Racism

Outgoing SBC president Ronnie Floyd (center, sixth from left) leads the panel discussion on racial unity, including two St. Louis pastors.
Van Payne | Southern Baptist Convention

Updated Wednesday, June 15 with presidential election results – The Southern Baptist Convention has selected Steve Gaines, a Memphis pastor, as its next president. 

Church representatives, or messengers, voted twice Tuesday after a close count caused a runoff election. By the next morning, North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear dropped out of the race to keep the convention "united."  The announcement came the day after the convention representing the country's largest Evangelical Christian denomination notably called on its members to "discontinue the display of the Confederate Battle Flag."

Facilitators from the National Conference for Community and Justice-St. Louis joined St. Louis on the Air to dicuss ways to "interrupt racism." Left to right: Sally Beth Lyon, Stefani Weeden-Smith and Dewitt Campbell.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

We've all been there: Someone says or does something racist. The question is: what do you do next?

Do you stay silent? Do you interject? What if it is a close family member? What if it is a perfect stranger you see doing something offensive on the street? Are there situations where you should not engage?

In the study he led, Washington University researcher Darrell Hudson found the men in his focus groups were more than willing to discuss their experiences with racism and issues related to mental health.
Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

New insight from a Washington University study could improve access to mental health care for African-American men. 

St. Louis County Library

A new local organization wants to get the conversation about race and racism started with a group you may not expect: young, white families in St. Louis. We Stories: Raising Big-Hearted Kids is using children’s literature to “create conversation, change and hope in St. Louis” with the aim of making St. Louis more inclusive.

Editorial Room of the Westliche Post newspaper. Carl Schurz is seated lower left next to the table, c. 1868.
Missouri History Museum

Why would anyone invite thousands of 19th-century German immigrants to join us in the middle of February, the month dedicated to American black history?

Isn’t the idea of formalizing a black history month a way to shift emphasis away from Americans of European descent, the better to shine the light of achievement on African Americans’ stories? 

Students from the Science Center's YES program examine the slave hold at the Griot Museum of Black History. Notice the rat near the baby on the upper right-hand side.
Nancy Fowler / St. Louis Public Radio

Fifteen-year-old Chassidy Buckner thought she had already learned all about slavery from school and her mother. But at the Griot Museum of Black History, the lesson became personal.

"Because it is my ancestors,” Buckner said.

Looking at the life-sized figures chained together in the hold beneath a slave ship is different than seeing pictures in a book.

"I didn’t know it was that cramped and with, like, blood everywhere," Buckner said.

Protesters in Ferguson in August 2014
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Recent incidents from Ferguson to Baltimore regarding police and community relationships have fostered other uncomfortable truths on the state of racial affairs in America. Many wonder what can be done to address the age-old issue or if there is any one particular act that will solve it.

What about the “truth?”

Hillary Clinton at Christ the King United Church of Christ in Florissant June 23 2015.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Although her comments about race and racism were national in scope, Hillary Clinton spent much of Tuesday’s visit at a Florissant church listening to the local challenges that many in her audience grapple with daily.

The Rev. Traci Blackmon talked of the “tale of two cities,’’ where some St. Louisans easily partake of some of the best education and health care that the nation has to offer. But others only have access to the worst.

Charleston SC shooting suspect
Charleston Police Department/NPR

Earl Holt III, a former member of the St. Louis School Board who figured in a controversy 25 years ago over his ties to a white-rights group, is in the spotlight again over accusations that his writings influenced the actions of Dylann Roof, the suspect in last week’s murder of nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church.

Terrell Carter is pastor of the mostly-white Webster Groves Baptist Church
Terrell Carter / Courtesy Photo

Since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the subsequent community unrest, dialogue about racial division in the St. Louis area became a frequent topic. Additionally, many people vowed to come together and address the apparent ‘invisible line’ separating black and white residents in the region.

Kimberly Norwood and her book
WUSTL and Amazon

While conversations about race have become more common since the shooting death of Michael Brown, some scholars are hoping to expand the dialogue to include colorism, discrimination based on degrees of skin tone.

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Welcome to week two! If you didn't get a chance to participate in week one, you can always revisit  previous challenges throughout this process.

This week we will focus on race as a social construct. That might sound odd if this is the first time you are hearing the term. But, to break it down, it means that race is real yet not real -- biologically, a weak differentiator, yet socially a strong determinant.

In American politics, as in society at large, the issue of race is often likened to the proverbial 800-pound gorilla lurking in the corner. That metaphor is misleading. Race is better understood as the irritable 8,000-pound bull snorting in the middle of the living room that everybody tiptoes around, hoping not to provoke the beast.