Racism | New Hampshire Public Radio


Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man who was shot by police in Wisconsin last month, spoke from his hospital bed about the pain of recovery and his hope for the future in a video posted to Twitter by his attorney on Saturday.

Christina Phillips

More than 1,000 students and alumni from Concord High School are asking officials to condemn racism in the school district.  

Oscar Villacis

Two weeks after Nashua radio station WSMN fired a host over a racist Facebook video, a Nashua man is raising funds to start his own show at the station focused on the experience of first generation Americans.

Oscar Villacis had wanted to start a podcast highlighting the experiences of minority communities in Nashua since last year.

In an essay in last week’s Boston Globe magazine called “Growing Up Black in All The Wrong Places,” Jonathan Jackson tells the story of growing up as a Black man in New Hampshire. He writes that people are often surprised to find out he grew up in a state that, when he was younger, was one percent Black.

A host at a Nashua radio station has lost her show over a racist Facebook video. WSMN radio fired Dianna Ploss after the video she posted, showing her accosting Spanish-speaking workers, went viral.

Facebook - All Eyes on UNH

When Elza Brechbuhl realized that the University of New Hampshire, where she is a junior and triple major in communications, women and documentary studies, wasn’t holding a peaceful protest for The Black Lives Matter movement, she decided to take action.

She gathered friends together and made a Facebook page for the event that took place on June 7, and soon, around 800 UNH students and members of the Durham community came together on the Sunday afternoon.

Conversations About Race With Young Children

Jun 22, 2020

As books about systemic racism rise to the top of best seller lists, and calls for action against  oppression and daily microaggressions dominate social media, we talk about the effective ways to have conversations with children about race, and how those conversations look different based on a child's own race and personal background. 

Air date: Monday, June 22, 2020.

Christina Phillips/NHPR

Black activists, allies, and Manchester community members gathered Thursday night outside the YWCA to listen to youth voices speak about their experiences with racism in New Hampshire. 

Allison Quantz | NHPR

Dartmouth College will replace the weather vane that sits at the top of its main library. Students and alumni petitioned Dartmouth to take down the weather vane, which they said depicted racist stereotypes of Native Americans.

Related story: Darmouth's 'Hovey Murals' at center of reckoning with college's 'Indian charity' past.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

This past weekend saw more demonstrations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in several New Hampshire communities, including Plymouth, Rochester and Peterborough. For many, the rallies are providing forums to discuss the need for concrete, local change amid the national debate over racism and police violence.

Mayor Marty Walsh on Friday declared racism a public health crisis in Boston. To tackle the emergency, Walsh said he will reallocate $3 million of the department's overtime budget to public health. Walsh said the decision comes after he listened to Black people — both in the Black Lives Matter movement and in his life — who shared with him "how racism shapes lives and hurts communities."

Design by Chelsea Connor and Sheridan Alford

Outside/In is a show about the natural world and how we use it – but access to nature is not equal.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Leaders in Manchester, including Mayor Joyce Craig, are calling for two of the city's aldermen to resign after reportedly making racist statements on Facebook.

A local Black Lives Matter organizer says Alderman-At-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur called him a derogatory slur in a private message.


Saturday's protests in Manchester drew as many as a thousand people. Black Lives Matter of Manchester helped organize the peaceful demonstration, which gathered in Veterans Park.

NHPR's All Things Considered host Peter Biello interviewed Ronelle Tshiela, a local organizer who spoke Saturday in New Hampshire's largest city.

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

Protests in cities across the U.S. and in New Hampshire are turning the focus to the often fraught relationship between law enforcement and communities of color.

Sean Locke is director of the state's Civil Rights Unit in the Attorney General's Office, where he works on some of these issues.  

(Below is a lightly edited transcript of this interview.)

Sean Locke, thank you for speaking with me.

Thank you.

Courtesy of Carisa Corrow


The Merrimack Valley High School's use of a former mascot - a Native American man with a headdress - is causing controversy once again. 

The school got rid of the mascot 15 years ago amidst heated debate, responding to concerns that the image was offensive. The image has returned in the last two years on banners, walls, and the gym floor, as Merrimack Valley High School celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Editor's note: This is the second story in a two-part series. Click here to read part one

We heard yesterday about a family who left the Hampton school district this past spring, saying school officials mishandled their daughter's reports that she was bullied for being black. 

