The 1800s were of course a time of blatant racism, and many authors reflected that by depicting fictional characters of color in horribly stereotyped ways. Or they omitted those characters entirely, as if the world was populated by whites only.
Now that George Zimmerman has been charged in Trayvon Martin's death, I am wondering what's next. I'm not talking about the next steps in the judicial process, I want to know what's next when it comes to America's relationship with race.
This time, we're looking at Kinyarwanda, a new drama in which director Alrick Brown uses a fractured timeline and mutable genres to portray how the Rwandan genocide of 1994 looked to those trapped in its madness.
How do we encourage young people at home and abroad, in South Africa and now those young people heavily invested in the as yet unsettled Arab Spring, to "keep on keepin' on," as the footsoldiers of the Civil Rights Movement used to pledge?
April is National Minority Health Month, a time to raise awareness about the well-documented health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities, as well as highlight how the Affordable Care Act is reducing those disparities.
The new federal measurements are not official yet and they are not perfect, but they are a start. We are on our way to capturing student success, in terms of graduation rates, in a more complete and fair manner.
The struggle to make sure a quality education is available to every child -- and not just a privilege for a few -- is the unfinished and critical business before the nation for it will determine America's future place on the global stage in a rapidly changing competitive world.
If the only justice Trayvon Martin's family can receive is the street kind, then the image of justice in America will have been greatly tarnished. Justice in our country is supposed to be delivered at the end of a legal trial from a jury of one's peers, not at the end of a vigilante's gun.
There comes a point for many black Americans when the "isolated incidents" are no longer those, but symptoms of deeper expressions and manifestations of racism. The killing of Trayvon Martin comes as yet another "isolated incident."
If we don't prepare all of our children today to be the leaders of tomorrow, our entire economy will suffer. We cannot be indifferent to those held back most by the painful inequality in our country; if we are, it will be the downfall of this great nation.
Now we must choose: We will decide if Trayvon Martin's death is a moment, or becomes the spark for a movement. We can't bring him back. But we can make his voice louder in death than it could be in his short life.
Over the last decade, blacks experienced the largest decline in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. If President Obama's Affordable Care Act is revoked, blacks and all other groups will find it increasingly difficult to obtain health insurance.
I am scared. It is not a new fear, but one that has never gone away, and is heightened as I look at my three beautiful boys. These precious ones, for whom my husband and I have lovingly and willingly sacrificed much.
In a recent article in the Murfreesboro Pulse shock jock and local conservative talk radio personality Phil Valentine ignorantly discussed the issue of the racist headline that showed up on ESPN about Jeremy Lin, a basketball player for the New York Knicks.