Common’s New Album is Anything But

This week, the rapper Common released an album titled Black America Again. It’s genius. Pure activist genius, right before Election Day. His music is complex and interesting, his lyrics exploring the nuances of systemic racism in the United States. He focuses on an array of issues, including mass incarceration, the injustices occurring in Flint, Michigan, and cultural stereotypes, which marginalize people of color and perpetuate systemic inequality. “The Day Women Took Over” highlights the accomplishments made by black women, from Michelle Obama to Rosa Parks to Maya Angelou. “Letter to the Free” focuses on the New Jim Crow laws, with … Read more

Racism in aisle ’14

Since I have been in this class, it is amazing to me how many things I see on social media sites that relate to everything we are talking about in class.  This week I was browsing my Facebook news feed and I saw two posts, one after another, that completely shocked me.  A woman, that goes to Muhlenberg, had a post that explained a recent experience with racism. Her post stated: “So I went to my local grocery store and the lady at the register looked at me and said ‘You’re Chinese aren’t you?’ I replied ‘Yes’ and she said … Read more

Jordan Davis and Michael Dunn

For our contemporary racism class, we read an essay by social psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt. The essay summarized her and her colleagues’ work on the cognitive associations we make about Black people and crime. For me, the findings were like a knife in the gut: we have unconscious prejudices that we often aren’t aware of, that can have dire consequences. In one study, participants were either unconsciously primed to think about crime or received no such prime. Then, two faces, a Black face and a White face, were flashed next to each other, at the same time, on the screen. … Read more

Social Power and Stand Your Ground

After discussing the Trayvon Martin tragedy in class this week, I felt very emotional and downright angry at how the case developed and was handled. How is it possible that George Zimmerman was able to kill an unarmed teenager and walk away a free man? While I do feel that many factors led to a jury finding Zimmerman not guilty, one detail of the case has stood out to me – the Stand Your Ground law. Florida’s version of the law is similar to that of other states – it allows a person to use deadly force when they feel … Read more

This is 2012…isn’t it?

As I have watched the news and blogs lately I am shocked and saddened over the direction it would appear the United States continues to head. I think at this point we can all agree that this country is far from enlightened when it comes to issues of race and interracial interaction. I think it is also safe to say that we all are painfully aware that there is a lot of work to be done however; does it appear to anyone else that instead of progressing forward we are seeing a delve backward?

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