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This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Howard Bryant, a senior writer for ESPN and the author of nine books, including Full Dissidence: Notes From an Uneven Playing Field and The Heritage: Black Athletes, A Divided America, and the Politics of Patriotism. Bryant shares how his experiences as a student, baseball fan, and sportswriter growing up in 1970s-era Boston have shaped his understanding of race relations and sports. He discusses celebrated American athletes who have broken barriers, from Jackie Robinson and Celtics legend Bill Russell to the Williams sisters and Tiger Woods. Bryant describes how these pioneering athletes were treated, and how they handled their celebrity status. He also offers thoughts on how the multi-billion-dollar professional sports industry is addressing larger racial disparities.
Stories of the Week: In San Francisco, a recall election ousted three members of the Board of Education, after a period of remote learning challenges, controversial school renaming process, admissions policy changes, and other issues. Democratic strategists are raising concerns about their party’s weak positioning on education issues, which will likely continue to play a major role in this election cycle.