African American

Interview: Former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner challenges the Black Vote | Democracy in Color

An interview by Democracy in Color‘s Aimee with former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, Leader of the Progressive Movement and Bernie Sanders Supporter:

Turner addresses the history of the Black Vote and why we are not seriously courted by Democrats in politics or policy, most especially in this coming General Election.

“I want to be proposed to, I want to get the ring. But because we are so predictable in our voting patterns, people who run for office — whether it is the Clintons or anybody else who is a Democrat — they don’t have to court us substantively, and we certainly don’t get the ring,” says Turner

“When A. Phillip Randolph, the labor leader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, threatened President Roosevelt and said, “You are going to do something for the Black community or I’m going to march on you.” This was in the ’40s, before the March on Washington in the ’60s. The president didn’t want to see that, so he negotiated and we got something tangible for generations to come, for our vote. I don’t see us getting anything — the collective us — from Democrats that’s tangible for generations to come. That is the problem that I have.”

Turner challenges us to vote for our future, not our fear.

The interview in its entirety at: Democracy in Color

Source: Nina Turner: Leader of the American Progressive Movement — Democracy in Color

Howard University Commencement 2016

Click on this link for the LIVE presentation. http://player.piksel.com/s/n131asj0

WHUR 96.3 FM in collaboration with WHUT broadcast via live web stream the 2016 Howard University Commencement Convocation with President Barack Obama delivering the keynote address.

Source: Howard University Commencement 2016

On – Melissa Harris-Perry’s mistake was that she didn’t “own her masters” | Blavity

Our greatest frailty – pimping someone else’s ride. Whether you have a booth in a flea market or a record label – own it. The prevailing dialogue for the weak, especially during the economic downturn has been jobs. But between the rhetoric has been the plea for Americans to become what they once were – creators, builders, and owners. “… the importance of legally owning your work” has never become more important for especially minorities.
The greatest shame to me is that Melissa Harris Perry bit into the same poison fruit that most of our relish. We have been trained to pimp the master’s ride and be glad – even boast because we are riding in the front seat.
Oprah Winfrey owned a portion of and eventually all of what she helped to create during her decades-long run on ‘Oprah.’ She turned its success into the OWN network. The co-founder of Blavity, Morgan Debaun, OWNS this site and everything that happens to it. Alexa von Tobel, founder of LearnVest.com OWNED her product and sold it for $250 million.
The poorest African American should have learned going to the corner store and supporting people who do not look like or respect us, – the power of ownership. But access is access we say. For the 20th century – yes. For the 21st Century – no. We should pledge that from now on, every job should lead to ownership.

Source: Melissa Harris-Perry’s mistake was that she didn’t “own her masters” –

#MLKNOW Brings Out Chris Rock, Harry Belafonte, & More To Honor MLK | News One

2016 MLK Now

Blackout for Human Rights, Riverside Church

Click on the Link Below for the performances in the entirety.

Blackout for Human Rights and The Campaign for Black Male Achievement

On the week that would have marked the late leader’s 87th birthday, social justice groups Blackout for Human Rights and The Campaign for Black Male Achievement celebrated Dr. King’s legacy and more with MLK Now at the legendary Riverside Church in Harlem, New York. Monday night’s event highlighted historic speeches by civil rights heroes like MLK, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Sojourner Truth, and Shirley Chisholm, recited by Lin Miranda-Manuel, Andre Holland, Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, and civil rights icon Harry Belafonte.

Source: #MLKNOW Brings Out Chris Rock, Harry Belafonte, & More To Honor MLK | News One

Who determines if Black Women are Beautiful? | Mommafucious

While catching up on Season 2 of the “Being Mary Jane” television series, I came upon a scene in Episode 9 where Gabrielle Union as Mary Jane Paul hosts a discussion on the Black woman’s image. Is she ugly?

The guest are real life activist and scholars, singer-songwriter, actress, musician, and record producer India Arie; Mark Anthony Neal a Professor of African & African American Studies and the founding director of the Center for Arts, Digital Culture and Entrepreneurship (CADCE) at Duke University; and Michaela Angela Davis, image activist, feminist, and CNN contributor. Professor Neal hosts many Black scholars on his weekly webcast, “Left of Black,” so this was right up his alley.

