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This hour, on the last day of the legislative session we speak with a Connecticut state senator who has played a key role in issues of race and criminal justice, including a proposal to legalize recreational cannabis.

Did this session bring more fairness to people of color involved in the justice system?

courtesy of Erwin C. Smith Collection / Texas State Historical Association

Nat Love was born a slave, but died a free cowboy and a legend of the Old West. After the Civil War freed Love from slavery, he walked to Dodge City, Kansas, and got a job breaking horses - after he could prove that he could rope a bucking horse, climb on its back without a saddle, and ride him without falling off. He got the job. Thus began Nat's life as a cowboy.

We don't typically include Black cowboys as part of the American story of the West,  even though one in four American cowboys are Black. Black cowboys are as American as baseball. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Wethersfield’s police department was flagged Thursday as having significant racial disparities in traffic stops for a sixth time. The Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project has examined nearly 200,000 stops on roads bordering Wethersfield and found that Black and Hispanic motorists were more likely to get pulled over going into the town than coming out.

Tony Spinelli / Connecticut Public

Since April 27, eight nooses have been discovered at the construction site of an Amazon warehouse in Windsor. While Amazon and the companies it has hired to build the massive fulfillment site try to find out who’s responsible for the nooses, local Black social justice leaders are criticizing the e-commerce giant’s efforts.

Pereru, Wikipedia

What happens when you do a DNA test from a company like Ancestry.com or 23andme, and you get some life-shattering information, like your sibling is really your half-sibling, or that you may have a life-altering medical condition, or that you thought you were half Black, but the test says you’re barely Black at all.

Before you spit in that tube, hear from people who’ve been stunned and spun around by DNA tests.

Faye Goldson and Bruce Goldson
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Demonstrators gathered on the Derby Green Tuesday night in memory of George Floyd, holding candles as members of the Valley NAACP read the names of Black people who have died at the hands of police.

Adam Rosen / Congregation B'Nai Israel

We are marking the one-year anniversary of the killing of George Floyd by Officer Derek Chauvin in Minnesota. The yearlong fallout has often been referred to as a “racial reckoning.” Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden has been a facilitator of that reckoning -- particularly in corporate America. He joined All Things Considered to talk about the commitments corporate America has made to foster more inclusivity in the aftermath of Floyd’s death.

It's been 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre — one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. An armed white mob attacked Greenwood, a prosperous Black community in Tulsa, Okla., killing as many as 300 people. What was known as Black Wall Street was burned to the ground.

"Mother, I see men with guns," said Florence Mary Parrish, a small child looking out the window on the evening of May 31, 1921, when the siege began.

Witness Stones Project

How should we remember painful events in our history? There are more than 70 Witness Stones installed throughout our state. The markers commemorate the lives of the enslaved people that lived in Connecticut. 

Laura Fuchs

At first, Rebecca Carroll’s childhood in rural New Hampshire seemed idyllic. But as a Black child raised by adoptive white parents, her life became much more complicated.

“It essentially was the white gaze,” Carroll told NEXT. “It was the world my parents created, the way they wanted it to look, without any indication of race beyond me.”

Stacks of $100 bills
Pictures of Money / Flickr

Women, on average, make 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. And women of color make even less than that.

This hour, we take a look at the role greater pay transparency can play to address the wage gap in our country. Advocates in Connecticut say that listing starting salaries publicly for open positions is a step towards evening the playing field.

We want to hear from you, too. Do you have salary transparency at your workplace?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Sage Paglia recalled being in virtual high school in February when a student-driven lesson began on the sensitive topic of bias. The teacher of this lesson? Celebrity Kanye West, who argued that the month of observance does more harm than good.

Joe Klementovich

We heard about Mardi Fuller from an Instagram post. She introduced herself as an outdoor enthusiast and shared how the “white colonial imagination has never created room for Black folk to enjoy Nature.”

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Now that a jury has found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd, America is wondering what changes this case has wrought on the way police officers do their jobs. To weigh in with his thoughts, John DeCarlo joined All Things Considered. He’s the director of the Master’s Program in Criminal Justice at University of New Haven and the former Branford Police Chief.

Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

One day after the guilty verdicts against Derek Chauvin came down in the murder of George Floyd, Connecticut activists took to the streets looking to address people in the suburbs.

Brenda Leon / Connecticut Public Radio

Families of people lost to police violence in Connecticut gathered at the state Capitol in Hartford Friday to share stories of their loved ones. Jazmarie Melendez talked about her brother Jayson Negron, who was shot and killed in 2017 in Bridgeport. He was 15 years old.  

Danielle Laws / Baronial Designs Photography

Aigné Goldsby’s mom was a hairdresser. So as a kid, Goldsby would flex a variety of hairstyles. But at her majority white school, kids would do things like pull on her weave, Goldsby recalled.

