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 »

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 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 »

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 »

In the audience and on stage at Duke Monday night sat African-American students, scholars and everyday residents whose ancestors never received their 40 acres and a mule. It was the 19th-century federally ordered reparation for slavery; A way for newly-freed blacks to have an initial stake in the wealth of the nation. A debt many of these experts say is still owed. But to whom?Read More read more about Duke debates reparations for slavery as Confederate controversies continue (WTVD) »

Reparations for African Americans are crucial to fight white supremacy and compensate for slavery's consequences, scholars said at a town hall forum Monday, but they aren't enough. Racial inequality and discrimination are so engrained in diverse aspects of the American society that no single measure would solve all the problems, said Wahneema Lubiano—associate professor of African and African American studies—at the panel. Reparations are usually discussed in the form of monetary payments to individuals or land-based… read more about Should there be reparations for African Americans? Scholars tackle the topic at Monday panel (Duke Chronicle) »

J. Lorand Matory ’82, also began teaching at Harvard in 1991 as a jointly-appointed Professor of Anthropology and African and African American Studies. “[Harvard] became the new capital of African and African American studies and set the standard for the sort of scholarship that would define the field from the ’90s onward,” Matory said. “One could hear journalists talking about the Dream Team at Harvard.” This “dream team,” which included Matory, Harper, Cornel West, and other newly recruited faculty members, led to an … read more about Rebuilding African and African American Studies »

Speakers during the “American Universities, Monuments, and the Legacies of Slavery” symposium discussed the national debate about Confederate monuments. Organized by Thavolia Glymph (History professor at Duke), the March 30-31 event included conversation about the Robert E. Lee statue that was removed from Duke Chapel. To read the full Duke Today article, visit: read more about Duke history professor Thavolia Glymph organizes "American Universities, Monuments, and the Legacies of Slavery" symposium »

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is funding the expansion of Duke’s Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement (SITPA) program. SITPA is an intensive research mentoring and professional socialization program for early career faculty who are from underrepresented groups or who otherwise deepen diversity at their institutions. One of SITPA’s objectives is to address a nationwide problem in higher education—the underrepresentation of various racial and ethnic minority groups on the faculties of U.S. colleges and… read more about Mellon Foundation to Fund Expansion of Duke Model For Mentoring Underrepresented Early Career Faculty »