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Race & Ethnicity

Race & Ethnicity

B.B. King and our blatant racial revisionism: The South still denies the roots of "America's music"

Southern states celebrating "America's music" should remember the direct line between our original sin & the blues.

Tony Fletcher, Salon



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obit-bb-king.jpeg1-1280x960.jpgKing plays during his 10,000th career performance in an appearance at his club in New York in 2006. (Credit: AP/Richard Drew)

May 15, 2015 | We all have to go sometime. And hopefully, B. B. King was able to reflect in his twilight years that he had lived a longer, greater and more illustrious life than he ever might have imagined when he was born in the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta back in 1925. He has passed away at the grand old age of 89.

I have found myself listening extensively to the blues over this past year or so. There is not a direct musical connection here to my biography of Wilson Pickett, who went straight from gospel to R&B and soul. But it has helped further inform my understanding of the culture of the deep South, the music that came out of the slavery experience, and how it then traveled, via the Great Migration, to the big cities of the industrial North. Just recently, I found myself listening to B.B. King’s classic “Why I Sing the Blues” and had to stop what I was doing to truly register the opening verse.

Tony Fletcher's many books include "Dear Boy," a biography of Keith Moon; "A Light That Will Never Go Out: The Enduring Saga of the Smiths" and "R.E.M.: Perfect Circle."

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The absent black father myth—debunked by CDC

Perhaps it's time we stopped flogging the simplistic notion that all that truly plagues the black community is a lack of weddings.

Frank Vyan Walton, Daily Kos

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black-fatherhood.png?1431025883May 10, 2015 | We've been told, quite frequently and repeatedly that the problems in the black community that we've seen in Ferguson and Baltimore recently are not the fault of biased, paramilitary, paranoid and violent policing (even if the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicates that black people are three times more likely to be subject to law enforcement uses of force). They are not the fault of racist red-lining that created these impoverished neighborhoods in the first place. They are not the fault of bigoted lending and hiring practices that create roadblocks for those attempting to escape those neighborhoods. And the fact that black students are disciplined, suspended and expelled far more easily and quickly for the same or lesser offenses, isn't the problem.

None of that is the problem. Nope.  All of that is just too bad. Life is tough all over. Lots of people have got lots of problems. No, instead we've heard that the welfare benefits in Baltimore are "too lucrative," because when you give people nothing they somehow get more, somewhere. That businesses won't invest in these neighborhoods until something is done about those darn teachers unions. That it's because of "too many gay marriages." That ISIS is using Baltimore to recruit blacks. And, of course, when all else fails, blame Obama.

Frank Vyan WaltonNow living in Los Angeles with my own independant web design company where I operate the Truth 2 Power Online Radio Station.

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TV’s white-guy industrial complex: Sunday morning’s shocking lack of diversity has gotten even worse.

  • If it's Sunday, it's lots of white dudes (and not much else).
  • Baltimore: Media Behaving Badly, April 29, 2015

Jack Mirkinson, Salon

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chuck_todd2.jpg Chuck Todd (Credit: NBC/William B. Plowman)

Sunday, May 3, 2015 | It was hard to be especially angry when the news broke last week that Jake Tapper would be taking over as host of CNN’s Sunday show “State of the Union,” replacing Candy Crowley, who stepped down as anchor last year. Tapper is, after all, one of the more interesting, sharp and watchable people on television. He could actually inject some much-needed life into the eternally dismal Sunday current affairs landscape.

If his ascension to the Sunday throne isn’t a cause for outrage, though, it still provides a depressing look at the cringeworthy lack of diversity in much of our elite media. Taken together with the recent promotion of John Dickerson to replace Bob Schieffer at “Face the Nation,” the Tapper news means that all five major Sunday shows will now be hosted by white men.

Here’s the breakdown.

Jack Mirkinson is the Senior Media Editor for the Huffington Post.

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Baltimore: Media Behaving Badly, April 29, 2015, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest


  • "The biases the media has are much bigger than conservative or liberal. They're about getting ratings, about making money, about doing stories that are easy to cover." --Al Franken
  • Part 1: The media’s stunning Baltimore betrayal: Demonizing protesters & giving police brutality a pass
  • Part 2: Part 2: What we talk about when we talk about black protesters: A history of right-wing dogwhistles

US Uncut | Wells Fargo Subprime Riots /

  • Wells Fargo Bank first pushed sub-prime mortgages on thousands of black families in Baltimore (referred to as "Mud People" by loan officers), then foreclosed on their homes. But unlike Baltimore's black youth who threw rocks, not one single banker was arrested for destroying the community.
  • Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Patrick Wm Connally for this contribution.

US Uncut | Wells Fargo Subprime Riots /