We were truly thrilled to have the gracious and graceful Misty Copeland in #nerdland today, leaving us all dreaming of being ballet dancers. Your first homework assignment is to get Kristen Hall and Anne Kennedy’s "Ballerina Girl," and read it to a child -- whether they be your own, a niece, a neighbor, or kids at a local school, girl or boy.
Daniel Gross lit up #nerdland with his claim that America is actually better off today than in the past two decades. Read his provocative piece, "Myth Of Decline: U.S. Is Stronger and Faster Than Anywhere Else" and his similarly-themed new book, "Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline...and the Rise of a New Economy."
We highlighted the case of Florida mother Marissa Alexander, who faces 20 years in prison for (it seems) firing a bullet into the ceiling to stop an attack from her abusive husband. That led to a discussion about the laws affecting domestic violence survivors when they finally try to stand their ground. To learn more about the complex and difficult issues of violence and the law, read Sokoloff and Pratt’s edited volume, "Domestic Violence at the Margins: Readings on Race, Class, Gender, and Culture," and Silja Talvi’s heartbreaking stories in "Women Behind Bars: The Crisis of Women in the U.S. Prison System." For my footnote I mounted a defense of race and ethnic studies programs. Read more about the complex history of these programs in Noliwe Rooks’ "White Money/Black Power: The Surprising History of African American Studies and the Crisis of Race and Higher Education."
And of course, don’t forget to visit "MHP" guest Kathleen Hall Jamieson’s new project, FlackCheck.org, a website that by its own description,
...uses parody and humor to debunk false political advertising, poke fun at extreme language, and hold the media accountable for their reporting on political campaigns.
Check out the site, and get your truth on! Happy reading, and I'll see you next week.