I remember his aide, Sid Shapiro, who I spent a lot of time getting to talk to me, he finally talked to me. And he had this quote that I’ve never forgotten. He said Moses didn’t want poor people, particularly poor people of color, to use Jones Beach, so they had legislation passed forbidding the use of buses on parkways.
Then he had this quote, and I can still hear him saying it to me.
Sultan, Priyesh and Asiyah have symbiotic relationships with their local communities, but their accounts of running a corner shop are still prefaced by the institutional racism that runs through Britain’s history. In the 1970s and 1980s, South Asian factory workers in the UK began to lose their jobs after the decline of traditional labour-intensive industries.
The simultaneous expansion of supermarket chains postwar meant that provincial grocery stores were likely to close, unless they were part of groups like Spar or Londis.
The history of Greene King gives a glimpse into some of these entanglements. Benjamin Greene started off as an apprentice to the leading brewing firm Whitbread in London, and would go on to inherit estates in the island of St Kitts, becoming one of many absentee slave owners living off their Caribbean property. Once emancipation happened he was one of the 4,000 people in Britain (20% of whom were women) who received compensation.
I am a black, Southern woman, and of my immediate white male ancestors, all of them were rapists. My very existence is a relic of slavery and Jim Crow.
— You Want a Confederate Monument? My Body Is a Confederate Monument, Caroline Randall Williams in The New York Times
Ozoma asked her manager to address her level, but she says she was initially told that her current compensation package was the best the company could do. After months of trying to get her level changed, Ozoma finally hired a lawyer, who began to argue that she should have been hired at a level six, two rungs above the level four at which she was being paid. Once her lawyer got involved and began advocating for additional compensation, stock options, and back pay, Ozoma was told she didn’t have enough years of experience—a criteria that does not appear on the level chart, which Fast Company has confirmed.
What I am evidence of is: You can dismiss a Black person. If you’re a young Black girl and you get raped, in the film business, no one’s going to fucking care. You can tell whoever the fuck you want, and they’ll call it an affair. Until people start taking this seriously, I can’t fully heal. There are so many problems to feeling disenfranchised. But I keep finding myself alone.
Coel recalls one clarifying moment when she spoke with a senior-level development executive at Netflix and asked if she could retain at least 5 percent of her rights. There was just silence on the phone, she says. “And she said, ‘It’s not how we do things here. Nobody does that, it’s not a big deal.’ I said, If it’s not a big deal, then I’d really like to have 5 percent of my rights.
I’ve been struggling to keep track of links to the relief funds established for Black Lives Matter activists across the USA who’ve been arrested, injured, or killed by the police. I’m throwing them up here, with sources linked at the end, to keep track of them for myself and for others who are struggling to pull them out of Twitter. For now, I’ve donated to the Brooklyn Bail Fund.
Update (2nd June 2020) There’s now an even easier way to donate to a wider range of organisations fighting for this cause.
I’m reading the epic biography of Robert Moses, The Power Broker, at the moment. At the moment it’s the 1920s and Moses is trying to wrestle swathes of land off the robber barons who’ve built their manor houses on Long Island, so that he can build extensive park systems and a parkway to connect them to the city.
It’s a mammoth book but I’m really enjoying it. The 1920s is an interesting era in American history not just because of my teenage obsession with The Great Gatsby and the associated milieu, but because it’s also a period when the Klan were incredibly active in white, Protestant communities all over the country, and because it’s when the robber barons of the Gilded Age were really trying to hand onto their wealth.