628 posts categorized "Race and Ethnicity in America" Feed

By Kyle T. Mays | Since the racial reckoning in the summer of 2020, reparations have become a greater part of the national consciousness and discourse. Municipalities across the US implemented some form of reparations programs; two states, including California and New York, have implemented task forces to study the possibility of it. There is no consensus on reparations and cash payments, though. The recent discussions and debates on reparations for Black Americans remain controversial across racial and party lines. Read more →


By Dara Baldwin | This June 22, we celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the historic civil rights Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) case Olmstead v. Lois Curtis. In 1999, SCOTUS “upheld the unjustified segregation of people with disabilities.” Many people are unaware of this significant civil rights case and its significance to the lives of disabled people. But even more egregious is the erasure from history of its lead plaintiff: a Black disabled woman. Read more →


By Remica Bingham-Risher | When I asked Forrest Hamer to autograph his books, I had never seen anyone so upset about such a small mistake. We were at the Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop where he was teaching and, like all the other students there, I became enamored with his work and unassuming nature, wanting nothing more than to spend the last few nights surveying his words. As he signed his books, he misspelled my name, and when I crossed out one letter for another, he apologized to no end. He held me there, despite the line forming behind us, repeating, “I’m so, so sorry about that. Names are important. Please let me take care of things.” Read more →


By Christian Coleman | This Sunday, it’s dad’s turn to be given his flowers—or tie or power tool or gift card. You get the idea. Our flowers come in the form of books, some of which are written by fathers. Books for the daddies and zaddies on their muscle-bound journey. For the House fathers taking the rejected queer kids under their wing. For the feminist dads who don’t want to go the way of the Kens in “Barbie.” For the fathers living from hustle to hustle to keep a roof over their loved ones’ heads. Read more →


By Leigh Patel | Mainstream media’s coverage of the campus-based student protests and encampments across the globe primarily addresses the ‘need’ to use law enforcement, including university police and politicians’ calls for National Guard. Armed with riot gear which does not include mace, batons, firearms, or metal or rubber tie handcuffs, this armament has been firmly in place long before this student mobilization. Through phones and social media, the world watches as students’ encampments are forcibly assaulted and police officers, municipal and university, use blunt force to remove students and faculty from these sites of protests. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | “How do you teach a kindergartener about the histories and contemporary legacies of race and racism in a way that affirms her humanity and agency?” Dr. OiYan Poon poses herself this question in the introduction of “Asian American Is Not a Color: Conversations on Race, Affirmative Action, and Family” after her three-year-old daughter Té Té broaches the topic of race. An answer to her question could be found by turning to this year’s theme for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Read more →


A Q&A with Dr. OiYan Poon | I have been trying to write a book on Asian Americans and affirmative action since at least 2012. Each time I started, I couldn’t figure out who my intended audience was. As a result, my writing process kept stalling out. I was accustomed to writing for scholarly and technical audiences but had a hard time explaining things to wider audiences—people who are intelligent, curious, and civically engaged. Like many toddlers, my daughter started to ask a lot of questions when she became verbal. Read more →


By Howard Bryant | Americans have shown they can only discuss race within two frameworks: Things are better than they were or Get over it. So what exactly happened to the Heritage in the 1970s that began a nearly half-century slide into dormancy, when protest was transformed from noble to toxic? O. J. Simpson happened to it. Read more →


By Alana Lopez | One of the first ideas taught in my Literature of the Harlem Renaissance course last semester at Boston University was the concept of Harlem as a haven. In Claude McKay’s “Home to Harlem,” it was, as its name suggests, a motivating factor for its main character, like that of Ithaca for Odysseus. It was a hub of inventive and unorthodox expressions of self as shown by Louis Armstrong’s jazz or Gladys Bentley’s blues. For Rudolph Fisher, Harlem’s culture is familiar and, though often written off as a fad, rich with history and ultimately timeless in “The Caucasian Storms Harlem.” To James Baldwin, it is home and birthplace as well and, much like him, I’ve come to find that “home” and “haven” are vastly different things. Read more →


