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The simplest suggestion for a wealth transfer is the idea of baby bonds, advanced by economists William Darity and Darrick Hamilton. If done as a form of reparations, the program would simply endow every black child with a government trust fund, worth perhaps $21,000 to $47,000. The proposal would have to be modified to give some money to the parents, grandparents and other family members of the recipients, but that’s the basic idea. Read More read more about One Way to Make Reparations Work »

The two-part documentary alleging the king of pop Michael Jackson was a serial child rapist began screening on TVNZ last night. Leaving Neverland has prompted a worldwide storm, with many radio stations pulling Jackson's music off their playlists. The Jackson family has angrily denied the accusations made by two men who said they were abused by Jackson at his Neverland ranch when they were young boys and says it will sue the documentary's makers, HBO. Mark Anthony Neal is a professor of African American Studies at Duke… read more about LISTEN: Michael Jackson Academic Discusses Abuse Claims in Leaving Neverland »

“You had this idea about the kind of black players Coach K recruited,” said Duke professor Mark Anthony Neal, chair of the African and African-American studies department. “Kind of a cut-and-dried, clean-cut type of black player … a lot seemed to be mixed-race. When it came to color, they were often light-skinned. It seemed like he had a pattern.” Neal hated Duke basketball for years, even after he became a professor there in 2004. “What framed my view of Duke was when they played UNLV and it was portrayed as these great… read more about 'Black Duke' Takes Flight »

“People are being asked to grapple with trauma, actual harm, inflicted on living human beings by a dead man who is not merely beloved. He was unparalleled,” said Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of African and African American studies at Duke University, who saw his first Jackson concert in 1971. “It is, for many people a heavy, heavy lift to even consider muting Michael Jackson or changing the way we think about him to include predator,” said Neal, who wrote a book entitled “Songs in the Key of Black Life” and teaches a… read more about 'Leaving Neverland' and What To Do With Michael Jackson's Music »

Duke University economist Sandy Darity has studied racial wealth gaps, and his conclusions are stark. According to Darity, “for families in which the lead earner has a college degree, the average white family has $180,500 in wealth. The average black family? $23,400.” As Ezra Klein of Vox remarked, “that’s a difference of almost $160,000–$160,000 that could be used to send a kid to college, get through an illness, start a small business, or make a down payment on a home that builds wealth for the next generation, too.”… read more about Colin Kaepernick and the Anti-Racism Industry »

“In some ways, I don’t think a film like this gets made or gets the kind of wide circulation that it does in absence of the #MeToo movement,” said Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of African and African American studies at Duke University, who teaches a course on Michael Jackson and the black performance tradition. “It changes everything, in terms of our willingness to grapple with these issues.” Read More read more about How 'Leaving Neverland' Puts Michael Jackson's Cultural Legacy and $2 Billion Empire in Jeopardy »

35. Sandy Darity Sandy Darity is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies and Economics at Duke University. Some of his research topics include inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, schooling and the racial achievement gap, the Atlantic slave trade and the Industrial Revolution, the history of economics, in addition to other topics. Read More read more about 75 Top Economics Influencers To Follow »

In 2006, Douthit returned to NC Central - not to finish his degree - but to teach. He serves as Artist in Residence at the University's History Department; he also teaches down the road at Duke University as Lecturing Fellow for African & African-American Studies.  "They want to know what do I need to do? And they want to know from somebody who's done it. And I give them a lot of life experience," Douthit said.  Read More read more about Grammy-winning Producer, 9th Wonder, Brings Life Experience and History to His NC Classroom »

Popular culture experts Mark Anthony Neal and Natalie Bullock Brown share their take on the 2019 Oscars with host Frank Stasio in the latest installment of #BackChannel, ‘The State of Things’ recurring series connecting culture and context. Read More read more about What Hollywood Gets Right & Wrong, the Contradictions of College Sports & More »

Duke University’s African and African American Studies Department sends students to study abroad in Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa’s Durban and Cape Town, Rwanda, Kenya and Ghana. Back in North Carolina, students can earn a B.A. in AAAS or minor in it. Professor Stephen Smith said, “Our department is Duke’s center to interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship on Africa and people of African descent.”  Read More read more about Duke African & African American Studies Program Ranked in Top Ten »

“I’m pleased to hear a willingness to explore the idea of reparations, but I’m not sure what they have in mind constitutes a reparations program,” said William Darity, a Duke professor who has long been an advocate of reparations. “The danger is the possibility that the label ‘reparations’ is applied to a modest or incremental policy that falls far short of what is required, and political leaders then say the nation’s responsibility has been met.” Read More read more about Three 2020 Democrats Say 'Yes' to Race-Based Reparations »

Sandy Darity, a Duke University professor who is a leading scholar on reparations and the racial wealth gap, said he believes more black Americans may come to see reparations as a defining issue for their support. “There is a point in black Americans making a collective decision to treat a candidate’s attitude toward reparations as a litmus test for supporting them,” Dr. Darity said. “I think if folks had paid closer attention to the fact that Barack Obama was against reparations, they would have not been as disappointed… read more about 2020 Democrats Embrace Race-Conscious Policies, Including Reparations »

Months after the so-called Greensboro Sit-In, a staged version appears on the cover of Max Roach’s now classic We Insist – Max Roach’s Freedom Now! Suite. The album stands as an early musical testament to the burgeoning rage, anger and passion that would take the Civil Rights Movement from its early victory in Montgomery in 1955 into a future that would dramatically alter race relations in the United States. And as perhaps fitting, the impetus for Roach’s artist statement came in the aftermath of tragedy. Read More read more about Max Roach's Freedom Now! Suite: An Early Soundtrack to Black Lives Matter »

A Duke pre-med student from Fayetteville will compete on Season 38 of “Survivor,” which premieres Wednesday (Feb. 20) on CBS. Keith Sowell writes on the Cardea Fellows Program page on the Duke University website that he is an African American Studies major with minors in biology and chemistry, and that his dream has always been to become a doctor to help underprivileged communities. Read More read more about Duke AAAS Major on Season 38 of 'Survivor' »

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 »