Tag Archives: race


What do people fail to understand about the lives of black Americans? Or the lives of anyone of color?

#HereIsMyAmerica – The New York Times

Future Imagemakers Lead Teacher Bayete Ross Smith is now embedded as an artist at The New York Times with Race/Related, a collaboration with the independent documentary showcase POV.

The portraits above show me in a variety of different clothing, all of it my own. On any given day, you might encounter me in one form or another.

It’s all part of a larger series I created, which also involved people of different backgrounds and genders. In every case, the facial expressions and lighting stay the same; all that changes is the subject’s clothing.

So the question is: What personal preconceptions do you, or any viewer, project onto me? Or others?…

#HereIsMyAmerica — a project we’re launching here and on Instagram — is an attempt to counter that simplistic approach.

Read More

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How to Teach Kids About What’s Happening in Ferguson

How to Teach Kids About What’s Happening in Ferguson
from Atlantic Magazine

A list as compiled by a community of teachers, academics, community leaders, and parents to teach about some aspect of the national crisis in Ferguson, Missouri and to teach/talk about race.

More on twitter #fergusonsyllabus

Posted in Education, Resources Also tagged , , |

Gordon Parks and the power of photography

What Became of Harlem’s Fontenelle Family? – NYTimes lens blog

Gordon Parks’s Harlem Family Revisited

In March 1968, Gordon Parks published a portrait of an African-American child with disheveled clothes in Life magazine. His lips were swollen and cracked from eating plaster, in a futile attempt to ward off hunger. His eyes were plaintive and haunting.

Richard Fontenelle was too young to understand, but he and his family became the faces of urban poverty for millions of Americans. The photo essay Mr. Parks produced — “A Harlem Family,” which is now on exhibit at the Studio Museum in Harlem — changed Mr. Fontenelle’s life, and the lives of every member of his family, forever. It sparked in him a desire to succeed, and a lifelong friendship with Mr. Parks. read more 


You can view the original layout in the online version of LIFE magazine, March 8, 1968. It is quite powerful to see the original context in the magazine with the layout, other articles, other photographs, and advertising.

Posted in Media Projects Also tagged , , , |

Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights

Inspring project and great resource

For All the World to See : Visual Culture and the Struggle for Civil Rights.

Through a host of media—including photographs, television and film, magazines, newspapers, posters, books, and pamphlets—the project explores the historic role of visual culture in shaping, influencing, and transforming the fight for racial equality and justice in the United States from the late-1940s to the mid-1970s.

visit site 

Posted in Resources Also tagged , , |

Integration Worked. Why Have We Rejected It?

Integration Worked. Why Have We Rejected It?
from the NY Times today

AMID the  ceaseless and cacophonous debates about how to close the achievement gap, we’ve turned away from one tool that has been shown to work: school desegregation. That strategy, ushered in by the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, has been unceremoniously ushered out, an artifact in the museum of failed social experiments. read more


Posted in Education Also tagged , |

Portrait of Segregated Education

At Explore Charter School, a Portrait of Segregated Education – NYTimes.com.

A System Divided: Separate but Uneasy

This is the second article in a series examining the changing racial distribution of students in New York City’s public schools and its impact on their opportunities and achievements. The previous article chronicled the experience of Rudi-Ann Miller, one of 40 black students at Stuyvesant High School, which has 3,295 students.

Posted in Education Also tagged , |

Am I suspicious?

A NEWMecca Movement Production, shot by John “JayDex” Ledbetter. A video depicting Howard University men standing against racial profiling and the killing of Trayvon Martin in February 2012. More information on the efforts of the Howard Community to raise awareness can be found at facebook.com/groups/HUJusticeForTrayvonMartin/

Posted in Education Also tagged , |

Teaching Difficult Subject Matter

Student Voices database on international democracy issues.When tragedies happen killing of Trayvon Martin, one way to deal with the pain is to use it as a teachable moment. Here are some resources I have collected that tackle difficult issues head on or present alternative narratives. I am always looking for more.

Civic Voices: An International Democracy Memory Bank Project
Be sure to see Student Voices database on international democracy issues.

Teaching about Trayvon Martin (see previous post)
Be sure to take a look at the KLW chart

Question Bridge Educator Portal

Spark a Movement  a girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media.

LAMPlatoon is a program which allows you to put that offending commercial on notice by exposing the underlying stereotypes and talking back to the insulting messages. Putting Ads on Notice.
[Learn About Multimedia Project]
They have a great how to guide

Speaking of great how to guides:
The Yes Lab Knowledgebase with a few pointers on how to carry out projects

Center for Artistic Activism

Thousand Kites A national dialogue project addressing the criminal justice system.
Calls from Home is a radio show project of A Thousand Kites that brings the voices of families to the airwaves as they send greetings directly to their incarcerated loved ones.

The Appalshop Channel

Positive Exposures on genetic differences

Social Art Practices Blog
Imaging America Blog
Laundromat Project
StoryCorps DIY interview instructions
PBS Educators
Art of Regional Change

Posted in Resources Also tagged , , , , |

Teaching about Trayvon Martin

Shoulders of the Ancestors: “When an incident as controversial as the shooting of Trayvon Martin grips the nation the classroom can be an excellent forum for a civil examination and civil discussions of the incident. Teaching about current controversial topics like the Trayvon Martin case engages young people and helps them better understand foundational elements of our democracy such as “rule of law” and “due process”. Indeed engaging young people in such teachable moments is the reason many of us became educators.

The resources below are useful for educators, parents, and individuals who desire to be better informed about the issues surrounding the Trayvon Martin case.” more

* A good time to visit Question Bridge project, transmedia art project that seeks to represent and redefine Black male identity in America. Through video mediated question and answer exchange, diverse members of this “demographic” bridge economic, political, geographic, and generational divisions.

Posted in Uncategorized Also tagged , , |

Question Bridge

January 13–June 3, 2012
Question Bridge: Black Males is an innovative video installation created by artists Hank Willis Thomas and Chris Johnson in collaboration with Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair. The four collaborators spent several years traveling throughout the United States, speaking with 150 Black men living in 12 American cities and towns, including New York, Chicago, Oakland, Birmingham, and New Orleans. From these interviews they created 1,500 video exchanges in which the subjects, representing a range of geographic, generational, economic, and educational strata, serve as both interviewers and interviewees. Their words were woven together to simulate a stream-of-consciousness dialogue, through which important themes and issues emerge, including family, love, interracial relationships, community, education, violence, and the past, present, and future of Black men in American society.
The video below gives an overview of the entire project
The Question Bridge Team has developed an incredible curriculum for educators. Register for the Educator Forum as a teaching artist. Their vimeo channel presents  many curriculum modules. This is an extremely rich resource.
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