race

Brandon Ellington has been an outspoken proponent of legal reform in the aftermath of the Department of Justice report on Ferguson, Missouri. But he won't call the bills he's pushing in the Legislature "Ferguson-related bills." Here's why.

Plus, what it's like to be a minority in the Legislature, in every sense of that word. 

Guest:

  • Brandon Ellington, Missouri State Representative for District 2, leader of Missouri's Black Legislative Caucus
Michael Gil / Flickr-CC

How many times have you seen a car pulled over at the side of the road and wondered why they were being pulled over?

Three professors at the University of Kansas did more than wonder. Charles Epp, Steven Maynard-Moody, and Donald Haider-Markel started surveying drivers in the Kansas City metro area in 2004 and studied the research over the next 10 years. 

What they found is that race is deeply embedded in police practice.

Carl Van Vechten / Creative Commons, Wikimedia

The prolific author best known for Their Eyes Were Watching God got her start as an anthropologist, listening to the stories and songs of former slaves in Florida in the 1930s. About fifty years later, a Kansas City woman found a connection with her own history and community in the voices Hurston captured. Her one-woman play about Zora Neale Hurston now takes her all over the world.

Guests:

selmamovie.com

What went through the mind of a Kansas City community organizer as he watched Selma, depicting Martin Luther King Junior's march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965? What did filmmaker Kevin Wilmott, who has juggled the competing demands of historical research and creative vision, think of the storytelling techniques? And what is our local movie critic's takeaway?

Guests:

In the 1990s, Kevin Fox Gotham began researching Race, Real Estate and Uneven Development: The Kansas City Experience, 1900-2000. The book's premise is that housing patterns isolating impoverished, minority populations in city centers don't naturally result from free market pressures; institutional policies contribute, and the desires the free market satisfies originate somewhere. After the subprime mortgage crisis of recent years, Gotham decided to publish a second edition.

courtesy of Coshelle Greene

Few people heard about the murder of Dionte Greene. The gay, black man was found shot to death in his car on Oct. 31, 2014, and Greene's friends are convinced that it was a hate crime.

Those who knew him were shocked by his murder. They've called this moment a tipping point, one requiring a conversation about race in Kansas City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community, according to reports filed by KCUR's Elle Moxley.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Seven people involved in a protest in downtown Kansas City, Mo., on Saturday were arrested as they attempted to block Interstate 70.

The protest was themed #BlackLivesMatter after the viral hashtag, which took off after the decisions not to indict the police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Kansas City Public Library / Missouri Valley Special Collections

Sonny Gibson likes to let history speak for itself. He spent 25 years visiting flea markets, poring over old newspapers, digging through archives and even knocking on people's doors, all to gather information about the daily lives of African-Americans in Kansas City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Guest:

As protests, riots, community-police tensions and a National Guard presence take hold in St. Louis, on the other side of the state, how is Kansas City doing? Clergy and civil rights leaders have marched to City Hall, and community gatherings have been platforms for candid, cathartic conversations about race.

Guest:

Willis Ryder Arnold / St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday night, the people of Ferguson, Mo., learned that the white police officer who shot and killed a black teenager in August would not be indicted. After a period of stunned silence, chaos erupted between protestors and police, who showed up on the scene before violence broke out. How do residents feel, faced with immediate struggles and a national spotlight? Is it possible for the events in Ferguson to give rise to a new chapter in the history of race and justice in America?

Guests:

Online dating has opened up new ways to make first impressions. What happens after that depends as much as ever on the whims of chemistry and compatibility. But what informs that first impression? OK Cupid's Christian Rudder has mined his site's data and concluded that race has more to do with it than most of us acknowledge.

Guest:

Courtesy: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

"We're still here," says Gaylene Crouser of the Kansas City Indian Center. That's one of the many things she'd like people to understand about American Indians, a detail they might not pick up from mainstream movies. How have recurring characters on-screen shaped our perceptions of what it means to be indigenous in America? 

