Children

Deadly Force, In Black And White

Deadly Force, In Black And White

Young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts – 21 times greater i, according to a ProPublica analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings.The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.i7 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring – 185, more than one per week.

via Deadly Force, In Black And White.

Wendell Pierce on white violence, entitlement and racial messaging – Real Time with Bill Maher – YouTube | #OYRchallenge

Wendell Pierce addresses white violence, entitlement and racial messaging in the middle of one Bill Maher‘s race discussions. Pierce is an actor and activist in New Orleans. His discussion cut across liberal and conservative perspectives. What was most notable is that Bill Maher, who promotes himself as an educated liberal resorted to the same lip talking points of most media anti-racist. Why do Black people beat their kids? It is a southern thing. Pierce redirects the conversation back to violence and its originating with white’s first introduction on American soil, slavery, and the modern day sanctioned murder of Black men. Good job, Wendell! Feed it to them until they understand or shut up. #OYRchallenge

Wendell Pierce on white violence, entitlement and racial messaging – Real Time with Bill Maher – YouTube.

The Society of Fugitives – James Forman Jr. – The Atlantic

James Forman Jr’s The Society of Fugitives is an excellent and comprehensive review of Alice Goffman’s “On the Run: Wanted Men in a Philadelphia Ghetto.”  Forman compares and contrast other social research and studies to the disparaging commentary of Goffman’s character observations in her study of inner city men. Her characterizations represent a minute portion of population, yet Goffman assumes her chosen samples as a monolith of inner city life on the Philadelphia streets.

The best of social researchers reach a crevice they understand is too large for them to cross. The wise turn away and find another science project, yet some, already invested in weeks of research preparations and a finite amount of time per semester plod on to the demise of their subjects. This may be one of those times. The Society of Fugitives - James Forman Jr. - The Atlantic

Goffman was a sociology major, but her coursework hadn’t prepared her for the phenomenon she was witnessing. The situation of men like Mike and his friends had not figured prominently in previous ethnographies of the inner city. Whereas Anderson and others had written about young men who were continually suspected by the police but who had some chance of walking free after a street stop, the men Goffman studied were actually wanted. If the police were to stop them and discover their fugitive status, they would be taken into custody. These men also risked arrest for noncriminal activity that violated their probation or parole—staying out past curfew, for instance, or visiting a part of town where they weren’t allowed to be. As a result, they lived their lives on the run.

via The Society of Fugitives – James Forman Jr. – The Atlantic.

Great Explorers – Harlem! | Indiegogo | #OYRchallenge

Middle Passage, New York is running a program, Great Explorers Cultural Arts and Literacy Program , engaging students to research their history in America. This research will be utilized by students to create scripts, dance, and other art & performance medium under the guidance of professional artist, writers, and choreographers.

How can you help? Simple donation in support of this program allows you to aid this progressive program, purchase materials, create strong minds, and attend performances and cast party. A win win! #OYRchallenge

The Great Explorers Cultural Arts and Literacy Program  is run by Middle Passage, Inc., a nonprofit organization working to educate children of color in New York City,  in particular, students who feel alienated in traditional schools with their emphasis on high-stakes testing, a foreign cultural environment and a curriculum that fails to meet the needs of a diverse group of students. 

In all our programs, we emphasize Project Based Learning so that families, teachers and community members can work together to help children develop both critical thinking and problem-solving skills — skills that set them up for a lifetime of success and achievement!

via Great Explorers – Harlem! | Indiegogo.

Darker-Skinned African-American Students Suspended More Frequently – Higher Education | #OYRchallenge

The study’s findings of a positive correlation between darker skin and higher suspension rates held even after other factors were taken into account, such as the socioeconomic status of the students’ parents, delinquent behavior, academic performance and other variables.

As research literature, the study provides a rich contextual and historical discussion of “colorism”—that is, the distinctions that have been made among Blacks of different skin tones in the United States since the days of the antebellum South.

For instance, it notes how one of the earliest uses of the term “colorism” in American popular culture was by Alice Walker, author of “The Color Purple,” who described it in 1983 as “prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color.”

via Darker-Skinned African-American Students Suspended More Frequently – Higher Education.

Stop blaming black parents for underachieving kids – The Washington Post | #OYRchallenge

For decades, the fault in education disparities between low-income whites and  African Americans was thrown atop the African American parents and parenting skills. They are not equip to raise children to think critically, engage literature, and calculate, – some said. The some included government officials, teacher’s unions, and even Black officials. Maybe this article will set them straight. African American children

Mayors, teachers unions, and news commentators have boiled down the academic achievement gap between white and black students to one root cause: parents. Even black leaders and barbershop chatter target “lazy parents” for academic failure in their communities, dismissing the complex web of obstacles that assault urban students daily.

via Stop blaming black parents for underachieving kids – The Washington Post.

Race Matters – Amefika Geuka

Amefika Geuka

Students at Nguzo Saba are gearing up to tell the story of the school using a $125,000 federal grant designed to allow charter schools to share the their highlights with the public and other educators.Charter schools often use the money to publish a book or pay for workshops. But Geuka said he wants his students to tell the story in their own ways — through song, rap, dance, plays and stepping.”Children of African descent often learn affectively,” Geuka said. “You go to a black church, and they’re not just sitting there. They’re tapping their feet, talking back to the preacher.”

via Race Matters – Amefika Geuka.

