This Week in Diversity: Here, There, Everywhere

Welcome back! We’re still getting used to writing “2010” instead of “2009,” but it’s time for the year’s inaugural issue of This Week in Diversity.

Harlem and its demographic shifts have been the talk of the town lately, starting with a NYTimes piece, “No Longer Majority Black, Harlem Is in Transition,” looking at Harlem’s history from 1910 through recent changes. That’s followed by “#gentrification,” in which a former urban planner for Manhattan Community Board 10—Harlem, basically—talks about Harlem in the ’90s, the difference between the neighborhood of Harlem and the idea of Harlem, and the good side of gentrification. Ta-Nahisi Coates agrees, and goes on to discuss African Americans deciding how and where to live.

Moving from physical communities to virtual ones, here’s a look at Facebook’s newly-released racial data, and looks into access—how many people are using a platform like Facebook—versus participation—how and how much people are using a platform like Facebook.

And from virtual communities to the national Community of Television! As Time Magazine explores, researches at Tufts consider TV to be a medium “which connects the vast majority of Americans, and through which many people predominantly receive their social and cultural cues.” The researches conducted four related studies and concluded that TV perpetuates racial stereotypes and bias.

We’ll close with a quote from our new Ambassador of Children’s Literature, Katherine Paterson: “‘I want people to be reading about children of other places and other races and religions,’ she said. ‘I think novels are a wonderful way to do that because you get in somebody else’s psyche and you see things quite differently than the way you see things simply through your own eyes.'” Amen, Madame Ambassador.