The Hidden Structural Racism in the American Response to Public Health Emergencies

by R. Drew Smith, July 23, 2020 (Public Seminar) In recent decades, in reacting to threats to public health, the U.S. government has often resisted mobilizing a robust response until the dangers were perceived as hitting “close-to-home.” A closer look at what counts as “home” suggests that experts often assumed the term meant the white homeland understood …

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Ties that Bind? Emerging Race-Conscious Alliances Between African Immigrants and Black Americans

by R. Drew Smith, July 7, 2020 (Black Perspectives) The atrocity of George Floyd’s killing by police has stoked anger over systemic racism while also helping redraw geographic, demographic, and conceptual lines of antiracism advocacy. Encompassing young and old, urban and rural, and a diversity of nationalities, religious orientations, sexual and gender identifications, and racial …

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Many Days Late and Many Dollars Short: COVID-19 Institutionalised Racism and the Black British Experience

by William Ackah, May 22, 2020 (Birkbeck Comments) I watched my first virtual funeral this week. I and around 80 others joined the 15 or so people who were physically present in Bristol UK to say goodbye to an amazing woman. I first met this woman nearly 20 years ago, when I moved to the …

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Undaunted Resistance: Joseph Lowery and the Spirit of SCLC

by R. Drew Smith, April 30, 2020 (Black Perspectives) Against all odds, a movement for racial justice took hold in mid-20th-century America, emerging from within the racially-heated South, and drawing sustenance from a rich-array of Black religious sources. A cadre of activist Black clergypersons were among the central figures in this historic social movement, with organizations such …

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Time to Shut Up! Racism, Royalty and the limitations of Britishness

by William Ackah, January 21, 2020 (Birkbeck Comments) Meghan’s Blackness has lost its sparkle even quicker than I originally envisioned when I wrote an initial comment piece shortly after the royal wedding. As I alluded to at the time and reiterate here, the sparkle of Meghan’s Blackness could not last because at its core Britain is …

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‘Until we are all free’: Learning from tubman, king, and stevenson

by R. Drew Smith, January 15, 2020 (Sojourners) In 2020, January remembrances of Martin Luther King Jr. are occurring against the backdrop of two high-profile films emphasizing sacrificial servant leadership. First, the film Harriet provided a renewed focus on celebrated abolitionist Harriet Tubman. This biopic chronicles her mid-19th century enslavement in Maryland, her daring escape to a …

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To solve the hidden epidemic of teen hunger, we should listen to teens who experience it

by Stephanie C. Boddie, November 6, 2019 (The Conversation) For many young people, the toughest choice they will ever have to make about food is what to eat at home or what to choose from a menu. But for Texas high schoolers Tamiya, Juliana, Trisha, Cara and Kristen, the choices they have to make about …

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National Reconciliation Without Accountability Rings Hollow

by R. Drew Smith, October 23, 2019 (Sojourners) Twenty-five years ago, Nelson Mandela was elected South African president after serving 27 years in prison for leading resistance against racially-oppressive apartheid rule. During that same moment in April of 1994, a horrible tragedy was unfolding further north on the African continent as longstanding ethnic grievances within …

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400th Year Remembrances of Slavery Should Prompt Renewed Attention to U.S.-Africa Policies

by R. Drew Smith, August 27, 2019 (Institute of the Black World 21st Century) With 2019 regarded by many as marking 400 years since the beginnings of African enslavement on the North American continent, the costs and consequences of that historic atrocity and the case for reparations for descendants of slavery have been receiving considerable …

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