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In this March 21, 2017 photo, Misty Copeland, first African-American female principal dancer with the American Ballet Theatre, appears at the Steps on Broadway dance school in New York.
AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Ballerina Misty Copeland started her dance training at the late age of 13. Nonetheless, she was soon recognized as a prodigy and rose quickly to opportunity and success. In 2015, she became the first African-American woman promoted to principal ballerina by American Ballet Theatre.

Two separate high-profile incidents broadcast this week highlighted the criticism black women regularly face in the workplace and spurred many to share their own experiences on social media.

It's clear from the numbers. Google has a diversity problem.

For the past few years, the company has publicly shared its workplace makeup in a report detailing the race, gender and ethnicity of each employee hired the previous year. Last year, while the number of black employees went up, they still represented only 2 percent of the company's workforce and Google admitted it fell short of its diversity goal.

Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

There are many things to know about Roxane Gay. She grew up in Nebraska. Her family is of Haitian descent. She came to critical attention in 2014 for her best-selling collection of essays “Bad Feminist.” She teaches creative writing at Purdue University. She is the first black woman hired to write a Marvel Comics series, “Wakanda.” She kind of owns Twitter. But perhaps the most crucial thing you need to know about Roxane Gay is that she is awed by and in love with her craft, fiction writing especially, in difficult and delightful ways.

Jon Greenberg, center, includes aspects of ethnic studies in his 12th-grade Social Justice and Civic Engagement class – something his students say helps them understand themselves and the world around them.
KUOW photo/Ann Dornfeld

The Seattle School Board is considering a proposal from the Seattle-King County NAACP to require ethnic studies at every school — and possibly make the subject a graduation requirement.

microphone podium
Flickr Photo/Tom Woodward (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6LG5Lf

The term "gaslighting" comes from the 1944 film "Gaslight," about an abusive husband who secretly manipulates the lighting in his house in order to drive his wife mad. It has been used more recently to refer to a political phenomenon involving the dissemination of untruths to an extent that causes the public to doubt truth from falsehood.

Flickr Photo/J/(CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dp1mt6

Bill Radke talks to A.C. Thompson, investigative reporter at ProPublica, about how hate crimes are tracked in the country.

Ben Keita, 18, was found hanged in the woods in Lake Stevens, a suburb north of Seattle.
Ibrahima Keita

Police continue to investigate the death of a Muslim teenager who was found hanging from a high branch in the woods north of Seattle.

Courtesy of Angela Carlye

In 1963, John Lewis was 23 years old when he addressed a crowd of over 200,000 people at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Lewis was already a veteran of the civil rights movement. He had been a devoted anti-segregation and voting rights activist in college and was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders who dared to ride integrated buses into the segregated South. He had become the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and a colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Patricia Lally was on the bus going downtown from her West Seattle home when a man began uttering racially offensive statements.

“And I found myself so surprised and wondering what should I do?” she said.


Roxane Gay speaks at TEDWomen2015 - Momentum, May 27-29, 2015, Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California, USA.
Marla Aufmuth/TED via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ybtHLA

“What did you have for breakfast this morning?”

It was a question to set microphone levels, the first question put to Roxane Gay, feminist-writer rock start, at her Seattle hotel room last week. 

“I didn’t have breakfast this morning,” Gay said.

“Did you have coffee or anything to drink?”

“No,” she said. “I had water.”

Support groups for new parents are popular in Seattle. Parents swap tips about when to introduce the bottle and empathize about new family dynamics.

But the mothers gathered in this light-filled Beacon Hill living room have a different mission: discussing how they want to raise their infants of color.


A Kansas man is charged with murder in a shooting that left one man dead and two others wounded. Two of the victims are originally from India; their assailant was reportedly heard yelling "get out of my country" just before opening fire.

The FBI is jointly investigating the triple shooting with local authorities, an FBI representative tells NPR. The agency is working to determine whether the victims' civil rights were violated as part of the crime.

Professor Joy Williamson-Lott
Courtesy of The University of Washington

“Are you ready to go back in history?” Professor Joy Williamson-Lott asks that question early on in this talk. She’s encouraging the audience, exciting us, but also challenging us.

