Hari's visit to Stonehenge on the solstice prompts an investigation into the gray zone between being a native and a migrant, and his memories of growing up in Essex during the Thatcher years. He also tracks down an old friend, whose work with Harvard geneticist David Reich overturns centuries of nationalist thinking. Official site: Into The Zone [more inside]
This killer debut is both a thriller with a vivid setting and an insightful study of race, class, and obsession. [Kirkus] [more inside]
Nice White Parents is baaaaasically Serial Season Four, coproduced by the New York Times. It follows the model of Season Three, focusing on a single institution enmeshed in a larger system, instead of an individual case. In this case, the past, present and future of a single Brooklyn school's history of failed integration attempts. [more inside]
Ibram X. Kendi writes part a distillation of the thesis from his 2016 Stamped from the Beginning previously and part personal memoir of his own journey through racist ideas to an antiracist perspective. [more inside]
An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation's history of racial inequality. [more inside]
Four African American vets battle the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen Squad Leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide. [more inside]
RuPaul's Drag Race: Choices 2020 Season 12, Ep 9
Since there haven't been regular posts since the 3rd episode, let's make it an up to this point free for all, because it can be agreed this has been a season of previously unimagined lows and unpredictable delights amidst a sea of purposefully confusing... choices. [more inside]
A deeply personal novel about race, pop culture, and escaping the roles we are forced to play—by the author of the infinitely inventive How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. Willis Wu doesn’t perceive himself as a protagonist even in his own life: He’s merely Generic Asian man. Sometimes he gets to be Background Oriental Making a Weird Face or even Disgraced Son, but he is always relegated to a prop. Yet every day he leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden... [more inside]
"White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress. Although white racial insulation is somewhat mediated by social class (with poor and working class urban whites being generally less racially insulated than suburban or rural whites), the larger social environment insulates and protects whites as a group through institutions, cultural representations, media, school textbooks, movies, advertising, and dominant discourses. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar. In turn, whites are often at a loss for how to respond in constructive ways., as we have not had to build the cognitive or affective skills or develop the stamina that that would allow for constructive engagement across racial divides. leading to what I refer to as White Fragility. White Fragility is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. This book explicates the dynamics of White Fragility and how we might build our capacity in the on-going work towards racial justice." [more inside]
BoJack Horseman: The Kidney Stays in the Picture Season 6, Ep 6
The assistants of Hollywoo go on strike. BoJack tries to help Doctor Champ. When Todd learns that his mother needs a kidney, Diane comes up with a plan. "Howdy, howdy! Welcome to Mike and Morgan's House of Organs! We handle all your matters, from keyboards to bladders."
In this New York Times bestseller, Ijeoma Oluo offers a hard-hitting but user-friendly examination of race in America Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy--from police brutality to the mass incarceration of African Americans--have made it impossible to ignore the issue of race. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair--and how do you make it right? How... [more inside]
Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady who is the prosecutor called me. MONSTER. FADE IN: INTERIOR COURT. A guard sits at a desk behind Steve. Kathy O'Brien, Steve's lawyer, is all business as she talks to Steve. O'BRIEN: Let me make sure you understand what's going on. Both you and this king character are on trial for felony murder.... [more inside]
A young man searches for home in the changing city that seems to have left him behind. "An unhurried tone poem with no guns and next to no blood, Last Man is a tale of race and the city, not Race and the City. First-time director Joe Talbot is white; his collaborator, Jimmie Fails, is black; they grew up together in Fillmore. This is Jimmie's story, and he plays himself." [NPR review - trailer] [more inside]
The classic, bestselling book on the psychology of racism -- now fully revised and updated Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides....
With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.
