The Stirring Case of Mary Elizabeth Taylor

June 24, 2020

Although the assistant secretary of state for legislative affairs, Mary Elizabeth Taylor, was not a high-profile member of the Trump administration, her resignation last week gathered the attention of the media due to the reasons she cited. It was all about what one of the rare black remaining...

The Deadly Disorder Behind COVID-19 and Police Violence

June 03, 2020

It was 1963 when the governor of Alabama, George Wallace, proclaimed, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever … the name of the greatest people that ever trod this earth,” referring to people with Western European ethnic ancestry. This and the ensuing pro-segregation...

Should We Say Black or African American?

April 09, 2020

“We’d rather die on our feet than live on our knees. Say it loud! I'm black and I'm proud!” James Brown thundered out this line in one of his songs. At the time, Brown would have been called a “negro” — or bogusly dignified with an uppercase N — by most other people. In fact, he...

Being Black in America

January 09, 2019

In this edition of The Interview, Fair Observer talks to Akil Houston, an associate professor of African-American studies at Ohio University. Anti-black racism in the United States continues to be a problem over half a century since the abolition of Jim Crow laws. These laws enforced segregation...

What Africa Has to Offer

April 30, 2018

With urbanization projects throughout Africa, the development of infrastructure is often incompatible with the needs of the people. The marginalization that Black Panther — the film adaptation of the Marvel comic — decries of black inner cities in the US is about to be recreated in Africa....

White America Needs to Talk About Race

July 12, 2016

In “dishonest America,” inequality and informal segregation remain in a divided nation. Since the time of honest racial segregation in America—when whites wrote down race-based rules of exclusion—we have been formulating modes of dishonest segregation: denials of equality and inclusion...

The World This Week: Dallas Shines Light on America’s Dark Soul

July 10, 2016

Violent policing and mass incarceration are unjust, expensive and counterproductive, making reform of the criminal justice system an urgent priority for the US. Last week, the focus was terrorism. This week, it is wanton violence in the US. On July 7, a young woman live-streamed a video of her...

Adjusting to the World After 44 Years in Prison

January 11, 2016

After four decades spent behind bars, a man tries to reenter the life he left behind. What do you think New York’s Times Square would look like to you after almost half a century? If you have never seen an iPhone, would you think people walked around just talking to themselves? Would you...

America is Dying in a Hail of Gunfire

September 10, 2015

Young black men and police officers have something really important in common: They are both dying in the hail of bullets that is America today. It is hard to watch reports of what has become the daily litany of gun violence in America. It is even harder to watch it play out in real time. But...

Questioning Sandra Bland’s Unexplained Death

August 11, 2015

A detailed look at the Sandra Bland case raises tens of questions about her arrest and death. On July 10, the vibrant #BlackLivesMatter activist Sandra Bland was pulled over after changing lanes without using her turn signal. She was threatened and arrested by a police officer. Three days later...

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