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Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Despite New England’s progressive reputation, residential segregation still exists in communities throughout the region. 

In this second episode of a special radio series on “Racism In New England,” we look at how housing laws and discrimination influence where we live — from the predominantly white states of northern New England to cities and suburbs in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Premieres: Thursday, September 24, 2020

Check your station here for specific air dates in New England.

Hartford Police (screengrab)

A video featuring a police encounter with a Black person – this time a Hartford woman – is again highlighting the tense relationship between law enforcement and the communities it serves.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Here’s the story that New England tells itself: Racism is a Southern problem.

But our region’s abolitionist past hides a darker history of racism, slavery and segregation. It’s a legacy that lives with us today. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public/NENC

From suburban Connecticut to rural Maine, demonstrators occupied highways and town greens over the summer with banners and calls for racial justice. 

The vast majority of children dying from COVID-19 are Hispanic, Black or Native American, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers analyzed the number of coronavirus cases and deaths among people under the age of 21 that were reported to the CDC between Feb. 12 and July 31 of this year. They found more than 390,000 cases and 121 deaths.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Black Americans are more likely to be infected from COVID-19, be incarcerated, live in poverty, and/or be killed by the police than white Americans. It took a pandemic and the killing of George Floyd to crystallize those facts.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

In the wake of resistance to Black Lives Matter protests against racial injustice in cities like Portland, Oregon; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and others, we decided to take a look at race relations in the small towns and suburbs of Connecticut. What we found was disturbing. 

Maggie Hallahan / Wikimedia Commons

Hillary Clinton has spent a lot of time in the spotlight. We know her as a First Lady, a U.S. Senator from New York, President Obama's Secretary of State, a candidate in the 2016 presidential election, and as the wife of former President Bill Clinton. 

Yet most everything we know about Hillary as an individual separate from Bill has been filtered through the media, through President Trump's Twitter feed, and through the many conspiracy theories linked to her name. 

Netflix, Inc.

This week, the NBA, the WBNA, MLB, MLS, tennis, and eventually the NHL all postponed games and matches in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

And: A Tweet listing the "Top 7 Warning Signs In a Man's Bookshelf" -- including "Too Much Hemingway," you see -- caused a bit of a fuss on the Twitter.

Darnell Crosland Calls for Independent Investigation in Barrier Case
Ali Warshavsky / WNPR

Two Connecticut attorneys are demanding that local law enforcement do better in handling mental health issues while responding to calls. This comes against the backdrop of a Black man’s death in police custody last year, even though the man’s family claims the department knew about his health issues. 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

The U.S. Department of Justice has ruled that Yale University illegally discriminates against Asian American and white applicants, in violation of federal civil rights law. For its part, Yale calls the allegation “meritless” and “hasty.” The case is similar to one brought against Harvard last year. That case was rejected by a federal judge. 

Yale University
Pixabay

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division says Black and Latinx students with similar academic qualifications are being admitted to Yale at higher rates than white and Asian American students, pointing to discrimination and a violation of the Civil Rights Act. 

Lawyer David Hinojosa said the evidence leading to that conclusion is -- in his words -- “almost laughable.”

Feds Accuse Yale Of Racial Discrimination In Admissions

Aug 13, 2020
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A Justice Department investigation has found Yale University is illegally discriminating against Asian American and white applicants, in violation of federal civil rights law, officials said Thursday. Yale denied the allegation, calling it “meritless” and “hasty.” 

Ben James / New England Public Media

When a peer says something you think is racist, ignorant or wrong, what do you do? Most people agree that staying silent is not a good idea. But do you talk to them privately or take them to task publicly? Known as call-out culture, some think public shaming is a way to further social justice and change. But not everyone agrees with that approach.

Editor's note: NPR will be continuing this conversation about Being Black in America online and on air.

When Imani Brown, a 38-year-old from San Francisco, hit the streets to protest the recent police violence against Black Americans, she felt inspired and energized. Her parents fought for racial justice before her, so her participation felt like a part of her inheritance.

Illustration by Chion Wolf

When you were growing up, you probably heard about famous inventors. Maybe you thought they were brilliant. Rigorously trained. Confident. Capable. And that their inventions advanced humankind through and through.

But Dr. Ainissa Ramirez spent the last 5 years writing a book that strips away those presumptions. In The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another, she paints portraits not of how inventors settled questions of the limits of technology - but of how much further we still have to go.

