jerryking + african-americans   818

Opinion | I Was Wandering. Toni Morrison Found Me.
Aug. 9, 2019 | The New York Times | By Jesmyn Ward.
Ms. Ward is the author, most recently, of the novel “Sing, Unburied, Sing.”
African-Americans  authors  books  fiction  obituaries  Toni_Morrison  tributes  women  writers 
21 days ago by jerryking
How the 1619 Project Came Together
Aug. 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Lovia Gyarkye.

This month is the 400th anniversary of that ship’s arrival. To commemorate this historic moment and its legacy, The New York Times Magazine has dedicated an entire issue and special broadsheet section, out this Sunday, to exploring the history of slavery and mapping the ways in which it has touched nearly every aspect of contemporary life in the United States.

The 1619 Project began as an idea pitched by Nikole Hannah-Jones, one of the magazine’s staff writers, during a meeting in was a big task, one that would require the expertise of those who have dedicated their entire lives and careers to studying the nuances of what it means to be a black person in America. Ms. Hannah-Jones invited 18 scholars and historians — including Kellie Jones, a Columbia University art historian and 2016 MacArthur Fellow; Annette Gordon-Reed, a professor of law and history at Harvard; and William Darity, a professor of public policy at the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University — to meet with editors and journalists at The Times early this year. The brainstorming session cemented key components of the issue, including what broad topics would be covered (for example, sugar, capitalism and cotton) and who would contribute (including Linda Villarosa, Bryan Stevenson and Khalil Gibran Muhammad). The feature stories were then chiseled by Ms. Hannah-Jones with the help of Ilena Silverman, the magazine’s features editor......Almost every contributor in the magazine and special section — writers, photographers and artists — is black, a nonnegotiable aspect of the project that helps underscore its thesis.......“A lot of ideas were considered, but ultimately we decided that there was an undeniable power in narrowing our focus to the very place that this issue kicks off,”.......even though slavery was formally abolished more than 150 years ago, its legacy has remained insidious. .....The special section.... went through several iterations before it was decided that it would focus on painting a more full, but by no means comprehensive, picture of the institution of slavery itself.......The 1619 Project is first and foremost an invitation to reframe how the country discusses the role and history of its black citizens. “

The 1619 Project is, by far, one of the most ambitious and courageous pieces of journalism that I have ever encountered. It addresses American history as it really is: America pretended to be a democracy at its founding, yet our country practices racism through its laws, policies, systems and institutions. Our nation still wrestles with this conflict of identities. The myth of The Greatest Nation blinds us to the historical, juxtaposed reality of the legacy of slavery, racism and democracy, and the sad, inalienable fact that racism and white supremacy were at the root of this nation’s founding.
Well, look forward to 4 more years of Trump I guess. The Times' insistence on reducing all of American history to slavery is far more blind and dogmatic than previous narratives which supposedly did not give it enough prominence. The North was already an industrial powerhouse without slavery, and continued to develop with the aid of millions of European immigrants who found both exploitation but also often the American dream, and their descendents were rightly known as the greatest generation. I celebrate a country that was more open to immigrants than most, and that was more democratic than most, rather than obsess about its imperfections, since they pale against the imperfections of every other country on the planet.
Aug. 19
@KM Can't let your comments go as the voice of Pittsburgh on this forum, so must register my disagreement with your comments as a different voice in Pittsburgh. FYI, my white immigrant ancestors toiled in the coal mines of western PA, so I'm aware of the work of the European immigrants. But I am grateful to have my eyes opened on many topics through Sunday's paper. Slavery is a deeply shameful chapter in our history. If trying to come to terms with the living legacy of that abominable chapter is "obsessing about its imperfections," then I hope I may be called an obsessive.
African-Americans  anniversaries  commemorative  focus  history  howto  journalism  legacies  newspapers  NYT  photography  slavery  storytelling 
25 days ago by jerryking
400 years since slavery: a timeline of American history
Fri 16 Aug 2019 07.00 BST Last modified on Fri 16 Aug 2019 07.57 BST | News | The Guardian by Khushbu Shah and Juweek Adolphe

This article drew on a number of books about the American history of slavery, including The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E Baptist; American Slavery, 1619-1877 by Peter Kolchin; and Black Is a Country: Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democracy by Nikil Pal Singh. It also used census data available online at
African-Americans  anniversaries  books  Great_Migration  history  Jim_Crow  reparations  slavery  timelines  voter_suppression 
29 days ago by jerryking
Toni Morrison Taught Me How to Think
Aug. 7, 2019 | The New York Times | By Wesley Morris.

