Racism | St. Louis Public Radio


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, author of a book on the topic, says the effects of colorism remain pervasive.
Washington University 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: Brad Paisley released a song featuring LL Cool J. 

The song is called "Accidental Racist" (off of Paisley's new album, Wheelhouse).

The internet has exploded.

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.

Commentary: 'The Help' can make things worse

Aug 19, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 19, 2011 - "The Help" enjoyed a successful second-place showing at the box office this weekend. A-list actors appear in the movie. There is a villain to dislike and a young courageous woman who defied law and common customs of the time. "The Help," however, is not a portrayal or a movement for racial equity or humanity.

Commentary: Racing to judgments on race

Jul 28, 2010

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.

Participants including Harriet Patton, president of the Meacham Park Neighborhood Improvement Association, and Bob Sears join hands during a memorial service Saturday evening at Douglas Memorial Church of God in Christ in Meacham Park.
Anthony Soufflé | For the Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: During the months after the Feb. 7, 2008, Kirkwood City Hall killings, several hundred residents gathered every couple of months to discuss how to achieve greater community understanding and healing.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 5, 2008 - The suggestions that Democrat Jay Nixon got more Missouri votes than Barack Obama on Tuesday because of racism drew a spirited objection Thursday from Gov. Matt Blunt and alternative explanations from other political observers.

Will whites vote for Barack Obama?

Aug 15, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 15, 2008 - Danny Sanders says he has seen the face of racism first hand.

"My dad was from Arkansas, and he hated black people," said the retired St. Louis baker and Vietnam veteran, who was fishing for catfish this week at Carondelet Park. "And a long time ago, I used to feel the same way.

"But I have changed.

"People do change, you know?"

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 3, 2008 - Sen. Barack Obama was busy in Missouri last week, stopping in places like Springfield, Rolla and Union, hardly hotbeds of liberal Democratic voters. The presumptive Democratic nominee was clearly hoping to connect with generally conservative voters in this must-win state. It's a strategy he's likely to follow throughout the general election campaign.

Commentary: Want to end debate? Play the race card

Aug 1, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 1, 2008- I was struck by recent commentary asserting that Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, made a huge mistake in accusing Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, of using his "risky traits" to instill fear.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 11, 2008 - The recent controversy regarding the Rev. Jesse Jackson's comments directed at Sen. Barack Obama along with the larger commentary drive home the complexities of the various levels of racism. If we fail to recognize these complexities, we miss the real issue at hand: Racism is not one-dimensional, rather it exists on individual, cultural and institutional levels.

Commentary: All tangled up in racial terms

Jun 30, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 30, 2008 - Talk of "race," "racism," people being "racist," and the rise in hate groups makes me think we need to step back and make sure we're on the same page with what we mean when we use these terms.

One factor that makes the conversations on race most tangled is the failure, or perhaps unwillingness, to understand racism at multiple levels. We're too quick to label an action or person as racist and "condemn" it or "disown" the person rather than fully analyze the situation.

Commentary: Make transracial adoption more effective

Jun 2, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: June 2, 2008 - To take account of race or to not take account of race, that is the question -- or at least it is in transracial adoption.

The rates of transracial adoption have increased dramatically in the past decades, and research and the law are trying to keep up. From the social research perspective we've learned a few things. Historically, research on transracial adoption found no differences in outcomes for kids adopted across race compared to same-race families.