• Falsely Accused Named, but Accusers Often Aren’t
  • Group of 10 Reports on Being Black on Campus
  • Few Takers on Georgetown Offer to Slave Heirs
  • What? No Animal Planet Special on Royals?
  • Freedom Riders 50 Years After Their Mug Shots
  • Joanna Hernandez Joining U. of Fla. J-School
  • Suzette Hackney to Lead Indy Opinion Pages
  • Donna Nadine Marsh, Copy Editor, Dies at 64
  • ICYMI: ‘Addict’ Is Out as Descriptive Term
Robin Roberts of “Good Morning America” interviews Rashon Nelson, left, and Donte Robinson in April about the Starbucks incident.
Screenshot: ABC News

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Falsely Accused Named, but Accusers Often Aren’t

The presumption of innocence is supposed to protect those accused of a crime, in law and in the press,” Miranda C. Spencer reported Friday for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. “In corporate media, that rule also seems to apply to white people who report people of color to the police for doing innocuous things. As FAIR found, their identities are far more closely protected than those of people falsely targeted for ‘suspicious’ behavior.

“In the past few weeks, major news media have been flooded with coverage of incidents of alleged racial profiling and implicit bias — from golfers reported to police for playing ‘too slowly,’ to picnickers fingered for using the wrong type of grill at a park. This coverage was prompted by viral videos and other social media posts released by the accused or by concerned bystanders, in real time or soon after these events occurred. The characters in these stories had one thing in common: The callers and officers involved were white; the alleged offenders, black or brown.

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Starbucks employee Holly Hylton was later identified.

“In a survey of coverage of four recent racial profiling cases, FAIR examined articles or segments in the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today; on NPR, CNN, Fox, and the CBS, NBC and ABC evening news; as well as in major papers in the region where the incidents occurred.

“These stories, while similar in content (often using the same quotes or incorporating Associated Press reports), didn’t lack for details. Those accused, police, witnesses, and corporate and institutional leaders were interviewed. Multimedia elements were included, such as smartphone, regular, and police body cam videos, audio from [911] calls, police reports and screen captures of social media posts.

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“But almost across the board, while the accused’s names and personal details have been made public, the accusers remain unnamed. Though equally newsworthy, they were allowed to retain their anonymity. . . .”

Latino Rebels: Rep. Espaillat and Bronx Borough President File Grievance Against NYC Lawyer Who Got Pissed About People Speaking Spanish

Michael Meyers, Daily News, New York: Leave racist lawyer Aaron Schlossberg alone, free to rant

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Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: See-something, say-something policies can’t be tools for racism

Kia Morgan-Smith, thegrio.com: Oh hell no! Why Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson shouldn’t meet with racist Starbucks manager (April 20)

Brando Simeo Starkey, the Undefeated: Shaming white people might stop some of them from calling 911 on us

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Photo: Pinterest

Group of 10 Reports on Being Black on Campus

Stay woke is a call to consciousness, awareness, skepticism, and action. Last week, however, it became more than a figurative admonition when Lolade Siyanbola, a black graduate student at Yale University, was reported to campus police by a white female student for the suspicious action of napping in a dormitory common room,” Melissa Harris-Perry wrote Wednesday for the Nation.

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“Like generations of hard-grinding Ivy League scholars, Siyanbola had succumbed to the exhaustion of finals week. But her inability to stay awake — a literal failure to stay woke — resulted in a 20-minute encounter with police officers who insisted she verify her right to be on campus.

“I first learned about the Yale incident when Prof. Sherri Williams of American University shared the news with the Black on Campus GroupMe chat. The GroupMe is one of the key tools that Dr. Williams and I use to communicate with a cohort of 10 student journalists. The Black on Campus fellows attend colleges and graduate schools throughout the country. Since January they have been meeting, studying, traveling, and writing together in a program jointly sponsored by the Anna Julia Cooper Center at Wake Forest University and The Nation as they document the lived experiences of today’s black college students.

“The Black on Campus cohort barely reacted when Dr. Williams shared word of the Yale incident. They may have been outraged, but racial shock is exceedingly rare among these young reporters.

