By David Matthews, CNN
(CNN) - Though I scoff when I hear the term “post-racial America,” there are occasional glimpses we’re advancing as a culture when thorny subjects such as race can be made into games.
No, not games like “Scrabble: The Spanglish Edition", “Trivial Police Pursuit: Driving While Black,” or “Sorry: White America’s Apology Boardgame.”
But how about a game for your smart phone that lets you guess the race of a real person whose photo appears on the screen before you? This app is “Guess My Race,” and it displays pictures of real-life people who were interviewed about how they racially identify. Its creators say it has been downloaded nearly 30,000 times and is used by teachers to get students involved in discussions about race. (They created another app, "Who Am I? Race Awareness Game" for younger kids.)
And for those that are fans of the app already, here's some good news: A second edition will be out early next year. It will include new photo examples and expanded educational information culled from the 2010 Census.
By Chris Isidore, @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - The Justice Department announced a $335 million settlement with Bank of America Wednesday over discriminatory lending practice at Countrywide Financial.
Attorney General Eric Holder said a federal probe found discrimination against at least 200,000 qualified African American and Latino borrowers from 2004 to 2008, during the height of the housing market boom. He said that minority borrowers who qualified for prime loans were steered into higher-interest-rate subprime loans.
Thomas Perez, assistant attorney general for Justice's civil rights division, said most of the victims of the discrimination were not aware that they were improperly steered to the riskier mortgages.
"They were thrilled to have gotten the loan and to have realized the American dream," Perez said. "They had no idea they could have and should have gotten a better deal. This is discrimination with a smile."
Read the full story on CNNMoney
By Stephanie Siek, CNN
(CNN) - David Margolick’s latest book, “Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock,” explores what happened to two teenagers captured in one of the civil rights movement’s most iconic photos.
Elizabeth Eckford was one of nine black teenagers to integrate Little Rock, Arkansas', Central High School in 1957, and the photo shows her walking a gauntlet of shouting, taunting white students and adults. In the photo, Hazel Bryan, now Hazel Bryan Massery, was the white girl caught in the midst of yelling a racial epithet. The moment depicted in that image continued to reverberate throughout both girls’ lives.
Eckford struggled with depression and anxiety throughout adulthood, once being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder due to the near-constant bullying she experienced at Central High. She attended two colleges before depressive symptoms forced her to drop out. Bryan Massery transferred to another high school before dropping out to marry at 16. She was the mother of two children when she first called Eckford to apologize for what she'd done. Although the two women eventually reconciled and even became friends, the pain and guilt each experienced because of the events in the photo crushed their friendship, and they no longer speak to each other.
CNN: What motivated you to write this book?
Margolick: I was in Little Rock doing a piece, a [Bill] Clinton-related piece for Vanity Fair that didn’t pan out. While I was there, I went to Central High School, which had always been a legendary building for me. I was well aware of what had happened in Little Rock in 1957 … Central High School was a holy place for me, and I wanted to see it for myself. When I was there, I went to the visitors’ center across the street, which had just opened, and right when you got in you saw the famous picture.
It seeped into my consciousness the way it seeps into the consciousness of every historically curious person.
Musician Lenny Kravitz grew up in a house with a white father - TV producer Sy Kravitz - and a black mother, actress Roxie Roker, who played half an inter-racial couple on the 1970s show "The Jeffersons."
"Kids used to call me 'zebra' or 'panda' ... my mother was 'Mrs. Night' and my father was 'Mr. Day,'" Lenny Kravitz told Piers Morgan, "but it never bothered me."
But there's no question, Kravitz said, that race relations in the United States have improved.
Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.
Charges of racism have soccer world discussing its impact on the sport - The New York Times
Many long-term unemployed rely on family, friends - not their wider community - NPR
Opinion: Race, reproductive rights will play a large role in 2012 elections - ColorLines
Zambian churches disappointed that the United States ties aid to laws on homosexuality - Catholic News Service
Scholarship recipients make vastly different choices, become ambitious social experiment - The Washington Post
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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