Tag Archives: Race and ethnicity in the United States Census

Asian-Pacific American ~~ HERITAGE MONTH …


May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month.

The month-long observance was officially designated in 1992 and the month of May was chosen to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to the U.S. on May 7, 1843 and to recognize the Chinese immigrants who helped lay tracks for the transcontinental railroad, which was completed on May 10, 1869.

Visit asianpacificheritage.gov to learn more about the contributions of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

a repost

Dorthy Height – In Memory


Dorothy Height: a civil rights heroine, educator and social activist ; She was a woman who had her finger print on all things American and as the President said,” deserves a place in our history”.    3/24/1912 – 4/20/2010

first posted 4/22/2011

 

 

A Picture Worth a Thousand More …Lonnie G. Bunch at The NMAAHC- Black History


a repost … 2011

Lonnie Bunch, museum director, historian, lecturer, and author, is proud to present A Page from Our American Story, a regular on-line series for Museum supporters. It will showcase individuals and events in the African American experience, placing these stories in the context of a larger story — our American story

Few things date history as readily as fashion. The caveat “that was the fashion of the times” can be applied to everything from bustles and corsets to micro-mini skirts and polyester pants suits — fashions at the turn of the twentieth century and styles created during the 1960s-’70s.

While designs have changed over the years, one thing remained the same: from department store catalogs to high-end fashion magazines, the models dressed in the latest fashions were white.

So it was a major event when Katiti Kironde appeared in the August 1968 issue of Glamour College, the first African American to appear on a American fashion magazine’s cover. Six years later, in August 1974, Beverly Johnson became the first African American woman featured on the cover of Vogue magazine — the industry’s supreme publication. It was another landmark.

Like virtually everything else on the path to equal opportunity for African Americans, progress was slow and came in steps, not leaps. So when an African American woman first appeared in one of the fashion industry’s premier magazines, it was not on a cover or with a huge, multi-page layout.

Instead, seven years before Kironde’s Glamour cover, a coed at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Willette Murphy, quietly appeared on the pages of the August 1961 issue of another hugely popular magazine, Mademoiselle.

Murphy, now Willette Klausner, was pictured wearing a simple skirt, top and jacket, and walking on the UCLA campus. Initially, she viewed the moment as “just another thing I’d done.”

Far from it: Willette Murphy’s appearance in the magazine was not merely “just another thing.” Her Mademoiselle photograph was groundbreaking. Yet, Murphy was unaware of her place in history, until a New York Times’ reporter contacted her family. “I guess my sister found out when the New York Times called my parents,” Klausner said in a published interview.

Her family was used to Willette achieving things African Americans rarely experienced at that time — she was UCLA’s first black senior class president, for example — but the call from the Times made the family realize that their daughter had made history.

For decades, in high powered fashion magazines like Vogue, Glamour and Mademoiselle, to the Sears and Roebuck and other mail order catalogs, to models walking runways in Paris and New York, the face of fashion had been white.

Images of African Americans were scarce even in popular, mainstream American magazines. Many white Americans were shocked when Dorothy Dandridge became the first African American female to appear on the cover of LIFE in November, 1954. It would be nearly four years later before another black American, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson, would find his way onto that magazine’s front page. Another African American female celebrity would not grace LIFE’s cover again until the December 8, 1967 issue which featured Pearl Bailey.

Imagine growing up black and female and seeing dress after dress, swimsuit after swimsuit, shoe after shoe — all pictured only on white women. Along with every other message sent to African Americans, this underscored the sense that African Americans were, to a great degree, nonexistent — even when it came to buying clothes.

Today fashion marketers, like marketers from every other industry, recognize that the face of America is as diverse as its people. They also recognize that African Americans’ buying power was estimated at $913 billion in 2009. A University of Georgia economics study projects that figure will rise to $1.2 trillion in 2013 — nearly 9% of the country’s estimated purchasing strength.

Today the power of the African American pocketbook is reflected on the covers of countless magazines — fashion, entertainment, and political publications which routinely feature black models, entertainers, authors, politicians and more.

Willette Murphy Klausner
Photo Courtesy of Ms. Klausner

Today, it is no longer shocking to walk into a supermarket and find an African American on a magazine cover. In March 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on the cover of Vogue, only the second first lady to do so. In recent years Vogue has seen a number of black women grace its cover.

Sometimes history is made in giant leaps. More often, however, it is made in smaller, sometimes unexpected steps. Willette Murphy Klausner would become the first black merchandising executive at Bloomingdale’s, later the first female corporate vice president at MCA Universal Studios and, together with Julia Child and Robert Mondavi, the co-founder of the American Institute of Wine and Food in 1981. Today, she is a successful theater producer.

