Extending the Lesson

Lesson Extension: Affirmative Action

Affirmative action was a major issue that The Nubian Message covered in the 1990s and early 2000s. Affirmative action programs continue to be hotly debated. The idea that America is "post-racial" and no longer bars minorities from achieving the same success as whites is often used to argue that affirmative action programs are no longer needed.

In 2014, the Supreme Court upheld a Michigan constitutional amendment that bans public colleges and universities from considering race during the admissions process. While not directly striking down affirmative action plans, this ruling will undoubtedly have an effect on race-related admissions policies in the future.

Have students read the following news article on the Supreme Court's decision:

Discuss: Did the Supreme Court make the right decision in this case? Are affirmative action programs no longer needed in America today?

Lesson Extension: Race and the Police

In the summer of 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen, was shot and killed by a white policeman, Darren Wilson, in Ferguson, Missouri. The incident sparked widespread protests against racial profiling and police brutality, and intense debates about race relations in America more broadly. In November 2014, a Missouri grand jury decided not to charge Wilson with a crime.

In many ways, the Michael Brown incident resembled a case in Los Angeles in 1992 where white policemen were videotaped beating an African-American man, Rodney King. The policemen were ultimately acquitted by a jury. Their acquittal sparked riots across the city that left dozens dead.

Have students explore the following website and news database about Michael Brown:

Discuss: What happened in the Michael Brown case? How has the media portrayed Brown, white police, protestors, and others involved? How does the Michael Brown case resemble the events leading up to the 1992 Los Angeles riots? What do those riots and the Brown case reveal about race relations in the United States?

Extending the Lesson