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To win, you need to put in the (home)work

This morning in #nerdland, we asked about how racial considerations might impact the re-election of President Obama. We were drawing on the research of Don Kinder and Allison Dale-Riddle, who found compelling evidence that the racial animus of white voters influenced the 2008 election outcome. In "The End of Race? Obama, 2008, and Racial Politics in America," they argue that racial resentment is still a potent political force.

We gave you an update on Trayvon Martin. This case is now in the courts and will work its way through the system. But many of us are still struggling with trying to understand issues of race, justice, and  gun laws in our country. A terrific new article in The Atlantic explores the somewhat surprising history of race and gun control. Read the Atlantic essay from last September, “The Secret History of Guns.”

I was thrilled to invite Kathrine Switzer to the table this morning! She offered important insights and perspectives on Title IX, women and girls in sports, and the potentially bring future we are facing. After weeks of “war on women” conversations, it was really uplifting to hear someone optimistically assess the future of girls. Read more about her life and work in her book, "Marathon Woman." And since women athletes still have a complicated relationship with sports and fitness, especially when it comes to body image, I recommend one of my favorite texts on this topic: "Built to Win: The Female Athlete as Cultural Icon."

In my discussion
of the controversial public art “cake” exhibit in Sweden this week I mentioned the so-called Venus Hottentot. If you don’t know the history of Sara Baartman and her role in world history, read "Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus: A Ghost Story and a Biography" by Clifton Crais and Pamela Scully.

And one last assignment: please read more about our amazing "Foot Soldiers," Bridge the Gulf, and watch today's segment below, after the jump. See you tomorrow morning at 10am! Stay nerdy, my friends.