At Jena High School, students of different races customarily seldom sat together. Black students traditionally sat on bleachers near the auditorium, while white students sat under a large shade tree, referred to as the “white tree,” in the center of the school courtyard.During a school assembly on August 31, 2006, a black male freshman student asked permission from the principal to sit in the shade of the “white tree.” The principal told the students they could “sit wherever they wanted.” The following morning, three nooses were discovered hanging from the tree. What follows below is a chronology of racial violence in Jena over the pastRead More →

You simply get chills every time you see these poor individuals, as Jack Cafferty just pointed out, so tragically, so many of these people, almost all of them that we see, are so poor and they are so black, and this is going to raise lots of questions for people who are watching this story unfold. –Wolf Blitzer, CNN What specifically was Wolf Blitzer reporting on when he made this comment? I wish I had seen it so that I could see the context of the quote. The quote, however, is being splashed all over the web. Slate has an interesting take on this quoteRead More →

I decided to supplement how Julia Wood’s handles race in her textbook for Gender and Comm. I’m asking the students to read Peggy MacIntosh’s article, “White Privilege.” It’s very old, but still useful. Some links: WMST-L‘s discussion list archive on the article. If you want the whole paper, you can buy it from Wellesley.Read More →