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:

 TCU coach Gary Patterson
Associated Press

TCU football coach Gary Patterson apologized for himself Tuesday for repeating a racial slur when telling a player to stop using the slur in team meetings.

The figure of a young Confederate soldier holding a rifle has gazed out from his pedestal in front of the Harrison County Courthouse in the piney woods of northeast Texas for 114 years.

The 8-foot statue was a gift — like hundreds of others across the South — from the United Daughters of the Confederacy. They are memorials to the war dead and, historians say, monuments to white supremacy and Jim Crow laws.

Despite impassioned pleas from attorneys, a Texas school district is refusing to change its grooming policy that led to the suspension of two Black students earlier this year.

Trader Joe's is getting rid of product names such as Trader José's, Arabian Joe's and Trader Ming's that critics say are racist and "perpetuates harmful stereotypes."

"We made the decision several years ago to use only the Trader Joe's name on our products moving forward," spokesperson Kenya Friend-Daniel told NPR by email. She added that the company "had hoped that the work would be complete by now but there are still a small number of products going through the packaging change and we expect to be done very soon."

JC Brown, Skipper Hortman and Mark Hooks of Mineola Public Works work to remove the fence between the segregated Black burial area at Cedars Memorial Gardens Cemetery, formerly Mineola City Cemetery on  July 15 in Mineola.
Associated Press

Another lingering relic of the Jim Crow era was being ripped from the ground this week in a small East Texas town.

Municipal crews were digging up a fence between two adjacent but separate historically Black and historically white cemeteries in Mineola, about 75 miles east of Dallas.

Former University of Tennessee and current New Orleans Saints football player Alvin Kamara waves the green flag to start the NASCAR All-Star auto race at Bristol Motor Speedway on July 15.
David Crigger/Bristol Herald Courier via AP

Kevin Johnson became enamored with NASCAR as a kid through clips on “ Wide World of Sports,” decades before billion-dollar broadcast deals when auto racing shared precious air time with barrel jumping and demolition derby.

Downtown Tyler
LM Photos / Shutterstock.com

The Tyler ISD School Board voted unanimously to change the names of its two high schools, currently named for Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee and John Tyler.

Report: White Police Officers Are Twice As Likely To Fire Their Guns Than Black Officers

Jul 14, 2020
A police SUV parked outside Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston.
Shannon Harrison / Houston Public Media

White police officers are more likely to be aggressive with civilians than Black officers, especially when policing in Black neighborhoods, according to a new comprehensive study on race and policing.

The U.S. military is one of the many institutions facing the nation’s reckoning on racial injustice.

Courtesy of Emma Chalott Barron

For weeks, Emma Chalott Barron had been riddled with anxiety, wondering how the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Dallas County Commissioners have unanimously passed several resolutions directly targeting bias and racism.

Commissioner John Wiley Price’s resolution declares racism a public health crisis.

Minster Sammy Berry stands at the podium in Dallas West Church of Christ.
Alejandra Martinez / KERA News

The recent Black Lives Matter protests across the world have sparked conversations about racism and police brutality at a historic West Dallas church.

"What George Floyd did was remind me that we still have a problem in this country that has not been addressed," said Sammie Berry, a minister at Dallas West Church of Christ.

Lillian Ayro, a pastor, business owner and parent, addresses the demonstrators gathered in downtown Waxahachie, Texas, at a Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday, June 6, 2020.
Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

Lillian Ayro, a mother of three boys and three girls, elevated her voice so the crowd gathered in the Ellis County Courthouse square could hear her share what it's like to be an African American parent.

"Every time my children leave out the door, I am not like my white sisters who don't worry about it. I worry." 

Lillian Ayro, a pastor in Waxahachie, Texas, spoke in front of the Ellis County Courthouse during a protest there on Saturday, June 6, 2020.
Stella M. Chávez / KERA News

With their courthouse squares, Friday night lights and backing the blue, small Texas towns aren't known as hotbeds of protest. But in the last few days, small cities have been joining in with big cities across the state to demonstrate in support of the Black Live Matter cause.

