racism | Connecticut Public Radio
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racism

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. 

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. 

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public/NENC

Howard K. Hill wants to bring the economic, social and cultural vibrancy back to Hartford’s Barbour Street. On a hot summer day, the funeral home owner may have been the only person dressed in a full suit strolling down a street peppered with closed businesses, dilapidated housing and streets in need of a serious cleanup.

TOONMAN_blchin / Wikipedia

The art of tattooing has been traced back 7,000 years. While the significance or reason behind the oldest-known tattoos are total speculation, we do know that often, they were applied as sacred rites, and awarded as a signifier of adulthood. In Ancient Egypt, it’s likely they were used as a means of safeguarding women during pregnancy and birth. And in the ancient Greco-Roman world, they were applied on enslaved people who got caught trying to escape.

But today, the reasons for getting a tattoo are as distinct as the person getting them. Sometimes, it’s a memorial to a person or an experience or an idea. Sometimes, it’s nothing more than something that just looks really cool!

Now and then, though, the meaning changes, and the artwork needs to be covered up. So today, you’ll hear stories about how people have used tattoos to allow their skin to, shall we say, evolve.

Courtesy Huma Farid

Since the killing of George Floyd, some Americans have been examining their role in perpetuating racism and are committing to no longer being silent and inactive.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

It’s been more than four months since Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her home by Louisville Metro Police as they executed a no-knock search warrant. She was a 26-year-old Black woman who worked as an emergency medical technician and aspired to become a nurse.

And while rallies, protests and much of the media attention has been fixed on the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Connecticut activists continue to bring attention to violence committed against Black women and girls through policing and from systemic racism. 

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.

Doug Glanville in a file photo from 2015.
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The Boston Red Sox and New York Mets start their abbreviated seasons Friday. The Yankees kicked things off with a win Thursday in Washington. And players and teams across the league are addressing racial injustice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. 

Universal Pictures

The raft of renaming going on right now obviously hasn't spared popular culture. The Dixie Chicks and Lady Antebellum are now The Chicks and Lady A, respectively. Björk's record label changed its name. Democrats want to rename John Wayne Airport. FedEx has formally asked the Washington Redskins to change their name, and Guilford's board of education voted to drop the town's "Indians" nickname. And, while Splash Mountain is going to keep being called Splash Mountain, it won't be based on Song of the South anymore.

And: The King of Staten Island is the sixth feature film directed by Judd Apatow. It stars Pete Davidson (who also co-wrote the movie with Apatow and Dave Sirus) as a 24-year-old high school dropout who lives with his mother on Staten Island. It's available for rental on digital platforms.

Wilson Ring / AP Photo

For more than a decade, Vermont tattoo artist Alex Lawrence has been offering to remove racist tattoos — such as swastikas or the white supremacist slogan “white power” — for free. Recently, as protests over police violence continue and his work has gotten more exposure, Lawrence has seen an uptick in clients taking him up on the offer.

Lamont: Connecticut Faces Two Contagions, COVID And Racism

Jul 1, 2020
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The mayor went first. The governor, lieutenant governor and the others waited their turn to condemn racism, America’s new ritual in the days and weeks since George Floyd breathed his last in the custody of police in Minneapolis.

Jericho Brown in 2019
Brian Cornelius

At the start of this year, Jericho Brown addressed the graduates of the Bennington Writing Seminars Class of January 2020. 

He said, “If you can't imagine these last few days without trees, I know you can't imagine life without poetry. Literature fills needs we did not know we had. Poems and stories plant seeds for things we did not know we needed."

Jericho Brown is this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry for his book, The Tradition, a collection of poetry questioning why and how we’ve become accustomed to violence and trauma.

This hour, Jericho Brown joins us to discuss his work, and advice for new poets.

Members of Students for a Democratic Society stage demonstrations New Haven Green near area where huge rally was being held by Black Panthers and supporters, May 1, 1970. Panthers were protesting the jailing of eight of their group in New Haven.
AP

On May 1st, 1970, the eyes of the nation were on the Elm City. Students and others from around the country had gathered to protest the murder trial of Black Panther Party leaders Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins.

This hour, we take a look back at May Day in New Haven, 50 years ago this year. We talk with Huggins and hear from a former Baltimore mayor who was one of the Yale students who helped keep protests peaceful.

