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Race

The Takeaway

Frederick Douglass Descendant on Civil War Anniversary

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Many Americans are related to people who fought and died in the Civil War. But imagine that you’re related not just to one figure we associate with the Civil War and aftermath, but two. This is the case for Kenneth Morris. Not only is he the great-great-great grandson of abolitionist and Lincoln adviser Frederick Douglass, he’s also the great-great grandson of Booker T. Washington, the post-Civil War educator and activist. On top of that, Morris is the Founder president of the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, which aims to eradicate modern-day slavery.

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The Takeaway

Miami Police Chief Facing Pressure After Shootings

Thursday, March 24, 2011

There is a growing sentiment in in Miami that black men are being targeted violently by local police officers. Seven African American male suspects have been fatally shot by Miami police in the past eight months. Adding to the tension, some think, is the fact all of the officers who pulled the trigger in those shootings were Hispanic. City Commissioner Richard Dunn has called for Police Chief Miguel Exposito to step down. The Takeaway talks to Chief Exposito about the community’s calls for new leadership. 

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The Takeaway

Tensions in Miami Over Police-Involved Shootings

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A community grows more and more restless everyday in Miami over the concern that black men may have recently become the target of violence by local police officers. Seven African American male suspects have been fatally shot by Miami police in the past eight months. Adding to the tension there, all of the officers who pulled the trigger in those shootings were Hispanic.

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The Takeaway

What Race is Your Avatar?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Do you play video games? If so, what color is your avatar? Does it look like you? Or someone or something else entirely? Do you make presumptions about the identities of other players? Do they make them about you? In short, how does identity and race play out in our virtual worlds? Jeff Yang, organized a panel on this topic last week at South By Southwest called "E-Race: Avatars, Anonymity and the Virtualization of Identity." Jeff Yang also writes the Asian Pop column for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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The Takeaway

Jim Crow: The Supreme Court's Fault?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Immediately after the end of the Civil War, Congress drafted and pushed to ratify the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution, which were intended to guarantee African-Americans full equality under the law. But despite these amendments, Jim Crow laws quickly took hold of much of the nation, stripping African-Americans of such basic rights as serving on juries and voting without the penalty of a poll tax. What went wrong?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Carla L. Peterson tells the history of African-American elites in New York City, and of her nineteenth-century ancestors and the world they lived in. Black Gotham: A Family History of African Americans in Nineteenth-Century New York City challenges many of the accepted ideas about African-American history, slavery, freedom, racism, and the cosmopolitan black elite.

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The Takeaway

Home Loans to Minority Applicants Plunge

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In the 1980s and 1990s banks avoided lending in minority neighborhoods and Blacks and Latinos were denied mortgages at disproportionately higher rates than equally credit-worthy whites. Redlining and mortgage discrimination was the norm. It seemed those days came to an end in the 2000s, when mortgage lenders began lending eagerly to anyone they could, and instead of being accused of avoiding minority borrowers, faced accusations of predatory lending in minority communities. However, now the tide has turned once again.

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The Takeaway

A Journey From Black to White

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The narrative of African Americans “passing” into white culture has long persisted. These stories are often tragic and filled with shame, secrecy, and the abandonment of home and family. In his new book, “The Invisible Line,” Daniel Sharfstein looks at three families that were once identified as black and are now viewed as white. These stories are ones of pride as white families reconnect with their African-American roots.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Back of the Bus

Monday, February 14, 2011

WNYC reporter and director of the Transportation Nation blog Andrea Bernstein and independent public radio reporter Nancy Solomon join us to talk about the new documentary "Back of the Bus: Race, Mass Transit, and Inequality."

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Transportation Nation

National Documentary on Transit and Civil Rights Airing This Weekend, Next Week

Saturday, February 12, 2011

(Andrea Bernstein) If you've been wondering what that logo is to your right, it leads you to the website for "Back of the Bus," our national documentary on transit and civil rights (Go ahead, click!)

Here's a description, and at the bottom of the post, there are several local listings.  You can check your local station, and as we gather more, we'll let you know.    Or you can download the audio from the website.

"(New York, NY - February 7, 2011) -  Equal access to transportation was once a central issue of the civil rights movement, which, in 1955, galvanized African Americans including a young Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy and most famously, Rosa Parks, during the Montgomery bus boycott. But soon after, civil rights workers turned their attention to desegregating schools, lunch counters, and voting booths, and U.S. transportation policy began encouraging suburban growth. Many African American neighborhoods were razed for highway construction, and cities were left with sub-standard transit systems.

On Saturday, February 12, WNYC and Transportation Nation will debut “BACK OF THE BUS: Mass Transit, Race and Inequality,” a one-hour radio documentary exploring the fight for equal rights on America’s roads and transit lines. The story of “BACK OF THE BUS” will be told through archival footage of ROSA PARKS, along with tape and interviews with top U.S. officials and transit and civil rights experts, including HUD Secretary SHAUN DONOVAN; Federal Transit Administrator PETER ROGOFF; and former U.S. Transportation Secretary FEDERICO PEÑA.

Produced, edited and reported by WNYC’S ANDREA BERNSTEIN, Director of WNYC’s Transportation Nation project, and NANCY SOLOMON, a Peabody Award-winning documentary producer, this collaborative reporting project visits communities across the nation to show how transit and race relations are inextricably bound – past, present, and future.