You need to be able to read to be able to read. Especially if Toni Morrison did the writing. [because Toni Morrison's writings demanded much of the reader as her evocative words painted a rich context and vivid imagery.......She was going to make us [you, the reader] work, not as a task, not for medicine, but because writing is an art and a reader should have a little art of his own.....Reading a Toni Morrison novel was group therapy. My aunts, my mother and her friends would tackle “Beloved” in sections then get on the phone to run things by one another......They admired the stew of a Morrison novel, the elegant density of its language — the tapestry of a hundred-word sentence, the finger snap of a lone word followed by a period, the staggering depictions of lust, death, hair care, lost limbs, baking and ghosts. Morrison made her audiences conversant in her — the metaphors of trauma, the melodramas of psychology. She made them hungry for more stew: ornate, disobedient, eerie literary inventions about black women, often with nary a white person of any significance in sight. The women in my family were reading a black woman imagining black women, their wants, their warts, how the omnipresence of this country’s history can make itself known on any old Thursday.....A life spent savoring Toni Morrison, both as a novelist and a scalding, scaldingly moral literary critic, makes clear that almost no one has better opening sentences......This is all to say that Toni Morrison didn’t teach me how to read. But she did teach me how to read. Hers is the kind of writing that makes you rewind and slow down and ruminate. It’s the kind of writing that makes you rewind because, god, what you just read was that titanic, that perception-altering, that true, a spice on the tongue. .......Morrison is dead now, her legend long secure. But what comedy to think how the writers and critics who loved her labored to get her mastery treated as majesty when she’s so evidently supreme. .....She did for generations of writers what Martin Scorsese did for generations of filmmakers — jolt them, for better and worse, into purpose. Morrison didn’t make me a writer, exactly. What she made me was a thinker. She made the thinking seem uniquely crucial to the matter of being alive......I have now by my bed is some novel by Toni Morrison, whether or not I’m reading it. A night light for my soul. And, in every way, a Good Book.
African-Americans  authors  books  craftsmanship  critical_thinking  howto  novelists  novels  obituaries  purpose  reading  Slow_Movement  soul-enriching  Toni_Morrison  tributes  women  writers  writing 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
Mellody Hobson of Ariel Investments: ‘Capitalism Needs to Work for Everyone’
July 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By David Gelles.

Mellody Hobson was raised by a single mother and endured economic hardship as a child. The phone was shut off. The car was repossessed. Her family was evicted.

Today, Ms. Hobson is one of the most senior black women in finance. She serves on the boards of JPMorgan Chase and Starbucks, and this month was named co-chief executive of Ariel Investments, the largest minority-owned investment firm.......I was in the Woodrow Wilson School of international relations and public policy at Princeton. You have to apply to get in, and I did not originally get in. I lobbied really hard and called many people. I just would not take no for an answer.

I spent a lot of my years in the Woodrow Wilson School studying systems that really oppress people. I wrote my senior thesis on South Africa, and specifically on how children ultimately led to the end of apartheid because of their uprisings.........What do you tell people who are starting on their financial journey, wherever they might be?

I start off by explaining to them that it’s never too late, literally never. I also think the most important thing you can learn about money, and Warren Buffett talks about this, is compound interest. It’s the eighth wonder of the world. If you understand compound interest, you understand money working for or against you.

We talk about long-term patient investing, and that idea that slow and steady does win the race, that time can be your best friend when it comes to investing. That’s why we have a turtle as a logo at Ariel........ I believe in capitalism. It is the best system that has existed in the world. Show me a better one. I can’t find it. But I also believe that capitalism needs to work for everyone, and so I don’t begrudge those people who’ve done extraordinarily well in our society as long as it’s a fair fight.

It isn’t always a fair fight, though, and that’s what we need to fix. That could be anything from our tax bases and how that works, our tax rates, to other issues that occur in our society around fair opportunities for education.

I am a person of color who happens to be a woman as well, and I have firsthand dealt with inequality, despite having shown up with all of the credentials. I do not sit here believing that if you’ve just gone to a great school and this, that and the other, it’s all going to be fine. It just doesn’t work like that in our society. I think about those people who were like me and are like me. That goes into the boardrooms that I’m in. I also think about the people of color who are inside of those companies, making sure they get the same opportunity as those who are in the majority population....
African-Americans  alumni  Ariel  capitalism  CEOs  finance  inequality  investing  Mellody_Hobson  money_management  Princeton  women 
8 weeks ago by jerryking
The Man With the $13 Billion Checkbook
July 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By John Leland [John Leland, a Metro reporter, joined The Times in 2000. His most recent book is “Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons From a Year Among the Oldest Old,” based on a Times series. @johnleland]

In the neglected Harlem of the late 1990s, one dynamic player was the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a nonprofit offshoot of the powerful Abyssinian Baptist Church. Harlem then was littered with abandoned buildings that had been repossessed by the city. The development corporation, led by the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, leveraged city and private money to restore these shells, then used the profits to acquire and rehab more buildings. Mr. Walker became the organization’s chief operating officer, working out of a basement office to help bring a Pathmark supermarket to 125th Street, the anchor for what would become a thriving commercial corridor in a neighborhood that had been given up for dead.

“Working for Calvin Butts, you saw the power of the black church, the shrewd political instincts of a power player, and the dynamic at the intersection of race, power, geography and culture,” Mr. Walker said. “It gave me tremendous insight into how power at that intersection plays out, and who benefits and who doesn’t benefit.”

Mr. Walker’s time at Abyssinian also taught him what it was like to rely on foundation grants, begging the mighty patron for favors. When he left to join the Rockefeller Foundation and then Ford — and as Abyssinian boomed and busted in a new Harlem — he vowed to change this relationship.
African-Americans  capitalism  Communicating_&_Connecting  contradictions  cultural_institutions  Darren_Walker  Ford_Foundation  Harlem  inequality  museums  patronage  power_brokers  New_York_City  personal_connections  political_power  relationships  tokenism 
8 weeks ago by jerryking
Texas top ten percent policy provides a cautionary lesson
July 8, 2019 | hechingerreport | by JILL BARSHAY

Texas’s policy to automatically admit the top students in each high school to the state’s flagship universities didn’t expand the number of high schools that send students to Texas A&M University, College Station.

One proposal to boost the number of black and Latino students in elite schools is to cream the top students from every neighborhood or community, rather than admitting only the top students on a national or statewide yardstick. That way the brightest Latino students in a predominantly Latino school, for example, can get a shot at a coveted slot that they otherwise might not get. Bill de Blasio, New York City mayor and Democratic presidential candidate, has floated this idea for diversifying his city’s elite high schools.

