Full Show

How We Talk About Race: Thursday’s Show (August 27, 2015)

Each generation approaches conversations about race differently. Baby Boomers who lived through the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s see the world differently from Gen Xers, who grew up in a desegregated — but still in some ways disconnected and often unequal — society. Millennials live in a digital age in which seemingly everything is […]

Conversations About Race Banner

Each generation approaches conversations about race differently. Baby Boomers who lived through the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s see the world differently from Gen Xers, who grew up in a desegregated — but still in some ways disconnected and often unequal — society. Millennials live in a digital age in which seemingly everything is recorded and pushed out to the world, including incidents some perceive as evidence of institutional racial injustice, which have given rise to movements like Black Lives Matter.

Those incidents include the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and more recently — and closer to home — the death of Sandra Bland in a Waller County jail. There were reverberations to those incidents in the news this week. On Tuesday, a Ferguson judge announced he’ll withdraw thousands of arrest warrants for minor offenses, due in part to a Justice Department report last spring, prompted by the Michael Brown shooting, which indicated a pattern of civil rights violations by the Ferguson Police Department. Also Tuesday, the Prairie View City Council voted to rename University Drive as the Sandra Bland Parkway, in memory of the Prairie View alum who was arrested while returning to her alma mater to start a new job, and who officials say hung herself in her Waller County cell three days later.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we hear what three Houstonians think about how we talk about race, in light of these incidents and the movements they’ve spurred.

We hear the views of Marlon Smith and Aundrea Matthews from the Black Greeks Speak Social Justice and Human Rights Council, and Texas Southern University student Caleb Taylor, the co-founder of the Southern Student Leadership Association. They discuss a number of issues surrounding race, and how we talk about it, including how different generations perceive the conversation.

Also this hour: Life in Texas in the 1830s wasn’t easy, but you’d never know it from reading accounts of early German settlers. Dr. James Kearney studies and teaches Germanic literature at the University of Texas at Austin. He recently edited an English translation of a book published in Germany called Journey to Texas 1833. It was written by a German émigré to Texas named Detlef Dunt, and was the first account published in that country about life in Texas. But why did it paint such a rosy picture? Houston Matters’ Paige Phelps sits down with Kearney to find out.

Plus: Texas blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter Stevie Ray Vaughan died in a helicopter crash on this date 25 years ago. He was on tour with Eric Clapton at the time, and had just left a performance at Alpine Valley Resort in Wisconsin, when the helicopter crashed into a ski slope in heavy fog. Vaughan, three crew members, and the pilot died instantly. While his life was cut far too short, Stevie Ray Vaughan’s music and legacy endure, as we hear from News 88.7’s Ed Mayberry.

Share