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Articles on African Americans

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Entertainer and author Janelle Monáe performs during the 2019 Grammys flanked by android-like backup dancers. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

What is Afrofuturism? An English professor explains

Even though Afrofuturist works are set in fictional worlds, they provide a blueprint for social, political and economic systems free from exploitation and oppression.
When schools shut down to prevent the spread of COVID-19, moms took on the burden of supporting students at home. AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar

I’m a Black sociologist, and a mom – by listening to other Black mothers, I’ve learned about their pandemic struggles and strengths

As the world locked down and a country’s racial reckoning heated up, this social scientist refined her approach to studying the lives of Black moms.
The work of imagining alternate futures is also about re-casting alternative pasts, as is done in the award-winning novel, ‘Washington Black’ by Esi Edugyan and adapted for the screen by podcast guest Selwyn Seyfu Hinds. Washington Black/Random House

How stories about alternate worlds can help us imagine a better future: Don’t Call Me Resilient EP 7

Stories about alternative worlds can be a powerful way of critiquing the problems of our own world.
George Green – the son of distiller Nathan ‘Nearest’ Green – was one of seven generations of the Green family who worked for the Jack Daniel’s distillery. Wikimedia Commons

The story of Nearest Green, America’s first known Black master distiller

Black Americans’ contributions to some of the country’s most iconic dishes and spirits are finally starting to be recognized in the media and in museum exhibitions.
Grindr allows for anonymity in a way that other dating apps do not. Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

How gay men justify their racism on Grindr

When gay men were confronted about writing ‘no Blacks’ or ‘no Latinos’ on their profiles, many of them became defensive.
Republican politicians have championed legislation to limit the teaching of material exploring how race and racism influence American politics, culture and law. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

Lawsuits over bans on teaching critical race theory are coming – here’s what won’t work, and what might

New state laws in the US banning teaching about systemic racism raise the question: Does the Constitution protect public school teachers’ right to choose how and what to teach?
President Lyndon Johnson signing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which aimed to do away with racial discrimination in the law. But discrimination persisted. AP file photo

Critical race theory: What it is and what it isn’t

A scholar of race and racism explains what critical race theory is – and how many people get it wrong.
Each headstone in Minneapollis’ ‘Say Their Names’ cemetery represents a Black American killed by police – deaths that create a ripple effect of pain felt in Black communities nationwide. Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Pain of police killings ripples outward to traumatize Black people and communities across US

Evidence shows that many Black Americans experience police killings of unarmed Black people – even those they do not know – as traumatic events, causing acute physical and emotional distress.
Medical workers hold signs during a rally in Central Park in New York City by White Coats for Black Lives after the death of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Maria Khrenova/TASS via Getty Images

Declaring racism a public health crisis brings more attention to solving long-ignored racial gaps in health

Black Americans have worse health outcomes by many measures. To draw attention to that fact, the CDC and communities across the country have called racism a public health threat.
A demonstration outside the Hennepin County Government Center in Minneapolis on March 29, 2021, the day Derek Chauvin’s trial began on charges he murdered George Floyd. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Derek Chauvin trial: 3 questions America needs to ask about seeking racial justice in a court of law

There’s a divergence in how a trial is conducted, what rules govern it – and the larger issue of racial justice. That divergence affects the legitimacy of any verdict.

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