In this season of anger in many black communities that are reacting to police brutality, we're remembering the largest urban riot of the civil rights era.

Fifty years ago this week in Los Angeles, the African-American neighborhood of Watts exploded after a young black man was arrested for drunken driving. His mother scuffled with officers and was also arrested, all of which drew an increasingly hostile crowd.

If you want to get a sense of how complex racial identity is in Brazil, you should meet sisters Francine and Fernanda Gravina. Both have the same mother and father. Francine, 28, is blond with green eyes and white skin. She wouldn't look out of place in Iceland. But Fernanda, 23, has milk chocolate skin with coffee colored eyes and hair. Francine describes herself as white, whereas Fernanda says she's morena, or brown-skinned.

An event organizer, left, tries to persuade two women who had taken over the microphone from Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., back right, to relinquish it at a rally Saturday, Aug. 8, 2015.`
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

David Hyde talks with Native American writer and activist Gyasi Ross about how he ended up on the stage at Westlake when two Black Lives Matters activists disrupted a Bernie Sanders rally and what he thinks about their actions.

Activists from the Seattle chapter of Black Lives Matter took over the stage at a rally for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on Sat., Aug 8, 2015. They called for four minutes of silence, and Sanders left the stage to greet those who had come to see him.
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

How Seattle reacted to the disruption of Bernie Sanders’ appearance at a rally this weekend reveals the city is still unwilling to honestly talk about race, an NAACP leader said Monday.

Gerald Hankerson, president of Seattle-King County NAACP, told KUOW’s Todd Mundt that the incident shows that’s “a difficult conversation to have, even with your allies.”

Marchers walk through the Central Area on Sunday night during a protest in support of Black Lives Matter. It was the anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

People marching in a Black Lives Matter protest in Seattle on Sunday said they were upset by how a largely white crowd reacted to the disruption of Bernie Sanders’ rally the day before.

A year after Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., sparking weeks of often violent protests in the city, the country is still struggling to deal with the issues the shooting, and others like it, have brought to the fore.

No one is certain exactly how the protest chant "hands up, don't shoot" got started, though Tory Russell says he has a good idea. Russell is co-founder of Hands Up United, an activist group which formed after the death of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo., last August.

"It came after Dorian Johnson, the guy that was with Mike Brown, and others said that Mike Brown had his hands up," Russell says.

Kim Malcolm speaks with Vickie Ybarra, a former elected official on the Yakima school board, about how Latinos in Yakima are making their voices heard and what representation in the City Council means for the community. 

The St. Louis region became the unexpected center of an international conversation and movement for change following the death of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014.

St. Louis Public Radio has compiled select sounds and images of the past year, highlighting moments in history and sharing voices of newsmakers and neighbors alike. 

We invite you to take some time, reflect and put on your headphones to experience One Year in Ferguson: How it Sounded. How it Looked. How it Felt.

Here's What Black Lives Matter Looks Like In Canada

Aug 7, 2015

When we're talking about police brutality, issues in Canada aren't on a lot of American's radar. If anything, there's a widespread belief that Canada is some sort of racism-free zone.

But according to many black Canadians, a #BlackLivesMatter movement is badly needed in that country — and it's starting to take shape.

RadioActive Explores Minority Representation With Hari Kondabolu

Jul 31, 2015
KUOW Photo / Jenny Asarnow

Aisha Burka and Mimansa Dogra explore the representation of minorities in the media, and discuss what needs to be changed. Hear their interviews with Tani Ikeda, co-founder of imMEDIAte Justice, a program built to empower young women through film, and Hari Kondabolu, known for his politically and socially charged comedy. 

At Hack the CD this weekend, the focus was on problems facing Seattle's Central District.
KUOW Photo/Jamala Henderson

Damon Bomar wants to create an app that would help people find local odd jobs.

“For me personally it would work because I have a job, but at the same time I need a little more money on the side,” Bomar said. He presented his idea at the second Hack the CD conference in Seattle.

This week saw the release of Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” a follow-up to her beloved book “To Kill a Mockingbird.” But for Alice Randall, a professor of African-American and diaspora studies at Vanderbilt University, the first novel still has a lot of relevance today.

In Court, Your Face Could Determine Your Fate

Jul 17, 2015

Your face has a profound effect on the people around you. Its expression can prompt assumptions about how kind, mean or trustworthy you are. And for some people, a study finds, it could help determine their fate in court.

Artist Lois Thadei in woven hat, photographed at Ginger Street in Olympia during Art Walk.
Courtesy of Kay Shultz

Lois Thadei’s full name is Lois Chichnikoff Thadei.

But everyone calls her Louie. She says white people have a hard time pronouncing her name.