Hampton administrators say they didn't break any rules. But for the past couple years, they've been trying to improve their policies around diversity and equity. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Editor's note: This is the first story in a two-part series. Here is part two

The schools in Hampton are in the midst of debate over how to handle racism and prejudice. 

The issue came into focus earlier this year, when the white parents of a black third-grader said school officials had mishandled their reports of racist bullying. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Hampton residents are talking about how their public schools can do a better job handling prejudice.

About 50 people, most of them white, came out to a listening session held by the local school district Monday night.

Superintendent Kathleen Murphy says Hampton has been working toward a meeting like this for more than a year. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The national office of the NAACP will investigate recent incidents of alleged racism in Dover and Hampton public schools, according to local officials with the civil rights group.

Seacoast NAACP president Rogers Johnson said at their monthly branch meeting Monday night that the organization’s national leadership in Washington, D.C. is having him write up the details of each situation for further review.

Hampton school officials have rejected a local family’s request for tuition reimbursement after allegations of racist bullying.

The family says their daughter, who is black, was bullied for her race by other students in her third-grade class.

The parents say the school district didn’t do enough to respond. They transferred their daughter to a private school in Massachusetts last month.

They asked the Hampton school board to help cover their new tuition with a reimbursement of the district's per-pupil cost, under what’s called a manifest hardship designation.



Boston Public Schools and the University of New Hampshire are investigating who's responsible for sending a racist image to some high school students about to perform at a regional jazz festival.

NECN reports Boston Arts Academy Headmaster Anne Clark sent a letter to students' families saying students "were subjected to disturbing incident of racism" at the Clark Terry UNH Jazz Festival in Durham, New Hampshire, on Saturday.

Dover School District

The Dover High School teacher at the center of an uproar over a recent racist incident in the classroom will keep his job.

John Carver gave the class assignment late last year that led Dover students to sing racist lyrics to the tune of Jingle Bells. It was caught on video, and Carver was put on paid leave while the district investigated.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Around 200 Seacoast-area residents met Wednesday night to talk about their community’s relationship to race and stereotypes.

The forum was part of the district’s response to a video that surfaced last month of Dover High School students singing racist lyrics to the tune of Jingle Bells as part of a class assignment. 

Dover School District

Dover residents can delve into their experiences with racism and stereotypes at a forum at the city's high school tonight.

The district organized the discussion in the wake of an uproar over a video posted late last year, showing an incident of what the district called "extreme racial insensitivity.”  

We revisit our top shows of 2018. Author Debby Irving's memoir, "Waking Up White" serves as inspiration for New Hampshire's Oyster River community, as it reflects on tough questions about race and tolerance.  The discussions come after incidents revealing discrimination and racism, in an area where many believed they had the best intentions.  We examine how a state like New Hampshire, that is mostly white, fits into the national narrative of racial strife, now and in the past.

This rebroadcast will air on Thursday, December 27th at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.


A video posted on social media last week which shows Dover High School students singing a song about the Ku Klux Klan to the melody of "Jingle Bells" was the subject of more than two hours of testimony from residents Monday evening.  

The hearing was moved to the school's auditorium to accommodate the more than 100 people who attended.

During emotional statements, friends and family members of John Carver - the teacher who was supervising during the incident - spoke to his good standing in the community.

Teacher Placed on Leave Over KKK-themed Holiday Jingle

Dec 5, 2018


The teacher for a class in New Hampshire in which students were videotaped singing about the Ku Klux Klan to the tune of "Jingle Bells" has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Dover Superintendent William Harbron told Foster's Daily Democrat Tuesday that putting John Carver on leave will allow school officials to fully investigate what happened.

Cellphone footage surfaced over the weekend of the students singing, "KKK, KKK, Let's kill all the blacks," in class at Dover High School.

Dover School District

The Dover School District says it is investigating an incident of what it's calling "extreme racial insensitivity" at Dover High School.

A video posted on social media shows students singing a song about the Ku Klux Klan and violence against African Americans to the melody of "Jingle Bells." It was part of an assignment for an 11th grade history class.

William Harbron is Superintendent with the school district.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Students from across the state convened at Manchester Community College over the weekend for the state's first Youth Forum on Race and Racism.

The gathering, organized by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Hampshire, was meant to help students develop plans for addressing issues of race and racism at their schools.