race

Siblings David Ko and Karen Ko
Courtesy of StoryCorps

When Roy and Alice Ko were released from internment camps after World War II, they ended up in Richland, Washington – home to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Their children David and Karen Ko talked about growing up in Richland in the years after the war.

Mara Willaford on the podium at a rally for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in August.
KUOW Photo/Hannah Burn

In August, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was in downtown Seattle for a rally. As he started speaking, he was interrupted by two women who are part of the Black Lives Matter movement. Their simple act – taking the mic – sent the country into heated debate.

Kevin Powell at The Seattle Public Library.
Courtesy of Naomi Ishisaka

Seattle Poet Nikitta Oliver – who moved from a mostly black community in Indianapolis 12 years ago – said Seattle was a culture shock.

“I had dealt with white supremacy before, but never like this – never in a covert way where people could use the same progressive language I could use and at the same time make me feel like I didn’t belong here,” Oliver told an audience at Seattle Public Library’s main branch downtown.

For Black Boys: 'You Are Beautiful'

Dec 30, 2015
KUOW Photo / RadioActive Staff

“Black boys bleed every month.”

Those words came to Leija Farr as she saw her dad, enraged, watching the news of another police shooting of a black man.

Farr wrote the poem “For Black Boys” in response to this moment, and it won her the title of Seattle’s first youth poet laureate.

Her work is an ode to black men and boys. In this segment, Farr reads her powerful poem and interviews black men in her life about how they practice loving themselves.

Chicago police Officer Jason Van Dyke pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first-degree murder and misconduct in the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014.

A grand jury has declined to bring criminal charges against two Cleveland police officers involved in the fatal shooting of 12-year old Tamir Rice.

"Simply put, given this perfect storm of human error, mistakes and miscommunications by all involved that day, the evidence did not indicate criminal conduct by police," Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty told reporters.

Seattle writer Melanie McFarland
Courtesy of Melanie McFarland

You’re waiting for the bus when a stranger gently touches your hair.

That’s what happened to Seattle TV writer Melanie McFarland. It was 1996 in Portland. She was on her way to work when she felt tiny fingers running through her long braids.

Seattle Police Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, left, UW Professor Megan Ming Francis and Seattle Police Assistant Chief Robert Merner at Humanities Washington's Think & Drink.
Courtesy of Mike Hippel

There’s been a spotlight on race and policing – but that isn’t because the situation gotten worse.

“Why a lot of black people have a deep suspicion, distrust, of police is not something that just happens because we see Michael Brown or we see Freddie Gray,” said Megan Ming Francis, a political science professor at the University of Washington.

“It’s a really, really long history that has placed us where we are right now.” 

This Christmas, Gabriel Quesada is 'Black Santa.'
Keenan Hart/From Bottom 2 Top Photography

When Gabriel Quesada was growing up in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood, his uncles told him they knew Santa.

But every Santa he saw was white, and his uncles were black.

"It just didn't make sense to me," Quesada said.

About 40 percent of Americans belong to a racial or ethnic minority, but the people who participate in clinical trials tend to be more homogeneous. Clinical trials are the studies that test whether drugs work, and inform doctors' decisions about how to treat their patients. When subjects in those studies don't look like the patients who could end up taking the treatments, that can be problematic. In short: Clinical trials are too white.

Frank Sinatra was born a hundred years ago today. Even if you think his music just isn't your music, it's hard to get through life without uttering what I'll call a "Frank Phrase" from one of his songs at telling times in our lives.

"So set 'em up, Joe ... Fly me to the moon ... I've got you under my skin ... My kind of town ... I did it my way ... I want to wake up in a city that doesn't sleep ..." And that wry elegy for lost loves and lonely nights: "So make it one for my baby, and one more for the road."

Affirmative action in college admissions is once again under attack at the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1978 and in 2003 the Court ruled definitively that colleges and universities could consider race and ethnicity as one of many factors in admissions, as long as there are no quotas. By 2013, though, the composition of the Court had changed and grown more conservative, and the issue was back in a case from Texas--a case that eventually fizzled that year but is back again now.

Bill Radke speaks with Jody McVittie, head of Seattle-based nonprofit Sound Discipline, about how to change the disparity in the discipline of students of color in Seattle Public Schools. 

Growing up, Natalie Devora always questioned how she fit into her African-American family.

"Everyone was brown, and then there was me," Devora says. "I'm a white-skinned black woman. That's how I navigate through the world. That's how I identify."

The George Washington statue on the University of Washington Seattle campus.
Flickr Photo/Chris Blakeley (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1jEzCcs

Bill Radke speaks with Dan Savage, editorial director of the Stranger, Melanie McFarland, journalist and TV critic, and Rob McKenna, former Washington state attorney general, about race relations on college campuses.

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