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History

Balm for Trying Times

by Judy Helfand Recently various friends have asked me if I’m scared about the upcoming presidential election, which prompted some self-reflection as to why I’m not. There’s nothing surprising to me about the outpouring of hate and racial invective. Trump does not seem like the devil incarnate, simply another manifestation …

The Perfect Book for July 4th

by Judy Helfand An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz sat on my bookshelf for months. I’d picked it up because I admired the author, having read her memoir Red Dirt: Growing Up Oakie, which seriously grappled with whiteness. When I finally took the history off …

Soulsville USA

by Judy Helfand Musicians seem to me better able to work across ethnic and racial boundaries than most folks, exploring, adapting, and changing music springing from various cultures. Respect Yourself: the Story of Stax Records surprised me by exploring, not only the music recorded at Stax, but the racial history …

I Am Troy Davis

We recently received a letter from one of our readers that we wanted to share with a wider audience.  The email letter is posted below. Dear Blog Editor, I believe capital punishment is one of the critical social justice issues of our country, and is, in many ways, the sharp …

Schooled in Whiteness

Recently I had an opportunity to sit in on a class at Santa Rosa Junior College where the speaker was Steve Martinot and the topic was “How Race Was Created and Became Part of Our Institutions.” One of my big takeaways from this talk was the concept that “the construction …