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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."

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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.

The unrest in Ferguson, Mo., following the death of Michael Brown in summer 2015 drew renewed scrutiny to police violence and revealed just how little the public knew about its pervasiveness. At first, there were widespread calls to address what officers looked like since Brown was African-American and the officer who shot him is white.

Professor Pedro Noguera at the University of Washington.
Courtesy of Emile Pitre

Every three years the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), made up of the world’s richest countries, publishes an international student assessment. They test 15-year-olds for comprehension in reading, math and science.

One goal is to understand which countries have the most successful education programs and why. In 2015 the United States ranked 25 out of 72 countries. 

President Trump used the occasion of a meeting with African-American supporters to launch into another attack on the news media Wednesday. At a photo op at the top of his meeting for Black History Month, Trump said that "a lot of the media is actually the opposition party," echoing a statement made by his adviser, former Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen Bannon, a few days ago.

"They really have to straighten out their act," the president said, adding, "We won so maybe they don't have the influence they think."

FLICKR PHOTO/Penn State (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/jbLpvD

Tim Wise is known for his commitment to exposing and countering racism. He grew up in Tennessee and went to college in New Orleans, where he became involved in efforts to oppose Ku Klux Clansman David Duke’s political aspirations. Dr. Cornel West referred to Wise as “a vanilla brother in the tradition of John Brown.”

Dan Satterberg (left), Andre Tayor (brother of Che Taylor who was fatally shot by police), and former SPD Chief Norm Stamper at a community meeting.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

An inquest is scheduled to get underway at the King County Courthouse this week in the death of Che Taylor. In February 2016, Taylor was shot by Seattle police in the Wedgwood neighborhood. Now a jury will hear more facts of the case.

Carl Livingston, a professor at Seattle Central College and a pastor at Kingdom Christian Center in Federal Way.
KUOW Photo/Katherine Banwell

Carl Livingston sees the troubles facing African American churches in Seattle as a test.

Livingston told KUOW’s Kim Malcolm that as the city has grown more expensive, congregations are surviving in part by cutting costs and seeking innovative ways to find income.


Seattle Times writer Tyrone Beason has an essay about race in the Pacific Northwest Magazine.
KUOW photo/Katherine Banwell

When Tyrone Beason called his father after Donald Trump was elected, the conversation didn’t start in the turmoil of the present.

“He started to talk about segregation, those ugly times in his formative years that shaped his understanding not only of what it was to be black but what it was to be white,” Beason told KUOW’s Jamala Henderson. 


Courtesy of Juanita Ricks

When Juanita Ricks’ biracial daughter Alexandra tested into the highly gifted program, Ricks, who is black, and her then-husband, who is white, toured the school Alexandra would attend: Washington Middle School in the Central District.


Violet and Norward Brooks in front of a house they struggled to buy due to discrimination.
KUOW Photo/Caroline Chamberlain

The results of the recent presidential election has revealed stark divisions in this country.

This is especially clear in Seattle, where we’re notorious for being one of the most progressive cities in the country.


In 1755, the board of governors of a new college was sworn into office in Manhattan. King's College, as it was called, was not far from the municipal slave market at Wall and Pearl streets in New York City.

The man presiding over the ceremony was Daniel Horsmanden, a colonial supreme court justice who had previously presided over the trial of alleged slave conspirators. One of the men he swore in as a governor of the new college was Henry Beekman, whose merchant family owned and traded slaves.

Barack Obama took to the podium in the press briefing room on Wednesday, the second-to-last day of the first black presidency, and after eight years of that becoming increasingly normal, the moment made it all start to seem strange again. So this whole black leader-of-the-free-world thing really happened, huh?

Standing on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon, Simon Tam, the bassist and frontman of the Asian-American rock group The Slants, was fired up. He'd just watched as most of the eight justices questioned whether the government should back his right to use his band's name, which is a racial slur.

"If the government really truly cared about fighting racist messages they would have canceled the registrations for numerous white supremacist groups before they even approached our case," he told a crowd of reporters.

A panel at Garfield High School on Monday discusses the NAACP's proposal to require ethnic studies.
Jamala Henderson

Seattle’s NAACP chapter and some Seattle educators want ethnic studies to become required learning in the city's public schools.

On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, teachers, students and parents crowded into a medium-sized Garfield High School classroom to hear speakers talk about the proposal.

Benjamin Hunter at Mt. Zion Baptist Church
Courtesy of Seattle Colleges

For his 1967 speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote:

"We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time.”

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