Guests:

KU / Creative Commons

For the past few decades, American communities have been trying to foster this thing called "multiculturalism." As we continue to debate notions of privilege and perception, how is this experiment going? Are we more empathetic than we used to be? Plus, having "the talk"... about race.

Guests:

Western Historical Manuscript Collection

  Festering tensions reach a boiling point, erupting into a stand-off between police and the African-American community. This basic scenario has played out in Kansas City, Mo., Lawrence, Kan., St. Louis, Ill. and now Ferguson, Mo.

Guests:

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

In the early morning hours of Aug. 12, boaters paddled into the Missouri River from Kaw Point in Kansas City, Kan., the launch site of the MR340. The ultra-marathon race offers participants only 88 hours to finish a voyage across Missouri.

The creator and organizer of the MR340, Scott Mansker, thinks what draws people from all over the world to take part in the race is that challenge of overcoming obstacles.

Paul Sableman / Flickr, Creative Commons

To conclude KCUR's extended investigation of Troost Avenue as a border that Kansas Citians perceive as a dividing line, Central Standard asked a question that often goes unspoken. That is, when we talk about Troost, as a city, are we really talking about race?

Who has the power in capitalism? The critics of capitalism say the rich have the upper hand. But author John Hope Bryant thinks the story is more complex than that. He thinks that capitalism works best when it benefits not the few, but the many.

Marek Uliasz / Flickr-CC

For hundreds of paddlers, the Missouri 340 race is a true test of endurance, but flooding along the Missouri River has put the competition on hold.

The popular canoe race runs 340 miles from Kansas City to St. Charles. Organizers said they felt that heightened water levels would introduce too much debris and keep racers from being able to reach shore when they needed a break. 

Scott Mansker, race director, says postponing the race isn't ideal because people already have taken time off work to race. But the delay ultimately won't kill the competition, he says.

Tim Samoff / Flickr, Creative Commons

 

Highways connect people and places with a speed we've come to take for granted. But highways also have a history of dividing and sometimes nearly obliterating the very communities they intersect.

Perhaps the most controversial example of this phenomenon in Kansas City is U.S. Highway 71. 

US Department of Education / Flickr, Creative Commons

Recent studies from the Center for American Progress and the National Education Association point to what some are calling a diversity gap in American schools. While student populations are growing more and more racially diverse, the teaching pool isn't changing at a pace that reflects that reality.

Christopher Dilts / Obama for America

If you want to stir the pot of controversy, adding a dash of race and a pinch of politics is a sure way to spice up the discussion.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we discuss how President Obama seems to straddle both political and racial divides and why understanding that tension is crucial to navigating the fractious issues that dominate today’s legislative landscape.

Obama's Speech Sparks Discussions On Race

Jul 25, 2013
Christopher Dilts / Obama for America

"Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago." President Obama's words have added a new perspective to the discussion about racial attitudes in the wake of George Zimmerman's acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.

Nastassia Davis / Flickr -- Creative Commons

According to the US census, the number of people who consider themselves multiracial has grown by 32% over the past decade. Yet America’s troubled racial past and complicated attitudes about race can pose challenges for biracial families and children. Where does a biracial person fit in? What kind of identity crisis can they face? And what should parents think of when raising a biracial child? On the other hand, being from two or more cultures can be a rich and rewarding experience.

It may be hard to remember, but the 2008 election broke racial and gender norms for politics. With President Obama, Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton among the presidential and vice-presidential candidates in both major parties, the idea of race and gender was a common discussion. But what did that election mean to those who didn’t, and couldn’t vote?


University of Kansas

When researchers submit proposals to the National Institutes of Health to get funding, they don’t indicate their race or ethnicity. But black researchers are a third less likely than other equally-qualified researchers to receive NIH funding.

Author Tanner Colby wondered why almost none of his friends were black.

How To Be Black

Aug 7, 2012

How black is our guest Baratunde Thurston

Kansas African American Affairs Commission

How does the status of African Americans in Kansas compare with that of its white citizens? That’s the question that inspired a recent report by the Kansas African American Affairs Commission.