Texas university’s class on Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ will explore black feminism in the US

Fans have been dissecting the symbolism and multilayered meanings Beyoncé injected into her transformative album Lemonade since its release in April. Now, students at the University of Texas at San Antonio will put their Lemonade literacy to the test in the new fall course Black Women, Beyoncé & Popular Culture focusing on black feminism, female empowerment and racial tensions in the United States.

“I created the course myself,” Professor Kinitra D. Brook, who studies contemporary African American and black feminism, said about this semester’s class in a recent phone conversation. The class will attempt to unpack a lot of the symbolic imagery in the music video, including the historical significance of the shot of several black women walking into water in “Love Drought.”

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Serena Williams just wrote a powerful open letter about the anxiety and fear that comes with being a Black person in today’s world

Add Serena Williams to the list of athletes speaking out against police violence. The greatest tennis player of all time wrote a moving message about the anxiety she feels as a Black woman around police. Her Facebook post was personal and about family. See the full Facebook post.


After Alfred Olango, some say it’s time to bring mental health into the policing debate

Authorities have said Olango, who was killed by police in El Cajon, California, did not respond to repeated commands from officers. It’s not known whether the officers had been trained to de-escalate in encounters with people with disabilities. In general, lack of training, coupled with overall stigma around mental illness and other disabilities, has contributed to what experts have called an epidemic of preventable police violence against people with disabilities.

Disabled individuals make up anywhere from a third to half of all people killed by law enforcement officers in the U.S., according to the Ruderman Foundation. In a report published in March, experts asserted that media outlets routinely fail to report if disability was a factor in use-of-force cases, whether or not the use of force was deemed illegal or within police policy. Brian Hullaby, an NYC writer with autism, thinks that that mental health training for police officers is not the solution. He has another idea. 

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U.S. owes black people reparations for a history of ‘racial terrorism,’ says U.N. panel
Its recommendations will likely be ignored by Washington.
By https://www.facebook.com/ishaantharoor

“In particular, the legacy of colonial history, enslavement, racial subordination and segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the United States remains a serious challenge, as there has been no real commitment to reparations and to truth and reconciliation for people of African descent,” the report stated. “Contemporary police killings and the trauma that they create are reminiscent of the past racial terror of lynching.”

We’ve all been there — having fun relaxing with friends and family, when someone says something a little racially off. Sometimes it’s subtle, like the friend who calls Thai food “exotic.” Other times it’s more overt, like that in-law who’s always going on about “the illegals.”

In any case, it can be hard to know how to respond. Even the most level-headed among us have faltered trying to navigate the fraught world of racial awkwardness.

So what exactly do you do? We delve into the issue on this week’s episode of the Code Switch podcast, featuring writer Nicole Chung and Code Switch’s Shereen Marisol Meraji, Gene Demby, and Karen Grigsby Bates.

Hear Something, Say Something: Navigating The World Of Racial Awkwardness

GIF: Daniel Fishel for NPR


Nearly 40% of Donald Trump supporters say minorities have “too much” influence in US

If you believe men and whites have “too little” influence in American society, it’s a key indicator of support for Donald Trump, according to new polling data released Wednesday. In fact, it’s almost as good a predictor of Trump support as disapproval of President Barack Obama, the ABC News/Washington Post survey found.

The data shows how Trump supporters and Hillary Clinton supporters view race and gender in the U.S. Despite clear evidence of gender disparity in the U.S., the vast majority of Trump supporters have no problem with the amount of power men hold in America. Hillary Clinton’s supporters, on the other hand, have a starkly different view of racial and gender influence in America.

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