Do you remember May Day and New Haven’s Black Panther Trials?

Yale School of Music

The Yale School of Music is implementing a series of initiatives in an effort to address issues of racism and diversity at the school and beyond.

Jesse Costa / WBUR

Protests over police violence and racism continue across the country. And some state and local government leaders in New England are starting to announce changes. Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh declared racism a public health crisis, joining several other cities and towns in the region.

David McBee / Pexels

Protests against police brutality have put systemic racism in the spotlight. But how do the written and unwritten rules in communities perpetuate racial inequality?

Jacquiline Rabe Thomas / Connecticut Mirror

Racial segregation is a modern-day problem that is perpetuated in New England through local zoning laws.

Courtesy: Shardé M. Davis

Shardé M. Davis, a communications professor at the University of Connecticut, is the co-founder of the Twitter hashtag #BlackintheIvory. Along with Joy Melody Woods, a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin, Davis sparked a public conversation about racism in academia when she tweeted out some of her own experiences as a Black scholar.

Picasa / Google

Scientists say humans don't know how to breathe very well. We don't breathe deep enough, we breathe too much, and we breathe through our mouths instead of our noses. Our bad breathing can lead to conditions that we don't typically associate with the way we breathe, such as asthma.  

Yale Repertory Theater
Yale Repertory Theater

The Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre will skip the entire 2020-21 season in response to COVID-19.

In a press release, the school says the decision was made due to the “incompatibility of theatrical production with the best public health practices in response to COVID-19.”

Carmen Baskauf / Connecticut Public Radio

New Haven has become the latest municipality in Connecticut to announce it will remove a statue of Christopher Columbus. The statue, in Wooster Square, is in the center of the city’s traditionally Italian American neighborhood.

After the death of George Floyd, demonstrators rallied outside police departments, on highways and through downtowns across New England calling for police reforms and racial justice.

Amid these protests, Alicia Thomas, a special education teacher in Springfield, Mass., posted on Facebook about the role of teachers in dismantling racism — and how school administrators could do more to support teachers of color.

time magazine titus kaphar
Time

Audio Pending...

This week’s Time Magazine cover is a painting by New Haven artist Titus Kaphar created in response to the killing of George Floyd. 

The painting, Analogous Colors, is powerful -- a black mother, eyes closed, holds her child close to her body. But Kaphar cuts the image of the child out of the canvas, revealing a mother holding the empty silhouette of her baby.

Updated 7:28 p.m. ET

George Floyd, whose killing by police inspired worldwide protests calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality, was taken to a cemetery for burial Tuesday in his hometown of Houston.

The black man died May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 9 minutes. A video captured by a bystander showed Floyd pleading for air and calling out for his mother.

Floyd, 46, was to be buried next to his mother.

Facebook

In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, theater companies in Connecticut are promising to do more to deal with racial injustice in their communities and within their own workplaces.

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Residents across Connecticut continue to protest and speak out in response to the police killing of George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer.

This hour, as residents demand police accountability, how should they also work towards dismantling systemic racism in our state?

We talk with State Representative Robyn Porter, who has worked on police accountability legislation. We find out what more needs to be done to reform police departments and how it ties into addressing the underlying structural inequalities in Connecticut.

Betsy Kaplan

When did the horrors that once seemed unthinkable become commonplace? 

Alexandra Petri, satirist and columnist for The Washington Post, says this is an alarming and terrible time. Everything is more absurd but not much is funny. How do you make people laugh without losing sight of what's happening?  

Joe Amon / Connecticut Public

Something different is happening in America at this moment. Do you feel it? We want to hear from you. Call us during our live show Tuesday, from 1 to 2 p.m., at 888-720-9677 or 888-720-WNPR.

People across America are protesting the same police brutality against black Americans that never seems to stop.

America has suffered more deaths from COVID-19 than any other nation, and we still don't have a federal plan to deal with it, despite the efforts of health care workers and scientists.

President Trump had threatened to deploy the military if the state officials he first felt the need to denigrate couldn't control the looting in their locales. He proceeded to order the police to use tear gas and flash grenades to disperse peaceful protesters so that he could pose in front of a burned church with a Bible in his hand.

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