© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

It's Hard To Be Black In America. Still.

Creative Commons

Race is a myth; racism is not. I'm stealing this line from Gene Seymour, one of our guests on our show today. 

We're reairing a show with three people who discuss what it's like to be Black in America. The show originally aired in 2017.

We chose to reair it today to coincide with the memorials this week for Congressman John Lewis, who will be the first Black congressman to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda, after fighting his entire life for social justice.

And because the recent police brutality, along with a pandemic that disproportionately affected minority communities, exposed how little has changed for Black Americans since we first aired this show in 2017.

Many of us hoped the election of Barack Obama in 2008 was a sign that we were finally entering a time when America was ready to recognize that racial inequality is the direct result of systemic discrimination going back to the founding of this country.  That did not happen. 

Congressman Lewis fought for civil rights and dignity for all black Americans. We should all think about that as we honor his legacy this week.  

This show originally aired on July 12, 2017 and was reaired on January 15, 2018. 


  • Gene Seymour - Cultural critic, writer, jazz aficionado, and contributor for CNN Opinion, The Baffler, Book Forum and The Nation
  • Bruce Haynes - Professor of sociology at U.C. Davis and co-author of Down the Up Staircase
  • Kris Marsh - Demographer and associate professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and a 2017 Fulbright Scholar in South Africa

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Colin McEnroe and Chion Wolf contributed to this show.

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. She served as the Senior Producer for 'The Colin McEnroe Show' for several years before stepping down in 2021 and returning to her previous career as a registered nurse. She still produces shows with Colin and the team when her schedule allows.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.