WBEZ | African American http://www.wbez.org/tags/african-american Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Pope Francis inspires black Catholics, despite complicated church history on race http://www.wbez.org/news/pope-francis-inspires-black-catholics-despite-complicated-church-history-race-113040 <p><div id="res442518676"><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Pope Francis talks with a group of children in the sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, in El Cobre, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/22/ap_900392557123-fca892f9ced92ed3068ee67f6db824e9a4c0ecfc-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 450px; width: 600px;" title="Pope Francis talks with a group of children in the sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, in El Cobre, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. (Tony Gentile/AP)" /></div><div><p>Every time Pope Francis washes the feet of prisoners, embraces an orphan, speaks of social justice and &quot;the least of these,&quot; it reflects the Catholic Church as I would like it to be, the church of the Scriptures. Pope Francis has not altered doctrine or dogma; yet words and deeds have their own kind of power. His U.S. itinerary includes stops at a Harlem school and a Philadelphia correctional facility. It&#39;s a visit that may bring me closer to a faith that has not always been so welcoming to black Catholics like me.</p></div></div><p>&quot;I think Pope Francis&#39; message is a challenging one for the kinds of Catholics we have here in America, who have bought into a kind of Evangelicalism which isn&#39;t Catholicism,&quot; says&nbsp;<a href="https://www.sas.upenn.edu/religious_studies/faculty/butler">Anthea Butler,</a>&nbsp;Associate Professor of Religion and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania. &quot;I think it rings true for black Catholics because of his focus on justice, poverty, and liberation.&quot;</p><p>It certainly rings true for someone like me who sees being Catholic as an essential part of being myself. When you are baptized with the name your late grandmother carried, Mary Cecelia, Catholic is with you before you learn the rosary or make your first Communion. But being&nbsp;black&nbsp;and Catholic &mdash; something I never thought much about in my early years &mdash; means inheriting a complicated legacy.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/8675971548_7872e01a16_z.jpg" style="height: 445px; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: right;" title="Exterior of the Holy Angel Catholic Church on Chicago's South Side. It is the city's largest black Catholic church. There are more than 2,000 church members. The Church also had the largest black Catholic school in the nation, with over 1,300 students. (U.S. National Archives/John H.White)" /></p><p>In my home state of Maryland, which was colonized as a refuge for persecuted Catholics, the faith was locked in for many enslaved African-Americans, beginning in the 17th&nbsp;century, a custom that extended to other parts of the young country. &quot;Many enslaved Africans became Catholic if imported through New Orleans under French rule &#39;code noir,&#39;&quot; Butler explains, &quot;which required slaves purchased to be baptized in the Catholic Church within seven days of purchase.&quot;</p><p>For centuries, not only did the Catholic Church bless slaveholders, in some cases, it joined their ranks.&nbsp;<a href="https://www.udayton.edu/directory/artssciences/religiousstudies/moore_cecilia.php">Cecilia Moore</a>&nbsp;is an Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton, a Catholic research university in Ohio. Moore, herself an African-American Catholic, has researched black Catholic history and has taught at Xavier University of Louisiana&#39;s Institute for Black Catholic Studies. She notes that religious orders like the Jesuits ignored church law on slavery, and held slaves themselves, who worked as servants and on the community&#39;s farms.</p><div id="res442554435"><div data-crop-type="">Despite&nbsp;<a href="http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/publications/in-supremo-apostolatus-apostolic-letter-condemning-the-slave-trade">Pope Gregory&#39;s 1839 condemnation of the slave trade,</a>&nbsp;Catholic loyalties in the Civil War often split along regional lines, with the archbishop of New York John Hughes supporting the Union and consulting with President Abraham Lincoln, while the Charleston, S.C., bishop Patrick Neeson Lynch, was sent by Jefferson Davis to meet with Pope Pius IX in a failed attempt to get him to recognize the Confederacy.</div><div data-crop-type="">&nbsp;</div><div data-crop-type="">To be sure, the church could also be a force for equality in America, from the work of Mother Katharine Drexel (now a saint) in funding and founding black Catholic schools and parishes in the late 19th&nbsp;and early 20th&nbsp;centuries, to the actions of North Carolina Bishop Vincent Waters to integrate schools and churches in 1953, a year before the Supreme Court&#39;s Brown v. Board of Education decision.</div><div data-crop-type="">&nbsp;</div><div data-crop-type="">That spirit of inclusion was not something the larger church always embraced, even on Sunday mornings. &quot;Segregation in the Catholic church was prevalent, especially during the Jim Crow era,&quot; says Butler. African-Americans were often forced to sit in separate sections of churches and barred from altar service or taking communion. &quot;We still have people who have living memory of the ways in which they were segregated in worship,&quot; says Moore. Still, many black religious and lay leaders never lost their faith or activism, with black church organizations offering support throughout the church&#39;s history in America.</div></div><p>Religion and politics, while never separate, became as tangled as they could be in Baltimore in the 1960s and 1970s &ndash; a time of turmoil and tension to spare. This is when the Church&#39;s complicated history with race became part of my own story. I remember the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1984/08/27/obituaries/lawrence-cardinal-shehan-dies-retired-archbishop-of-baltimore.html">heroism of Lawrence Cardinal Shehan</a>, Archbishop of Baltimore &ndash; soft spoken and small in stature &ndash; who demonstrated at the March on Washington, ordered desegregation of schools in the archdiocese in the 1960s, and was jeered when he testified in favor of open housing legislation.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_6409180103.jpg" style="float: left; height: 252px; width: 340px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="In his photo released by the Vatican, Pope Paul VI poses at the Vatican with American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during a private audience, Sept. 18, 1964. With the pontiff and King are Msgr. Paolo Marcinkus of Chicago, who acted as interpreter, and with King is his aide, Dr. Ralph Abernathy, right. (AP Photo/Vatican Photo)" /></p><p>But I also remember how segregation marred Catholic schools, and what that meant to my family in the 1950s and 1960s. My oldest brother passed rigorous entrance exams for Catholic high schools in Baltimore with flying colors. But he never got to attend; priests and school administrators explained that had my brother been white and non-Catholic, he would&#39;ve been accepted. With the persistence of my devout and active Catholic mother, who persevered through her hurt, he was accepted to a Catholic high school in Wilmington, Del., which was integrating. That meant a daily early train commute from Baltimore to Wilmington, about an hour one way; he never missed a day and graduated with high honors, second in the class.</p><div id="res442550096"><aside><blockquote><div><p><strong><em>&quot;We still have people who have living memory of the ways in which they were segregated in worship.&quot; -Cecilia Moore, Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton</em></strong></p></div></blockquote></aside></div><p>Just a few years later, things had changed...somewhat. When I graduated from an all-black grade school, taught by the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.oblatesisters.com/history.html">Oblate Sisters of Providence</a>, a black order of nuns founded in Baltimore in 1829 to teach children who looked like me, I passed those tests, just as my brother had, and was allowed to enter an all-girls Catholic high school where I was in a definite minority.</p><p>I developed&nbsp;<a href="http://www.womensmediacenter.com/feature/entry/we-are-the-girls-from-seton-high">lasting friendships&nbsp;</a>and survived occasional clashes with white girls from other parts of the city as we worked through petty kid stuff as well as more serious racial resentments that threatened to trump carefully learned lessons of Catholic charity. I found refuge with the other newspaper geeks and Sister Mary Augustine who welcomed anyone willing to write or edit a story. In my senior year, I shared editor duties with a white classmate who is still a friend.</p><p><img alt="Writer Mary C. Curtis in her fourth grade school picture from St. Pius V school in Baltimore, Md." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/09/22/catholicschoolgirlpix_vert-142a1b95059a03d9c2bffd204ae226bc972319b0-s400-c85.jpg" style="float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; height: 300px; width: 225px;" title="Writer Mary C. Curtis in her fourth-grade school picture from St. Pius V school in Baltimore, Md. (Courtesy of Mary Curtis)" /></p><p>The teachers were often the bigger problem. The day I registered for classes, the nun in charge looked at my face, and pulled my mom and me aside halfway through the process. It never occurred to her that the Mary Cecelia whose test scores put her in honors courses could look like me. She explained that while I qualified for gifted classes, I might want to start in a lower group until I could handle more advanced work. After exchanging looks, my mother and I assured her I would be fine. That nun, who later would become my honors algebra teacher, remained bewildered by my success. &quot;Are other people in your family smart?&quot; she&#39;d ask me.</p><p>The Church has come a long way since my childhood, even before Pope Francis. In 2010, when the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/08/17/for-black-catholic-women-gathering-is-like-cpr-for-the-spirit/">National Gathering for Black Catholic Women</a>&nbsp;met in Charlotte, N.C, where I now live, hundreds of women traveled from across the country for fellowship dedicated to &quot;remaining Catholic while remaining authentically black,&quot; as one attendee put it. My sister &ndash; following my mother&#39;s example &mdash; was one of them. She worships at a predominantly black parish in Baltimore that was all-white in my childhood and changed with the neighborhood. Now, with a black pastor, the vibrant services incorporate soulful music and praise dance.</p><p>Worldwide, the black Catholic Church is changing, too. According to the&nbsp;<a href="http://nbccongress.org/black-catholics/worldwide-count-black-catholics-01.asp">National Black Catholic Congress</a>, Catholics of African descent represent almost 25 percent of the one billion Roman Catholics throughout the world in more than 59 countries.</p><p>At Cecilia Moore&#39;s predominantly black parish in Dayton, many of the younger parishioners are from Ghana, with others from Nigeria and Rwanda. &quot;We&#39;re getting older, and the young people of African descent tend to be immigrants and the children of immigrants,&quot; she says, noting that the number of white American Catholics has long been in decline. &quot;When we take a picture of the U.S. Catholic Church, it&#39;s going to be very black and brown,&quot; Moore explains, adding that the U.S. church is increasingly dependent on foreign-born priests &mdash; maybe from Africa, India, the Philippines or Ireland. &quot;America is kind of a mission again.&quot;</p><p>So, you could say Pope Francis is doing missionary work, recognizing that the church needs to embrace members of color to survive. Or maybe he&#39;s just getting back to basics. &quot;He has the common touch, that is the ability to relate to people, to be with people to enjoy their company, to listen to them,&quot; says Moore. &quot;It feels so relatable and relational; every time he does that he reminds all of us that the church is so much wider than what we think we know it is. ... He surprises us.&quot;</p><p>Pope Francis&#39; message has surprised me. He looks to the future of the church by sharing a message that harkens back to the small and inclusive world that once made me feel very much at home in church. Even from a distance, I will be listening.</p><p><em>Mary C. Curtis is a journalist in Charlotte, N.C. She has worked at the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, the Charlotte Observer, as a national correspondent for Politics Daily and was a contributor to The Washington Post. Follow her on&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/mcurtisnc3">Twitter</a>.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2015/09/22/442509427/pope-francis-inspires-black-catholics-despite-complicated-church-history-on-race?ft=nprml&amp;f=442509427"><em> via NPR&#39;s Code Switch</em></a></p></p> Wed, 23 Sep 2015 10:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/pope-francis-inspires-black-catholics-despite-complicated-church-history-race-113040 Why are Black chefs overlooked? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-02/why-are-black-chefs-overlooked-112805 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/chefs.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>When you think of African American chefs in Chicago, who comes to mind? What about Black-owned restaurants?</p><p>Still wondering?</p><p>If you take a look at a Zagats or Michelin list, nominees for the James Beard awards or the lineup of many upscale food festivals in Chicago, you won&rsquo;t find many African-American chefs or African-American owned restaurants. Why? Are Black culinary students few and far between? Are Black chefs not getting the same opportunities as others?</p><p>The reasons are varied. However, over the years there have been efforts to increase the numbers. Here to discuss are Food and Drink Writer Audarshia Townsend; Chef David Blackmon, the program director for Chicago Public Schools&rsquo; Career Technical Education Culinary Arts Program; and Chef Julius Russell, executive chef for Tale of 2 Chefs.</p></p> Wed, 02 Sep 2015 12:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-09-02/why-are-black-chefs-overlooked-112805 Suspicion lingers over Ebola treatment http://www.wbez.org/news/suspicion-lingers-over-ebola-treatment-110977 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/african food truck.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Last Friday, Illinois health officials presented plans to deal with any future Ebola cases in the state. These include establishing a test lab, taking the temperature of some foreign travelers, and forming a task force aimed at better communication.</p><p>But a trip to a nearby West African lunch truck revealed that big communication gaps still remain in some parts of the city.&nbsp;</p><p>As the West African vendor served up plates of fufu and goat, he said that, so far, he hadn&rsquo;t seen any shortages in ingredients imported from Africa.&nbsp;<br /><br />But a customer standing in line thought the vendor was, instead, being asked about the safety of West African food.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Ebola cannot infect our food,&rdquo; said the cab driver who only wanted to be identified as Chris. &ldquo;Because our food is properly cooked. It is cooked to at least 90 degrees.&rdquo;</p><p>Chris continued by sharing his view on the true origin of Ebola.</p><p>&ldquo;That thing (Ebola) is a white man&rsquo;s disease,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;They created it in a lab to kill us, and to make the pharmaceutical companies rich.&rdquo;</p><p>Within minutes, fellow cab drivers joined in the conversation, asking &ldquo;Why is it that the black man who came from Africa, he died? But the white man lived. We won&rsquo;t let anyone fool us anymore.