African-Americans

Voting sign
kristinausk / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal trial is underway in a case challenging North Carolina's elections law. Opponents say provisions limiting early voting amount to voter suppression that especially affects African-Americans. 

Supporters say the measure prevents fraud. The decision from Judge Thomas D. Schroeder could have big implications for voting laws across the country.

Host Frank Stasio talks with WFAE reporter Michael Tomsic about the latest.

    

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of key moments in the civil rights movement, including Bloody Sunday and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Raleigh Little Theatre

In popular culture, the term cakewalk means anything that is effortless and easy.

Cover to the first installment of John Lewis' March trilogy of graphic novels
topshelfcomix.com

Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) was once inspired to fight for civil rights by a comic book about Martin Luther King Jr. and his nonviolent protest in Montgomery, Alabama. 

Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men Of The South
sweettea-theplay.com / Sweet Tea The Play

Television shows like Glee, Will and Grace, and Modern Family portray gay identity as white, northern, and secular. But that was far from E. Patrick Johnson's reality growing up in Hickory, North Carolina. Johnson decided to travel across the South to unearth stories of African American gay men and document his findings in the book Sweet Tea: Gay Black Men of the South (UNC Press/2008).

Dancing the African Diaspora: Theories of Black Performance February 7-9 2014 Duke University
African-American Studies at Duke University / http://aaas.duke.edu

    

For centuries, countless dances were born out of the disbursement of African people.  Dancing The African Diaspora, a new conference at Duke University, explores dances by people of African descent.

Archibald Motley is one of the most well-known painters of the Harlem Renaissance even though he never lived in Harlem. He spent most of his career documenting the nightlife scene in both Chicago and Paris.

Motley's images explode with color. Reds, blues greens. It's almost impossible to look away. Yet his work is not widely available to the public. Many of his most important creations are held in private collections. But now, 42 works from 1919 to 1960 are on display at Duke University's Nasher Museum.

Wikimedia Commons

  

Many people know that during the Trail of Tears, tens of thousands of American Indians were forced to walk to Oklahoma.

Bazillion Points

When Laina Dawes was eight years-old, she sat in front of her television watching the made-for-television movie “Kiss Meets The Phantom of the Park.”  Soon after, her parents gave her Kiss’ Double Platinum record, and later followed an obsession with bands like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath.  Laina Dawes is a bona fide metal head. But her fandom is complicated, though it probably shouldn’t be, by the fact that Laina is a black woman.

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4088/4945979824_1da08997f6.jpg

  

Bank of America discriminated against more than 1,000 black job applicants, a U.S. Department of Labor Judge held Monday.

The ruling ordered the bank to pay $2.2 million dollars to applicants who were turned down for positions in Charlotte. Host Frank Stasio talks to Charlotte Observer banking reporter Andrew Dunn about the case.

Branford Marsalis, Arlie Petters, and Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abenyi join the State of Things for the roundtable conversation.
Laura Lee

On this week’s roundtable, a jazz great, a leading string theory mathematician and an accomplished writer share their diverse perspectives on the latest headlines. They’ll discuss a range of issues from the latest Middle East update to the challenges facing minorities in higher education. 

Tim Okamura

The UNC Stone Center is celebrating 25 years of promoting black scholarship in the Chapel Hill community. The Center’s first exhibit of the season features the portraiture work of Brooklyn-based artist Tim Okamura. "This Story Has Not Yet Been Told…" draws from Brooklyn life, hip-hop culture, and storytelling.

Beyond The Chinese Connection Contemporary Afro-Asian Cultural Production
http://www.upress.state.ms.us/books/1570 / University of Mississippi Press

    

In the 1970s, Kung Fu movies took America by storm and Bruce Lee became a household name.  Lee turned into an unexpected icon for African-American audiences, and his image especially resonated with black males.