But the state of Texas provides a cautionary lesson for how much this sort of well-intended reform can accomplish. Research is showing that a policy that takes the top students from the state’s high schools didn’t increase diversity in Texas’s elite universities or increase the number of high schools that feed them.
admissions  affirmative_action  African-Americans  cautionary_tales  Colleges_&_Universities  diversity  elitism  high-achieving  high_schools  Latinos  students  Texas  workarounds 
9 weeks ago by jerryking
Keeping Cori Gauff Healthy and Sane
July 2, 2019 | The New York Times | By Christopher Clarey.

Cori Gauff studies the map of her predecessors' pitfalls

Tennis has its latest prodigy in Cori Gauff, the 15-year-old American who upset Venus Williams, once a wonder child herself, in the first round of Wimbledon of Monday......The list [of child prodigies] is extensive, punctuated with cautionary tales. As tennis has become a more physically demanding sport, these breakout moments have been trending later.......Corey Gauff, the player’s father, longtime coach and the inspiration for his daughter’s name, has attempted to do what he can to help her chances of long-term success. One of his self-appointed tasks: studying tennis prodigies extensively......“I went through everybody I thought was relevant, that won Grand Slams and were good young,” ....“I went through every one of their situations and looked at where they were at a certain age, what they were doing. I asked a lot of questions, because I was concerned about burnout. Am I doing the right things?”....“I studied and studied to prepare myself to make sure if she was able to meet these goals that we’d be able to help the right way,” he said. “That was important. I still sit there and benchmark: ‘O.K., we’re at this point now. How is she doing physically? Is she growing? This is what Capriati did at this stage. This is what Hingis did at this stage, what the Williams sisters did at this stage.’”....Great stories, which prodigies continue to be, attract not just attention but money from sponsors. Parents and advisers can get more invested in success — and continued success — than the young player, and the result can be traumatic......Some precocious talents have experienced physical abuse,.....There is also the physical and mental toll of competing against older, potentially stronger opposition......“The main thing I looked at was how do you prevent injury,”.........The family has sought frequent outside counsel: “It’s honestly been a village of coaches,” he said.

Cori Gauff chose to sign with Team8, the agency started by Roger Federer and his longtime agent Tony Godsick, in part because the Gauffs believed a long-term approach had worked well for Federer, who turned pro at 17 and is still winning titles at 37.
African-Americans  athletes_&_athletics  benchmarking  cautionary_tales  dark_side  due_diligence  injury_prevention  long-term  outside_counsel  parenting  pitfalls  precociousness  prodigies  sports  systematic_approaches  teenagers  tennis  women 
10 weeks ago by jerryking
Opinion | Why Harvard Was Wrong to Make Me Step Down
June 24, 2019 | The New York Times | By Ronald S. Sullivan Jr., Mr. Sullivan is a law professor at Harvard Law School.

In May, Harvard College announced that it would not renew the appointment of me and my wife, Stephanie Robinson, as faculty deans of Winthrop House, one of Harvard’s undergraduate residential houses, because I am one of the lawyers who represented the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein in advance of his coming sexual assault trial. The administration’s decision followed reports by some students that they felt “unsafe” in an institution led by a lawyer who would take on Mr. Weinstein as a client.

I am willing to believe that some students felt unsafe. But feelings alone should not drive university policy. Administrators must help students distinguish between feelings that have a rational basis and those that do not. In my case, Harvard missed an opportunity to help students do that......I would hope that any student who felt unsafe as a result of my representation of Mr. Weinstein might, after a reasoned discussion of the relevant facts, question whether his or her feelings were warranted. But Harvard was not interested in having that discussion. Nor was Harvard interested in facilitating conversations about the appropriate role of its faculty in addressing sexual violence and the tension between protecting the rights of the criminally accused and treating survivors of sexual violence with respect.

Instead, the administration capitulated to protesters. Given that universities are supposed to be places of considered and civil discourse, where people are forced to wrestle with difficult, controversial and unfamiliar ideas, this is disappointing......reasoned discourse lost out to raw feelings......I am not opposed to student protest. Many important social justice movements began with student protests, including movements from which I, as an African-American, have benefited. Had it not been for students who staged sit-ins at lunch counters, I would not have had the opportunity to be trained at Harvard Law School.

But I am profoundly troubled by the reaction of university administrators who are in charge of student growth and development. The job of a teacher is to help students think through what constitutes a reasonable argument. It is a dereliction of duty for administrators to allow themselves to be bullied into ..Unchecked emotion has replaced thoughtful reasoning on campus. Feelings are no longer subjected to evidence, analysis or empirical defense. Angry demands, rather than rigorous arguments, now appear to guide university policy.
African-Americans  bullying  Colleges_&_Universities  critical_thinking  firings  gut_feelings  Harvard  Harvey_Weinstein  HLS  intolerance  logic_&_reasoning  missed_opportunities  op-ed  policymaking  political_correctness  professors  protests  students 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
Martin Kilson, Scholar and Racial Pathbreaker at Harvard, Dies at 88
April 30, 2019 | The New York Times | By Richard Sandomir.

Martin Kilson, a leftist scholar, fierce debater and follower of W. E. B. Du Bois who became the first tenured African-American professor at Harvard, died on April 24 in Lincoln, Mass. He was 88.....Professor Kilson was a prolific writer, an expert on ethnic politics in Africa and the United States, and a mentor to generations of students, among them the writer, teacher and philosopher Cornel West......Professor Kilson, an avowed integrationist, was already teaching courses in African politics in the 1960s when black students were starting to assert themselves on predominantly white campuses like Harvard.......Professor Kilson was a faculty sponsor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Association of African and Afro-American Students. But after the university’s Afro-American studies department was established in 1969, he became disenchanted with its governance, criticizing it as lacking academic rigor and maintaining that it had become an enclave for radical black students.

