A funny look at social media and black folks. Enjoy!
Before we launch into this week’s roundup of race and diversity links, I’d like to make a plea: help your local library. Many around the country are facing massive budget cuts, so let your elected officials know that your library is important. New Yorkers, NYPL has a handy form to help you contact your City Council member and the mayor, in the hopes of preventing massive service cuts, including closing ten branches and limiting the library to four open days per week.
Now, to diversity!
White people adopting children of color is discussed relatively often, but Charles Mudede looks at the other side: what it says when a black person adopts a white child.
We’ll ignore the fact that they wouldn’t save money because they would lose their Federal transportation funding if they only offered the test in English. We won’t ignore that it’s racist; it’s barely-coded anti-immigrant rhetoric, and in the current political climate, anti-immigrant rhetoric is barely-coded anti-Latino rhetoric. And “If you want to live here, learn [English]” adds another layer: the implication that immigrants and minorities are lazy. Learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture are not easy things, and needing a driver’s license before needing English fluency is practicality, not laziness.
Last Friday haiku
Thirty days of poetry
Ending with a verse.
Let’s start the week’s links with some history! It turns out that there have been biracial people for a long time, and we’re not just talking homo sapiens of European descent with those of African descent: a recent genetic study found evidence of interbreeding between early humans and Neanderthals. Pretty cool!
An Indian woman and feminist shares three encounters with women who are working for women’s rights and for peace within their traditions. It’s long, but it’s worth it:
Perhaps April is
Trying to write
Rhymes and rhythms
Yesterday, today—Poetry Month!
Only one more week of Poetry Month—enjoy it! (And yes, that means only one more week of reading my terrible attempts at poetry.)
New York Times columnist Charles Blow starts us off with his experience as a black man at a Tea Party rally.
In his deadpan way, Colbert reminds us how central race is to the immigration debate:
In Poetry Month,
Links to articles on race
Come with a haiku
Ta-Nehisi Coates is thinking about Confederate History Month, and brings us a photo and descriptions of recently-emancipated slaves from an 1864 edition of Harper’s Weekly—and like everything we’ve been reading about the census, it’s a telling glimpse into America’s racial makeup and mixtures: “Rebecca Huger is eleven years old, and was a slave in her father’s house, the special attendant of a girl a little older than herself. To all appearance she is perfectly white. Her complexion, hair, and features show not the slightest trace of negro blood.”
The census, however flawed and necessary it may be, has triggered some great writing and thinking about race and how we define ourselves. From CNN we have two great essays: journalist and filmmaker Raquel Cepeda writes on being Latino and the stories her family has told of their mixed heritage, and author Walter Mosley brings us a poetic look at the 10,000 years of history that led to him.
Author Chang-Rae Lee speaks about what box he’s going to check on his census, and how little it says about him: