Source: Walter McBride / Getty Jesse Williams’ recent BET Awards speech on Black liberation and racism woke up America and garnered new fans–including famed writer and activist Alice Walker. The Color Purple author inspired by the Grey’s Anatomy star, she wrote a powerful poem and posted it on her website. Here It Is addresses the…
In 2013 the author of the New Jim Crow in the Age of Colorblindness, Michelle Alexander, foreshadowed the current protests, violence, and the racially-biased and hyperbolic media rhetoric surrounding it all. Listen to how even Alexander lived in denial as most professionals comfort themselves. The benefits of social media is that we are able to readily observe everyone’s complacency in the growing drama as we victimize the victim, support the manufactured policies that create a caste of the unseen, unwanted, and cast aside; or worst – remain silent.
Published on Mar 15, 2013
Michelle Alexander, highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, Associate Professor of Law at Ohio State University, and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, delivers the 30th Annual George E. Kent Lecture, in honor of the late George E. Kent, who was one of the earliest tenured African American professors at the University of Chicago.
The Annual George E. Kent Lecture is organized and sponsored by the Organization of Black Students, the Black Student Law Association, and the Students for a Free Society.
“This world is interesting and difficult,” she would say. “Happiness? Don’t settle for that.”
This particular article by Gaby Wood tributes Morrison like no other I have read. It reminds me why each time I read one of Toni Morrison’s novels, it felt as if I held my breath until the last page. We all know that is impossible, but the world she creates within her texts redefines the past, present, and future. There are no spaces for outsiders or interruptions. I read “A Mercy” in two days, dry-mouthed, sleep-deprived, but never abandoned.
Morrison’s take on race and spaces have never been secret within the pages of her books. Like truly talented individuals, she is blunt, unforgiving, unyielding, and delivers at every turn – just what we need our leaders to aspire.
…she wrote from the point of view of little black girls in her first two books, of 17th-century slaves in Mercy, of a child killed by her mother to save her from suffering in Beloved. She combined the metaphorical stories of her grandparents with the facts on the ground, and arrived at what she calls “imaginative resistance”. To tell a tale, you have to pick up its pieces, she once suggested, comparing storytellers to Hansel and Gretel. “Their momma doesn’t want them. They leave a little trail. That trail is language.”
GriotWorks of Philadelphia, PA offers cultural competency courses for African American youth and adults. Below is their Griot Sway Youth Music video. These are truly talent young individuals.
GriotWorks is a signature organization in producing and presenting artistic work based in African American traditions, storytelling and culture. Modeling our work after the role of the “Griot” or “Jeli”, storytellers in West Africa who hold communities together by sharing stories that relay history, educate, honor traditions, share morals and envision a collective future, we aim to serve communities and audiences by doing the same.
Many, many Congratulations to Edwidge Danticat on receiving her Honorary Doctorate from Brooklyn College, NY. This woman interwove the stories of Haitian immigrants and their journeys through settlements in New York. A favorite quote from her non-fiction, “Brother, I’m Dying” exemplifies the entirety of the immigrant experience, straddling two lives with one breath:
“It’s not easy to start over in a new place,’ he said. ‘Exile is not for everyone. Someone has to stay behind, to receive the letters and greet family members when they come back.”
― Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I’m Dying”
Today, Brother, I’m Dying became the first nonfiction book to join the Big Read library, and will be available for communities applying for a 2015-16 Big Read grant. Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, the book tells the story of Danticat’s family, and their journey from Haiti to the United States. Danticat herself came to the U.S. at age 12, joining her parents after years of being raised by an uncle. Danticat’s poignant family saga is entwined with Haiti’s civil war and contemporary immigration issues, making the book as much about history as it is about heartbreak, tradition, and courage.
In this comprehensive review of Justin Simien’s first film “Dear White People,” published in “NewBlackMan (in Exile)”, Stephane Dunn teases out the academic and cultural notations guiding this redress on post-racialism. The film’s production and acceptance by the viewing public stands as a step forward in the overt race conversation. The title alone, in earlier years and still today, would have whites and fearful Blacks running the other way. Yet, “Dear White People” is making its rounds in theaters across the United States. Progress at least among some populations.
Dear White People doesn’t merely copy or recycle still relevant cultural critiques about the racist imagery that infuses film and American culture though Simien certainly traverses some familiar ground – racialized representations in pop culture and warring notions of black authenticity, brought up to date with Aaron McGruder-like Boondock boldness. Dear White People adds its own chapter taking on ‘post-racial’ – ‘post-black’ contemporary discourses. However, that and title aside, its concern is with a range of competing social identities, particularly class and sexuality and the intersection of these with race. Race is as much a device as key theme.- Stephane Dunn
Similar to Ferguson, Missouri’s recent protest in the murder of Michael Brown, among other young Black men and women, some in the African American community sit astraddle the discussion of race. Our scholars and young are eager for the discussion to expand beyond academic discourse. The older and fearful or ‘conservative’ wait to mingle among the crowds that gather or recline – if a spark is not ignited. The mixed bag is historic and similar to any community. Still this historic step forward does not require the total capitulation of the African American community. The mere progress of this film speaks for itself.
Read this review. See the film. Then, bring this conversation of race and identity to your dinner table, clubs, and communities.
The film follows four black students at a fictional Ivy League campus, where racial tensions have reached a boiling point over the party.But for star Tyler James Williams, his biggest problem was his hair.
The actor/rapper, 22, says he wishes he had the script earlier so he would have had time to grow out his character’s Afro. He instead had to sport an uncomfortable weave that he yanked out of his hair one morning.“Then a big patch was missing, so a wig got involved,” Williams tells The News. “It was a low point in my life.”
By Patrick Howell O’Neill on October 13, 2014
Activist and academic Dr. Cornel West was arrested during demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo. He was on the scene to protest police brutality against black males, including the August shooting death of Michael Brown and another incident on Saturday, another 18-year-old killed by police just miles from Ferguson.Here’s Fusion’s livestream of the protests:
Dr. Cornel West has always been the example that going to jail is sometimes a part of activism. Long time academic and activist, West was arrested during the New York City “Stop and Frisk” rally three years ago. He has brought many demanding issues to the forefront in other arrest, bucking the stigma of arrest, which usually is a quieting tool for many African Americans, especially the affluent. Princeton University might double his salary after this. He is definitely a talking point.
Over 1,000 people joined in the “Ferguson October” protest over the death of Michael Brown, shot by police officer Darrel Wilson back in August 2014. Watch the video below:
Published on Oct 13, 2014
Author and activist Cornel West was arrested while demonstrating in Ferguson, Missouri, on Monday.West was in Ferguson as part of the “Ferguson October” rally, which has been attended by over 1,000 protesters.Journalists in Ferguson tweeted photos of the incident Monday afternoon.
West had joined peaceful demonstrations at St. Louis University on Sunday night. Hours earlier, during a large mass protest service, West said that he came to get arrested.“It’s a beautiful thing to see people on fire for justice, but I didn’t come here to give a speech,” West said during a discussion on Sunday night. “I came here to go to jail.”
“Free agency” as applied to the movement for the uplift and advancement of people of African descent is a bad thing, and when all of us are “unrestricted free-agents,” that is the worst possible situation, because we are without a “team,” which is another way of saying – we are without an “organization.” The Most Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey noted that: “The greatest weapon used against the Negro is disorganization;” In this writer’s opinion, by “disorganization” Mr. Garvey referred to lack of effective organization, or lack of organization altogether.