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  • The calendar returns to May. A year ago in 2020, the road to The Black Experience in America: The Course started for me. That’s when Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, and a bunch of things collided that I’d been reading and thinking about. I’d been writing a memoir about my high school journey, which spanned fall 1990 to spring 1994 (stay tuned for that); the Rodney King beating was in […]
  • Ida B. Wells, the Statue of Liberty, and the knee of Derek Chauvin on the neck of George Floyd. Photo illustration by Jon Fortt, for The Black Experience in America: The Course. The murder of George Floyd and the killing of Daunte Wright are tragedies. I have a feeling, though, that we process the tragedies differently depending on how much we identify with Floyd and Wright—or how likely we are […]
  • The first topic we tackle in The Diversity Remix podcast: Charles Blow’s suggestion that Black people migrate back to the South. I argue it’s not that simple. Georgia makes both arguments. In the most recent election cycle, Black voters in the state shifted the outcome of the presidential race and delivered a Senate majority to the Democrats, showing the impact a motivated subset of voters can have.
  • My two favorite Korean-American (and African-American) boys, in Seoul, 2019. It’s been my longtime observation that Asian Americans battle a "model minority" trap. In many circles they don't get seen as fully "American," no matter how many accents they lose and flags they wave. They don't get to be minorities, either — because of the cohort's success, Asian Americans too often get treated as if they have nothing to complain […]
  • Spider-Man was always one of my favorite heroes, so I have to admit, at first it took me a while to “get” Miles Morales. All of a sudden the comic book writers had just rewritten the origin story and wedged a brown kid in there? I wasn’t sure the Miles character would rise to the level of real representation. Was this just another “What If …?”-style hypothetical? He existed in […]