African American

Texas Standard: July 2, 2020

As new COVID-19 cases continue to set record highs in Texas, another statistic isn’t tracking the trend. Why are COVID-19 death rates in Texas moving lower? We’ll have the latest. Also, Texas teachers getting prepared for the first statewide public school elective on African American studies. How the past and present come together in the curriculum. And just how difficult is the process for obtaining a mail in ballot in Texas? Our own Shelly Brisbin puts it to the test. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 7, 2020

As many Texans face economic hardship, a new study shows a growing trend toward taking debtors to court, we’ll have the latest. Also, anyone else ready for a haircut? Are you sure? As the governor relaxes orders to keep salons and barbershops closed, concerns about reopening on Friday. And Dr.Fred Campbell of UT Health San Antonio taking on more listener questions about COVID-19. And higher ed students finishing studies for the year, tho many cant go home. Plus Omar Gallaga with the scoop on scooters hitting Texas sized potholes. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 15, 2020

National trends suggest people of color disproportionately affected by COVID-19. But in Texas, a data gap is leaving health officials empty handed. African American leaders call for the state to address concerns about a lack of data that could be the difference between life and death in some Texas communities. Harris County Commissioner and former State Senator Rodney Ellis joins us. Also, a much anticipated forecast ahead of hurricane season. And it’s only a game, or is it? How many Texans are spending their downtime online and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 14, 2019

A fact finding process in an era of fake news: do the facts still matter? We’ll look at some Texas takeaways from the impeachment hearing so far. Also, new guidelines for how the state tabulates ballots. Are we getting early warning signals about problems for 2020? We’ll take a look. Plus, what can dogs tell humans about aging? And our tech expert Omar gallaga on winners and losers in the early volleys of the new streaming wars. All of that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 20, 2019

At least two dead, nearly 4 feet of rain and some parts of southeast Texas calling it worse than Hurricane Harvey. Our own Michael Marks joins us with the latest on tropical storm Imelda’s toll in Texas. Also, you’ve heard the phrase ‘it takes a village’, but to go to Mars? Why SpaceX is offering to buy an entire south Texas community. And Houston says Howdy Modi as the Indian Prime Minister makes Texas a centerpiece of his U.S. visit. Plus the week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 22, 2019

Students just now returning to school, and report cards already? A-F grades go out statewide rating public schools, but are they fair? We’ll explore. As schools reopen, so do sign ups for sports, and something new in Texas: an effort to track related concussions across the Lone Star State. Also, is Texas an ATM for Democratic politicians? An AP reporter following the money spots another sign of a profound shift in Texas politics in the run up to 2020. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 12, 2019

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is removing all diplomatic staff from Venezuela, where he calls the situation “deteriorating.” He tells us why. Also, Houston making headlines for not being chosen to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The city pay issue that may be at the center of that choice. Plus, some college-level Black Studies programs are celebrating 50 years, how they’ve changed. And several countries are grounding planes like the one in a deadly weekend crash. But not the U.S. We’ll look at why. All of those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 6, 2016

We’re checking in with polling places from one end of the Lone Star State to the other as Texans cast their ballots on decision day 2018. How are the lines looking at the polls? If you’re not in line, you’re about to find out as we touch base reporters statewide for the latest. Also, who actually counts all those ballots and without a paper trail, what then? We’ll explore how the sausage gets made on election night. And in other news, the famous Texan who’s remixing black feminism. You’ve heard of Beyoncé? You’ll wanna hear this. Plus the rare bird returning to the Texas gulf coast. All of that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 5, 2018

In 2016, Hillary Clinton took the majority of votes in Texas’ 7th Congressional District. Now: what could be a test case for Republican control in Texas. John Culberson is the nine term Republican incumbent in a district that’s trending Democratic. We’ll take a closer look at the dynamics of the district and what it might tell us about the future of Texas politics more broadly. Also, slippery stuff: oil falls to new boomtime lows. And hats off to Roy Hargrove: the Waco born trumpeter once considered jazz music’s brightest promise passes at age 49. All those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 16, 2018