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“After all, their academic year began with white supremacists wielding flaming tiki torches as they marched through the grounds of the University of Virginia chanting ‘You will not replace us.’ On a near weekly basis, we’ve shared stories of campuses inflamed by symbolic racism, discursive violence, or bodily harm against black students in predominantly white spaces. We reeled when Howard University was caught in a funding scandal, suggesting that even the nation’s premier historically black university was a place where students experienced intentional institutional harm.

“For Black on Campus fellows, these stories were not distant or disconnected. Fellow Lauren Lumpkin and Dr. Williams study and work at American University, where bananas and nooses were found hanging in trees one year ago. The wounds of white-supremacist violence are still fresh at the University of Virginia, where fellow Alexis Gravely is a junior. Wake Forest fellow Bri Reddick was trying to study for midterms when she found herself at the center of a campus racial controversy making national headlines.

“Together we have been a loosely connected but distinct cohort of faculty members and graduate and undergraduate students following multiple interconnected threads of black life on American college campuses, as we seek to understand what it now means to be Black on Campus. . . .”

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Alexis Gravely, the Nation: At the University of Virginia, Black Students Are Still Recovering From August 11

Akiba Solomon, ColorLines: We’re Sharing the Work of the Late Student Journalist Bre’Aira Johnson Because She Can’t

Attorney Jeanett P. Henry tells the Journal-isms Roundtable, “This legacy admission is not very useful.” With her are, from left, Adam Goodheart, director of Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience; Nickolaus Mack, American University student journalist; and lawyer Georgia H. Goslee.
Photo: Sharon Farmer (sfphotoworks)

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Few Takers on Georgetown Offer to Slave Heirs

Georgetown University’s offer to give preference in admissions to the descendants of slaves owned by the Maryland Jesuits might have been a public-relations win for the university, but has resulted in only a handful of admissions of those descendants, a university spokesman acknowledges.

The 2016 offer was part of Georgetown’s effort to atone for profiting from the sale of enslaved people, revealed that year in articles by Rachel L. Swarns of the New York Times.

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“This is our second year of granting additional admissions consideration to descendants and we received a small number of applications, resulting in several admitted students who will join other descendants studying at Georgetown,” spokesman Matt Hill said by email Thursday.

“We are committed to addressing the manifestations of the legacy of slavery through long term dialogue, partnership, and collaboration with members of the descendant community.”

Hill did not specify how many “several” were, but lawyer Jeanett P. Henry, representing more than 200 descendants of the slaves, known as the GU272 Isaac Hawkins Legacy, told the Journal-isms Roundtable (video) Tuesday that the number was “about three.”

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Henry said to the attendees, “There are many descendants, at least in our . . . group, who have no desire to go to Georgetown University, because of that history.

“There are others in our group who, even if they wanted to go to college, they’re so far gone in their years, they’re not thinking about doing that, so this legacy admission is not very useful, it’s not going to benefit our descendant group, and for the two years or so that this has been on the table, my understanding is that there are about three people who have taken advantage of it.

“It’s not a scholarship, it’s legacy admission. It’s points in the admissions process. And once you get admitted, then they have to put together a package for you, and that package could be some grants, and some student loans, that sort of thing, so there’s no scholarship money associated with that.”

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For that reason, Henry and her lawyer colleague, Georgia H. Goslee, said, they are still “asking for compensation from the Maryland Jesuits and Georgetown for the unpaid wages, for the degradation and words that cannot even be used to describe what our ancestors and our clients’ ancestors went through,” in Goslee’s words.

Terrence McCoy, Washington Post: They thought Georgetown University’s missing slaves were ‘lost.’ The truth was closer to home than anyone knew. (April 28)

Journal-isms Roundtable retrospective

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What? No Animal Planet Special on Royals?

Royal Weddings are a big deal,” Brian Lowry wrote Friday for CNN. “They’re not necessarily important in the bigger scheme of things, but they capture the imagination of many people, which is more than enough reason to cover it, without embarrassment or apology.

“Still, drawn to a feel-good story with both Disney princess underpinnings and a rare American connection, the sheer volume of coverage is extraordinary, both in the run-up to the event and the big day itself, demonstrating that in the modern media age, anything worth doing is worthy of overkill.

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“Because the United States lacks its own Royal Family, the fit can also be somewhat awkward, with much of the coverage falling perhaps closer to the Kardashians than the Kennedys.

“No less than a dozen networks scheduled specials in advance of the nuptials of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, including NBC, ABC, PBS, Fox, Lifetime, TLC, BBC America, National Geographic Channel and Smithsonian Channel. BBC America alone will air 14 different specials throughout the week.

