620 posts categorized "Race and Ethnicity in America" Feed

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 →


By Aviva Chomsky | Few predicted that the peace accords and neoliberal reforms of the 1990s would lead to a flood of out-migration in the following decades, as flight would increasingly become the last resort of people desperate to survive, and ties to the United States made it the obvious destination. Migration has been an inherent aspect of all human history, including Central American history. Read more →


A Q&A with Bill Ong Hing | I have seen children as young as two separated at the border from their families. When I interviewed these traumatized children in border patrol detention, I was ashamed of our what our nation does in the name of border enforcement. When I said goodbye to a fifty-year-old undocumented man at his home the night before he was deported, it was impossible for me to explain the rationale behind the removal of a twenty-five-year resident with no criminal problems to his US citizen children for whom he had served as soccer coach, homework tutor, insurance provider, driver to after-school programs, and loving father. Read more →


By David Delmar Sentíes | The way we access good tech jobs in this country is essentially a pay-to-play model: you need to spend a lot of money to make a lot of money. If you don’t have the opportunity to graduate from college, you’re shut out of many of those jobs. And that’s it. There die our hopes for an equitable tech workforce. There’s not a DEI workshop in the world that can change that, and we need to stop pretending that there is. Equity cannot be achieved by coloring inside the lines of a system that is inherently inequitable. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | When Latinx workers across the US came together for International Workers’ Day on May 1, 2006, their strike sent more than one message. As historian Paul Ortiz writes in An African American and Latinx History of the United States, they protested immigration restrictions that threatened their families, their livelihoods, and their dignity. The protested to pass national legislation for a living wage. Shutting down meat packing, garment manufacturing, port transportation, trucking and food services in many parts of the country was an act of resistance to neoliberalism, mass incarceration, militarism, and imperialism. Latinx workers from numerous cultures were all in. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | It’s back-to-school season, and the US is still upset by its own sense of identity. James Baldwin knew all about it. In his “Talk to Teachers,” he said that if we changed the curriculum in all schools so that Black students learned more about themselves and their real contributions to US culture, we’d not only be liberating Black people; we’d be “liberating white people who know nothing about their own history.” The side-eye for FL, TX, and other states is warranted and righteous, because they’re still hell-bent on suppressing Black history or completely whitewashing it. Read more →


By Charles Euchner | On August 28, the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, we celebrate the power of words. On this day, Martin Luther Dr. King, Jr. delivered his immortal “I Have a Dream” oration before 400,000 souls at the National Mall. Dr. King was joined by countless others whose words should be remembered for the ages. Fred Shuttlesworth charged the throng to “walk together, stand together, sing together, moan together, groan together.” Read more →


A Q&A with Nora Neus | This decision was a key component of the book from the very beginning, and the thing I thought could (and almost did) sink the whole project. Prevailing wisdom from experts in this space say that interviewing and quoting white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and members of other hate groups either (1) gives them a “platform” from which to spew their hateful ideology or (2) minimizes the threat they represent if treating them as just another actor in the story. Read more →


By Christian Coleman | We took the crushing news pretty hard. The TV adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s “Kindred” didn’t get a fair chance when it was cancelled nearly a month and half after all eight episodes were uploaded in December 2022 to stream on Hulu. With the blessing of Butler’s estate, playwright and showrunner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins made bold choices—some of which might make Butler purists gasp—to modernize and expand upon Butler’s classic while staying true to her message. Read more →