These are the dolls, in this photo, that are spread around the house because Emma plays with them most of the time. The smallest doll in the picture is one she carries around all the time and goes to bed with. It just so happened that when she wanted to put some dolls to bed, those _3_ white dolls were the ones nearby in the room with the bed (2 sit on the shelf mostly unused).
There is yet another case before the Supreme Court this week on race. This time it is to decide whether Seattle and Louisville are allowed to use the race of the student in that student's placement in a public school. And from comments it seems that the court will bar public schools from doing so.
I attended Walter Reed/Lee elementary schools when Arlington county and Virginia finally got around to fully desegregating their schools. That desegration and busing experience changed my life. We now have a daughter entering kindergarten next year and are faced with choosing a school for her in a district, San Francisco Unified, that has faced this very issue (raced-based placement) and is facing it again. It will have a lot of impact on the school she attends and the experience she has.
You could say that history has come full-circle... or that nothing has changed.
Went to a discussion at our school today for parents (we have 'parent's night every so often to discuss topics of interest from adoption to books to race). The topic today was 'how to talk to your child about race'
It's not surprising, but every time I talk about/listen to 'race' talk, i am conflicted, angry, confused, happy, feel-good, have the answers, don't have a clue, etc.
The American Anthropological Society has a new website about race (Understanding Race from three different perspectives: biology, history and experience. It's relatively basic but interesting. You can take a look at this map of human variation to see how this biologist sees race from a purely biological perspective. (hat tip: Alas, A Blog
Shannon at Peter's Cross station takes a fascinating perspective on something I wrote about in a post a few days ago in Free Market Eugenics and then mentioned briefly in a Supper Talk. It was the latter, where it was reported about a woman selling pre-made embryos that she takes her cue from and writes about it from the perspective of race (it's part one of two!).
The first comes by way of Peter's Cross Station: A Girl Like Me. A film documentary of African-American girls perceptions of beauty. The filmmaker redoes a doll test (used as evidence in Brown v. Board of Education) gives children two dolls, identical except one is black, the other white and asks children which they prefer (and which is 'nice'). The results are depressing. We have tried to instill in Emma that beauty comes in all colors, particularly a certain shade of chocolate brown. We'../../2004/12/black_dolls_more_hair_and_lear.shtml" target="blank">about hair and dolls. I hope the world changes.
The second film, The Bible tells me so, is about three people and their communities and families and dealing with their sexuality. And, as they say on their homepage:
Throughout the unfolding of three very human journeys, clergy and major Biblical scholars will also weigh-in on what those oft-quoted scriptural verses, so often cited by religious conservatives, really mean. Among those voicing affirming interpretations of scripture are Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes, openly gay Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech.
Emma used to love her hats (this link takes you to some photos with her in hats). We love them too. She was so '../../2006/12/distinguished.shtml" target="blank">distinguished' in them. She doesn't wear them much any more (though she loved this '../../2007/01/stylish.shtml" target="blank">stylish' one recently).
So, this book: Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats, looks fascinating. I'm aware of the tradition having seen it when I've lived in Virginia and Baltimore (and tangentially, it'../../2006/12/like_everyone_else_its_break_t.shtml" target="blank">Black Nativity" play we see at Christmas. As one reviewer on Amazon states (from link above):
"For the African-American churchgoing women hats are not mere fashion statements they are integral expression of faith and cultural identity. The Apostle Paul should be thanked daily by all milliners for Paul furthered the fashion of wearing hats to church by writing "Every woman who prays or prophecies with her head unveiled dishonors her head" (I Cor. 11:5)."
There was this book that shows up when looking at "Crowns" on Amazon that we'll have to get: Queens: Portraits of Black Women and their Fabulous Hair. We'll have to get this book too :).