Race

Michael Minasi / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

Alex Bell knew senior year at Southwestern University was going to look like no other, but the anthropology major wanted to be back on campus.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Lee esta historia en español. 

A diversity training described by City of Austin employees as “hurtful” and “emotionally and professionally damaging” has prompted the city to prevent an employee assistance company from doing this type of training for staff again.

A temporary CommUnityCare Health Center in a modular home in Hornsby Bend in Eastern Travis County.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Central Health announced it was buying land for a new health and wellness center in Southeast Travis County at the end of August, marking another step in the health care district’s efforts to improve access to care in the underserved area.

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

Black lawmakers at the Texas Legislature unveiled on Thursday the George Floyd Act, a sweeping police reform proposal that would ban chokeholds across the state and require law enforcement officers to intervene or render aid if another officer is using excessive force while on the job.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X are frequently seen as opposing forces in the struggle for civil rights and against white supremacy; King is often portrayed as a nonviolent insider, while Malcolm X is characterized as a by-any-means-necessary political renegade. But author and Black Power scholar Peniel Joseph says the truth is more nuanced.

"I've always been fascinated by Malcolm X and Dr. King ... and dissatisfied in how they're usually portrayed — both in books and in popular culture," Joseph says.

At least two-thirds of American high school students attend a school with a police officer, according to the Urban Institute, and that proportion is higher for students of color. Now, the national uprising for racial justice has led to a push to remove police officers from security positions inside schools.

A police officer walks through the hall of LBJ High School in 2016.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

As the school board finalizes its FY2021 budget, racial justice advocates are calling on the Austin Independent School District to move money away from policing.

Artists paint "Black Austin Matters" on a portion of Congress Avenue on Tuesday.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Here are several ways you can celebrate and learn more about Juneteenth:

Statues from the Juneteenth memorial at the George Washington Carver Museum.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Calls have been mounting to make Juneteenth a national holiday amid protests for police reforms and racial justice. Juneteenth commemorates the day when African-Americans who were enslaved in Galveston in 1865 found out they were free – more than two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X cross paths as the U.S. Senate debated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on March 26, 1964. It was the only time the two men met.
Marion S. Trikosko / Library of Congress

Peniel Joseph writes that Martin Luther King Jr. is "most comfortably portrayed as the nonviolent insider," while Malcolm X "is characterized as a by-any-means-necessary political renegade."

But those familiar biographies, he says, don't capture the nuanced evolutions their activism and politics underwent during their lives.

Painters outline "Black Austin Matters" on Congress Avenue early Tuesday morning.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

Parts of Congress Avenue were closed Tuesday as crews painted "Black Austin Matters" across several blocks of the downtown Austin street.

A woman in a mask and scrubs talks to someone at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site in South Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Texas health officials are launching a study to look into why COVID-19 could be having a greater impact on vulnerable populations in the state.

A protester holds a sign that says "Stop killing us" outside Austin police headquarters.
Michael Minasi / KUT

kYmberly Keeton is tired. 

“I’m one of the go-to people for black history now in Austin. [I] get phone calls all the time: ‘We want you to talk about the history of blackness,'" Keeton says. "But even I get tired of telling the same story over and over and over. Even I get tired.”

Courtesy Stacie DeFreitas

From Texas Standard:

University of Houston Downtown Associate Professor Stacie DeFreitas teaches psychology. She told Texas Standard that the field is often focused on problems but that can sometimes feel overly negative. She said that is especially true when the focus is on African Americans.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Low-level drug possession arrests are ineffective and harmful to people who need community-based help, rather than jail time, a new report concludes.

Courtesy of Ron Reynolds

Two state lawmakers plan to file a bill during the next legislative session to ban discrimination against black hair in Texas, after a black Houston-area student said he was singled out by school officials over his dreadlocks.

Lights on top of a police cruiser
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

While the black population in Austin hovers around 8%, black people made up roughly 15% of people pulled over by police and 25% of people then arrested in 2018 – a disparity that has worsened since 2015.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Click here to read this story in English.

Cuando el Distrito Escolar Independiente de Austin anunció que era necesario cerrar y consolidar escuelas en febrero, también publicó una oferta laboral para el primer director de equidad del distrito.

Census Projects Children Of Color Will Make Up Majority Of U.S. Kids This Year

Jan 10, 2020
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUTX

Demographers project that whites will become a minority in the U.S. in around 2045, dropping below 50% of the population.

That’s a quarter-century from now – still a long way away, right?

Not if you focus on children. White children right now are on the eve of becoming a numerical minority.

John Langmore

John Langmore was advocating for denser urban development to counteract sprawl when a closer look at some of the impacts of that development got his attention.

Texas Republicans say the pledge of allegiance at the convention in Fort Worth in 2018.
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Come next fall, there might not be a single person of color among Texas Republicans in the U.S. House. But that’s not top of mind for Gerard Garcia.

“Diversity is welcome, but when I vote I’m more focused on the politician’s positions,” he said.

Julia Reihs / KUT

There are vast differences when it comes to life expectancies between neighborhoods in Austin, according to new research from the Episcopal Health Foundation.

Julia Reihs / KUT

The Census Bureau released the latest batch of data from its American Communities Survey last week. The survey offers a glimpse into economic indicators, demographic shifts and population numbers.

It's a lot.

Here are a few items that stood out. 

An ambulance in front of a hospital entrance.
Spencer Selvidge for KUT

Nearly 1 in 3 Texans in neighborhoods of color have medical debt, according to a new study from the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin.

Galveston Police Chief Apologizes After Mounted Officers Lead Man By Rope

Aug 6, 2019
Adrienne Bell via Facebook

Galveston’s police chief is apologizing after two of his officers, mounted on horseback, led a handcuffed suspect by a rope through downtown streets.

Illustration of black women being prevented from voting
Michelle Lam / Houston Public Media

In 1918, when she was 25 years old, Christia Adair went door-to-door organizing for women’s right to vote in Texas. 

“This effort was to pass a bill where women would be able to vote like men,” Adair remembered later in a 1977 oral history interview with the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

For the first time in a decade, members of Congress examined the topic of reparations for African Americans over slavery at a hearing on a proposed study on the issue from U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston.

Austin Price for KUT

June 19 marks Juneteenth, a celebration of the de facto end of slavery in the United States.

For hundreds of thousands of African-Americans stuck in pretrial detention – accused but not convicted of a crime, and unable to leave because of bail – that promise remains unfulfilled. And coming immediately after Father’s Day, it’s also a reminder of the loss associated with the forced separation of families.

Riders on the Miss Juneteenth float wave
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Spectators lined the streets in East Austin on Saturday for the annual Juneteenth parade, which celebrates the end of slavery in Texas.

Commentary: We're In A Golden Age Of Black Horror Films

Jun 9, 2019
Octavia Spencer
Universal Pictures/YouTube

In the horror genre, black is definitely back.

The movie “Ma,” which premiered May 31, stars Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer as Sue Ann, a lonely middle-age woman who clings to a group of teens to the point of obsession.

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