&rdquo;</p><p>While some of these views may seem extreme, they echo a larger question in the world health community about why an Ebola vaccine has been so long in coming.&nbsp;</p><p>Laurie Garrett is a Senior Fellow for Gobal Health at the Council on Foreign Relations. She said market forces affect the development of these medications.</p><p>&ldquo;Because it&rsquo;s so rare, and it occurs among very poor people, where is the financial market incentive for the pharmaceutical industry to get in there and commercialize it?&rdquo; she asked.</p><p>Indeed, until recently, that incentive has not existed. But it did get a big push last month when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation committed $50 million to addressing Ebola.&nbsp;</p><p>Still, Garrett says there are other factors that have slowed progress on an Ebola vaccine.</p><p>&ldquo;How do you clinically test a vaccine against a disease that you cannot possibly ethically induce in your test subjects, and that occurs so rarely,&rdquo; she asks. &ldquo;Also, you don&rsquo;t really have a population that is routinely exposed in order to test how well the vaccine really works.&rdquo;</p><p>One Liberian-born, American professor offered up an answer to that question. He believes human trials have already begun...on unsuspecting Africans as part of a plan by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Delaware State plant pathologist detailed these suspicions in a letter that went viral last month in Liberia&rsquo;s largest daily paper, further fueling speculation.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>This and other factors have driven continuing suspicion about a racial component to the outbreak.<br /><br />&ldquo;The white woman who went to England: she was healed,&rdquo; Chris, the cab driver, noted. &ldquo;The nurse who went to Spain: She was healed. The white boy who who came to America. He was healed. But the black man who came to Texas, in America&mdash;in America he died.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Last week, Illinois&rsquo; Director of Public Health LeMar Hasbrouck stressed that communication will be key in the Ebola fight. And that the new task force would have to: &ldquo;Coordinate public messaging so we are not giving different messages to different audiences, so we are all on the same page there.&rdquo;</p><p>WBEZ asked Hasbrouck&rsquo;s department how and if it planned to address some of the racially-based perceptions on Ebola. The department did not respond.</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at <a href="http://twitter.com/monicaeng" target="_blank">@monicaeng</a>&nbsp;or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/suspicion-lingers-over-ebola-treatment-110977 The Sounds of Stillness: Dwelling in the Visual Archive of Diaspora http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/sounds-stillness-dwelling-visual-archive-diaspora-107051 <p><p><strong>Professor Tina Campt</strong>, Professor of Women&#39;s, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Director of the Africana Studies Program, Barnard College, New York, engages three innovative conceptual frameworks for theorizing diasporic formation that depart from traditional emphasis on mobility, resistance and expressiveness as primary idioms of black culture.</p><p>Her talk elaborates the concepts of quiet, stasis, and fugitivity, and uses them to consider what they tell us about what we overlook, overhear, erase or leave unremarked in diasporic formations. Vernacular photography offers an important and frequently overlooked window into practices of diasporic dwelling and fugitivity, when we attend differently to the quiet practices of stasis through which they image fugitivity. Reading these three keywords together through the photography of a Black German family offers a provisional glimpse into the possibilities of theorizing some of the fugitive practices often rendered unvisible in other diasporic frames.</p><p>This is one of our keynote speakers for DePaul University&#39;s conference, <em>Remapping the Black Atlantic: (Re)Writings of Race and Space</em> which took place April 12-14. More information on the conference can be found <a href="http://las.depaul.edu/diaspora/ConferenceAnnouncements/index.asp">here.</a></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CBDD-webstory_5.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image "><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br />Recorded live Sunday, April 14, 2013 at DePaul University&#39;s Student Center.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Sun, 14 Apr 2013 11:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/sounds-stillness-dwelling-visual-archive-diaspora-107051 Stigma and Culture: Global Migrations and the Crisis of Identity in Black America http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/stigma-and-culture-global-migrations-and-crisis-identity-black-america <p><p>The black Atlantic is a site of not just roots and cultures but also routes and convergences. We must add that an element of those convergences is oppositional identity-making among populations of African descent from diverse geographical origins.