The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Mitchell S. Jackson, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Melissa Fay Greene, Luke Harding, and Irina Dumitrescu.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Mitchell S. Jackson, Nikole Hannah-Jones, Melissa Fay Greene, Luke Harding, and Irina Dumitrescu.

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1. Twelve Minutes and a Life

Mitchell S. Jackson | Runner’s World | June 18, 2020 | 24 minutes (6,150 words)

White people are allowed to go jogging. When Ahmaud Marquez Arbery did, he got lynched. “That Maud’s jogging made him the target of hegemonic white forces is a certain failure of America. Check the books—slave passes, vagrancy laws, Harvard’s Skip Gates arrested outside his own crib—Blacks ain’t never owned the same freedom of movement as whites.”

2. What Is Owed

Nikole Hannah-Jones | The New York Times Magazine | June 24, 2020 | 34 minutes (8,663 words)

A sweeping examination of racial wealth inequality in the U.S. brought about by centuries of government policies that have worked against Black Americans. Nikole Hannah-Jones argues that reparations must be the center of any policies adopted to help reduce the wealth gap.

3. 30 Years Ago, Romania Deprived Thousands of Babies of Human Contact

Melissa Fay Greene | The Atlantic | June 22, 2020 | 38 minutes (8,748 words)

Estimates say that 30 years ago under Nicolae Ceaușescu’s regime in Romania, 170,000 babies, children, and teens lived in “child gulags” often in filthy, horrific conditions. Deprived of loving care of any kind, those that lived were often under-developed physically and mentally, finding it hard or impossible to form attachments with other people. This is the story of one man who survived and was adopted by a family in America.

4. ‘A Chain of Stupidity’: the Skripal Case and the Decline of Russia’s Spy Agencies

Luke Harding | The Guardian | June 23, 2020 | 19 minutes (4,864 words)

“The new hero of journalism was no longer a grizzled investigator burning shoe leather, à la All the President’s Men, but a pasty-looking kid in front of a MacBook Air.”

5. Someone is Wrong on the Internet: A Study in Pandemic Distraction

Irina Dumitrescu | LitHub | June 19, 2020 | 10 minutes (2,719 words)

What do you do when all productivity hacks, parenting tips, and writing tricks lead to the same outcome — a total, pandemic-induced inability to focus?