JustSpeak: Unlearning racism requires taking positive (affirmative) action

March 10, 2013

Dr. Irma McClaurin by    Dr. Kesho Scott (Grinnell College) by De Dudley
The recent racist incident at Washburn High School of Minneapolis, in which a black doll was hung (lynched), is disturbing. We are living in the 21st century. And yet, not too long ago in 2003 Duluth, MN built a memorial to commemorate the unlawful and unjustified lynching of three young Black men in 1920. Despite this example of racial reconciliation, in 2008 an effigy of Presidential candidate Barrack Obama was found hanging from the Duluth memorial. Whether playing video games, watching movies set in the "wild" West, reading about suicide or violence in general, a reasonable child and adult knows that placing a noose around anything is no laughing matter. The "lynching" of a Black doll at Washburn High in Minneapolis, given Minnesota's recent history, is NOT a matter to be taken lightly or to gloss over as "kids will be kids" or "they had no idea how bad this was."  
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Original Posting: 25 February 2013, Insight News

Justspeak: Eliminating the Rolodex of inequality

February 3, 2013
At a recent networking event for women in Raleigh, I listened as a panel of experienced women executives shared their experiences with the audience. One question posed was about how non-profit and corporate board members were recruited. One response stood out in my mind. The speaker indicated that she often recruited board members by tapping into her friends and colleagues. The answer affirmed a thesis of mine—there exists in our society what I call the “ Rolodex of inequality,” and what it produces is homogeneity or sameness.
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Original Posting: 01 February 2013, Insight News

Artspeak: New Year’s promise: “Live Simply, Laugh Often, Love Fully”

January 26, 2013
The three maxims in the title greet me each morning. They are kitchen magnets placed above my stove, meant to guide me on the attitude I should carry into my day and into life generally. I take them to mean: 1) do not overly complicate my life (with work, obligations, possessions, other people's problems, or needless drama); 2) find joy and fun in my daily routines; and 3) make time to be connected and deeply embrace the passions that arise from friendships, family, and special friends/partners/lovers. Read More 
Original posting: 05 Jan 2013, Insight News

Justspeak: (RE)Visioning a World without Violence Against Women

December 27, 2012
The senseless murder of 22-year-old Kasandra Perkins by her boyfriend, Kansas City Chief's linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, and his subsequent suicide, is a double tragedy that highlights the degree to which domestic violence has permeated our culture. Perkins was also the mother of a three-month old daughter fathered by Belcher, and according to news reports, his mother and the child witnessed the murder. What is unique about this case is that most of the original media coverage focused on Belcher, the perpetrator—who, why, what? Questions about his motivations, state of mind, etc., pre-occupied the airways.

That is until some Black feminist women and (some feminist-leaning men) stepped in and said hey—this should not be about him, it should be about his victim. You haven't even mentioned her name.
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Original Posting: 21 Dec 2012, Insight News

Artspeak: Anthropology honors the mentoring legacy of Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole

December 13, 2012
This presentation was delivered at the annual meeting of the American Anthropology Association on November 15, 2012 in San Francisco, where several sessions and panels were held to honor Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole. She is best known as the only woman to have served as President of two historically Black women’s colleges—Spelman College in Atlanta, GA (1987-1997) and Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, NC (2003-2008). 

Upon retiring from Spelman, Dr. Cole went on to become an intellectual figure who crossed borders in three disciplines at Emory University as the Presidential Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Women’s Studies, and African-American Studies from which she retired with emerita status (1999-2002). She was recruited out of retirement and served as President of Bennett College for women from 2003-2008. “Sister Prez,” as Dr. Cole is affectionately known, does not do “retirement” well. In 2009, Cole, who in her own words “flunked retirement” once again, became the Director of the Smithsonian National Museum for African Art. 
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Original Posting: 07 Dec 2012, Insight News

A Farewell Requiem: Dr. Elvyn Jones-Dube

December 13, 2012
"I really have no regrets. I can go freely. There are things that I didn't accomplish that I wanted to but I have learned how to let go. I would have liked to have done more, and if I had more time, I would have done so." Dr. Elvyn Jones-Dube

Human beings, homo sapiens, or anthropology's political correct AMH (anatomically modern humans) are a unique species among mammals. We have culture, which according to my colleagues, has been our primary means of adaptation.

Through culture we have learned how to adapt to our environment by creating houses to shelter us from heat and cold, clothing to protect us from the elements as well as symbolize ideas of decency and propriety. We developed sun tan lotions to protect us from the sun and solar panels to harness the sun's power for energy. We created cooking to help us digest a variety of foods that contributed to our survival, and may have help trigger the development of our brain. And, we have created cultural rituals like marriage to facilitate the reproduction of the species and further social and economic relations.

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Original Posting: 21 Nov 2012, Insight News


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