Black Lives Matter

(Note: This interview originally aired back in April.) Our guest is Marc Perrusquia, a journalist with the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, where he's worked for the past three decades. Perrusquia has a new book out, a very compelling work of history called "A Spy in Canaan: How the FBI Used a Famous Photographer to Infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement." As was noted of this book by Kirkus Reviews: "The story of an African-American photographer who spent 18 years feeding information to the FBI....

(Note: This interview originally aired in January.) For a number of different -- and often unsettling -- reasons, issues of race and racism have by now come into focus in American life in a pervasive manner that we, as a society, have not seen in decades. Or maybe, actually, we as a nation have never been as racially aware, or as racially alert, as we are at this moment. Thus we're discussing an important textbook in this regard; "Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice" first appeared back in the 1990s, and it has just been published in a new (fourth) edition.

Our guest is Danielle Allen, the James Bryant Conant University Professor at Harvard University, who joins us to discuss her new book. That well-regarded book, "Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A.," is an unflinching memoir of Allen's late cousin as well as a detailed and accessible critique of America's criminal justice system. Per Jennifer Senior in The New York Times: "A compassionate retelling of an abjectly tragic story.... Among the most valuable contributions Allen makes is forcing us to ask: To what end are we locking up our children?

Our guest is Marc Perrusquia, a journalist with the Memphis Commercial Appeal newspaper, where he's worked for the past three decades. Perrusquia has a new book out, a very compelling work of history called "A Spy in Canaan: How the FBI Used a Famous Photographer to Infiltrate the Civil Rights Movement." As was noted of this book by Kirkus Reviews: "The story of an African-American photographer who spent 18 years feeding information to the FBI.... Over a 60-year career, Ernest Withers (1922-2007) produced more than 1 million photographs chronicling black life in the South.

For a number of different (and often unsettling) reasons, issues of race and racism have by now come into focus in American life in a pervasive manner that we, as a society, have not seen in decades. Or maybe, actually, we as a nation have never been as racially aware -- or alert -- as we are at this moment.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Herb Boyd, an award-winning journalist and historian who's also the author of several books on black history and activism, including biographies of James Baldwin and Sugar Ray Robinson; his latest book is a remarkable 300-year history of African-American life and politics in his hometown of Detroit. Boyd, who now teaches at the City College of New York, will be giving a free-to-the-public lecture tonight, the 12th, at 7pm here at TU.

KWGS News File Photo

Last night, a jury here in Tulsa acquitted one Betty Shelby -- a white Tulsa Police officer -- who had been charged with first-degree manslaughter after she shot and killed an unarmed black man named Terence Crutcher last September. Some people in this community feel that justice has been served, while others feel, as was stated by Rev. Joey Crutcher, the victim's father, after the verdict came down: "I believe in my heart that Betty Shelby got away with murder." Where does Tulsa go from here?

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we're discussing the Oscar-nominated documentary feature, "I Am Not Your Negro," which opens locally tomorrow (Friday the 24th) at the Circle Cinema. Indeed, our two guests today -- Hannibal Johnson (a Tulsa-based author and attorney) and Bob Jackson (an Associate Professor of English here at the University of Tulsa) -- will both be speaking about this film, and co-leading an audience-wide discussion about it, tomorrow night at the Circle.

Questions of race and ethnicity are clearly at the heart of American politics -- and American culture, and American life -- in an all-encompassing way that we as a nation haven't seen since the Sixties. On this edition of ST, we speak with Dr. Shelly Tochluk, author of "Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It." It's a widely read book on contemporary US race relations, and one that Dr. Tochluk has spoken about -- and led workshops on -- here in Tulsa in the past.