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The sold-out event, “Commemorating the Allen Building Takeover: Fifty Years Later,” was hosted by the Department of African & African American Studies (AAAS) and held in the Ambassador Ballroom at the Washington Duke Inn. Two panel discussions, “The Original Protesters Tell Their Stories,” and “Activism Then and Now: An Intergenerational Discussion,” were followed by a reception at the Nasher Museum of Art. Hundreds attended and watched via livestream. Read More read more about 1969 Allen Building Takeover Alumni Reunite on 50th Anniversary »

“Reparations,” said William “Sandy” Darity, an economist at Duke University. “We should be holding politicians’ feet to the fire on this issue. I think it should be a litmus test. “If [Harris] were enthusiastic for the development of a reparations program for black people, whether she is Indian, a woman of color, a Negro, or something else, I wouldn’t care.” Read More read more about Critics Say It’s Not Whether Kamala Harris is ‘Black Enough’ »

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on Wednesday admitted that he wore blackface while he was in college at a party in the 1980s. This comes amid increased calls for the resignation of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam over his admission that he wore blackface in the 1980s while dressed up as Michael Jackson. Northam has also been accused of appearing in a photo featuring a person in blackface and another in a KKK robe. Forum talks about the history blackface and its role in dehumanizing and disenfranchising African… read more about LISTEN: The Racist History and Role of Blackface in America »

This Saturday, Feb. 9, Duke University will grapple with a portion of its racial history, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of a pivotal occasion that forced the university to eventually evolve to offer one of the top-ranked black studies programs in the country. Read More read more about Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Allen Building Takeover  »

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam now says he is not pictured in a 1984 yearbook photo of people in blackface and Ku Klux Klan costumes, although he admits he wore blackface on a separate occasion. Regardless, he is facing calls to resign. Yamiche Alcindor talks to Duke University’s Mark Anthony Neal and The Atlantic's Vann Newkirk about the role of blackface in America's fraught racial history. Read More read more about The Racist Role of Blackface in American Society »

Attorney Antonio Moore has guest Economist Sandy Darity and Political Commentator Yvette Carnell to discuss several recent changes in the 2020 Democratic presidential field. Listen Here read more about Election 2020: The Black Vote and Reparations »

A viral video of white male teenagers surrounding Nathan Phillips, a member of the Omaha tribe went viral over the weekend. Mark Anthony Neal is joined by Celeste Headley, journalist and author of "We Need To Talk," and Charlie Warzel, Writer-At-Large for NYT Opinion and former senior technology writer at BuzzFeed News, for a discussion on NPR's 1A. Read More  read more about Believing What We See: The Covington Catholic Video and Competing Narratives »

Knight came to prominence in the 1960s as the lead vocalist of Gladys Knight and The Pips, recording during the first part of her career for the Motown label, which marks its 60th anniversary this year. She emerged at a time when soul music wasn't just a channel on satellite radio or a playlist for the parents of millennials. Back then, soul was a sound that closed the racial divide in the country.  Read More read more about Gladys Knight Has Earned the Right To Sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl »

“He had a really good ear,” Neal says. “He couldn’t read or write music, but he was able to mimic these larger traditions: R&B, soul and gospel, adding a contemporary feel so that it felt urgent and vital. And he knew how to record raunch.” Read More read more about 'No One Cared Because We Were Black Girls': Is Time Finally Up For R. Kelly? »

An alternative frame for confronting racial inequality in the United States would emphasize linked deficiencies in resources and options rather than deficiencies in human capital. The focus needs to move toward an emphasis on the structural barriers that maintain uninterrupted racial inequality rather than Black shortcomings. The problem is not Black ability; it is Black capability. Read More  read more about A New Agenda For Eliminating Racial Inequality in the United States: The Research We Need »

