#135: Race & Economic Mobility in America
Loyal subscribers, thank you very much for opening today’s issue of The Highlighter. This week, there’s a diverse collection of articles, research studies, infographics, and podcast episodes from a variety of publications. I encourage everyone to take a close look at the lead article on race and economic mobility — and if possible, to sit down with someone and have a discussion. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, too. Please enjoy!
An infographic in The New York Times this week explained in stark terms how our country produces grossly inequitable economic outcomes for Black men. This Vox piece adds context to the infographic, adding nuance and providing the experiences of American Indian men and Black women. Whereas the Times’ report highlights the downward mobility of Black boys born into wealthy families, Vox emphasizes that there’s almost no chance, if you’re a Black boy, to rise from rags to riches. (To go all in, read the research study in full.) ⏳
If you’re a typical American, you throw away or donate 82 pounds of clothes each year. Good job: Marie Kondo (#51, #65, #101) is proud of you! In this article, Eileen Guo follows your donated clothes on their long and complex journey across the border, where they’re sold in Mexico. You’ll learn a lot. ⏳⏳
Loyal subscriber Sheila is a judge for the American Kennel Club. Here she is with a Miniature Bull Terrier at a dog show in Louisville, Kentucky. Sheila currently judges 17 breeds — 14 Hounds, 2 Non-Sporting, and 1 Working. If you’d like your pet to appear in The Highlighter, please let me know! j.mp/nominatepet
When 14-year-old Mary Dalton was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, she didn’t know what to do. So she turned to YouTube. “Working on my videos gave me a routine. It was therapeutic.” This profile explores why many young women with terminal illness choose to share their stories. ⏳
It’s the 10th anniversary of Know Your Meme, the encyclopedia of Internet culture, and editor Brad Kim waxes philosophical. Meme culture “isn’t malevolent so much as it is amoral,” he says, because the Internet “increasingly does not care about the truth, and cares only about the narrative.” The scary part is that memes shape public opinion with no accountability. That’s why Mr. Kim says we have a “meme president.” ⏳⏳
Roughly one third of all undergraduates are the first in their family to go to college. This week, let’s focus on the individual stories behind that data. Listen to The Highlighter Podcast, where I interview my former students to hear where we helped them and failed them in high school. Then head over to StoryCorps (yes, the same Morning Edition program that used to have you crying on the way to work every Friday) for more stories. ⏳
That’s it for this week! Thank you very much for reading The Highlighter. Use the thumbs below and let me know what you thought of today’s issue. If you liked it, consider sharing this issue with a friend and encouraging them to subscribe. Speaking of new subscribers, there were 15 this week! Let’s welcome Oana, Michelle, Jo, Nicole, Christine, Chelsea, Mindy, Ryan, Leena, Karim, Ellen, Len, Lita, Alex, and Brittany. Have a great week, and I’ll see you again next Thursday at 9:10 am.
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