There is panic throughout the nation as the dead suddenly come back to life. The film follows a group of characters who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse in an attempt to remain safe from these bloodthirsty, flesh-eating monsters. [more inside]
An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved. [more inside]
An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis. [more inside]
Cool black private eye John Shaft is hired by a crime lord to find and retrieve his kidnapped daughter. [more inside]
An unlikely partnership between a Highway Patrol Officer, two criminals and a station secretary is formed to defend a defunct Los Angeles precinct office against a siege by a bloodthirsty street gang. [more inside]
Atlanta: Teddy Perkins Season 2, Ep 6
Darius is trippin in this one. Y'all know I woulda been left. [Official synopsis] Darius went to pick up a multicolored key piano that someone posted on a biohacking message board, saying their boss was trying to get rid of it, free of charge. Featuring Theodore Perkins as himself*. [more inside]
Atlanta: Money Bag Shawty Season 2, Ep 3
Earn is out here making that money. Too bad he still look broke as hell. This whole city runs on stunting, you feel me? [Official synopsis] / Along with earning social media attention, Paper Boi's newest single goes Gold, so Earn decides to take Van out for a night on the town to celebrate. Meanwhile, Alfred and Darius visit Clark County in the studio to record guest verses. [Clipped from Wikipedia summary] [more inside]
Everything Sucks!: Season 1 Season 1, Ep 0
A coming-of-age story, set in the 1990s, that revolves around the A/V and drama clubs at a Boring, Ore., high school; the two crews of outsiders join forces to make a movie and endure the purgatory that is high school. Think Freaks & Geeks, but a bit more diverse. Most critics aren't particularly fond of this show, and they are wrong. [more inside]
Jenna and Wesley are back for Season 3! This week, they look at the movie “Proud Mary” as a jumping-off point for the cultural moment that black women are having. The discussion includes a brief history of black women in movies and television, from Hattie McDaniel to Dorothy Dandridge to Whoopi Goldberg to Halle Berry. Then Wesley and Jenna consider what all this means for Oprah’s theoretical presidential run. [more inside]
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Corporate Consolidation Season 4, Ep 24
- Donald Trump criticizes NFL players for taking the knee during the National Anthem to protest the treatment of black people by police in the US, because there is no issue of which he won't take the wrong side.
- A couple of Trump administration officials came under fire for their use of costly private jet flights. Tom Price reportedly made 24 such flights at a combined cost to US taxpayers of $400,000. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, worth $300 million, made a request (later withdrawn) to use a government jet, along the way being snide to the entire state of Kentucky.
- And Now: A Preview of Megyn Kelly's New Morning Show. (Quote from Megyn Kelly saying she hopes her show can be a "unifying force.")
- And Now: A Look At The "Unifying Force" That Is Megyn Kelly. (A quick selection of clips of her time at Fox News being anything but.)
- Main Story: Corporate consolidation. As we're reminded by clips from 34 politicians, "small businesses are the backbone of our economy." Despite rhetoric, the rate at which small businesses have been created has been falling since the 1970s, perhaps because large businesses have been getting larger and larger. YouTube (15m)
- And Now: All of Jim Cramer's Sound Buttons, Replaced With Fart Noises
- Finally, part two of the tale of the unreasonably large train set Last Week Tonight made for Scranton, PA channel WNEP's backyard train set. The station refused LWT's gift because it was just too dang big. (They had suspected it might be, but figured it'd just be more fun to build the thing anyway.) The train didn't go to waste however; it now lives in the Lackawanna County Electric City Trolley Station & Museum.
A scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie. Sure, it might seem like just another zombie movie, but this time with kids, instead it delves into complex issues like race, privilege, culture, immigration and especially biology. Also, Glenn Close, and an amazing first performance by Sennia Nanua, as the gifted girl. [more inside]
When it comes to America’s racial sins, past and present, a lot of us see people in one region of the country as guiltier than the rest. John Biewen speaks with some white Southern friends (Allan Gurganus, Shannon Sullivan, and Timothy Tyson) about that tendency. (This is part six of the “Seeing Whiteness” series, with recurring guest Chenjerai Kumanyika showing up at the end to help keep John honest.)
Ibram X. Kendi argues in Stamped from the Beginning, racist ideas in this country have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. [more inside]
The Man in the High Castle: I do believe my father wants what’s best, but this can’t be the way. Books Included Season 2, Ep 0
We continue to move far from the plot of the book, keeping only the Ally loss, a trifurcated America, and some surnames, but the exploration of alternate timelines, racial complexities, and genetic impurity grows increasingly complex in a delightfully Dicksonian fashion. The current timeline crucially depends on a fundamental misreading of a documentary film (fake news?), which seems to karmically doom almost any critical reading of the series thus far (all reading is misreading), or even any comparison to Dick's book.
A film about Richard and Mildred Loving (Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga), the interracial couple whose 1958 marriage eventually overturned anti-miscegenation laws in the United States. Currently at 89%/79% at Rotten Tomatoes. The Wall Street Journal's Joe Morgenstern: "the most daring part of this wonderful film...is its calmness." Written and directed by Jeff Nichols (Mud, Take Shelter).
This (last) week:
- The protests in Charlotte over yet another police shooting, and the release of video from the incident.
