down on his incendiary comments.

Courtesy of Islamic Circle of North America

Ruman Sadiq says the current political climate has led to misperceptions of Muslim women. 

That’s why she hopes a new six-week billboard campaign will encourage people to call and ask questions about the hijab, or head scarf.

Updated at 6:03 p.m. ET

Once a celebrated investigative reporter, the publisher of a small Alabama newspaper achieved notoriety this week by saying the Ku Klux Klan should "clean out D.C."

From the 1880s to the early 1960a, the African American Freedmen's Community called Little Egypt was in this neighbodhood, at the corner of Thurgood and Shoreview in Dallas' Lake Highlands. It spread across 35 acres.
Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Texas is dotted with Freedmen’s communities — African American neighborhoods that sprouted after the Civil War in the era of segregation. They range from Ellis Alley in San Antonio to the Fourth Ward in Houston to Deep Ellum in Dallas. Another one in Dallas that's been nearly forgotten, Little Egypt, is getting a renewed look thanks to Richland College.

During the years after the Civil War, communities of African Americans worked together throughout southeastern Texas to form what historians call freedom colonies. Research underway at Texas A&M University in Bryan-College Station aims to identify and preserve these historic black settlements.

Dr. Stacia' Alexander and Lakeita Roberts are licensed professional counselors practicing in Dallas. Both are listed in the Therapy for Black Girls online directory.
Syeda Hasan / KERA News

Directories of therapists of color are becoming increasingly popular, like Therapy for Black Girls and the National Queer & Trans Therapists of Color Network. This trend seems to signal a growing openness toward mental health care among minority communities. Still, Dallas counselors say the work isn't finished.

Blackface Didn't End In The 1980s

Feb 13, 2019

Virginia lawmakers have been embroiled in racial controversies after both the governor and the attorney general admitted to instances of dressing in blackface for parties in the 1980s.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is embroiled in controversy for admitting that he wore blackface at a party in the 1980s and for a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page.

Luxury brand Gucci has removed a sweater from store shelves and from its web site following complaints about the garment's resemblance to blackface.

The black sweater, featuring a roll-up collar that covers the lower face with a wide red lip outline around the mouth, was part of Gucci's Fall Winter 2018 line.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The Dallas City Council was briefed Wednesday on the city's options for one of its most prominent Confederate monuments. 

There are three paths for the Confederate War Memorial that stands in Pioneer Park Cemetery near the Dallas Convention Center: keep it, remove it or do nothing.

As lawmakers returned to the Capitol on Monday morning, they renewed calls for Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to resign.

Northam has been silent since a Saturday news conference in which he said he did not take part in a racist yearbook photo from his days in medical school.

Monday morning, the Republican speaker of the House of Delegates called the controversy "a painful and heartbreaking moment for the commonwealth." Kirk Cox told reporters that "regardless of the veracity of the photo," the Democratic governor had lost the confidence of the people.

As calls continue for Gov. Ralph Northam to resign over a racist photo on his page in a 1984 yearbook, Virginians who have supported him are wrestling with what to make of the controversy and his insistence on remaining in office.

A few dozen people protested outside the governor's mansion Monday morning. Many in the crowd were the same people who have been protesting the placement of a pipeline compressor station in a historically black community in Virginia. Northam has supported the pipeline.

A view of the house floor during the second day of the 86th legislative session.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / Texas Tribune

 

James E. Smith and his son James Jr., 6, stand in front of Kashmere Gardens Elementary School in Houston on Sept. 7, 1960. The Texas Tribune explored the legacy of desegregation and its continuing impact in a series of stories called "Dis-Integration."
Associated Press

Texas has a long history of neglecting schools tasked with educating students of color. Poor facilities, underfunding, less experienced or qualified staff — they're just a few of the complaints mentioned in lawsuits filed against Texas towns and school districts.

Dallas ISD / Twitter/@dallasschools

Students in the Dallas school district recently competed in the annual Foley Gardere Oratory Competition that honors Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s eight finalists, fourth- and fifth-graders, delivered speeches answering the question: "What would Dr. King say to the children of today's world?"

Don "Doc" Shirley could have been one of the most famous classical musicians in the world had it not been for the color of his skin.

As a black man playing piano in the 1960s, Shirley was excluded from many of the great American music venues of the day. The indignities continued when he decided to tour the Deep South in 1962. Not only did he have to play what he felt were less desirable stages and styles, but the trip also required a white driver to get him safely from club to club.

New York Public Library

From the Great Depression through the Civil Rights era, "The Green Book" travel guides were issued every year to help African-American drivers safely explore the country — and Texas.

When Antonio Reliford was a child in New Jersey, he and his family did what a lot of African-American families did when it came to vacations: They hit the road to visit relatives in the South.

But this was back before the nation had a network of high-speed highways. Before major routes like the New Jersey Turnpike or Interstate 85, which goes through the Southeast.

And so the Reliford family had to use what everyone else did: two-lane roads that often went through picturesque rural areas.

As organizers prepare for another Women’s March later this month, there’s a split in the movement between some women of color and former march leader Vanessa Wruble, who says she feels she was forced out of the group’s leadership in part because she is Jewish.

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