A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Constance Alexander: Author Marisel Vera’s newest offering is a tough novel with a sweet story at heart

Reading Marisel Vera’s stunning new novel, The Taste of Sugar, was the perfect way to spend Labor Day weekend. A multi-layered story of enduring love, it exposes issues around colonialism, racism, economics, and poverty confronting owners of a small family farm in the mountainous region of Utuado, Puerto Rico. In the beginning of the novel, coffee is the crop of choice. In the end it is sugar in...

Hundreds gather to discuss Implicit Bias at conference hosted by Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky

Statewide nonprofit Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky (PCAK) is committed to addressing racism in child welfare by facilitating difficult conversations across disciplines, including law enforcement, social work, healthcare and more. In conjunction with their annual Kids Are Worth It! Conference, the free Implicit Bias training hosted by PCAK drew more than 225 attendees. Implicit bias refers to the attitudes...

Bill Straub: ‘The time for change is now,’ and yes the fine young men of UK are talking about racism

Kentucky has a problem. It’s a problem that devastates the entire nation, for sure, and the Bluegrass is no exception. It came to the forefront this week when members of the University of Kentucky basketball team, along with coach John Calipari, appeared in a two-minute video pleading with fans and foes alike to join them in opposing the sin of racial injustice. It’s an issue that is finally receiving...

Billy Reed: We should all stand (or take a knee) against racism in sports and life — it needs to end

I was thrilled last week when several NBA teams boycotted their playoff games to show solidarity against racism. Black lives matter. The murders of innocent African-Americans by trigger-happy white cops must stop. That was the message, and they sure got plenty of media time to express their anger and demands for change. I must admit that I thought, “Where have you been?” But I quickly stifled that....

Col Owens: Of course we can — we must search our souls if we really mean to find the end to racism

Distinguishing between races began in America in 1619, with the importation of Africans as slaves. The American economy was built on that system and it survived for 250 years. While slavery was dominant in the South, all of America benefited from it, with the interdependency of the economy. The Civil War and amendments to the Constitution freed the slaves. And under Lincoln, Reconstruction promised...

Billy Reed: Happy to debate facts vs facts with anyone, but to be clear — Adolph Rupp was not racist

Naively, I now realize, I thought I would never again have to write the column about whether Adolph Rupp was a racist. The facts simply do not support the notion that he was. Period. Yet once again, 43 years after his death, the legendary University of Kentucky basketball coach is being attacked by some opportunists who refuse to let the facts get in the way of their prejudices and perceptions. Inspired...

David Bolt: Racial injustice and inequality must end; it’s time to shine the light for change

I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! That phrase is much more than the last words of a dying black man in Minneapolis.  It is the symbolic position of all people of color and many others of various races, nationalities, and ethnicities who we have been left behind in the American Dream. David Bolt Yes, George Floyd’s death was tragic and reprehensible, at the least. But to allow this intolerable...

Billy Reed: Finally, at long last, Jefferson Davis’ statue out of Rotunda. Bring on Muhammad Ali

So the statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, finally is being removed from the rotunda of the Kentucky state capital building. Gov. Andy Beshear made the announcement on Thursday, June 12, giving credit to the Historic Properties Advisory Commission for acting “pursuant to my request.” I had to smile because on June 6, 2016, in a column for a Louisville television website, I...

Daily Yonder: In historic First, protests spread to more than 3,000 towns across United States

By John W. Miller Special to KyForward As one of the only black kids growing up in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania (pop. 5,800), 21-year-old Chris Dyson kept a low profile. But when he saw protests over the murder of George Floyd sweep through American cities this month, he decided it was time to step up. He got on Snapchat and announced he was leading a protest in the western Pennsylvania town against...

Billy Reed: Racism has to stop now. What’s wrong with us? What can we cure this insidious disease?

“…I have a dream that the day will come when my four little children will live in a nation where they are judged not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character…” The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. August 28, 1963 It sounded as simple and right then as it still does now....

Bill Straub: Trump doubles down on congresswomen of color who ARE already where they belong

“This country is a hellhole. We are going down fast.” — Donald J. Trump, Fox News, May 20, 2015 Enough. Enough already. President Donald J. Trump, better known in these parts as President Extremely Stable Genius, appears to be morphing into Lester Maddox, telling a quartet of progressive Democratic congresswomen with darker skin than his own that they should return to whence they came if...

Bill Straub: You can look it up or take a stand, but words do speak for themselves. Figure it out.

You may have heard, it’s been in all the papers, that the president of these United States, one Donald J. Trump, recently referred to many if not all nations on the African continent as shitholes, throwing poor, old Haiti and El Salvador into the discussion to boot, while expressing a desire to attract more folks to our shores from Norway, a rather nice but cold spot on the globe that is known for,...