“Black solidarity forces are distinctly anti-intellectual and anti-achievement in orientation,” he wrote in a provocative essay about Harvard in The New York Times Magazine in 1973. “They indulge in the ‘black magic’ of nationalism, believing that miracles are possible if Negroes display fidelity to black nationalism or separatism and its anti-white attitudes, rituals and symbols.”....Kilson argued that the radical politics of separatists was an academic dead end.....“It took extraordinary courage in 1969 to challenge Black Panther and black power rhetoric,” the Rev. Eugene Rivers III, a former student of Professor Kilson’s, said in a telephone interview. “And he was right.”......Professor Kilson encountered Du Bois, the pioneering urban sociologist who was a founder of the N.A.A.C.P., as a freshman at Lincoln University, a HBCU....Du Bois remained an influence throughout Professor Kilson’s career....Harvard hired him as a lecturer in government in 1962. He was named an assistant professor two years later and granted tenure in 1968.

“He took a lot of pride in that accomplishment,” his daughter Hannah Kilson said in a telephone interview....Kilson used that sharp pen in 2002 when he challenged Randall L. Kennedy, a distinguished African-American professor at Harvard Law School, over the title of Professor Kennedy’s book “Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word.”
academic_rigor  African-Americans  Black_Panthers  black_nationalism  black_power  black_separatism  black_studies  Cornel_West  Eugene_Rivers  Harvard  Henry_Louis_Gates  integration  left-wing  obituaries  PhDs  scholars  trailblazers  W.E.B._Du_Bois  wishful_thinking 
may 2019 by jerryking
Black Folk's Guide to Making Big Money in America
A primer on personal finance, business and real estate. It is truly comprehensive and a must read for anyone serious about improving their financial situation.
First, Trower-Subira emphasizes the central importance of home ownership as a source of equity capital. He decried the usage of earned income and accumulated home equity to fuel (conspicuous) consumption binges. Trower-Subira got it right when he said that real estate should be the base asset for African Americans from which to build wealth. As long as you borrow against your home to acquire other, income producing assets, you are doing yourself a favor by pursuing homeownership.

Second, he stressed the importance of financial assets in building wealth. Trower-Subira puts forth a brilliant explanation of the types of assets that produce income and that African Americans in particular should endeavor to pursue (real estate is just one of several).

Third, Trower-Subira emphasizes the importance of continuing education combined with an asset-based approach to wealth building. Trower-Subira wrote in the context of his day, but now the game has shifted somewhat. That is not to say that the problems of his day are no more; indeed, many of the problems of his day still relentlessly follow the African American community, and in too many instances, the problem have actually gotten worse. Although we are presented with new opportunities, we also face new challenges- on top of the same old challenges that we have yet to vanquish.
'80s  advice  African-Americans  Amazon  books  business  home_ownership  mindsets  personal_finance  primers  real_estate  self-help  wealth_creation 
april 2019 by jerryking
George Trower-Subira, author, lecturer
December 16, 2010 | The Inquirer | by JOHN F. MORRISON,

FOR A MAN who spent his life in the often frustrating struggle to win justice for African-Americans, George Russell Trower-Subira embodied the meaning of the Swahili word that he added to his given name.

"Subira" means "patience" in Swahili. And that was one of the main characteristics of George's character.

"He had incredible patience with people," said his brother, Len Trower. "Even people who did unjust things to him, he would forgive them. He would try to rationalize why they did it. Me? I'd be throwing things against the wall."

George Russell Trower-Subira, who grew up in Philadelphia as George Trower and wrote numerous books of self-help advice for African-Americans as George Subira, collapsed and died of a heart attack Sunday while jogging on the track at Penn Wood High School, in East Lansdowne. He was 66 and lived in East Lansdowne.

He was a major influence on the subject of black entrepreneurship through his writings and speeches. His book, "Black Folks Guide to Making Big Money in America," published in 1980, was the first to tell blacks that what was missing from their drive for equality was success in the economic arena.....George traveled the country expounding these views, and was in demand at schools and conferences as a speaker and teacher of economic values and business development for blacks.

He gained wide recognition for his ideas and was interviewed on the Phil Donahue show, the "Today" show, "Tony Brown's Journal" and the "700 Club," and was written up in Essence, Ebony, Jet and Black Enterprise, among others.
African-Americans  authors  economic_clout  entrepreneurship  entrepreneur  obituaries  black_power  conspicuous_consumption  distractions  entertainment  immaturity  pay_attention  self-discipline 
april 2019 by jerryking
"Boss: The Black Experience in Business" Explores the History of African American Entrepreneurship Tuesday, April 23 on PBS
Apr 23, 2019 | WNET |

Tying together the past and the present, Boss: The Black Experience in Business explores the inspiring stories of trailblazing African American entrepreneurs and the significant contributions of contemporary business leaders. Stories featured in the film include those of entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, publisher John H. Johnson, Motown CEO Berry Gordy, and business pioneer and philanthropist Reginald F. Lewis, among others. The film features new interviews with Vernon Jordan, senior managing director of Lazard, Freres & Co. LLC.; Cathy Hughes, CEO and founder of Urban One; Ursula Burns, former CEO of Xerox and chairman of VEON; Ken Frazier, chairman, president and CEO of Merck & Co., Inc.; Richelieu Dennis, founder, CEO and executive chairman of Sundial Brands; Robert F. Smith, chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Managing Partners, LLC; Earl "Butch" Graves, Jr., CEO of Black Enterprise; and John Rogers, CEO and founder of Ariel Investments.

