Jasmine Baxter

Our names matter: The side effects of own-race bias

Recently, I accepted an invitation for a graduate school visit at a university across country. Everything went reasonably well—the department paid for the hotel, I made fast friends with the doctoral students and I even had a brief (but fruitful) shopping stint downtown.   I thought the trip was shaping up nicely. However, any sense of contentment I experienced was short-lived.   Near the end of my visit, I was mingling with the rest of the recruits in the hallway when I overheard one of the professors say “Briana’s* here, we’re just waiting on Jasmine.”   I stared at him in confusion. Surely, in a room that was majority women, he hadn’t mixed me up with the only...

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Review: Jordan Peele’s “Us”

As hinted in the trailer, Jordan Peele’s sophomore project and newest psychological horror, “Us,” details the story of Adelaide Wilson, a young woman who took a trip to visit her childhood home alongside her husband, son and daughter.   They expected to have a relaxing beachside vacation alongside their friends, but instead, when the night fell, they had to face one of their scariest opponents yet: the tethered souls of their own doppelgängers.   That synopsis, although short, was about as much information as I allowed myself to consume before I could go see the movie on my own.   I ignored what felt like hundreds of article-length spoilers, hot takes and think pieces, but after watching the film, I was finally able to see that it had garnered mixed reviews.   Some people cited lazy writing, unnatural plot twists and...

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Confronting Racism panel hosted in LeBaron

Panelists consisted of UM faculty and Montevallo community members. Photo by Jasmine Baxter “The best way to quiet a room down is to walk in and say ‘today, we’re going to talk about race,’” remarked Dr. Paul Mahaffey as he overlooked the audience that had gathered in LeBaron Recital Hall on March 12.   “People will shut up. That’s the biggest obstacle—to break that silence and to have a two-way dialogue about it, an honest two-way dialogue about it. And that’s a good start, that’s the basis.”  Mahaffey’s comments were an integral part of “Confronting Racism in a Divided Nation,” a panel that sought to find ways to engage in conversations...

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Hallie Farmer lecturer speaks on “legal lynching”

Morrison spoke candidly to the crowd regarding her father’s social justice narrative, which often placed white activists at its center. Photo by Kat Bell “‘Murder on Shades Mountain’ is a book about many things. It is about a historical event in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1931, but it is also about the culture and society that made that event possible, or perhaps I should say, inevitable,” commented UM professor Dr. Eric Vaccarella, referencing the writing of the latest speaker in the Hallie Farmer lecture series, Dr. Melanie Morrison.   “It is also about how those events of nearly 90 years ago resonate...

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A city’s past re-examined: Montevallo partakes in Community Remembrance Project

(Left to right) Kathy King, Debra Harton Love, Kathy Lowe, and Amanda Melcher led the discussion. Photo by Jasmine Baxter “Until very recently, lynching was something I knew about from photographs,” remarked presenter Kathy King as she stood in front of the crowded Pat Scales Special Collection Room. “Like many of you, I’m sure, I would look at them. They were black and white. They were distant. They happened somewhere else.”   She paused there, visibly collecting her thoughts before she began to describe the part Montevallo plays at The National Memorial for Peace and Justice—a monument that commemorates victims of lynching in the United States.   “When you go to Montgomery, if you haven’t been yet, there’s a slide of...

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