The question is: Black women. Do you feel Beautiful?WE have to say we are magic,” says Davis. Watch and Learn!!!

Mommafucious: Final Thoughts for 2015, Part III

Kwanzaa 2014 Flyer

UMass photo

Final Thoughts for 2015, Part III: This is part three because I know that tomorrow, there will be more uncluttered ruminations.

Happy Kwanzaa, Everyone

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UJIMA -collective work and responsibility.

In 1985, Whitney Houston sang,

I believe the children are our future

Teach them well and let them lead the way

Show them all the beauty they possess inside

Give them a sense of pride to make it easier

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.

 

I woke up this morning hearing these lyrics, first penned by Linda Creed in 1977 in The Greatest Love of All. But it was Houston’s 1985 voice and image that added the emphasis of Black and mother; love and hearth. I smiled because my children are out there in the world making the most of what this world has to offer them. And then as I settled in with coffee and a mouse, there were other visions.

 

The first article was of 2,000 youths rioting in a mall and throughout the surrounding neighborhoods of St. Matthews in Louisville, Kentucky where responding officers were busy “keeping people safe” and had no time for arrests.  The teens were described as unruly. One interview with a police officer described the scene as a fight and the barrage of calls to authorities a misunderstanding. He claimed from the outskirts of the crowd, it sounded worse than the incident actually was. Had it not been for various other reports of the youths spilling out into the streets, neighboring brawls and civil unrest from other news stations, his statement would have charmed the public into the “kids being bad” narrative.

 

The second article, a Chicago, Illinois family dispute between a father and son ending in the 19-year-old son, Quintonio LeGrier and a 55-year-old neighbor Bettie Jones shot dead by responding law enforcement, closed the nation’s conversation. Everyone is now safe.

 

The eeriest of this was the “Top Stories” ticker tape streaming across the screen’s bottom while the reporter described the Chicago scene. Floods, terror threats, fires, and of course the 1000-2000 “unruly-youths.” Media matters. I rolled back to the late 20th century argument against indicating the race of offenders when they are non-White and media bias in reporting. We fought for equal reporting, but we as Blacks were not there as yet within our communities. We worried more about respectability politics than respect for our lives.

Black abolitionist and writers sought to humanize the African and African civilization to the rest of the world before and after Reconstruction. But humanity loves and hates, it is pristine and messy, it is clear and polluted, and it is raw. We cannot dismiss this in our fight for recognition in all that is human. To dismiss any part of our human selves is to create an inhuman and inhumane approach to each other. No other body denies or denigrates its broken limbs as we do. They sting and burn and seek attention. The kind of attention easily utilized by the Other as they deny, yet understand that it is a part of their whole. This is our worry. This is our politics.

WorthyLIFE

w-dervish.blogspot.com

 

We understand that “All Lives Matter,” yet until a child was torn from us in public, with no regard from the perpetrator or authorities, did some realize that Blacks lives were never a part of that “All.” So we proclaimed, “Black Lives Matter.” The world rumbled on all sides. A burning CVS said, “They are not worthy as yet. The media showed the photo of a burning CVS more than the body of our young lying on the streets as an omen; — more than it popularized the burning of Black Wall Street.

 

I am not a fan of R. Kelly, but I did respect him for walking out on the Huffington Post interview.  We choose our heroes, not by merit, but by our own demented biases. He refused to be beaten by his challenges and that is ok too. Bill Cosby has challenges that are multiplied by his present game of Dodge Ball. With Cosby, the African American community is divided by respectability politics and nostalgia on one end and rape culture on the other. Is this so for R. Kelly? Can we enjoy his music and still guard our children as parents are wont to do? I have never had a problem enjoying Woody Allen’s genius, but I definitely would not hire him as a babysitter.

