Aug 3, 2017 4 min read

#104: “Slavery Didn’t End in 1865. It Evolved.”

#104: “Slavery Didn’t End in 1865. It Evolved.”

Hello and welcome to The Highlighter #104! Today’s issue falls early in my birthday month, that prime eight-plus-percent portion of the year when the peaches are plentiful. If you also have an August birthday, let me know; we have to stick together. I’m proud of this week’s articles , three of which

Hello and welcome to The Highlighter #104! Today’s issue falls early in my birthday month, that prime eight-plus-percent portion of the year when the peaches are plentiful. If you also have an August birthday, let me know; we have to stick together.

I’m proud of this week’s articles, three of which come from publications not previously highlighted in the newsletter. We begin with a piece on Brooklyn Museum’s new exhibit on the history of lynching in the United States, prepared in collaboration with the Equal Justice Initiative. The second piece, an exposé involving Seattle high school football coaches, student-athletes, district officials, and federal laws geared to protect homeless students, is my pick of the week.

Don’t get so engrossed in your reading, though, to miss this week’s pet photo. It’s a winner. (Keep sending your submissions!) Closing out today’s issue are two excellent articles about industries going in opposite directions. First there’s the burgeoning newspaper industry, as detailed in a piece about the New York Times and the Washington Post. Then there’s the floundering weight-loss industry, as revealed in a piece about Weight Watchers and its recent push to attract Millennials. Enjoy this issue!

“Slavery Didn’t End in 1865. It Evolved”

“Slavery Didn’t End in 1865. It Evolved”

By now, loyal subscribers to The Highlighter know that I have massive respect for Bryan Stevenson (#9, #28, #32, #54, #93), founder of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy. (If you haven’t read it yet, please do!) Now Mr. Stevenson is teaming up with the Brooklyn Museum on its current exhibit, “The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America,” which runs through Sept. 3. If you don’t live in New York or can’t get there soon, check out this article for a description of the exhibit, or visit “Lynching in America,” the disturbing and important online resource that includes audio, video, and interactive maps.

Homeless students drawn to Seattle schools by sports are often cast aside when the season’s over

Homeless students deserve unencumbered access to a high-quality education and extracurricular activities. This principle is guaranteed through the hard work of educators (including some loyal subscribers to this newsletter!) and via the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which provides, for instance, that homeless students may enroll in a new school without proof of residency, and that homeless students do not have to maintain a 2.0 grade point average in order to participate in sports. This article uncovers a possible scandal in Seattle, where competing high school football coaches (many of them African American) may be encouraging student-athletes (also many of them African American) to claim homeless status in order to sidestep district policies and to gain an advantage over their opponents. It’s an intriguing story that raises issues of race plus a ton of questions, including, “What’s the line between supporting young people and exploiting them?” Credit goes to loyal subscriber Ben for this submission — thank you!

In Zeneize, my family’s Italian dialect from Genoa, “sampinghe” means paws. My dad, who spoke the language, loved animals, particularly those with good sampinghe. Here is Delia, who belongs to loyal subscriber Allison, showing off her sampinghe.

Is The New York Times vs. The Washington Post vs. Trump the Last Great Newspaper War?

I grew up reading the San Francisco Chronicle every morning, and the most important thing I did in high school was work for my school newspaper. That’s why I liked this article so much. It does an excellent job comparing the coverage of the New York Times and the Washington Post over the last several months. (There’s been a lot of news!) Don’t read this article thinking you’ll get some secret dirt between Times editor Dean Baquet and Post editor Marty Baron. You won’t. As media critic Leah Finnegan notes in her snarky weekly newsletter, there’s no actual war between the papers. (After all, they’re both by and for old people, she writes.) That doesn’t matter to me. What’s important is that there’s a resurgence happening in journalism, and that’s great for our country.

Weight Watchers Cruise: What It’s Like to Diet on Vacation

With “diet” fast becoming a four-letter word (“It’s not about dieting! It’s about health!”), what are you supposed to do if you want to shave off a few pounds? According to Weight Watchers, there’s no better answer than packing your bags and shoving off on a week-long Caribbean cruise—along with 600 fellow fitness fanatics who like you seek to attain their goal weight cooped up aboard a massive ship. This delightful first-person piece follows author Leah Prinzivalli and her battles with the bountiful buffet and the program’s weight loss coaches, who ask typical coachy questions like, “What are you noticing?” and my favorite, “How does that make you feel?”

Podcast Update: I loved this week’s episode with loyal subscriber Erin! We talked about teaching, immigration, and This American Life’s recent episode, “Fear and Loathing in Homer and Rockville,” which I highlighted last week. The podcast’s popularity continues to pick up, so if you’re interested, check it out on Apple Podcasts or Google Play. Also, feel free to let me know your thoughts about the podcast so far. If you want to be a guest on the show, by all means, sign yourself up! I’d be happy to have you.

Giveaway Update: Drum roll, please! Who gets the three-month digital subscription to either the New York Times or the Washington Post? Loyal subscriber Trisha, that’s who! Congratulations, Trisha. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Be sure to keep reading The Highlighter newsletter and listening to The Highlighter podcast for upcoming giveaways. They will be lucrative.

Is it the end? Unfortunately, it is. But don’t you worry — The Highlighter will be back next week on Thursday at 9:10 am. Until then, let’s please welcome new subscribers Salem, Rebecca, Kiera, David, Pietro, and Randy. Let’s keep this momentum going strong, loyal subscribers, by spreading the word about this newsletter. Also, if you feel moved, vote this issue thumbs-up or thumbs-down below. Have a wonderful week!

Join the conversation

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Big Reading.
Your link has expired.
Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.