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Europeans' White Skin Came Later Than Thought

Study suggests trait emerged about 8K years ago

(Newser) - Science notes that Europe is often thought of as the "ancestral home of white people." But a new DNA study suggests that pale skin and other traits we associate with the continent may have emerged only within the last 8,000 years—a "relatively recent" occurrence.... More »

In Southern Genes, 'Black' and 'White' Get a Little Gray

Many white people have black ancestry, vice versa

(Newser) - A simple cheek swab can reveal a lot about your DNA, and for 6 million Americans who identify as white, mostly in the South, that swab has revealed African ancestry hidden in their genes, the Washington Post reports. One in 10 Southerners have at least 1% African origins, and the... More »

75% of White People Have Zero Minority Friends

Average white person with 100 friends has 1 black friend, survey notes

(Newser) - Three-quarters of white Americans lack any minority friends, a survey finds: Their social networks, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, are "entirely white." The average white person with 100 friends, meanwhile, would have a single black friend, a single Latino friend, one Asian friend, and one mixed-race... More »

In Census, 2.5M Hispanics Change Race to White

Shift follows pattern of Irish, Italian immigrants

(Newser) - The racial make-up of America is changing—even among individual Americans. Census forms reveal that a larger proportion of Americans of Hispanic origin are declaring themselves to be white, for a net shift of 1.2 million between 2000 and 2010, the New York Times finds. Some 2.5 million... More »

Wild Race Runs Around One NYC Block—for 52 Days

The 3,100-mile race requires runners to loop block 5,649 times

(Newser) - It almost defies belief: A dozen runners are in the midst of a race that will take them around a single Queens, NY, block ... 5,649 times. That makes it a 3,100-mile race or, in this case, "spiritual journey." The event began June 16, and participants have... More »

Case Against Zimmerman No Piece of Cake for DOJ

Feds would have to prove shooting was racially motivated

(Newser) - Amid protests and a push from the NAACP , the Justice Department is looking into the prosecution of George Zimmerman on criminal civil rights grounds—but that would be a genuinely tough case to win, the AP explains. Says a former US attorney: "They'd have to show not only... More »

Coming Soon: Downton's 1st Black Character

Race relations a theme in 4th season

(Newser) - Downton Abbey is delving right into 1920s race relations, according to the Sun , and for the first time, the show is casting a black character. In notes to casting agents, producers say Jack Ross will be "a musician at an exclusive club in the '20s." Aged 25... More »

CNN Host Tricks Opponent of Women in Combat

... into agreeing with segregationist text

(Newser) - CNN host Soledad O'Brien pulled a fast one on noted gender equality foe Kingsley Browne, tricking the professor and author into agreeing with a 1941 quote supporting racial segregation in the military, in a clip spotted by Think Progress . The quote was: More »

ESPN Host: Is QB Griffin a 'Cornball Brother'?

Rob Parker seems to question RGIII's authenticity as an African-American

(Newser) - Robert Griffin III is a young black quarterback for the Redskins who has handled questions about his race with thoughtfulness, writes Dan Steinberg in the Washington Post . "RGIII" doesn't make a big deal of it because he says he wants to be the best quarterback, not the best... More »

Why Working Class Americans Vote Republican

Gary Younge investigates a conundrum that vexes liberals

(Newser) - Nothing frustrates liberals more than poor Republicans. They are, after all, generally voting against their economic self-interests—government dependency is consistently higher in right-leaning counties. "To many liberals, these are turkeys voting for Christmas or lemmings off for a leap," writes Guardian columnist Gary Younge, who set out... More »

Scott Brown Pays Homeless to Be His 'Supporters'

Warren backer shouts racial slur at them

(Newser) - The Scott Brown campaign has admitted that it has been paying homeless people to demonstrate in Boston's working-class Roxbury neighborhood with signs declaring themselves "Obama Supporters for Brown." Benjamin Thomas, the former city elections commissioner running the operation, tells the Boston Herald that these "supporters" are... More »

Super PAC: We'll Hammer Obama With Jeremiah Wright

Plan to hit him where McCain pulled back

(Newser) - Top Republican strategists have devised a plan to "do exactly what John McCain would not let us do" and bombard the public with incendiary Jeremiah Wright soundbites just in time for the Democratic National Convention in September. The plan was commissioned by Chicago Cubs owner Joe Ricketts, who would... More »

Past Decade Sees Biracial Baby Boom

It's a 'ray of hope' for race relations: expert

(Newser) - The number of biracial American babies has zoomed upward during the past decade, according to census data, in what analysts call a positive sign for US race relations. The increase has been driven by more interracial couples as well as more parents choosing to identify their kids as mixed-race, the... More »

Acura Apologizes for 'Not Too Dark' Casting Call

Super Bowl ad guidelines leaked to TMZ

(Newser) - Acura apologized this week over a casting document for its Super Bowl commercial that requested a black actor who is "not too dark." The casting sheet had specified: "Nice Looking, friendly. Not too dark." reports TMZ . An actor angry at being passed over for the commercial,... More »

Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin Pummeled Me

Police say witnesses have corroborated much of his account

(Newser) - Trayvon Martin punched George Zimmerman, climbed on top of him, and banged his head into the sidewalk several times before a bloodied Zimmerman shot and killed him. Or at least, that's what Zimmerman told police in the wake of the shooting, and authorities tell the Orlando Sentinel that witnesses... More »

Mixed-Race Americans Must Identify as Black

Multiracial African Americans, don't leave blacks behind: Thomas Williams

(Newser) - Interracial marriages may be on the rise in America, but with racial problems still so prevalent, mixed-race black people have an "ethical obligation" to identify as black, writes Thomas Chatterton Williams in the New York Times . Williams says he is grateful to live in modern America, where he has... More »

Black Women Heavier, Happier With Bodies

66% of overweight or obese black women report having high self-esteem

(Newser) - Hefty can be heavenly. That seems to be the feeling of many black women. While they tend to be heavier than white women, they're significantly happier with their bodies, a Washington Post /Kaiser Family Foundation survey has discovered. While only 41% of average-sized or thin white women report having... More »

Falling From Favor: The Term 'African American'

Changing tastes have many preferring 'black'—or just 'American'

(Newser) - African Americans are increasingly shunning, well, the very term "African American," with many just preferring "black" amid increasingly complex origins and loyalties, reports the AP . "African American" rose to popularity in the 1980s, thanks in large part of Jesse Jackson's 1988 run for the presidency,... More »

ESPN Turns Michael Vick White

Article and illustration raise a fervor

(Newser) - ESPN the Magazine sent tongues wagging yesterday with a piece entitled “ What if Michael Vick were white? ” that was accompanied by a photoshopped image of Vick sporting a decidedly different complexion than usual. Many were outraged—including the article’s author, Touré. “I asked them not to... More »

Nivea Sorry for Ad Urging Black Guy to 'Re-Civilize'

Parent company says ad inappropriate, offensive

(Newser) - Hey African-American men, does your afro make you feel ... like a savage? Because Nivea for Men seems to be betting that it does. The company is under fire for a new ad bearing the slogan “Re-Civilize Yourself” over an image of a black man holding the head of his... More »

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