 

So what is our solution? When do we get real? In the 1980’s, I saw a White man outside of the Wall St. Stock Exchange dressed in an expensive suit smoking crack at a phone kiosk. No one in my periphery snarled, sloped away, or even acknowledged him. We might determine it was because he was white, or wealthy, or manicured, any of the deference we do not grant the common man. I thought of privilege; of the friends and world that grants him a stumble and help him rise again. Dr. Bernard LaFayette communicated, if I may paraphrase, that it is not the one community that supports an idea that gives it power; it is the millions worldwide that support it making the difference in the power it wields. But I have also been told that each drop of water creates an ocean.

 

When do we find enough credibility in our community despite our broken homes, gang violence, drug addiction, economic marginalization, illiteracy, and sagging pants? Every nation of immigrants has faced the same challenges in America. The difference is they were human when they arrived. They banded together in their ghettos, not around their achievements, but around their challenges. They climbed mountains together knowing that some may fall and others, in doing so, may add dead weight. But they held the rope, pulled each other up and never let go.

 

“The greatest love of all

Is easy to achieve

Learning to love yourself

It is the greatest love of all”

Be color brave, not color blind: Mellody Hobson at TED2014 | TED Blog

Hobson wants to make clear, “I’m not here to complain. I’ve been treated well by people of all races more often than not. I have succeeded in my life more than my wildest expectations. I tell the uniform story because it happened. I tell the race stats because they are real.” And furthermore, those continuing problems threaten to rob future generations of their opportunities.


Source: Be color brave, not color blind: Mellody Hobson at TED2014 | TED Blog

Black Men Rally In D.C. For 20th Anniversary Of Million Man March

WASHINGTON (AP) — Black men from around the nation are gathering on the National Mall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March and call for policing reforms and changes in black communities.

The original march on Oct. 16, 1995, brought hundreds of thousands to Washington to pledge to improve their lives, their families and their communities. Women, whites and other minorities were not invited to the original march, but organizers say all are welcome Saturday and that they expect to get hundreds of thousands of participants.

Source: Black Men Rally In D.C. For 20th Anniversary Of Million Man March

The Passion of Nicki Minaj – The New York Times

This is the Nikki Minaj I understand. This the flavor that coated glass covered hills African Diasporan immigrants climbed in the past, present, and future if needed.

“She pointed my way, her extended arm all I could see other than the diamonds glinting in her ears. This wasn’t over yet. ‘‘That’s the typical thing that women do. What did you putting me down right there do for you?’’ she asked. ‘‘Women blame women for things that have nothing to do with them. I really want to know why — as a matter of fact, I don’t. Can we move on, do you have anything else to ask?’’ she continued. ‘‘To put down a woman for something that men do, as if they’re children and I’m responsible, has nothing to do with you asking stupid questions, because you know that’s not just a stupid question. That’s a premeditated thing you just did.’’ She called me ‘‘rude’’ and ‘‘a troublemaker,’’ said ‘‘Do not speak to me like I’m stupid or beneath you in any way’’ and, at last, declared, ‘‘I don’t care to speak to you anymore.’’”

Source: The Passion of Nicki Minaj – The New York Times

This Is How A Prison’s Debate Team Beat Harvard

Harvard University vs Prison debate

Bard College, New York is creating real change in the prison industrial complex. Beating Harvard University in a debate is only a small feat when we take into account the many who will be released from prison with a leg up over some that have never seen prison walls. The international “Ban the Box,” which counsels employers across the globe to eliminate judging employment applicants first on whether or not they have been imprisoned, along with prisoners leaving prisons work ready heals societies already burdened with economic trials.

The BPI is the largest prison education program in the U.S. Almost 300 incarcerated men and women are currently pursuing degrees in six prisons across New York State. Yet, gaining admission to the program is no small feat. Applicants are required to write an essay and go through a rigorous interview process.  “It’s a very difficult, very grueling process,” Kenner noted. “But it’s one that rewards student initiative. And something that we take very, very seriously.” In July, BPI was awarded a $1 million grant from the Ford Foundation to help support its work for higher education in prisons and innovations in criminal justice reform.

Source: This Is How A Prison’s Debate Team Beat Harvard