ARP Tuesday Links

Houston-area school bars boy for adhering to Native American cultural practice:

The parents of a kindergartener in Fort Bend County are fighting for his right to have long hair in school. They say it’s about freedom of religion. The Needville Independent School District says it needs proof.

When Adriel Arocha, 5, was born, his father, Kenney, vowed to teach him his heritage.

“We feel that it’s important to raise him as Native American until he’s able to make a choice,” said Kenny.

And part of that heritage meant he would not cut his son’s hair, believing hair holds spiritual meaning. Read more…

The Times They Are A-Changin’ in Nantucket:

NANTUCKET – Hydrangeas still bloom beside cedar-shingle homes, and yachts continue to bob beyond private beaches, but this old preserve of the rich and primped is undergoing a change unlike anything it has witnessed in the centuries since English explorers established the island as a whaling port.

Evidence of the change is at El Rincon Salvadoreño, the island’s first restaurant catering to Latinos, at the newly expanded Star Brazil market off the road to the airport, and at the Island Flair clothing store opened two years ago by a Jamaican couple just off Main Street.

In the Nantucket School District, where a decade ago more than 95 percent of the students were white, 25 percent of this year’s nearly 1,300 students are members of a minority group and 10 percent grew up speaking another language.

And then there is the Rev. Donovan Kerr’s growing New Life Ministries church, which on Sundays attracts as many as 150 congregants, nearly all of them black or Hispanic.

“We represent the other side of Nantucket,” said Kerr, who founded his ministry six years ago with six congregants and recently bought land to build a church. “We represent the changes.” Read more…

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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek,, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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