Freedom Song: A Conversation About the State of Black Liberation Music

In the lyric pamphlet to Black Messiah, D'Angelo's third album after 14 years away from the spotlight, the soul-savant explains his reasoning behind its title and sudden release: "Some will jump to the conclusion that I am calling myself a Black Messiah," he begins. "For me the title is about all of us...It's about… » 3/25/15 5:25pm Wednesday 5:25pm

Teased for Co-Opting Blackness, Jay Smooth Explains, "I'm Black"

In the painfully awkward clip above from tonight's All In with Chris Hayes, a black woman imitated a black man whom she believed to be a white man imitating a black man. All this interaction was missing was two triple venti half-sweet non-fat Caramel Macchiatos. » 3/18/15 10:26am 3/18/15 10:26am

The Great Internet Debate Over Not Reading White Men

Hello, dear reader, and welcome to The Kerfuffler! I'm your host, fantasy writer, essayist, and mad tweeter, Saladin Ahmed. Every other week I'll be looking at America's seemingly endless culture wars playing out online, tracing their fault lines, and wading hip-deep into comment sections so you don't have to. » 3/11/15 3:11pm 3/11/15 3:11pm

What Is the Purpose of Black History Month? A Roundtable

In 1976, when Black History Month was officially acknowledged by the U.S. government, President Gerald Ford gave a (very brief) speech. "In celebrating Black History Month, we can take satisfaction from this recent progress in the realization of the ideals envisioned by our Founding Fathers.," Ford said. "But, even… » 2/25/15 3:21pm 2/25/15 3:21pm

How to Talk About Race with Your Kids

It'd be wonderful if you could just say to children, "People might look different and come from different places, but we're all equal and should be treated the same" and leave it at that. But if recent news has taught us anything, it's that reality is not so simple, and we need to face the topics of race and racism… » 1/25/15 2:07pm 1/25/15 2:07pm

A History of Thugs

Civilization is imperiled. Demonic dark-skinned criminals exult in seizing property and security. Only a vanguard of brave uniformed officers can take them off the streets and restore order. It is 1835, and whites are finally confronting what Mark Twain will soon call "the satanic brotherhood of the Thugs." » 12/10/14 10:16am 12/10/14 10:16am

My Vassar College Faculty ID Makes Everything OK

The fourth time a Poughkeepsie police officer told me that my Vassar College Faculty ID could make everything OK was three years ago. I was driving down Wilbur Avenue. When the white police officer, whose head was way too small for his neck, asked if my truck was stolen, I laughed, said no, and shamefully showed him… » 11/29/14 5:47pm 11/29/14 5:47pm

The Fight: Patterson Vs. Liston

Originally published in the February 1963 issue of Nugget, "The Fight: Patterson vs. Liston" also appears in At the Fights: American Writers on Boxing, edited by George Kimball and John Schulian and published in hardcover, paperback, and as an e-book by The Library of America. You can also find it in the recent… » 10/23/14 10:10am 10/23/14 10:10am

The Eagles Are The Whitest Team In The NFL, And Other Fun Facts

Ticket reseller Best Tickets has scraped the data to produce its Unofficial 2014 NFL Player Census, breaking down all of the league's rosters by height, weight, age, and more. I urge you to go poke around; it's interesting stuff. » 9/23/14 4:42pm 9/23/14 4:42pm

What Reparations in America Could Look Like

Ta-Nehisi Coates made the case that America owes reparations to its black community. But he purposely left out the details of what a reparations program might look like. We will now make a proposal, for your consideration. » 9/22/14 1:32pm 9/22/14 1:32pm

Syracuse Soccer Player Squeezes N-Word And F-Word Into Same Insult

Here's an awful story about a young woman saying awful things and now likely paying an awful price for it. The woman in the video is Syracuse midfielder Hanna Strong, and as of this afternoon, she is suspended from the soccer team. » 9/06/14 5:42pm 9/06/14 5:42pm

Here Are the Emergency Dispatch Calls From the Day Michael Brown Died

True to their word, the activists of Anonymous' #OPFerguson have released two hours of raw audio from police and EMS dispatch calls on August 9, the day 18-year-old unarmed Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. » 8/13/14 4:42pm 8/13/14 4:42pm

From Disappearing Donkey To Toasted: The 136 Skin Colors Of Brazil

The skin tones of Brazilians quite literally span the entire spectrum of possible human hues. Reflecting this are the 136 creative descriptions Brazilians came up with in a survey asking them to self-assess their color: » 7/09/14 5:05pm 7/09/14 5:05pm

Take Me to Sanborns: Swiss Enchiladas and Race in Mexico City

In the first chapter of D.H. Lawrence's late novel, The Plumed Serpent, an Irishwoman named Kate has a terrible experience at a Mexico City bullfight. The book is set during the Mexican revolution. Kate is overwhelmed by the sights and sounds in the arena and by the murderous event itself. Afterward, she tells a… » 6/23/14 2:07pm 6/23/14 2:07pm

Do NBA Teams With Whiter Fan Bases Have Whiter Rosters?

In the NBA of yesterday, an owner could be explicit about structuring his roster around the race of the players. "No team should be all white and no team should be all black, either," Cavs owner and legendary boob Ted Stepien told a reporter in 1980. And why not? "Blacks don't buy many tickets," he went on, "and they… » 6/12/14 3:44pm 6/12/14 3:44pm

Every White Basketball Player Gets Compared To Larry Bird

What ESPN And The NFL Don't Talk About When They Talk About "Nigger"

Last week, we got word that the Fritz Pollard Alliance, chaired by ex-NFL player John Wooten, was pushing a rule change in the league that would penalize players for the use of the word "nigger" on the football field. The proposal involves a 15-yard penalty for a player's first offense, with an ejection if he says it… » 2/25/14 6:09pm 2/25/14 6:09pm

The Big Book Of Black Quarterbacks

On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks walked all over the Denver Broncos, 43-8, to win Super Bowl XLVIII. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson passed for 206 yards, ran for 26 more, threw two touchdowns, and made National Football League history. He became the second African-American quarterback ever to start and win a Super… » 2/06/14 5:20pm 2/06/14 5:20pm