Black Opera Composer Is Dismissed Over Lyrics for 100-Year Commemoration of the Tulsa Race Massacre

by Shanelle Genai | March 2021
When composer Daniel Roumain was commissioned to create an original work for “Greenwood Overcomes,” a celebration led by the Tulsa Opera to recognize the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, I’m sure he never thought one lyric would be enough to lose him the commission. Unfortunately, it was. As Vulture reports, Roumain composed an aria inspired by the horrific details of the massacre titled They Still Want to Kill Us, with the last two lines reading: “God bless America/God damn America.” But when mezzo-soprano singer Denyce Graves, who was set to perform the aforementioned song, expressed concerns over those lines—Tulsa Opera asked Roumain if he would consider changing the lyrics. He said no, and now, both Roumain and his work are now no longer a part of the celebration.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [Silencing POC] [Systemic Racism] [History] [Art & Culture] [-ing While Black] [Black Lives Matter] [Denial] [White Defensiveness] [White Supremacy] [White Privilege] [White Blindness] [White Fragility/Tears]

White Women’s Role in White Supremacy, Explained; Women at the Capitol Riot are Just the Latest Reminder of a Long History

by Anna North  | January 2021
It’s tempting to think of the storming of the US Capitol on Wednesday as toxic masculinity run amok: a mob of mostly white men, carrying guns and wearing animal skins, trying to overthrow democracy on behalf of a president who once bragged about his ability to grab women “by the pussy.” It’s even more tempting to embrace this narrative when, in a bizarre statement, that president’s campaign press secretary describes him as “the most masculine person, I think, to ever hold the White House.”
But focusing too much on masculinity obscures a crucial truth: Many women were either present at the riot or cheering on the insurrectionists from back home. There was Ashli Babbitt, the 35-year-old Air Force veteran and apparent devotee of QAnon ideology who was killed during the riot. There was the woman photographed with “zip-tie guy” Eric Munchel, now believed to be his mother. There was Martha Chansley, the mother of the widely photographed “QAnon shaman” who wore a horned hat and carried a spear to Congress. She wasn’t present at the riot but later defended her son in an interview, calling him “a great patriot, a veteran, a person who loves this country.”
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [White Supremacy] [White Culture] [White Blindness] [White Defensiveness] [White Privilege] [Politics] [Black Lives Matter] [Civil War] [Myths] [Slavery] [Economics] [History] [Calling Police] [Systemic Racism]

Former Falmouth Students Question Racial Disparity in Discipline

by Jessica Hill | February 2021
When freshman Adaesia O’Garro was accused of threatening another student at Falmouth High School in 2018, she was criminally charged and suspended for 10 months while her case made its way through the long court process. The charges, which included assault and battery, larceny and distributing material of a child in the nude, were later dismissed by Judge James J. Torney Jr., according to court records O’Garro shared with the Times. But O’Garro, who is Black, missed her sophomore year and, now a senior, continues to deal with the aftermath as she works to graduate in June with her class.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [Systemic Racism] [Black Lives Matter] [White Privilege] [White Culture] [White Supremacy] [Social Justice] [-ing While Black] [Denial] [Calling Police] [Accountability] [Justice System]

Whitesplaining Explained

by Chloe Edwards | February 2021
Mansplaining is a pejorative term used to describe the action of a man commenting on or explaining something to a woman in an often condescending or oversimplified way. … While there are obstacles for all women and stereotypes related to competence, Black women specifically face concrete ceilings that supersede gender as they are doubly oppressed. Black women are ranked the most educated group by race. … While many have heard of the terminology mansplaining, most may not be familiar with the concept whitesplaining. Whitesplaining is when white people condescendingly explain something — typically about race as well as other topics— to Black, indigenous or people of color. Whitesplaining shows up in a variety of common ways, so much so, the categories keep growing.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [Microaggressions] [Slavery] [Cognitive Dissonance] [White Supremacy] [Systemic Racism] [Black Lives Matter] [Implicit Racism] [Indigenous] [Colorblindness] [Tips-Dos/Don’ts]

Understanding Africa: Shattering Myths about the Culture of the Second-Largest Continent

by Aukram Burton | February 2021
African culture is vastly misunderstood in western societies. This misunderstanding continues to be perpetuated by educational and media institutions in the Western world that consistently misrepresent the image and contributions of African culture and ethics to the world. For centuries, European-centric thinking has justified colonialism and imperialism as a “civilizing mission” meant to save the African “savages” who live in “sh–holes” often characterized by terms like “exotic,” “primitive” or “pagan,” which is a misconception. This thinking is rooted in the age of European Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries. This movement provided an intellectual backdrop for European theories about human differences.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [Myths] [History] [Definitions] [Slavery] [Systemic Racism] [White Supremacy] [Economics] [White Blindness]

A Forgotten Black Founding Father; Why I’ve Made it My Mission to Teach Others about Prince Hall

by Danielle Allen | March 2021
Many of us who live in Massachusetts know the basic outlines of this story and the early role the state played in standing against enslavement. But told in this traditional way, the story leaves out another transformative figure: Prince Hall, a free African American and a contemporary of John Adams. From his formal acquisition of freedom, in 1770, until his death, in 1807, Hall helped forge an activist Black community in Boston while elevating the cause of abolition to new prominence. Hall was the first American to publicly use the language of the Declaration of Independence for a political purpose other than justifying war against Britain. In January 1777, just six months after the promulgation of the Declaration and nearly three years before Adams drafted the state constitution, Hall submitted a petition to the Massachusetts legislature (or General Court, as it is styled) requesting emancipation, invoking the resonant phrases and founding truths of the Declaration itself.
TAGS: [Assumptions] [2020’s] [History] [Role Model] [Black Lives Matter] [Slavery] [Teachers] [Silencing POC] [-ing While Black] [Advocacy] [Systemic Racism] [Social Justice] [Civil War]

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