University of Illinois at Chicago: Alkebuluan Merriweather (BA, 2019) launches Black Matriarch Archive . “Alumna Alkebuluan Merriweather (BA, 2019) has launched a digital platform titled Black Matriarch Archive. Black Matriarch Archive is a digital platform and archive that seeks to encourage members of the African diaspora to submit images and video documentation of black elders, whether they may be grandmothers, great-aunts, godmothers, or caregivers.” This is a project that uses Instagram as its platform. It’s early days.
PR Newswire: Give Blck: New Database Connects Donors to Black Nonprofits (PRESS RELEASE). “Give Blck, a new digital platform that raises visibility for Black-founded nonprofits across America, launches today. The tool helps donors easily identify these organizations in order to drive more dollars to underfunded causes and help solve racial disparities in philanthropic funding.”
Poynter: 6 closer looks into the pandemic’s impact on minorities and the poor. “It’s well-established that Black residents and Hispanic residents are roughly 2.5 times more likely to get the virus than white residents, more likely to die from it — and that the disparities vary significantly from state to state and county to county. Some of the more detailed coronavirus reporting now focuses on subsets of Black and Hispanic residents, other minority groups and particular populations of the poor. Here are six stories that caught our eye over the last several weeks, and nearly all of them can be reported in virtually any community.”
New York Times: Housekeepers Face a Disaster Generations in the Making. “The pandemic has had devastating consequences for a wide variety of occupations, but housekeepers have been among the hardest hit. Seventy-two percent of them reported that they had lost all of their clients by the first week of April, according to a survey by the National Domestic Workers Alliance. The fortunate had employers who continued to pay them. The unlucky called or texted their employers and heard nothing back. They weren’t laid off so much as ghosted, en masse.”
NBC News: Letter targets minorities on Long Island with coronavirus vaccine misinformation, state senator says. “A New York state senator issued a warning to residents of suburban Nassau County about a letter that falsely claims the government is looking for ‘minorities to experiment on’ with the coronavirus vaccines. The letter was taped to the doors of dozens of homes on the North Shore of Long Island on Saturday, state Sen. Anna Kaplan said in a press release that included a redacted copy of the full letter.”
BBC: ‘Racial abuse on social media takes a toll on my mental health’. “Many have built careers off the back of social media, whether it be through Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or TikTok. But with some social media stars gaining thousands or even millions of followers, there are drawbacks to being constantly online and so accessible to people you don’t know. Earlier this year, Ofcom announced they’re being given new powers to force social media firms to act over cyber-bullying. And social media platforms, including Twitter and TikTok, have had issues stamping out racist abuse against users.”
Washington Post: The latest crisis: Low-income students are dropping out of college this fall in alarming numbers. “In August, Paige McConnell became the first in her family to go to college — and the first to drop out. McConnell, 18, could not make online classes work. She doesn’t have WiFi at her rural home in Crossville, Tenn. The local library turned her away, not wanting anyone sitting around during the pandemic. She spent hours in a McDonald’s parking lot using the fast-food chain’s Internet, but she kept getting kicked off her college’s virtual classes because the network wasn’t ‘safe.’ Two weeks after starting at Roane State Community College, she gave up.”
Digital Trends: KweliTV is a streaming service that puts Black stories first. “The streaming service is home to over 400 indie films and television shows, with over 35,000 registered users and growing. But it’s more than just a ‘Black Netflix.’ Rather than try to compete with larger services that boast millions in revenue and funding, KweliTV wants to thrive in the gap, by being deliberate about the content it hosts. Spencer considers KweliTV’s list carefully curated, and maintains that the service is purposeful about only hosting movies that don’t just feature Black characters, but also feature Black directors, writers, and producers.” I don’t often cover pay services, but this site a) has a free tier, b) has a day pass for $2.99, and c) even at full price is all of $5.99 a month. If you’re a college student you can get the service for $3.99 a month.
Washington Post: Residential segregation plays a role in coronavirus disparities, study finds. “Counties with the highest percentage of White residents have had the lowest rates of coronavirus infections, even as infections have increased with the reopening of some states’ economies, an indication that residential segregation is a significant factor in the pandemic’s spread, a study has concluded.”
The Drinks Business: Website launched to highlight BAME wine professionals. “The website, called BAME Wine Professionals, features people working in all corners of the sector, including sales, hospitality, marketing and PR, wholesale, winemaking, buying and logistics, as well as wine educators and communicators.”
Associated Press: Mounting US deaths reveal an outsize toll on people of color. “As many as 215,000 more people than usual died in the U.S. during the first seven months of 2020, suggesting that the number of lives lost to the coronavirus is significantly higher than the official toll. And half the dead were people of color — Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and, to a marked degree unrecognized until now, Asian Americans. The new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlight a stark disparity: Deaths among minorities during the crisis have risen far more than they have among whites.”
Boston Globe: ‘Why should we trust you?’ Black Americans, hardest hit by COVID-19, are the most skeptical of potential vaccines. “Black Americans are dying from COVID-19 at nearly 2 ½ times the rate of white people nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project, and despite representing roughly 13 percent of the population, they have accounted for 22 percent of coronavirus deaths in cases in which race and ethnicity are known. And yet, in a sign of deep-seated and well-earned distrust in the US medical establishment, surveys have shown consistently that Black Americans are less willing than other racial and ethnic groups to accept a coronavirus vaccine.”
Washington Post: Mark Zuckerberg’s effort to disrupt philanthropy has a race problem. “Through [Chan Zuckerberg Initiative], [Mark] Zuckerberg propagates his worldview far beyond Facebook. And some Black employees say that his philanthropic efforts are stymied by the same desire to appear unbiased that critics of Facebook claim is causing real-world harm to Black communities. In recent months, civil rights leaders, independent auditors and Facebook’s own employees have called out what they perceive as Zuckerberg’s blind spots around race, including his approach to civil rights as a partisan issue, a blinkered view on moderating white supremacy and discomfort discussing anti-Blackness.”
HuffPost: The First Data On Kids, COVID-19 And Race Is Here — And It’s Not Good. “The coronavirus pandemic in the United States has been marked by stark racial and socioeconomic disparities. Black and Latinx adults in this country are more likely to get the disease. They’re more likely to die from it. The same holds true for lower-income earners. There has, however, been relatively little scientific evidence on how this all breaks down in children — until now. Arguably the largest study on kids, COVID-19 and racial and socioeconomic disparities in the U.S., the research published in the journal Pediatrics on Wednesday revealed striking differences between children of color and white children.”
University of Texas at San Antonio: UTSA experts find bias in disease-tracking algorithms that analyze social media. “Social media has become the latest method to monitor the spread of diseases such as influenza or coronavirus. However, machine learning algorithms used to train and classify tweets have an inherent bias because they do not account for how minority groups potentially communicate health information.”