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January 04 2014


Redefining Philanthropy: How African-Americans Give Back

November 13 2013


Kanye West, Controversy By Appropriation

Kanye West’s at it again, selling the Confederate flag at his concerts, looking to undercut a divisive old symbol – and sell t-shirts. We’ll look at Kanye West and the Stars and Bars.


Jon Caramanica, pop music critic for the New York Times. (@JonCaramanica)

Tracy Clayton, writer and humorist, staff writer at BuzzFeed. (@BrokeyMcPoverty)

Marc Anthony Thompson, singer-songwriter. Albums include “Black Yankee Rock,” Swansongs,” “GodMusic,” and “Black Music.” (@ChocGenInc)

John McWhorter, professor of linguistics and Western civilization at Columbia University. Author of “Language Hoax: Why The World Looks The Same In Every Language,” “All About the Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can’t Save Black America,” “Defining Creole” and “Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English.”

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Kanye, Confederates and race – “As a black artist embracing a symbol often used by white racists, Kanye forces the viewer to understand the symbol in a different light. Transforming a symbol of hate to love or vice versa is a part of a complex, underappreciated and sometimes-misunderstood history of re-defining symbolic images through a process of appropriation”

The Root: Kanye West’s Ego Can’t Change History – “You’ve probably read stories of students wearing the flag to school, the flag being waved at the gates of the White House and the “that’s not what it means” debate. Is it Southern pride or the symbol of American oppression’s past? Most Americans have the common sense or at least the common decency not to parade the flag around, even if they agree with its supposedly controversial meaning. Enter Kanye West.”

UPTOWN Magazine: Why Kanye West’s Confederate Flag Is Awesome — “The reason Kanye’s Confederate flag is absolutely awesome is because he’s attempting to appropriate the LARGEST symbol of white power, privilege, and racial dominance known to African Americans.The Confederate flag is not only a symbol of slavery, lynchings, and Black oppression, but it is also a cherished symbol of white southern pride for many people who still have backwards and prejudiced hate for Black people.”

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November 09 2013


Debate Within the Ebony Tower

Huffduffed from http://theconnection.wbur.org/2002/01/17/debate-within-the-ebony-tower From The Connection, broadcast by WBUR Boston and NPR. Perhaps nowhere is the role of the scholar so constantly questioned, revised, reviewed and criticized, as in the growing field of African-American scholarship. This field is no stranger to controversy. “Black studies” was born in the late 1960′s as an academic protest movement against racial inequity, inequality and injustice. But today, much of the questioning of the mission of black studies comes from scholars within its ranks who feel that, in gaining credibility in the predominantly white world of academe, black studies has become disconnected from the real world problems of African American people and communities. If the principal problems for black remain poverty and prisons, what’s the black intellectual to do? Guests: Raymond Winbush, Director of the Race Relations Institute at Fisk University Adolph Reed, Professor of Political Science at New School University Joy James, professor of Africana studies at Brown University and Ronald Richardson, director of African American Studies at Boston University.

July 13 2013


February 04 2011


African-American Food’s History & Soul

We look at the soul and the history of African-American cooking with soul food’s grand dame, Jessica Harris.

December 07 2010


African-American Families Up Close

The history and right now of African-American marriage.

October 14 2010


Eugene Robinson: The Splintering of Black America

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Eugene Robinson on the splintering of black America.
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