On the day after the inauguration, millions of women and plenty of men flooded the streets in cities around the world to inspire a larger conversation about the rights that many believe are under assault by the new U.S. administration.
But within the crowds, other conversations emerged, often falling along racial lines. Good’s Devon Maloney shares how the Women’s March revived long-standing suspicions that the feminist movement has never valued the needs or input of women of color:
Among the celebration, hugs, and chants, many in the crowd wondered aloud where the millions of white people who turned out were when Black Lives Matter activists were being assaulted for protesting anti-black police brutality, or on behalf of Standing Rock and Flint, Michigan.
“I cannot put into words how heartbreaking it is to see grown adults that I know and love decide only now to take to the streets,” writer and activist Ijeoma Oluo posted on Facebook yesterday. “I’m glad you’re doing something. But…weren’t we worth it before? Why weren’t we reason enough? Where have you been? And where will you be once this doesn’t impact you directly anymore?”
This is a truly difficult conversation to have and the central tenet of any inclusion moment: We have all left someone out, and we are all part of some system that has rendered another group invisible. The future depends on how we respond.
I attended the Woman’s March in St Louis, Missouri, a Midwest city which has suffered in similar ways to other red cities and states. But, as an early, unwilling node in the Black Lives Matters movement, the city also languishes in the shadow Michael Brown’s death and the Ferguson protests that turned out very differently from the calm and affirming event on Saturday. There were plenty of signs of goodwill. Black women organizers kicked off parade, and plenty of signs – “We’re not all racists!!” – spoke to the self-consciousness that St. Louisans often feel. “We have a lot of work to do,” one white woman told me in a pussy hat and Black Lives Matters t-shirt. “We have a lot of listening to do.”
|The lack of diversity in AI is going to be a problem, y’all|
|Joi Ito, the director of MIT Media Labs, framed the issue on a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum in Davos: Most AI engineers come from similar backgrounds, which is leading to alarming blind spots in programming. One of his African American researchers discovered, for example, that there are no dark faces in the core libraries that many AI products draw from. The unintended consequence? The face of a dark-skinned person would not be recognized by an AI system.|
|Architect David Adjaye calls out his profession for its lack of gender parity|
|Adjaye spoke to design magazine Dezeen from the Interior Design Show in Toronto, a city which had hosted its own high profile Women’s March on Saturday. “I find it exhausting that women are still fighting for gender parity,” he said. “I find it embarrassing to be really honest.” He specifically called out the architecture and design professions for failing to address the issue. “I don’t think we’re leading it at all.” Adjaye also says that his recently completed the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which began eight years ago, wouldn’t be possible in today’s political climate.|
The Woke Leader
|Today’s Google Doodle is a tribute to disability rights activism|
|Click through for lots of information, including a profile of Ed Roberts, who helped shape the disability rights movement we know today. After Roberts contracted polio in 1952, the doctors warned his family to expect that he’d spend the rest of his life as “a vegetable.” Roberts famously joked, “If I’m a vegetable, I’m going to be an artichoke, prickly on the outside, with a big heart in the middle.”|
|William A. Hilliard, groundbreaking black journalist for The Oregonian, dies|
|His story came full circle in the most bittersweet way possible: The award-winning journalist became the top editor at the very paper that denied him a delivery route as an eleven-year-old, figuring that the local readers wouldn’t respond well to a black paper boy on their doorsteps. Hilliard ultimately became the paper’s first black employee – from copy desk to reporter and up the ladder to editor-in-chief. He was also an outspoken advocate for diversity in hiring and challenged vernacular norms that perpetuated stereotypes in print. “The thing that bothers me more than anything else is what I see as more and more racial divisions in the country today,” he said after he was elected to lead the editors’ association. “And I think newspapers are the ideal educational tool to correct it.”|
|New York Times|
|Cowboys came in all colors, by the way|
|Black, Mexican and Native American cowboys were much big contributors to the development of the U.S. than most history books reveal. One example: Turns out the lawman who inspired the tale of the Lone Ranger was black. Thanks to a new exhibit hosted by the Studio Museum in Harlem, and beautifully documented in these astonishing photos, much of what we think an “iconic American” looks like is wrong. But unseating stereotypes is only one of the gifts of this collection; the photo of educator Kesha (Mama) Morse, the 67 year-old president of the New York Federation of Black Cowboys sitting atop a bale of hay will give you life.|