Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads (4.06.14)

Friday’s Listens, Looks, and Reads will be published either weekly or bi-weekly most Friday mornings, with articles, essays, videos, and sites that are about the Black experience (which is diverse) for you to check out.

**If you have enjoyed the articles listed, comment below! If you have an suggestion for an article you have read and like to share with us, please email us!**

Articles, Op-eds, and Essays:

A long read from The Atlantic on the perception of struggles between people of different races and how to deal with it. Excerpt: “People who take a strict binary view of culture (“culture of privilege = awesome; culture of poverty = fail”) are afflicted by the provincialism of privilege and thus vastly underestimate the dynamism of the greater world. They extoll “middle-class values” to the ignorance and exclusion of all others. To understand, you must imagine what it means to confront algebra in the morning and “Shorty, can I see your bike?” in the afternoon. It’s very nice to talk about “middle-class values” when that describes your small, limited world. But when your grandmother lives in one hood and your coworkers live another, you generally need something more than “middle-class values.” You need to be bilingual.”

Another article from The Atlantic on the overwhelmingly negative effects of the stop-and-frisk policy on African-American men. Excerpt: “Many have noted that stop-and-frisk practices hinder important constitutional values: the liberty to walk freely down the street; the reasonable expectation of privacy against unjustified invasion of one’s person by government officials; and the equal protection of the laws. But even the best-intentioned white writers often gloss over the actual human impacts of these encounters. Now and again, an individual white elite will have an experience that personalizes this principle of individualized suspicion.”

An op-ed from From Harriet on a mother’s journey to teach her son how to love himself and to appreciate his own blackness. Excerpt: “He was right.  We are drawn to people and aesthetics almost biologically.  At times, our attraction to another human being can be quick and palpable with little thought to race and some would say, even gender.  It wasn’t so much that I was concerned about my son’s “attraction” to the red- head.  Whether my son ends up with a white woman, black woman, white man or Hispanic man, I’m Team Happy.  Happiness is my biggest dream for my son.  I was more concerned with what finding the black girl less attractive said about how he felt about himself. ”

Another article from From Harriet on how reproductive rights, including the right to have an abortion, are vital for Black women in America. Excerpt:Pro-death, anti-abortion public policy and protest are a form of race, class and gender warfare disguised as religious morality crusades to “protect” innocent “babies”. Challenging the abortion as “black genocide” billboard campaign mounted by right wing foundations a few years ago, reproductive justice activist Loretta Ross said, “We decided to have abortions. We invited Margaret Sanger to place clinics in black neighborhoods. We are part of the civil and human rights movement. We protected the future of black children, not our opponents.” Despite their high levels of religiosity, a solid majority of African Americans support safe and legal access to abortion. And African American women have the highest rate of abortion amongst all groups of American women. The reasons are not mysterious—black women are disproportionately poor, under-employed, single and living in highly segregated communities with limited health careaccess which have borne the brunt of the economic depression. Due to slavery and the violent legacy of Jim Crow, black women have a history of coercive control over their reproduction. Thus abortion is an essential right in a white supremacist capitalist economy that neither supports nor values women of color and their children.

An op-ed from The Nation on “black rage”. Excerpt: “Emancipation was supposed to be enough. “Separate but equal” was supposed to be enough. Brown v. Board of Education was supposed to be enough. The Civil Rights/Voting Acts were supposed to be enough. Affirmative action was supposed to be enough. A black president is supposed to be enough. Yet, here we are, facing mass incarceration, food insecurity, chronic unemployment, the erosion of the social safety net, income inequality, housing discrimination, police brutality and the seemingly unending deaths of our young people at the hands of police and armed vigilantes. Pardon the “profound gloom.”What some call depression or pessimism, I would call impatience and rage. Our impatience and rage is what has produced progress. That we are still impatient and angry reflects not black people’s failing but how far America still has to go.”

A long read from Buzzfeed on Jordan Davis’ life and last days. Excerpt: He worked hard to convince the kids at Marietta that he wasn’t the “weird, homeschool kid” according to his mom. He would always say, “I want everyone to know who I am. I want to be friends with everybody.” And now that he was friends with everybody (“the jocks and the skinny-jeans kids too,” according to Lucy), he had to up and leave Marietta for Jacksonville and another new school, Wolfson High.”

Thanks for reading!

Next week, Friday the 11th, will be the final installment of Friday’s Looks, Listens, and Reads for the semester.



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