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Curating My 2015 Faves

It’s that time of the year, recapping my favorites reads (and listens) in 2015.

Articles/Posts/Things Published on the Internet

Education related – The former teacher in me always keeps an eye on education-related stories and these were standouts:

On School Closings: Eve Ewing writes about the #FightForDyett in Chicago and how what faces this one public school in Bronzeville reflects the education policy choices and priorities of Chicago.  Jelani Cobb reflects on his alma mater, Jamaica High School in Queens, which closed in 2014 and the history of public education in the USA. Both address what’s at stake when a public school closes.

Nikole Hannah-Jones on how “Gentrification doesn’t fix inner-city schools

Tampa Bay Times did a multipart series on the intentional Resegregation of Pinellas County Schools.

Everything Else:

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the passage Voting Rights Act. 50 years later, the unwinding of the law, courtesy of the 2013 Supreme Court Shelby County decision, and continued disenfranchisement of voters was well covered in the New York Times Magazine series “Disenfranchised” by Jim Rutenberg. Ari Berman’s timely book “Give Us the Ballot” covers the subject well. Here’s an excerpt focused on the wave of disenfranchisement that emerged from the contested 2000 presidential election in Florida.

Kristy Tillman’s interview at For Harriet on the role of design, the politics of creation, and the need for Black designers

Claudia Rankine on the meaning of Serena Williams

There was a lot of good writing in the wake of the murder of nine Black worshipers at Wednesday night Bible service at Mother Emanuel AME in Charleston, SC. This piece from Time Magazine has stuck with me: “How do you forgive a murder?” Also, Claudia Rankine’s profound essay, “The Condition of Black Life is One of Mourning

Two pieces from the surfeit of 10 year anniversary of Katrina pieces –
Why We Came Home by Lolis Eric Elie
What Happened to New Orleans’ veteran Black teachers?  (specific to Katrina’s effects on the NOLA school district but there are parallels in most urban school districts in the past 10 years)

Months later, I’m still pondering the answer to the question Vinson Cunningham posed in his NYT Magazine piece: Can Black Art Ever Escape the Politics of Race?

Doreen St. Felix’s piece at The Fader – “How Corporations Profit from Black Teens’ Viral Content

New York Times series on the inescapable rise of arbitration, start with Part 1

Tom Edsall’s weekly op-ed columns on American politics

Audio-Visual Faves

This American Life – The Problem We All Live With (Part 1 & Part 2), especially Nikole Hannah-Jones’ thoroughly researched look at the Ferguson schools and the community’s response to an accidental school integration program within St. Louis County in part 1.

Another Round co-hosts, Tracy Clayton and Heben Nigatu, conducted the best interview of Hillary Clinton that I’ve heard, Madam Secretary, What’s Good
other Another Round faves = Ida Bae Wells (with Nikole Hannah Jones) and Stop Telling Women to Smile (with Tatyana Fazalizadeh)

Recent podcast discoveries:
Thoro Podcast – Elliot Wilson’s bimonthly curation of hip-hop
Revision Path – Maurice Cherry’s weekly interview show with Black designers. I learn something(s) new every week
ELB Podcast – An extension of Rick Hasen’s insightful Election Law Blog, my go to source for all matter of election administration news

Apple Music commercials starring Taraji P. Henson, Kerry Washington and Mary J. Blige, directed by the illustrious Ava DuVernay. Commercial One. Commercial Two. Still waiting on the third one…

Family shoutout – My cousins’ band, The Travelers, released an EP this year. Purchase it here. If you like their music, see if they’re performing live near you soon. Tour Dates

New writer discoveries:

Eve Ewing – in addition to above article about the Fight for Dyett and school closings, this recent one on Rahm’s next scandal in Chicago’s Public Housing is great too.

Clint Smith III – his poem “Ode to the Only Black Kid in the Class” rang so true. And this is insightful interview with him: “The power of education, poetry and honesty

Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is a theoretical physicist whose writings on the intersection of STEM and racism, diversity, and bring an underrepresented minority in her field rang true to my experiences in engineering.

Nathalie Baptiste. I enjoy her writings on a variety of topics at The American Prospect

Bim Adewunmi and #Bims10things every Friday on Twitter

Onward and upward…
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