Texas Standard for Nov. 15, 2023: Tracing the foodways of Black Seminoles

For descendants of Black Seminoles – a group whose members included former slaves and the Seminole native people – finding foodways through Texas and Mexico takes care and intention.

By Texas StandardNovember 15, 2023 9:11 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023:

How Texans in the US House voted on the government shutdown

The federal government was once again set to partially shut down if Congress couldn’t make a deal to keep it funded. And it looked like the House of Representatives under the new leadership of Republican Speaker Mike Johnson might not make a deal by the Friday deadline. But a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans passed the bill yesterday. Now, the U.S. Senate will consider the same stopgap spending measure.

Joseph Morton, a reporter in the Washington, D.C., bureau of the Dallas Morning News, tells us about the role Texans in Congress are playing in the ongoing shutdown saga.

Supreme Court releases ethics guidelines

The Supreme Court issued an ethics code this week; unlike lower courts, the highest court in the land previously did not have formal rules in place addressing the justices’ conduct. The move came after mounting public pressure, in the wake of revelations about undisclosed property deals and gifts to some of the justices.

Milan Markovic, a professor of law at Texas A&M University, joins us with more details about the new code.

DART union fights for better working conditions following bus driver shooting

A bus driver for Dallas Area Rapid Transit was shot and robbed earlier this month at a transit center. It wasn’t the first time a DART worker has been assaulted on the job. But this latest shooting comes as transit workers are negotiating over security, pay and benefits.

KERA’s Pablo Arauz Peña reports.

In Denton, playing Dungeons & Dragons helps slay loneliness and improve mental health

The role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons has filled basements and dining rooms with books, figurines and battle maps for decades. Now, some psychologists are digging into how these games connect people and create space to process tough emotions.

KERA’s Elena Rivera went to a session in Denton.

Indigenous ranchers raising bison in Texas

Before Europeans arrived in North America, the Great Plains were populated by herds of wild bison; the Nature Conservancy estimates about 30 million bison wandered the continent in the 1400s. By the late 1800s though, bison were almost extinct. Through conservation efforts, their numbers rebounded, and now there are around 350,000. As of this fall, there are even more bison in Texas – this time on Indigenous lands.

Alejandra Martinez, who covers the environment for the Texas Tribune, tells us more.

Tracing the foodways of Black Seminoles

Food can showcase connections to history and lineage. For descendants of Black Seminoles – a group whose members included former slaves and the Seminole native people – finding those foodways through Texas and Mexico takes care and intention.

For the Tacos of Texas podcast, host and taco journalist Mando Rayo spoke with their descendants.

How the end of affirmative action could affect diversity in higher education

A Supreme Court ruling earlier this year effectively ended race-based affirmative action programs. The decision overturned two decades of admission policies at colleges and universities, and sparked a discussion about how the change would affect diversity in higher education. A Brookings Institution study has taken a look at those potential impacts.

Sarah Reber, the Brookings researcher who authored the study, speaks with the Standard.

All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.

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