This year, Hair Love, a story about a black girl and her dad navigating natural hairstyles, won the Oscar for animated short and three beauty pageant winners wore natural hairstyles under their crowns. But as more and more people step out into the world celebrating their natural hair, they are also being met with school and workplace dress codes that punish them under the auspice of "professionalism." Hair discrimination is a form of racial discrimination, but judges have been hesitant to say so because unlike skin color, people can change their hairstyles. But should they have to?
On this episode of At Liberty, we speak with Mya and Deanna Cook, two students who faced and fought hair discrimination in their school and Ria Tabacco Mar, director of the ACLU's Women's Rights Project.
For more, follow us on Twitter @ACLU and @EmersonSJSykes.
The Regulation of Marriage and Sex
This Valentine's Day, we're re-running one of our favorite episodes. Melissa Murray, NYU Law professor and expert on the legal regulation of sex and sexuality joins us to discuss the legal institution of marriage as it has been used by and against marginalized people, and to consider the victories and setbacks in the fight for marriage – and non-marriage – equality.
Land, Language, and Lifeways: What Native Americans Lost
The Supreme Court will soon hear arguments in a case that will decide whether nearly half of Oklahoma is legally an Indian Reservation. The Court’s decision could have massive implications for tribal sovereignty and subsequently, many other Native issues that are impacted by jurisdictional power. Our guest this week is Rebecca Nagle, an activist, writer, artist, and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, whose Crooked Media narrative podcast, “This Land” explains the process by which native people in Oklahoma lost their land and the court case that could help restore it. This live discussion took place at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Night of Philosophy and Ideas.
For more follow:
Rebecca Nagle: @RebeccaNagle
Emerson Sykes: @EmersonSJSykes
Harnessing History and Solidarity to Stop Migrant Detention
The U.S. has a long history of detaining and incarcerating communities of color under the auspice of protecting its national security. Today, on Korematsu Day, we honor and celebrate the legacy of those who stood up against the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. On this episode, we speak with Linda Morris, an ACLU fellow and a descendant of Japanese American prisoners incarcerated in U.S. camps during WWII, who is engaging her own family history to stand in solidarity with immigrants currently detained by ICE.
Looking for more? Follow us: @ACLU and @EmersonSJSykes on Twitter.
Fighting for Justice After Execution
In 2017, Arkansas announced a plan to execute eight people in 10 days because the state’s lethal injection drugs were about to expire. The first person executed was Ledell Lee. He was convicted of the 1993 murder of Debra Reese and sentenced to death. But his trials and appeals were plagued by problems from the start. DNA and fingerprints found at the scene of the crime were never tested before his execution, and new analysis from the nation’s top forensic experts provides strong reason to believe he may have been innocent. Cassandra Stubbs, Director of ACLU’s Capital Punishment Project, joins the podcast to discuss a new lawsuit the ACLU is filing to finally uncover DNA evidence that could potentially exonerate Lee.