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Race, Identity & Culture




A Compelling New Book.

Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews "Show Me a Hero : A Tale of Murder, Suicide, Race, and Redemption" by New York Times reporter Lisa Belkin. It examines the fallout from a federal court order requiring Yonkers, NY, to desegregate by moving hundreds of its poor minority residents into public housing on the middle-class side of town.
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"Laurel Avenue" is Worth It.

TV critic David Bianculli reviews this weekend's HBO miniseries, "Laurel Avenue," about a large working class African American family in St. Paul, Minnesota.


American Perspectives on Race.

Book critic John Leonard reviews Studs Terkel's new book, "Race: How Blacks and Whites Think and Feel About the American Obsession." (The New Press)


Rescue 911 Forces You to Ask the Question: What is Real and What is Staged?

Television critic David Bianculli reviews an episode of "Rescue 911," the CBS series that sends a film crew out on emergency police calls. Their most famous piece of tape yet is the call from Charles Stuart in Boston to say he and his pregnant wife had been shot by a black assailant (this turned out to be a cover up for Stuart, who apparently murdered his wife and shot himself). Bits of the tape have been shown on newscasts, but this is its first full airing on the show.


Reggae, Race, and Politics.

Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews two new reggae albums, "One Bright Day," by Ziggy Marley (son of the late Bob Marley) and "Cumbolo" by the Jamaican group Culture.


A Nuanced Look at Antisemitism.

Critic-at-Large Laurie Stone previews a 5-hour NBC miniseries on the 1913 hanging of a Jewish factory manager in Atlanta, Georgia following the murder a 13-year-old employee of the factory. The case hinged on racial hatred, in this case the prevailing enmity toward Jews, and Laurie praises the production's exploration of how racial divisions have been exploited for political effect. The miniseries is titled "The Murder of Mary Phagan."

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