As a capitalist system emerged in the United States, African Americans found ways to establish profitable businesses in numerous industries, including financial services, retail, beauty, music and media.
African-Americans  Berry_Gordy  C.J.Walker  CEOs  documentaries  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  filmmakers  founders  historians  history  inspiration  Kenneth_Frazier  Lazard  Merck  moguls  PBS  Reginald_Lewis  Robert_Smith  storytelling  trailblazers  Vernon_Jordan 
april 2019 by jerryking
In ‘Stony the Road,’ Henry Louis Gates Jr. Captures the History and Images of the Fraught Years After the Civil War
April 18, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nell Irvin Painter.

Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow
By Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Illustrated. 296 pp. Penguin Press. $30.

Vergangenheitsbewältigung = coming to terms with the past — and it carries connotations of a painful history that citizens would rather not confront but that must be confronted in order not to be repeated.
20th_century  African-Americans  bigotry  books  book_reviews  Henry_Louis_Gates  historians  history  Jim_Crow  John_Hope_Franklin  KKK  lynchings  memorabilia  racial_politics  Reconstruction  stereotypes  torture  white_nationalism  white_supremacy  imagery  Vergangenheitsbewältigung  W.E.B._Du_Bois  iconic 
april 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | How Blackface Feeds White Supremacy - The New York Times
By Brent Staples
Mr. Staples is a member of the editorial board.

March 31, 2019
African-Americans  blackface  white_supremacy 
april 2019 by jerryking
50 Years of Affirmative Action: What Went Right, and What It Got Wrong - The New York Times
By Anemona Hartocollis
March 30, 2019

Columbia and other competitive colleges had already begun changing the racial makeup of their campuses as the civil rights movement gained ground, but the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, and the resulting student strikes and urban uprisings, prompted them to redouble their efforts.

They acted partly out of a moral imperative, but also out of fear that the fabric of society was being torn apart by racial conflict. They took chances on promising black students from poor neighborhoods they had long ignored, in addition to black students groomed by boarding schools......The debate over race in college admissions only intensified. By the late 1970s, colleges began emphasizing the value of diversity on campus over the case for racial reparations.

Today, Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are facing legal challenges to race-conscious admissions that could reach the Supreme Court. The Trump administration is investigating allegations of discrimination against Asian-American applicants at Harvard and Yale. University officials who lived through the history fear that the gains of the last 50 years could be rolled back.
'60s  admissions  affirmative_action  African-Americans  anniversaries  Colleges_&_Universities  Columbia  diversity  dropouts  Ivy_League  MLK 
march 2019 by jerryking
What It’s Like to Be a Black Man in Japan
March 9, 2019 | The New York Times |By Adeel Hassan.

diverse blackness is in Japan was limited. Through the column, I’ve learned of black lawyers, university presidents, stuntmen, filmmakers, J-pop idols, entrepreneurs galore, even true expats with political aspirations. This had the impact on me that I was hoping it would have on our Japanese hosts.

Second, I learned how writing is a form of activism. I never intended to be an activist but it’s inevitable that if you take on issues with passion and persuasiveness that will lend itself to activism. By virtue of your prominence, people will look to you for leadership. It’s a hell of a responsibility and has placed me and my work in the cross hairs of some unsavory elements over here, some of whom labeled me and any black person with a similar “can’t sit silent and still and accept the nonsense” mentality as dangers to Japan.
African-Americans  blackness  culture  expatriates  Japan  race 
march 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The Two Codes Your Kids Need to Know
Feb. 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist.

A few years ago, the leaders of the College Board, the folks who administer the SAT college entrance exam, asked themselves a radical question: Of all the skills and knowledge that we test young people for that we know are correlated with success in college and in life, which is the most important? Their answer: the ability to master “two codes” — computer science and the U.S. Constitution......please show their work: “Why these two codes?”

Answer: if you want to be an empowered citizen in our democracy — able to not only navigate society and its institutions but also to improve and shape them, and not just be shaped by them — you need to know how the code of the U.S. Constitution works. And if you want to be an empowered and adaptive worker or artist or writer or scientist or teacher — and be able to shape the world around you, and not just be shaped by it — you need to know how computers work and how to shape them.....the internet, big data and artificial intelligence now the essential building blocks of almost every industry....mastering the principles and basic coding techniques that drive computers and other devices “will be more prepared for nearly every job,”....“At the same time, the Constitution forms the foundational code that gives shape to America and defines our essential liberties — it is the indispensable guide to our lives as productive citizens.”......“Understanding how government works is the essence of power. To be a strong citizen, you need to know how the structures of our government work and how to operate within them.”
African-Americans  civics  coding  constitutions  education  engaged_citizenry  foundational  high_schools  indispensable  individual_agency  life_skills  op-ed  public_education  questions  SAT  show_your_work  students  Tom_Friedman  women 
february 2019 by jerryking
James Baldwin: why Beale Street still talks
JANUARY 31, 2019 | Financial Times | by Diana Evans.

The writer’s work remains hugely relevant, particularly in today’s charged racial atmosphere.......James Baldwin never goes out of fashion. This might seem an enviable attribute for a writer to sustain posthumously, if it were not for a predominant reason why. He is a soldier, a comrade. He is a brother-in-arms in a war that doesn’t end. Along with Toni Morrison, Angela Davis, Richard Wright, Nina Simone, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou and many others, Baldwin is among those foremost in an army of artists and activists who have challenged, fought and assuaged racism and become icons of “black struggle”. As the struggle continues and does not appear to be concluding any time soon, Baldwin’s work is as relevant and prevailing as ever.

