racism

Jessie Eastland, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49866394

Racism is alive and well in America.  Which should not surprise us, given its long history in the country. 

Few places would admit to being "sundown towns" now, but many once bore that moniker; they were places where African-Americans were expected to be out of town by sundown, at the risk of limb or life. 

James Loewen began researching sundown towns, expecting to find maybe 50 across the country.  He found thousands, including Grants Pass and others in our region. 

Anthony Crider, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61769434

People have always harassed other people in the United States for being different. 

But the numbers of incidents seemed to climb after Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016. 

Activist Arjun Singh Sethi, himself the target of hate speech and actions, collects stories from people who've been harassed and worse in the book American Hate

David Eskenazi Collection

Jackie Robinson is celebrated every year for a major first: the first African-American player in major league baseball. 

But other black players were breaking into pro baseball around the same time, just not in the majors.  Artie Wilson, one of the best shortstops in pro baseball, played minor league ball in Oakland (California) starting in 1948. 

He is the subject of Singles and Smiles: How Artie Wilson Broke Baseball’s Color Barrier.  Gaylon Wilson is the author and our guest. 

argument, disagreement, feud
Tumisu/Pixabay

The running joke about the Trump years is that families avoid discussing politics when they gather for Thanksgiving. 

Now imagine the scene at Josh Damigo's family gatherings: his brother started a white supremacist group and helped organized the Charlottesville rallies in the summer of 2017. 

Josh Damigo told the story to Gabriel Thompson for a piece in Pacific Standard magazine. 

Warren K. Leffler / Library of Congress, ID ppmsca.04301.This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A nor

Many authors have written about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his impact on civil rights and the country. 

Jason Sokol chose to focus his latest work on the aftermath of King's assassination in 1968.  There were decidedly mixed feelings about King abroad in the land at the time of his murder. 

And the expression of those feelings in the days and weeks that followed the murder forms the core of Sokol's book, The Heavens Might Crack: The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Anthony Crider, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61769434

White supremacist groups seemed far from the American mainstream when Vegas Tenold embedded himself in the groups six years ago. 

The country changed a bit since then, with far-right and alt-right groups feeling emboldened, coming into the sunlight.  The tactics have changed, but the views have not: the groups still believe the white race is under attack. 

Vegas Tenold wrote a book,  Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America