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Jeff Chang gets real about race relations in America

East Bay Express

The current unrest after police shootings of unarmed black men means the battle for racial justice is far from over. Jeff Chang is a journalist, cultural critic, and the head of the Institute for Diversity in the Arts at Stanford. In his new book, Who We Be: The Colorization of America, he argues that the myth of multiculturalism has in some ways silenced a real conversation about racial disparity in America. KALW’sSandhya Dirks sat down with Chang to talk about his new book, current protests over police shootings, and how to begin a conversation about race in America today.

JEFF CHANG: If that was our revolution and hip-hop was also our revolution, then why is it we’re at the same spot today? Like we’ve won. We’re in a culturally de-segregated world, right? Diddy’s a superstar, Jay-Z and Beyonce are everywhere; everybody agrees with me that they are amazing -- well maybe not everybody! And yet at the same time you can still have a Michael Brown, a Tamir Rice, and Eric Garner happen.

Click the audio player above to listen to the interview.

Sandhya got her start as a reporting fellow at KALW, working on award winning radio documentaries about crime and justice and education in Oakland. She reported on the 2012 presidential election in Iowa, for Iowa Public Radio, where she also covered diversity and mental health issues.