Police Reforms Clear Connecticut Senate On Partisan Vote

Jul 29, 2020
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A divided state Senate shouldered past the fierce opposition of Connecticut police unions early Wednesday to vote 21-15 for final passage of a police accountability bill that both capitalizes on and addresses the outrage over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Courtesy: Hartford Public Library

By way of mural design, performance, storytelling and photo documentation, a group of Hartford artists is embarking on a new project that celebrates the stories of Black, Latinx and Indigenous changemakers in Hartford. 

Multiculturalism / Creative Commons

Race is a myth; racism is not. I'm stealing this line from Gene Seymour, one of our guests on our show today. 

We're reairing a show with three people who discuss what it's like to be Black in America. The show originally aired in 2017.

We chose to reair it today to coincide with the memorials this week for Congressman John Lewis, who will be the first Black congressman to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda, after fighting his entire life for social justice.

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

The late civil rights icon John Lewis will lie in state at the Capitol Rotunda in Washington this week. He is to be buried on Thursday. 

Back in 2015, Lewis stood by the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. He had been brutally beaten there 50 years earlier while demonstrating for voting rights, and he said there was still work to be done. 

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Black Lives Matter murals have been popping up across the country since the killing of George Floyd by police. In Hartford, a mural is tucked away in the city’s North End, with another in the works downtown. And in Stamford, the affirmation Black Lives Matter has been painted on a main street.

Police Reform Measure Passes Connecticut House

Jul 24, 2020
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The state House of Representatives voted Friday morning to pass an ambitious proposal to reframe the training, oversight and accountability of a police profession under intense scrutiny across the U.S. since a police officer killed George Floyd two months ago in Minneapolis.

Tyler Russell / Connecticut Public

A union of Connecticut state troopers led a demonstration outside the Capitol in Hartford Thursday in support of qualified immunity, a measure that protects police officers from civil liability.

They were protesting as lawmakers began considering extensive police reform measures at a special legislative session inside the Capitol building.

Courtesy: Shawn Wooden

From his days leading the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in his early 20s to his 33 impactful years as a U.S. congressman, civil rights legend John Lewis was a social justice giant. He died last Friday at the age of 80.

Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden knew Lewis and has great stories to tell about his time with the congressman. 

Fadein / Wikimedia Commons

With the weather getting hotter and many indoor activities limited because of the pandemic, a trip to the water is a great way to cool off.

But not every Connecticut community has a beachfront or river in town, and many wealthy communities with waterfronts have a history of limiting water access to residents only.  Some of those restrictions have reappeared this summer in response to COVID-19.

This hour, we talk about the implications of excluding access to our state’s natural waters, especially during a pandemic.

Police Contest The First Draft Of A Connecticut Police Reform Bill

Jul 17, 2020
Cloe Poisson / CT Mirror

An ambitious legislative attempt to reset Connecticut’s policing standards, training and culture in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing by police was met Friday with a mix of furious pushback from police officers complaining of a political overreaction to measured critiques by others in law enforcement who say they are ready to embrace change.

Lamont, Legislators Agree On July Agenda. It Doesn't Include Housing Segregation

Jul 15, 2020
Yehyun Kim / CT Mirror

A broadening coalition of affordable-housing advocates gathered outside the State Capitol on Tuesday to insist that the time has come to tackle housing segregation in Connecticut. But that time will not be this month.

Courtesy: Beinecke Library

Yale historian David Blight says when he first saw a collection of family scrapbooks of the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass, he was astonished.

Blight had been fascinated by Frederick Douglass all of his life. He’d written a book and edited autobiographies about the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day. But the scrapbooks offered new insights into Douglass’ life and eventually inspired Blight’s 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.  

Senior Jacob Gilman, 18, wears a Red Hawks shirt while his friend, 18-year-old Josh Monty, wears a Redmen shirt during a Killingly High varsity basketball game on Jan. 11. Gilman says he wore the shirt mostly because he got it for free.
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public Radio

The racial injustice reckoning the nation is experiencing in the wake of George Floyd’s death has only amplified calls for sports teams to get rid of Native American nicknames. That’s a movement that was already underway in Connecticut. 

Cloe Poisson / CTMirror

The investigation into the death of a 19-year-old fatally shot in January by a state trooper in West Haven remains ongoing. Mark Arons, the attorney for the family of Mubarak Soulemane, says any reform of police accountability in Connecticut needs to address Soulemane’s death.

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