Dear White Folks, Please Stop Being So ‘Surprised’ When White Cops Shoot Unarmed Black People | #OYRchallenge

The Daily Kos posted this article on September 29, 2014.  Since then the avalanche of written and video arguments against asking people to “check your privilege” has skyrocketed across social media. Comparative yeahs and nos are equal. But the understanding of what privilege really means is, sometimes by default, becoming patently clear. Surprisingly, some even feel victimized when asked to respect the boundaries of others. Amazing.

Nice work by chaunceydevegaDaily Kos

However well-intentioned and sincere the concern and surprise by the white American public and some in the chattering classes towards the events in Ferguson, the shooting of Jones by Groubert, or the panoply of unarmed black men by the police ever 28 hours in America may be, their response is still colored by white privilege.Black and brown Americans have been complaining about, organizing in response to, and publicly discussing police brutality and extra-judicial violence against their communities for several hundred years. Those concerns have largely been ignored by the white public.

via Dear White Folks, Please Stop Being So ‘Surprised’ When White Cops Shoot Unarmed Black People.

On Being Seen: An Interview with Claudia Rankine from Ferguson – The New Yorker | #OYRchallenge

Alexandra Schwartz frames her interview with poet Claudia Rankine visiting Ferguson, Mo. Rankine’s visit to Ferguson had nothing to do with Mike Brown, but a promotion of her new book, write Schwartz. It is steep in Langston Hughes’ Let America Be America Again and Zora Neale Hurston blackness. Memorable  piece and will send you running through you collection of Harlem Renaissance poetry.

My favorite lines of this article, “I don’t want to be naïvely optimistic. But I do think that one of the great things about social media today is that we can all see, at least, what it looks like. And hear from everybody. And then you have to decide whether you’re going to be silent or whether you’re going to stand in the corner and let things happen. But at least we know about it.” It pulses and examines us as spectators to a history we can either observe or experience. #OYRchallenge

See the complete rendition of Langston Hughes’ poem below.from The New Yorker

I think it’s interesting because so far the people I’ve spoken with—the black people, the African-Americans that I’ve spoken with—there’s something about the fact that Michael Brown was shot in the head twice that they can’t—that’s the sticking point. Not that the first bullet wasn’t a problem. But the sort of execution-style shooting takes it to this whole other place that starts approaching the language of lynching, and public lynching, and bodies in the street that people are walking around. There’s that video of the police just pacing back and forth and the uncovered body just lying there for hours; where no ambulance, no anything.

via On Being Seen: An Interview with Claudia Rankine from Ferguson – The New Yorker.

Langston Hughes, 1902 – 1967

 Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.

Let it be the pioneer on the plain

Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—

Let it be that great strong land of love

Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme

That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty

Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,

But opportunity is real, and life is free,

Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,

Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?

And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,

I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.

I am the red man driven from the land,

I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—

And finding only the same old stupid plan

Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,

Tangled in that ancient endless chain

Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!

Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!

Of work the men! Of take the pay!

Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.

I am the worker sold to the machine.

I am the Negro, servant to you all.

I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—

Hungry yet today despite the dream.

Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!

I am the man who never got ahead,

The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream

In the Old World while still a serf of kings,

Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,

That even yet its mighty daring sings

In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned

That’s made America the land it has become.

O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas

In search of what I meant to be my home—

For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,

And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,

And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came

To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?

Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?

The millions shot down when we strike?

The millions who have nothing for our pay?

For all the dreams we’ve dreamed

And all the songs we’ve sung

And all the hopes we’ve held

And all the flags we’ve hung,

The millions who have nothing for our pay—

Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—

The land that never has been yet—

And yet must be—the land where every man is free.

The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—

Who made America,

Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,

Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,

Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—

The steel of freedom does not stain.

From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,

We must take back our land again,

America!

O, yes,

I say it plain,

America never was America to me,

And yet I swear this oath—

America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,

The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,

We, the people, must redeem

The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.

The mountains and the endless plain—

All, all the stretch of these great green states—

And make America again!

Mike Brown’s shooting and Jim Crow lynchings have too much in common. It’s time for America to own up | Isabel Wilkerson | Comment is free | theguardian.com | #OYRchallenge

Ferguson Lynching

At left: Ferguson, Missouri, 2014, where a body was left in the street for four hours in the August sun. At right: Paris, Texas, 1893. Photographs: JB Forbes / St Louis Post-Dispatch via AP; Wikimedia Commons

the guardian photo

Not terribly long ago in a country that many people misremember, if they knew it at all, a black person was killed in public every four days for often the most mundane of infractions, or rather accusation of infractions – for taking a hog, making boastful remarks, for stealing 75 cents. For the most banal of missteps, the penalty could be an hours-long spectacle of torture and lynching. No trial, no jury, no judge, no appeal. Now, well into a new century, as a family in Ferguson, Missouri, buries yet another American teenager killed at the hands of authorities, the rate of police killings of black Americans is nearly the same as the rate of lynchings in the early decades of the 20th century.

 

via Mike Brown’s shooting and Jim Crow lynchings have too much in common. It’s time for America to own up | Isabel Wilkerson | Comment is free | theguardian.com.