The latest landmark in the mounting homage and salutation to Baldwin’s writing is Oscar-winning Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of his penultimate novel If Beale Street Could Talk. Set in Harlem in the 1970s, it’s a mournful, limpid, at times excruciating portrayal of an engaged young couple, Fonny and Tish (played by Stephan James and KiKi Layne), who are separated by Fonny’s sudden incarceration after being falsely accused of rape, leaving Tish to weather pregnancy alone. The film successfully mirrors the book’s oscillating, dreamy atmosphere, capturing the childlike innocence of Tish’s love-soaked narrative voice which accentuates the cruelty of the world around them. She asks, late in the novel, Fonny still hopelessly imprisoned and childbirth close, “What happened here? Surely, this land is cursed.”......No one else articulates with quite the same inexhaustible clarity the outrage, hardship, and fury of existing on the receiving end of race, the sense of being endangered, at best truncated, both physically and spiritually, on a most fundamental level........Born in New York in 1924, Baldwin grew up in poverty in Harlem, the eldest of nine children, and was a gifted Pentecostal preacher prior to being a writer, though he eventually left the church, deeming it a reinforcement of institutionalised modes of oppression. A novelist, essayist, playwright and short-story writer, during his lifetime he became a kind of literary spokesman for the civil rights movement, appearing on the cover of Time magazine in 1963 and forming friendships with Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers, all of whom were assassinated, which he was trying to address in his unfinished manuscript “Remember This House”, the basis for I Am Not Your Negro.
African-Americans  blackness  films  movies  James_Baldwin  Toni_Morrison  writers 
february 2019 by jerryking
James Ingram, a Hitmaking Voice of ’80s R&B, Is Dead at 66 - The New York Times
By Jon Caramanica
Jan. 29, 2019

James Ingram, whose voice — technically precise, crisp and reserved, yet full of audacious feeling — made him one of the defining singers of R&B in the 1980s, has died. He was 66.

Just as R&B’s “quiet storm” phase was peaking, Mr. Ingram was plucked from side-gig obscurity by the producer Quincy Jones to appear on his 1981 album, “The Dude.”
'80s  African-Americans  obituaries  R&B  singers  smooth_jazz 
january 2019 by jerryking
Barbara Gardner Proctor Became a Role Model for African-American Women
Jan. 25, 2019 | WSJ | By James R. Hagerty.

Barbara Gardner Proctor applied for a Small Business Administration loan to start an advertising firm in 1970, she was asked what her collateral was. “Me,” she replied. That turned out to be solid backing for the loan. Her Chicago-based firm, Proctor & Gardner Advertising Inc., lasted for 25 years and worked for clients including Kraft Foods and Sears, Roebuck & Co.

Though the firm never had more than a couple dozen employees, she became a role model for African-American women staking out positions of influence.
advertising  advertising_agencies  African-Americans  Barbara_Proctor  public_relations  trailblazers  women  Chicago  concision  writing  obituaries 
january 2019 by jerryking
How Chadwick Boseman Embodies Black Male Dignity - The New York Times
By Reggie Ugwu
Jan. 2, 2019

Most people would recognize any dimension of Boseman now. After years of surfing the biopic industrial complex as one national idol after another, his role as Black Panther in the “Avengers” films and this year’s eponymous blockbuster, the ninth-highest-grossing movie of all time, has established him as the rare breed of actor with both widely recognized chops and old-school star power — the kind any producer in post-Netflix Hollywood would trade a good kidney to clone in a lab. Next up are starring roles in the New York police action drama “17 Bridges” (of which he is also a producer), the international thriller “Expatriate” (he’s producing and co-writing that one) and, barring an alien-invasion-level catastrophe, a wildly anticipated “Black Panther” sequel. Boseman told me his method of humanizing superhumans begins with searching their pasts. He’s looking for gestational wounds, personal failures, private fears — fissures where the molten ore of experience might harden into steel.....After college, Boseman moved to the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, where he ran out most of his 20s. He spent his days in coffee shops — playing chess and writing plays to direct, some of which were influenced by hip-hop and Pan-African theology.

At Howard, he’d taken an acting class with the Tony Award-winning actress and director Phylicia Rashad. (One summer, she helped him and some classmates get into an elite theater program at the University of Oxford, an adventure he later learned had been financed by a friend of hers: Denzel Washington.) To earn money, Boseman taught acting to students at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem.
actors  African-Americans  biopics  Black_Panther  celebrities  Denzel_Washington  dignity  inspiration  moral_authority  Chadwick_Boseman 
january 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | The American Dream Isn’t for Black Millennials
Jan. 5, 2019 | The New York Times | By Reniqua Allen. Ms. Allen is the author of “It Was All a Dream.”

....I marched up to my new, small, one-bedroom apartment on the Hill, satisfied. It felt as if I’d broken barriers.

But when I got a notice in the mail about five years after I closed, I felt dizzy. It was not long after the financial crisis. The letter said that my mortgage company had been charged with giving subprime loans to black and Hispanic people around the country and asked if I wanted to join a class-action suit. I had most likely been the target of predatory lending. I had known from the start that my income could make me a target. I’d heard the words of the broker. But because of my race? It hadn’t crossed my mind. I was devastated......How much room is there in anyone’s life for a mistake or the perception of a mistake if you’re young and black in America? How much of the American dream hangs in the balance? For the dozens of people I talked to, the reality is that if we want our dreams to come true, all too often we have to be almost perfect, making the right decisions all the time. Not getting that ticket. Not listening to that mortgage broker. Not speaking up.....I know the history of this country, know the history of redlining, know how my grandparents were locked out of neighborhoods because of their skin color. But for some reason I was still surprised. I would say I was mad, but more than that, I was hurt that I had been lulled into some kind of false bourgeois comfort that had made me think that my life was different from my predecessors’ lives. Sure, I had made it up that Hill, but at what cost?
African-Americans  downward_mobility  economic_downturn  millennials  the_American_dream  subprime  predatory_practices  racial_disparities  redlining  home_ownership 
january 2019 by jerryking
Opinion | 1919: The Year of the Crack-Up
Dec. 31, 2018| The New York Times By Ted Widmer, distinguished lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York.