It is her photo in Mademoiselle that we celebrate today. A picture that would launch thousands more.

Lonnie Bunch, Director

All the best,
Lonnie Bunch
Director
P.S. We can only reach our $250 million goal with your help. I hope you will consider making a donation or becoming a Charter Member today.

Feds probing Seattle schools’ treatment of black students ~We need an Update!


As the U.S. Department of Education investigates whether Seattle Public Schools discriminated against African-American students by disciplining them more frequently and more harshly, Superintendent José Banda promises to find solutions.

By Keith Ervin and Maureen O’Hagan

Seattle Times staff reporters

Enlarge this photo

                At the end of the article, it says the students most frequently thrown out of classes…                (March 5, 2013, by pandemonium)                                                             MORE                    
                James Bible ….. welcomed the federal investigation, saying uneven treatment of races…                (March 5, 2013, by lt fd)                                                             MORE                    
Post a comment

The numbers are stark, although Seattle school administrators and many parents have been aware of them, and troubled by them, for years.

African-American students are suspended from school more than three times as often  as white students from elementary schools to high schools.

More than one-fourth of black middle schoolers have received short-term suspensions every year since 1996. Native Americans are disciplined more often  than Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

Now the U.S. Department of Education is investigating whether Seattle Public Schools discriminates against African Americans by disciplining them “more frequently and more harshly than similarly situated white students,” department spokesman Jim Bradshaw said Tuesday.

The “compliance review” began in May but didn’t become public knowledge until it was reported Tuesday by KUOW radio.

District  Superintendent José Banda acknowledged problems  with student discipline — and said he intends to do something about them.

Banda pledged cooperation with the investigation and said he expects the Department of Education will find disproportionate disciplining of black students.

“I think we have a serious problem here,” Banda said. “We do. We acknowledge that. We acknowledge the fact that the data is clear that there is a disproportionate number of students of color being suspended and expelled.

“It’s something that we’re moving on, in addition to working with the Department of Education, who are conducting their own review,” he said.

Seattle Public Schools has set up two advisory committees — one called Positive Climate and Discipline, the other Equity and Race — that are studying disproportionality in discipline.

Banda said he didn’t know how long the federal compliance review will take, and the Department of Education’s Bradshaw declined to provide additional information.

In September the department settled its first discipline-related compliance case in years when it reached an agreement with California’s Oakland Unified School District.

Oakland school officials agreed to avoid suspensions or expulsions as much as possible; to collaborate with experts to create positive, nondiscriminatory school climates; to give more help to at-risk students; to revise discipline policies; and to survey students, staff members and families each year.

James Bible, president of the Seattle-King County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, welcomed the federal investigation, saying uneven treatment of races is “so deeply embedded in the fabric of this particular school district, and perhaps others in our region, that it’s absolutely necessary for outside entities to intervene.

“I think that until we have true transparency and something in place in terms of the outside looking in, we’re not going to see much in terms of change here,” Bible said.

Doug Honig, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, said the group is concerned about the 50,000 students suspended or expelled in the state each year, both  because of racial disparities and because too many of those students receive no education while they’re being punished.

“In effect, the suspension or expulsion can put them so far behind in schoolwork that it becomes an educational death sentence,” Honig said.

About two years ago, Seattle’s School Board asked to see statistics on expulsions.

“Those numbers showed us we had a growing problem,” said board President Kay Smith-Blum. “They showed a disproportionate amount of students being disciplined at the suspension or expulsion level in our minority groups.”

Banda and several board members said discipline policies should be clear and consistent and should, in most cases, provide a way for students to continue their studies even if they are removed from their regular classrooms.

“The goal should be, obviously, to get every kid in school so that we can teach them. It’s hard to teach a student who’s not in school,” said board member Harium Martin-Morris.

Board member Marty McLaren said she wants to shut down the “schools-to-prison pipeline” that can begin with inappropriate discipline.

Several board members and a district spokeswoman said they weren’t aware of the federal investigation, which began last year. “I just became aware of that myself,” Banda said.

The district’s new attorney, Modessa Jacobs, recently told other district officials  the Department of Education was requesting district data as part of its review.

Stephanie Alter Jones, a Seatle school parent and a community organizer in Southeast Seattle, said that while she wasn’t aware of the investigation, discipline has been a topic of much debate both in Seattle and in the Legislature.

Kids who are tossed from the classroom are often “the ones most in need of the education,” she  said.

Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or kervin@seattletimes.com