</p><p><em>Stigma and Culture</em> with <strong>J. Lorand Matory</strong>, PhD. Duke University, explores the re-articulation of ethnic boundaries and cultural diacritica by which African and Caribbean immigrants to the United States, as well as Louisiana Creoles of color and Native American populations of partly African descent, endeavor to distinguish themselves from a supposedly more prototypical black American, with the intent to establish their worthiness of the American dream. Such self-construction in contrast to the stigmatized African American is taken as a case study of the role of stigma in the genesis of cultural identities generally in a time of global migrations.</p><p>This is one of our keynote speakers for DePaul University&#39;s conference, <em>Remapping the Black Atlantic: (Re)Writings of Race and Space</em> which took place April 12-14. More information on the conference can be found <a href="http://las.depaul.edu/diaspora/ConferenceAnnouncements/index.asp">here.</a></p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/CBDD-webstory_3.jpg" style="float: left;" title="" /></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><br />Recorded live Friday, April 12, 2013 at DePaul&nbsp; University&#39;s Lincoln Park Student Center.</p></p> Fri, 12 Apr 2013 10:42:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/stigma-and-culture-global-migrations-and-crisis-identity-black-america The return of Easy Rawlins http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/return-easy-rawlins-105444 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Walter%20Mosley%20AP%20small.jpg" style="height: 431px; width: 620px;" title="Walter Mosley returns with another edition of his Easy Rawlins detective series. (AP/Bebeto Matthews, file)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F78433633&amp;color=ff6600&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>For a writer who got started late, Walter Mosley has never had trouble staying busy.</p><p>Although the 61-year-old author didn&rsquo;t pick up his pen until he was in his mid-30s, Mosley has already written more than 37 books, including works of science fiction, young adult fiction, politically driven non-fiction, erotica and a graphic novel co-authored with comics legends Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Mosley has written plays, too, the most recent of which, <em><a href="http://www.congosquaretheatre.org/#!fall-of-heaven/cb51">Fall of Heaven</a></em>, will open at Chicago&rsquo;s Congo Square Theatre later this month.</p><p>But Mosely is best known &ndash; and most beloved among his fans, including former President Bill Clinton &ndash; for his best-selling Easy Rawlins detective series. Rawlins, a hard-boiled black private eye and World War II veteran, solves mysteries while exposing the racial inequalities of America in the 1940s, &lsquo;50s and &lsquo;60s. Mosley, who grew up the son of a white, Jewish mother and a black father in 1950s L.A., was no stranger to such inequalities. In 1965, he witnessed the race riots in Watts firsthand.</p><p>Fans were disappointed when Mosley retired the Easy Rawlins series with 2007&rsquo;s <em>Blonde Faith</em> &ndash; and elated when he revealed he would resurrect the series with a new novel due to come out in May. Mosley came to Chicago last month, and during his talk at Chicago Public Library he gave a sneak peek at his forthcoming novel and revealed its title &ndash; <em>Little Green</em>. This latest edition of the Rawlins&rsquo; saga finds the detective recovering from a car wreck and near-death experience, and according to the publisher&rsquo;s website, &ldquo;cruising the hippified streets of the Sunset Strip circa 1967, in search of a young black man who has gone missing.&rdquo;</p><p>You can hear Mosley read the first chapter of <em>Little Green</em> in the audio above. You&#39;ll have to wait until May to find out what happens next. That&#39;s when the book comes out, and when Mosley says he&#39;ll be back to read &nbsp;chapter two.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a></em>&nbsp;<em>showcases hidden gems unearthed from</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="https://soundcloud.com/chicago-amplified/a-conversation-with-u-s">Chicago Amplified&rsquo;s</a></em>&nbsp;<em>vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Walter Mosley spoke at an event presented by Chicago Public Library in January. Click</em>&nbsp;<em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/chicago-amplified/walter-mosley-105306">here</a>&nbsp;to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Sat, 09 Feb 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/return-easy-rawlins-105444 Worldview 12.19.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-121911 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//episode/images/2011-december/2011-12-14/wv20100820alarge.png" alt="" /><p><p>Fifty years after the civil rights era, and almost 150 years after slavery, the vast majority of the images we see in film and on television are still of white Americans. Today in our occasional series, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/images-movies-and-race" target="_blank"><em>Images, Movies and Race</em></a>, Milos Stehlik looks at why media and movies are so out of touch with the country's real diversity. Two African-American pioneers in advertising join <a href="http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/creating-racial-reality-through-advertising-and-film" target="_self">the discussion</a>.