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In today’s raceAhead, a tribute to Tom Joyner, persisting racism in the U.S. financial system, and a domestic terrorism investigation begins in Jersey City. But first, your week in review, in haiku.
Brexit time is here;
At long last, the Union’s past
for whom do we cheer?
Climate change is here;
it’s too late, we must face fate
or just disappear
Christmas time is here
voices raised in peace and praise,
we could use the cheer.
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Tom Joyner signs off Through his number one syndicated "urban" morning radio show, Tom Joyner reaches some 8 million souls daily. But today, he signs off for good. Please take a moment to enjoy this much-deserved tribute to Joyner, who is retiring after a 50-year career serving the Black community. The Tuskegee, Ala., native got his first radio gig when a white station owner—who refused to play any Black music in a mostly Black town—became exasperated by the disruptive demonstrations outside his establishment. The young, sign-carrying Joyner became the station’s first Black DJ. As his audience grew, so did his influence: Joyner is credited with registering a quarter of a million Black voters ahead of the 1996 election. "I think we were more woke [in 2000] than now," he says of today’s politics. But his secret to success is a message for the ages. "Just super serve, super serve, super serve," your community, he says. “Just worry about connecting to people and their needs.”
CBS This Morning
Black money no good at JPMorgan Chase? Jimmy Kennedy, a former NFL’er with a multimillion net worth, got the runaround trying to become a client of JPMorgan Chase’s private banking services. When he pointedly asked why, a Black employee in an Arizona branch said this: "You’re bigger than the average person, period. And you’re also an African-American. We’re in Arizona. I don’t have to tell you about what the demographics are in Arizona. They don’t see people like you a lot." Kennedy recorded the conversation and shared it with the New York Times. This piece also includes a still-necessary laundry list of ways that racism exists with the financial system. "Banks, including JPMorgan, say they are committed to eradicating the legacy of racism. And they insist that any lingering side effects simply reflect stubborn socioeconomic imbalances in society as a whole, not racial bias among their employees," writes Emily Flitter, then adding: "What recently transpired inside a cluster of JPMorgan branches in the Phoenix area suggests that is not true."
New York Times
The FBI opens domestic terror investigation in Jersey City Officials initially believed that a deadly shooting spree at a kosher deli in New Jersey this week was a random act of horror. Now, they believe that it was an anti-Semitic hate crime and the deli was targeted. One of the two prime suspects had published anti-Semitic posts online and a rambling manifesto was found in his rental van; he was also a follower of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a fringe group with no connection to Judaism, and which has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The suspects have been identified as Army reservist David N. Anderson, 47, and his girlfriend, Francine Graham, 50. Three people died in the store, the two suspects died at the scene.
New York Times
Maybe skip the holiday plantation tour? Historic Southern mansions typically offer festive Christmas-themed events and programming, designed to give visitors a chance to mix a little history with their holiday cheer. The seasonal fare almost always erases the story of the enslaved Black people whose unpaid labor made the wealth and grandeur of these white lifestyles possible. Robert E. May, Professor Emeritus of History at Purdue University and author of Yuletide in Dixie, says the operators of these mansions tend to avoid the subject. But the omission is dangerous. "For a long time, many people got their ideas about slavery at these places from memoirs, novels and short stories written by white southerners after the Civil War," he says. "These stories... not only justified the institution of slavery, they also made it seem like all enslaved people had fun on a southern plantation at holiday time, dancing, singing, laughing and feasting for the holiday season, just as their masters did."
Newly digitized Georgia newspapers from the Civil War and Reconstruction are an incredible resource The Digital Library of Georgia at the University of Georgia has just completed the digitalization of 100,000 pages of Georgia newspapers published from 1861 to 1877 in nearly 60 cities. (The work was made possible by a $27,405 grant from the R. J. Taylor, Jr. Foundation.) The Civil War and Reconstruction-era newspapers are full-text searchable, and appear to include some incredible resources, like the Atlanta/Augusta Daily Register (1864), a Civil War refugee newspaper that fled approaching Union forces in Knoxville and published in Atlanta, and later Augusta during Sherman’s March to the Sea. Some personal news: I also searched my own last name and likely found information about the white family who enslaved mine, and now I’m just looking out the window.
Digital Library of Georgia Blog
Add these 10 Black female venture capitalists to your speaker invite lists UrbanGeekz has put together a list of Black women who are bringing a unique set of strengths to their work in venture capital, and proof that the field is growing, nine of them are not Arlan Hamilton. They also highlight the tension: Black and brown women are starting companies in record numbers but are largely overlooked by the white, male, and Ivy League-dominated world of venture capital. While smart investors look for deals everywhere, "[t]hese talented trailblazers have the ability to spot non-obvious deals that other VCs may miss at the early stage," they say.
Here’s what teams need to succeed Spoiler alert: You’re probably not going to like it. A recently released six-year study has found that one skill, “the ability to manage conflicting tensions,” is the best predictor of top team performance. It gets worse. Top teams also believe that conflict isn’t just unavoidable, it’s necessary. They embrace diversity and healthy debate, believing that “conflict requires conviction, and that conviction must be grounded in something worth at least listening to.”
Tamara El-Waylly helps write and produce raceAhead.
“One of the leading spirits among the whites of the period I write was Daniel McGirt, one of those fearless men who were born to command. He had a strong mind and ready eye, and his stalwart arm was felt in many a fray; and as a popular leader he controlled with an iron hand over those with less will and nerve. McGirt, who once sided with the patriots and afterward denounced them, would often gather a few men, go into Florida, then a Spanish province, and return [unknown word] with spoils, such as negroes, horses, mules and cattle, and sometimes with gold and silver, and his name became one of terror and aversion both to Spaniards and Indians…”
—From the January 2, 1878 edition of the Rome Weekly Courier, a historic newspaper from Rome, Ga., 1860-1887.