Race | KERA News

Race

KERA is covering the impact of race on a rapidly diversifying region – in education, poverty, the arts, the criminal justice system, health care, voting rights and other areas. We're also exploring the intersections between race, class, gender and identity.

Other coverage of race by KERA:

Here are the latest stories on race from KERA, the Texas Station Collaborative and NPR:

Fifteen years ago, the Chicago Police Department started gathering information about gangs electronically. It was the next big thing at the time for police departments. The idea was to store gang intelligence in one centralized system.

"It allows us to reduce violent crime, to identify the most active gangs and gang members," says Michael Martin, a member of the the Midwest Gang Investigators Association who teaches at the National Gang Center based in Florida.

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A former board member of the Richardson Independent School District is suing the district.

David Tyson Jr. alleges that the district's at-large system violates the Voting Rights Act by denying “fair representation of African-Americans and other non-white voters.”

In December 1955, after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white man, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other black ministers and community leaders organized a citywide bus boycott in protest. That part is well known.

Less well-known is the story of Georgia Gilmore, the Montgomery cook, midwife and activist whose secret kitchen fed the civil rights movement.

The annual MLK Jr. parade in downtown Fort Worth has been free of controversy, unlike the new event planned for Arlington.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram archives

The region-wide parade to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday in Arlington has been canceled.

The City of Arlington declined to issue a permit for the event, after organizers "failed to meet event planning and security-related funding requirements," according to a statement from the city.

"The federal government must take bold action to address inequitable funding in our nation's public schools."

So begins a list of recommendations released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent, bipartisan agency created by Congress in 1957 to investigate civil rights complaints. Thursday's report comes after a lengthy investigation into how America's schools are funded and why so many that serve poor and minority students aren't getting the resources they say they need.

From Texas Standard.

Twenty-three percent of the students in Fort Worth ISD are black. But according to a recent report by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 62 percent of all girls suspended in the district last school year were African-American. Fort Worth ISD administrators are looking into why this is happening in their district.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

For years, Ramey Market in Fort Worth’s historic Stop Six neighborhood has been an utterly unremarkable convenience store selling the typical assortment of sundry items, snacks and sodas. It was just the closest place to buy cigarettes or lottery tickets or beer.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

What was billed as a region-wide celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has drawn fire from local civil rights groups and community activists. They’re angry over the inclusion of Gov. Greg Abbott as an honorary grand marshal of the Toyota North Texas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade & Celebration, which is scheduled for next Monday in Arlington.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

There’s a new major at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth dedicated to shining a light on issues around race and ethnicity. It’s part of broader efforts at the university to attract and retain more students of color and improve the campus culture.

Illustration by Krystina Martinez / KERA News

2017 was a rollercoaster year for news, especially if you were a person of color, a transgender person, an immigrant, or a woman.

Allison V. Smith / KERA News special contributor

Low-income neighborhoods are more vulnerable to natural disasters, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And those poor neighborhoods are also disproportionately communities of color. 

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

In light of the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia this past summer, the Dallas school board voted to change the names of four elementary schools named for Confederate generals: Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, William Cabell and Albert Sidney Johnston.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

The firing of a 22-year veteran of the Fort Worth Police Department is exposing tensions between the police chief and his officers, and between the department and the city’s African-American community.

Editor's note: This story contains language that may be offensive.

In February 2009, Samantha Pierce became pregnant with twins. It was a time when things were going really well in her life.

She and her husband had recently gotten married. They had good jobs.

"I was a kick-ass community organizer," says Pierce, who is African-American and lives in Cleveland. She worked for a nonprofit that fought against predatory lending. The organization was growing, and Pierce had been promoted to management.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

It was one of those football game highlight moments. Dallas Cowboys fans went wild as punt return specialist Ryan Switzer dashed 83 yards for a touchdown in the first half against the visiting Washington Redskins last month.

IN OUR OWN VOICE: NATIONAL BLACK WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE AGENDA

A new survey shows black adults in Texas and around the country have a lot of concerns about reproductive health. Experts met in Dallas this week to talk about the findings and their implications.

Discrimination in the form of sexual harassment has been in the headlines for weeks now, but new poll results being released by NPR show that other forms of discrimination against women are also pervasive in American society. The poll is a collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

For example, a majority (56 percent) of women believe that where they live, women are paid less than men for equal work. And roughly a third (31 percent) say they've been discriminated against when applying for jobs because they are women.

On a melancholy Saturday this past February, Shalon Irving's "village" — the friends and family she had assembled to support her as a single mother — gathered at a funeral home in a prosperous black neighborhood in southwest Atlanta to say goodbye.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr / Creative Commons

The top local stories this evening from KERA News:

North Texas Congressman Joe Barton announced Thursday he won’t seek another term next year. It marks an end to the Ennis Republican’s three-decade career in Washington. He faced a growing chorus of calls for his resignation after a nude picture and a sexually charged exchange were made public.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Trying to keep up with medical terminology and acronyms during a doctor’s visit can be tricky for anyone. Imagine if you and your doctor didn’t speak the same language. 

Kzenon / Shutterstock

Recent headlines, like the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict travelers from certain countries, have raised questions in education circles about whether U.S. politics are having an impact on foreign student enrollment at American universities. 

Rodger Mallison / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

President Trump took another predawn Twitter swipe at a protesting NFL player this morning.  That came after a UT-Dallas researcher released a new study showing a deep racial divide among college students about "taking a knee" protests.

Courtesy of Ibrahim Ali

Seventh-grader Zahir Hameed says many students don’t have a problem with him. But there’s one kid who calls him names.

He just calls me 'stupid' and 'idiot,' and he just acts like I’m about to bomb the place,” said Zahir, on a recent Saturday morning at the East Plano Islamic Center.

The Wylie student is one of many Muslim kids here who shared their stories about bullying.

Stella M Chávez / KERA News

Oak Cliff's Bishop Arts District is in the midst of a makeover with new retail and apartments. A few blocks away, a new art gallery – Mercado Artesanal – aims to help the neighborhood keep its cultural identity.

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The top local stories this morning from KERA News:

Black and Hispanic children face tougher barriers to success in Texas than other racial and ethnic groups, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Rick Holter / KERA News

The recent debates in Dallas, Denton and Fort Worth over Confederate monuments and places named for Confederate figures puts Cindy Harriman in a unique position. She’s the executive director of the Texas Civil War Museum – and a lifelong member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

At first glance, Mu Delta Alpha might seem like any Greek organization on UT-Austin’s campus.

It has letters, colors – teal, white and peach – and had rush week last month. While that may be pretty typical for a sorority, Mu Delta Alpha is different. It’s the first Muslim sorority on the University of Texas campus.


Google

Google’s latest Doodle pays tribute to the late Tejano superstar Selena Quintanilla-Perez, whose debut album was released Oct. 17, 1989.

The project was pitched by Perla Campos, a Granbury native and the global marketing lead for Google Doodle. She says it was important for her to see Latino culture represented on the front page.

Stella M. Chavez / KERA News

It’s a little after 6:30 at night inside Daugherty Elementary in Garland, but classes are in session. Alvaro Méndez stands in front of a group of eager students: They're parents learning English.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

It’s up to the Dallas City Council to decide the fate of the city’s Confederate symbols.

The council is expected to vote early next year; the city's Cultural Affairs Commission endorsed a series of recommendations this week made by a task force appointed by Mayor Mike Rawlings. Here's what those actions would do.

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