links for 2011-06-10

  • "[R]ace clearly haunted the city’s beaches for decades. As late as the 1960s, even the sand in Chicago was segregated, not by law, but by a custom that was sometimes enforced by violence."
  • "The first lady has made regular visits to schools in Anacostia, one of Washington's poorest, most difficult neighborhoods. She has initiated a high-octane mentoring program, linking White House aides with urban minority high-school students—and, NEWSWEEK has learned, she presses famous entertainers eager to perform for the president at tony events for a quid pro quo: an agreement to conduct a music workshop for selected students at the White House while they are in town. In late March, Motown greats Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson worked with a couple of hundred musically gifted students from across the country. At an earlier workshop, music students found themselves jamming one afternoon with five members of the Marsalis family—New Orleans jazz royalty—under the sparkling chandeliers of the East Room.

    "'While we live here, we're your neighbors. And we want you to feel welcome at the White House.'"

  • Say that, Sherman Alexie!–AJP "When some cultural critics fret about the 'ever-more-appalling' YA books, they aren’t trying to protect African-American teens forced to walk through metal detectors on their way into school. Or Mexican-American teens enduring the culturally schizophrenic life of being American citizens and the children of illegal immigrants. Or Native American teens growing up on Third World reservations. Or poor white kids trying to survive the meth-hazed trailer parks. They aren’t trying to protect the poor from poverty. Or victims from rapists.

    "No, they are simply trying to protect their privileged notions of what literature is and should be. They are trying to protect privileged children. Or the seemingly privileged."

  • "For many reasons, Northern Republicans gave up on the early goals of Reconstruction: to grant free blacks civil and economic rights. Goldfield quotes a Northerner observing a general desire to forget the war, and particular "apathy about the Negro" – shades of the "compassion fatigue" that would be diagnosed by neoconservatives 100 years later, after the Great Society. The parallels between the backlash against Reconstruction, and the backlash against Lyndon Johnson's civil rights reforms, are unmistakable and chilling…[t]he Civil War is still not over.
  • "One could argue that it's the best atmosphere yet for minority actresses, thanks to diversity-conscious shows such as 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Desperate Housewives.' Just last year, 'The Good Wife' co-star Archie Panjabi became the fifth minority to win an Emmy for supporting actress in a drama. But when it comes to the lead category in drama, no minority woman has ever won.

    'I get goose bumps when I hear that,' Maggie Q, less than a week after finding out her CW series had been picked up for a second season. 'It really bums me out and gives me so much drive. There's really no reason for it.'"

  • Wanderinglady123

    I’m way past the target age for YA novels, but I often like them better than novels for “adults”.  They are usually better written.  Maybe its because the shorter length of these books mean that the writers have to dispense with much of the meandering navel-gazing that is in many novels for older readers.  Other than that, I think Sherman Alexie is a great writer!