Back to school: it’s not just kids returning to campus, but armed employees. We’ll take you behind the scenes of the effort to train and arm in-school defenders against future shootings. Also, talking machines: San Antonio researchers using machine learning to help Texans who stutter. And an historic road trip with the Green Book as a guide. Texas monthly’s barbecue editor on the search for cue in the Jim Crow south. Also the cub reporter in Houston who saved lives during a hurricane by changing how we see those storms on TV. Heard of him? All those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Conversations with Momma San (Ep. 10)

DaLyah talks sex, black, Southern identity, life advice for those 20-somethings and how to not get fired from Burger King with her own mom in this short bonus episode.

In 15 Minutes, Barbara Jordan Built A Legacy

Andy Warhol summed up our modern, technology-driven world: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” But Barbara Jordan turned this idea on its head. In 15 minutes, she delivered a speech that gave her lasting, worldwide fame.

She was only 38 when she, on national television, argued for the indictment of Richard M. Nixon for high crimes and misdemeanors. Surrounded by more senior members of the House Judiciary Committee, mostly men with far more experience in government and law, Jordan gave a speech that was so brilliant, she stunned the committee and mesmerized those watching on television.

Here is how she opened:

“Earlier today, we heard the beginning of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States: ‘We, the people.’ It’s a very eloquent beginning. But when that document was completed on the seventeenth of September in 1787, I was not included in that ‘We, the people.’ I felt somehow for many years that George Washington and Alexander Hamilton just left me out by mistake. But through the process of amendment, interpretation, and court decision, I have finally been included in ‘We, the people.’ Today I am an inquisitor. An hyperbole would not be fictional and would not overstate the solemness that I feel right now. My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution.”

Jordan’s Watergate speech is flawless in its eloquence. Few people ever reach these persuasive heights – you find it in Lincoln, and Kennedy and Martin Luther King. And you find it here in Barbara Jordan, a rare talent for setting logic on fire.

She was persuasive because she was anchored in the Constitution rather than anger or political posturing. Many worried at the time that agreeing to file articles of impeachment was the same as throwing Richard Nixon out of the White House without due process. She opens the constitution and teaches:

“It is wrong, I suggest, it is a misreading of the Constitution for any member here to assert that for a member to vote for an article of impeachment means that that member must be convinced that the President should be removed from office. The Constitution doesn’t say that.”

Jordan had a beautiful blend of legal and common language, a style that the man on the street can follow and be moved by. She tried to allay these fears by explaining, in Constitutional terms, that all the House can do is vote for impeachment, which is an indictment. The Senate must have the trial and decide guilt or innocence – and punishment.

She again follows the technical explanation with a simpler one:

“The framers of this Constitution were very astute. They did not make the accusers and the judgers — and the judges the same person.”

She follows this razor-like rationale, guided only by the Constitution, to this conclusion:

“Has the President committed offenses, and planned, and directed, and acquiesced in a course of conduct which the Constitution will not tolerate? That’s the question. We know that. We know the question. We should now forthwith proceed to answer the question. It is reason, and not passion, which must guide our deliberations, guide our debate, and guide our decision.”

Nixon resigned a few days later. I don’t think he cared to face this inquisitor.

And it wasn’t just Jordan’s infallible logic that supporters admired and opponents feared. It was her divine voice and impeccable diction that animated that logic, seeming to place it beyond rebuttal.

I have a friend, Dr. Juliet Garcia, who served on a bank board with Jordan. She says Jordan “could read the agenda and make it sound profound.”

When Barbara died in 1996, having devoted her life to serving Texas, Ann Richards remembered her this way. “There was simply something about her that made you proud to be a part of the country that produced her. And she forever redefined what it meant to be a Texan in the eyes of this nation.”

Jordan’s life was truly a succession of firsts: first African-American woman to serve in the Texas State Senate, first African-American Texan elected to Congress, first woman to deliver a keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, first woman to have a statue erected in her honor at UT Austin, and – this makes me smile – even in death she achieved another first. She was the first African American to be buried in the Texas State Cemetery. I do miss her. We sure could use her voice, and her logic, today.