Actress Gabourey Sidibe has spoken openly about her obesity and how people perceive her because of it.
Greg Hernandez via Creative Commons

New research out of Duke University suggests merely maintaining weight, instead of losing it, is a more practical and successful approach for African American women. Lead author Gary Bennett is associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. He says pre-menopausal black women have the highest rates of obesity in the country. About 80 percent are overweight, which contributes to a disproportionate risk for chronic diseases like diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

Yoruba Richen a director, producer, and writer of 'The New Black.'
Luke Rattray

  

In November 2008, Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. That same night, Proposition 8 was passed in California, banning gay marriage in the state. 

Obama won by an astounding 24 points in California, leading some to ask if the mobilization of black voters was the critical factor in the passage of Proposition 8. 

Skip Alston (center) at one of his final meetings as County Commissioner
Jeff Tiberii

Tonight marks the end of a political era in Greensboro. Melvin "Skip" Alston is stepping down after 20 years as a Guilford County Commissioner. Alston has been a polarizing figure during his time on the board, clashing with conservative commissioners while rarely holding back an opinion. Alston says he's not done with politics, although where he will emerge next isn't yet clear.

Several Durham County groups are partnering to fight a high rate of diabetes in adults. The Durham Diabetes Coalition brings together health groups, churches and government to teach people about the dangers of the disease. County statistics show that 12 percent of Durham County adults live with diabetes. The statewide average is nine percent. Health educator Chasity Newkirk says the challenge is getting people screened, especially African Americans.

Coach, educator and activist LeRoy T. Walker spent his career breaking the color barrier. He was the first African-American coach of a U.S. Olympic Track Team, the first black president of the United States Olympic Committee and the man who, along with Duke University coach Al Buehler, united the races around the sport of track and field in Durham, NC.

The origins of the Black Panther Party were as a group that wanted to provide self-defense and support to communities overlooked and abused by the authorities. American government and media portrayals dismissed the Panthers as thugs, but filmmaker Dante James wants to tell the true story of the revolutionary members of the radical organization.

North Carolina native Robert Lee Vann was a pioneer of journalism during his lifetime. He served as editor of "The Pittsburgh Courier" which was the largest black newspaper in circulation until Vann’s death in 1940. He was recently commemorated in his hometown of Ahoskie, NC with a long-earned historical marker. Marvin Jones of the Chowan Discovery Group and Cash Michaels, editor of The Carolinian, join host Frank Stasio to talk about both Vann's legacy and the legacy of the black press.

Experts and educators are coming together today to discuss an economic transformation for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Leoneda Inge:  The down economy has not been kind to higher education and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs have suffered even more. Andrea Harris is president of the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development.  She has invited black college leaders and the head of the White House Initiative on HBCUs to debate the financial survival of these institutions.

House lawmakers have passed a bill that would rewrite the state's Racial Justice Act.

Jessica Jones: House lawmakers passed the controversial measure by a veto-proof 72 to 47 after a long debate yesterday afternoon. The bill would narrow the use of statistics that death row inmates could use to show that racial bias was a factor in their cases. It would also narrow the time frame inmates could use to prove bias. House Majority Leader Paul Stam is a sponsor of the bill.

Ntozake Shange’s 1977 choreopoem, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf” rocked audiences when it was initially staged in California and later on Broadway. It has since been performed on stage countless times around the world and was recently adapted into a film directed by Tyler Perry.

Differing Views Of Amendment In Hickory Church

May 2, 2012
Reverend Doctor T. Anthony Spearman
John Biewen

North Carolina voters will decide on Tuesday whether to join thirty other states that have amended their constitutions to ban same-sex marriage. North Carolina law already defines marriage as between a man and a woman; the amendment would enshrine heterosexual marriage in the constitution, and ban civil unions. Those for and against the measure have focused their efforts on mobilizing people of faith. Reporter John Biewen followed the debate over gay marriage in an African American church in Hickory.

A two-day conference getting underway at North Carolina A&T State University will weigh how certain events affect the African-American psyche.

Jeff Tiberii: The Dialogue On Progressive Enlightenment Conference, or DOPE, will focus on higher education. The conference began three years ago as an outlet for social concerns within the African-American community. Brian Sims is an Assistant professor of Psychology at North Carolina A&T. He described the conference on the State of Things.

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