Articles on African Americans

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Carvings and barbed wire illustrate the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial on Bainbridge Island, Wash. The site, designed by architect Johnpaul Jones, opened in 2011. (AP/Seattle Times/Jordan Stead)

Why Japanese-Americans received reparations and African-Americans are still waiting

Social movement theory helps to explain why Japanese-Americans received reparations but the same will be much more challenging to provide for African-Americans.
Left: Robert Smith. Right (clockwise from left): Beyonce Knowles-Carter, Jay-Z, LeBron James and Nicki Minaj. Reuters, USA Today

Could black philanthropy help solve the black student debt crisis?

A recent gift by billionaire Robert Smith to pay off the student loans of 2019 graduates of Morehouse points to the potential of America's black elite to pay off all black students' college loans.
When a group of white and African American integrationists entered a St. Augustine, Fla. segregated hotel pool in 1964, the hotel manager poured acid into it. AP Photo

The forgotten history of segregated swimming pools and amusement parks

Municipal swimming pools flourished in the 20th century. But too often, their success was based on the exclusion of African Americans.
More than 40 lynchings have been documented in Maryland. Shutterstock

Maryland has created a truth commission on lynchings – can it deliver?

The first truth commission to research lynchings has been established in Maryland. It has the potential to educate the public about and support racial reconciliation. But it also faces obstacles.
On Aug. 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., addresses marchers during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. AP/File

J. Edgar Hoover’s revenge: Information the FBI once hoped could destroy Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has been declassified

Publication was justified of information from the FBI that Martin Luther King Jr. witnessed and celebrated a woman’s rape, writes a historian, who warns the FBI had long wanted to destroy King.
Octavia Spencer is one of the few black women to have a lead role in a horror film. Universal Pictures/YouTube

We’re in a golden age of black horror films

For decades, black characters in horror movies were objects of ridicule, died first or played evil Voodoo practitioners. But now we're seeing a wave of films created by blacks and starring blacks.
The recent maternal health crisis of tennis player Serena Williams was a flash point for many health professionals. A photo of Williams with her daughter from her Instagram account. Instagram/SerenaWilliams

9 ways racism impacts maternal health

As we celebrate moms this Mother’s Day, let's remember that maternal health is a right that many do not enjoy.
Duke Ellington leads his orchestra in a rehearsal in Coventry, England, on Dec. 2, 1966. Associated Press

Duke Ellington’s melodies carried his message of social justice

From spirituals about the trials of slavery to the fight for civil rights and the modern rhythms of swing music, Duke Ellington told a story about black life that was both beautiful and complex.
Jessie Dean Gipson Simmons, shown top center about age 37, c. 1961. [Clockwise: daughter Angela, sons Obadiah Jerone, Jr. and Carl, and husband Obadiah Jerone, Sr.; daughters Carolyn and Quendelyn are not pictured] Simmons family archives

Jessie Simmons: How a schoolteacher became an unsung hero of the civil rights movement

When Jessie Simmons applied for a teaching job in 1958, her application went to a separate file for "Negro teachers" and got rejected. An education scholar recounts how Simmons fought back and won.
Detail from Mickalene Thomas’s ‘Le Dejeuner sur l’herbe: Les trois femmes noires’ which is part of a show called ‘Femmes Noires’ currently at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann Collection © Mickalene Thomas

Black Canadian women artists detangle the roots of Black beauty

A recent and powerful exhibit by New York artist Mickalene Thomas at the Art Gallery of Ontario has opened the door for some deep discussions about Black Canadian women and visual representation.
Self-proclaimed ‘white nationalists,’ white supremacists and ‘alt-right’ activists hold what they called a ‘Freedom of Speech’ rally in Washington, June 25, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

White right? How demographics is changing US politics

In the US, non-whites have higher birth rates and make up the bulk of new immigrants. As white people lose their demographic majority, some will resist the accompanying political changes.
A new study compares the press photos of NBA players. Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Emotion-reading tech fails the racial bias test

A new study shows that facial recognition software assumes that black faces are angrier than white faces, even when they're smiling.

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