Your Random-Ass Roundup: And You Say Chi City.

Chicago Skyline at Night

The Windy City tries to resuscitate the poor, black neighborhoods left vacant by the housing crisis — but at what cost?
Before they rose to prominence in Canada’s largest city, the Ford family —  which includes embattled Mayor Rob Ford — was deeply immersed in the illegal drug scene, according to an investigation by the Globe and Mail. (h/t Joel)
Medgar Evers, the civil rights activist, was 37 when he was gunned down on his lawn by a white supremacist 50 years ago this month. In the immediate aftermath of his assassination, a livid Eudora Welty wrote short story for the New Yorker about the murder from the perspective of his killer. The Jackson Clarion-Ledger is running an early draft of that story from Welty’s estate — a draft that included real names and places that the New Yorker later asked Welty to excise. (h/t Amina)

The absolutely insane, absolutely true story of DC the Brain Supreme and Steve Rollin — better known as Tag Team — the one-hit wonders behind one of the most ubiquitous and most annoying hip-hop songs ever. (But no love for 95 South, though?)

Formerly dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World, the Astrodome in Houston was once “the most important, distinctive and influential stadium ever built in the United States.” Today it seems bound to become a parking lot.

Yikes: “While total HBCU enrollment increased about 3 percent overall, the aggregate graduation rate for HBCU students fell from 37.7 percent in 2006 to 33.7 percent in 2011…That means of the 47,139 students who entered HBCUs six years before, just 15,885 had completed their degree by 2011, though the figures do not include transfers or part-time students.” The economy has undoubtedly made these numbers worse, but these figures weren’t so hot before. A 2006 study by the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education found only a handful of HBCUs — Spelman, Morehouse, Fisk, Miles College, Howard, Hampton and Elizabeth City State — with six-year graduation rates north of 50 percent. (Relatedly: St. Paul’s College, a tiny 125-year-old HBCU in Virginia, will shut down at the end of the month.)

The NYT editorial board lambastes the city of New York for the practice in which kids — mostly black and Latino, because America —  are kicked out  of public schools  and into the criminal justice system for often routine infractions.  Meanwhile, the indispensible Brentin Mock writes that a court in Mississippi — where black kids were being suspended or arrested for wearing the wrong colored socks — has approved a decree that “cancels most, if not all, police intervention for any issues that can  be “safely and appropriately handled under school disciplinary procedures.”

 Marketplace talks to Lee O’Denat, the founder of WSHH, and finds that the tawdry video site is becoming too big for advertisers to ignore.

The NYT praises Virginia for reinstating the voting rights of nonviolent felons, but the WaPo says it ain’t enough as half the state’s prison population is black.

A breakout year for black film?

The U.S. seriously came very close to having a big-ass Mammy statue on the National Mall.

If only white people had a place to call their own.

What are you reading that we should be reading? Share your links in the comments.




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.