BACK OF THE BUS” will journey to five different cities:

ST. PAUL, where the neighborhood is being bisected – just as it was in the 1960s, resulting in the loss of 700 businesses – this time by a light rail line that was planned to go through the neighborhood – but not stop in it;

OAKLAND, where local riders are losing bus service, but $500 million is being spent on a connector from Oakland Airport to downtown;

ATLANTA, where the transit system has long been seen as something only poor minorities use, reinforcing segregation and creating some of the worst suburban sprawl and traffic in the nation;

WASHINGTON D.C., where, as a result of an extensive 35-year old commuter rail system, land values have skyrocketed in downtown neighborhoods that whites once fled;

… and DENVER, a city that’s currently undergoing the largest transit expansion in the nation, and  wary officials and non-profits are struggling to keep land along the new rail stations affordable – and accessible – to the city’s minority population.

The full audio, a timeline of important dates for mass transit and civil rights, data regarding how mass transit affects property values and a slideshow of people and places featured in the hour are available at http://transportationnation.org/backofthebus.

Airs on WNYC February 12 at 6AM on 93.9 FM and 2PM on AM820, February 13 at 8PM on AM 820, and February 16 at 8PM on AM 820 and 93.9 FM

Airs Friday, February 18, 2011 at 8:00 PM on 90.3 WCPN,

Airs Monday, February 14 on KUOW Seattle 94.9

Airs Monday, February 21, on KALW San Francisco Bay Area 91.7

Airs Wednesday, February 23 on Yellowstone Public Radio in Montana and Wyoming.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Why One Drop Matters

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Halle Berry may not choose her words as carefully as a politician, but this is the realpolitik she is talking about. She may not be as eloquent as a preacher, but this is the painful process of self-identification that people like us remember. This was a place where skin color and the fullness of your lips and the broadness of your nose could give you away. And, if we are to be honest about it, as Ms. Berry was, America is a place where these factors still determine too much.

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The Takeaway

Your Take: Race in America

Thursday, February 10, 2011

In an interview with Ebony magazine, Halle Berry talked about her custody battle. Her daughter’s father is white and Berry is mixed-race herself. She said to Ebony, "I feel like she’s black. I’m black and I’m her mother and I believe in the one-drop theory." This sparked a conversation about race on The Takeaway and among our listeners.

Carolyn from Boston called us to say, "If the one drop were still in effect, this would be a predominantly black country."

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Black History Month: Local Hero

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Sarah Keys Evans, a Brooklyn resident and Civil Rights figure, is the subject of the book Take a Seat -- Make a Stand: A Hero in the Family. She joins Amy Nathan, the book's author, to talk about her arrest in 1952 that resulted in the end to race-based seating rules in interstate transportation.

Listeners: Call in or post your own family's Civil Rights hero story.

→ Read a Recap and Join the Conversation at It's A Free Country

The Takeaway

Halle Berry, the 'One-Drop Rule' and Race in America

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

According to the Pew Research Center, interracial marriage is at an all-time high. The results of the 2010 Census are expected to show a dramatic increase in the number of mixed-race Americans. But as multi-racial Americans become more common, a recent remark from actress Halle Berry certainly raised some eyebrows. Berry recently discussed her daughter’s identity with Ebony magazine. Her daughter’s father is white, but Berry, who is of mixed-race herself, said, "I feel like she’s black. I’m black and I’m her mother and I believe in the one-drop theory."

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Features

East Village Bar Accused of Racist Door Policy

Monday, January 31, 2011

Dress codes in New York nightclubs that may disguise racial discrimination are under scrutiny. The New York City Commission on Human Rights is investigating The Continental, an East Village bar accused of having a racist door policy.

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It's A Free Blog

What the Oscars Don't Tell Us About Race in America

Friday, January 28, 2011

Too often, the stories black and brown (and women) filmmakers want to tell cannot get a green light. Studios do not want to take the chance on a story that is out of what they perceive to be the mainstream. So, come Oscar time, you don’t see diversity -- in front of the camera, or behind it.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Martin Luther King Day Gospel

Monday, January 17, 2011

Leonard hosts his annual Martin Luther King Day gospel hour.

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The Takeaway

A Man's Mid-life Discovery: His Racial Background

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Michael Fosberg was raised in a working class Armenian American family led by his biological mother and adoptive father. When he was in his thirties, his parents decided to divorce. Michael responded to the split by going out in search of the long lost father he never knew and discovering that he was black.

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The Takeaway

'Huckleberry Finn': Mark Twain's Intentions and Context

Thursday, January 06, 2011

On Wednesday we looked at a new edition of Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" that will be released in February without the "n-word." We covered the social, cultural and literary implications of the decision and got many, many responses. What was the racial and linguistic context into which Mark Twain wrote "Huckleberry Finn?" To look at the novel in historical perspective, we speak with Bob Hirst, editor of the Mark Twain Project at the University of California, Berkeley. 

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The Takeaway

Mapping the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The historic slave trade from Africa to the Americas was so widespread and so horrific as to remain difficult to entirely grasp. A new book, “Atlas of the Transatlantic Slave Trade," aims to turn historic data from the period into a more coherent view, through maps and data. The book uncovers information that may soon have us all reconsidering not only America's history, but many of our own personal stories. 

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