Legacies links for April 24, 2023: banjos, secrets, and credit scores

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Oil painting of an older African American man teaching an African American boy to play the banjo.
Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Banjo Lesson (1893). source: Hampton University Museum
  • Chris Willman, “Rhiannon Giddens on the Unknown Black Legacy of the Banjo, and Why a New Generation Is Reclaiming It,” Variety (April 18, 2023): LINK. Giddens wants viewers to learn (at least) three things from her new streaming series on the history of the banjo: “[Y]ou can’t talk about the banjo without talking about slavery. You have to talk about slavery, you have to talk about minstrelsy, you have to talk about the segregation of American music. Those are the three main points.”
  • Monica Casey, “Shaw University hosts conference on Confederate monument impacts,” WRAL News (April 13, 2023): LINK. CIC member institution Shaw University hosted a gathering on “The Undue Harm: Undoing the Legacy of Confederate Monuments,” which featured speakers from groups that are working to take down Confederate monuments across North Carolina.
  • Elaine Velie, “Florida Pushes Law to Sue Over Removal of Confederate Monuments,” Hyperallergic (April 18, 2023): LINK. A Republican state senator has introduced a bill that would allow Confederate monuments to be removed for construction or transportation projects as long as they are relocated within the same county or town and displayed with the same “prominence” and “honor.”
  • Kiara Alfonsexa, “Ralph Yarl’s case spotlights racial ‘adultification’ of Black children,” ABC News (April 20, 2023): LINK. In the wake of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl’s shooting in Kansas City (after he rang the doorbell of the wrong house), researchers present evidence of “adultification bias” against Black children, who are more likely than their white counterparts to be seen as threatening.
  • “Elected Officials Endorse Return to Lynching Black People,” Equal Justice Initiative (April 19, 2023): LINK. In a secretly-recorded conversation, the sheriff and other local officials in McCurtain County, Oklahoma, seemed to pine for the old days of consequence-free lynchings and racial violence against Black citizens. EJI reviews the history of lynchings in this corner of “Little Dixie” since 1877.
  • Ian Duncan, “Prince George’s [County, MD] remembers the county’s first known lynching victim,” The Washington Post (April 15, 2023): LINK. In the richest Black county in the United State, local residents have started a journey of racial conciliation by publicly commemorating the area’s first documented lynching victim, Thomas Juricks (1869).
  • Thomas F. Harrison, “Inside the US city that’s been paying slavery reparations for years,” Courthouse News Service (April 18, 2023): LINK. Evanston, Illinois, offers some practical steps on the complicated path to reparations, starting with grants to Black residents who were aversely affected by redlining.
  • Bernice A. King and Ashley Bell, “Credit scoring is pseudoscience—and it perpetuates the consequences of slavery and segregation,” Fortune (April 19, 2023): LINK. In a critical essay against the use of credit scores, MLK’s daughter and her co-author argue that “Credit scoring just doesn’t add up. These three digits—and our continued endorsement of the status quo—are all that stand between tens of millions of Black and brown families from participating in the American dream.”
  • Cagney Roberts and Alexandria Gamlin, “How secrets affect families,” BBC (April 17, 2023): LINK. Together, a Black Londoner and an African American explore the question, “Why are some families forced to keep secrets?” In this case, the answer begins with the legacies of slavery and racial passing but weaves through the latest psychological research on secrets and generational trauma.