Malcolm Ryder, the first black student to live in The Westminster School's boy's dormitory beginning in the fall of 1968, enjoys a drink with Janice Kemp, one of three black girls who desegregated Westminster in 1967. Image from 1969 Lynx Yearbook, courtesy of Beck Archives-Westminster.

How color barrier fell at South’s elite private schools

While many historians have explored the bitter court-ordered desegregation of public schools following the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, the equally dramatic story of the voluntary desegregation of prestigious, traditionally white, private schools remains largely untold. A new book, “Transforming The Elite,” sets out to fill that void by telling the firsthand stories of the young black students who broke the color barrier at the South’s most prestigious private schools in the fall of 1967.

Canceled: Jeff Smith explores ‘Ferguson in Black and White’ March 23

Note: Jeff Smith’s talk has been canceled due to a weather-related travel delay. There are currently no plans to reschedule his presentation. Jeff Smith, an urban policy professor and former Missouri state senator, will discuss “Ferguson in Black and White” at 7 p.m. Monday, March 23, in Anheuser-Busch Hall’s Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom at Washington University in St. Louis.

Racist hate network using media to sabotage immigration reform, says book author

As immigration reform once again heads to the front-burner of American politics, the nation’s politicians and voters have an opportunity to decide whether a fringe coalition of racist groups will once again be allowed to sabotage serious efforts to reach a rational compromise on critical immigration issues, suggests Robert W. Sussman, author of a new book on enduring scientific myths behind modern racism.

Reasons other than racism factor into disproportionality in child abuse reporting

Black children are involved in reported cases of child abuse at approximately twice the rate of white children. Until now, this has generally been attributed to racial bias in the child welfare system. But in a new study published in the journal Pediatrics, F. Brett Drake, PhD, professor at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, finds that much, if not most, of the overrepresentation of black children in maltreatment reporting is due to increased exposure to risk factors such as poverty.

America ready to peg Barry Bonds as “Bad Negro,” says WUSTL essayist Gerald Early

Gerald EarlyWhile baseball purists may be poised to place a “steroid-fueled” asterisk next to Bond’s name in the record books, to do so would be a mistake, one that follows an unfortunate pattern in the history of blacks in American sports, suggests Gerald Early, Ph.D., a noted essayist and book author who has written extensively on black culture and sports.

Overcoming the fear of hiring employees

Is she safe to hire?Companies with 500 employees or more can expect to be sued for discrimination at least once a year, and the cost to defend the accusation can cost as much as $15,000, even if the allegation is found to be without merit. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 (CRA-91) held great promise for protecting workers from discrimination in the workplace, but the potential cost of litigation makes some firms wary of hiring minorities. A business professor at Washington University in St. Louis has come up with a plan to circumvent potential lawsuits in a way that benefits both employers and employees.

Blacks aren’t playing baseball simply because ‘they don’t want to,’ says Gerald Early

NO BYLINEGerald Early’s “Unpopular Answer to a Popular Question.”As Major League Baseball prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary on April 15 of Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the “color barrier,” there’s been a groundswell of dire warnings about the diminishing ranks of African-Americans on big-league rosters. Some say young urban blacks are isolated from the game by racism, poverty and little access to facilities, but Gerald Early, Ph.D., a noted essayist and black culture expert at Washington University in St. Louis, has a much simpler explanation: “Black Americans don’t play baseball because they don’t want to.” More…

Dred Scott case isn’t a ghost; stereotypes of inferiority are still felt in the courts

Terrell CreativeMarch 2007 marks the 150th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s momentous Dred Scott decision that denied full American citizenship to African-Americans and gave legal sanction to a racial hierarchy that would undermine the most basic principles of American justice. Experts say the anniversary should be an opportunity for deep national reflection on enduring issues of race and justice. In honor of this landmark case, Washington University in St. Louis will host a conference, titled “The Dred Scott Case and Its Legacy: Race, Law, and the Struggle for Equality,” from March 1-3.

Sexism, racism and classism in American society running through the Duke lacrosse case, says criminal procedure expert

Bracey”In the Duke Lacrosse rape case, we have a story of a horrifying gang rape, taking place against the backdrop of the most vulgar aspects of sexism, racism and classism in American society,” says Christopher Bracey, J.D., criminal procedure expert and associate professor of law and of African & African American studies at Washington University in St. Louis. “This is why it is so important for District Attorney Michael Nifong to get a handle on this case, and soon.” More…
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