When Goldsby grew up and became a lawyer, she didn’t feel at ease bringing her full self to work.

“As a Black woman it’s been difficult for me, and it’s certainly been a process for me to feel comfortable in predominantly white spaces,” she told NEXT.

RN Jenni Eckstrom draws 0.5 ml of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as the City of Hartford’s Department of Health and Human Services hosted a vaccine clinic for Hartford residents 75 and over at Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford on February 06, 2021
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Connecticut has been among the states leading the pack nationally on vaccinating its residents overall, but deep disparities remain. This hour, we get the latest from Connecticut Public Radio reporters about what’s driving the state’s racial inequities in vaccination rates.

Ebong Udoma / WSHU

While 2020 will be remembered for the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the world’s racial reckoning after George Floyd’s death, one thing 2021 is sure to be remembered for is the ugly rise in attacks on Asian Americans. William Tong, Connecticut’s first Asian American attorney general, joined All Things Considered to talk about how the Asian American community is processing this nationwide phenomenon. He also talked about the legal powers he’s fighting for to combat anti-Asian crimes. 

Joyce Skowyra / NEPM

People have been making the case for reparations for Black Americans for decades, and there are signs of forward movement.

President Joe Biden has expressed support for a federal bill that would study the issue, and the new COVID-19 relief legislation includes several billion dollars to help Black farmers.

In New England, some groups are hoping to build on this momentum — with targeted efforts.

The Allure Of Advice

Apr 1, 2021
Fred Palumbo, World Telegram staff reporter / Library of Congress

John Dunton started the first advice column in 1690. He called it the Athenian Mercury. John, a bookseller, and his four "experts" wanted to answer "all the most Nice and Curious Questions proposed by the Ingenious of Either Sex." One person wondered why they would trouble themselves "and the world with answering so many silly questions." But it was a hit.

People have always been drawn to advice columns. They're a public forum for private thoughts; they're communal, yet anonymous; they reveal human strength, yet vulnerability. Despite their popularity, until recently, most readers in the recent decades have been white women. That's changing.

Ahjané Forbes / Connecticut Public

With the state recently opening up its COVID-19 vaccine program to Connecticut residents who are 45 to 54 years old, more people are now in the queue to get shots.

But some people are finding they don’t have to get in line.

Marcela McGreal / Wikimedia Commons

Last week's violence at three spas in Georgia, followed a year of escalating violence against Asian Americans, some of it captured on videos that went viral. Despite visual evidence, New Yorker writer Hua Hsu, writes that this current moment stresses the "in-between space Asian Americans inhabit." It's hard to prove bias when we lack a historical understanding of what Asian American racism looks like. 

Deborah Cheramie/iStock / Thinkstock

The Connecticut Supreme Court wants to ensure that jury pools are diverse and representative of our communities. That could mean striking restrictions of who is allowed to serve on a jury. This hour, Chief Justice Richard Robinson joins us to answer our questions and yours about jury duty in our state.

Kevin Kennedy / The Sphinx Organization

Sphinx Virtuosi is a conductor-less chamber ensemble comprising 18 Black and Latinx classical musicians. The group will present a virtual concert this weekend and then launch a mentorship program for student musicians from Bridgeport.

Black Lawmakers Hail 'Crown Act' As Session's First Victory

Mar 10, 2021
Courtesy: House Dems

Members of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Black and Puerto Rican Caucus on Wednesday hailed the recent passage of legislation making it illegal to discriminate against someone because of their hairstyle as the first of numerous bills addressing racial inequities they hope will be enacted this year.

Elizabeth Norman

Venture Smith was enslaved when he was just a boy. He was eventually able to buy his freedom and the freedom of his family. His iconic story of will, perseverance and strength, is central to Connecticut’s history.

This hour, we dive into to the biography of Venture Smith and the history of slavery here in Connecticut.  

January 22, 2021: Resident Austin Anglin 67, is given the vaccine by Nurse Practitioner Geriann Gallagher as Hartford HealthCare launched a mobile vaccine clinic to get the COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable populations starting at The Open Hearth in Hartford
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Grocery store employees and other essential workers had expected to soon be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, Governor Lamont says the state’s vaccination plan will focus on age groups.

Today, we talk with Dr. Deidre Gifford, Acting Commissioner of the state Department of Public Health.  We ask: how does this new plan impact vaccine equity?

City of New Haven

The City of New Haven Department of Arts and Cultural Affairs is hosting a one-day virtual event to foster anti-racism in arts and culture.

Saturday’s event is titled "Unapologetically Radical" and is intended for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as community activists, and arts organizations doing anti-racism work.

Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

When Gov. Ned Lamont got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine earlier this week, he asked local leaders to go to communities of color and tell them to “step up and do the right thing.”