#BlackLivesMatter

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

.

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

Mommafucious: Final Thoughts for 2015, Part II

Rudin1Final Thoughts for 2015 Part II: This is part two because I know that tomorrow, there will be more uncluttered ruminations.

Facebook and Twitter Posts keep me informed. Unlike the little challenged Main St. local and national news, there are many voices. During the year they varied, became morose, battle scenes, rants then cheerleaders slip in their philosophical cheers for the day. Some are eternally happy, living in clouds. Their feet never touch the ground. We have the merchants, buy me or you will never know where it’s at. A popup IM. “Are you all right?” “How’s your day going?” “We are sisters.” “We are one.” Some send flowers and stolen memes. “Sent from the iPhone of…” Even more distant are the “I am beautiful.” “She is beautiful.” “LMAO” and the infamous “LOL.”
Twitter condenses life into 140 characters. It gives you just enough space to get to the point. Black Twitter and it’s coalescing body, Blavity has found a home at the Los Angeles Times news desk. Someone is paid to read your thoughts and track the wave a Blackness storming the globe. They are mostly young and eager to tell the world where we are at. Most interesting are the trolls that attach themselves to the #BlackTwitter hashtag simply to peek at the dang Black upstarts. Remember, if they are angry you must be doing something right.
Election year “I am running for…” Trump boasts that he paid little in advertisement. Everyone in their weakest moment gasped at his barbs, posted them in succession along with video footage of his latest interview. “Mr. Trump, would you explain …” We sit on a perch waiting for the next go round of a news cycle.
Bernie Sanders proved to me that “it’s not the dog in the fight; it’s the fight in the dog.” Lately, he asked for and raised $2,000,000 in small campaign contributions from the masses in two days. And he is still humble enough to hug Hilary Clinton. That might the reason. Another charming quality about Bernie is that when confronted by Black Lives Matter and the racial equality agenda, he didn’t do as most politicians. He didn’t lock his jaw, roll his eyes, clutch the pearls, and ignore. Bernie took note, if only in rhetoric. But rhetoric has proven to matter also.
Local politics was profane in 2015. We saw familiar faces and blood-soaked fingers pat ringwormed heads, curled their lips, and chided activists’ bad behavior. One NY politician chose to ignore. Why is that profane to me? It reminds me of the Liberal and Black politicians that can only tell the Black community all of the world’s problems are that I don’t vote. Not toxic site dumping in poor and minority neighborhoods, large and small producers spewing toxins into the air to ramp up climate change, not education disparities and marginalization, not even that they are worthless beings and don’t give a damn as long as they have a job until the next election cycle. Check history. If Blacks vote too much, “conservatives” (Oh my god, that word) burn the town down. I do vote, by the way.
I never thought “outsiders” would become the dirtiest word amid the flames of protest. But it was. One woman stood amidst a burning city and a neatly drawn chalk line to proclaim they had never had a problem in their town until outsiders infiltrated their ranks. It was clear that she was the one that posted the “Bless this house” meme that went across the country more than 60,000 times.
My timeline oozed Black historical figures and Black achievements. The greatest achievement this year, however, was the realization that despite all of the blood shed for the cause, there is still much blood left to go around. Most of it, no one will notice. They are all scrapbooking the black and white photos of those they will never emulate; pretending ties to philosophy righteousness has long put to rest. I’m waiting to see what else is contrived for Black History Month this February. Danielle Colin’s beautiful, “Dreaming in Kreyol” sits on my nightstand. I wonder how many centuries will go by before I see an academic critique. Will her photo be in color?
The most interesting are the young traversing grounds they swear are new and innovative. I once asked a woman sitting still, drinking, and smiling through her 40’s with years of destruction around her how she can do such a thing. “I’ve done all that before,” was her answer. 20 years later, I understand. That is why she sits.
dreaminginKreyol
Photos… oh they are called selfies now. This is my moratorium to what you missed. I read articles that claim people who post selfies are narcissistic. I think selfies tell the world how much they are missed. How small we feel in vast spaces, even in our own bathrooms. Not everyone smiles. The fearful ones sometimes but mostly never smile. The haughty contort their faces in some kind of grotesque pout mimicking their last black and white photo in the scrapbook. Still, the most grotesque are withered beings covered in masquerade hats and feathers. They try to bring it back. But bring what back? We will never know.
Videos are more time consuming but are the most revealing. The Walmart and WorldStar are the best. The police shootings informative. The baby in the cage – the worst. You might have a better take on this, but for me watching modern America go up in flames as the displaced find our borders for refuge is historic. The only difference between then and now is video. Hang a bulb on the tree and call it done.
This holiday season… Should I say holiday? Are you offended? Should I be specific, exclusive – pick my side in the war of holidays this year? Can’t I just sing because I am happy? Or do I have to choose a happiness – a mirror of yours? Ok then… I choose Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, and all of the many visions of celebration the world has to offer tied in a pink and yellow box with black ribbon. I am sending it out to all of you without exclusion, discrimination, history, or -ism. This is how we prove to ourselves that we are still human – above the beast. Convention, stability in an unstable world. So preserve some of your humanity in a tree, a candle, a bowl of fruit. It makes no difference to the lion, the mouse, the elephant, the spider – they are all assured in their civility and grandeur without symbols.

 

 

Mommafucious: Final Thoughts for 2015, Part I

AAWomenLit
Final Thoughts for 2015 Part I: This is part one because I know that tomorrow, there will be more uncluttered ruminations.
I am taking this note from my grandson, who cleanses himself when needed on these pages, and then goes out and does wonderful things. I love you, Anthony King.
Paying close attention to what people say and do has its challenges. No one wants you to look that hard. They want to remain shadows behind one institution or a few if they are lucky. Most people are accustomed to the “assess,” “call,” and “response;” and treat the rest of the world in kind.
Throwing a ham sandwich to the man sleeping by the side of the road, we assume he is hungry. Yet he has merely fallen asleep after a long day. Hey, those ham sandwiches make great Sunday testimonies; the pillars propping up our goodness.
I once walked out of a meeting, where I was President. One of many times, I vacated spaces that looked totally ridiculous. It taught me more about what I was willing to tolerate than the spaces harboring seductive paradigms. My breaking points were all exposed. They are the letter and stories waiting on my desk to be completed. They are the pedicures, bike rides, cocktail sips, and all of life’s other miracles that get lost playing in Jezebel’s funhouse.
I considered one of the marches through town for peace until I realized the ridiculousness of asking for peace from a non-violent violent people. Luckily, I did not waste the time. They were the wrong group. That evening after the march, at least a mile away from the city’s hotspot, a sacred one beat a police officer almost to death. He is still considered civil, just a bad day. No need for a march. Two lines on the blotter.
And speaking of violence, which is better; a paper cut or a knife wound?
Violence is when you look like me and give me a book to read with most of the pages torn out.
Or invite me to supper and give me the same ham sandwich that you tossed to the homeless man.
Or offer to buy the concert tickets and only can afford the bleeder seats, assuming I wouldn’t notice.
Or announcing an empowerment meeting where there are 20 minutes of lineage for every 2 minutes of substance. I could’ve had a pedicure, fool.
Or the receptionist at the school principal’s office demanding to know where I was last week (Business trip), when I asked to see the principal about a matter my husband took care of while I was away. Yes bitch, someone does pay me to travel.
Better yet, when you retire and return to college and folks reference you to their derelict relative that didn’t know it was time to grow up until they started graying.
Or expecting me at 40 to champion a club where the only events are funerals every week and members show up with oxygen tanks to fill the seats. What ever happened to sick and shut-in? Now that is violence.

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