The Race against Racism

A web curation project on race relations in America

Teen’s prom photo goes viral for the wrong reasons

Tayja Jones speaks out after receiving countless negative comments for race, weight 

Seventeen-year-old Tyja Jones was excited to share her prom photos on social media, with a caption about her positive prom experience, saying she was happy and had fun. But the teen was not ready for the negative attention her post would receive, as the pictures went viral and comments began about her weight, race, and overall appearance.

This article from explains her reaction, and how she fought back against the negativity to hope to portray a more positive image of herself and inspire other young teens.

The author argues that the comments section has never been a safe space online for females of color, and says this is just another case of senseless racist comments against an innocent young girl.

teen photo


Larry Wilmore comments on race, the media at White House Dinner

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Source: C-Span

Bringing up the dreaded issue of race and racism in America seems to be the new thing to do when a black actor or comedian hosts an high profile event.

Larry Wilmore was no different at the annual White House Correspondent’s dinner on April 30th. Bringing up topics such as the lack of black reporters on television, the Black Lives Matter movement, and even President Obama’s white hair, Wilmore was criticized by some for his controversial introduction.

This article , published by UrbanDaily, outlines the writer/comedian’s line of fire regarding his jokes, as well as the President’s reaction to the punches thrown.


Malia Obama announces college choice, reaction prompts racism question

On May 1st, as all college students in the U.S. are required to do, first-daughter Malia Obama made her decision and announcement that she would attend Harvard University for her undergraduate education in 2017.  While some celebrated her choice to forego following in the footsteps of her parents and attending either of their Alma matters: CapturePrinceton and Columbia, others were quick to react that the president’s daughter was only able to attend such a prestigious school because of her skin color.

In this opinion page published by Inquistr, the author explains why the harsh reaction from some is a perfect example of why racism exists, and how it may have even become more of an issue since Obama was elected as the first black president.

The idea circles back to questions of affirmative action, which also remains a controversial topic in the U.S.


Prince’s legacy lives on as impetus for racial and sexual acceptance

Prince dies at age 57. Photo from RadarOnline

In the wake of pop icon Prince’s sudden death, his legacy is thought to have transcended just his undeniable talent in all things music-related, but his fame and existence also framed issues of race an sexuality in a time when these issues were even more polarized.

In this opinion piece published by Salon, the writer argues that the singer predicted a more equal world in terms of race and sexual orientation. Saying, “Prince’s ascension perfectly distilled the pansexual, multiracial, hedonistic and downwardly mobile cultural politics of the Reagan era….he also anticipated so many things, including an era when artificial distinctions between “black music” and “white music” have largely evaporated.”

In a time when race issues still remain prevalent, we are seeing black artists address the issue more and more. Beyonce’s latest release, Lemonade, which also heavily ties in lyrics about racial injustice in America’s current society, was released the same weekend Prince died.

The author comments, “Prince captured, embodied and symbolized a multicultural dance-floor utopia that was never quite reality, but was all the more beautiful for that.”



Economic inequality, race indicators of marital divorce rates

Rising divorce rates play a key role in the changing economic climate in America, but it’s important to recognize where they come from.

This column, published by the Dallas Morning News, pulls from research stating the various indicators and implications of more and more families who are separating due to divorce. The authors claim that the statistic show a correlation between separation and racial treatment in america. Since African American citizens still experience a wage gap, single parenthood is often higher among this group due to financial stress.

“Though few realize it, the retreat from marriage plays a central role in the changing economic landscape of American families, in race relations in America, and in the deteriorating fortunes of poor boys. In a word, the increasingly separate-and-unequal character of family life in the United States is fueling economic, racial, and gender inequality,” the author said.



Beyonce’s new visual album represents black feminism

Famed pop-culture icon and singer sheds light on her own experiences being black, while also touching on recent racial incidents.

The release of her newest artistic contribution, Beyonce has been met with  both praise and criticism regarding her visual album titled, “Lemonade.” The piece, which runs about an hour long, details everything from her husband, rapper Jay-Z’s suspected infidelity, to her own upbringing and hopes for her daughter.

Capture from “Lemonade” video, HBO productions

The piece holds powerful messages about being a black female in America, empowerment, justice, and feminism. Dr. Naeemah Clark wrote this article for The Conversation, dissecting the social and political implications of Beyonce’s lyrics and visual choices.

One prominent example found in the work is the lyric: The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman

“… it is a mature lyrical epic of the journey black women take – the attempt to triumph in a world that frequently tells us we are not enough,” said Clark.

The video compilation goes beyond just commenting on the singer’s own experiences as a black female and paints the broader picture of race in America by featuring the mothers of Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Eric Garner  “to remind viewers that the black man, too, has been literally broken and beaten.”





Harriet Tubman to replace Andrew Jackson on $20 bill

Does the new choice of the U.S. Treasury represent a symbol of race equality, or are we missing a fundamental understanding of race and racism?


Yesterday’s official announcement that iconic anti-slavery campaigner Harriet Tubman will replace former president Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill resulted in thousands of celebratory social media posts, many based on the honoring of Tubman’s struggle as an African American slave. Tubman will be both the first female figure to be featured on our country’s currency as well as the first black one.

The Treasury’s reasoning in choosing Tubman was to honor her life “fighting for liberty.” However, this opinion page from The Guardian believes that in choosing Tubman, there has also been a disregard for what she actually stood for. The author makes a case that the decision fails to truly embody the spirit of the abolitionist, and that instead of honoring her memory through a symbol of capitalism, people should instead be embodying her spirit of humility and equality everyday.

New York Primaries seek to appeal to minority voters

Clinton, Sanders both try to gain  black and minority votes in an important state.

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The New York primary represented a major win for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, but the close race meant that both democratic candidates made significant efforts to secure voters of all backgrounds.

This blog, posted by the Wall Street Journal, points out that Sanders particularly took action this week in trying to gain support from African American voters. Though his Washington Square rally was highly attended, most of the people there were white. And he continues to lag behind opponent Hillary Clinton in gaining favor among black voters.

Sanders aired two TV ads featuring prominent black figures in New York. One of them featuring daughter of Eric Garner, who was strangled by a police officer in a controversial confrontation that angered many New Yorkers and people nationwide.

Clinton also addressed the issue of race at her Bronx rally, saying, “White Americans need to do a much better job of listening when African-Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day. We need to recognize our privilege, and practice humility, rather than assume our experiences are like everyone else’s.”

President of National Urban League backs standardized testing

As the “teach to the test” culture becomes more prevalent in education culture, many educators and parents have spoken out against the negative effects of standardized testing. One black leader disagrees, he says the tests create an important baseline across all communities, and can particularly help identify deficiencies in struggling urban schools.

In this article, published by activism magazine TakePart,  both sides to the standardized test argument are reviewed. Recently, some states have participated in an “opt-out” movement to protest the tests. The refusal stems from a belief that the tests stifle important opportunities for creative and critical thinking. But not all aspects of the exams are bad.

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Source: National Urban League

“If we don’t have testing, we don’t know where the achievement gap is. We’re flying blind,” Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, told TakePart.

While both sides of predominantly white and predominantly black communities can agree that over-testing is an issue for all, the article argues that a better common ground solutions be made to acknowledge different demographic communities.



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