The cause of those wealth gaps is relatively straightforward, too: racism. According to Sandy Darity, a Duke University economist and one of the country’s leading researchers on race, wealth inequality, and economic policy, the enduring black-white disparities trace all the way back to slavery. “I would start with the failure to grant the formerly enslaved the 40 acres and a mule that they were promised,” Darity told me. “Had those land grants been made, I think we would be talking about a very different America from the… read more about The Racial Wealth Gap Could Become a 2020 Litmus Test »

The power of Motown’s legacy can be found in the careers it helped launch -- Diana Ross, who is the template for Beyonce’s current success; Stevie Wonder, who signed with the label as a 12-year-old; and the late Michael Jackson, arguably the most globally recognized entertainer of the 20th century Read More read more about Motown Legacy Remains Strong 60 Years Later »

The bill raises questions about how thorough the program could be in screening white homebuyers from receiving cash compensation for historical legal discrimination. As a discussion of reparations, this is where William Darity, director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, taps out. The professor of public policy says that down-payment assistance might not be a bad idea, but it falls way short of addressing historical reparations. Read More read more about How Elizabeth Warren is Taking On America's Housing Affordability Crisis »

Assessing the recent electoral outcomes — with the defeat of three Republicans, all seven urban sheriffs are now Democrats — Duke University political scientist Kerry Haynie sees a “blue tint” in the future. “Blacks and Latinos are becoming an increasingly larger share of the population and the electorate, and that’s beginning to have a political effect,” he said. “This may be a precursor for North Carolina being a battleground in 2020.” Read More read more about New Sheriffs in Town As African Americans Win Top Law Enforcement Posts in N.C. »

Haynie on a challenge the Democratic Party is facing: When the Congress was called into session yesterday, and then the leadership appeared, it was a night and day difference. You see Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Congressman Clyburn, [all] in their late 70s, and [then] this young generation. So the leadership doesn't reflect what we actually see — this new energy. That's going to be a balance that the Democrats will have to work out moving into 2020 if they want that electorate that brought this new… read more about NC Experts Ponder the 2019 Political Landscape »

  In this episode of #BackChannel, the State of Things’ recurring series connecting culture and context, popular culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown and Mark Anthony Neal talk to host Frank Stasio about Cyntoia Brown’s case and what it illuminates about the treatment of black women in the criminal justice system.Read More read more about #BackChannel: Black Women in the Penal System, Michelle Obama's Memoir & Lauryn Hill's Impact »

The average black family has wealth of about seventeen thousand dollars, while the average white family has wealth of about a hundred and seventy thousand dollars, according to William Darity, a professor of public policy at Duke. During the Obama Administration, Darity concluded that his preferred remedy, direct reparations to African-Americans, was not politically feasible. So he and a colleague, Darrick Hamilton, of the New School, began modelling a proposal to provide a trust account to each American child.   Read More read more about How Cory Booker's Baby Bond Proposal Could Transform the Reparations Debate »

Booker’s idea isn’t new and it’s not wholly his own. Much of the intellectual heft behind baby bonds stems from a 2010 paper published in The Review of Black Political Economy, in which left-leaning economists Darrick Hamilton of The New School in New York City and William “Sandy” Darity of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, propose “a bold progressive child development account type program that could go a long way toward eliminating the racial wealth gap.” Read more read more about Booker's Ambitious Proposal To Close the Racial Wealth Gap »

Many of us were first introduced to 9th’s soulful, sample-based production during his time as a member of the groundbreaking Durham rap group Little Brother with emcees Phonte Coleman and Rapper Big Pooh. Their 2003 debut album, The Listening, was an underground classic and earned them a strong and loyal fan base. Since then, 9th has lent his unique sound and musical vision to a staggering cross section of artists: Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child, Ludacris, De La Soul, Jean Grae, Masta Ace, David Banner, Murs, Buckshot of… read more about Make Me Hot P, Hold Me Down P »

What motivated so many voters to head to the polls? And what does this election mean going forward for North Carolina and the nation? Stasio also talks to Kerry Haynie, Susan Roberts, Deondra Rose, and Michael Bitzer about their takes on the winners and losers of the midterms and what that means going forward. Read More read more about Reporters and Analysts on the Messages of the Midterms in NC »

