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International Center of Photography and Black Press Freedom Fund create grants for Black photojournalists; Kazuo Ishiguro announces new novel

Kazuo Ishiguro. Photo: Jeff Cottenden

The International Center of Photography and the Black Press Freedom Fund are working together to offer grants for personal protective equipment to Black photojournalists who are documenting the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests. “There are an incredible number of talented, gifted, and brave black storytellers on the frontlines, many of whom are risking their personal safety to document the historic protests currently taking place over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless other Black Americans who have suffered police brutality and systemic racism in the United States,” the group said in a statement. They are also accepting donations to the fund.

Kazuo Ishiguro is writing a new novel. Klara and the Sun, which follows an “Artificial Friend” on her search for a human companion, will be published by Knopf in March.

Oprah has selected James McBride’s Deacon King Kong as her next book club pick.

LGBTQ+ writers and artists talk to the New York Times about how they’ve coped with COVID-19 lockdown and what effects social distancing has had on their work. Artist Kimberly Drew said that starting a daily newsletter helped her during quarantine. “I really want to make sure that people feel connected to the arts — there’s a great need for that in a pandemic,” she said. “I publish it every day with an artwork that has in some way brought joy or curiosity into my life.”

“At their best, true crime podcasts serve as a check against oversimplified TV crime narratives, drawing back the curtain on systemic abuses of power. But that means pushing away from the bingeable formula: the reassuring, familiar story of a good victim, an evil suspect, a case closed,” writes Charley Locke about how true crime podcasts can mislead listeners on the efficacy of the criminal justice system. “Solving a whodunit might offer a satisfying answer, but in the American criminal justice system, it’s not the right question to ask.”

Columbia Journalism Review copy editor Mike Laws and staff writer Alexandria Neason explain why the journal capitalizes Black and why other publications should consider doing so. “It is a kind of orthographic injustice to lowercase the B: to do so is to perpetuate the iniquity of an institution that uprooted people from the most ethnically diverse place on the planet, systematically obliterating any and all distinctions regarding ethnicity and culture,” Laws writes. “In the absence of the identifiable ethnicities slavery stole from those it subjugated, Black is what’s left as an ethnic designation for their descendants.”

For The Baffler, Jacob Silverman looks at the trend of policing tech manufacturers sending out messages of support for Black Lives Matter. “There is simply no way that a company like Axon can become ‘actively anti-racist,’ unless it decides to shut down entirely,” he writes of the statement put out by the company that makes Tasers. “The people marching and risking police assault don’t need late-to-the-party statements of support from companies that exploit their workers and, in the case of Axon, profit directly from the carceral system.”