Wednesday, January 23, 2008

MBP of the Week: San Francisco Chronicle

To the long list of things that bluesmen and rappers share in common, add this: susceptibility to the Misidentified Black Person syndrome.

See the picture above? The white guy is Chris Strachwitz, founder of the wonderful folk-music label Arhoolie Records.

San Francisco Chronicle music writer Joel Selvin recently profiled Mr. Strachwitz.

Now, can you name that Negro?

At first, the Chronicle said it was Lightnin’ Hopkins. But it’s not.

The following correction was published on Sunday:

“The Jan. 13 edition of the Chronicle Magazine misidentified a person in a photograph caption on page 12. It is Mississippi Fred McDowell standing to the left of Chris Strachwitz.”

Funny thing is, the San Francisco Chronicle website still captions that photo “Hopkins and Strachwitz in Houston.”

For the record: It is McDowell and Strachwitz in Como, Mississippi.


Mes Deux Cents said...


This doesn't surprise me; the Chronicle exists in a vacuum.

In the San Francisco area White people are a minority and yet the San Francisco Chronicle is amazingly White.

Even though I live in the area, I NEVER read the Chronicle. Not even when someone leaves it behind on the bus in the morning.

Naomi Jones said...

This is nothing nothing new. When they don't care about us they mis-name or leave us unnamed. When they are afraid of us they'll associated our name with a threat (as in CNN's labeling of "Where's Obama" under the face of Bin Laden).

This happens all the time.

Undercover Black Man said...

MDC: I wish the Chronicle was the only paper that made this kind of mistake. But like Naomi Jones says, this happens throughout the mainstream media.