Kai Wright

Kai Wright
Kai Wright
New York, NY

Kai Wright is features editor of The Nation magazine. He was editorial director of Colorlines from 2010 to 2014 and, after that, editor-at-large. His investigative reporting on economic inequity has closely followed by the housing and jobs crises. He is a regular commentator on National Public Radio and in other broadcast media.

Kai is author, most recently, of "Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York." He is also the author of two books of African-American history: "The African American Experience: Black History and Culture Through Speeches, Letters, Editorials, Poems, Songs, and Stories," and "Soldiers of Freedom: An Illustrated History of African Americans in the Armed Forces," which explores America's struggle with race as it has been dramatized by the need to staff a viable military.

You can follow Kai on Twitter at @kai_wright and on Instagram. Check out Kai's media appearances here.

Morning Browse: Confederate Pride Month, Closed Web, Haiti Schools

by Kai Wright on April 7 2010, 8:00AM

There went the Internet. The U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. ruled yesterday that the FCC lacked the authority to fine Comcast for selectively blocking traffic on its broadband network in 2007. Netroots activists have argued that such regulation is…

Topics: News Items

Urban Count in Census Lagging Again — So Far

by Kai Wright on April 2 2010, 9:57AM

If you live in a big city, particularly in a neighborhood full of people of color, you’ve likely been bombarded with Census advertising in recent weeks. Here’s why: Washington has spent a record $14 billion over the past decade…


Tavis Revives the Less Loved, More Anti-War MLK, Jr.

by Kai Wright on March 31 2010, 11:08AM

Tavis Smiley’s up to more than squabbling with Rev. Al Sharpton and hashing out the “Black agenda”. Tonight, PBS will air the second episode of his four-part, year-long series of special reports. This one will try to unearth a…

Topics: Media

Obama on Tea Party’s ‘Core’ Crazies vs. ‘Legitimate Concerns’

by Kai Wright on March 30 2010, 10:23AM

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy President Obama covered lots of ground on the Today show (taped Monday). Perhaps most interesting was his parry with Matt Lauer’s tired questions about the “tone in Washington.”…

Topics: Politics

Progressives and ‘Bitter’ White America

by Kai Wright on March 29 2010, 12:00PM

Yes, the Tea Party is madness. But what we need, with increasing urgency, is leadership that explicitly aligns working-class white folks and people of color.


Morning Browse: Truth in Spitting, Height’s Alive and Militia Raid

by Kai Wright on March 29 2010, 9:33AM

Tea Partiers say reports of their racist attacks on congressmembers last week are apocryphal. Well, now there’s video of Rep. Emanuel Cleaver getting spit on, at Huffington Post. WSJ explores the gap between Tea Party protest enthusiasm and Tea…

Topics: News Items

Obama’s Slow March Toward Foreclosure Relief

by Kai Wright on March 26 2010, 4:55PM

File it under better late than never: The White House has finally conceded that the foreclosure crisis will not ease until lenders start writing down principals. From the Obama administration’s start, consumer advocates and banking watchdogs have stressed that foreclosures…


The Morning Browse: Green Jobs Build Communities, WashPost Wilding Out and Wealth Gaps

by Kai Wright on March 24 2010, 9:52AM

ColorLinesTV profiles three green jobs projects that show how we can end the jobless recovery while tackling long-standing challenges in communities of color. NYT profiles the big idea that health insurance reform is part of President Obama’s effort to…

Topics: Economy, Environment, Media, Race and Recession

Obama’s Health Care Lesson: Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way

by Kai Wright on March 23 2010, 1:17PM

As President Obama wound into his health care victory speech this morning, an urgent cry rang up from the East Room crowd: “The bill! Sign the bill!” Everybody laughed, but it was the most real moment of the ebullient signing…

Topics: Health, Politics

The Morning Browse: Noose Faxes, GOP’s Immigration Rhetoric, and More

by Kai Wright on March 23 2010, 9:37AM

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy The Tea Party onslaught continued yesterday as Rep. James Clyburn told Keith Olbermann about noose faxes to his office - “This stuff is not all that isolated.” GOP…

Topics: Economy, Environment, Health, Immigration, Politics

South Carolina’s AIDS Crisis Shows Health System’s Worn Patches

by Kai Wright on March 18 2010, 3:45PM

South Carolina is once again making really bad news on HIV/AIDS: People living with HIV are rallying against a budget plan that will end funding for a program that helps low-income people living with HIV/AIDS buy meds. More than 2,000…

Topics: Health

The Morning Browse: Big Stuff in Today’s News

by Kai Wright on March 16 2010, 6:25AM

The evil ad wizards who brought us Willie Horton are tying Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid to Dubai “slave labor,” which they in turn equate with union labor in Nevada. MoJo’s Stephanie Mencimer reports. The FCC’s releasing it’s National…

Topics: Criminal Justice, Economy, Health, Politics, Race and Recession

Parsing the Details of Dodd’s Not-Independent Consumer Watchdog

by Kai Wright on March 15 2010, 2:23PM

Sen. Chris Dodd came out swinging today to defend his revamped proposal for fixing the financial regulatory system, and he’s won cautious support from some key reformers. Bailout watchdog Elizabeth Warren, who has been the most vocal Beltway advocate of…

Topics: Economy, Race and Recession

Senate Financial Reform Bill Leaves Communities at Lenders’ Mercy

by Kai Wright on March 15 2010, 8:52AM

Retiring Sen. Chris Dodd is rolling out his revised bill for reforming financial regulations today and the general consensus is… it’s a bust. Dodd broke off negotiations with Republicans on the Banking Committee last week, raising hopes that he’d craft…

Topics: Economy, Race and Recession

The Morning Browse: Big Stuff in Today’s News

by Kai Wright on March 15 2010, 6:00AM

President Obama discusses his blueprint for an updated Elementary and Secondary Education Act to overhaul No Child Left Behind. Clarence Thomas’ wife is holding her own Tea Party. The LA Times profiles an effort she launched in January to…

Topics: Economy, Media, Race and Recession, Schools & Youth

Introductions: The New Guy at Racewire

by Kai Wright on March 14 2010, 9:49PM

Hello Racewire fam! So I’m the new guy. Well, sort of. I’ve been contributing to ColorLines for years and, like you, loving the Applied Research Center’s work in creating a meaningful frame for dealing with race and justice in America….


A Fragile Union

A Fragile Union

by Kai Wright on March 2 2009, 12:00PM

Why racial justice matters in the fight for gay marriage.

Topics: Gender & Sexuality, Prop 8

Risking it All to Find Safety

by Kai Wright on May 1 2008, 12:00PM

Black and brown queer youth are desperately seeking space to love—and be loved. They’ll do whatever is necessary to find it.

Topics: Gender & Sexuality

My High School Sex Life

by Kai Wright on May 1 2008, 12:00PM

One teenager talks about getting it on, turning it off and charting her own course through a sexual coming-of-age.

Topics: Gender & Sexuality, Schools & Youth

Reggie Walton

by Kai Wright on May 1 2008, 12:00PM

The federal judge who dropped the hammer on Lewis “Scooter” Libby explains his crusade against crack sentencing laws.

Topics: Criminal Justice