Gene Demby

Gene Demby appears in the following:

Revisiting Pulitzer Nominees That Touch On Issues Of Race

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

This week, Columbia University handed out the Pulitzer Prizes, which are widely considered among the highest honors in journalism. The occasion gives us a good excuse to shout-out some of the finalists and winning entries that touch on issues of race and culture. (Fair warning: These stories are very good ...


Sometimes Getting Along Comes Down To How You Say 'Gravy'

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In the hectic days before we went live one year ago (hooray!), we somehow missed the news of the passing, at age 91, of John Gumperz — a hugely influential linguist who contributed reams of research on the ways people from different cultures communicate. Had we been paying attention, ...


Step Behind Closed Doors And Into The LBJ Library's Time Machine

Thursday, April 10, 2014

This week, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, Texas, is holding a major conference on civil rights. It's a big deal. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Johnson's signing of the Civil Rights Act. The legacy of the landmark legislation is as significant and ...


How Stereotypes Explain Everything And Nothing At All

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A few days ago, I wrote a post in which I was mulling just why so few Asian-Americans played Division I basketball in the 2012-2013 season. The numbers were striking. Of the 5,380 men's players in the top tier of college basketball, only 15 were Asian-American. Asian-American ballers weren't ...


Why Aren't Asian-Americans Getting Their 'One Shining Moment'?

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

While we were looking at some NCAA stats on student athletes for a story last week, we came across a couple of numbers that made our eyes bulge: of the 5,380 men's basketball players in Division I basketball last season, only 15 were Asian-American. Fifteen.

That's 0.2 percent ...


In Search For Missing 8-Year-Old, A Grim Turn

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Washington, D.C., police chief Cathy L. Lanier said Thursday the search for Relisha Rudd, a missing 8-year-old girl, "may be best described as a recovery operation." Lanier's comments suggest authorities fear she is no longer alive.

Earlier this week, the FBI released a Feb. 26 surveillance video showing Relisha and ...


Poll Finds Big Racial Gap On Compensating College Athletes

Thursday, March 27, 2014

A decision yesterday by the National Labor Relations Board found that football players at Northwestern University were, in effect, employees of their school. That means that Northwestern players can move forward with plans to form a union — a move that sent shock waves through the world of college ...


Redskins' Team Owner Launches Program For Natives, Flotilla Of Side-Eyes

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On Monday, Daniel Snyder, the Washington Redskins' polarizing owner, doubled down.

Snyder sent a letter to the team's fans in which he announced that he was starting a philanthropic project to aid Native American communities. He said he'd spent months traveling through Indian country, getting to know tribal leaders and ...


The Most Powerful Nerd In The Universe Is A Scientific Anomaly

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Neil deGrasse Tyson — astrophysicist, irreverent tweeter, vanquisher of Pluto, frequent Stephen Colbert foil — is America's "It" Nerd.

A lot of people have held that title before, acting as evangelists for science and discovery. Ben Franklin. Our buddy George Washington Carver. Stephen Jay Gould. Carl ...


Black Preschoolers Far More Likely To Be Suspended

Friday, March 21, 2014

Here's what the education data show: kids who are suspended or expelled from school are more likely to drop out, and those dropouts are more likely to end up with criminal records. In many places, school discipline pushes kids directly into the juvenile justice system. Take just one example:


'Street Fighter II': Most Racist Nostalgic Video Game Ever?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The video game magazine Polygon recently published a fascinating oral history of the creation of Street Fighter II, the glitchy, addictive, incredibly influential arcade game from the 1990s created by Capcom. The story rounded up all of the game's developers and artists and programmers — a group of eccentrics ...

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For Player At Center Of NFL Bullying Story, A New Opportunity

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When Jonathan Martin abruptly left the Miami Dolphins in the middle of last season after alleging harassment by his teammate, Richie Incognito, it sparked media discussions about everything from the use of the word "nigger" in N.F.L. locker rooms to the construction of masculinity.

From the beginning, the story was ...


How The Vice President of New Afrika Became Mayor Of Jackson

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Last week, the city of Jackson, Miss., paid its last respects to Chokwe Lumumba. And according to R.L. Nave of the Jackson Free Press, the affair was the kind of black nationalist/pan-Africanist celebration you might expect for one of the nation's most outspoken black activists:

They came in ...


Our Conversation On Race In 'World of Warcraft,' Unabridged

Monday, March 10, 2014

World of Warcraft is trying to reduce racial inequality. Don't worry, this isn't about racial disparities between black, Latino and Asian players — we're talking about gnomes and trolls and orcs here.

Last week, Blizzard Entertainment, the developers behind the hugely popular role-playing game, tweaked some of ...


What World Of Warcraft Can Tell Us About Race In Real Life

Saturday, March 08, 2014

World of Warcraft is trying to reduce racial inequality. Don't worry, this isn't about racial disparities between black, Latino and Asian players — we're talking about gnomes and trolls and orcs here.

Last week, Blizzard Entertainment, the developers behind the hugely popular role-playing game, tweaked some of the racial ...


For Black And Latino Americans, A Glass Mysteriously Half-Full

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Over the last few years an unusual phenomenon has kept popping up in public opinion surveys: Blacks and Latinos have become much more sanguine about the country's prospects as white folks have become more pessimistic. It's a stark reversal of decades of data in which white folks were almost always ...


Remembering Buddy Esquire, The King Of Hip-Hop Flyers

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Forty years after its birth, hip-hop is everywhere, a global signifier of youthfulness and subversion and opulence and Americanness and blackness and menace, sometimes all at once.

But for all the glorification of hip-hop's early days in the South Bronx — the brilliant improvisation, the block parties — there isn't ...


Instagram Posts, KKK Rallies And Other Racial Sensitivities

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas spoke to an audience at Palm Beach Atlantic University. Thomas, the second black member of the Supreme Court, felt that in one clear aspect of racial and cultural relations in the U.S., we've not moved forward:

"'My sadness is that ...


George Washington Carver, The Black History Monthiest Of Them All

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


He did something, probably a lot of somethings, with peanuts.

That's basically the response I got when I asked people — my friends, folks on Twitter — what they knew about about George Washington Carver.

The details were hazy, but folks remembered that Carver was really important.

Oh, and ...


Quarterback Russell Wilson Sets A Milestone, And Everyone Shrugs

Monday, February 03, 2014

It happened again.

Last night during the Super Bowl, Coca-Cola aired an ad that featured snapshots from a multicultural America — a family sitting down for dinner at a restaurant; children on a road trip, pointing at mountains; teenagers tap-dancing on the street; dads roller skating. The scenes were overlaid ...