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raceAhead: Twitter Fakes, Black Creatives Make and Five Breaking News Haikus

February 2, 2018, 6:47 PM UTC

Your week in review, in haiku.



Hope Hicks sinks ships, who’s

been up to dirty tricks? We

can’t stop this fire?

(for Husani Oakley)



Young women, big dreams

deferred: Doctor, defiler.

It took a village.



<Knock on door> “Mr.

Luce? Phone for you. She says her

name is Meredith.”



Catch and #release: Great

for a trout, not so great for

a democracy



Modern Twit: Mrs.

Dalloway said she’d buy the

followers herself


Wishing you an authentic weekend.

On Point

Twitter has been ignoring its fake account problem for yearsThe Columbia Journalism Review follows up on the New York Times excellent deep-dive into the fake follower marketplace, with some additional context. Not only did Twitter's “growth team” refuse any suggestions to remove fake accounts as far back as 2015, one of the engineers who sounded the alarm was Lesley Miley, the same engineer whose team had been proposing solutions to racial harassment and sexual abuse on the platform.CJR

Black History Month: 28 days, 28 films
In what appears to be a watershed moment for black filmmaking – think Moonlight, Get Out and Mudbound -- film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott have curated a list of “28 essential films from the 20th century pertaining to African-American experiences.” To get the full impact, you’ll have to watch them in order. “We imposed a chronological cutoff in an effort to look back at where we were and how we got to here.” The entire list is a gift, and there are fascinating revelations, particularly in the Jim Crow era. But here’s one fact that puts things into stark context: There were virtually no black-directed films in commercial theaters from 1948 to 1969.
New York Times

There are still 40 million enslaved people worldwide, and it's a business issue
Becky Allen and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, both associated with the Women and Foreign Policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, explain the extent of human sex trafficking and slavery worldwide, and the essential role that business must play in solving the problem. In addition to supporting strategic litigation around the world, big business needs to get serious about ethical sourcing, enforcing labor recruiting requirements and agreeing to rigorous audits of their supply chains. “Target, for example, aims to eliminate forced labor by 2020 by better monitoring its supply chain and using technology to collect real-time data from workers across the supply chain,” they say. And when they saw something, they said something. Please read and share.

Should businesses get political? A tale of family and spice
Food correspondent Helen Rosner gets a chance to dig into politics in her latest piece, a fascinating look at two rival spice companies who have turned their marketing platforms and products into opposing political messaging. Bill Penzey, CEO Of Wisconsin-based Penzey's Spices, has been sending out heartfelt anti-Trump missives to his company’s mailing list since the election, such as – “You just voted for an openly racist candidate for the presidency of the United States of America.” Spicy stuff. His mailing list decreased but his online sales exploded. It prompted rival Spice House, another Wisconsin-based retailer, to post their own political opinions on Facebook. It wasn’t just a p.r. stunt– Penzey’s and Spice House are owned by siblings.
New Yorker

The Woke Leader

What if a black inclusion hero had a monument in every state?
The good folks at Mic have outdone themselves with their Black Monuments Project, a creative and uplifting re-imagination of the Confederate-centric practice of heroic statuary, by “placing” a monument to an important black figure in every state. It’s a very eclectic mix – Colin Kaepernick in Wisconsin, Harry Belafonte in New York, the Charleston Nine in South Carolina, Recy Taylor in Alabama, Ida B. Wells in Mississippi, Bayard Rustin in Pennsylvania, etc. The package is accompanied by a video with high profile folks well known to the raceAhead family announcing each of the nominees. Mic also created specialized Snapchat lenses that will bring some of the monuments into the “real world.” Enjoy.

Eating your way through Totoro
Some of the best parts of the gorgeous Studio Ghibli films (Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo) are the resplendent scenes of daily life. But particularly the food. Even in animated form, the steamy plates of deliciousness never fail to tempt. The Japanese Instagram account known as @en93Kitchen has recreated some of the more famous meals using real-world ingredients. I hope they publish a cookbook next.
Design Taxi

The racial politics of time and history
“If time had a race, it would be white,” begins Brittney Cooper, cultural theorist and commentator. “White people own time.” In this fascinating 2016 TEDWomen talk, Cooper addresses the way we dismiss time as a factor in our inability to understand our history of white dominance. The re-emergence of race-based violence continues to surprise many people, but it shouldn’t, she says. Turns out, a philosophical decision to remove Africa from the very notion of time and history leads to a justification of racist behavior that exists today. “Time has a history, and so do black people,” she said. “As though it doesn’t have a political history of being bound up with the plunder of indigenous lands, the genocide of indigenous people, the stealing of Africans from their homeland.”
TED Women


I became a journalist to become as close as possible to the heart of the world.
Henry Luce