When did you become conscious of race?

Question: When did you become conscious of race?

Harris-Lacewell: My father graduated in 1962 from Howard University, so a historically Black college.  And he was college roommates with Stokely Carmichael, which tells you a lot sort of about who my dad is.  He’s a very serious, you know, Black community, Black power sort of advocate of the ‘60s.  My mother at the same time graduated in 1964 from Brigham Young University, grew up in the West, and is, or was, a White Mormon.  So when they met in the early ‘70s, it was this kind of this Black nationalist dad and this White Mormon mom who met in Seattle, Washington, which is where I was born when they were in grad school.  So although I was raised in the South, it wasn’t in a typical Southern family.  It was in a very unique, kind of interracial, interesting family.  (Chuckles)  So my father, before he met my mother, had three children with an African-American woman.  So my three oldest siblings are Black in terms of both of their parents being Black.  My mother had been previously married to a White man and had one daughter who was White.  So in my household there were three siblings who both of their parents were Black; one sibling who both of her parents were White; and then me who had one Black and one White parent.  So that means that from very early on there were . . .  I mean from immediately, even sort of in my household, there were different racial identities; people thinking and understanding themselves within different identities, but of course all being brother and sisters; which was, I don’t know, I suspect relatively unique.  Maybe Barack Obama also had that.  But just sort of me and Barack.  That’s . . . (Chuckles)  We’re the ones who had that story.  So I would say very early on, but it didn’t have a negative connotation for me.  It just had an awareness.  Sort of like if you grew up with a bunch of boys and girls in your family, you learn a lot about boys and girls.  Well I grew up with Black and White people in my family, so I had an early on sense of Black and White.

Lacewell's father is an advocate in the Black community, and her mother was a White Mormon.

Countries with more butter have happier citizens

Butter supply and life satisfaction are linked – but by causation or correlation?

Image: Carey Tilden/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0
Strange Maps
  • Haiti and other countries with low butter supply report low life satisfaction.
  • The reverse is true for countries like Germany, which score high in both categories.
  • As the graph below shows, a curious pattern emerges across the globe. But is it causation or correlation?
Keep reading Show less

Jordan Peterson on why you need to clean your room

Sometimes the basics really matter.

Dr. Jordan Peterson. (Carlos Osorio/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Personal Growth
  • Jordan Peterson believes that only by taking care of your immediate environment can you then move onto bigger challenges.
  • The idea stems from millennials who want to change capitalist economic structures though can be applied broadly.
  • In a distracted age, our inability to pay attention to our environment is leading to increased rates of anxiety and depression.
Keep reading Show less

Will Hunt (explorer) – into the Earth: the mysteries and meanings of underground spaces

The catacombs of Paris. Secret graffiti beneath NYC. The hidden cities of Cappadocia. Writer and explorer Will Hunt is your philosophical tour guide to what lies beneath.

Think Again Podcasts
  • "The surface of the earth is where we're rational . . . Part of us dreads the chaos, and part of us is always attracted to it."
  • "There were these things hanging from the ceiling…long strands of bacteria called "snotsicles"… But at our feet was a natural stream that had been running through Brooklyn forever."
  • "It's…about death. Undergoing a death. We're going into the other world and then retreating to the surface… changed in some way."
Keep reading Show less