race

From bottom left: St. Louis area residents Bala Anant, Will Johnson, Derrick Hopgood and his daughter Skylyn. Anne Cody, Lisa Heimberger and Brandy Bold.
Photo of Gateway Arch from Francisco Diez | Flickr, additional photos from Joseph Leahy and Kaitlyn Petrin / St. Louis Public Radio

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Let’s be honest, talking about race can be tough — even nerve-racking for some.  

Often the conversation comes with trap doors leading to potentially awkward moments. It’s that fear of a misstep, perhaps, that nudges people into sidestepping clear language about race.

Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis area is filled with open wounds. That’s how Affton resident Peggy Keilholz put it when she stepped to the microphone during public comment at Wednesday’s Ferguson Commission meeting.

“Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown Jr. That is a fact which no one disputes,” Keilholz said. “No matter what the criminal justice or civil justice system does or does not do, the death of Michael Brown Jr. is a wound which needs to be healed. Some people who were not peaceful protestors hurled insults, spit and other objects at law enforcement personnel. This is a wound which needs to be healed.”

Will Rivers and Brandon King on the scene at the race summit
Courtesy Jane Bannester / Ritneour High School.

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Now that we've looked at the jigsaw puzzle of St. Louis County, we consider the children. In a place where people from different backgrounds — and especially different races — seldom live next to each other, we ask the question: What does that mean for kids?

Race is a social concept, not a scientific one.

“Biology shows us there are no real races in the world,” Washington University physical anthropology professor Robert Wald Sussman told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Monday. “Humans are just humans, basically.”

Sussman explores how religion, pseudo-science and prejudice have been used since the Spanish Inquisition to promote racism, eugenics and anti-immigration policies in his book “The Myth of Race: The Troubling Persistence of an Unscientific Idea.”

Police supporters Cindy and Jeff Robinson listen as a group of Ferguson protesters talk about what it's like to be black in America. Cindy Robinson said they wanted to talk because everyone was yelling and communication has to start somewhere.
Camille Phillips | St.Louis Public Radio

Conversations about race shouldn’t be uncomfortable. It should be like falling in love, said Amy Hunter, director of racial justice at the YWCA of Metro St. Louis.

Fox Smith and Ben Nordstrom star in White to Gray.
John Lamb

Forty-eight hours after the ocean liner S.S. Lurline left Honolulu for San Francisco, the sun rose on “a day that will live in infamy.” In a new drama based on this real-life voyage that began two days before the attack on Pearl Harbor, a young couple is caught in the crossfire.

David Price outsmarted those who tried to derail his career at Monsanto.
Wendy Todd | St. Louis Public Radio

This is the third of a three-part series of essays that explore the experiences of three African Americans in corporate America.

“If you are a black person, and you chose to be great at something, choosing to pursue a leadership career in business is the hardest thing you can choose to do,”

Those are the words of David Price, who faced significant racial challenges in his career as an engineer turned corporate executive.

Michael Castro
Ros Crenshaw

This Saturday, St. Louis’ first Poet Laureate Michael Castro will publicly read his first official poem, commemorating the city’s 250th birthday.The reading will take place at a coronation ceremony from 3-5 p.m. at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Blvd.

Laurna Godwin says education has been key to her success.
St. Louis Public Radio | Wendy Todd

This is the second of a three-part series of essays that explore the experiences of three African Americans in corporate America.

Laurna Godwin is the co-founder and co-owner of Vector Communications, a public engagement, communications agency. She wasn’t always a business owner. She transitioned into that role after spending nearly 20 years in broadcast journalism. 

Instead of focusing on race in the workplace, Gene R. Todd believes one’s energy is better spent on being better than the competition.
St. Louis Public Radio | Wendy Todd

This is the first of a three-part series of personal essays exploring the experiences of three African Americans in corporate America.

For many, being black in corporate America is akin to playing professional football in the mud ... with no helmet ... wearing Keds.

It can be a head-spinning experience, rife with racial and political pitfalls that center around one thing that cannot be changed: race. These racial issues can impact a person’s career trajectory, earning potential and overall security of one’s life.

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