Melissa Harris-Perry is an African-American professor of political science at Tulane University, a political commentator on MSNBC, and now has her own Saturday and Sunday morning program on that same cable network. She also has a diverse background in African-American History so she is well ready to discuss current media in the context of historical reality.
From that perspective she has been an outspoken critic of the critically acclaimed movie, The Help. I’ve not seen the movie but I know that part of the story line involves the relationships between black maids and the white families they served during the Jim Crow Continue reading The Help, It Has Its Critics
This is 2012 and one would think that sixty-years after the beginning of the modern civil rights movement and all we’ve been through during these decades we’d be a little better at racism when it slaps us in the face. But, regrettably, such is not the case, and there are those among us who maybe need a refresher course.
So, let’s begin with this photo of President Obama holding an infant and making the kind of face men often make when trying to elicit a smile from a baby. This photo is easily found on the Internet and the caption reads, “Ugly Babies; Testing the will of politicians since FDR.” It appears to have been taken before a mainly black audience and since the baby’s face can’t Continue reading Lesson in Racism
I’ve been a student of American History for most of my life. The thing that draws me to history is the constant challenge it presents to one’s perception of reality. We all live in a comfort zone and make assumptions that everyone is experiencing what we are and that things have always been as they are. Studying history never stops pulling the rug out from under one’s feet. Just when I thought I couldn’t be shocked, bam!, I’m laying on the floor!
Yesterday I began watching a new DVD on the history of Chicago’s Maxwell Street. In the middle of explaining the black exodus from the South during WWI the front page of a Louisiana newspaper, the New Orleans States, popped up and shocked me. Continue reading Trees Bearing Strange Fruit