Kim Pearson

I started out as a wee child with a love of magazines -- the old fashioned magazines with really good writing, such as Saturday Review or really powerful photoessays, such as Look., and of course, Ebony Because it was the 60s, and I was a little urban black girl from a working-class family with middle-class aspirations, these magazines were in our homes, and public affairs show were constantly on our television. I started writing essays when I was eight years old and thought that one day I would be like James Baldwin, facing down William F. Buckley and cutting him to quick with my rhetorical brilliance. This of course was after I inferred that becoming an astronaut was probably out of the question (which I why I cried when Mae Jemison went up on the space shuttle.) Well, I never wrote for Norman Cousins, but I have written for a bunch of other magazines, and while I didn't become an astronaut, I have been a science writer. In addition, I teach writing for journalism and interactive multimedia at The College of New Jersey.I used to blog at Professor Kim's News Notes; now I write about my research at KimPearson.net. In my BlogHer posts for the law and journalism/media sections, I'm likely to pick up on issues involving civil rights, civil liberties the evolving business trends in the media business. I'm also interested in how members of under-represented groups gain access to the public square. Enough about me -- I look forward to your ideas, critiques and leads!

How Parents and Teachers Should Teach Children About Slavery

[Editor's Note: Is the history of slavery in America something that can be taught in elementary schools? I wish there were a simple answer for that. In two separate incidents during the past month -- in Georgia and New York -- public school teachers have been in the news for assigning math problems which flippantly mentioned slaves, asking children to do arithmetic involving beatings, whippings, and deaths. And the most ironic part? February is Black History Month. ...more
I am a parent of a 4 year old and her pre-school class has been learning about slavery as part ...more

What's Missing in the Feminist Debate Over Michelle Obama?

Just before Barack Obama's second inaugural last week, an article appeared in the Style section of the Washington Post bearing the headline, "Four years later, feminists split by Michelle Obama's 'work' as first lady." In the article, veteran reporter Lonnae O'Neall Parker presented evidence of a racial divide among feminists over Michelle Obama's adoption of the sobriquet "Mom-In-Chief," as well as her adoption ...more

The Ethics of Publishing "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother"

If you have access to US social media, you've probably seen the blog post, "Thinking the Unthinkable," at least once since last Friday's horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Its author, Anarchist Soccer Mom (hereinafter referred to as "ASM"), shares harrowing episodes of life with her gifted but mentally ill 13-year-old son, and her frustrations with a failing mental health system. ...more
@velocitee101 Your information is outdated.  Andrew Wakefield's work was vindicated and the ...more

Protect Your Voting Rights on November 6

As I write this, millions of people in the US and Caribbean are struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy. While some people are searching for missing loved ones, burying their dead, and trying to pump millions of gallons of seawater out of subway tunnels, U.S. election officials are trying to ensure that next Tuesday's presidential election will occur as planned, and that absentee and early voting ballots will get counted. ...more
Thank you both for your comments. Yes, Maria, it does seem that we are being forced to defend ...more

Poll Pegs Black Support for Romney at Zero Percent

Pollwatchers nation-wide did a double-take Tuesday after reports of an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey pegged African American support for that Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney at 0 percent, versus 94 percent for Pres. Barack Obama. The telephone survey queried 1000 registered voters and included about 110 black respondents. Romney also trailed Obama with among women, Hispanics and voters under 35....more
Thanks to all of you for the vigorous discussion. @Terri and @Laura - I'd love to dialogue with ...more

Sally Ride, First American Woman in Space, Dies at 61

America's first woman in space, physicist Sally Ride, died today at her home in California at the age of 61 after a bout with pancreatic cancer, according to news reports. President Obama expressed sadness and admiration for "a national hero and a powerful role model" in a brief statement. NASA administrator Charles Bolden praised the woman who "literally changed the face of America's space program."...more
I really, really, really want a t-shirt with her picture on it that says Ride, Sally Ride. She ...more

I Marched for the Martin Luther King Holiday

Early on the crisp, clear morning of January 15, 1981, I boarded a bus in Princeton, New Jersey bound for a demonstration in Washington, DC to make the birthdate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. a national holiday. Via the Associated Press, the New York Times reported the next day that about 15,000 of us  "walked along Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol the Washington Monument, carrying signs that read, 'Let's make this day a day of celebration - Happy Birthday to Martin Luther King' and 'I Have a Dream - for Peace.'" ...more
@edavis Thanks so much!more

Hillary Clinton's Next Act: Making Half the World's Leaders Women

The Women in Public Service Project, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's new initiative to shepherd a new generation of women into politics and policymaking around the globe, could prove to be the most significant public diplomacy move since the Kennedy Administration launched the Peace Corps fifty years ago. ...more
Thank you so much, Kim, for drawing attention to this very important effort.  Secretary Clinton ...more

With Its "Occupy" Coverage, Has Storify Become the "Backbone of News?"

About 15 years ago, the late legal scholar and civil rights attorney Derrick Bell published an allegorical tale about an uprising among women across the US that took the form of a mass simultaneous street performance of the electric slide....more

A Rough-Hewn Kind of Beauty

Some months ago, a phone conversation with my BlogHer colleague Rita Arens turned toward my experience of having ankylosing spondylitis, an arthritic condition that froze my spine over the course of 30 years, first into a ramrod pole and now into a shepherd's crook. With her encouragement, I jabbered on about how, along the way, I've loved and lost, borne and raised two children, managed a career and had bi-lateral hip replacements - two surgeries - a week apart, followed by single doses of radiation. Then Rita suggested that my story would be a good addition to the "Own Your Beauty" series.That shut me up....more
Dear Kim, Chris Miller from SAA here. We would love to publish this post / your story in its ...more