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Recent PhD Alumnus Tad Suiter on "Reverse Racism," Desegregation of Arlington Schools
Since receiving his PhD in 2016 from the Department of History and Art History, alumnus Tad Suiter has been busy working on two projects related to the history of race in recent America.
He recently published a chapter in the book Race Still Matters: The Reality of African American Lives and the Myth of Post-Racial Society(SUNY Press, 2016). The book is an attempt to debunk the myth that, post-Obama, we have somehow entered a new age when America is a "post-racial society." His chapter, "'Reverse Racism': A Discursive History," looks at the evolution of the phrase "reverse racism" from its initial use as a term used by Black writers and thinkers to discuss issues like bloc voting to its being adopted by white commentators as a term used to critique the Black Power movement, and later, as a racial "dog whistle" for white voters.
Second, Suiter has been working for the last few months for the Arlington Public Library's Center for Local History, as the curator and project manager for Project DAPS: The Desegregation of Arlington Public Schools, an Omeka-powered digital archive and exhibit about the first public school district to desegregate in Virginia. The project features over 400 items, and will soon be populated with an estimated 2,000 items, making it one of the most complete digital archives of desegregation related materials from a single county. The project was recently featured in a story by WAMU.