Neal’s feminism is deeply rooted in the model his mother set for him when he was growing up in the Bronx. Speaking with Quartz, Neal explains why he’s a byproduct of women’s critiques, and which black feminist literature has proven most influential in his life. Read More read more about How Black Feminism Saved This Duke Professor From Himself »

Rules typically go out the window at the annual state fair. As Duke Cultural Anthropology Professor Lee Baker explains, fairs are about family, food, fun and farming. WATCH read more about State Fair Time! Lee Baker on the Four F's of the Fair »

William Darity is a professor of economics, public policy, and African-American studies at Duke who has conducted research into integration programs. He believes that socioeconomic integration, while an improvement over a traditional neighborhood-based assignment regime, is nevertheless a regrettable step back from the openly race-based desegregation efforts of the 1960s and ’70s. In an interview with The 74, Darity lamented the use of socioeconomic metrics as “a mechanism for avoiding having to use explicit race-based… read more about Integrating Schools By Income, Not Race »

Cosby was the first high-profile celebrity to stand trial in the #MeToo era, and his sentencing has renewed debate about the power and limitations of the movement. What’s the significance of Cosby’s case, and is it a turning point? Popular culture experts Natalie Bullock Brown and Mark Anthony Neal join host Frank Stasio to tackle those questions in the latest installment of #BackChannel, the State of Things’ recurring series connecting culture and context. Read More read more about #BackChannel: Cosby Sentence, Serena Williams & Colin Kaepernick, ‘Say It Loud’ Anniversary »

Also to be honored during the ceremony is Karin Shapiro, associate professor of the practice in the Department of African and African American Studies, who will receive this year’s Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. Shapiro teaches a range of courses on the histories of the American South and South Africa, with a focus on race and social justice. She was nominated by students, who praised her ability to evoke challenging discussions in her lectures and who connected modern events to the concepts and… read more about Karin Shapiro Receives Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award »

Emmanuel Macron raised these points in a recent interview. The French president was recommending a new book, “The Rush to Europe”, published in French by Stephen Smith of Duke University, which models past international migrations like that of Mexicans into America to show that the number of Afro-Europeans (Europeans with African roots) could rise from 9m at present to between 150m and 200m by 2050, perhaps a quarter of Europe’s total population. Read More read more about Why Europe Should Focus on its Growing Interdependence With Africa »

Anne-Maria Makhulu did not always plan to become an associate professor of anthropology and African American studies. Originally from the U.K., she began training as a ballerina when she was just four years old, like many girls do.  “Perhaps what was a little unusual was that I continued,” Makhulu said. “People started dropping out at a certain point, and I just carried on.” Read More read more about Anthropology Professor Discusses Ballet Background »

Additional programming for Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud at 50 includes Live Wire: re-Volution Live - 50 years since Say it Loud on Thursday, October 18 at 6:30 p.m. at The Apollo. The free event will feature a night of music and conversation with Christian McBride and Mark Anthony Neal, Duke University Professor of African and African American Studies, and guests to be announced. Read More read more about Apollo Theater To Present Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud at 50 »

Thomas Sankara, the revolutionary leader of Burkina Faso, was shot dead in the presidential buildings in Ouagadougou on 15 October 1987. I was the West Africa correspondent at the time for Radio France International and Libération, based in neighbouring Ivory Coast. The day before the assassination I got a call from Sankara. This was a first. We knew each other well but, until then, his aide had always called me before putting the president on the line. This time, his lively voice took me by surprise.  Read More read more about Diary (London Review of Books) »

More than 50 years ago, riots tore through many U.S. cities, prompting national scrutiny of the root causes. Yet a half-century later, says new research, a key contributor to the social upheaval of the 1960s remains under-explored: racial wealth inequality. Meanwhile, the racial wealth gap that helped fuel the urban violence of the 1960s has only grown, says new research from Duke University, UCLA and the New School.Read more read more about Racial Wealth Inequality Overlooked as Cause of Urban Unrest, Study Says »