By Mei Su Bailey | This year, Beacon Press is taking part in the nationwide celebration of James Baldwin’s hundredth birthday with the release of the James Baldwin Centennial Series! Originally published in “Notes of a Native Son,” these essay collections commemorate Baldwin’s legacy as an artist, an activist, a social critic, and a gifted writer. Read more →


A Q&A with Jaclyn Moyer | I wasn’t intending to write about the history of the organic farming movement when I started this project, but as I began to uncover my family’s past, I discovered that the origins of the organic movement, the development of modern wheat, and my own personal history intersected. And all three were bound up with colonialism. Read more →


By Shenequa Golding | I get why so many Black women are divorcing themselves from the “strong Black woman” trope. The world measures our strength by how much deliberate mistreatment and neglect we accept. We’re expected to pour ourselves into others so much that it’s positioned as an “honor” to die empty. Black women deserve so much more than to live as everyone else's mule and then go to our graves depleted. Read more →


By Lauren Michele Jackson | The art world, according to itself, does not have a race problem. The art world does not allow itself to have a race problem. Were any one entity within the network of museums, galleries, shows, curators, schools, artists, press, and millions upon hundreds of millions of dollars that make up capital A Art to allow for race as a topic of debate, the whole enterprise might collapse into so much dust. For the art world to admit it has a race problem, it would have to account for its centuries-long history in which peoples of color have been regularly pushed from the frame of what constitutes artistic enterprise; meanwhile, their creations have long inspired European and white American artists who deviate from the norm. Read more →


A Q&A with Yashica Dutt | The research process for the book was fairly typical. I spent a ton of time in libraries and archives, extracting material around the historical details that have gone into shaping this book. I was most surprised to learn how different those details were from the narrative of history that we have been given for decades. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | Remember when Janelle Monáe said Black women aren’t a monolith? Same goes for the Black diaspora, and yet the Grammys love plugging their ears and going La la la la laaaaa. This year, they did Black artists dirty yet again, snubbing them in the award for Album of the Year. Jay-Z is far from the first to call out their snubbery at the ceremony. They’ve also been called out for confining Black artist nominations in the rap/hip hop and R&B categories. Read more →


By Feminista Jones | Over the years, I have been approached by several brands, retailers, and television networks and film companies to support their marketing efforts. I may be asked to curate a live-tweet chat or event to build viewership for a television show or film, or to promote a product or service of some sort. My experience is not unique, by far, but it is interesting in the sense that I did not start out as, nor did I ever aspire to be, an “influencer” in this sense. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | Some are new, some are veteran crew. These are a handful of Beacon’s bestsellers of 2023! Let’s raise a glass of bubbly to the authors and to another year of bestsellers! Which ones were your favorites? Read more →


By Kavita Das | I remember a conversation I had with an editor at a literary magazine soon after I had transitioned from working in social change to becoming a writer close to ten years ago. I had shared with the editor that I was committed to developing my craft as a writer but that I was also committed to continuing to lift up social issues, even if I now would focus on addressing them on the page rather than in real life settings. I was floored by the editor’s response. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | When loved ones perch at the table together for holiday gatherings, it’s not just the star protein with fixings that gets served. Whether it’s on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other occasion for feel-good feasting in big company, those mashed potatoes and greens come with a side of divergent viewpoints on touchy, real-life subjects. Sometimes they’re served respectfully, sometimes with vitriol, but on many occasions, they stir up tough conversations, and the meals become so ideologically fraught that digestion seems out of the question. Read more →


By Leigh Patel | As child in elementary school, I distinctly remember being excited every time my teacher passed around the Scholastic Magazine. The paper of the magazine was thin, like newsprint. I’d fold the corners of the pages that had books I was interested in. Many times, I didn’t see anything and folded zero corners of the pages. It would be some time before I came to understand and question the power of a large corporation and its selection of what books it deemed worthy, in essence, to sell to young readers, teachers, and schools. Read more →