The history of public education in the United States, her area of focus, is rife with deeply troubling inequality and injustice.

Jasmin Samy is th civil rights manager at CAIR-Washington State, a chapter of America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. She says it's often difficult to get people to speak up when they think they're being discriminated against.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

When people of color try to rent housing in Seattle, they’re treated differently from white people.

What's in a name? A lot, according to a new study from researchers at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto, both in Canada.

It's one of the oldest clichés of horror movies: the black guy dies first. But that's not the case in the new film "Get Out," written and directed by Jordan Peele (best known for the Comedy Central series "Key And Peele"). Gene and guest host Eric Deggans chat with Peele about his new film, check in with African-American filmmaker Ernest Dickerson, who's directed many scary movies and TV shows, and dive deep into race in horror-movie history with Robin Means Coleman, who's been analyzing and writing about the genre for over a decade.

In the waning years of the Civil War, advertisements like this began appearing in newspapers around the country:

"INFORMATION WANTED By a mother concerning her children.

During a sentencing hearing in Texas two decades ago, a defense attorney for a man named Duane Buck called on an expert who said his client's race made it more statistically likely that he would commit violent crimes in the future.

Because of that statement, the Supreme Court has ruled 6-2 that Buck, who is black, can appeal his death sentence.

It's the latest development in a case that Chief Justice John Roberts describes as "a perfect storm" of circumstances that he says culminated in a lower court "making a decision on life or death on the basis of race."

H
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

President Donald Trump has named H.R. McMaster, an active duty Army general, as the new national security adviser.

McMaster was tapped to replace Mike Flynn, who resigned after about three weeks on the job.

Trump reportedly interviewed four candidates for the national security post. They were all white men.

Two decades ago only about 9 percent of children's books published in the U.S. were about people of color. Things have changed since then, but not by much.

On Wednesday, the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Education School revealed that in 2016, it counted 427 books written or illustrated by people of color, and 736 books about people of color out of about 3,400 books it analyzed. That adds up to 22 percent of children's books.

Do voter ID laws hurt minority turnout? Study says: Absolutely

This weekend marks 75 years since President Roosevelt's executive order that sent Japanese-Americans to internment camps.

Roy Ebihara and his wife, 82-year-old Aiko, were children then, and both were held in camps with their families.

At StoryCorps, 83-year-old Roy told Aiko about what happened in his hometown of Clovis, N.M., in the weeks just before the executive order was issued.

Drego Little teaches humanities at Seattle University, and literature at Rainier Scholars, a college prep program for low-income students of color.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

Drego Little teaches literature at Rainier Scholars, a college prep program for low-income students of color, and humanities at Matteo Ricci College at Seattle University.

Little told KUOW's Ann Dornfeld that he sees literacy as the key to success in school — and in life — for disadvantaged students.

Since its founding in the 1950s, the Indian Health Service has provided medical care for many Native Americans. But the service has been chronically underfunded, so often pays for care only if someone is in immediate danger of losing life or limb.

The racial wealth gap has been measured and studied for decades. One fact has remained the same: White families build and accumulate more wealth more quickly than black and brown families do.

Marchers walk through Seattle's Central Area on the 2015 anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

When Reverend David Billings started giving anti-racism trainings in the 1980s, he said many people "just didn't see it." But he said that's not the case today.

While structural and cultural racism remains entrenched in the U.S., Billings see a growing awareness by whites of their privilege and their role in combating the problem.  

Below are four of his main talking points. 


A widely used blood test to measure blood-sugar trends can give imprecise results, depending on a person's race and other factors. This test means diabetes can sometimes be misdiagnosed or managed poorly.

Doctors have been cautioned before that results from the A1C test don't have pinpoint accuracy. A study published Tuesday underscores that shortcoming as it applies to people who carry the sickle cell trait.

Stories about black women whose employers asked them to cut their dreadlocks or to trim their big afros have surfaced with more frequency in the last few years. Now a new study confirms that many people — including black ones — have a bias against the types and styles of natural hair worn by black people.

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