- Employees for Wells Fargo created a huge number of accounts for people without their knowing, in order to extract fees for those accounts, due to an "aggressive" sales campaign.
- And Now: Wait, Is WCBS2 News at 11 Just Fucking With Us At This Point?
- Main story: The scandals plaguing the Clinton and Trump campaigns, how the Clinton ones tend to be more annoying than truly serious, while the Trump ones tend to all be blockbusters that would doom any other candidate, resulting in scandal fatigue. YouTube (21m)
Steven Universe: Beach City Drift Season 3, Ep 11
When Kevin, the pushy jerk who spoiled Steven and Connie's first night as Stevonnie, shows up at the carwash and doesn't pay, Steven decides to take Greg's new used car out for a spin to beat him at an illegal underground street race.
O.J.: Made in America: Part 2: Lack of Community Involvement Season 1, Ep 2
There was never one Los Angeles, California. There were always two. [more inside]
O.J.: Made in America: Part 1: U.S.C. Culture Season 1, Ep 1
To many observers, the story of the crime of the century is a story that began the night Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were brutally murdered outside her Brentwood condominium. But as the first episode of "O.J.: Made in America" lays bare, to truly grasp the significance of what happened not just that night, but the epic chronicle to follow, one has to travel back to points in time long before that. [more inside]
How an outsider became the vanguard of a movement that made everything about debate debatable. [more inside]
An African American mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob. [more inside]
If you were to walk into Gimlet HQ, there are a few things you'd probably notice right off the bat. First, it's crowded - like a grungy dorm room. Second, the lighting... it's not great. Not many windows. Third, it's white. Really white. 24 of Gimlet's 27 employees are white. In this episode, we look at diversity (or lack thereof) at Gimlet. And we try to figure out what diversity should mean for the company going forward.
Life changes for Malcolm, a geek who's surviving life in a tough neighborhood, after a chance invitation to an underground party leads him and his friends into a Los Angeles adventure.
In online dating, love is not blind. How do deal with customers who make their dating choices based on race, and why the blind date business model didn't work. [more inside]
This week, producer Stephanie Foo talks about her own and other asian women's experience with online dating. [more inside]
Some information is so big and so complicated that it seems impossible to talk to kids about. This week, stories about the vague and not-so-vague ways to teach children about race, death and sex - including a story about colleges responding to sexual assault by trying to teach students how to ask for consent. Also, a story about how and when to teach kids about the horrors of slavery and oppression in America.
This week: Vladimir Putin holds his yearly four-hour marathon Q&A session with the Russian public. Oklahoma volunteer deputy Robert Bates shoots black suspect Eric Harris. In preparation for Earth Day (it's in a week), they took a quick look at the plight of the polar bear; not only is their habitat shrinking, but pollution is threatening the species by weakening male polar bears' pelvic and penile bones. In studio we meet Marshmallow, the Polar Bear With A Broken Penis. And Now: The Most Patient Man On Television Endures The American Public. (That would be Steve Scully of C-SPAN's Washington Journal call-in show.) Main story: Abuses of the US Patent system. (YouTube 11m) And Now: The Continuing Adventures Of The Most Patient Man On Television. And finally, we return to CNN's infamous "end of world" video, with Last Week Tonight's own proposed version (YouTube 7m), narrated by Martin Sheen and featuring footage of an old-time Western saloon peopled by cats.
A social satire that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where controversy breaks out over a popular but offensive black-face party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in acutely-not-post-racial America while weaving a universal story of forging one's unique path in the world.
Arthur Agee and Will Gates, two of Chicago's top high school basketball prospects, face pressure on and off the court in this iconic documentary about sports, family and race. [more inside]
There are so many cops who look at the killing of Eric Garner or Mike Brown and say race didn't play a factor. And there are tons of black people who say that's insane. There's a division between people who distrust the police — even fear them — and people who see cops as a force for good. Stories of people living on both sides of that divide, and people trying to bridge it.
Yik Yak is a an app that allows users to communicate anonymously with anyone within a 10-mile radius. At Colgate University in upstate New York, the anonymity brought out a particularly vicious strain of racism that shook the school.
Call the Midwife: Episode 3 Season 1, Ep 3
Our heroine is assigned to provide home health nursing for a single veteran and gets a surprise visit. Meanwhile, Trixie and Cynthia attend to an emotionally complicated case, and Chummy gets a proposal.
Silicon Valley: Signaling Risk Season 1, Ep 5
The pursuit of a new logo takes precedence. [more inside]