Texas Standard: April 25, 2018

The governor calls for an emergency election in a Harvey hit district that’s also lost its Congressman. Does the maneuver pass muster? By November 6th, voters in Texas 27th district will have one, two, three chances to cast a ballot for their representative to the US.. House. Confusing? We’ll walk you through it. Also a new ruling on DACA and a blow to President Trump. We’ll hear what the decision means for young undocumented immigrants and the program designed to protect them from deportation. And the man president Trump wants to pardon, they called him the Galveston giant. We’ll have the view from Jack Johnson’s hometown and so much more on todays Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: April 4, 2018

April 4th 1968: a date that changed America. 50 years on, how do texans remember the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.? Two weeks before, a choir from Prairie View A&M performed before Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel where King was assassinated. 50 years later, we talk with the leader of that choir and his brother who led a reenactment of the event in Memphis. Also, the only African American owned bank in all of Texas expands to Atlanta. We’ll hear about the history of the bank and why they’re moving beyond Texas borders. And a ruling in a challenge to Texas motor voter laws. Those stories and so much more today at the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 19, 2018

The University of Texas and the Texas Tribune team up to tell us which politicians are ahead on the polls, we’ll have the latest. Also, is OPEC bringing in more members to better control oil prices? We’ll Explore the role of Historically Black Colleges and speak to the film-maker. Plus comfort food has a whole other meaning to families in poverty, we tell you why. And the art of Arturo Torres is putting Garland on the map, we’ll explain. Also, it’s president’s Day! And early voting starts tomorrow, be sure to Wear your red white and blue all week! Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 11, 2018

Deal or no deal? As a Friday deadline approaches over Iran and concerns about nuclear weapons, we’ll have a Texas researcher explains what’s at stake. Also, black girls attending Texas schools are nearly 7 times as likely to get suspended from school than their white counterparts. One possible factor? What a Texas A&M researcher calls the “adultification” of black girls. We’ll hear what that means. And Texas based AT&T says no way to Huawei, nixing a deal to sell phones by the Chinese company. Some smell politics at the other end of the line. Plus funny man Cheech Marin is serious about Chicano art, we’ll hear why he’s sharing his collection with the lone star state. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 3, 2018

North Korea wants to re-open communication with South Korea, and protests in Iran raise tensions. We’ll explore how the U-S might balance these dual crises. Also, the flu is going around. Doctors say wash your hands, stay home when you’re sick and, yes, get the flu shot – even though it might not protect you. Plus, if you’ve been on the roads at all this holiday season you might have this question: why do Texans speed so much? We’ll try to answer it. And a question for you: hows that New Year’s Resolution going? Feel like you’re about to burn through your self-control already? Some advice from Texas researchers about to keep your motivation battery running. Those stories and a whole lot more on todays Texas Standard:

Phill Wilson (Ep. 45, 2017)

In Black America producer and host John L. Hanson, Jr speaks with Phill Wilson, prominent AIDS activist and President and CEO of The Black AIDS Institute, a think tank with a mission of educating and mobilizing the African American community around HIV/AIDS issues.

Texas Standard: October 24, 2017

As Washington prepares to declare an opioid emergency, an Amarillo lawmaker is tapped to take on the issue for Texas. We’ll hear his plan on how to fix the crisis. Also, the recriminations between President Trump and gold star families, front and center in the news: but which is the sideshow? That controversy, or the actual events that led the the attack on American forces in Niger? We’ll explore. And Texans may love high school football, but most don’t remember where some of the best games were played, or who played them. The Thursday night lights finally gets some recognition, we’ll meet the man telling the story. And what we might learn this week about what happened in Dallas on that most fateful November day in ’63. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

12th & Chicon: Austin’s Affordability Crisis

Dr. Eric Tang is an associate professor at the Institute for Urban Policy Research and Analysis at UT-Austin. After analyzing that data a few years back, Tang wanted to look more closely at why African-Americans were leaving Austin – specifically, East Austin. KUT’s Jennifer Stayton spoke to Tang about this new research for our On My Block series.