Colorlines Magazine

National, multi-racial newsmagazine with articles focusing on race, culture, and politics.

Articles from Vol. 10, No. 6, November-December

Chicago's Environmental Racism: A New Deal Gives Power Plants More Time to Pollute Latino Neighborhoods
OPERATING IN A BASEMENT OFFICE on Chicago's West Side, the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization addresses some of the chief issues facing the city's Latino community--immigrant rights, an inadequate public transportation system and lack...
Chops: Virtuosity (GoodVibe recordings/Vocab Records/available on iTunes)
GIVEN THE TENDENCY FOR MAINSTREAM HIP-HOP REVIEWERS to ignore most of the work of artists not fortunate enough to have promotional budgets to purchase front-and-center advertising and heavy radio rotation, it's rather amazing that Chops' first solo...
Do the Right Thing-It'll Pay off in the Long Run: Here's One for the Critics Who Needed a Financial Reason to Invest in Education
FOUR PROMINENT ECONOMISTS sat down this year to run a cost-and-benefit analysis on education. They eschewed the usual talk of how educating kids is good for America in theory and instead focused on the hard numbers. That is, how much more money would...
Etan Thomas: The NBA Star Talks about Why He Took a Stand against the War and What Kind of Athlete He Aspires to Be
In 2005, you gave an anti-war speech that inspired a lot of people. Have your own thoughts about the war changed since then? That was a great experience, one I will remember for the rest of my life. I have spoken at many anti-war rallies, but none...
From Missouri to Arizona: Connerly Targets the Ballot Box in Five More States
WARD CONNERLY MAINTAINS he has simple reasons for campaigning to end affirmative action. "I'm not just fighting to end racial preferences--I'm fighting to alter the way people still see Black people as weak and lazy," says Connerly, a Black real estate...
If They'd Been Black ... Would Justice Have Been Served for the Duke Lacrosse Players If They Were Not White and Well-Off?
PERHAPS WITHOUT KNOWING IT, the country witnessed a very rare event this year: Mike Nifong, the ex-county prosecutor who charged three white Duke University lacrosse players with raping a Black woman last year, lost his license to practice law. A state...
Inner Peace: As More Americans Take to the Mat, Black Teachers Use Yoga to Uplift Their Community
TIRED FROM WORKING at my education reporter job all day, I could feel my impatience building as the underground stop in downtown Philadelphia remained empty of trolleys. Before I knew it, however, something unexpected happened: I took a deep breath...
Killed by the Cops: In a Joint National Investigation, ColorLines and the Chicago Reporter Found That Blacks Are Overrepresented and Latinos a Rising Number of Those Fatally Shot by Police
This project was conducted with research assistance by Aliza Appelbaum, Beandrea Davis, Erin Dostal, Lynne Nguyen, Marine Olivesi, Julianne Ong Hing, Brittany Petersen, Alena Scarver, Seth Wessler and Shelley Zeiger. OUR INVESTIGATION of fatal police...
Missed Signals: The Chicago Reporter Found That 45 Percent of Chicago Police Officers Named in Wrongful Death Suits Have Had Multiple Lawsuits against Them but Receive Minimal Internal Discipline
THE ACCOUNTS OF BOTH SIDES converged only at the end: the death of Dantwan Betts, who was shot and killed by Chicago Police Officer Richard Doroniuk. Before that point, much differed. The story told in the complaint filed in the Betts family's...
Rape and the Reservation: A Legal Maze Allows Sexual Predators to Attack American Indian Women with Impunity
AUTUMN GERTZ, a resident of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in South Dakota, didn't think of it as rape when she was forced to have sex against her will by her former boyfriend. Rape was rarely discussed openly in the community and even more rarely...
Telling the Truth about Race
FOR A WHILE NOW, the idea that race should be at the forefront of social justice efforts in the U.S. has been under attack. It's been dismissed as narrow identity politics, or avoided as divisive or distracting from the "real" issue of economic inequality....
The Elusive Concept of Blackness: Through Photography and Film, Artist Hank Willis Thomas Explores What It Means to Be Black Today
YOUNG BLACK MEN have the highest homicide-victim rate of any group in the United States. The statistic hit home for Hank Willis Thomas seven years ago, when his cousin Songha Willis was shot to death over a gold chain on a February night outside a...
Town by Town: The Immigration Debate Has Caught Fire at the Local Level
AS THE NATION REGROUPS after Congress's failure to deliver national immigration reform this summer, anti-immigrant groups frustrated with federal inaction have shifted their focus to local and regional governments to push through restrictive policies....
Unequal Protection: Even with the Change in Administration and a Drop in Crime, the Number of People Killed Each Year by the NYPD Remains Steady, and the Victims Continue to Be Overwhelmingly People of Color
EARLY IN THE MORNING of Jan. 24, 2004, Timothy Stansbury Jr. and his friend Terrence Fisher were enjoying a birthday party in a friend's apartment when they left to retrieve additional compact discs (Fisher was the party's DJ). They took to the roof,...
Wasting Away in Margaritaville: Katrina Opened the Door to Casino Development and Gentrified Rebuilding
TWO YEARS OF POST-KATRINA rebuilding may have rendered many construction projects commonplace, but a new casino development in Biloxi, Mississippi, by the Harrah Casino and country star Jimmy Buffet can hardly be described as common. Construction began...
Whites against White Supremacy: A New Generation of Activists Takes on the Challenge of Organizing White People for Racial Justice
WHEN LILIA GARCIA BROUGHT her Latina mom and her white partner along with her to a July 2007 event introducing a relatively new group of white anti-racist activists, she was looking to introduce her loved ones to a space where they could explore ideas...
Why So High? the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, with the Highest Rate of Fatal Police Shootings among the 10 Biggest U.S. Cities, Is Also the Most Dangerous in the Nation for Latinos
IT WAS HOT AND QUIET IN MESA, Arizona, as a crowd gathered outside the headquarters of the police department on Aug. 25, 2007. On this day in 2003, the parents of 15-year-old Mario Madrigal Jr. called the police in a panic because their oldest son...
Writing in Netantla: A Celebrated Chicana Author Goes to the Border
YET ANOTHER VOICE is weighing in on the fate of la frontera these days--but it's a poet, not a pundit. In her latest novel, The Guardians, the multi-genre writer Ana Castillo takes a look at life on the U.S.-Mexico border with sensitivity and imagination--qualities...