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” –

The Anger of Ta-Nehisi Coates by Darryl Pinckney | The New York Review of Books

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates 

Coates says that it took him a while to realize how different his family was. They boycotted Thanksgiving, and fasted instead. Most of his friends were fatherless, around him the young were getting locked up, dying of gunshots, and crack brought the end of the world. His father’s Afrocentric publishing business succeeded somewhat, but he also did what he had to, including beekeeping. He held on to jobs as a janitor at Morgan State, a black college, and as a research librarian at Howard University, some ways away in Washington, D.C., just so his children could have free tuition. “What did I know, what did I know/of love’s austere and lonely offices?” Robert Hayden asks himself in his poem about his father, “Those Winter Sundays.” But Coates dedicates The Beautiful Struggle to his mother. His father had a few children by other women. One year he became a father by two women at the same time.

Source: The Anger of Ta-Nehisi Coates by Darryl Pinckney | The New York Review of Books

7 Toxic Assaults on Communities of Color Besides Flint: The Dirty Racial Politics of Pollution | Alternet

[Dr. Robert D. Bullard]  says the politics of environmental racism haven’t changed since economist William J. Kruvant described the process in a 1975 journal article: “Disadvantaged people are largely victims of middle- and upper-class pollution because they usually live closest to the sources of pollution—power plants, industrial installations, and in central cities where vehicle traffic is heaviest. Usually they have no choice. Discrimination created the situation, and those with wealth and influence have political power to keep polluting facilities away from their homes. Living in poverty areas is bad enough. High pollution makes it worse.”

Source: 7 Toxic Assaults on Communities of Color Besides Flint: The Dirty Racial Politics of Pollution | Alternet

The Productivity Robbing Myths of Grad School

SAS Confidential

Author: Steve Shaw
Original: How Not To Suck at Grad School

I am not sure if there is a best way to be efficient and productive as there are many very different, but positive, ways to work. However, there are some common and universally terrible ways to work. Here are a few things that I hear students say with pride that are actually signs of an inefficient worker.

“I do my best work at the last minute. I thrive under pressure.”

–No. The first draft of everything is terrible, even for the best writer. You may be an extremely good binge writer, but I promise that the work will be better with another draft and some time to consider and change content.  Plan your time well. The draft of any project should be completed three days to two weeks before it is due. The remainder of the time can be…

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#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

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Bernie Sanders and Reparations – The Atlantic

In the haste to #FeelTheBern many African Americans have forgotten the key difference in White Liberalism and Racial Justice – dismantling white supremacy and Black Reparations. Mainly, because White Liberals also benefit from white supremacy and the devaluation of the Black body. The rich against poor argument overrides the conversation towards social equality, and Black economic solvency and justice.  In the prior years’ local elections Republicans gained positions, not because they were overwhelmingly astute at politicking, but because our young in bearing the heavy burden of social illegitimacy have become disillusioned with a Democratic party that does not acknowledge their plight beyond class dynamics.

I too #FeelTheBern, yet understand that racial justice is not included in this package. Thankfully, a more worthy social critic and author has taken to articulate just how dangerous our choices are in this national election.

Excerpt from Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic:

[Bernie] Sanders’s anti-racist moderation points to a candidate who is not merely against reparations, but one who doesn’t actually understand the argument. To briefly restate it, from 1619 until at least the late 1960s, American institutions, businesses, associations, and governments—federal, state and local—repeatedly plundered black communities. Their methods included everything from land-theft, to red-lining, to disenfranchisement, to convict-lease labor, to lynching, to enslavement, to the vending of children. So large was this plunder that America, as we know it today, is simply unimaginable without it. Its great universities were founded on it. Its early economy was built by it. Its suburbs were financed by it. Its deadliest war was the result of it…

Source: Ta-Nehisi Coates on Bernie Sanders and Reparations – The Atlantic

One cannot propose to plunder a people, incur a moral and monetary debt, propose to never pay it back, and then claim to be seriously engaging in the fight against white supremacy.


The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think | Johann Hari

Is addiction a disease, individual recovery moment, or is it time for a social bonding moment? Now that many have benefited from addicts and addiction, let’s try some actual science. Let’s get to what actually heals a putrid society.

