Equity

Race, Culture & Ethnicity

It was two years ago this week that a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in a case that became an inflection point in the way Americans talk about race and policing.

Aparna Nancherla and Maz Jobrani are both well-known comedians, and they're both used to people totally butchering their names.

For Jobrani, who's Iranian-American and based in Los Angeles, the a in his first name, which sounds like Mazda, often comes out like more like has, or maze. His last name becomes jabroni, which is actually a real word, a slangy wrestling term for insulting one's opponent popularized by The Rock.

Novelist Angela Flournoy recently said, "I think it's an undue burden for the writer of color that's just trying to get people to care about their book as much as other people's books, to then also be the one to have the answers."

Who Gets To Be 'Hapa'?

Aug 8, 2016

Sunset in Waikiki: Tourists sipping mai tais crowded the beachside hotel bar. When the server spotted my friend and me, he seemed to relax. "Ah," he said, smiling. "Two hapa girls."

He asked if we were from Hawaii. We weren't. We both have lived in Honolulu — my friend lives there now — but hail from California. It didn't matter. In that moment, he recognized our mixed racial backgrounds and used "hapa" like a secret handshake, suggesting we were aligned with him: insiders and not tourists.

After 49 people were killed at the Pulse nightclub in Florida in June, gay pride marches across the country saw amped-up police presence.

c/o Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood has clinics all over the state that provide services like discounted birth control, STD testing, and abortion medication. Springfield’s facility switched locations this spring, and it was just announced surgical abortions will also be provided there, making it the only Planned Parenthood in

central Illinois to do so – and only the third in the state. 

On the final night of the Republican National Convention last month, as Donald Trump formally accepted his party's nomination for president, my Code Switch co-host Shereen Marisol Meraji fired off a tweet about how unnerved she was watching Trump's address, with its angry denunciations of Muslims and Mexican immigrants.

"This speech is difficult to listen to as a Latina and an Iranian," she wrote. "So much fear-mongering."

Jesmyn Ward was in her 20s when she first read James Baldwin's 1963 essay collection The Fire Next Time. Ward felt that Baldwin's essays — compiled in a year that included Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech and the Birmingham church bombings — are especially resonant today and tease out similar racial tensions.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Ask Walter Mosley what he does, and he'll say, simply, "I'm a writer." And he's written a lot: 52 books, about 30 short stories and another 30 or 40 articles, he says. While most writers specialize in one or two types of books, Mosley refuses to be constrained. He has written mysteries, science fiction, erotica, young adult fiction, plays, opinion pieces and essays. He has even penned a slim book that instructs would-be fiction writers on how to get started.

In the Facebook Live video streamed earlier this month by Diamond Reynolds after her fiance, Philando Castile, was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in a Minnesota suburb, Reynolds identified the man who shot Castile as "Chinese" as she narrated the scene.

In her speech Monday night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Michelle Obama said she wakes up "every morning in a house that was built by slaves." She spoke about the feeling of watching her daughters, "two beautiful, intelligent, black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn."

Charles Kinsey, a Florida health worker, was swept into the national debate about police and African-Americans after video of police shooting him went viral.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

She's back.

Earlier this week actor and comedian Leslie Jones decided she'd had enough of Twitter trolls targeting her because she dared to co-star in a reboot of the 1984 film, Ghostbusters.

She was tired of being called ugly and savage, and being compared to gorillas and apes.

She was tired of being called a coon.

She'd had enough. She was tired.

After years of lagging behind other ethnic groups when it comes to accessing the Internet, the "digital divide" between Latinos and whites is now at its narrowest point since 2009.

I write novels for a living, and novels are about how characters deal with the intrinsic conflicts that make them who they are — and their efforts to overcome them. Sometimes characters are able to overcome their conflicts and sometimes, in tragedies, they succumb to them, which results in ruin. This is why it troubled me so much to witness recent events unfold like something out of a book.

Roundup: The Republican National Convention And Race (So Far)

Jul 21, 2016

In a year when the topic seems virtually unavoidable, race has been a major focus of coverage of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

There was the MSNBC panel Monday evening in which Iowa Rep. Steve King questioned whether nonwhites have made any contributions to civilization.

Black Lives Matter Champaign-Urbana

Black Lives Matter is one of the largest activist movements since the civil rights era of the 1960s. The organization has garnered more attention in recent weeks due to protests over the fatal police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Meanwhile, attacks on police and the presidential election have shifted the conversation since Black Lives Matter got its start in 2012 after the death of Trayvon Martin. 

In the two weeks since Philando Castile was shot and killed by a police officer in Minnesota after being pulled over for a broken taillight, we've learned that for Castile, routine traffic stops were far more routine than many people might imagine.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

After more than a week of violence and racial tension sparked by the deaths of black men at the hands of police and the shooting deaths of five officers in Dallas, we're getting more perspective from African-American law enforcement officials. We wanted to know how black officers, folks who find themselves right in the middle of heated conversations about race and policing, are processing everything that happened.

In the late '80s, when I was in the fifth and sixth grades, my school librarian took a special interest in me. One day our assignment was to do a book report, and Ms. Newton pointed me toward the biography section. Being the lazy kid I was, I picked out the thinnest book I could find. Barely a hundred pages, I thought. I can knock this out. I only had to skim it, I thought, and I'd get an A. The book was Night by Elie Wiesel.

I was right about one thing. It was a quick read. That was it.

The Phoenix Center

The state has some of the most aggressive protections for transgender people in the country, but the issue still generates controversy here.

Illinois, with its expansive decade-old anti-discrimination law, is one of the most progressive states in the country when it comes to transgender rights, but even in this state there has been a noisy response to rapidly evolving national and local policies on the issue.

The deaths last week of three African-American men in encounters with police, along with the killing of five Dallas officers by a black shooter, have left many African-American gun owners with conflicting feelings; those range from shock to anger and defiance. As the debate over gun control heats up, some African-Americans see firearms as critical to their safety, especially in times of racial tension.

Rachel Otwell

Earlier this year, I reported on how Black Lives Matter is "more than just a hash-tag." That is obviously evident across the country as thousands of protestors have engaged in events and rallies meant to further the cause of bringing an end to police brutality and systemic racism in recent days.

Pages