“That’s not counting the cable news networks (CNN, naturally, among them), or the Lifetime movie, ‘Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance,’ which the network is repeating Friday along with its earlier Royal romp, ‘William & Kate,’ a 2011 movie about their courtship.

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“At this point, about the only thing missing is an Animal Planet special about the best place to watch the wedding with your dog. Then again, the week’s not over. . . .”

From Saturday:

Siraad Durshe, Essence: Meghan Markle’s Mother Stunned With Her Nose Ring And Locs In A Twist Out At The Royal Wedding

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Robin Givhan, Washington Post: Meghan Markle’s Givenchy wedding gown was beautiful. But the woman wearing it was unforgettable.

Angela Helm, the Root: A Black Preacher Gave a Word, and 4 Other Blackity-Black Moments From the #RoyalWedding

Carly Ledbetter, HuffPost: Oprah Showed Up To The Royal Wedding And People Freaked Out

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Earlier:

Dotun Adebayo, the Voice, Britain: Britain’s Black Duchess Needs Our Support

Michelle Darrisaw, Essence: Forget The Wedding Dress! What We Really Want To Know Is Whether Meghan Markle Will Rock Her Natural, Curly Hair For Her Royal Wedding

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A.J. Katz, TVNewser: Here’s How TV News Is Covering the Royal Wedding

Soraya Nadia McDonald, the Undefeated: Everyone thinks Meghan Markle is marrying up, but it’s really Prince Harry

Bridgette Bartlett Royall, thgrio.com: Black British Royalty: The 3 women who paved the way for Meghan Markle

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The Voice, Britain: Reformed Gang Member Karl Lokko To Attend Royal Wedding

Kalyn Wilson, Daily Beast: Meghan Markle: Black Royalty in a Castle of White Privilege

Gloria Bouknight, at 20 years old, and at 74 in 2015. While living in New York, she discovered the Congress of Racial Equality, or CORE, on a visit to Harlem, and became an active member.
Photo: Courtesy Mississippi Department of Archives and History; Eric Etheridge

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Freedom Riders 50 Years After Their Mug Shots

For seven months in 1961, hundreds of black and white volunteers descended on Southern bus and train stations,” Maurice Berger wrote Tuesday for the New York Times “Lens” blog.

“These Freedom Riders, as they were called, occupied segregated waiting areas, lunch counters, and restrooms in an attempt to compel the federal government to do what local authorities would not: enforce a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared discrimination in interstate public transportation illegal.

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“During their first incursion into the Deep South, as they rode buses through Alabama, the Freedom Riders were met by angry mobs of white people. Many were savagely beaten. Later that month, in Jackson, Miss., hundreds of protesters were arrested and hastily convicted of breach of peace. Most endured six weeks of imprisonment in sweltering, filthy and vermin infested cells.

“Among the important artifacts of this historic campaign are more than 300 mug shots taken of the Freedom Riders in Jackson, now the subject of ‘Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders’ (Vanderbilt University Press).

“In it, the journalist and photographer Eric Etheridge provides visual and oral histories of these courageous men and women, juxtaposing vintage mug shots with short biographies, interviews and contemporary portraits. Originally published in 2008, this expanded edition, with updated profiles and additional portraits, includes essays by the writer Diane McWhorter and Roger Wilkins, the journalist and official in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations who died last year. . . .”

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Karin D. Berry, the Undefeated: A national lynching memorial recognizes the domestic terrorism that killed my great-great-grandfather

Editorial, Chicago Tribune: Respect, and $21 million, for a portrait of black Chicago

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: One hundred years ago, Mary Turner was lynched by a white mob

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Joanna Hernandez Joining U. of Fla. J-School

Joanna Hernandez

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications announced today that Joanna Hernandez will be joining the College in July as Director of Inclusion and Diversity and a lecturer in the Journalism Department,” the school said Tuesday.

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“As Director of Inclusion and Diversity, a new position at the College, she will be responsible for evaluating the College’s climate, diversity and inclusiveness on an ongoing basis and recommend strategies and tactics for a more inclusive culture.

“In her lecturer position, she will teach multimedia reporting and other digital reporting and storytelling courses.