<a href="episode-segments/creating-racial-reality-through-advertising-and-film"> </a></p></p> Mon, 19 Dec 2011 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-121911 Blago Defense: Not enough blacks in jury pool http://www.wbez.org/story/blago-defense-not-enough-blacks-jury-85822 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-28/AP080506020298-blago Charles Rex Arbogast.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Defense attorneys for former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich say they're concerned there won't be many people of color on the jury.&nbsp; The holdout juror in Blagojevich's first trial was African American.<br> <br> Many potential jurors have told the judge they think Blagojevich is guilty, but they stay on the jury for his retrial if they convince him that they can set their opinions to the side.&nbsp; One woman, an African-American, wrote on her questionnaire that she believed Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty.&nbsp; The defense hoped to keep her on, but the prosecution sought to have her excused because she runs a business driving people to medical appointments and it would suffer if she had to take two months off for the trial.<br> <br> Blagojevich attorney Sheldon Sorosky told the judge that it seemed like all the people of color are being excused.&nbsp; But Judge James Zagel pointed to the woman's questionnaire where she said she was trying to build up the business because her sons have felony records and they'll always need a place to work.&nbsp; Zagel excused her.&nbsp; Of the 45 people still in the jury pool, fewer than five are black.</p></p> Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/blago-defense-not-enough-blacks-jury-85822 Report: Breastfeeding in Illinois hinges partly on race, income http://www.wbez.org/story/report-breastfeeding-illinois-hinges-partly-race-income-85662 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-April/2011-04-25/breastfeeding.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Almost half of African-American mothers in Illinois never breastfeed their newborns, according to a report by state and university researchers and a nonprofit group called HealthConnect One.</p> <p> Among new black mothers in 2008, about 45 percent did not start breastfeeding their infants, according to the report, “<a href="http://www.ilbreastfeedingblueprint.org/">Illinois Breastfeeding Blueprint: A Plan for Change</a>.” That figure compares to 21 percent for whites, 14 percent for Latinas and 3 percent for Asian-Americans.</p> <p> The report also shows income disparities. The rate of low-income white mothers in the state who never started breastfeeding babies born in 2008 was 36 percent.</p> <p> “Hospitals should be doing more to encourage breastfeeding,” said University of Illinois at Chicago epidemiologist Deborah Rosenberg, who analyzed data for the report.</p> <p> Looking at all new Illinois mothers, the report says the number who did start breastfeeding was almost 78 percent by 2008 — up about 8 percent from 2000. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has set a national goal of almost 82 percent by 2020.</p> <p> Starting breastfeeding does not mean keeping at it. Twelve weeks after giving birth, just 47 percent of Illinois mothers were breastfeeding, according to the report. Of those, almost half were not breastfeeding exclusively.</p> <p> “Many women go back to work then,” Rosenberg said. “It means that employers need to be supportive of breastfeeding.”</p> <p> Rosenberg said resources for lactation consultants and peer counselors are also falling short.</p> <p> HealthConnect One, based in Chicago, published the report Monday in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Human Services and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s School of Public Health.</p> <p> Next month the group and its partners plan to begin formulating a five-year action plan for hospitals, government agencies, employers, insurers and community groups.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/breastfeeding/calltoactiontosupportbreastfeeding.pdf"> Federal health officials</a> say breastfeeding helps babies avoid obesity, infections and chronic diseases. The <a href="http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/feb05breastfeeding.htm">American Academy of Pediatrics</a> recommends exclusive breastfeeding for six months.</p></p> Tue, 26 Apr 2011 22:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/report-breastfeeding-illinois-hinges-partly-race-income-85662 Burroughs is remembered fondly http://www.wbez.org/story/african-american/burroughs-remembered-fondly <p><p>One of the founders of the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago is being remembered fondly today.<br /><br />Margaret Burroughs died at her Chicago home yesterday at the age of 93. She was an activist, an artist, a writer and a teacher.<br /><br />Salim Muwakkil is the senior editor of In These Times magazine and a radio host on WVON. He said Burroughs gave aesthetic credibility to African art forms.</p><p>&quot;And she is herself an icon, and the DuSable Museum offers a venue for a kind of a celebration of those cultural icons in the black community, venues that didn't exist in the past, and probably wouldn't exist had not Margaret Burroughs created something like DuSable,&quot; Muwakkil said.</p><p>Muwakkil called Burroughs a dear friend who was dedicated to education.</p></p> Mon, 22 Nov 2010 17:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/african-american/burroughs-remembered-fondly