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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Racial injustice

If you haven't read it yet, then I recommend you give some time to "The Case for Reparations" by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which was the cover story in The Atlantic in June.

On the same theme, here's the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members, the Staple Singers performing "When Will We Be Paid (For the Work We've Done)?" live in 1971.

In 3 minutes, the song effectively communicates a similar message. Lyrics.

And since it's baseball Hall of  Fame induction day, you might also check out "42" on DVD. It's the story of Jackie Robinson -- and to some extent, Branch Rickey. It focuses on real events from 1946 and 1947 when Robinson broke the color barrier in major league baseball.

I had put off watching the film for at least a year because I was afraid that the story would be Disney-fied and therefore gloss over the injustices faced by Robinson. It was almost certainly softened a bit for contemporary mass audiences, but the film does reveal a sample of the disgusting overt racism prevalent at the time. Movie critic Richard Roeper wrote a thoughtful review explaining the film's value even with these limitations. Roeper gave it 3 of 4 stars and that sounds about right to me. Here's the Metacritic summary.

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