Excerpts from “The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think by Johann Hari.

If you still believe — as I used to — that addiction is caused by chemical hooks, this makes no sense. But if you believe Bruce Alexander’s theory, the picture falls into place. The street-addict is like the rats in the first cage, isolated, alone, with only one source of solace to turn to. The medical patient is like the rats in the second cage. She is going home to a life where she is surrounded by the people she loves. The drug is the same, but the environment is different.

Source: The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think | Johann Hari

Nearly fifteen years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe, with 1 percent of the population addicted to heroin. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse. So they decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them — to their own feelings, and to the wider society. The most crucial step is to get them secure housing, and subsidized jobs so they have a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for. I watched as they are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs…

The results of all this are now in. An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. I’ll repeat that: injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. Decriminalization has been such a manifest success that very few people in Portugal want to go back to the old system. The main campaigner against the decriminalization back in 2000 was Joao Figueira, the country’s top drug cop. He offered all the dire warnings that we would expect from the Daily Mail or Fox News. But when we sat together in Lisbon, he told me that everything he predicted had not come to pass — and he now hopes the whole world will follow Portugal’s example.

My Devotion to Blackness Doesn’t Extend to Rapists: Why I’ll Never Defend Bill Cosby

I’m never anti-black. I’m always anti-rapist.


At its core, The Cosby Show was an absolute endorsement of black respectability politics. The two married, professional, successful black parents, the mostly well-behaved children educated at the best schools, and the focus on real “American” values were all a deliberate counter to the poverty-stricken, low-class images of shows like Good Times and Sanford & Son. The show seemed to always be mindful of its responsibility to uphold the ideals of what black people could be if we did everything right.

With Bill Cosby steering the ship, that responsibility for promoting and maintaining black respectability quite naturally shifted to him. He became not only “America’s favorite dad,” but a figure of reverence and irreproachability in the black community, so much so that more than two decades after the show ended its eight-year run, it is virtually impossible for many black people to divorce the character of Heathcliff Huxtable from Bill…

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British Actors Idris Elba and David Oyelowo Honored by Queen Elizabeth


British actors Idris Elba and David Oyelowo received a high honor from their queen.

On Tuesday (December 29), both actors made Queen Elizabeth’s annual New Year’s honor list.  Elba, who received a Golden Globe nomination for his work in the Netflix original film “Beasts of No Nation” and BBC’s “Luther”, was humbled by the honor.

“Awards and honors come in all shapes and sizes and all as significant as the other. But this is beyond special as it comes from Queen and country, and I couldn’t be more proud for receiving this right now. What a year. On me head son!” Elba said in a statement.

Oyelowo was also honored for his services to drama, found the honor to be heartfelt. Long before his role as Dr. Martin Luther King in the Ava DuVernay directed film “Selma”, an 18-year-old Oyelowo received a grant from Prince Charles’ charity the Prince’s Trust

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Charleston Three Months Later: Caught With Our Eyes Closed |AAPF – Kimberle Crenshaw

Nine, including Pastor, killed in Charleston, SC Photo: Fox6now.com

This amazing article by, Kimberle Crenshaw, founder of the African American Policy Forum (AAPF) speaks to the African American’s horror at the Charleston Massacre. The burning question is, how could such a horrific act quickly disappear from public discourse, while we champion crises nationally and throughout the globe. Forgiveness is a graceful personal and communal outcome. It begins a healing. But forgiveness is only a beginning.

A proper address to the Charleston Massacre includes approaching a consensus that the harm  was severe, historic, and signals a direct attack on a section of the U. S. population not to be overshadowed or deleted from memory by the next news-cycle.


Grace, amazing though it is, should not spell the end of our responsibility to address the root of racist violence. We will neither forget nor forgive how the lives of Susie Jackson, Ethel Lance, Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Cynthia Hurd, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Daniel Simmons Jr. and Myra Thompson were stolen from their families. We will keep our eyes wide open. We will remember Charleston.

Source: Charleston Three Months Later: Caught With Our Eyes Closed — AAPF