Most people know Jasper, TX, as the town where a black man named James Byrd was tied to a pickup truck and dragged to his death by three white men in 1998. The photography of Alonzo Jordan, who was something of a local institution,  captures the quieter, happier moments of black life in the tiny town.

Gabriel Arana on the mutability of marriage — and his own pending nuptials. “During a meeting with a wedding planner at a hotel we scouted, the planner stopped us at the door of the ceremony space. “Before we go in, you should know that the space has just been redecorated; we’re still making changes,” she said as she held the double-leaf door handles. She opened the door, and at the end of the narrow hall hung a 10-foot-tall painting of a bride. We chuckled. “My biggest problem with it is actually that it’s ugly,” my partner said.”

Fixing our nation’s sorry public defender system. ” Most of [one defender’s] clients are undereducated black men — some dropped out of school in junior high — and a dysfunctional public-defense system arguably exacerbates racial injustice. But the issue is a hard sell. ‘There’s not much of a national uproar to try to help people that are thrown into the criminal-justice system and branded criminals.'”

Why military spending remains untouchable. “The duopoly of American politics no longer allows for a principled anti-interventionist position. Both parties are war parties. They differ mainly in the rationale they devise to argue for interventionism. The Republicans tout liberty; the Democrats emphasize human rights. The results tend to be the same: a penchant for activism that sustains a never-ending demand for high levels of military outlays.”

And Mother Jones has a helpful explainer on the unrest in Egypt.



Gene "G.D." Demby is the founder and editor of PostBourgie. In his day job, he blogs and reports on race and ethnicity for NPR's Code Switch team.