Inequality in the Equality State: Race, Racism, and Identity

We're here to provide context and common ground as we examine these issues together. We'll continue to add resources to this page, stay tuned. 

News & Updates:

Wyoming and Race

Podcasts:

Resources:

Books

Education:

The Black West from Vineworks Film Co on Vimeo.

Ways to Connect

For the past month, as anti-racism protesters across America have revived the campaign for the removal of statues, many eyes have focused on Richmond, Va. — the former capital of the Confederacy.

Richmond is home to Monument Avenue, a long stretch with towering statues dedicated to Confederate figures like Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

Some of those monuments have been toppled by protesters; others have been taken down by the city.

Lots of people, especially many Native Americans, loathe the name of the Washington, D.C., NFL team, the Redskins.

"The origin of that name is rooted in murder and violence and genocide and hate," says Crystal Echo Hawk, the founder and CEO of the advocacy group IllumiNative. "It's a dictionary-defined racial slur, full-stop."

Three Los Angeles police officers are facing charges of falsifying records and obstruction of justice over allegations that they wrongly identified people as gang members, the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office announced on Friday.

Eda Uzunlar/Wyoming Public Media

Thousands have taken to the streets across the country, and right here in Wyoming, to call for an end to unchecked police misconduct. An investigation by Wyoming Public Radio and the Casper Star-Tribune found that in Wyoming law enforcement accountability can be a long, uncharted and demanding process. Naina Rao spoke with reporters Tennessee Watson and Shane Sanderson about what they found.

Across the country, students of color have been demanding change from their schools. At one Denver school, the push for a more inclusive and diverse curriculum came last year, from a group of African American high school students at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Early College.

ACLU Wyoming

The ACLU of Wyoming is hosting a virtual forum this weekend, providing space for a discussion about police brutality. The call-in forum encourages communities of color and victims of police brutality to share their stories.

No Reading, No Peace: The Power Of Black Stories Out Loud

Jul 10, 2020

When I was a kid, my brother, sister, and I came to the dinner table prepared to do three things: Bless the food, eat, and share a story. We grew up in a family where the oral tradition was woven into the strands of our everyday lives. Mom was an English teacher. Dad, a grass-roots civil rights organizer who worked in public policy, was a gifted, charismatic storyteller. He didn't hold back when it came to sharing narratives about the dignity of Black people and the struggles we faced and transcended.

In a survey of Americans' attitudes toward law enforcement, two-thirds of respondents said that individual officers should be held legally accountable for using excessive force, but few of those polled said they would support cutting police budgets.

Updated at 9:08 p.m. ET

A 24-year-old Black man who was found hanging from a tree in a park in Southern California last month died by suicide, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office said Thursday.

Chandana Hiran loves reading, arts and crafts, and recycling. At 22, she's enrolled in college, studying to be an accountant. She considers herself a feminist.

But something else is a big part of her identity too.

"I'm slightly dark," Hiran tells NPR in a phone interview from her family's Mumbai home, her bold voice suddenly going soft. "I'd be called one of the dark-skinned people in our country."

The country act now officially known as Lady A has sued a blues, soul and funk singer who says that she has used Lady A as her stage name for two decades.

A mural with the words "Black Lives Matter" will soon emblazon Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, right in front of one specific landmark: Trump Tower.

On Thursday morning, work crews blocked off traffic between 56th and 57th streets. Groups of painters then used rollers to start filling in large yellow letters on the pavement.

Transcripts of police body camera video in the minutes leading up to George Floyd's death show that he pleaded about 20 times that he couldn't breathe and that one of the officers expressed concern about Floyd's well-being but was rebuffed by his superior.

After weeks of railing against the Black district attorney leading the prosecution of the white police officers charged in the killing of Rayshard Brooks last month in Atlanta, a member of the Georgia congressional delegation is taking his criticism a step further – officially calling on the Justice Department to open an investigation.

Andres Guardado was killed on June 18 after multiple shots were fired by a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy. An independent autopsy, performed at the request of his family, has found that the 18-year-old Guardado was shot five times in the back, and died as a result of these gunshot wounds.

Andres' parents, Cristobal and Elisa Guardado, said the autopsy confirms "what we have known all along, which is that Andres was unjustifiably killed by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy."

Confederate Adm. Raphael Semmes, in green-patinaed bronze, sword at his hip, long stood sentry on Mobile's Government Street, the main corridor through Alabama's historic port city.

Now all that remains is the 120-year-old statue's massive granite pedestal and a commemorative plaque.

"Adm. Raphael Semmes, CSA, commander of the most successful sea raider in history, the CSS Alabama," reads David Toifel, a member of the Adm. Raphael Semmes Camp #11 of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Mobile.

The University of California Board of Regents has made by history naming Dr. Michael Drake as the 21st president of the UC system. He was unanimously approved by the board and will be the first person of color to hold the position in the system's 152-year history.

He recently stepped down as president of The Ohio State University, a position he's held since 2014.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET

Facebook's decisions to put free speech ahead of other values represent "significant setbacks for civil rights," according to an independent audit of the social network's progress in curbing discrimination.

The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 prompted educator Jane Elliott to create the now-famous "blue eyes/brown eyes exercise."

As a school teacher in the small town of Riceville, Iowa, Elliott first conducted the anti-racism experiment on her all-white third-grade classroom, the day after the civil rights leader was killed.

NPR / YouTube

In his book The Condemnation of Blackness, historian Khalil Gibran Muhammad lays out a historical argument for how Black people have been criminalized over 400 years in

Dana Canedy has spent her career working with the written word.

"My son calls me 'word nerd,' because I'm obsessed with words and books," she says. "I've been writing since I was 12 years old. And my mother asked me in high school, 'If you don't become a writer, what's your Plan B?' And I said 'There is no Plan B.'"

Plan A worked.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has written a letter to school boards across the state saying he wants to change the names of schools and mascots honoring Confederate leaders.

In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that racial segregation in schools was unconstitutional. The decision is often framed as a landmark decision that transformed education for Black students, allowing them equal access to integrated classrooms.

Philando Castile, Eric Garner and George Floyd. The deaths of these Black men at the hands of police have fueled outrage over police brutality and systemic racism.

Men make up the vast majority of people shot and killed by police.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has tested positive for the coronavirus but said Tuesday that her only possible symptom is a headache.

Updated 7:38 p.m. ET

The WNBA season is scheduled to tip off later this month, and players hope fans marvel at their precision passes, shooting accuracy and speed during a fast break. But the league also hopes to shine a spotlight on another type of movement: the call for social justice reform.

The league and the Women's National Basketball Players Association announced the 2020 season will be dedicated to addressing the nation's "long history of inequality, implicit bias and racism" that disproportionately impacts communities of color.

It's become known as the Old Town melee. Protesters gathered last month in Albuquerque, N.M., around the bronze statue of Juan de Oñate, the controversial Spanish conquistador, in the city's historic quarter.

Videos of the event show men with guns — in military garb and tactical gear — stationed around the statue, tussling with protesters. Soon, the protesters bring out a chain and pickax to topple the figure, as police watch from afar.

Updated at 9:23 p.m. ET

President Trump followed up a pair of divisive speeches over the holiday weekend on Monday by castigating NASCAR for banning the Confederate flag and calling on its only Black driver to apologize for "a hoax" involving a rope fashioned into a noose that the FBI later determined wasn't a hate crime.

Pages