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Courtesy of MOHAI, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, 2000.107

On a recent Thursday evening, Amalia Martino rushed from work to catch the last few minutes of her daughter Sophia’s soccer game. She pointed out her daughter on the field, laughing a little: “My daughter is the brown one.”

KUOW Photo/Tonya Mosley

What is it like to be black in the fifth whitest major city in America?

It’s not an easy question to answer.

Seattle’s black population hovers around 8 percent, with more leaving every year.

Flickr Photo/Nathan Gibbs

What does race mean? How much of what race means is determined by biology? And how much by society? Is there confusion between the biological basis of race and how we view race? These are the questions answered in a new exhibit at the Pacific Science Center titled "RACE: Are We So Different?"

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Pacific Science Center and city of Seattle are hosting two evening events that examine the state of racial inequities in the United States. Ross Reynolds sits down with John Powell, director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, and Julie Nelson, director of the Race and Social Justice Initiative for the city of Seattle for a discussion on race in Seattle.

Is Marriage For White People? With Ralph Richard Banks

Sep 12, 2013
Ralph Richard Banks' book "Is Marriage for White People?"

Though it was once the norm to get hitched right out of high school, marriage has declined throughout American society. This development is the most pronounced among African Americans, and black women are more than three times as likely as white women never to marry. When black women do marry, they are more likely than any other group to wed a man who is less educated or earns less money than they do.

Anthony Swofford's book "Jarhead"

The Art Of Writing About War

War is hard to describe. In his memoir, "Jarhead," Gulf War Marine Anthony Swofford writes, "This is not funny, the possibility of death, but like many combatants before us we laugh to obscure the tragedy of our cheap, squandered lives." Swofford and writers Dave Danelo and Michael Yon joined us in 2008 to discuss the challenges of war and the challenges of writing about it.

Black In Seattle: What It Was Like In 2002

Back in 2002, Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large asked his readers to share thoughts on what it’s like to be black in Seattle. In 2002, living patterns were shifting rapidly, and a few shootings put race on the public’s mind. Steve Scher talked with Large and listeners about what it was like to be black in Seattle.

Director Maggie Greenwald On Making “The Ballad of Little Jo”

Maggie Greenwald is an actress, director and screenwriter. She is perhaps best known for writing and directing “The Ballad of Little Jo,” a film based on the true story of a woman attempting to escape the stigma of having a child out of wedlock by living as a man. Marcie Sillman talked with Greenwald in 1993 about making “The Ballad of Little Jo.”

In April of 1963, a Baltimore mailman set off to deliver the most important letter in his life — one he wrote himself. William Lewis Moore decided to walk along Highway 11 from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Jackson, Miss., hoping to hand-deliver his letter to Gov. Ross Barnett. Moore wanted Barnett to fundamentally change Mississippi's racial hierarchy — something unthinkable for a Southern politician at the time.

Piper Kerman was a 24-year-old Smith College graduate in 1993, when she flew to Belgium with a suitcase of money intended for a West African drug lord.

This misguided adventure started when she began a romantic relationship with a woman who was part of what Kerman describes as a "clique of impossibly stylish and cool lesbians in their mid-30s." That woman was involved in a drug-smuggling ring, and got Kerman involved, too, though Kerman left that life after several months.

State Supreme Court Blasts Racism In Jury Selection

Aug 2, 2013
WSDOT Photo

The Supreme Court of Washington blasted a common trial court practice Thursday that results in black defendants being sent to prison by all-white juries.

The court says racial discrimination in jury selection is rampant.

State Supreme Court Blasts “Institutional Racism” In Jury Selection

Aug 1, 2013

Race, racism and fairness are at the heart of a stack of opinions released today by the Washington state Supreme Court. The court issued 110 pages about one murder conviction, even though it was not overturned today. KUOW’s Phyllis Fletcher gives us the lowdown on the latest Supreme Court ruling.

Liz Jones / KUOW

Correction 7/18/13: A previous version of this story stated that Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law was a key part of Zimmerman’s defense. The law was a factor in the case but not part of Zimmerman’s courtroom strategy.

A group of black pastors in the Seattle area say the Trayvon Martin case should be a “wake-up call.” The religious leaders are pushing for changes in gun laws that they say contribute to racial profiling, and they're also urging community members to join their fight.

Episode 40: Young Seattleites Say Code Switching Is A Tough Habit To Break

Jun 27, 2013
KUOW Photo / Jenny Asarnow

There’s no such thing as a normal you. Do you talk to your boss the same way you talk to your dog? Probably not. This is called code switching.

Inspired by NPR’s Code Switch, hosts Kadian Vanloo and Antonia Dorn share stories about why and how youth code switch:

  • Tamil is the mother tongue for both Ananya Shankar and her cousin, RadioActive's Kamna Shastri. But when Ananya visits the United States for the first time, Kamna notices her cousin only speaks to her in English. 
  • RadioActive's Riley Guttman lives on Mercer Island where the African-American population is just over one percent. His black friend notices that when he walks in on a group of white friends, the conversation tends to change — and not how you might think.

Speaking of race, affirmative action was under scrutiny at the Supreme Court of the United States this week. It's been illegal in Washington state since 1998, but people still have opinions about it. RadioActive's Yafiet Bezabih asked Seattleites what they think.

Roast Penguin? Jason Anthony On Antarctic Cuisine

Apr 15, 2013
Antarctic fishing
Flickr Photo/State Library of New South Wales/Credit Frank Hurley

What is there to eat in Antarctica? Not much, though you could try penguin. In 1897, stranded Captain Georges Lecointe said penguin tasted like “beef, odiferous cod fish and a canvas-backed duck, roasted together in a pot with blood and cod-liver oil for sauce.” Desperate and trapped Antarctic explorers have eaten all kinds of awful things. Author Jason Anthony explains the culinary lengths people will go to in order to survive.

Six Words: Ask Who I Am, Not What

Mar 13, 2013

This month NPR begins a series of occasional conversations about The Race Card Project, where people can submit their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Thousands of people have shared their six-word stories and every so often NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into the trove of six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

derekbruff / Flickr

KUOW has learned that the U.S. Department of Education has launched an investigation into discipline rates in Seattle Public Schools. In an email, agency spokesman Jim Bradshaw told KUOW that its Office for Civil Rights is looking into whether black students in Seattle are disciplined "more frequently and more harshly" than white students for the same infractions.

Gather At The Table: A Dialogue On Race

Jan 7, 2013
Thomas DeWolf and Sharon Leslie Morgan
Kristin Little Photography

When you look at a person, do you "see race?" Sharon Leslie Morgan and Tom DeWolf have been asking that question as they sat down at dinner tables around America. They found the lingering pain of slavery, and some paths to healing. They join us for a conversation about the journey toward racial equality.

Episode 35: Dance, Rap, Or Study? Three Teens' Answers To "What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?"

Dec 28, 2012
Ballet dancer Richard Peacock lifts Deepa Liegel as the Sugar Plum Fairy in the Cornish Junior Dance Company's 2012 production of the 'Nutcracker.'
Colleen Dishy

In this month’s RadioActive podcast, hosts Bryce Ellis and Daniel Metz hear stories about high school students who aren’t "sluffin" when it comes to their futures (if you don’t know what "sluffin" means this show has got your definition).

One of the kids in these stories goes down the traditional four-year college route, while the others travel off the beaten path:

Seattle is one of the whitest cities in the country according to the most recent census. But what does that mean? What's it like to live in such a white city? We talk to you about the latest figures.

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