08-12-2022  11:38 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Lottery Misses Mark on Minorities’ Fair Share

The Oregon Lottery’s most recent advertising slogan is “Together, we do good things”. But when we look at where the profits are coming from and where any potential benefit from lottery profits flow to, is this really true? 

Court Sides With Governor Kate Brown Over Early Prison Releases

Two attorneys took particular issue with Brown’s decision to allow 73 people convicted of murder, assault, rape and manslaughter while they were younger than 18 to apply for early release.

Ballot Measure to Overhaul City Government Promises Minority Representation While Facing Controversy

The Portland Charter Commission aims to bring city in line with how other major U.S. cities do local governance. 

White Woman Calls Police on Black Man Standing at His Home

“If you guys have a lease, I’d just like to see the lease,”

NEWS BRIEFS

Seattle Hospital to Refuse Some Patients Due to Capacity

The hospital is caring for some 560 inpatients, more than 130% of its licensed capacity of 413 patients. ...

West Seattle Bridge to Reopen After Yearslong Closure

The 40-year-old bridge is among the city’s most important, previously allowing 100,000 drivers and 20,000 transit users to move...

Jefferson Alumni Invites Community to Block Party

This inaugural event is open to the public and will have tons of entertainment in tow, including a live DJ and music, a rib contest,...

Oregon Approved to Issue an Additional $46 Million in Pandemic EBT Food Assistance to 80,000 Young Children

The additional food benefits will be issued to families’ existing EBT cards in Fall 2022, with the exact dates yet to be...

Free Vaccination Events Provide Required Back-to-School Immunizations

On or before the first day of instruction, all K-12 students in Washington state must be up to date on vaccinations required for...

Idaho Supreme Court won't block strict abortion bans

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho's strict abortion bans will be allowed to take effect while legal challenges over the laws play out in court, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled Friday. The ruling means potential relatives of an embryo or fetus can now sue abortion providers over procedures...

Inslee issues directive outlining monkeypox virus response

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a directive to the Washington State Department of Health outlining additional steps to address the rise in monkeypox cases. In his Friday directive to state health officials, Inslee called the disease an “evolving...

OPINION

No One Ever Told You About Black August?

Black America lives in a series of deserts. Many of us live in food deserts, financial deserts, employment deserts, and most of us live in information deserts. ...

Betsy Johnson Fails to Condemn Confederate Flags at Her Rally

The majority of Oregonians, including our rural communities, value inclusion and unity, not racism and bigotry. ...

Monkeypox, Covid, and Your Vote

We must start a voter registration drive right here where we live. This effort must become as important to us as putting food on the table and a roof over our heads. ...

Speaking of Reparations

To many Americans, “reparations” is a dirty word when applied to Black folks. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Kansas district rejects strategic plan urging diversity

DERBY, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas school district's board rejected a proposed strategic plan after some members questioned its emphasis on diversity and students' mental health. The Derby Board of Education voted 4-3 this week to reject a plan presented after months of work by parents,...

Two years on, foundations stand by issuing bonds in pandemic

NEW YORK (AP) — When the Ford Foundation took the unprecedented step in June 2020 of issuing jumi billion in debt to help stabilize other nonprofits, it delighted investors and inspired several other large foundations to follow suit. Two years later, the foundations all stand by...

Cuomo: Taxpayers should pay sexual harassment legal bills

NEW YORK (AP) — Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants taxpayers to foot his legal bills as he defends himself against a workplace sexual harassment claim — and he's suing the state's attorney general over it. Cuomo filed the suit against Attorney General Letitia James on...

ENTERTAINMENT

Review: Post Malone concert doc is all flash, no substance

NEW YORK (AP) — There's a moment in Post Malone’s new concert film when its star confesses to how surreal his life has become: “Sometimes I feel like I’m not a real person.” Fans will get no clarity on that astounding statement after watching Amazon's “Post Malone:...

Jerry Hall, Rupert Murdoch reach agreement on divorce

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Model and actor Jerry Hall and media mogul Rupert Murdoch have agreed to the terms of their pending divorce, her attorney said Thursday. Hall filed a request in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday to dismiss her original petition for divorce from Murdoch,...

Planet Drum unites global percussionists in common rhythm

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Grammy-winning group of the world’s top percussionists has reunited after 15 years on a new record that aims to bring the world together in rhythm and dance. Planet Drum’s new record “In The Groove,” out now, features drummers from very different...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Amazon's Ring, MGM to launch show from viral doorbell videos

NEW YORK (AP) — Two Amazon-owned companies — Ring and Hollywood studio MGM — are teaming to create a TV show...

Gunman in Montenegro kills 10, then shot dead by passerby

CETINJE, Montenegro (AP) — A man went on a shooting rampage in the streets of this western Montenegro city...

