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Tag Archives: Ferguson

Researcher Richard Rothstein Makes Compelling Push To Address Modern Segregation At City Club Of Cleveland

Photo credit | Donn R. Nottage In a popular U.S. high school history textbook, The Americans, there is only one sentence—in passive voice—on housing discrimination among more than 1200 pages of text: "African-Americans found themselves forced into segregated neighborhoods." So noted researcher Richard Rothstein, who cited this fact as an exemplar of American "collective amnesia" when it comes to how we discuss segregation. Such disingenuousness, he told the City Club of Cleveland, keeps our nation from righting past wrongs.  In October, the Economic Policy Institute published Rothstein’s latest scholarship: "The Making of Ferguson: Public Policy at Root of its Troubles." This work, praised for its incisive analysis by Ta-Nehisi Coates, synthesized the cumulative effects of... Read More →

Quiet Riots At The Ferguson Library: Beautiful Stories In The Midst Of Unrest

  by Jasmine Banks My friend Kelly mentioned on Facebook she was headed to the Ferguson Municipal Library to help them process some donations they’d received. I quickly Googled the distance and upon seeing it was a five-hour drive, I volunteered to help. I didn’t feel prepared because I didn’t know how to prepare to enter into a space that has been so charged by both hate and hope. How do you prepare for the starkest parts of the reality of our humanity to be reflected back at you? Reading that line back feels trite or an attempt to be poetic, but it isn’t. The aftermath of Ferguson is a testimony. You can see both hate and hope scrawled in spray paint on damaged and demolished buildings. Ferguson, and other places that have experienced similar unrest and upheaval... Read More →

Rep. John Lewis Laments The Police Killings of Blacks: “I Fear For The Future of This Country”

The veteran Civil Rights leader, survivor of a concussion and beating from Alabama State Troopers on Bloody Sunday, asks in a new essay: “If Bloody Sunday took place in Ferguson today, would Americans be shocked enough to do anything about it?” Lewis, winner of an Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for his memoir “Walking With the Wind,” sees the recent police killings of unarmed black people as representing “a glimpse of a different America most Americans have found it inconvenient to confront.” Writing in the Atlantic, Lewis' words are tinged with weariness. In his essay, he draws on a 1967 speech by Martin Luther King Jr., in which King tells of the "other America," one in which justice doesn't come easy, if at all. Black Americans have been continually "swept up like rubbish by... Read More →

“No One Will Make This Beauty A Burden”: Poetry As A Response To Ferguson

Hours after authorities announced that the grand jury in Ferguson, Mo., would not indict police officer Darren Wilson for killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown, The Strivers Row – a performance collective in New York City -- began posting poems to its Facebook page.One was "Sing It As The Spirit Leads," Joshua Bennett's forceful ode to black excellence written after George Zimmerman was acquitted in 2013 of killing Florida teen Trayvon Martin. Bennett begins by echoing the last stanza of a Lucille Clifton poem: "Come, celebrate with me. Every day something has tried to kill me and failed.”Bennett performed the poem a year ago at Kent State University, where he told the audience that he writes to dig at the truth and help listeners and readers shed shame. "Poems should be archeology,... Read More →

New Report Details “The Making Of Ferguson”: How Governmental Policy Created A Racial Nightmare

Credit: Missouri History Museum, St. Louis When Atlantic Monthly correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates' spoke in Cleveland in August about reparations, he touched only briefly on the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson, Mo., earlier that month. “All I want to see is some history of the housing there," he said. "We can begin with Mike Brown laying on the ground and folks rioting. But there’s just a whole host of questions behind that. How did his family get to live there? What are the conditions like? What’s going on there?” Researcher Richard Rothstein at the Economic Policy Institute has dug up some of the answers in his new report, "The Making of Ferguson: Public Policy at the Root of its Troubles." On Twitter, Coates called it the “best researched... Read More →

Ta-Nehisi Coates Presents “Case For Reparations” At City Club Of Cleveland

Photo credit: Donn Nottage Journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, national correspondent for The Atlantic magazine, walked to the lectern at the City Club of Cleveland and managed to distill two years of work on "The Case for Reparations" into an eight-word thesis: "What you have taken should be given back." It's time, he argues, for America's moral reckoning with the legacy of slavery. For Coates, 38, the spotlight has never been brighter. His 15,000-word article in The Atlantic, buttressed by original research, an extensive bibliography and film clips, broke the record for single-day traffic on the magazine’s website when it was published May 21. Coates took comic Stephen Colbert's jabs on "The Colbert Report." At MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry invited Coates onto her eponymous show, while Bill... Read More →
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