Tag: Racism

Race, Sex Education, and the Age of Consent in South Africa

One of the best and most unexpected perks of researching the history of sex education in South Africa is receiving the occasional invitation to talk or write about my work. At the end of last year, I presented a lecture to a group of clever, articulate young women at the University of Johannesburg who were… Read more →

Falling Out of Love with the Civil War

On Thursday morning, as the President of the United States tweeted his tacit support of the Confederacy, three different friends sent me messages. Each was struggling with the same thing: how do we convince our friends and families that statues of former Confederates need to come down? One friend had spent the previous evening in… Read more →

Woke Kids on Campus: Netflix’s Dear White People

Justin Simien’s television adaptation of his movie, Dear White People, appeared on Netflix in April to considerable fanfare and controversy. The satirical series about racial struggles at the fictional Ivy League school, Winchester University, earned a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes. The trailer also attracted its share of white Americans on social media miffed about… Read more →

Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free: Tuberculosis in Progressive Era New York City

Since January, Americans have grappled with the implications of the Trump Administration’s continued efforts to suspend immigration from six (originally seven) predominantly Muslim countries. The tones of fear and moral outrage sound eerily similar to those from more than a century earlier, when anxious nativists sought to halt the flow of millions of impoverished Jews… Read more →

The Black Panthers’ and Tom Hayden’s Lessons to the White Left in an Age of Trump

I often receive inquiries from white and non-black folks about how they can get involved in anti-racist organizing, especially after high-profile police shootings of African Americans. The requests for advice increased after Donald Trump’s election. I usually oblige because I always want to help, and I consider answering such questions to be part of political… Read more →

More Than Sponges: Children’s Letters to Presidents and “Go Back to Africa”

  Standing Rock. #BlackLivesMatter. Periods for Pence. Women’s March on Washington. Political demonstrations have dominated the headlines this year. With the startling outcome of this year’s presidential election, many scholars and activists believe that political protests will define the next four years under the Trump administration. The act of protest has a long and complicated history,… Read more →

Agnes Waters: The Pistol-Packing Mama for President

As racially charged rhetoric takes over civil political discourse and “true” patriots warn of an impending leftist gun-grab, we should be reminded that this type of fear-mongering is not new to the American political scene. Agnes Waters, single-mother and outspoken nationalist, ran for president numerous times during the 1940s and 50s. She relied on exploiting… Read more →

Fears of a White Mother for her Biracial Son

My son could be Philandro Castile, the Minnesota cafeteria manager who was shot by police in July 2016 as he simply reached for his license during a traffic stop. I am a white woman in the South, raising a black son. I have grown used to the stares of surprise and barely-hidden shock. This is… Read more →

Surviving While Black in America: A Review of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me

One of the products of Americans’ growing consciousness around racism and the police killings of African Americans is the conversation about the “talk” that African American parents conduct with their sons and daughters. I do not recall my mother and father engaging me in a specific conversation, but rather a series of conversations about navigating… Read more →