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Richard Lewontin: Race as a Biological Illusion

Evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin, an opponent of sociobiology and biological determinism and a strong advocate of defining race strictly as a socially but not biologically meaningful category, was born in New York on this date in 1929. In 1972, Lewontin identified that most of the genetic variation within human populations is found within local geographic groups, and that differences among so-called […]

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White Hollywood, Black Films

by Alessio Franko   IF JORDAN PEELE’S socially conscious horror film Get Out wins this year’s Best Picture Oscar, I will cringe — not because the film doesn’t deserve the win (quite the contrary), but because, in that moment, the white members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will all become versions of that […]

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Jews and the History of “Whiteness”

by Ralph Seliger This links to a Portside re-post of a Forward piece by Rebecca Pierce, a Jewish African-American who is a leader in the Black Lives Matter movement. Pierce correctly argues that the claim that Gal Gadot, the Israeli star of Wonder Woman, is not white is silly and perhaps even insulting — but I am troubled […]

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Channel Esther: South Africa Chronicles #8

by Esther Cohen WE ARE LEAVING CAPE TOWN IN THE MORNING Tomorrow we are going to Kruger National Park. To see animals. And then, to Johannesburg where we will visit the street where my grandfather lived when he left Lithuania so many years ago. 1 I have never felt so white before. Even though of […]

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Channel Esther: South Africa Chronicles #4

by Esther Cohen ANOTHER DAY IN CAPE TOWN SISTER GRACE People like tourist sites museums official explanations here’s what happened signs. Yesterday we went to lunch at DaVinci’s Restaurant with Chesray’s relatives. Her family’s called colored here. Most of them ordered Cape Town combination: fried calamari with ribs. Sister Grace a big big woman she […]

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Racial Equality Is Still a “Dream”

by Allan Lichtenstein The Negro today is not struggling for some abstract, vague rights, but for concrete and prompt improvement in his way of life. What will it profit him to be able to send his children to an integrated school if the family income is insufficient to buy them school clothes? What will he […]

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November 15: African-American Jews on TV

Two successful television actors who are both black and Jewish share this date as birthdays: Yaphet Kotto, born in New York in 1939; and Lisa Bonet, born to a Jewish mother and black father in San Francisco in 1967. Kotto, best known for his role on the detective series, Homicide: Life on the Street, wrote […]

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