Each week, members of the WFPL news team spotlight interesting stories we’ve read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:
Gabe Bullard: The Paul Harvey “God Made a Farmer” pickup truck Super Bowl Ad (isn’t that the title of a Tom Wolfe book?) is now famous. It’s certainly stirring. But Alan Guebert at the Daily Yonder points out that it’s not entirely accurate. Read It Takes a Myth to Sell a Myth.
Laura Ellis: Shortly after we finished our Defining Fairness series last spring, we were invited by Humana’s LGBTQ employee group to their screening of Gen Silent. The film was powerful and eye-opening; it looked at older LGBTQ folks, many of whom had once been on the front lines of the gay rights movement, and who were now, in many cases, living in poverty. These folks came out at a time when they were even more likely to be rejected by their families, and lots of them are now aging without any family support. Additionally, they’re largely unable to receive spousal benefits like social security upon widowhood, and sometimes are kept apart from lifelong partners by hospitals and nursing homes. It’s a sad situation that will come more to the forefront as our general population ages. So this piece caught my eye, because it adds the extra layer of race on top of the existing disenfranchisement of being a senior LGBTQ citizen. Read Black LGBT Elders Face History of Isolation.
Devin Katayama: First read The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools, an op-ed in the New York Times that features the Union City, NJ community and how the public education system there has turned around its student success. Union City is a poor community with a majority of residents living in Spanish speaking homes. But it has improved early childhood education and focuses cognitive and non-cognitive development. It’s a success story. Then read School Turnarounds are Predictably Rare, an op-ed in Education Week. Author Walt Gardner spent 28 years as a teacher and says while the story of Union City is nice, but he says, “I think he overstates the possibilities for national school reform.” While we talk about turning around local public schools in Louisville, perhaps both approaches will be necessary. Read The Secret to Fixing Bad Schools and School Turnarounds are Predictably Rare.
Joseph Lord: You aren’t your parents, it’s true. But what if your parents—or an uncle or other relation—did something remarkably, historically horrible. Like, were prominent Nazis? A new documentary called Hitler’s Children explores this question, and this story in The Atlantic does a tidy summary of how people deal with carrying deplored names. Read The Descendants or Murderers.