Black Lives Matter, Reopening, Pride Month: Your Weekend Briefing

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Here are the week’s top stories, and a look ahead

1. Calls for racial justice have touched seemingly every aspect of American life.

The killing of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes despite pleas that he could not breathe, prompted institutions and individuals to confront enduring forms of racial discrimination. Above, protesters in Louisville, Ky.

From Merriam-Webster revisiting its entry on racism to the swift resignations of major figures in business and entertainment, what started as a renewed demand for police reform has become a country’s awakening. And all in less than three weeks.

But those who have been in the trenches for decades fighting racism in America wonder how long the soul searching will last. The police killing of Michael Brown in 2014 resulted in widespread protests and calls for change, and yet the outcry did not result in fundamental police reform.

2. A black man died after a white police officer shot him at a Wendy’s in Atlanta on Friday night, prompting the resignation of the city’s police chief and more protests.

The authorities said the man, Rayshard Brooks, 27, had run from the police after failing a sobriety test and taking an officer’s Taser during a struggle with him. Video appeared to show that Mr. Brooks had fired the Taser toward the officer, who was chasing Mr. Brooks before he was killed.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she did “not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force.”

Mr. Brooks now joins the list of names chanted by protesters around the country, a movement that has spread to all 50 states in more than 2,000 cities and towns. More than 250 photos from the protests show how far the Black Lives Matter movement has reached in the last few weeks.

3. President Trump, bowing to pressure, is delaying a rally in Tulsa, Okla., planned for Juneteenth, a holiday commemorating the end of slavery.

The Trump campaign’s decision to hold a rally on June 19 — the date in 1865 when enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas, learned from Union soldiers that they were free — in Tulsa, the site of one of the country’s deadliest outbreaks of racist violence, generated sharp criticism. The rally will take place a day later.

Mr. Trump opaquely alluded to the recent national reckoning over race in a commencement address to the United States Military Academy at West Point on Saturday, above.

Separately, the Trump administration finalized a rule that erases transgender civil rights protections in health care. The move came on the four-year anniversary of the Pulse nightclub massacre.


4. The warning that echoed ominously for weeks is becoming a reality: Once states begin to reopen, a surge in coronavirus cases will follow.

Thousands of Americans have been sickened by the virus in new outbreaks, particularly in the Sun Belt and the West. As of Friday, coronavirus cases were climbing in 22 states amid reopenings. Arizona, Texas and Florida are reporting their highest case numbers yet.

California and Washington have reopened in a more incremental way, but have still seen an uptick in cases. Outdoor dining in San Francisco, above, began on Friday. Here’s where cases are rising the fastest.

Brazil now has the world’s second-highest toll after the U.S., with at least 42,720 deaths from the virus. Experts say its president’s embrace of unproven remedies is partly to blame.


5. The search for Joe Biden’s running mate is ramping up.

Mr. Biden’s advisers have been in touch with roughly a dozen women — the most diverse set of possible vice-presidential candidates in history — and some eight or nine are already being vetted more intensively.

Among the contenders: Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin; as well as Representative Val Demings of Florida and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, who have recently grown in prominence.

Mr. Biden, pictured earlier this week, is facing pressure to find someone who represents a racial, geographic, generational and ideological balance — a nearly impossible task.


6. “Harry Potter” fans are reimagining a world without its creator, J.K. Rowling.

Part of the fandom is trying to separate themselves from the author after she took aim at an article that referred to “people who menstruate.” Fans, the series’ film stars and L.G.B.T.Q. groups called out her comments as being anti-transgender.

“We created the magic and community in that fandom,” one fan said. “That is ours to keep.”

Ms. Rowling’s comments came during a Pride Month with an increased focus on the voices of the black L.G.B.T.Q. community. And while Pride events may look and feel very different this year, many are still happening. Here are some of the most notable, with details on when and how to tune in.


7. A race in Homestead, Fla., today will be the first since NASCAR banned the Confederate flag from flying at its events.

But some fans are furious at Darrell Wallace Jr., above, the sole African-American driver in the group’s top racing series, who fought for the ban in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. They view the Confederate flag as part of their Southern heritage — not a symbol of racism — and an integral part of the sport.

We also spoke to Tommie Smith, whose iconic protest alongside John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics shined a light on racial inequality. He talked about today’s protests, Colin Kaepernick and what needs to happen now.


8. Robert Frank crossed America by car in 1947 search of broader horizons. What he found fascinated and disturbed him.

“That trip I got to like black people so much more than white people,” he told The Times Magazine in 2015.

He selected “Trolley — New Orleans,” above, for the cover of his eye-opening book of 83 photographs, “The Americans,” published in 1959. The photograph is all about division, and each portrait within the composition tells its own story. We broke it down frame by frame.


10. And finally, our Best Weekend Reads.

A centuries-old Sikh tradition meets a skyrocketing need for food aid, Bob Dylan on his new album and mortality, and free land programs in surreal places like Talkeetna, Alaska, above, are among the great stories we have this week.

For more ideas on what to read, watch and listen to, may we suggest these 12 new books our editors liked, a glance at the latest small-screen recommendations from Watching, and our music critics’ latest playlist.

Our Opinion section asked readers to tell us about a recent dream. Here are 20 favorites.

Have a vivid week.


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