“Hernandez comes to UF from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism where she is currently the founding director of the school’s diversity initiatives. . . .”

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Hernandez is also a past president of Unity: Journalists of Color.

Suzette Hackney to Lead Indy Opinion Pages

Suzette Hackney

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Indianapolis Star columnist Suzette Hackney has been named director of opinion and community engagement for the media company,” Maureen C. Gilmer reported Wednesday for the Star. “Hackney takes over for Tim Swarens, who will be a full-time columnist.

“IndyStar executive editor Ronnie Ramos, who made the announcement, said the move came at Swarens’ request. After 15 years as opinion page editor, Swarens said he was ready to get back to writing full time.

“While paying tribute to Swarens’ leadership and writing skills over the years, Ramos said Hackney’s new position is ‘a great opportunity for her to lead our editorial board and help us engage better with our community.’

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“Hackney, who will mark her three-year anniversary with IndyStar next month, said her goal is to make the opinion pages a ‘safe space’ for everyone to come to for ‘intelligent, civil and informed conversation’ about events in the community and in the country.

“ ‘We want all voices from all walks of life, all politics, to come and have civil conversations,’ she said. ‘I think we struggle as a nation with that now. I want to encourage different ideas, different thoughts.’

“Hackney, the first African-American to lead IndyStar’s opinion section, said she intends to add more conservative voices to the mix. . . .”

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Donna Nadine Marsh, Copy Editor, Dies at 64

Donna Nadine Marsh

People who knew Donna Nadine Marsh, of Madisonville, said she was passionate about living life to its fullest,” Jeanne Houck wrote Friday for the Cincinnati Enquirer.

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“And they said that, as often as not, the way Marsh kept her life full was in service to other people.

“Victims of Hurricane Katrina, people in need of health insurance, children hungry for food and education, all of them and more benefited from Marsh’s willingness to look around herself and organize efforts to improve the human landscape.

“Marsh was a media and marketing consultant and her business, the Marsh Media Group, was active in many community outreach programs.

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“For the past four years, Marsh worked for the city of Cincinnati as an outreach enrollment specialist for the Affordable Care Act.

“Marsh died April 16 at the Hyde Park Health Center.

“She was 64. . . .”

Houck also wrote, “For nine years, beginning in 1988, Marsh was a copy editor for The Cincinnati Enquirer, which published a black history booklet she wrote. . . .

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“In addition to Ohio, Marsh worked for newspapers in Georgia, New York and Washington, D.C. . . .”

ICYMI: ‘Addict’ Is Out as Descriptive Term

On Monday, assistant managing editor David Sullivan sent the Philadelphia Media Network newsroom an email regarding a stylebook update,” Jillian Bauer-Reese wrote April 10 for billypenn.com:

“The news organization, which comprises the Inquirer, Daily News and [Philly.com], will no longer use the word ‘addict’ to describe an individual who is addicted to alcohol, drugs, or other scheduled or illegal substances.

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“Instead, the update directed, editorial staff should use person-first language, such as a person ‘who is addicted to heroin’ or a person ‘in (or with) addiction.’

“It’s time for all other news outlets to follow suit.

“As an individual who teaches a journalism course on addiction reporting — and has been called by the news media a ‘recovering addict’ (when I’ve never referred to myself as such) — I believe my credentials qualify me to say this.

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“Newsrooms: We’ve been patient with you while you’ve pleaded ignorance, but we’ve come to the point where enough is enough.

“Calling an individual an ‘addict’ despite all of the negative baggage associated with the word neither abides by the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics (because it causes harm), nor does it consider language recommended by the American Medical Association, the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors, the American Psychological Association or the American Psychiatric Association. . . .”

The Associated Press weighed in on the term in 2017, advising in its stylebook, “Avoid words like alcoholic, addict, user and abuser unless they are in quotations or names of organizations, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Many researchers and organizations, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors, agree that stigmatizing or punitive-sounding language can be inaccurate by emphasizing the person, not the disease; can be a barrier to seeking treatment; and can prejudice even clinicians. Instead, choose phrasing like he was addicted, people with heroin addiction or he used drugs. . . .”

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Mike Newall, Philadelphia Inquirer: Temple students’ class project on addiction teaches us all


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Richard Prince’s Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a “column.” Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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Journal-isms is originally published on journal-isms.com. Reprinted on The Root by permission.