The Trouble with Uplift

Adolph Reed considers how pop culture narratives of Black “inspiration and uplift” featuring a singular (usually male) hero reflect the real-world leadership of Black gatekeepers and talking heads granted legitimacy by “elite opinion-shaping institutions and individuals.” Both, Reed claims, stifle the possibility of political change.

Source: The Baffler
Published: Sep 4, 2018
Length: 28 minutes (7,161 words)

Aquarius Rising

Historian Jackson Lears revisits the breadth, underpinnings, and outcomes of the radical movements of the late 1960s.

Published: Sep 27, 2018
Length: 18 minutes (4,560 words)

The Long History Behind the Racist Attacks on Serena Williams

“For the past two centuries, degrading visual caricatures of black figures — particularly women of African descent — have played a powerful role in shaping debates about slavery, race and citizenship.”

Source: Washington Post
Published: Sep 11, 2018
Length: 5 minutes (1,485 words)

Ballots and Bloodshed: The Militarization of Local Politics in South Africa

With roots in apartheid-era conflict, waves of violence among municipal officials in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’s second largest province, threaten the nation’s democracy.

Published: Sep 4, 2018
Length: 25 minutes (6,417 words)

What Future is There for America’s Desert Cities?

The daughter of Indian immigrants looks at race, class and climate change in the giant heat sink known as Phoenix, Arizona, a city where money equips residents with the shade trees and air conditioning necessary to survive the heat.

Source: LitHub
Published: Jul 25, 2018
Length: 16 minutes (4,044 words)

The Untold Stories of Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney, the type of man who washes out his one pair of socks after the gig, is polite, profanity-averse, and still a prolific performer to this day. In Chris Heath’s GQ profile, he talks about getting mugged with Linda while recording Band on the Run in Nigeria, killing frogs on his childhood estate to “toughen himself up,” and collaborating with Kanye West.

Source: GQ
Published: Sep 11, 2018
Length: 58 minutes (14,580 words)

The Constant Consumer

The world as platform: In Amazon’s dream universe, we’re all customers by virtue of existing.

Source: Real Life Mag
Published: Sep 10, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,798 words)

Play Like a Girl

Historically excluded and pushed into softball, Baseball for All empowers girls to stay in the game.

Source: Lenny
Published: Sep 11, 2018
Length: 20 minutes (5,020 words)

Culture Shock

Scott Korb reflects on his white privilege and the state of Florida and its racist history — a state in which his life was irrevocably changed at age 5, when his father was killed by a drunk driver in May, 1982.

Author: Scott Korb
Source: Oxford American
Published: Sep 4, 2018
Length: 17 minutes (4,278 words)

The Prisoners Left Behind

Recreational cannabis is now legal in eight states and the District of Columbia, yet many people convicted of nonviolent cannabis trafficking crimes now wallow in prison with life sentences without parole. President Obama’s clemency program offered to help these low-level drug offenders receive reduced prison sentences, but the program was flawed. Now that Trump’s in office, what hope do these prisoners have?

Source: Cannabis Wire
Published: Sep 7, 2018
Length: 13 minutes (3,278 words)