In his essay “The Crack-Up,” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
1919  African-Americans  F._Scott_Fitzgerald  history  WWI  second-class_citizenship  segregation  Woodrow_Wilson  Paris  turning_points 
january 2019 by jerryking
How a Businesswoman Became a Voice for Art’s Black Models - The New York Times
By Melissa Smith
Dec. 26, 2018

Curator Denise Murrell focused on the works of 19th century [ ] Édouard Manet....
Revealing that maid’s identity became the foundation of Ms. Murrell’s doctoral dissertation, and the driving force behind her exhibition “Posing Modernity: The Black Model From Manet and Matisse to Today,” currently on view at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University.....“A person of color who is standing right there before you, and being ignored, is something that is part of the condition of being” part of the African diaspora to begin with. Art historians play a significant role in shaping our understanding of the past. It bothered her that their narratives would rewrite, subjugate or exclude the history of black people.......Ms. Murrell went on to reconsider Matisse’s use of black models in light of his trips to New York during the Harlem Renaissance, and circled back to the question that triggered her entanglement with art to begin with: How have contemporary black and nonblack artists reflected on these black figures in their work? “You can’t really understand African-American art and visual culture and artistic production without understanding a lot of what it is reacting to,”......Scholarship around black representation is growing, though gaps remain. And museums are increasingly addressing the full range of their communities, and the needs of a public more attuned to issues of race — approving exhibitions, like Ms. Murrell’s, that probe what blackness really means in the context of art history.....When Ms. Murrell ran into roadblocks, she found funders and strong-armed institutions for loans. Ms. Murrell said that while curators, art historians, gallery owners and others in the art community are sincere when they talk about diversity, they are also reluctant to dismantle established norms, including those that work against people of color. Larger institutions want to play it safe, and often refrain from funding unconventional scholarship. “There’s the concern that if you talk about race or any other kind of marginalized subject, how broad is the interest going to be?” Ms. Murrell said. Leaning on a mentorship model borrowed from her time in the corporate world, Ms. Murrell said she wants to create an incubator for minorities with new ideas.
African-Americans  art  art_history  blackness  curators  exclusion  exhibitions  marginalization  PhDs  artists  playing_it_safe  visual_culture  race  women 
december 2018 by jerryking
What to Read Before or After You See ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’
Dec. 20, 2018 | The New York Times | By Gal Beckerman.

Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” is an opportunity to revisit an author, an era and a set of themes that still reverberate today. The movie (closely following the book) tells the love story of Fonny and Tish, young people in early 1970s New York City negotiating an impossible situation. Fonny, an enigmatic, Greenwich Village sculptor, has been falsely accused of rape, sending him through a gauntlet of racist institutions as he and Tish try to maintain their deep love. It’s a vision of black life in the city at a moment of change, as the achievements of the Civil Rights movement have begun to curdle. It’s about the persistence of community and solidarity in the face of prejudice. And it captures Baldwin’s genius: illuminating the bruising, personal toll that American society often exacts.

For those who felt provoked by the movie and the period, here’s a bookshelf’s worth of possibilities for further reading:

* ‘Little Man, Little Man,’ by James Baldwin
* ‘No Place to Be Somebody,’ by Charles Gordone
* ‘Whatever Happened to Interracial Love,’ by Kathleen Collins
* ‘The Beautiful Struggle,’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates
* ‘Looking for Lorraine,’ by Imani Perry
* ‘The Women of Brewster Place,’ by Gloria Naylor
* ‘Go Tell It On the Mountain,’ by James Baldwin
* ‘Locking Up Our Own,’ by James Forman Jr.
* ‘The Sweet Flypaper of Life,’ by Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes
* ‘The Last Poets,’ by Christine Otten
'70s  African-Americans  books  Greenwich_Village  James_Baldwin  New_York_City 
december 2018 by jerryking
Tristan Walker on the Roman Empire and Selling a Start-Up to Procter & Gamble - The New York Times
By David Gelles
Dec. 12, 2018

Tristan Walker founded Walker & Company, a maker of health and beauty products for people of color, in 2013. On Wednesday, the company was acquired by Procter & Gamble for an undisclosed sum. The deal represents a successful exit for Mr. Walker and his investors. It also signals an effort by Procter & Gamble, the maker of Gillette, to reach new markets with its shaving products. But while many start-up founders make a hasty exit after getting acquired, Mr. Walker is planning to stay on and grow Bevel, his men’s shaving brand, and Form, his women’s hair care brand. “We’re a team of 15 with very grandiose ambitions,” he said of Walker & Company, which is based in Palo Alto, Calif., but will move to Atlanta as part of the deal. “We want this company and its purpose to still be around 150 years from now.”

What’s that book you’ve got there?

It’s “Parallel Lives” by Plutarch. I’ve really been getting into Greek and Roman mythology. I’m reading something right now about the history of Rome during the 53 years when they really came into power, and this idea of the Roman state growing, the Greek state growing, and the differences therein fascinate me beyond belief. I’ve just been devouring it for the past few weeks now.

Walker attended the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. And from there, he got to see how the other half lived. It completely changed his life. He got to see what success could look like. He got to see what wealth was. And it completely changed his worldview.

How so?

