Tag: Racism

Marie Kondo and Books: Tidying Up the Misconceptions

The Netflix reality TV show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo premiered on January 1, 2019. Based on her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (2014), the show follows Kondo as she brings her process into the homes of a diverse cast of clients. Her process, called… Read more →

Pokémon Go, Before and After August 12

Before I. It is early summer, 2018. I am a Virginian, but I have just moved to Charlottesville, Virginia after many years living in the North. I have brought with me my habit of playing Pokémon Go. In Pokémon Go, players use a smartphone app to track cartoon animals around physical space. The game populates… Read more →

Rocky Mountain Racism

This past May at the Cannes Film Festival, Spike Lee screened his latest movie, BlacKkKlansman. The audience gave the film an extended standing ovation and Variety’s chief film critic, Peter Debruge, later wrote, “If D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation was ‘like writing history with lightning,’ as Woodrow Wilson described it way back in… Read more →

What Will Today’s Immigration Detention Centers Look like to Future Americans?

This piece originally appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2016 and is reprinted here with permission of the author. Janet Golden’s latest book is Babies Made Us Modern: How Infants Brought America into the Twentieth Century. Seventy-five years ago, over 125,000 Americans (the majority of them citizens) were sent to concentration camps. Over half of those interned were children. As… Read more →

Remembering the Mothers of Gynecology: Deirdre Cooper Owens’ Medical Bondage: Race, Gender, and the Origins of American Gynecology

Antebellum physician James Marion Sims has been in the news quite a bit lately as a target of activism. After the Charlottesville white supremacist rallies, efforts to take down Confederate monuments have spread across the country, and those efforts have included statues of James Marion Sims. Sims is known for developing a successful technique for… Read more →

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 →