For Eddie Wise, owning a hog farm was a lifelong dream. In middle age, he and his wife, Dorothy, finally got a farm of their own. But they say that over the next twenty-five years, the U.S. government discriminated against them because of their race, and finally drove them off the land. Their story, by John Biewen, was produced in collaboration with Reveal.
It’s heartbreaking to hear the individual stories of those who were discriminated against. It’s even worse to consider the thousands of others whose stories aren’t told.
The concluding episode in our series, Seeing White. An exploration of solutions and responses to America’s deep history of white supremacy by host John Biewen, with Chenjerai Kumanyika, Robin DiAngelo, and William “Sandy” Darity, Jr.
When it comes to U.S. government programs and support earmarked for the benefit of particular racial groups, history is clear. White folks have received most of the goodies. By John Biewen, with Deena Hayes-Greene of the Racial Equity Institute and recurring series partner Chenjerai Kumanyika.
Affirmative action is really best framed as White affirmative action…
After listening to most of this series and really appreciating the work that has gone into it, I wish there were an online lecture series version of Deena Hayes-Greene’s work for the Racial Equity Institute. I’d love to hear a longer version of what they’ve done without needing to travel. Ideally it could be done as a paid series of lectures along the lines of what The Great Courses does (perhaps as history/sociology lectures?) or some other similar group that could produce it well with accompanying learning materials, but also done in a way to help underwrite and spread their work. I’d definitely pay for it.
For years, Myra Greene had explored blackness through her photography, often in self-portraits. She wondered, what would it mean to take pictures of whiteness? For her friends, what was it like to be photographed because you’re white? With another conversation between host John Biewen and series collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika.
Photo: Matt Geesaman, Chicago, 2009. By Myra Greene.
It’s interesting to see this word “marked” defined in a modern advertising sense and comparing it with the word “stamped” in the quote “The ‘inequality of the white and black races’ was ‘stamped from the beginning'” from Jefferson Davis on April 12, 1860 on the floor of the U.S. Senate as quoted by Ibram X. Kendi in his book Stamped from the Beginning.
So now you’re combining Frisbee and golf. I mean, how much whiter can you get than that?!
For hundreds of years, the white-dominated American culture has raised the specter of the dangerous, violent black man. Host John Biewen tells the story of a confrontation with an African American teenager. Then he and recurring guest Chenjerai Kumanyika discuss that longstanding image – and its neglected flipside: white-on-black violence.
The three albums that Gil Scott-Heron recorded for Bob Thiele's Flying Dutchman label are among the most important in black music history. They showed a multi-talented artist coming to full fruition with his first efforts on wax. The Revolution Begins contains every piece of music he released for the label from 1970-1971. In recent years Gil has become a lauded as one of the all-time greats. This music is the reason why.
It includes classic performances, including both the spoken word and band versions of The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, Home Is Where The Hatred Is, Lady Day and John Coltrane, Pieces Of A Man, Whitey On The Moon and Free Will.
It’s been ages since I’ve sat and actively listened to music for its own sake rather than simply having it on in the background as “noise”. I’m glad I chose this one tonight. It’s refreshing to sit and just listen to music like this again.
Whitey on the Moon, Who’ll Pay Reparations on My Soul, and No Knock are my new favorite songs. What a stunning collection this is. I’m reminded again how highly relevant The Revolution Will Not Be Televised still is almost 50 years later.
If you’re not familiar with Scott-Heron’s work, then carve out some time in your life.
I'm New Here is the 13th and final studio album by American vocalist and pianist Gil Scott-Heron. It was released on February 8, 2010, by XL Recordings and was his first release of original music in 16 years, following a period of personal and legal troubles with drug addiction.
The record was produced by XL owner Richard Russell, who was influenced by the 2009 self-titled debut album of English band the xx. I'm New Here is a post-industrial blues album, with spoken word folk songs and trip hop interludes.
I'm New Here received positive reviews from most critics and debuted at number 181 on the US Billboard 200, selling 3,700 copies in its first week. It was promoted with the single "Me and the Devil", an adaptation of blues musician Robert Johnson's "Me and the Devil Blues" (1937). A remix of the album, titled We're New Here, was produced by the xx's Jamie xx and released by XL in 2011.
You can’t spend a chunk of the afternoon reading about Gil Scott-Heron without jumping into his work.
I liked the nod of the Kanye West sampling of Flashing Lights on the song On Coming from a Broken Home as a reverse homage to a generation of hip hop artists and rappers sampling Scott-Heron.