The nonprofit CHILDREN AT RISK gathered online for a discussion with community leaders working for social justice called Coronavirus & Race: Inequities in Health.
Courtesy of CHILDREN AT RISK

A group of North Texas community leaders working for social justice held a virtual conversation, addressing COVID-19's disproportionate impact on communities of color. One of the key takeaways was the need to track data by both race and ethnicity. 

Facebook screen grab

Several North Texas community and religious leaders gathered Saturday for a virtual conversation in light of protests across the country following the killings of black Americans by police officers.

Rebekah Morr / KERA News

A bus tour teaching people about unconscious bias is making its way across North Texas.

CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion’s Check Your Blind Spots tour is intended to help people recognize bias and be more inclusive.

Shutterstock

Most of us avoid difficult discussions about faith, politics and other touchy subjects and for good reason — who wants to get into an argument? SMU professor Jill DeTemple says those conversations are vital, and she's teaching students and academics around the country how to have them without fighting. She talked with KERA's Justin Martin. 

Dallas Southern Pride / Facebook

In late May, dozens of people gathered at a block party to drink, dance and do the limbo.

It was sort of a pre-party for the big party happening this weekend. A chance to celebrate being LGBTQ, and being black. It's Dallas Southern Pride's Juneteenth Unity Festival.

Stella Chavez

In late May, hundreds of mourners packed a church in the heart of the Dallas LGBTQ community to remember the life of Muhlaysia Booker. The transgender 22-year-old was shot and killed in May, her body found on a street in Far East Dallas.

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The country's top young spellers battle next week in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Last year’s champion, Karthik Nemmani, is from McKinney.

Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET

Lori Lightfoot officially became Chicago's first black female and openly gay mayor on Monday. She immediately laid out a four-point plan for safety, education, stability and integrity during her 40-minute inauguration speech.

County judges and voting groups say they're concerned an update to a sweeping voting bill could reduce the number of countywide polling places in minority communities – particularly in larger metropolitan areas in Texas.

More than 50 years after Unitarian Reverend James Reeb was murdered during the voting rights movement in Selma, two native Alabamians return to that city to expose the lies that kept his murder from being solved, and uncover a story about guilt, memory, and justice that says as much about America today as it does about the past.

Medicine continues to advance on many fronts, yet basic health care fails hundreds of women a year who die during or after pregnancy, especially women of color. Black mothers die at a rate that's 3.3 times greater than whites, and Native American or Alaskan Native women die at a rate 2.5 times greater than whites, according to a report out this week from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Teacher Njera Keith was walking into the Austin Public Library's Carver Branch with a 6-year-old student in February when they saw a male police officer patting down 13-year-old LaTashia Milligam. The teenager was handcuffed and had no shoes on.

Nearly 100 years ago, Congress passed a restrictive law that cut the overall number of immigrants coming to the United States and put severe limits on those who were let in.

Journalist Daniel Okrent says that the eugenics movement — a junk science that stemmed from the belief that certain races and ethnicities were morally and genetically superior to others — informed the Immigration Act of 1924, which restricted entrance to the U.S.

The 1903 Confederate monument at the south entrance to the Capitol grounds claims that Confederate soldiers died for states' rights.
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune

After nearly four hours of testimony and an emotional show of opposition from some legislators of color in the Texas Senate, the upper chamber approved Tuesday a bill that would expand protections for historical monuments.

In this July 21, 2015 file photo, Jeanette Williams places a bouquet of roses at a memorial for Sandra Bland near Prairie View A&M University, in Prairie View, Texas.
Associated Press

Cellphone video recorded by Sandra Bland, a black woman found dead in a Texas jail in 2015 following a confrontational traffic stop, shows for the first time her perspective as a white state trooper draws his stun gun and points it at close range while ordering her out of the car.

Round Rock High School senior Ahmir Johnson (left) and junior Addison Savors are among students of color who fear an expansion of the state's school marshal program will impact them more than others.
Juan Figueroa/The Texas Tribune

Ahmir Johnson knows what can happen when people who look like him get in law enforcement's crosshairs.

Pages