I would walk down the halls and see last names like Ford, go to some classes and realize they’re Rockefellers. These are names that were in my imagination. It taught me the importance of name and what that can mean, not only for you but your progeny. When I started at Hotchkiss, I didn’t know what a verb was. So I spent all of my time in the library studying. I spent all of my time thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up.

What are your priorities as you keep building the company?

I’m dedicating my life to the demographic shift happening in this country. Not only for Silicon Valley. Not only for business. But for this country’s competitiveness. It’s changing. And folks need to respect that and they need to celebrate it.
African-Americans  Bevel  biographies  books  demographic_changes  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  exits  Form  insights  long-term  P&G  Romans  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  Tristan_Walker  wealth_creation  black-owned  brands  consumer_goods  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  founders 
december 2018 by jerryking
P&G Buys Walker & Co. to Expand Offerings to African-Americans - WSJ
By Aisha Al-Muslim
Dec. 12, 2018

Procter & Gamble Co. PG +0.19% has acquired Walker & Co. Brands as the consumer-products giant looks to serve more African-Americans with health and beauty products.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Walker sells grooming products for men under the brand Bevel and hair-care products for women under the Form Beauty brand.

Walker will operate as a separate and wholly owned subsidiary of P&G, continuing to be led by its founder and Chief Executive Tristan Walker, ......Last year, Anglo-Dutch consumer products firm Unilever PLC acquired Sundial Brands, a New York-based hair-care and skin-care products company predominantly targeting African-Americans, for an undisclosed sum. Sundial’s brands include SheaMoisture, Nubian Heritage, Madam C.J. Walker and nyakio.
African-Americans  Bevel  black-owned  brands  exits  hair  P&G  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  Tristan_Walker  Unilever  founders 
december 2018 by jerryking
Black Male Writers for Our Time - The New York Times
...... A surge of mainstream attention to blackness and its literature isn’t unprecedented in periods of American crisis. The first strains of the Harlem Renaissance began at the tail end of World War I and gained momentum in the 1920s, as the racial makeup of American cities metamorphosed through the Great Migration. The Harlem of the 1930s became home to a concentration of black writers whose work piqued white interest. In the 1960s and ’70s, the Black Arts Movement erupted during the turbulent years of America’s freedom protests. Black voices received heightened attention then, too......
African-Americans  books  James_Baldwin  literature  men  male  writers 
december 2018 by jerryking
Sterling Stuckey, 86, Dies; Charted African Culture in Slavery - The New York Times
By Sam Roberts
Aug. 28, 2018

Sterling Stuckey, an eminent black historian who challenged his white colleagues by documenting how uprooted Africans not only retained their culture while they survived slavery but eventually suffused the rest of American society with their transplanted folkways, died on Aug. 15 in Riverside, Calif. He was 86.....He had recently finished the manuscript of his latest book, “The Chambers of the Soul: Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville and the Blues.”.....Through meticulous research, Professor Stuckey sought to discredit the white academics who had dominated and, in his view, devalued the field of African studies.

Early on he was bitterly critical of “numerous white experts on black Africa,” as he described them, who “have elaborated a fabric of untruths to rationalize continued white control over African studies.”.... his breakthrough essay, “Through the Prism of Folklore: The Black Ethos in Slavery,” published in 1968 by The Massachusetts Review, Professor Stuckey maintained that political and cultural studies of Africa must encompass people in North America and the West Indies.

...Professor Stuckey’s books included “Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America” (1987) and “Going Through the Storm: The Influence of African American Art in History” (1994).
Africa  African-Americans  black_nationalism  books  Colleges_&_Universities  history  historians  obituaries  PhDs  scholars  slavery 
august 2018 by jerryking
Opinion | How James Brown Made Black Pride a Hit
July 20, 2018 | The New York Times | By Randall Kennedy, law professor at Harvard.

African-Americans have internalized society’s derogation/denigration of blackness....It was precisely because of widespread colorism that James Brown’s anthem “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud” posed a challenge, felt so exhilarating, and resonated so powerfully....the song was written a half century go.....but, alas, the need to defend blackness against derision continues......Various musicians in the 1960s tapped into yearnings for black assertiveness, autonomy and solidarity. Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions sang “We’re a Winner.” Sly and the Family Stone offered “Stand.” Sam Cooke (and Aretha Franklin and Otis Redding) performed “A Change is Gonna Come.” But no entertainer equaled Brown’s vocalization of African-Americans’ newly triumphal sense of self-acceptance.

That Brown created the song most popularly associated with the Black is Beautiful movement is ironic.....At the very time that in “Say It Loud,” Brown seemed to be affirming Negritude, he also sported a “conk” — a distinctive hairdo that involved chemically removing kinkiness on the way to creating a bouffant of straightened hair. Many African-American political activists, especially those with a black nationalist orientation, decried the conk as an illustration of racial 1968... prejudice against blackness remained prevalent, including among African-Americans.....Champions of African-American uplift in the 1960s sought to liberate blackness from the layers of contempt, fear, and hatred with which it had been smeared for centuries. Brown’s anthem poignantly reflected the psychic problem it sought to address: People secure in their status don’t feel compelled to trumpet their pride.....Colorism was part of the drama that starred Barack and Michelle Obama....Intra-racial colorism in Black America is often seen as a topic that should, if possible, be avoided, especially in “mixed company.” .....Colorism, however, remains a baleful reality.....
'60s  African-Americans  blackness  black_liberation_movement  black_nationalism  black_pride  Black_Is_Beautiful  colorism  James_Brown  music  Negritude  self-identification  songs  Spike_Lee  soul  white_supremacy  biases  self-acceptance  self-hatred  shadism  hits  1968 
july 2018 by jerryking
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