Voter groups object to proposed Nevada hand-counting rules

RENO, Nev. (AP) — As officials in some parts of rural Nevada vow to bypass voting machines in favor of hand...

Portugal: EU eyes Iberia-Italy pipeline to get gas to Europe

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — European authorities are considering a liquefied natural gas pipeline from Spain to...

South Korea to pardon Samsung's Lee, other corporate giants

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Samsung's de-facto leader secured a pardon Friday of his conviction for bribing a...

Oil shipments from Russia resume to Czechia

PRAGUE (AP) — Oil shipments from Russia through a critical pipeline to Czechia resumed Friday after more than a...

Helen Silvis of The Skanner News

Images of successful African American athletes inspire the dreams of millions of young Black men. That matters in a culture where athletes are viewed as demigods, yet positive images of Black masculinity are hard to find. Author Thabiti Lewis takes a hard look at sport, racism and images of Black masculinity in his groundbreaking new book 'Ballers of the New School: Race, Sports and American Culture.' A professor at Washington State University, Vancouver, Lewis has a full schedule that includes talking to young men and women in cities across the country about masculinity, sport and race. Teens are especially welcome at this event.
Lewis will speak at 2 pm Saturday, Jan. 29 at Reflections book store, 446 NE Killingsworth St., Portland. The Skanner interviewed Lewis by phone Jan. 25.

The Skanner: In your book, you write a letter. What's that about?
Thabiti Lewis: I write a letter to my cousin, who is turning 16. I had a call from my aunt who was a bit distraught. Previously he had been an honor student, but his grades had slipped. He'd decided that sport was going to be his route to a profession. So I wrote this letter for him and for all the other young people of all backgrounds. And I should also say that right now, today, he is finishing his last semester of his Masters degree in Engineering.
The Skanner: What do you want to tell Black teens?
Thabiti Lewis: I want to tell them that I understand the pressures they are under. That they are grappling with what it means to be an African American male, to be a male in America and dealing with the fact that it is not that cool to be smart, but it is really cool to be a jock. There's so much coming at you. So I'm just saying: Don't forget you can be involved in this in what I call 'the sweat free zone' – which is administrative, management, ownership, sales or writing about sports.
So what does it mean to be male, but also a "baller" someone who's living life in a certain way and they're in control. And to really be a baller, is to be a person who has political consciousness, who is intelligent and is a Renaissance person. Those people are really positioned to have really have their voice heard and to make an impact.

The Skanner: Your book is taking a hard look at how race and masculinity and sports impact African American men and women.
Thabiti Lewis: The book is about race and sports in American culture, so it is a vehicle to engage in a conversation about the nature of race progress. It explores what is valued in American culture, and looks at our notions of masculinity, particularly Black masculinity as reflected in sports. I look at some true and false ideas we have: the notion of sport and that upward mobility narrative that too many young folks see as their best opportunity. I pull the covers off that.
I'm saying, let's realize that's a long shot. I'm also saying you have a better chance of becoming an English professor, a physician, a nurse or a lawyer than you do of becoming a professional athlete because it's such a minute pool of individuals who make it to that level.

The Skanner: 'Ballers' questions a lot of what we accept without much thought?
Thabiti Lewis: Yes. How are people of color represented in sports culture? How are women represented? What does that say? Are they in positions of leadership, power? What does that show us? So that's what I try and do.
I try to offer solutions as well. Because there is a movement to change these things – to change these images, to change how intellectuals are seen. 'Ballers of the New School" is really about a movement to address these things.
So what I'm also doing in the book is examining how racial images can be good and how they are cast in negative ways in contemporary society. And we have do some control over this. We can change that by spinning different narratives. My projection is optimistic. How can we use sport to really take us toward the post-racial society that we would like to see? To do that we have to get past – we have to get post-racism and here's how we do that. And then we can be post-racial

The Skanner: Where did you grow up and how did you begin thinking about how our culture views Black men?
Thabiti Lewis: I'm from St. Louis Missouri. I was writing a column there while I was at university, but once I finished my doctorate I began to think about putting the things I'd been writing about into the book. I'm lucky. I was a good athlete, so I was socially accepted and it was permissible for me to be a pretty good student and show my intellectual ability. So I have been there. I went to a high school that had the worst football team so I refused to play because I had standards. I am very honest about my own experience in the book. The only way to look forward is to be honest.

The Skanner: You have two daughters, so you are having to practice on other people's sons. You are welcome to work with mine.
Thabiti Lewis: I'm trying to clear the social landscape so that they are dealing with young men who are confident and unwed to notions of patriarchy. How about that? (Laughs.) Can't raise them to be different sorts of women, and face men who aren't prepared or ready for such women.

PHOTOS: From top, Thabiti Lewis, Book jacket.

If you miss Dr Lewis at Reflections, you can also see him speak at noon March 1, in the library at Washington State University, Vancouver.

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